MEET PRINCIPAL KIM NEWMAN
In 2013, Principal Kim Newman arrived at Chester Arthur after a successful six years running Houston School in Mt. Airy. A former upper-elementary and middle school math teacher, Principal Newman works with FoCA and the rest of the community to make sure every student in kindergarten through eighth grade gets an exceptional education.
Why did you want to be the principal of Chester Arthur?
I live in Center City and I’ve been following the things that the Friends of Chester Arthur – and the school in general – are doing. I honestly believe the school has the potential to become a flagship school, because it’s already an excellent place with unlimited potential. In my last position as principal of Houston, we did so many different programs: We would bring in shows, go to the opera, and we had a fantastic music teacher. We did all these fabulous things, so I wanted to do the same closer to where I live.
What’s your favorite little-known secret about the school?
The quality of the staff, the enthusiasm. Let me tell you something: They are enthusiastic, they are excited, they are motivated, they care about the kids. I’m very excited to work with this teaching staff. I didn’t realize that before I came here.
What’s new for the school year?
We're continuing to work on a lot of partnerships for the upcoming school year. We'll keep the new ones we formed last year with Dancing Classrooms (ballroom dance), Girls on the Run, and Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI), amongst many others. We're thrilled that for this upcoming school year, Arthur has been chosen to receive a sought after literacy grant from CLI to become a model school. All teachers will be trained
in high-impact strategies and techniques for literacy instruction in order to establish shared standards of practice and inspire high expectations of students. We will also be upgrading the technology at Arthur for the upcoming school year. iPad carts will be available for grades K-2 and every student in the upper grades will receive a chromebook to support their education and a personalized learning model through technology. These upgrades are supported by a partnership with the White and Williams law firm, a grant from Verizon, and the support of the School District of Philadelphia and the Friends of Chester Arthur (FoCA).
How do you view your role as an educator?
I always say the kids are hands down the best part of the job – and the best part of my day. I always make decisions based on what’s best for them. If a kid ever comes here into my office to talk to me, whatever I’m doing I stop. My advice for the kids is to be ready to learn. And help us, help you.
What are your two favorite books?
To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord Of The Flies
Please drop in if you’d like a tour of the facilities, but excuse the staff if they’re a bit busy. They’re located at:
2000 Catharine St. (the corner of Catharine and 20th) or via phone at 215-875-5774.
CHESTER ARTHUR FACTS
- Updated technology in every classroom, including iPad carts in grades K-2 and Chromebooks for the upper grades.
- A Spanish instructor (one of only a handful of elementary schools in SDP) and a librarian.
- Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), an early literacy program which brings resources and special training to our K-3 instructors to insure that our early childhood literacy program best serves all of our students. This year Arthur will be a model school under CLI, which means that our teachers will be trained in high-impact strategies and techniques for literacy instruction in order to establish shared standards of practice and inspire high expectations of students.
- Arts organizations partnerships including Walnut Street Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet X, Dancing Classrooms (ballroom dance), Astral Artists, and many, many more.
- After school activities such as drums, newspaper, scrabble, chess, Girls on the Run, and many more.
- Wells Fargo partnership, providing financial literacy classes and access to a number of different fine arts opportunities.
- A partnership with the White and Williams law firm, providing financial support and access to professional mentors.
- Spanish, Music, Physical Education, and Computer instruction daily.
- Just over 300 students enrolled in grades K-8.
- STEAM program opportunities such as an after-school Robotics club for grades 7-8, a Civil Engineering club for grades 6-8 (1 of 10 in the country), a private makerspace, The Wildcat Workshop, available for student-led, hands-on projects, and a partnership with NextFab Studios.
- A brand-new playground structure and a fundraising campaign for the rest of the schoolyard project which includes a park and outside environmental science classrooms.
- Community support provided by Friends of Chester Arthur (FoCA), Shiloh Baptist Church and South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA), among many more.
- Small, family-like environment.