Philadelphia is a city steeped in historic American achievements. It was the first to establish a university, lending library, hospital, and museum. Boasting an educated population of well over one million people, Philadelphians prioritize education. That makes the city a sprawling hub home to some of America's top schools.
But what makes a school stand out? A great school is more than just good test scores and high graduation rates. It should also create an atmosphere that encourages students to explore their passions and take risks academically and socially. The support of a caring community that helps them reach for success is also important.
We took all these metrics into account to create a comprehensive list of the 10 top-rated schools in Philadelphia, ranked in ascending order. We also considered GreatSchools.org test scores, overall ratings, and parent reviews.
Here are the ten highly-ranked schools in Philadelphia and the factors that make them stand out.
Best Elementary Schools
McCall Gen George A. School
325 S 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
McCall Gen George A. School is a public school in Philadelphia that offers education from kindergarten to 8th grade. With 711 students, the school has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is slightly above the state average of 14:1. The school has a diverse student population, too. Asian students make up the majority at 51%, followed by White students at 26% and Black students at 11%, among other races.
Regarding academic performance, McCall has consistently scored above the state average on standardized tests. Specifically, 58% of students attain proficiency in English, 70% in math, and 73% in science. This success can be attributed to the school's highly qualified teachers. 91% have at least three years of experience, and 100% are certified. The school also has a full-time nurse and psychologist.
The school's website emphasizes the importance of academic diligence, ethical socialization, and professional integrity in its students. McCall provides a nurturing environment where students can develop strong character traits such as integrity, compassion, and respect.
The school is an excellent choice for families seeking a diverse, inclusive, and academically rigorous educational experience for their children in Philadelphia.
Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School
1023 Callowhill St, Philadelphia, PA 19123, United States
Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School is an innovative public charter school in Philadelphia. It offers a culturally rich environment for students from kindergarten to eighth grade. With 511 diverse individuals, this institution values the unique cultures, customs, and traditions of each student, as well as those within the surrounding communities.
The school's exemplary performance has been recognized with a 9/10 rating on GreatSchools.org. Its standardized test scores highlight remarkable academic improvement compared to similar schools across the state. Impressively, 69% of students are proficient in English, while 67% demonstrate mastery in Science.
Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School offers a variety of courses and programs to its students. These include arts and music classes, performance arts courses, and world language courses in Mandarin. The school also strongly emphasizes community engagement, utilizing traditional arts and cultures from its students and neighboring communities as a catalyst for critical inquiry and learning.
The student-teacher ratio is 14:1. That's in line with the state average. Moreover, most teachers are certified and have at least three years of experience. Parents rave about the school's dedicated and caring teachers and staff, who are invested in their student's success and create a welcoming and supportive learning environment.
Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School is an exemplary educational institution. It provides its students with a high-quality education while valuing and respecting their diverse cultures and traditions.
Penn Alexander School
4209 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States
Penn Alexander School is a public school in Philadelphia that caters to students in grades K-8. With a student body of 576, it boasts a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. That's lower than the state average of 20:1. Furthermore, all teachers have at least three years of experience.
Penn Alexander School received an overall rating of 9/10 from GreatSchools.org. In terms of standardized test scores, students at Penn Alexander School have demonstrated proficiency in math, English, and science. Specifically, 77% of students attain proficiency in math, 88% in English, and 86% in science.
Penn Alexander School is an ideal educational destination for families living in West Philadelphia. With a focus on developing and encouraging lifelong learners, the school offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs that go beyond traditional academics. These include ballroom dance, badminton, team handball, and basketball. These exciting opportunities allow students to continue their learning while having fun.
Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP)
2136 W Ritner St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) is a public school in the Philadelphia City School District that caters to students in grades 5 through 12. The school has an enrollment of 623 students. Its unique educational environment focuses on college and career readiness while allowing all students to pursue music as a significant subject.
According to GreatSchools.org, GAMP receives a 9/10 overall rating, indicating that students are making more academic progress than their peers across the state. Students did better in math and English in this metric than students across the state, with 93% of students attaining proficiency in English and 65% attaining proficiency in math. The school also boasts an 81% proficiency rate in science.
