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Upper Darby Senior High School

Public | 9-12 | 3705 students


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4 stars

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36 reviews of this school

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Posted October 29, 2014

Great selection of AP Courses. Teachers are highly qualified and are great educators. School environment really prepares students for the real world!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2014

I couldn't have asked for a better education. The course offerings at Upper Darby are immense. Due to the large student population, you can take as many arts, science, engineering, shop, technology, and even engineering classes as you can imagine. The diverse student population absolutely is a microcosm of the real world; it is diverse in ethnicity, economic status, as well as parental support and involvement. While I was lucky enough to have parents encourage me to participate in extracurricular, the same opportunities are open for any student willing to put in the work. The same goes for advanced level classes (where you never encounter the poorly behaved students you see in the media). My AP courses were FAR more challenging than my friends' at Bonner, O'Hara, and the surrounding prep schools. My education in the Upper Darby School District, the high school in particular, has prepared me for anything I could have imagined. The only downside is the overcrowding, and it is absolutely not as bad as the comments below mention. I didn't experience one single clique or "bully" when I was there because I chose to be involved and active in my education.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 19, 2014

This school is flooded with bullies and the principal is doing nothing about these kids who group up and bully other defenseless kids. Kids are afraid to even cone to school because of these bullies. They are mostly females. It is terrifying.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 5, 2014

Well, UDHS is today what it always has been a microcosm of the real world. The student body is not overwhelmingly lily white and there is a significant gap in socioeconomic status. You can t get any closer to mirroring what the real world looks like. It s a great school for kids who want to achieve. UDHS has the resources and is full of motivated teachers who are more than willing to help out the students in any way. Here s the rub the sheer number of students can be overwhelming. To add to that dynamic, the number of unmotivated students are a drag on resources, test scores and are a burden for the students who want to learn. Our student loved UDHS for the first two years, great teachers and opportunities. But staying motivated in an environment where an incredible number of students simply don t care has worn thin. Just to be clear, the problem at UDHS is a student (the disaffected ones) and a parenting issue (i.e. other parents not instilling a good work ethic and desire to learn). UDHS has a track record of providing a quality education. But just like the real world you need to want it and work for it. Why 3 stars - over crowding is killing the school district
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 10, 2013

This school has more classes and better offerings than many of the surrounding districts. Most people do not do their research in terms of curriculum and therefore are unaware of the resources available to them in UDHS. Yes, the school is very crowded. Yes, there are plenty of disengaged students who do not care about themselves, their education or others. BUT is this the fault of the school or their home/upbringing? I am a graduate of UDHS. My stepson graduated and did exceptionally well. My daughter is graduating in 2 years. She is doing an outstanding job. We are involved in our children's education. We engage with the school, teachers, board, and community. Like most things, it is what you make of it. UDHS struggles from overcrowding and a high volume of diversity which challenges them when state tests determine funding and ratings. Anyone who says this is not a good school simply does not do his/her research and most likely is not someone who is actively involved in promoting change in this community. Stop buying into the negative media that brings our kids down. Take advantage of the wonderful resources available and help make UDHS better than ever. It is a great school!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 15, 2013

I have had 5 kids attend the Upper Darby Schools and they did very well. Like all school districts right now there are challenges, but this is a very good school, teachers are outstanding and the arts education is really excellent.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 4, 2013

This is one ofthe worst schools. It is over crowded. The special needs program is horrible. They do not teach these children or include them in anything. The special needs teachers are horrible and most of them are set in the old school mind frame that these children cannot do anything. This school security is also horrible. As the UD police dept said before if this was a bar it would of been closed down a lone time ago. Tax dollars waisted!!!! JUST HORRIBLE and SAD.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 23, 2013

I believe Upper Darby high school is not the best school for your child especially if they come from a different ethical group. Students judge other students very crucially. If a student is an honors students then this school isn't that bad, but the math teachers here make it very hard for the students forcing them to put they're entire focus in it. I have a child that goes to this school who was struggling in math but he was unable to receive any help. But my daughter was doing great but because she couldn't fit a few classes in her scheduled she decided to move down in one subject. It was only an accelerated class but she was surrounded by student that just didn't care while she had a 99 throughout the class the others had 40s. The students that are motivated do great but there are too many students that just don't care.

Posted January 24, 2013

Upper Darby High School is actually a great school. The thing that makes it a failing school is the students lack of motivation. The overcrowded school results in the larger percentage of students who dont care or cant speak English which brings down the academic scoring drastically. The truth is that if your in AP or Honors classes you learn more advanced material than many other schools. Sadly, the majority of the students in UDHS are in Academic and have the worst teachers and are stuck in the largest classes. I am currently a Fresheman in Upper Darby and as far as i can see, most of the staff enjoy their jobs and teach the students. But of course, as in every school, there are teachers that don't really teach the students. The music programs are exceptional, with every musical group winning high honors and awards every year. The musicals are done at an almost professional level and are extremely well perfomed. The students at UDHS are either very proud of their school or hate it. Every student admires Tina Fey (who went to UD) and love the movie Mean Girls because it was based off of our school. Overall, Upper Darby High School is a crowded, huge but an amazing school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 22, 2012

I love the education here. Most of the classes actually make you think, which means tests are not based on memorized material. There are so so so so so many classes you can take here. Even the introductory classes have so much valuable information. This school's only flaw it is so overcrowded and large, that between classes you have 5 minutes to get to class, yet it takes more time than that because of traffic and going to our lockers. Otherwise, a 3 rating is extremely low. It should be a 6 or 7.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 14, 2012

