Issue 03

The Newsletter of Henry C. Lea Elementary School

Lea School Calendar

To explore our online school calendar:

  • Click on events to see their details.

  • Click on the arrow buttons in the top left corner to switch months.

  • Click on the Week, Month, and Agenda buttons in the top right corner to switch between viewing by week, by month, or by daily agenda.

Principal's Post

Dear FamiLea,

Can you believe we have finished the first quarter of school already? The start of this school year has brought with it so many emotions and new experiences that I feel as if we have experienced a whole school year in the space of a few months. It has been such a joy to come back together even though we are still working through the tragedy of Covid 19 and the resulting difficulties we and our children have faced. You all have been extremely patient and understanding as we have dealt with some shortages in staffing and as children have had to quarantine. We appreciate your understanding and how at Lea we work together for the benefit of our students. I am extremely proud of our staff as I walk through our halls and into classrooms and see our children learning together and reconnecting.

Next week we will hold parent-teacher conferences and we are providing both a virtual and an in-person option. Our virtual conferences will be held on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and our in-person conference day will be next Wednesday. All conferences will be from 1:25 to 3:39 pm and you will schedule your conferences with your child’s teacher(s). This is an opportunity to learn more about what your child’s experience is in the classroom and to share any insights you have about your child that would be beneficial to our staff. In order to make sure we are Covid safe for our day of in-person conferences on Wednesday, we will be sending detailed information on what the day will look like and the processes we will follow.

As we begin quarter 2, we look forward to getting deeper into academics and providing our students with opportunities to learn, explore and collaborate. We will also be hosting a vaccine clinic in December and urge everyone who is comfortable doing so to get their children vaccinated. It has been a stressful experience for students to quarantine and vaccinated students will not need to quarantine if they are a close contact with someone who tests positive. We are slowly but surely working our way through these difficult times and this helps. There is so much we are thankful for and have to look forward to.

Please take care,

Principal Gerwer


School Updates & Events

Upcoming Important Dates

  • 11/15 Quarter/term 1 ends

  • 11/19 Early dismissal half day (9:00 am - 12:39 pm) for school staff professional development

Student Council application deadline (extended)

  • 11/22-24 Report card conferences (1:25 - 3:39 pm) & HSA Scholastic Book Fair (12:30 - 3:30 pm)

  • 11/25-26 School closed for staff and students for Thanksgiving holiday

  • 12/13-17 Student Council elections!

  • 12/17 Early dismissal half day (9:00 am - 12:39 pm) for school staff professional development

HSA Schoolyard Clean-Up: 11/20

On Saturday 11/20, members of our Home & School Association (HSA) will be leading a clean-up of Lea's big schoolyard from 9:00 - 10:00 am. Anyone interested in helping is welcome to join, and can contact the HSA officers with any questions at leahomeandschool@gmail.com.

Report Card Conferences: 11/22, 11/23, 11/24

Report card conferences for the first quarter of the school year will be held on Monday 11/22, Tuesday 11/23, and Wednesday 11/24 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm each day.

If you haven't already, please connect with your child's teacher(s) to schedule your report card conference(s), which will be held both virtually and in-person on the following days:

  • Conferences on Monday 11/22 and Tuesday 11/23 will be VIRTUAL only. Teachers and families will meet over Google Meet or Zoom (i.e., there will be no in-person conferences at the school building on Monday or Wednesday).

  • Conferences on Wednesday 11/24 will be IN-PERSON only.

      • We're asking every visitor to enter the school through the Auditorium doors in the Small Schoolyard on Locust Street, where everyone will check in at our Welcome Table before heading to their child's classroom(s) to meet with their teacher(s).

      • While inside the school building, every visitor must observe District health and safety protocols (https://www.philasd.org/studenthealth/health-and-safety-protocols/) by doing the following:

          1. Wear a mask.

          2. Observe social distancing.

          3. Only 1 family in a room at a time. If another family is meeting with your child's teacher in the classroom when you arrive, please wait in one of the seats in the hallway outside the classroom.

      • We thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community safe!

If parents/guardians/caregivers have any questions about conferences, please contact the Main Office (215-400-7660) and/or our Family Liaison, Mr. Brown (antbrown001@gmail.com). We look forward to spending time with you this week!

