Spruce Hill / K to 5

untitled-39We like to envision our Spruce Hill campus as a “college-preparatory elementary school.” Beginning with our youngest children, students are taught to love their lifelong pursuit of learning. Elementary students are creative, curious and inquisitive: we embrace their natural love for knowledge and help them understand learning in the context of a well-rounded Christian education. Our strong academic program is complemented by an innovative emphasis on the arts, and every subject is seen as an opportunity to explore how God works in our world. Small class sizes and nurturing teachers ensure each child is given the one-on-one attention they need to discover their academic potential.

Our elementary campus is located in the idyllic Spruce Hill neighborhood. This provides a safe, nurturing environment for our youngest students to flourish. We take advantage of many neighborhood opportunities, such as field trips to the Penn Police Department and treks to the beautiful Clark Park, just one block from campus.

The City School at Spruce Hill serves children age kindergarten through grade 5.

Faculty

Elaine Hannan

Elaine Hannan

Spruce Hill Principal

Email:
ehannan@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2015

    Degree(s):
  • A.A., Union County College
  • B.S., Houghton College

“As a principal, it is my desire to support teachers as they work with their students. It is my goal to develop partnerships with parents so that, by working together, we can see children grow and mature—academically, emotionally, socially, and in relationship with Christ. God has fearfully and wonderfully made each student, and I love to see students using the individual gifts that He has given them as they learn.”

Elaine lives in Philadelphia, about six blocks only from the City School! She enjoys traveling in her free time—and has been to forty-three of fifty states, along with walking where Jesus walked in Israel. She also hosts international students, and most recently has had students from Japan, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South Korea as they study English.

 

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Mildred Bazemore

Mildred Bazemore

Aftercare Director

    Degree(s):
  • C.B.S., Palmer Seminary

“I see my work at The City School as an extension of my ministry. I love children. I love working with them–I love doing arts and crafts, helping with homework, and watching students have fun on the playground. I am grateful that God put me in this position to watch our children grow and play a role in helping them become the people he is calling them to be.”

Mildred–Ms. B, as she’s known–is passionate about studying Scripture and has given most of her life to ministry. She is also a longtime block captain in her neighborhood and is concerned with preserving the peace and beauty of our city.

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Cheyanne Drews

Cheyanne Drews

Computer/PE Teacher

Email:
cdrews@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2015

“I like encouraging kids to be confident in themselves. I want them to embrace who they are understand all the potential living inside them. For me, it’s so fun to help them uncover that and learn to love themselves for who they are.”

Cheyanne is was born and raised on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Reservation in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Her favorite book is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which she describes as, “a story of renewal about a creature who longs to be loved by his creator.” Cheyanne lives in Kensington with a cat named Cat and is an activist for racial reconciliation.

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Ashley Fornwalt

Ashley Fornwalt

Academic Support Coordinator

Email:
afornwalt@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2010

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Philadelphia Biblical University

“I am passionate about children and our work at the city school because it is what I believe God has called me to. Seeing the impact I can have on the development of the whole child—spiritually, physically, emotionally, academically—gives me goose bumps.  As I grow, I am always getting a clearer picture of how God views us and invests in our growth and development. I view my job as an extension of God’s love and care for each child.”

Ashley lives with her husband and one-year-old son. She enjoys camping, gardening, and “attempting craft projects.”

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Caroline Santa

Caroline Santa

Art and S.T.E.A.M. Teacher

Email:
csanta@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2015

    Degree(s):
  • B.F.A., University of Delaware
  • M.F.A., University of Pennsylvania

“I love teaching because I get to share in my students’ sense of wonder at the complexity of the visual world. I am interested the unselfconscious decision-making of children’s art work, and the way art can be a tool to encourage risk-taking and a platform for new ideas in another context. I am excited to be developing our S.T.E.A.M. curriculum and encouraging multi-disciplinary investigation.”

Caroline lives in West Philly with her husband and two children, and she loves the diversity of her neighborhood. She’s co-founder of the artist-run gallery Tiger Strike Asteroid and previously taught at the Tyler School of Art. You can view her work at carolinesanta.com.

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Jean Marie Staico

Jean Marie Staico

Office Manager and Admissions Processor

Email:
jmstaico@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2001

“The Lord has blessed me to serve the students and parents of the City School by keeping the day-to-day operations at Spruce Hill flowing efficiently. Aside from the administrative paperwork, I look forward to meeting prospective students and their parents for the first time during their pre-admission interviews. My Office Manager position also doubles as a caretaker. I make sure each child is safely placed on the school bus, fix the occasional boo-boo from the playground, and even listen and pray with students who are having a bad day. It is a joy to witness the Lord transforming the hearts of children. Each heart is a little light that forms our school and allows it to shine bright in this big city.”

