FEBRUARY 6, 2023

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Don’t forget: school starts 2 HOURS LATE tomorrow (Monday)!

And Friday is a scheduled half day.


A lot is happening right now as the HSA partners with school and district leaders to secure a positive path forward for Masterman. In brief:

  • A delegation from the HSA met with the SDP superintendent and the president of the school board, along with other high-level SDP staff. HSA leaders received a warm and thoughtful reception and felt heard. In turn, they heard from Dr. Watlington that he believes in the role of magnet schools in the district and wants Masterman to be able to keep or improve its national ranking. Participants in the meeting agreed on several tangible next steps, including: 1) help addressing school-level issues including curriculum and learning support and 2) attention to the impact of the lottery system on all magnet schools, especially those that combine middle and high school. In addition, the SDP is actively reviewing policies for school selection, with changes expected for next year’s process. More details about the meeting were shared earlier this week. HSA leaders left the meeting optimistic that the district administration understands the range and depth of concerns among our families and is going to work with the Masterman community to maintain excellence at the school in the near and long term.


Please join us for the JR Masterman Home & School Association’s Annual Spring Auction!

Saturday, March 18

5:30–10:00 pm

Rodeph Shalom, 615 N Broad St.

Ticket and sponsorship sales are NOW OPEN!

Early-bird tickets (now through March 4): $45 

Advance tickets: $50

At the door, subject to availability: $60

This event is the HSA’s biggest fundraiser and supports much of the nuts-and-bolts work we do: funding building improvements, the annual musical, school security, student wellness initiatives, this newsletter, clubs, trips, and activities—and much more! We need your support to support our school community.

Meanwhile, the Auction Committee needs your help to make the event a success! Join planners for pizza in the Masterman library at 5pm on February 13, or on Zoom every Monday at 8pm. Details here or email [email protected].


February 18: High school winter formal

March 2, 3, and 4: Masterman musical

March 7: HSA monthly meeting

March 18: Masterman Auction! See below

March 24: Sixth grade family social


Friday, February 17: HALF DAY

Monday, February 20: NO SCHOOL

Friday, March 3: HALF DAY

Friday, March 17: HALF DAY


March 7 | 7:30 pm | Zoom

April 11 | 7:30 pm | Zoom

May 9 | 7:30 pm | Zoom


Here are some great ways to get involved and get your feet wet in the HSA. 


Put together a draft of the newsletter once or twice a month on a Friday/Saturday. We will support you! This is too big of a job for the one person who currently does it every week. :)

Contact: [email protected] 

Logo Sales 

We need someone to take charge of selling Masterman gear! Includes choosing and stocking items and coordinating a sales table at school events.

Contact: [email protected] 

Volunteer Coordinator 

Many people have offered to help in a general way, and we need a people-person dedicated to managing this army of enthusiastic parents and guardians! This role mainly involves maintaining lists and connecting people via email, text, or phone. 

Contact: [email protected]

Social Media 

We need some extremely online people to help get the word out about HSA and Masterman happenings, and help build community by contributing to the HSA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram-to-be!

Contact: [email protected] 


The HSA is coordinating with the middle school and high school deans to facilitate adding guardians to students’ Google Classroom accounts.

This is a great way to stay informed about your child's activities and opportunities at school. Once you are entered in the system as a guardian, you can choose to receive a daily or weekly summary of posts to the Google Classroom feeds for each subject your child is enrolled in, as well as grade-wide announcements about events, activities, and other things you need to know. Once you are added, it stays in place from year to year throughout your child’s time at Masterman.

What you need to do:

  1. Enter basic info—child’s full name, grade, advisory, and student ID, as well as the guardian’s name and email—in THIS GOOGLE FORM. (FYI: This form is hosted by Dean Gilken, not the HSA. The HSA is merely helping to facilitate the process, not collecting this data itself.)
  2. Help spread the word! We hope every guardian who wants access will be able to find out about this initiative. So please forward, text, share on Facebook. Teachers, please tell your kids to tell their parents!

The sooner you submit your info, the sooner you can get access. The school will soon begin entering guardian emails on a rolling basis and we will send you instructions for completing the process and choosing your settings.


We invite anyone—parents/guardians, students, teachers, and administrators—at Masterman and beyond to use this Google form to express your opinion and recount your experience of the lottery system and process.

Please help spread the word!

The HSA will continue to share these comments with the School District.

Selection Process Feedback 


Senior of the Month

Masterman student Brady Santoro received the honor of being named School District of Philadelphia Senior of the Month. You can read about Brady and his accomplishments here. We are proud of you, Brady! 

Middle School Math Masterminds

The Masterman MathCounts team had a great showing last weekend at the Philadelphia Area MathCounts Competition, held at Temple University. Two of our 8th graders will be advancing to the state competition, having come in 1st and 4th in this competition. In addition, Masterman students filled six of the ten top spots to compete in the Countdown Round to determine who would go to states, and one of our teams placed second overall in the team competition.

Kudos to the team and to their coach, Mr. Taranta!

High School Ethics Bowl Achievers

On February 4th, four Masterman teams ventured to UPenn to compete in the Philadelphia High School Ethics Bowl, a team-based competition where students analyze and discuss ethical issues. Congratulations to the Masterman team "Unethical Bowlers" (Laura Dragomir, Cyrus Fisher, Jia-Ming Gong, Tori Okorodudu, Kaddy Ren, Nox Tan, and Jason Zhang) for their second place win and to all Masterman students who participated!

Time to Sign Up for HS Spring Sports

Spring Sports are starting soon!! Masterman is a small high school and we need every grade to participate in athletics to keep our teams active. 

