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Our History

Home and School Council: A Rich History


In the heart of Washington DC, a significant movement began on February 17, 1897, with the inception of the "National Congress of Mothers." This initiative laid the groundwork for a series of organizations aimed at fostering a closer relationship between homes and schools. Shortly after the congress concluded, the "Mother's Club of Philadelphia" was established on May 7, 1897, to encourage the broader utilization of schools.

Early Developments

By 1900, the first neighborhood school-based councils emerged, marking the beginning of a community-centric approach to education. The appointment of Dr. Martin G. Brumbaugh as the Superintendent of Schools in 1906 brought a renewed vigor to this movement. Under his leadership, numerous local associations sprang up, culminating in the creation of the League of Home and School Associations in October 1909. This league served as a unifying ground to foster closer ties between homes and schools.

Reorganization and Renaming

In 1926, the league underwent a transformation, affiliating itself with the Pennsylvania Congress and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and adopting a new name - the Philadelphia County Council of Home and School Associations. Despite briefly being known as the Parent-Teachers Association in the 1930s, it reverted to emphasizing the home-school relationship over the parent-teacher dynamic.

Growing Influence

Over the years, the council expanded its influence significantly. A testament to its growing power was its pivotal role in the 1965 enactment of the Home Rule Charter Educational Supplement. 

Notable Contributions

Under the guidance of various leaders, the council championed several initiatives:

  • 1970-1972 (Mrs. Bernard Featherman): Secured the right for council members to attend negotiations between the Board of Education and the teachers union.

  • Mrs. A. Sherwood Platt: Successfully lobbied for increased funding for public schools in Harrisburg.

  • 1974-1975 (Mrs. Lloyd Westfield): Introduced the Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and spearheaded the Quality Education Survey of 1975.

Temple University - Urban Archives

Key Takeaways

  • The council originated from the "National Congress of Mothers" in 1897.

  • It has undergone several transformations and name changes to better represent its mission.

  • Over the decades, it has played a crucial role in enhancing the educational landscape through various initiatives and policy influences.

Feel free to explore the rich history further through the provided source link.

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