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William Allen High School

Public | 9-12


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28 reviews of this school

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Posted February 13, 2014

this schools need more attention then others think. I'm a senior there and i play sports, sing and i volunteer when i can. as a school in general its not a school at all no bonding is done there many "GROUPS" who just stay together and that's it. for sports i would say we are ok but from others schools views we suck i did soccer this year and got two coaches who nevered played soccer it dosen't make sense. and the teammates don't know anything and all we did was argue. now teaching i've had couple amazing teachers and horrible teacher who are a waste in my time and others. higher racked school offices don't understand what we are being taught we are lowest ranking school in the state for a reason and they think if they make it easier we'll pass but its worse people just don't care because ITS TOO EASY. the school just enforced a uniform policy and its really stupid it was decided if we look better we will do better and that is LIES it just made many poverty students go and buy almost expensive pants and polo, if you notice 37 percent of Allentown is in poverty. I just wished these "Officials" would try to understand its the student who make the school and break it.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 17, 2011

i am senior this year at allen. sports vary in talent overall sport wise we're good, but not great, were ok especially in boys basketball, field hockey, swimming, and track. we're inproving in lacrosse though. academics are alright. depending on what class you take, it could be really really easy one period, then you could go to a class where it's very difficult to pass any of the tests. with students we need more positive attitudes, and manners. our activities are good, the arts is SPECTACULAR, especially our chorale, chorus, and theater program. students generally dont care and skip classes, but thats gonna have to change. our new principals are actually nicer than anyone thinks, they've attended our construction company meetings. the main concern i have though is student motivation to learn and get intoc activities they are interested in. the school is kind of dirty though. our fountains usually have gum and garbage in them. my overall view is ok. we have spirt i'd give you that. some teachers dont really teach and when it comes to a test the students have no clue what they're doing.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 17, 2009

Excellent diversity of opportunities. Well educated & very caring instructors truly enhance student motivation. (Once academically rated # 4 in nation. Students defensively complain, 'to much negative publicity.' A fight here & there isn't bad for over 3,000 students)!! Funds needed.

Posted May 19, 2009

great my son go there the teacher care for the kids like if there were there own
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 7, 2009

As a former student at Allen I can personally say that that school is great. The teachers are cool and they care. Of course its a big school and theres always a kid who doesn't want to be there, but thats in every school. Allen is a great school that has lots of extracurriclums and offer alot of AP abd rigorous courses and awesome electives for students. I loved it there. And enjoyed my teachers and fellow classmates.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 28, 2009

I am currently a student at Allen, and when I tell people this they always respond saying how awful it is. In reality, it's not as bad of a school as most people think. Yes, Allen has its fair share of problems, but you can find the school is actually pretty good. People only think of the school poorly because they are only shown the bad things. Allen has an outstanding theatre program, a variety of clubs and activities, and many honors and AP courses to choose from. The principal is involved and most of the teachers are great. Students who are willing to work hard have excellent opportunities at this school. You will have a good experience if you avoid fights and students who are bad influences. Overall, I d say the school is pretty good. I love it, and I couldn t picture myself going to another school. Go Canaries!
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 4, 2008

As a parent of a student at Allen I have a few concerns, although my child does very well academic wise on her own I am concerned about some of the teaching skills that the teachers have. My child goes there everyday with hopes of doing well she trys with everything inside her with a 4.2 grade average she tells me alot of stories about how some of these teachers do there job and how they act and some of them are not on a adult level. As for the school itself she just handles it and stays out of the riff raff that goes on as for now she has anyway. But my main concern is how well there being taught especially if they want to learn. Overall I believe that Allen is a decent school like any other school has room for improvemnets.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 3, 2008

Some might say that they do not get challenged enough, then talk to your guidance counselor or even teacher and they can do something about it. Yes, the school is overcrowded and there are always people standing in the way to talk to each other but all you have to do is keep walking. All these fights and such, all you have to do to avoid such things is not to spark anything off. Just concentrate on your friends and your life and if they say something about you, just brush it off and i bet nothing will happen. And while security sometimes don't do their jobs and not keeping everything fair, they still are good when they need to. But overall it is a good school to attend. Go Allen!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 31, 2008

W. Allen is a tough inner city school it's true but it is also the home of many hard working teachers who really do care about the students. It is a much safer and less violent place than many other large city schools. The problems are with funding and the building. It's hard to give a first class education in a 3rd rate building. The old building, much of which is over 100 years old, is in bad shape. The classrooms are poor places to try to learn when there is no flooring (tile or carpet) no ceilings, paint pealing everywhere, old blackboards that are hard to write on, and no projection screens in many rooms. Our kids come from poor households with most on the free or reduced price lunch program funded by the state. Many from other countries, a large percentage of whom do not speak english.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted July 6, 2008

