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September 19, 2022
Note: This week's issue is FULL of info. You may have to click "read more" at the bottom to see it all.

Students hard at work in the schoolyard garden

You may have noticed some changes in our schoolyard. Check out all the updates in the "Friends of Adaire" section below! 
Reminder: Back to School Night is this Wednesday, September 21, in-person at Adaire School, 5:30-6:30 PM

Friends of Adaire is coordinating FREE childcare in the school yard so that as many families as possible can attend Back to School NIght. If you are interested, please email (subject BTS Childcare) with the number of children and ages. Thank you!

Uniform Swap

Volunteers from the School Advisory Council (SAC) and Friends of Adaire (FOA) will have a uniform swap table at Back to School Night if you have clean, good-condition items to bring or want to pick up some additional uniforms. We’ll also have information about getting involved as a volunteer and can answer questions. Look for a table outside and say hello!

Food Pantry Update

There is an opportunity to take home food from the food pantry. We highly encourage everyone attending our Back to School night to stop by. We currently have canned black beans, green beans, cloves, carrots, sweet peas, sliced peaches, applesauce, pork and beans, and vegetable soup. We also have whole grain rice and penne pasta. 

If you are interested in any of these items, Ms. Cruz will be distributing food from 5:30pm - 6:30pm. She will be at the desk by the main doors to assist you. Bags will be available but we encourage you to bring your own bags or other items to carry the food. Thank you! 

Reminder: there is no parking in front of the school gates. It is the entryway for students to come into the yard. We appreciate your cooperation. 
Thank you

The School Selection Process is Open! It will close on Friday, November 4 at 11:59 PM. For more information please visit 

Click here to visit Mr. F’s virtual office for a one-stop shop for your school selection needs! 

Mr. F will also offer virtual office hours for partners who have school selection questions or concerns starting 9/27/22. Hours will be posted in the e-news and on the school website.  

In the meantime, parents can contact Mr. F by calling the school or emailing him at

Picture day will be October 11th. More information to follow


Middle School Open House 

The Adaire staff will be presenting information on school selection and our middle school during the Middle School Open House which will take place virtually via Zoom on September 29th at 5:30pm. Click here for the zoom link. The link will also be sent out via email. All are welcome to attend to learn about school selection and what our wonderful middle school has to offer.

We are proud to share a list of schools our class of 2022 8th graders were accepted to:

​​Father Judge

Franklin Towne Charter

Pitman High School

Penn Treaty

Townsend Harris High School

Girls High



Kensington - Computer System Network







Aquaponics Lab

Aquaponics is back! Thanks to Friends of Adaire, we have a new bead filter for removing solid waste. This filter is more efficient and much less stinky than the old one. We have 30 fingerling tilapia in the tank, though a few have decided to swim up the tank overflow outlet and move into the sump tank. Kids are helping out by catching these escaped fish, but they are very fast and really hard to trap with our net. Our 8th graders have planted the first wave of seeds, mostly basil and lettuce, which are almost mature enough to go into the deep water beds. We have partnered with Vetri Restaurants to bring in chefs to cook with our aquaponic herbs and vegetables, so soon kids will be making recipes with the food they have grown! Today is the first day for 'Tank Squad', a volunteer group of kids who take care of the system, work in the school's rain garden, and act as sustainability ambassadors to the whole school.

Flag Football

The after-school Flag Football program will begin this Friday 9/23 from 3:15-4:15 for students in 5th and 6th grade.  If your child is interested, have them please see Mr. Meile or Mr. Price for the program permission slip. 

Happy Fall, Adaire! The DEI INCLUSIVE is back. Every other week the School Advisory Council’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee will use this space to share books, events, and contributions from our big diverse Adaire family. Our goal is that these resources will start conversations and help us ensure EVERYONE feels welcome and valued at Adaire.