HSA Book Fair: 11/22, 11/23, 11/24

Lea's Home & School Association (HSA) is hosting Lea's autumn Scholastic Book Fair from November 22–24 in Lea's Small Schoolyard!

Students, families, staff, and community members have the option to shop in-person and/or online:

The HSA needs volunteers to help with the event, so please contact Rachael Gaeta at rachael.gaeta@gmail.com if you're interested in volunteering! We need volunteers to help with:

  • Helping with set up, breakdown, and sales of books, baked goods, and HSA gear

  • Baking baked goods to sell for fundraising

  • Helping with promoting the event with students, families, teachers, and community members

If you have any questions, please contact the HSA at leahomeandschool@gmail.com.

FamiLea Volunteers Orientation: 11/23 & 11/24

After checking with the District about this school year's more stringent volunteer policy, we are moving forward with recruiting family-community volunteers! If you are a parent, caregiver, family member, or community member who is interested in volunteering with the school in some capacity, you are required to complete every step of our FamiLea Volunteer Checklist (https://tinyurl.com/lea-volunteer-checklist-21-22), including attending a Volunteer Orientation training session with Lea's Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Liaison, Mr. Brown, and Community Partnerships Coordinator, Mr. Rich.

Our first Volunteer Orientation training sessions of the school year will be held during the same week as report card conferences:

  • Tuesday 11/23 from 5:00-6:30 pm on Zoom (https://upenn.zoom.us/j/9967328100) (virtual session)

  • Wednesday 11/24 from 1:00-2:30 pm in the Lea School Library (in-person session)

  • Note: You are only required to attend 1 training. We are offering two trainings during report card conferences so those who are interested have options for which training they want to/can attend.

Potential roles for family/community volunteers are:

  • Student arrival volunteer (Daily: 8:45 am - 9:15 am)

  • Student dismissal volunteer (Daily: 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm)

  • Recess volunteer (Daily: 10:45 am - 1:30 pm)

  • After-school program volunteer (Daily: 3:40 - 5:30 pm)

  • Library volunteer (Wed 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, Fri 3:45 - 5:30 pm)

  • Welcome desk volunteer (Daily: 9:00 am - 3:45 pm)

  • Fundraising volunteer (Wed: 10:45 am - 1:30 pm)

  • School event volunteer (support for field trips, assemblies, family events, school clean-up events, etc.)

Please RSVP to Mr. Brown (antbrown001@gmail.com) and Mr. Rich (rjliuzzi@gse.upenn.edu) via email if you plan to attend the Volunteer Orientations on Tue 11/23 or Wed 11/24.

Student Council Applications & Elections

The Student Council application deadline has been extended to Friday 11/19!

Student Council is an opportunity for Lea students in grades 5-8 to serve their school by voicing their opinions, advocating for change, and contributing their time and effort to improve the school. Any student in the 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade who wants to run for Student Council office this school year must complete 3 required steps of the application process before the application deadline of Friday 11/19 to get their name on the election ballot for Student Council elections to be held during the week of 12/13:

  1. STEP 1 – With a parent/guardian, read all of the information about Student Council on this page of the Student Council website: https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/lea-student-council/how-to-apply/step-1-information

  2. STEP 2 – Complete this Student Council application Google Form: https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/lea-student-council/how-to-apply/step-2-application

  3. STEP 3 – Email your teacher to ask them to submit a letter of recommendation for you by completing this form on the Student Council website: https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/lea-student-council/how-to-apply/step-3-recommendation

After the 11/19 application deadline, the Student Council sponsors will review each student's application materials, decide which students will participate in the school-wide election and be included on the election ballot, and contact accepted students and their families about next steps to prepare for the elections.

This information and more can be found on the Student Council website: https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/lea-student-council/. If you have any questions or concerns about applying for Student Council, please contact Mr. Rich (rjliuzzi@gse.upenn.edu).

School Advisory Council (SAC) Elections

The School Advisory Council (SAC) of Henry C. Lea Elementary School is looking to elect new officers! Each SAC must include a simple majority of family members, along with the school principal, school staff, students, and community members. SACs are led by peer-elected officers – a Facilitator, an Organizer, and a Secretary – whose leadership supports the work of the group.

If you are interested in serving on SAC, please complete the SAC Nomination Form!

Or if you know someone who is a great candidate to serve on SAC, encourage them to complete the nomination form!