Jean Marie lives in Delaware County with her husband, two children, and a tabby cat named Sunny J. As our students will tell you, she enjoys baseball and loves the Phillies!

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Noel Terrell

Noel Terrell

Music Teacher

Email:
nterrell@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2016

“Music is more than notes and harmony–it’s a way of unleashing your emotions. Music moves people. It brings us together. It glorifies God. My dream is to share the power of music with my students.”

Noel has served as a Musical Director and keyboardist for diverse musical acts like Pharrell Williams, Meek Mill, and Jill Scott. He also toured Europe with British hip-hop/r&b duo Floetry and currently performs with his contemporary Christian band, The Browne Boyz. Noel is happily married and has two sons, Roman and Lincoln.

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Alexis Washington

Alexis Washington

Counselor

Email:
awashington@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Eastern University
  • M.S., West Chester University

‘With a background in education counseling, I have the privilege to work with students to meet their physical, mental, emotional, social, academic, and spiritual needs. The Elementary School ages are filled with amazing transformative years for students, and I love being part of their journey.

I want parents to know that we want to collaborate with you to meet your child’s needs through a holistic approach. Our core commitments embrace taking a holistic approach to teaching and caring for your child. It means that we are inclusive to everyone and want to be a light to the city by working with students as they transform into change agents within their communities and the world. ”

Alexis is a West Philadelphia native, and loves the diversity of her community. She enjoys cardio kickboxing and spending time trying out different coffee shops. Her favorite book is The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown because “I believe in the strength of authentic living and love her philosophy on embracing vulnerability. ”

 

 

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Rebekah Williams

Rebekah Williams

Office Assistant

Email:
rwilliams@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2013

“I am truly blessed and thankful to God that he has placed me in such a wonderful place. I have the great privilege of working side by side with such loving and caring people. It is a blessing to know The City School students and their parents. Working here is incredibly satisfying, rich, and rewarding.”

Rebekah grew up in Dallas and Wichita, Texas, and she currently lives in Delaware County. She loves creating beautiful weddings and other special events. Rebekah enjoys spending time with her family and looks forward to church service on Sundays.

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Jazzmen Cuevas

Jazzmen Cuevas

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Email:
jcuevas@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

“This is my first year teaching here at the City School and so far I love everything about it. I love being able to not only nurture and mold the minds of my students, but I am also able to teach them the importance of having a relationship with the Lord.

I wish every parent knew how much each teacher loves and values our students. It is very important for parents to know that their child is in a safe environment. Here at the City school it goes without question that all of our teachers want what is best for their students.”

 

Jazzmen has lived in Philadelphia her entire life and says she loves everything about it. She and her husband live in Northeast Philly. Jazzmen loves vintage fashion and calls Audrey Hepburn her “style muse.” She enjoys superhero movies, collecting fashion magazines, and exploring Philadelphia’s great museums and restaurants.

 

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Diamoni Jones

Diamoni Jones

Kindergarten Co Teacher

Email:
djones@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

“This is my first year with The City School and my passion to work here is the level of spirit that flows within the walls. You can definitely feel God’s presence around every corner, and it just makes the working and learning)environment all the more pleasant to be in. There is something about being surrounded by people that share your beliefs that just fills you with infinite joy.

Every teacher that works for The City School was called here by God’s grace for a specific purpose. That is what sets our school apart from any other. ”

Diamoni grew up in Philadelphia and currently lives in Sharon Hill. She continues to love all things Philly—from our cheesesteaks and soft pretzels to our sports teams. Her current favorite book is “The God You May Not Know” by David Jeremiah.

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Donna Cammarata

Donna Cammarata

First Grade and Lead Teacher

Email:
dcammarata@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2007

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Temple University

“As a first grade teacher, my primary job is to teach the foundations that will become the building blocks for future learning. I also love to teach children who God is and to help them discover his glory through all subject areas. What students learn as first graders shapes the way they see the world throughout their lives, so I am honored to invest in these formative years.”

Donna is a proud native Philadelphian. She has a husband, three grown children, and two grandchildren. She enjoys reading, camping, and the Phillies.

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Kimberly Morton

Kimberly Morton

First Grade

Email:
kmorton@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., West Chester University

“This is my first year at The City School and first year as a teacher. I love the inviting and peaceful environment that this school offers. I also enjoy working at a place where God is at the center, where we can bring honor to Him in all that we do. I am passionate about helping students achieve their greatest potential.

First grade is my favorite because it is always a year of great growth for the students. I also love the first grade students’ eager spirits to learn new concepts, have fun in challenges, and make new relationships along the way! I am so excited to be apart of this team at Spruce Hill and I am looking forward to a great year!”