GAMP offers a range of programs and courses, including 7 AP courses and extracurricular activities such as All City Choir, Band, Orchestra, Marching Band, and Handbell Choir. The student-teacher ratio is 20:1, which is higher than the state average of 14:1. However, 90% of teachers have at least three years of experience, and all full-time teachers are certified.
GAMP is a thriving community on both the student and parent sides. Steeped in diversity with 41% white students, 25% black students, and 6% Hispanic, they are enriched by each other’s cultures while embracing respect for society as part of their values-based education system – something that earns glowing reviews from parents who see it as their “second family” due to its dedicated teachers & staff.
GAMP is a unique public school with a robust academic program and an emphasis on music education. With a commitment to proper college preparation and career readiness, GAMP is an excellent choice for students seeking a well-rounded education.
Best Middle Schools
Joseph Greenberg School
600 Sharon Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19115
Joseph Greenberg School is a public school in Philadelphia's Worthington City School District, serving students from kindergarten to 8th grade. The school has an enrollment of 810 students and a student-teacher ratio of 17:1, which is slightly higher than the state average of 14:1. The student body is diverse, with 48% White, 27% Asian, 11% Black, and 8% Hispanic students.
In terms of proficiency, 76% of students at Joseph Greenberg School attain proficiency in English, 53% achieve proficiency in math, and 74% gain proficiency in science. The school emphasizes the importance of nurturing students' creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills, which are essential for success in a rapidly changing global environment.
Joseph Greenberg School is an impressive public school in Philadelphia. Its committed faculty includes 92% of teachers with at least three years of experience, and all full-time educators are certified, making the learning environment a secure one. What's more, there's even a full-time nurse to provide optimum care for students' health and safety needs. Praised by parents for its exemplary academic progress & high test scores, this institution makes it a great option when searching out top-performing schools.
Masterman Julia R Secondary School
1699 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Masterman Julia R Secondary School is a top-performing public school in Philadelphia, PA. It serves an array of students from grades 5 to 12 and provides the infrastructure for academic excellence through its comprehensive curriculum that prepares them to thrive globally. With 1,214 registered pupils from different backgrounds — all taught by qualified teachers & staff — it continues to be recognized across the city as one of the leading institutions promoting quality education.
One of the standout features of Masterman is its exceptional academic performance. Test scores at the school are far above the state average, with 99% of students attaining proficiency in English, 96% in math, and 95% in science. In terms of extracurricular activities, Masterman offers various student clubs such as Learn More After 4, Girls on the Run, and Rox. Additionally, the school has a sports program that includes football, volleyball, and basketball.
Parents of students at Masterman rave about the school, describing it as a diverse community with supportive and friendly teachers. One parent said, “I love Masterman. It is a diverse community, and you will meet great people there. The teachers are friendly and highly supportive. I couldn't imagine a better school.
Masterman Julia R Secondary School is an outstanding option for families seeking a challenging and supportive educational experience for their children
Kevin Bacon – Actor and musician
Ellen Forney – Author and graphic artist
Leslie Odom Jr. – Singer and actor
Chynna Rogers – Rapper and model
Stephanie Gatschet – Actress
Angela Nissel – Writer
Eric Slick – Musician
Kenneth Frazier – Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co.
Shana Knizhnik – Lawyer and author
Raymond Teller – Writer and magician
C.C.A. Baldi Middle School
8801 Verree Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19115
C.C.A. Baldi Middle School, located in the far northeastern section of Philadelphia, PA, is a public school serving students in grades 6-8. With a total enrollment of 1,498 students, the school provides a diverse and inclusive learning environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and personally.
The school's commitment to academic excellence is reflected in its standardized test scores, which are above average. 44% of students at C.C.A. Baldi attain math proficiency, 68% gain English proficiency, and 60% achieve science proficiency.
C.C.A. Baldi's dedicated and experienced faculty play a vital role in students' success, with 87% of teachers having at least three years of experience and 99% of full-time teachers being certified. The school's student-teacher ratio of 17:1 is slightly above the state average, but teachers are committed to providing personalized attention and support to each student.