And if you're not interested in a formal role on SAC, but are still interested in getting involved with SAC, please join us at our monthly SAC meetings, and/or contact our SAC Organizer, Molly McGlone (mcglone.molly@gmail.com, 608-213-4443) and Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Mr. Brown (antbrown001@gmail.com). All are welcome!

Pretzel Days

Pretzel days are back! Soft pretzels will be sold each Wednesday for $1 per pretzel. If your child would like to purchase a pretzel, please send money with your child(ren) on Tuesday (preferably in a sealed envelope with the child's name and homeroom number). All proceeds go towards Lea's Student Activities Fund, which helps pay for school events and field trips for our students. Pretzel sales will begin the week of 11/1!

Family Programs & Information

FamiLea Café

The FamiLea Café is a free parenting program and support group for the parents, guardians, and caregivers of our students. Caregivers who complete the 13-week parenting program participate in an end-of-program celebration, earn a certificate of completion, and receive a gift card.

The FamiLea Café program will start in the coming weeks, and we will share more information soon. Please contact our Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Liaison, Mr. Brown (antbrown001@gmail.com) with any questions.

School Advisory Council (SAC)

We encourage all families to participate in our School Advisory Council (SAC)!

SACs (https://www.philasd.org/face/sac/) are peer-elected, collaborative teams composed of family members, the school principal, teachers or other school-based staff, students, and community members. SACs champion the work for improved student achievement, effective teaching in the classroom, family and community engagement in the educational process, and communication and support between home and school. Lea SAC meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month where SAC members have strategic and data-driven conversations that center on the the primary focus areas for SACs. For more detailed information about SACs, click here.

Monthly SAC Meetings

SAC meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month (or the 4th Wednesday when there are holidays/conflicts on the 3rd Wednesday):

  • Link: SAC Zoom Meeting

  • Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm

  • Fall 2021 dates: 8/19, 9/15, 10/20, 11/17, 12/15

  • Spring 2022 dates: 1/19, 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18, 6/15

How to get involved in SAC

Home and School Association (HSA)

The Home and School Association (HSA) of Henry C. Lea Elementary aims to provide support to Lea students, families, and staff, and we encourage ALL families to participate in the HSA! Whether it’s managing the school book fair, supporting school events, raising money, or rounding up volunteers to help clean teachers' rooms, we are ready to help.

Monthly HSA Meetings

HSA meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month:

  • Link: HSA Zoom Meeting

  • Time: 7:00 – 8:00 pm

  • Fall 2021 dates: 8/11, 9/8, 10/13, 11/10, 12/8

  • Spring 2022 dates: 1/12, 2/9, 3/9, 4/6, 5/11, 6/8

How to get involved with HSA

Shop Lea gear!

Family and Community Engagement Liaison

Lea's Family and Community Engagement Liaison is Mr. Anthony Brown (antbrown001@gmail.com, 215-400-7660), who is responsible for supporting Lea families, parents, and caregivers in a variety of ways in his role. Mr. Brown is always here to help solve issues, address concerns, provide information, connect the right people, and generally make things work more smoothly for our families.

Information for Lea Families

Click on the "Families" link on the Lea school website (https://lea.philasd.org/) to access our webpage with information and resources for Lea families.

After-School Programs

After-School Programming

Lea provides a few after-school programming options for our students. Details can be found below as well as on our After-School Programs webpage.

Extracurricular Clubs

Extracurricular Clubs, or "EC Clubs", are clubs, programs, and activities that are usually held during after-school hours and sponsored by Lea staff members and partner organizations.

Students can begin enrolling in EC Clubs starting the week of 11/29 on our EC Clubs webpage. We will be sharing more information over the next few weeks on our EC Clubs webpage and through ClassDojo, including the link to our EC Club Enrollment Form.

UACS After-School Program

Lea's University-Assisted Community School program (UACS) operates after-school and summer programming at Henry C. Lea Elementary School for students in grades K-8. UACS is operating an in-person after-school program this school year, and the details of the program include the following:

Saturday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (virtual)

    • Cost: Free of charge

    • Programming: After-school meals/snacks; literacy-rich environments and activities; socialized play games

and activities; student athletic programs; tutoring and homework help

To enroll your child in the UACS After-School Program:

    • Registration forms must be completed by a parent/guardian with the UACS Director, Arttia Watts.

