All Universal Schools Closed Until Further Notice

Governor Wolf announced that all schools will remain closed until further notice as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of all Pennsylvanians. Thank you for your patience through these uncertain and constantly evolving circumstances.

Please read the most recent letter from Dr. Penny Nixon


For Local Education Agencies That Participate in the National School Lunch Program

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program Frequently Asked Question

Grab-and-go meal sites continue to operate for our students. Updated locations and times are HERE.

K-12 Remote Learning Packets continue to be available on each Universal School's site. It is our hope that all students in the City of Philadelphia will engage in learning activities during this very difficult time. 

Find your school HERE or more activities HERE.

Please visit the Coronavirus Information Hub often for the most up-to-date information, as it becomes available.
Thank you for flexibility and understanding during this difficult time. Please stay safe.

We do it with P.R.I.D.E.

"Personal Responsibility In our Determined Excellence"

Welcome to Universal Vare STEM & ARTS Academy Middle School 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for the 2020-2021 School Year!

The mission of Universal Vare STEM and Arts Academy is to foster transferable skills through STEM and Arts programming that will prepare scholars for academic success now and in the future.

For additional information please call 215-952-8611.


Summer Learning Activities have been prepared for Pre-K-2 by a group of organizations including Read by Fourth. Access to all grades is available on the website of the SDP. It is intended for all children in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs. Please click the link below:

At Our School



On Saturday January 11, 2020 Our Universal Vare Robotics Team entered the first LEGO League Regional Qualifier Tournament at Penn Alexander School for the first time as a rookie team. Our team prepared three presentations for the judges. We also designed, built and programmed our LEGO Robot using the EV3 software. At the competition our team placed 14th out of 18 schools, and we received many compliments from students and adults alike about how passionate we are and how much heart we displayed!

Please click below to see a preview of our determination!

During our Professional Development on Oct 23, Our teachers were analyzing Benchmark Data and Mr. Lamb shared a Best Teacher Practice.

The Art class beautifying our school.

2019-2020 Vare Staff

Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy Middle School

2100 South 24th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19145

Phone: 215-952-8611

Fax: 267-239-5866

School Leadership

Principal: Karen Howell-Toomer

Assistant Principal: Aaron Smith

Director of Academics: Stephani Finnin

Director of Academics: Tina Jean-Pierre

About Universal Vare

At Universal Vare, we specialize in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and the arts. Under our academy model, we provide our scholars the opportunity to explore their interests in the STEM and arts field through a project based curriculum. We guide scholars towards independence while providing the support they need. We offer parents and students the educational tools scholars need to succeed in middle school and beyond. Project Lead the Way at Universal Vare

Connecting Parents and Schools to Increase Achievement

We encourage you to participate in one of the many opportunities such as the Home and School Association, School Advisory Councils (SAC) and/or volunteer as a teacher assistant/aide, food pantry worker, or just read to our preschoolers.

For more information, contact the Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy at (215) 952-8611 or send us an email.