If you think it's cold this AM, just wait until tonight: we're probably getting our first official freeze. Better take in the plants— if yours made it this far, that is.

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— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: Helmet check: is your local football team playing it safe?

The football helmet industry has seen major changes in the past few years. Manufacturers are using better technology but under higher scrutiny as parents reconsider the sport's long term health effects, including the lasting impact of concussions.

Our investigative team's new report on which local high schools have the right helmets is a must-read for parents, players, and fans. (And I'm not just saying that because it features my alma mater — go Falcons!)

The team surveyed 28 public schools in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. While many had high-rated helmets on hand, a nagging number of low-rated ones remain, putting players at risk for brain-injury — and of the schools surveyed who had no top-rated helmets, all were from Philly. Compare schools with our interactive inventory chart and find out what it takes to make a safe helmet.

» READ MORE: Pa. gerrymandering case could have national implications

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Commonwealth Court to decide a gerrymandering lawsuit by the end of the year. That means the state's congressional maps could be redrawn before the next elections.

Pennsylvania is notoriously one of the nation's most gerrymandered states. (Some of the shapes even defy funny descriptive names.) New districts could help out Democrats as they face off in typically red suburban districts, just as they push for control of the U.S. House.

After this week's elections, the political world is already turning its attention to 2018. Key fights for House and Senate seats in our area make Pennsylvania and New Jersey battlegrounds in the year ahead. Get ready for plenty of campaign ads, folks.

» READ MORE: City graduation rates rise for third straight year

Mayor Kenney announced yesterday that the Philadelphia School District's high school graduation rate has risen for the third year in a row, to 67 percent. It's an increase of one percentage point. That may not sound like a lot, but considering the class of 2017 witnessed dozens of school closings, thousands of layoffs, and program cuts, it's an achievement. ("We're sorry about that," Kenney said yesterday.)

And as Kenney keeps repeating, more progress is on the way as he takes back control of the city's schools.

For some, graduation means heading off to college and this year, we've been following a group of first-generation college students through their freshman year at Penn. The latest installment comes from a student who won't let his first-gen status define him.

What you need to know today

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting


"It is also glaringly obvious that until the cost of war is personal for everyone, there will always be a disconnect between those who have skin in the game and those who do not." Iraq War veteran John Bruhns wants everyone to see
— Thank You For Your Service, a film he says bridges this disconnect.

What we’re reading

A Daily Dose of | Oscar Hype

Psst: Word around town is that Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird is this year’s must-see. Tell your friends you just discovered it, I won’t tell.