    • There is limited space in the after-school program, and enrollment is occurring on a rolling basis. Students who cannot enroll due to limited space will be added to the enrollment wait list and will be contacted by UACS whenever space opens up.

    • If teachers want to refer students they believe can benefit from the after-school program, they should contact the UACS Director, Arttia Watts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact UACS Site Director:

PAEP After-School Program

The Philadelphia Arts In Education Partnership (PAEP) designs and implements after-school and summer STEAM programming in the visual and performing arts for students in grades 5-8. PAEP is operating a virtual after-school program at Lea this school year, and the details of the program include the following:

    • Website: https://www.paep.net/programs/

    • Learning model: Virtual

    • Grades: 5th – 8th

    • Schedule: Monday – Friday, 3:45 pm – 6:45 pm

    • Start date: Monday 11/29/21

    • Cost: Free of charge

To enroll your child in the PAEP After-School Program:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact PAEP Program Director:

Health Office

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

The CDC now recommends that children between the ages of 5 and 11 years receive the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine!

The School District of Philadelphia has partnered with several vaccine providers to provide free COVID-19 vaccine events. See a list of upcoming District vaccine clinics by visiting, https://www.philasd.org/studenthealth/covid-vax/. Students can also receive the COVID-19 vaccine at clinics, pharmacies, and other locations throughout Philadelphia which can be found on the City of Philadelphia’s vaccine information website at www.vaccines.gov.

Note: We are working on organizing a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lea in December in partnership with Penn Medicine. More info to come soon!

Get Your Flu Shot!

It’s flu season again! Get a flu vaccine from your primary care provider, Health Center, CVS, or Rite Aid.

Free Dental Care!

The PennSmiles Mobile Dental Clinic visits Lea multiple times every month throughout the school year to provide free dental care for Lea students.

If your school-aged child needs dental care, complete a PennSmiles enrollment form and return it to your child's homeroom teacher and/or the school nurse (Maggie Harrison, mharrison@philasd.org).

If you have any questions, please call the PennSmiles team at 267-463-6571 or Nurse Harrison at 215-400-7660.

School Information & Resources

School Information & Communications

The following resources are sources of information and avenues for communication for Lea students and families:

  • Lea Student and Family Handbook 2021-2022: This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of information about that 2021-2022 school year for every student and their family.

  • Lea school website: Our school's website is our main tool for sharing information and resources with Lea students and families (https://lea.philasd.org/).

  • Partners @ Lea website: This website is connect to the Lea school website and contains detailed information about Lea's wide variety of partner programming.

  • Lea Express: The Lea Express is our school's newsletter for students and families. Click on the link to visit the Lea Express website where we post new issues of the newsletter 1-2 times per month during the school year.

  • Lea School Calendar: The Lea School Calendar (https://tinyurl.com/lea-school-calendar) is an online calendar for sharing scheduling information for Lea Elementary School, the School District of Philadelphia, and Lea partner programs with Lea students, families, staff, and partners.

  • ClassDojo: This site/application is a tool used by Lea teachers and administrative staff to share short-term communications with Lea families. Contact your child's teacher to get yourself connected to the teacher's ClassDojo class account.

  • Main Office phone number: 215-400-7660.

COVID Health & Safety Protocols

Based on guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the District’s Office of Student Health Services has developed updated health and safety protocols for all District schools, including the following:

  • Masking: Everyone must wear a mask or other approved facial covering while indoors, whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

  • Physical distancing: While 3 feet distancing is recommended and will be encouraged where possible, the priority from both the CDC and PDPH is the full return of students to school with multiple layers of safety in place.

  • COVID-19 testing for staff: There is mandatory weekly testing for all employees, including mandatory twice-weekly testing for unvaccinated employees.

  • COVID-19 testing for students: Onsite testing is available for students who have COVID-like symptoms during the school day.

  • Continuity of learning: Students who are quarantining or isolating will receive instructional support while at home.

Information for Lea Families

Click on the "Families" link on the Lea school website (https://lea.philasd.org/) to access our webpage with information and resources for Lea families, including:

  • Lea Student and Family Handbook

  • Lea Parent & Family Engagement Policy

  • School Advisory Council (SAC)

  • Home and School Association (HSA)

  • Lea School Calendar

  • Lea Express

  • FamiLea Caregiver Cafe

  • PennSmiles Mobile Dental Clinic

  • ...and more!

