center city schools

Edwin M. Stanton School

E.M. Stanton School is a high-achieving elementary school that has been called one of the best-kept secrets in the Philadelphia School District. It’s a school that offers small class sizes, strong academics, lively school spirit, a safe environment, multiple community partners, caring teachers, a long-standing mentoring program, and exceptional arts programs integrated into the school day.

Our motto at E. M. Stanton is Arts + Academics = Excellence. We are committed to guiding our students to academic and personal excellence through a comprehensive education and cultural arts foundation. At E.M. Stanton, we believe everyone is an artist and that art tells the story of culture. We fully integrate cultural arts and academics by demonstrating ways in which they support and facilitate one another for the purposes of developing a global perspective and supporting various modes of effectual learning.

We accomplish our mission by encouraging excellence and creative expression in academics and cultural arts within a nurturing environment which promotes community involvement and personal growth among all students.

Cultural Arts Education

Cultural Arts foster creativity, independence, open-mindedness, and academic excellence by introducing students to the cultures of the world through four main art forms: music, art, drama and dance. Stanton believes that an early introduction to world cultures leads to better understanding and empathy toward other nations and world peace. An early exploration of artistic expression contributes to a child’s self-understanding ands helps them to realize their own talents, gifts, and potential.

In addition to Stanton’s visual arts teacher, the school has four “artists-in-residence” who are professionals in their field and work with Stanton students well beyond an introduction to their art form. These artists include dancers, musicians (percussion and violin) and actors. Funds for the cultural arts program are leveraged through grants and community partnerships.

Stanton is conveniently located near many art venues that enhance our Cultural Arts education such as the Merriam Theatre, University of the Arts and the Kimmel Center. Students have performed at multiple venues, including the Prince Music Theater, the Painted Bride Arts Center, the African American Museum, the Clef Club, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Tindley Temple United Methodist Church, 17th Street Baptist Church, City Hall, Academy at Palumbo, School District of Philadelphia, World Café Live, Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) and Lincoln University.

In addition to our Cultural Arts programs, our school offers strong academic instruction in a small and caring learning environment. We believe in educating every student that comes through our doors. As a result, Stanton has a high level of engagement from students, parents, community members, and teachers. In eight of the past nine years, Stanton has achieved “Adequate Yearly Progress” on standardized tests and has comparable academic ratings to some of the top elementary schools in the City.

Over 90% of Stanton’s graduates are accepted into magnet and select admission schools. High school admissions for past graduating classes include CAPA, School of the Future, Academy of Palumbo and Bodine. The neighborhood high school is South Philadelphia.

“Stanton is a sanctuary of education. It blossoms kids into a far more advanced way of living, learning and succeeding.” —Nagee Graves, 2011 Stanton graduate, currently attending Science Leadership Academy.

“Because of Stanton School I’ve gone on to attend some of the best schools in this Region including the Girard Academic Music Program, LaSalle University, and soon to be a student of Cheney University!.... As I look at my life today the things I value the most about myself include my imagination, my creativity, my passion for the arts, my curiosity, and my love of learning. All come from the way I was taught by my amazing teachers.” —Karl Myers, former Stanton student, currently attending Florida International University.

School Community

Stanton has an active School Advisory Council (SAC) that meets every month. The SAC comprises parents, teachers, community members and students. Stanton’s SAC is involved in fundraising, increasing parental engagement, engaging new partners and informing the academic programs in the schools. The SAC includes a Facilities Committee and a Fundraising Committee.

Stanton has one of the longest-running volunteer mentoring programs of any school in the city. The program, which has been operating for more than 18 years, involves mentors in reading and tutoring students.

The Supporters of Stanton (SOS) is a diverse group of individuals united to highlight the excellent education occurring at the school and to leverage additional funding and partnerships. SOS was instrumental in persuading the School Reform Commission to keep E.M. Stanton open and thriving as a successful neighborhood elementary school and continues to be involved today.

To enhance transportation safety to and from school, Stanton started a Walking School Bus with grant money from Pennsylvania Safe Routes to School Center. The Walking School Bus involves parents and community members in picking up children along pre-determined routes to school so they are not walking alone. Stanton also participates in the NFL’s Play 60 challenge, which helps students get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

Stanton has regular bake sales, art performances, fundraisers and field trips. The school also offers enrichment courses and a gifted program.

Lastly, Stanton Community Partners (SCP) was organized in 2013 to provide independent financial support to the E.M. Stanton Public School and to mobilize broad community support for the school and for public education in the school’s South Philadelphia neighborhood.  The organization works closely with Stanton’s School Advisory Council to identify activities that enrich Stanton’s programs and promote Stanton within the community. Current areas of focus include an ambitious school yard redesign project, partnering with teachers to identify and support programmatic needs and goals, and enhancing extra-curricular opportunities for students. The board of Stanton Community Partners is comprised of current parents and community members, and includes representation from the Stanton’s School Advisory Council and the South of South Neighborhood Association. Stanton Community Partners meets  on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Meetings are open to all interested parties.  For additional information on SCP, visit the website at

Community Partnerships

Over the past years, E.M. Stanton has established over 20 partnerships for Cultural Arts, mentoring, and academics. Partners include arts and cultural institutions, high schools, and community-based organizations. These partnerships enhance academic programming.

Specific partners include:

  • Academy of Palumbo High School
  • Arden Theater
  • Art Sanctuary
  • Bainbridge House
  • Carla Washington – Dance Artist-in-Residence
  • Catherine Slusar – Dramatic Artist-in-Residence
  • Cheyney University
  • Christian Street YMCA
  • Clay Studio
  • Clef Club
  • Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School
  • Deitrich Faison – Early Learning Artist-in-Residence
  • First Book Philadelphia
  • Marian Anderson Recreation Center
  • Mighty Writers
  • Nana Korantemaa – Percussion Artist-in-Residence
  • Philadelphia Folk Lore Project
  • Russell Kotcher – Violin Artist-in-Resident
  • Safe Routes Philly
  • South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA)
  • Sue Kettell – Volunteer Arts Coordinator
  • Temple University
  • Tindley Temple
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of the Arts

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key info
17th and Christian Sts
Philadelphia, PA 19146

P: (215) 875-3185
F: (215) 875-3711
Elementary School, K-8

Stacey Burnley

Total Enrollment: 317

SPD Profile
© 2015 Center City District / Central Philadelphia Development Corporation
Center City District Central Pennsylvania Development Corporation