To kick us off, Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th. Here are a few books worth checking out that feature “Hispanic,” “Latinx” or “Latine” protagonists and authors:


Our next letter will be in October, so an early Happy New Year (Shanah Tovah!) to all those who will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah beginning September 25th. If you are looking to teach your kids more about Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, the New York Public Library has this book list. Remember, no school on Monday, Sept. 26th or Wednesday, Oct 5th in recognition!


If you would like to get involved with the SAC DEI committee or have ideas for this space, we'd love to hear from you! Email to be connected. 


You may have noticed a lot of activity going on in the Adaire schoolyard this past week. And many of you pitched in and helped form our Adaire Schoolyard Green Team; thanks to all our volunteers of all ages!

A new entrance off Palmer St.!

The biggest change to our schoolyard is the creation of a brand-new entrance to the school. By the end of this week, foot traffic through the teacher parking lot will no longer be necessary, and families will be encouraged to enter/exit through the new gate into the rain garden off the Palmer Street sidewalk. 


Friends of Adaire Schoolyard Team Leader Denis Devine worked with parent Chris Grant and students Finn, Bennett, & Montez to dig up two serviceberry trees that were improperly planted years ago in front of this entrance, and then transplanted them to new homes in the schoolyard. 


Denis, Chris, and FoA Board Member Dave Sunderland also dug up excess flagstones donated by and from Palmer Cemetery and transported them to Adaire. Those flagstones will be laid this week, and when they’re all set, we’ll have a new entrance that helps avoid the car-kid interactions that our schoolyard project was meant to eliminate!


Adaire Schoolyard Green Team launches a year of stewardship

Building on last year’s success, this year Denis is leading a more robust program of schoolyard stewardship at Adaire. At least once a month, that’s going to look like it did last Wednesday, where large groups of Adaire students and parents pitch in to help with a variety of projects. This ad-hoc Adaire Schoolyard Green Team weeded inside the schoolyard and along the sidewalks of Earl St. and Palmer St. They fixed a bunch of storm fencing protecting the inner rain garden. They picked up a ton of trash. They watered everything, including many new plants they planted in the rain garden.


Two projects of special note

Last April, during another great big event celebrating Earth Day, a large team of all-ages volunteers installed and planted a bunch of native plants started at and bought from Greensgrow into the new steel planters along the Earl Street sidewalk. Now we’ve begun transplanting those plants into the rain garden, with our first addition a lovely little fragrant sumac shrub. We’ll transplant the rest of the native bushes, sedges and grasses in the weeks to come. That will leave the Earl St. planters empty of plants… but not for long!


The other noteworthy project on Wednesday saw 7th & 8th Grade Science Teacher Mr. McGeehan lead a team of his 8th graders in collecting seeds from the echinacea (coneflower) and liatris blazing star perennials. In coming weeks, we’ll plant those seeds in the Earl St. planters to grow yet more flowering plants for our rain garden.


So many worked so hard, and the schoolyard looks great as a result. Thanks to everyone who participated. Every time a kid helps out in the schoolyard, the following results are possible: the schoolyard looks nicer (that's a given); the kid feels pride in helping out and working hard; the organizers feel supported and encouraged to keep at it; funders and administrators see that our schoolyard IS in fact something people value and will volunteer their time to work in, which has all kinds of benefits down the line.


And if you wanted to help out but it didn't work out for your schedule, stay tuned! There'll be more opportunities this year.

Denis Devine  215-821-4208
Happy Hour Is Back! 

Join all your Adaire buds at Interstate Drafthouse on Thursday, September 29 starting at 5 p.m. for food, drinks, and lots of family-friendly fun: 


Adaire website I Friends of Adaire website I Breakfast and Lunch Menu I School Calendar I Adaire Handbook

Alexander Adaire School Vision: collaboratively and cooperatively create an effective and comprehensive educational program designed to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all students, cultivating them to become responsible and productive citizens in a culturally diverse society.

Mission: to provide the opportunity for every child to be successful academically and socially.

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Alexander Adaire School · 1300 E Palmer St · Philadelphia, PA 19125 · USA

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