English teacher Hope Moffett spent her last day before returning to her classroom Monday shoring up her lesson plan for students, doing yoga, and going to the gym and church.
"My lesson is planned. The homework for the week is done - I did that all this morning," said the popular Audenried High School teacher. "I am actually at the gym. I'm about to go to church. I have to go!"
Moffett, 25, has a 7:45 a.m. meeting Monday at the school with Philadelphia School District associate superintendent Penny Nixon. "She is going to meet me at the school, along with my union representative, to make sure that the statement we sent out to the parents is the one we agreed upon."
Moffett, an outspoken critic of the district's plan to convert Audenried to a charter school, had faced termination for allowing students to leave school and attend a protest at district headquarters without their parents' permission.
A settlement was reached before a U.S. magistrate judge on Friday, allowing her to return to her job.
Under the settlement, Moffett will read a statement to her students that will also be mailed to their parents.
"The gist is that 'I acknowledge that I didn't inform my principal on 2/14/2011 that students were planning to leave school early on 2/15/2011 even though no parental permission had been submitted to the school,' " she said.
The statement she will read to students was prepared by the district "with two word changes on our side," she said. "It was read on the court record. So it's an official statement, part of the settlement."
The district has called the statement an apology, an admission of wrongdoing.
"It's a statement of fact. It's also nothing for which an apology is required," Moffett said Sunday. "The district actually knew about the walkout before students walked out because Fox 29 was there waiting at the steps" of the district headquarters building at 440 N. Broad St.
"Students called City Council member Anna Verna and State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson the day before. They [school officials] wanted me to apologize for organizing the community walkout, but that was organized on Feb. 8, the Tuesday night of the community meeting, by a community member," Moffett said, "and his daughter publicized it on Facebook."
"It is a statement that I'm fine with making because to them it will always be an apology, thereby justifying that I can return to the school."
Moffett said she was "very excited to see my class. I've gotten a lot of calls from students. I let one student know I was coming back and said to tell all the others."
She says she plans to arrive at school earlier than 7:45 a.m. "to get everything set up."
"My goal when I return is to get really seriously into the lesson that they should have had a month ago," Moffett said. "I was out from Feb. 18 to March 19, quite a long time."