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Our History

The Home and School Council dates from the organization of the "National Congress of Mothers" in Washington DC, February 17, 1897. After the ending of the Congress, Philadelphia Women organized the "Mother's Club of Philadelphia" on May 7, to promote wider use of the schools.

The first neighborhood school-based councils were formed in 1900. The movement gained further impetus in 1906 when the schools came under central administration and Dr. Martin G. Brumbaugh was appointed Superintendent of Schools. A series of parent meetings were organized with a number of new local associations being formed as a result. In October 1909 a conference of delegates from these organizations formed a League of Home and School Associations to provide a common ground through which to establish closer relations between the home and school.

In January 1926 the League reorganized as a County Council of the Pennsylvania Congress and of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and was renamed the Philadelphia County Council of Home and School Associations. In the 1930s the local council was known as the Parent-Teachers Association but this name was later abandoned because the association wished the emphasis to be placed on the relation between home and school and not just parent and teacher.

The Home and School Council continued to grow and gradually gained in influence. In 1965 the Council played a vital role in the passage of the Home Rule Charter Educational Supplement. During the term of Mrs. Bernard Featherman (1970-1972) Council gained the right to have members present at negotiations between the Board of Education and the teachers union. Under Mrs. A. Sherwood Platt members of the Council went to Harrisburg and gained more funding for public schools. Under Mrs. Lloyd Westfield Council instituted the Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in 1974 and 1975 and was responsible for the Quality Education Survey of 1975.

Source: Temple University - Urban Archives

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