SDP Connect: March Forward Edition

Posted on March 5, 2024
Categories: SDP Connect

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.

– Zig Ziglar



Teacher & Senior of the Month Nominations are Open
Nominations for the Senior and Teacher of the Month Initiative for March 2024 is open. We are celebrating seniors and teachers who are consistent exemplars of determination and commitment to education. The nomination window for January is now open and will close on Friday, March 8th at 5pm. Click here to submit your nominations today!

Autism Expo
School District of Philadelphia staff and families are invited to the 14th Annual Autism Expo, hosted by the District’s Office of Special Education and Diverse Learners. The Expo is free to attend, and will take place on Friday, April 19, 2024 the School District’s Central Office — 440 N. Broad St. Attendees will have access to resources from a variety of organizations and providers who are dedicated to supporting children with autism and their families, such as: Helping Hands Family, The ARC of Philadelphia, AJ Drexel Autism Institute and more. See the flyer for more information. We hope to see you there!

2024 All Philadelphia High School Music Festival
The 2024 All Philadelphia High School Music Festival will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at the Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall, at 7pm. The annual music festival, affectionately known as “All City”, is a long celebration of music education in Philadelphia public schools. Admission is entirely free – an open invitation to one and all to experience the passion of our city’s future stars. Mark your calendars and don’t miss out on this musical celebration. See the flyer for more details.

Equity in Practice: Know Your Worth Girls. Inc. 
On March 20th, 2024 at 12:00 pm, The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be collaborating with KYW Girls  for our March Equity in Practice session.  In this Equity in Practice session, KYW Girls will give a background of their organization and outline their services, why also sharing equitable tips on how educators and community members can support young girls in and out of the classroom. Click here to register and see the flyer for more details.

Donate PreK-12 Books to 440 Little Free Libraries
To support the literacy needs of our students, the Office of Grant Development and the Operations Division have joined forces with 2 Little Free Libraries in the lobby of the Education Center. We encourage literacy supporters to donate new or gently used books that reflect the diversity of our students and our school communities. Consider donating books like manga, graphic novels, LBGTQIA+ and multicultural books. If purchasing new books, please consider buying from local bookstores near you or Harriet’s Bookshop Drop your donated books in the lobby book donation bin – these will be sorted for condition, grade level, etc. and then placed into the Little Free Libraries. If you have questions, contact Laura Lau in the Office of Grant Development,


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Coach Jones on Capitol Hill

Congratulations to Coach Lurline Jones on her momentous accolade on Capitol Hill! For over half a century, Coach Jones has been a pillar of dedication and inspiration within the School District of Philadelphia. As the city’s most victorious girls’ basketball coach, she has not only shaped champions on the court but has also been a relentless advocate for young women in sports. Her remarkable contributions were recognized by Senator Bob Casey in Washington D.C. We are immensely proud of Coach Jones; her achievements are a testament to her unwavering commitment to community and empowerment. Well done, Coach Lurline Jones! Read more of Coach Jones’ story here.

Grammy Certified

Congratulations to the incomparable Jasyn Brazoban, the esteemed music teacher at George Sharswood School, whose extraordinary talents extend far beyond the classroom. A gigging musician, bandleader, and composer, Jasyn has captured the spotlight with his superb trombone play, which earned him a Grammy for Best Gospel Album in 2024 for his work on Tye Tribbett’s latest album. His dedication to his craft and his students alike is truly inspiring. Here’s to a remarkable music teacher and an even more exceptional musician—well done, Jasyn! Learn more about Brazoban’s story here.

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King Jonathan

Hats off to the extraordinary Jonathan Jacobs, our very own career awareness expert from the Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE), for winning the title of Stroehmann© 76ers King of the Classroom! With a nomination straight from the heart of a Parkway West student, Jonathan basked in well-deserved recognition at the recent Philadelphia 76ers game – a true testament to his inspirational impact! Congrats Jonathan!

Senior and Teacher of the Month Winners

Senior of the Month

Jazzani Gerena
Girls High School

Senior of the Month

Sukurat Adetayo
West Philly High School


Congratulations Prince Hall School

The Philadelphia Tribune features “Good News” from The School District of Philadelphia each week in its Learning Key section. In addition to SDP’s “Good News,” every Tuesday the Tribune names a District school as School of the Week. Every week one of our schools is highlighted for the amazing work they are doing with our students. We’re excited to announce Prince Hall School as School of the Week in The Philadelphia Tribune’s Learning Key. Read Prince Hall’s feature article in the Tribune here.

Be on the lookout for more School of the Week features in SDP Weekly and SDP Connect!


Kindergarten Royalty

Our kindergarteners at Overbrook Educational Center took a magnificent journey back in time to the regal roots of Black history, where they met notable figures like Mansa Musa, Queen Amina, Queen Yaa Asantewaa, and Emperor Menelik II. Embracing their royal lessons, the students were adorned in majestic costumes to embody African kings and queens. With pride and joy, they showcased their newfound knowledge in a vibrant presentation for their loved ones. What a royal celebration of heritage and learning!

Mini Nurses

Last year marked an incredible milestone with the launch of the Black Nurse’s Association (BNA) Mini Nursing Academy at Meade Elementary, offering hope and excitement for a more inclusive future in nursing. This eight-week after-school program invites young, eager minds to explore the world of nursing, first aid, and health care, planting the seeds of diversity in the medical field from an early age. Our hearts are full of joy and pride at the positive impact Meade Elementary is fostering, as we celebrate the bright and happy faces of our elementary students embarking on this enriching journey. Learn more here.

