This Wednesday, the CPS Alumni Program kicked off the year with a Back-to-School pizza party, where they had the opportunity to greet old friends and get pumped up for the upcoming school year. Representatives from all four of CPS’s graduating classes returned to the school to reconnect with their old teachers and classmates. However, students were not the only ones excited to see old friends; caregivers also took advantage of the opportunity to network with fellow CPS families, faculty, and staff.
CPS families reconnect over pizza.
CPS’s oldest alumni, the Class of 2011, are just beginning the high school phase of their academic career. They will be matriculating to schools such as William Penn Charter School and KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy. Members from the older classes expressed their gratitude for the strong foundation they received during their time at CPS. Sena, a member of the Class of 2012 who now attends Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, says that what she misses most about CPS is the community. She misses Friday morning Community Meeting, because she “loved being able to share news with the school.”
The most recent additions to the alumni network, having graduated just this spring, will be attending schools like Wissahickon Charter and Abington Friends School. Though excited to see their old teachers, the group is looking forward to the adventures to come. With an eye towards middle and high school, they spoke excitedly about the opportunity to play junior varsity sports, attend homeroom, and even pick out the perfect dress for prom.
Alumni and students gather around Ms. Budin, a Pre-K teacher at CPS.
Despite excitement for the social aspects of their future education, Head of School Eric Jones delivered a powerful speech reminding students not to lose sight of the importance of schoolwork. Inspired by a Tavis Smiley interview with Will Smith, Mr. Jones urged the group to “never stop working – you have to be willing to put in work.”
Energy was palpable as the meeting adjourned, and many attendees lingered to spend more time with the other students, families, and faculty members. Katie Greenbaum, Director of Alumni Support, hopes to capture that energy to make this year the strongest yet for the Alumni Program. This year, the program will continue to provide opportunities for alumni to gather and share their new experiences, as well as continue to support the success of CPS alumni and their families through middle school and high school. Students will have access to workshops and resources throughout the year, and caregivers can stay involved through potluck dinner workshops on topics ranging from homework help to demystifying boarding school.
Layla and Zahir welcome their new schoolmate Michael to Norwood-Fontbonne Academy.
“It’s exciting to see our older alums step up to the plate as leaders and mentors,” said Ms. Greenbaum of the event. “I was inspired watching Zahir [Class of 2012] share words of wisdom with Michael [Class of 2014], who is about to join him at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy. That sense of community and responsibility for helping fellow CPS alumni succeed is what it’s all about.”