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Bishop Shanahan High School

Private | 9-12 | 1197 students


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Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $287,300. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,050.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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3 stars

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29 reviews of this school

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Posted September 14, 2014

This school is terrible. The reviewers who say this school deserves zero stars are correct. Teachers/nuns scream at the students all day; they also embarass students in front of other students. The academics are poor and the students are treated like criminals. Out of touch administration. I took my one child out of this school after on year and refuse to send my other children to this school. The bullying is horrible and the administration does nothing. Teachers/guidance are smug. Teachers do not care about the students and do not listen to issues brought up by parents, but rather laugh at them. Save your money. This school is the exact opposite of what they say in orientation. Run away.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 4, 2014

this school deserves 0 stars. Students are guilty before they are ever given a chance to be innocent and are treated like toddlers. As a mother of a graduating student I feel as if over the last 4 years I have flushed 30,000 dollars of my hard earned money sending my child to a school with a disciplinarian who thinks of himself as a drill Sargent and treats kids like criminals. Since her freshman year my daughter has spent her nights miserable and often crying worried about the next problem they will have with her. I DO NOT recommend this place for anyone who wants to enjoy their high school career.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 29, 2014

Where the administration treats students like toddlers and parents are treated like children. Potential to be such a good school if changes are made at the top.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 18, 2014

As a parent of two graduates, I believe Shanahan has given then an excellent well-rounded education. There is not a sport, club or fine arts opportunity that they could have wanted. There are so many social activities that offer opportunities to grow and have friendships that last a lifetime. Each student makes what they want of the opportunities available to them. The faith-filled environment keeps them grounded in respect for their teachers and each other and what is important including prayer and community service and prayer. Academically speaking, their AP scores and SAT scores are among the highest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Shanahan consistently produces a good number of National Merit Scholars. Currently there are the senior class. But what is even more important is that they learn 'how to study' and be prepared for college. I have noticed that whether a student is in Honors, AP or Track 2 or 3, they all prepared for college. There is a 100% acceptance. Most teachers offer tutoring before or after school if needed. The National Honor Society students offer tutoring help as well. %
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 10, 2014

Bishop Shanahan is an excellent school that provides a great academic curriculum with every sport, club, and fine arts experience your child could want. Both of my children have attended this school and have been successful and very happy. The school prepares the student extremely well for college. They also educate young men and women to be responsible, ethical people. There is a real sense of community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 25, 2014

I went to Shanahan with high hopes, that dream was quickly crushed. They teach and preach two different things. They do not treat the students with much respect and force there beliefs on you. They tear you down rather than bring you up and make you feel so bad about yourself for disagreeing with their views.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 22, 2014

Bishop Shanahan is a high school that upholds great values and is prideful of them. It is a great school to make friends because my class created bond together that will be unbroken. However, I feel that I was not prepared for college at all. The teachers at this school did not care about the students and were often willing to cater to them. Every class was very easy, most of the time all you had to do was busy work. The reason for this is because you receive a fact-based education here. All you have to do is memorize the material and you'll get a 4.0 easy. The SATs average scores may be great here but what does that prove? That you're a good test taker? Sure you'll be able to get in to a great university. But you will not be prepared. The teachers here do not challenge you. It may seem like they are, based on the numbers and the university acceptances. Yet, as a student, you are not given the necessary skills and abilities to utilize information. Having factual knowledge is great but if you aren't able to understand it and apply it, how can you be successful in the future? In retrospect Shanahan is a great school to make lifelong friends, but academically, improvement is needed.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 26, 2013

It's a good school. But if you're in track 3's, the teachers give up on you and they don't like you. You're looked down upon.
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 26, 2013

On a scale of 1 to 100, I would give it an zero. What this school says it is like and how it really is are extremely different things. The fine arts program is all they care about. If you are not in the fine arts program or student council then you are ignored. It is immensely superficial. The cliques and bad behavior of students is unbelievable. Teachers are biased to their favorites and can be bribed by being the teachers pet so grades in reality mean nothing. Everyday I dread going to school. I am am actually switching back to public school because the teachers were much better and so were the people and discipline. I can go through my list of teachers and honestly say I do not like any of them. I beg that you do not send your child to that school for their own health and sanity.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 17, 2011

(Continuation of review) For fine arts, the program is amazing. If you involve yourself, you can end up singing all over the world. The plays are great, as shown by attendees that have no connection to Shanahan. The art program at intro level is mediocre depending on the teacher, but many students complete an AP portfolio before graduation and attend well-known arts schools. For sports, you are really playing for fun here. I went through the athletic program and from funding to organization to securing gym time, everything is a nightmare. Above all, you are sending your kids here to be watched like a hawk. From day one, whether you have ever done anything wrong or not, they treat you like a criminal. "Security measures" are extraordinarily high, especially as there have been few, if any, threats to security. Discipline is enforced in an "uneven" manner. Expect many students to be expelled at your child's time here and many others to "get away" with the same offense. Just know what you are getting into before you choose Shanahan. "People of God, People for Others" is the motto, embroidered on everything at the school, but absent in practice and the hearts of the administration.