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Heidi Stevenson

Heidi Stevenson

Second Grade Teacher

Email:
hstevenson@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):

“I help children to become life-long learners and problem solvers. I love the vision of the school, and I love that I get to be a part of it. The City School is like a little family. Small class sizes and a small campus contribute to a warm and relational atmosphere. We strive to bring peace to our school and to our city: by doing this, we get to participate in God’s beautiful work of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Heidi lives outside the city but says she loves the diversity of Philadelphia. She enjoys backpacking in the mountains, painting, and cooking. Her favorite book is “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom, which she says inspires her to make the most of the life she’s been given.

 

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Samantha Kuiper

Samantha Kuiper

Third Grade Teacher

Email:
skuiper@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

“As a teacher, I strive to see every student succeed. This means that I want each child to know that they are cared for, important, and valued. I believe that every child can be successful when given the right tools and encouragement.  I want them to dream big! Then, it is my job and desire to take those dreams and help each child make them a reality.

I love being a  part of The City School staff because it is a place where Christ can freely be the center of everything that we do. Without Christ nothing is possible, but with Christ everything is possible. He is the reason that I am so excited to pour into students and push them to success. I absolutely love that The City School also encourages and expects Christ to be the center of our teaching and our classrooms.  

We are called to be peacemakers, to bring light to the city and our neighborhoods. These are commands God has given us, and I take them very seriously. I’m so glad that The City School also commits to living and teaching these values.”

 Samantha and her husband are new to the city after spending extended time in Honduras. They now live in Brewerytown.

 

 

 

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Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot

Fourth Grade Teacher

Email:
jelliott@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2017

Bio coming soon!

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Juan Rodriguez

Juan Rodriguez

Fifth Grade Teacher

Email:
jconde-rodriguez@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Rutges University
  • M.Ed., John Hopkins University

“I love teaching at Spruce Hill and seeing students growing spiritually as well as academically in a safe environment.

Every child in this school is special, and I take it very seriously I am responsible for training their minds and ministering to their hearts. They are the future and if we want this city to change, we must impact the younger generation.”

Affectionally known as “Mr. C.R.,” Juan lives in West Philadelphia on the border of Overbrook., with his wife Kateland and dog Willow. He is the proud uncle of seven nieces and enjoys playing video games, watching sports, traveling with his wife, and is actively involved with his local church

 

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Academic Support

Every child should find joy in learning. One thing I love about The City School is that we open our doors to such a beautiful diversity of students. Our kids span the spectrums of race and ethnicity, economic background, faith traditions, and academic abilities. We have no desire to be an elite school open only to the extremely gifted. The City School is a place where students are challenged where they excel and given special care where they struggle. The end result of this approach to education is that students at all levels can learn together as peers, friends, and equals.

My job is to partner with students who are struggling to keep pace academically. I am here to help students, as well as their teachers, identify learning challenges and develop plans to overcome them.

Over the past two years I have been working with the administration and other educators to pilot an academic support program to identify the specific needs of our struggling learners. Through this process, we have begun to use more specific data collection methods—benchmarks and screenings—and student tracking systems in order to set academic goals that will help close the achievement gap for our struggling learners.

The City School uses the Wilson programs: Fundations, Just Words, and Wilson Reading System because we have seen struggling learners acquire the skills they need to be successful students.

I am hopeful about the future of our academic support program, and I am committed to helping each student find joy in their lifelong pursuit of learning.

Gratefully,

Amy Evans
,
Academic Support Coordinator

Activities

Spruce-Hill-Activities

Extra-Curricular Activities

Starting in third grade, students at The City School at Spruce Hill can begin participating in extra-curricular activities. Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades are welcome to join our Handbell/Chimes Choir which performs at special events throughout the academic year. 5th grade students are eligible to play on the middle school basketball and soccer teams.

Extended Day Program

Working parents can find assistance with child care in our early morning and late afternoon extended day program.

Hours

Morning: 7:30 am until school begins
Afternoon: After school until 6:00 pm

Registration

The Extended Day Program registration form can be downloaded here.

The cost is $4.00 per hour or portion of an hour.

Fitness For Life

Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon volunteers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fitness For Life program visit our Spruce Hill campus to teach students about the importance of living an active lifestyle. Volunteers engage the students with lessons on healthy living and by playing sports to show how fun exercise can be. Fitness For Life works to promote a culture of healthy living among children, volunteering their time at The City School at Spruce Hill.

"I like that my teachers are funny and that they smile and laugh. They make learning easier because they always want to help me."

Jasin, Grade 3

Spruce Hill Campus
4115 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-382-7839