Laura H. Carnell School Kindergarten to Grade 5

Mr. Hilderbrand Pelzer III

1100 Devereaux Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19111
Phone: 215.537.2527

A successful elementary school rolling out an innovative vision for Project-Based Learning, led by dedicated students, educators, and community partners. -------- Follow us on Twitter @LHCarnell #SchoolRedesign #PBL #FutureFocused

Laura H. Carnell School


Back to School Night / Open House

September 21, 2015

5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. 

Governor-elect Tom Wolf's Transition Team

Recently, Principal Pelzer was one of 250 people named to Governor-elect Tom Wolf's transition review teams. These teams review state agencies, commissions, and various issue areas as part of the incoming Governor's transition team. The information provided by the teams allowed Governor-elect Tom Wolf to have the knowledge necessary to hit the ground running immediately after he was sworn in.


Redesign Initiative Award 

Congratulations! Carnell has been selected for the first cohort of the school district's School Redesign Initiative. The Carnell school community, led by dedicated educators and community partners, will be able to implement a project-based learning environment for all students starting next fall. The proposed redesign will be refined over the coming months in collaboration with the school district's Office of School Improvement and Innovation and outside partners.


2014 Lindback Award for Distinguished Principal Leadership 

Thank you for all the well wishes and congratulatory remarks on the occasion of winning the 2014 Lindback Award for Distinguished Principal Leadership. Please note that this award is a symbol of the extraordinary educational work that is taking place at Carnell and it recognizes the commitment to your child’s education that you demonstrate each day.

Carnell Redesign Information


Laura H. Carnell Elementary


Grades: K-5
Enrollment: 1,025
Location: Lower Northeast Philadelphia, 1100 Devereaux Ave, 19111
Proposal Synopsis: Creating a project-based learning environment for all students.

Vision: The Laura H. Carnell School will be the leading project-based learning elementary school of choice for Philadelphia students.  It is our goal for every student to achieve academic growth and engage in an inspiring, challenging, and personalized project-based learning environment that prepares students for success, including in Philadelphia’s new middle and high school models.

The Design Year: The design team at Laura H. Carnell has used the design year to research and develop local expertise in the tenets of successful project-based learning at the elementary level.  School visits to project-based learning schools throughout the region and numerous conversations with organizations offering technical support in the project-based learning field led the team to develop a partnership with Expeditionary Learning – an organization with a 20-year history of working with teachers and school leaders to create highly engaging project-based learning environments.  Using funding from the design year grant and School Redesign Initiative startup funds, the school has partnered with Expeditionary Learning for coaching and professional development for teachers and school leaders, as well as for curriculum development support.

Additionally, the team has worked with its local community development association and parent leaders to plan and prepare to launch a family resource center.  When fully operational, the family resource center will be a one-stop destination for the school’s families to access community services, learn about school programming and events, and connect with one another.

The Next Steps: Working in partnership with Expeditionary Learning, the team at Carnell will work with staff to refine and develop the school’s curriculum to reflect the transition to project-based instruction. Staff and leaders at the school will participate in professional development on project-based learning over the summer and throughout the school year. Furthermore, the school will work with its local community development agency partner to secure additional partnerships to provide social and academic services for families and students at the school.



To be the leading project-based learning elementary school of choice for Philadelphia students. It is our goal for every student to achieve academic growth and engage in an inspiring, challenging, and personalized project-based learning environment that prepare students for success.



To create a project-based learning environment that demonstrates evidence-based high performing school practices and student achievement. Instruction is aimed at supporting each student’s ability to reach and exceed proficiency levels in reading and math, as well as develop their ability to create high quality work and impact the world. 


In order to achieve our mission, we are committed to: 
  • Curriculum that makes standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs
  • Classrooms that are alive with discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration
  • Leaders, teachers, students, and parents that embrace the power of student-engaged assessment practices to building student ownership of learning, focus students on reading standards-based learning targets, and drive student achievement
  • School culture of respect, responsibility, courage, kindness, where students and adults are committed to quality work and citizenship
  • School vision focused on student achievement and continuous improvement



Core Beliefs and Values:

We, the faculty and staff of Laura H. Carnell, believe that all students:
  • Will demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills
  • Will demonstrate progress toward habits of scholarship
  • Will demonstrate evidence of high quality student work


Laura H. Carnell School