APRIL 30, 2023

This has been a difficult week for the Masterman community. We are all feeling the weight of the knowledge that depression, grief, and other mental health struggles affect children as they do many adults, and that some in our community are especially hurting. We appreciate the outpouring of care and concern from teachers, staff, administration, parents, and students. Altogether, the message has been: If you are having trouble, you are not alone, and we are here to help.

Dr. Payne, Ms. Marcus, and others at the school have already shared some resources via the portal notification system, and we share them again below in case you missed them.

The HSA would also like to prioritize student mental health and other support needs. This will be up to the new HSA board to begin implementing together with school leaders for the coming year, but in the short term, we are putting out a call to those in our community who may be trained in mental health and student support to connect with us. Let us see what we can offer–whether in school, individually, or in other settings–to help our kids continue to recover from the aftermath of the pandemic and navigate an increasingly complex world. If you have some expertise or or experience to contribute, please email


Just announced: 

Save the date May 13 for an HSA school clean-up day!

Details to come. In the meantime please mark your calendars! If you are interested in helping to organize this effort please email



Here is the information about this meeting shared in a portal notification:

The Masterman SAC will be discussing the bell schedule during the upcoming Teaching and Learning committee meeting on Monday May 1st at 7:30pm on Zoom. Assistant Principal Ms. Lennon will be joining us to:

1. Review the reason for the change

2. Discuss areas of collaboration between community and administration on supporting students with schedule change. 

3. Plan for future support. 

Our goal with this meeting is to establish ways for the community to support students. We ask all participants to be respectful of this purpose. Additionally, no matter any differences in opinion, everyone should be treated with dignity.

Zoom link:


Given the overwhelming upset expressed by families about the loss of rostered specials (music, art, PE, health, digital literacy, and library studies) and language instruction, we will be supporting parents in a range of actions to represent our community’s concerns. 

At an open meeting held last Thursday evening, a number of ideas for further advocacy were raised and a group of parents has since begun to plan.

Please watch this space for next steps, and drop us your email if you are interested in participating.

In the meantime, we urge parents to sign a Masterman parent's open letter to Dr. Watlington, expressing concern about the lack of transparency, and to attend tomorrow night's SAC meeting (see above).


May 1: PSSA Testing Continues

May 18: Middle School Spring Concert

May 25: High School Spring Concert


May 9 | 7:30 pm | Zoom


May 5: Half day

May 16: No school (Election Day)

May 19: Half day

May 29: No school (Memorial Day)

You can find the full SDP calendar here. Note that the 2023–2024 and 2024–2025 calendars have now been announced.

Thank Our Auction Sponsors

Over 100 businesses donated to the spring auction to support the Masterman HSA. Show your gratitude by supporting them in return!

Browse the list here.




Grades 5–8: Math, Monday and Tuesday May 1–2

Grade 8: Science, Wednesday May 3


12:00 pm dismissal for all students


Check your student's backpack for the printed HSA family directory! This is a revived pre-pandemic tradition that we look forward to making even bigger and better next year!

The directory also contains links to the parent-moderated Facebook group for each grade.

Go Runners!

Kudos to the members of Students Run Philly Style who ran the Broad Street Run today. They braved the cold and rain to run ten miles through the center of the city. Thank you to faculty coaches Ms. Fox, Ms. Stanford, and Mr. Gilligan for guiding the kids through training to this day!

Who are we? STUDENTS! What do we do? RUN! How do we do it? PHILLY STYLE!!

Masterman's "Legally Blonde" Nominated

Masterman School received nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Maeve McNichol), Best Featured Actress (Windega Tarpega), Best Orchestra, and Theater Educator of the Year (Kim Neu) from the Philadelphia Independence Awards. This organization was established in 2017 by high school theater teachers and directors to share and award outstanding student theater performances and productions throughout the Philadelphia region. Congratulations and good luck to our amazing nominees! 

More information here.

Concerts Coming Up

And while we’re talking about the music program:

Don’t miss the upcoming Masterman spring concerts!

Middle School: May 18, 6:00 pm

High School: May 25, 6:30 pm

Come and enjoy! Show the students and teachers your support for their hard work all year long.

Athletics Update

The Boys Lacrosse team had a huge win against Central this week, 11-0. Three players had hat tricks! Shout out to Juwad Challoub (3 goals), Max Linneman (5 goals) and Nate Sears (3 goals). And of course, we can't forget the stellar defense from our fearless goalie Izel Perez and defender Oscar Danielson. If you haven't seen a game, come cheer on the boys at Senior Day on Tuesday, May 2, at Germantown Supersite at 3:15 pm.

Our Track & Field runners had some great finishes recently. The Girls Distance Medley Relay team took home the bronze medal at the PPL Relays. Runners included Kaddy Ren (sophomore), Naiima Jabati (junior), Isabella Royal (sophomore), and Maya Salzman (senior). In addition, Calder Burke (senior) won a silver medal at the Father Judge Relays in the 1 mile run and Tino Karakousis (junior) has been awarded the Chick Fil-A Community Performer award for being a track athlete who engages in service to the community.

The Boys Baseball team remains undefeated with only 2 more games left in the regular season before playoffs. The team roster includes 9 SENIORS!!! Please cheer them on at Senior Day this Wednesday, May 3, at 3:15 pm in Fairmount Park (33rd & Dauphin baseball field).

The Girls Lacrosse team had 2 wins last week against George Washington (18-12) and Franklin Towne Charter (15-5). They have 3 games this week at South Philly Supersite at 3:15 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 


Resources for Mental and Emotional Health

The following services were shared by school staff and parents.

  • The Philly HopeLine, staffed by Master's level clinicians from Uplift Center for Grieving Children, who specialize in free mental health counseling, emotional wellness and grief support. You can call or text 1-833-PHL-HOPE (1-833-745-4673) for free support and information.
  • Kooth, a free online mental health platform for students in grades six through 12, designed to provide students with access to personalized, digital mental health and wellbeing resources. 
  • Mental Health First Aid, a skills-based training course that teaches participants to identify, understand and respond to mental health and substance use challenges.

To learn about identifying and preventing youth depression, watch this webinar by Dr. Jami Young, who is affiliated with both UPenn and Chop.

If you're a parent/guardian looking for tips regarding talking to your child about difficult topics, strengthening your communication skills and relationships, and talking about mental health, please see these articles recommended by Ms. Marcus:

In addition, our school counselors remain available to support students and can be reached at:

Ms. Marcus -

Mr. Allen -

Ms. Nelson -

SDP Annual Survey

Don't forget to fill out this District-wide survey!

It has been shortened and renamed the Philly School Experience Survey. It is totally anonymous and asks for feedback about your experience in school—about communication, family involvement, school climate, building condition, academic standards, school mission and vision, safety, DEI, and more.

This is a great chance for our community to send feedback directly to the District and we strongly encourage all families to participate!

The portal for parents is open now, and a separate survey portal for students and teachers is to open on May 1. Filling it out makes you eligible for a raffle for a $25 gift card and to receive a summary of the responses for our school when the survey is complete.

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 406 (for HS students)

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

Thursdays, 8th Period in Room 406 (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


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?


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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