Posted July 17, 2011

If you aren't taking AP classes here, you might as well leave. Any teacher that isn't part of the AP or honors tracks is literally being paid as a disciplinarian that may or may not ever refer to a textbook. The AP program is good enough (most of the teachers have advanced degrees) but is IMPOSSIBLE to get into, even if you deserve it. For a private school that prides itself on "academic excellence" it is embarrassing that they refuse deserving students AP placement. There are 25 students allowed in each AP class and there is one class per subject that you only have one opportunity to take. (If you don't get in, you're screwed.) Grades are ridiculously inflated here because some teachers will hand out points to their favorites. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that when it came time to get print outs of our transcripts for college, at least half of all students in the grade had a 4.0 unweighted GPA. My general average when I attended Shanahan was a 98.1% because I worked my rear off, but I WASN'T EVEN IN THE TOP 20 STUDENTS. This is not due to some amazing academic program. Grades don't mean a thing.

Posted November 9, 2010

Bishop shanahan is a great school We are currently putting our 4th child through tis school. The other 3 graduated from Shanahan and all received academic scholarships fronm good colleges. The felt very prepared entering college and all 4 loved Shanahan.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 3, 2009

Superficial is all I have to say. What Bishop Shanahan preaches and what they teach are two very different philosophies. If you send your children to this school expect to become frustrated and irate with the administration and their actions rather frequently. I plan to send my children to a catholic or private school however I would refuse to send them to this one.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 7, 2009

We have been very pleased overall with Shanahan. The academics are tough but that is what you should expect. We are confident that our kids will be ready for college. We have not had any run ins with the principal - in fact, the few personal interactions we've had with her have been very pleasant and she showed a great deal of interest in how our child was doing and how we liked the school. I hear complaints about not enough funding for sports - perhaps that could be better but there is a nice football stadium, tennis courts and athletic fields. Its a beautiful campus that seems to be very well run and very focused on educating its students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 17, 2009

Before considering other schools I highly recommend Bishop Shanahan. I put three kids thought and 2 have graduated from Penn and 1 Villanova Law. Great prep for college.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 18, 2008

Before considering this school, I highly recommend that perspective parents talk to other parents. We have pulled our kids from this school. There are some fundemental problems with the administration. The atmosphere is not conducive for learning.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 28, 2008

I have a child that is going to be senior and I have been very disappointed with the administration and the teaching staff. I do not see any respect given to the students nor to the parents by the principal and some of the staff. When I entered the building one day I heard a nun yelling at a student that could have been heard a mile away. I found it to be very unprofessional and am now wondering what are they teaching the children. I will say they have a good fine arts program but forget it if you play sports. I do not think the administration could care less if there was a sports program. They don't even have an assembly where the athletes can get there awards or varsity letters. Very sad in my opinion. I will be happy when my child graduates!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 29, 2008

I have to agree with the previous post. I have had two children graduate from Shanahan, my oldest this year, and I have found it to be a great school. The teachers are fantastic. They go above and beyond for these kids. The principal of the school is ok a little tough, but overall, the administration is good at running the school. I have found them to always listen and be proactive whenever I have brought a concern to the table. If I had another child, I would defiantly send them to Shanahan.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 29, 2008

I am absolutely irritated by the previous two comments about Bishop Shanahan. I have had four children attend Bishop Shanahan, two in the past three years, and I have found both the administration and teachers to be superb. The administration has clear cut rules and regulations. Unlike some schools, when the students are wrong or misbehave, they are held accountable for their actions. The administration, specifically, the disciplinary, has brought to the school a level of respect and ownership. Unfortunately, at this school, parents argue because their under the mentality that their child can do no wrong. Teachers within this school are fantastic. This is shown with over 20 million dollars in scholarships given to the senior class this year. If you want your child to be taught not only academics, but trustworthiness and values, Shanahan is the place to be. I will be sending my youngest there next year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 20, 2008

I am a parent whose children have attended Shanahan for the past ten years. The atmopshere has changed dramatically in the last seven years under the leadership of the current principal. Kindness and Christianity are not practiced at the school anymore. Demerits are thrown around for such minor offenses that they have lost their value. I am offended by the punative and negative atmospere throughout the school. It was made worse by the addition of a new disciplinarian two years ago. The school atmosphere fosters fear, anger, resentment, and distrust. I will not send my youngest children to this school nor will I contribute any more financially.
—Submitted by a parent

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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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 95% 71%
Hispanic 3% 9%
Black 2% 15%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 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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  • Religious


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  • Archdiocese of Philadelphia
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220 Woodbine Road
Downingtown, PA 19335
Phone: (610) 518-1300


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