Daily Arrival & Dismissal

The beginning of the school day starts with Arrival (8:50-9:00 am), and the the school day ends with Dismissal (3:30-3:39 pm). During these times, students, family members, and school staff must work together to ensure the safety of everyone, which is even more critical this year considering the ongoing COVID pandemic and our full return to in-person learning.

We ask every student, family member, and staff member to follow these guidelines for Arrival and Dismissal each school day:

  • Social distancing is encouraged at all times when students, families, and staff are in either schoolyard for Arrival and Dismissal.

  • No one is permitted to park in the bus lane on Locust Street outside of the building during Arrival or Dismissal, as doing so causes traffic delays and other challenges.

  • In the case of inclement weather (rain, snow, etc), parents/caregivers/families must remain outdoors. Only students and staff will be permitted indoors, as we do not have enough space indoors to maintain social distancing if family members enter the school building. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and have outlined where students should be dropped off (Arrival) and picked up (Dismissal) below:

      • During Arrival, grades K-3 should be dropped off at the auditorium doors in the small schoolyard (they sit in the auditorium), while grades 4-5 (gym) and 6-8 (cafeterias) should be dropped off at designated doors in the big schoolyard.

      • During Dismissal, grades K-3 should be picked up at the auditorium doors in the small schoolyard (they sit in the auditorium), while grades 4-5 (gym) should be picked up at designated doors in the big schoolyard, and grades 6-8 (cafeterias) should be picked up at the 47th Street exit at the corner of 47th and Locust Streets.

Our students, employees, and visitors deserve a safe learning and work environment. In order to lower the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, ensure the proper level of safety within our schools and facilities, and best regulate and monitor the flow of guests, if any person plans to visit a School District of Philadelphia school or facility this school year, they are required to abide by the protocols outlined in the District's Visitor Protocol.

The Visitor Protocol applies to parents, caregivers, and family members, as well as school partners and contractors. We know that this protocol is stringent, but it is developed to ensure that the safety of our students and staff remains our priority. These restrictions are based on the most current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and other regulatory agencies. Click on the link above to review the protocol.

Technology Support


For detailed information about the Chromebook laptop computers that every student in the School District of Philadelphia has been assigned, visit the District's Chromebooks webpage.

Tech Support Hotline

The District offers a dedicated telephone support line and email exclusively for parents and students to help you get your District-issued devices up and running, and to address more basic technical issues with broken or malfunctioning computers.

Technology Support Centers

The School District of Philadelphia has three District Technology Support Centers open 5 days per week where families can get help with their current Chromebook or obtain a new Chromebook during the following times:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

  • Wednesdays: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The 3 locations for Chromebook pick-up and repairs are:

  1. South Philadelphia High School: 2101 South Broad Street, 19148

  2. Martin Luther King High School: 6100 Stenton Avenue; Philadelphia, PA 19138 (parking lot entrance on Haines Street)

  3. Fitzpatrick Annex Building: 4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154

Internet Support

If you want or need support related to internet access, call “211” on your phone and select Option 1. Also, information about no-cost or low-cost internet access is available here: https://www.philasd.org/technologyservices/gettingconnected/.


Wondering if you have to return your Chromebook, and how? The answers vary, depending if you are a graduating senior, changing schools, and other factors. Visit the District's Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page for more information.

District Acceptable Use Policy

All students in the District are expected to follow its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) related to students' use of technology and the internet for learning.

Additional Attachments

Forms & Flyers

Shop the Book Fair online from November 22 – December 5 at https://www.scholastic.com/bf/leaelementaryschool2021

Interested in volunteering?

Attend a Volunteer Orientation Training and...

...then complete each step of our

Volunteer Checklist!

Family/Community Volunteer Checklist_Lea Elementary School_2021-2022

Click on the link above to buy Lea gear through our Home and School Association (HSA).

All proceeds go towards supporting our school!

Philly HopeLine is an award-winning free and confidential helpline sponsored by Uplift Center for Grieving Children and the School District of Philadelphia as a resource for students and caregivers who feel isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic. The HopeLine is staffed by Master’s-level clinicians from Uplift who specialize in free grief and loss support, emotional support, and counseling for COVID-19 related losses. The HopeLine offers dedicated service hours for grieving Spanish speakers and LGBTQ+ youth, and their interpretation line supports over 150 different language needs.