In addition to vital academic programs, C.C.A. Baldi offers a range of extracurricular activities to support students' growth and development. Former parents speak highly of the school's commitment to developing strong character traits, such as integrity, compassion, and respect, in its students.
C.C.A. Baldi Middle School is a top-performing public school in Philadelphia with a solid commitment to academic excellence and a diverse and inclusive community of learners.
Best High Schools
Mast Community Charter School
1800 Byberry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116
Mast Community Charter School is a public charter school in Philadelphia, PA. With grades ranging from K-12, the school serves a diverse student body of 1,413 students and primarily focuses on Mathematics, Science, and Technology. The school has an impressive 98% 4-year high school graduation rate, with many students enrolled in Dual Enrollment classes in grades 9-12, allowing them to earn college credit while still in high school.
The school offers a rigorous academic program focusing on mathematics, science, and technology. Students are provided with innovative pathways to pursue knowledge in these areas. Mast Community Charter School has a student-teacher ratio of 16:1, below the state average, and 82% of teachers have at least three years of experience. All full-time teachers are certified.
In addition to academic courses, Mast Community Charter School offers a variety of extracurricular activities for students. Examples of student clubs include the talent club and dance club, and the school provides world language courses in Spanish. The school also has 8 Advanced Placement (AP) courses for grades 11 and 12.
Mast Community Charter School is an excellent option for students interested in math, science, and technology careers.
Central High School
1700 West Olney Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19141
Central High School is a top-ranked public high school in Philadelphia, PA. As a part of the Philadelphia City School District, the school serves students in grades 9-12 and has a current enrollment of 2,397 students.
Central High School has established a sterling reputation for educational excellence – ranking among the finest in Pennsylvania. Its rigorous academic focus equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel beyond school, leading them toward successful higher education opportunities.
In addition to its academic achievements, Central High School offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to explore. From music and arts to sports and community service, there are many opportunities for students to get involved and develop their skills and interests outside the classroom.
Central High School also offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses. With a participation rate of 23%, the school is committed to providing rigorous academic programs that challenge and prepare its students for the demands of higher education. The school has an excellent track record in preparing students for college, with a graduation rate of 93% and a 100% college acceptance rate.
The school’s excellent academic performance and numerous extracurricular opportunities make it an ideal choice for families in Philadelphia.
Leon Abbett – 26th Governor of Philadelphia
Philip Casnoff – Actor
Frank Coleman – One of the first three known African-American Eagle Scouts
Tarzan Cooper – Basketball Hall of Famer
DJ Drama – Disc jockey and record executive
Rel Dowdell – Filmmaker
Douglas J. Feith – Former U.S. Secretary of Defense for Policy, major figure in orchestrating the 2003 invasin of Iraq
Larry Fine – Actor and comedian
Norman Fell – Actor
Simon Guggenheim – Former U.S. Senator
Robert N.C. Nix Jr. – Former Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Franklin Towne Charter High School
5301 Tacony St, Philadelphia, PA 19137
Franklin Towne Charter High School is a public charter school in Philadelphia that serves students in grades 9-12. A student enrollment of 1,222 provides an interactive learning community where students can receive more individualized attention from teachers.
The school offers a range of AP courses in subjects such as Chemistry, Computer Science Principles, and English Literature and Composition. While the school's math proficiency rate is lower than desired at 46%, the Algebra I proficiency rate is high, with 95% of students achieving proficiency.
Franklin Towne Charter High School prides itself on its experienced and passionate educators. Furthermore, 82% of teachers have at least three years in the field. All staff members are certified to meet rigorous standards set by the state. Also, a full-time nurse and psychologist tend to students' physical and mental health needs. That provides an environment that caters to both learning opportunities and individualized care. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1, exceeding average ratios across Pennsylvania schools by three students.
Franklin Towne Charter High School is an excellent option for students seeking a smaller, supportive learning community.
Finding the Right School for Your Child in Philadelphia
With its vibrant culture and ever-evolving landscape, Philadelphia is at the forefront of education. Home to some of the most esteemed schools in the country, it's clear this city takes learning seriously. From elementary through post-secondary institutions with focused curricula and supportive experiences, there are ample opportunities for parents to find their ideal school or students seeking an academically stimulating environment.
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