NINTH GRADERS: we need you!! This year marks historically low turnout of 9th-grade students joining sports teams. Now is your chance. Please consider a Spring Sport.

SENIORS: if you've never joined a spring sport before, now is your chance. Plenty of seniors have joined sports in their final year at Masterman. Your college applications are complete--no excuses. All experience levels are welcome. 

Spring sports include: Boys and Girls Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, Badminton, Boys Volleyball, and Co-Ed Track. HS students interested in playing, please attend a pre-season meeting TOMORROW, Monday, February 13, 3rd period in the gym. Students can check Google Classroom for more information.

Participation in sports requires the completion of a PIAA Physical Form which requires a doctor's signature. If your student played a fall/winter sport, the only requirement is to complete pages 7-8 of the PIAA Physical Form (the "recertification" section) for continued play in the winter sports season. The recertification section does not require a doctor's signature.

Registration Now Open for Students Run

Students Run Philly Style is a city-wide organization that supports middle and high school students in training for distance runs through clubs at individual schools and centers. Runners receive free gear, race registrations, coaching, and camaraderie, with the spring season culminating in the Broad Street Run. It has been a transformative experience for many kids who don’t initially connect with sports.

Students should have sign-up links in their Google Classroom feeds. Questions? Email the club sponsors at [email protected] or see Mr. Gilligan, Ms. Fox-Jones, or Ms. Stanford.

Thank Our School Counselors!

School counselors help students in more ways than you may know. This week we celebrated them as a part of National School Counseling Week 2023.

Find tons of resources from our very own dedicated staff of counselors on the Masterman website! Thank you, Mr. Allen, Ms. Claudio-Nelson, and Ms. Marcus!


Black History Month at Masterman

Masterman is excited to invite students and families to join us in celebrating the triumphs, progress, and innovation of the Black community during this year's Black History Month!

Check out our actions and opportunities that are available to students in the flyer to the right and in this slide deck

Thank you, Ms. Robinson!

STILL ON: Send in Your Stuff!

Students have organized two drives this month:

Plastic Drive

Masterman’s Youth Volunteer Corps Club is collecting Type 1 plastic. This includes mainly plastic water bottles or food containers. Please clean your bottles and drop them off in the collection box near the stairwell close to the main office. Thank you from YVC!

Canned Food and Personal Care Product Drive

Now through the end of February, HS Student Government is running a canned food and personal care product drive for Feast of Justice, a Philly-based food bank run by a Masterman parent! Canned food and personal care items (soap, shampoo, body wash, menstrual products) will be collected every morning from 7:50 to 8:15 in the first floor hallway. 

Thanks to the generosity of Masterman students and families, last year they were able to collect over 1,000 cans and products. If you are able to donate this year, we encourage you to do so! 


Mental Health Corner

Families may be interested in this upcoming webinar on a difficult but important issue.

Adolescent Suicide Prevention 101:

Bringing the Science to Families, Teachers, and Pediatricians

Pamela Morris-Perez, PhD

Professor of Applied Psychology, NYU

February 15, 2023, 8:00 pm ET

Register here.

Calling All High School Dancers

Student dancers are invited to audition for the inaugural Philadelphia All City High School Dance Ensemble, in partnership with the Philadelphia Ballet.

The All City Dance Ensemble will comprise selected young dancers with a diverse range of technical proficiency. Schools from across Philadelphia are represented as students come together for the opportunity to perform and learn from a remarkably talented team of teachers, educators, and choreographers. The audition will include a formal ballet and modern dance class in addition to learning and performing choreography for the Audition Panel.

Apply here by Tuesday, February 14. Auditions take place Friday, February 17, 1:00–3:00 pm, at Franklin Learning Center Dance Studio. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Paid Lifeguard Training

Teens can get paid for the time they spend this spring acquiring the certification they need to work as Philly Parks & Rec lifeguards this summer.

Fab Youth Philly is partnering with Drexel University Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for this program. They provide swimsuits, bathing caps, slides, and more. Teens will also get support with resume writing, LinkedIn profiles, and applying and interviewing for a lifeguard job. Must be able to pass a swimming test to enroll.

Who: 15–19 years old (must be 16 by June 1)

When: Saturdays, March 4–June 3, 4:00–6:00 pm

Where: Drexel University

Pay: $12/hr (with ability to earn $16/hr starting this summer)

Apply here BY FEBRUARY 20

Reminder: NHS Tutoring Always Available!

Students in all grades can drop in as needed for help from Masterman HS student members of the National Honor Society during these hours:

Mondays, 7:30am – 8:15am in Room 214 (for everyone)

Tuesdays, 8th Period in Room 312 (for HS students)

Wednesdays, 8th Period in Room 305 (for 5th- and 6th-grade students)

Thursdays, 8th Period in Room 312 (for 7th- and 8th-grade students)

This is a free resource for everyone! If you have any questions please contact the HS Dean, Mr. Gilken, at [email protected].


Spread the Word

Do you have news or announcements that you want to share with the school community? Is there information you'd like to see featured here?

Email [email protected].

Connect others with the HSA by forwarding this email or sharing this link to subscribe to the newsletter!


There are many ways to give to the Masterman community. Here are a few.


Donations fund the many programs and initiatives of the HSA that support our school, teachers, families, and students. Whether you are able to give $5 or $500, your gift is meaningful, and signals your commitment to our community.


Want to give direct support to specific teachers or your child’s classroom? Masterman teachers have updated their Amazon Wish Lists with the items they need to supplement the HSA’s Teacher Grant program.


Get your Masterman-branded hoodies, hats, tees, and athletic wear--and support the HSA.

And don't forget to become a member of the HSA today!


We need each other.

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