Im now a senior at allen and I think its a good school because I came from ny and the schools their arer horrible compared to Allen I mean their are alot kids and the teachers can be an... Sometimes but its an reasonable school I mean if I had an child I would send him/her there but I would seriouslt keep my eyes on them because students in that school attend to influence other kids so you may be want to think twice!!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 23, 2008

I attended Allen High School for my freshman year of high school. I loved it for my social life and met a lot of friends while attending there. When I moved going into my sophmore year, I started at a completely different school, and I started to learn more. Compared to other schools, this schools teachers are either terrible or just lacking knowledge. If you are planning to move near this high school, and you have a child that would attend Allen High School, reconsider if you want your child to succeed at life.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 27, 2008

I attended Allen for my freshman and sophomore years. I was in honors classes and received excellent grades without ever really trying. I was never challenged unless I challenged myself. It wasn't until I transferred to LVPA that I found out what it would really take to be a student, and it was that school that prepared me for my college success. If I had a child going here I would do everything I could to get them out. I have had too many teachers that were either lazy or stupid. My little sister is going there and she loves it for her social life but I really fear for her education. She gets good grades and takes the right classes but I fear that like most students in inner-city schools she is below-par and will be unprepared for college.

Posted June 26, 2007

I love Allen! It's a great school. Sure it has it's bullies and mean teachers,but what school doesn't. I hate how the newspaper only puts the bad things,never the good things! Allen is a great school and I wouldn't change a thing! Go Canaries!
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 3, 2007

When I tell people I attend William Allen, it's extremely upsetting to see their reactions. There is hardly ever any good press on the wonderful things going on at Allen, leading many to think that the school has gone downhill. William Allen has challenged me academically, thanks to teachers at Allen who have impacted my learning in such a positive way. And there are so many fantastic programs to be involved with! While the hallways might be dirty, and the number of students at times overwhelming, I cannot imagine going to any other school. This school has the integrity, and I believe I am a better, more prepared young adult because of that. For those who left or criticize it, I feel sorry for them and all their missed opportunities.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 4, 2006

I was graduated from Wm. Allen in 2006, and my time spent there was the best. From stellar academics, an amazingly involved principal, a variety of clubs/activities, and a fantastic sports program, Allen shines. Some of my classmates are now attending highly ranked schools such as Dickinson, Yale, NYU, Drexel, Lafayette, and Lehigh. I am a current student at Bryn Mawr College and cannot praise this school enough. Despite its rough reputation, Allen is one heck of a high school. I would not have traded Allen for any other high school.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted July 13, 2006

I am a current student at allen high and in my opinion it is a great school. You are provided with what you need to know and you get many great chances to participate in other activities. It is a very wonderful experience to attend william allen high school
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 5, 2005

I have two children at WAHS and they are extremely happy with their overall school experience. There is a great selection of honors/AP courses. Students who choose to work hard have excellent opportunities. WAHS has a fine arts academy with an award-winning theatre program. It's a huge school with a very diverse student body, and many of the students come from low-income families. Students who atttend this school seem to become quite comfortable with living in an ethnically diverse world. There are occasional problems with fighting, etc., but these problems rarely seem to affect students who aren't involved. My son and daughter feel quite safe. Many sports are available, and coaching is good.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 5, 2005

It is a great school and I love it. we are the best
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 20, 2005

They have great school lunch and extracurricular programs.
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 24, 2005

William Allen is, in my opinion, a horrible school. They care more about athletics than they do about the children's education. I was upset to see my daughter was using a social studies text book from the 80's. I also feel this school is very unsafe, I was always hearing about fights there. My child was even threatend as a freshman for wearing the same pants a junior was on the same day. Thankfully I managed to get her out of there, she is definitley being challenged now and more importantly feels safe and is much happier.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 60% in 2012.

634 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

635 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

550 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

532 students were tested at this school in 2012.








Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education


All Students25%
Economically disadvantaged23%
Students with disabilities (IEP)4%
English language learners1%


All Students34%
Economically disadvantaged29%
Students with disabilities (IEP)6%
English language learners0%


All Students10%
Economically disadvantaged7%
Students with disabilities (IEP)2%
English language learners0%


All Students65%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Students with disabilities (IEP)38%
English language learners16%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2011-2012 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 62% 9%
Black 19% 15%
White 16% 71%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
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126 North 17th St
Allentown, PA 18104
Phone: (484) 765-5001


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