UDHS is an overcrowded school with terrible test scores and frequent crime. The area needs another high school. West Chester actually has 3 high schools; yet, Upper Darby has only one. The entire school district is cutting the arts programs that people on here are praising. Maybe they could get students from West Philly out and start making sure everyone pays taxes.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 5, 2012

Parents...before jumping to conclusions about what you hear in the media, listen to the student's perspective first. Upper Darby High School is a great school. The only thing that drags it down are the media and some of the students who just don't care, but there's a separate place for those students. As a graduate of 2009, I must say the teachers there are amazing. They will definitely go out of their way to help and sincerely care about student's education. They really don't make enough for what they do. Yes, there are a lot of students, but the area is too dense to place another high school in the district. The crowds didn't even bother me at all. Not to mention, there are numerous of opportunities for everybody no matter what you are interested in from arts, technology, business, sports, college credits, name it! It's the students themselves who have to take advantage of these wonderful opportunities. Even though the lousy media can give it a bad name, I wouldn't trade my high school experience for anything!

Posted February 9, 2012

As a graduate of Upper Darby High School, I can honestly say that I ADORED this school. Yes, there are certainly problems pertaining to the population; however, let's try to focus on the positives. UDHS offers excellent classes, wonderful clubs, vo tech opportunities, amazing sport teams and much, much more. As a senior in college now, I believe that UD has prepared me for not only college, but life in general, as well. I am currently dual majoring in English education and psychology while maintaining a 3.8 GPA and I honestly don't know if I would be as successful if I had not attended UD. They have provided me with not only knowledge, but a great deal of confidence, as well. Some may claim that UD is a bad school, but I can assure you that it is not. High school is what you make of it, people. If a student wants to learn, he/she will learn and if a student doesn't want to learn, they wont. I can tell you one thing, though: If a student wants to learn, the teachers and faculty at UDHS will do everything in their power to ensure that each and every student reaches his/her full potential.

Posted January 3, 2012

I can't believe that a Class Action Law Suit had not been filed against this township regarding the ridiculously large amount of kids crammed into one High School. Upper Darby High School is simply too large. What will it take for someone to make a decision and start talking about a second school. Stop hiding under the umbrella of diversity (while very nice) and fix the real problem. 4000 is simply too many kids and pulls form way too large of an area. Every school has a few bad eggs, but when you have 4000 kids a few can become a couple hundred bad eggs. UDHS staff is completely preoccupied with corrective issues and preventative issues... and then finally... some teaching! 19026 and 19082 should split!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 3, 2012

Talk about a good thing going bad... Upper Darby High School has many issues but the most troubling is the size of the student body. UDHS is bursting at the seams with kids. The township is the largest in the State, but somehow only has one HS. Lower Merion has two high schools. West Chester has two High schools. The teachers at UDHS seem to spend most of their time trying to gain some control of the staggering amount of kids in one school. With an award winning Theater and Arts program, Summer Stage, Nationally ranked Cheerleaders, breathtaking Jazz band and Orchestra, and programs to fit almost every interest a child could have... it's all easily washed away when you are consistently recognized for new making issues that are mostly stemmed from TOO MANY KIDS!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 19, 2011

I posted this before - so not sure why it did not post - UDHS is a great experience - the diversity prepares you for life in ways that most schools don't. while at the time I felt some teachers could be more innovative - I felt just as prepared as prepschool kids when I went to college.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 5, 2010

I graduated from Upper Darby in 2009. I loved every second that I was there. It was a great experience, and as a student, I didn't really notice that there were a large number of students in the school. I've been in the district since kindergarten and I feel that my education was extremely helpful in preparing me for college. I do recommend that students in Upper Darby get involved with something because it will help keep you busy and you won't fall into the stereotype of an Upper Darby student. It really is a great district, the teachers love their students, and everyone has the ability to succeed you just have to be willing to work for it (which is exactly what education is about: hard work paying off in the end).
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 29, 2010

This school has way over exceeded its capacity for the students it can handle. It's quite a large district and I think these students would receive a high quality education of a second high school was built. The district would probably have higher test scores too. Lower Merion has two schools and look at the quality of their education and prep for college; its not impossible for two high schools within one district.

Posted January 19, 2010

This school, which I formerly went to, did not help me at all towards college. All of the things I am learning now in college werent things that I knew already and I immediately fell behind because the teachers didnt properly prepare me for college efficently.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 27, 2009

UDHS is a great school for kids at the top of the ability spectrum. Those kids have endless opportunities to excel (but these kids would do well at any school). For the vast majority of kids, however (and there are almost 4000 kids in this school), it subpar. The school is just too big; it can t possibly deliver a quality education to that many kids. I know that they try, but it s just not realistic to attempt to educate 4000 kids in one building. After having one child go through this school, I am planning on moving before my other child is old enough to attend UDHS. As hard as they try, this is just not a good school.
—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.

829 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

831 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

834 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

813 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 Students57%
Economically disadvantaged49%
Students with disabilities (IEP)14%
English language learners22%


All Students53%
Economically disadvantaged45%
Students with disabilities (IEP)12%
English language learners5%


All Students22%
Economically disadvantaged15%
Students with disabilities (IEP)5%
English language learners0%


All Students71%
Economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities (IEP)36%
English language learners38%
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
Black 45% 15%
White 37% 71%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 14% 3%
Hispanic 4% 9%
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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601 North Lansdowne Ave
Drexel Hill, PA 19026
Phone: (610) 622-7000


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