Soulful Showcase

In honor of Black History Month, the vibrant young talents of Ellwood Elementary School captivated the audience with an  brilliant showcase! hey sang with soul, danced with passion, acted with depth, and transformed into iconic African American heroes. Witnessing our students embrace and honor the rich tapestry of African American heritage was truly a heart-swelling moment!


Mastbaum High School Culinary Program | The School District of Philadelphia

The Culinary Arts Career & Technical Education Program at the School District of Philadelphia’s Mastbaum High School allows students to gain real-world restaurant industry skills and experiences, including running a full-service Panther Cafe that serves staff and students, and creating and bottling their own line of hot sauce products. Watch this video to learn more. You can also learn more about the many Career & Technical Education Programs available across the School District by visiting


Ramp Health – QuitNet Launch

We are thrilled to introduce a new resource for all SDP employees: QuitNet by Ramp Health. Embark on a journey towards a healthier you, breaking free from tobacco and embracing new, positive habits. With QuitNet’s Tobacco Cessation Program, you’ll receive personalized support from our dedicated Health and Wellness Coaches, who specialize in Tobacco Cessation and are committed to understanding your unique challenges. Join us and discover a tobacco-free version of yourself!

How to Access the Program

  1. Click here and create your account.
  2. Check your inbox for a verification email from and follow the prompts to get started.
  3. Bookmark the site or use the app for future access.

Please see the flyer for more details. Be sure to meet your coach here.

Lyra Health Workshop 

The Office of Talent, Strategy, and Culture is pleased to offer our next one-hour workshop, Staying Afloat: Stress Management Basics, on March 20th, 2024 at 4:00 PM. The workshop will be facilitated by our partner, Lyra Health, at no additional cost to you. To register, simply click here and use your School District email address. If you’re not able to attend, the workshops will be recorded for future viewing. Please see the workshop basics here. For questions or concerns please contact Steffanie Makarewicz at


Important Dates:

1st, 2nd: 2nd Term Report Card Conferences (Half Day); Three Hour Early Dismissal for Students

8th: Staff Professional Development (Half Day); Three Hour Early Dismissal for Students

25th-28th: Spring Recess; Schools closed for students and staff

29th: Good Friday; School closed for students and staff; Administrative offices closed

Additional Important Dates:

10th: Daylight Saving Time starts
11th: Ramadan begins

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month began as a week-long celebration in March of 1982. In 1987, following the petitioning of the National Women’s History Project, March was declared “Women’s History Month.” Since then, Presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions of women to our nation and their achievements throughout American history, in a variety of fields. This month, the School District of Philadelphia celebrates and acknowledges the contributions women have made to our District, city, and nation. Learn about how you can celebrate Women’s History Month on the District’s Cultural Celebration Page.

National Social Work Month

Social Work Month, observed throughout March, uplifts the social workers of our country and celebrates their constant contributions to our society. These professionals use psychology and sociology to solve social issues and improve individual lives. Social workers are superhumans who strive every day to improve many people’s quality of life and advocate on their behalf. Take some time out this month to recognize social workers and the great things they do.


Muslims around the globe have begun observing the holy month of Ramadan, a period of deep spiritual reflection and fasting that takes place every year. In 2024, Ramadan will begin on Sunday 10 March.

National School Breakfast Week

March 4-8, 2024 is National School Breakfast Week (NSBW).  (NSBW) celebrates the importance of a nutritious school breakfast in fueling students for success. This special observance during the first week of March celebrates the National School Breakfast Program and the many ways it gives kids a great start every day.

National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week

March 18 to March 22, 2024 National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week. This Week is intended to help the healthcare community advocate for reducing barriers to LGBTQ persons by creating and maintaining safe, inclusive, and welcoming environments—and ensuring quality, accessible and non-discriminatory health care.

International Trans Day of Visibility

March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility. International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual awareness day celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender-nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.


March 8th is SEL Day. SEL Day is a global, grassroots campaign for social-emotional learning to support children’s academic recovery, mental health, and well-being. Learn more here.


Check out what's going on in other departments around the District

Check out the Equity Coalition newsletter for upcoming events, podcasts, professional development opportunities and more!


Feeling Perky
As a district employee, you have access to various deals and discounts. Check out our Employee Perks here.

Get a Little Extra
See the Office of Grant Development’s list of grant opportunities on its website. View the newsletter for more information.

Observe & Report
Your help is essential in ensuring the School District runs efficiently and fairly. Report suspected wrongdoing within the district to the Office of Inspector General here.

Spread the Word
We’re hiring. Everywhere! Know someone who’s searching? Send them to for our school-based support roles & for our instructional roles.

Keep Track
Follow the District’s progress towards the Goals and Guardrails and stay up to date through research reports and webinars from our Office of Research and Evaluation.

Stay Sharp
Cornerstone has PD for all employees, some specific to Central Office.

Climate & Culture
Need Climate & Culture Resources for your school? See what’s available here.

Evaluation, Research, and Accountability
Read ERA News here.


In our "Kindergarten Royalty" feature story, what are the names of the two queens mentioned?

The first central office employee and the first school-based employee with the correct answer will win a prize!

Communication's Corner

The Office of Communications strives to make news, information, and resources easily accessible. Every month we will provide information and reminders to help keep you connected.

Working on a project or campaign in your office? The communications team provides helpful resources like branding and color guides, presentation templates, and photo catalogs, to help you keep your project stylish and on-brand. Just click here.

Have a story to share or someone to celebrate?  Submit your story idea click here.

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