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Pennsbury High School

Public | 9-12 | 3221 students


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4 stars

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31 reviews of this school

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Posted May 27, 2014

PHS is a very large school with 3000+ students moving between two adjacent campuses. It has many wonderful traditions, great school spirit, and many great opportunities, but there is stiff competition for those opportunities. I've had two kids herel, one who completed 4 years and graduated and one who is a freshman. While we are generally satisfied, and both kids were able to find a niche (one with theater and German Club, one with Marching Band), I can see how a child without a specific focus or interest could find the school very overwhelming. The honors / AP program seems great, and my older daughter had great teachers in honors courses, but the regular track is average and has both teachers who inspired by kids and less-than-wonderful teachers who have bored, or demovited, my kids. Kids must be able to advocate on their own behalf, e.g. to ask for help, to sign up for activities, to find opportunities, and my younger daughter, who is on an IEP, is struggles to ask for the help from teachers that she needs. My kids have also encountered a subculture of drug use and drinking which has caused them to, drop a class, drop a friend, and avoid certain social circles.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 21, 2013

Pennsbury High School presents many opportunities, but it is not a particularly nurturing environment so students must rely on their own motivation to get what they want out of it. My daughter had more good teachers than bad ones, found extracurricular activities that sparked her interest and creativity, and seems to be reasonably well prepared for college. But I think it is possible for students who are less confident or clear on their needs to fall thru the cracks of the huge community. The few times I felt the need to advocate on her behalf, the administration responded quicklyand appropriately.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 4, 2013

This school is absolutely terrable. there are almost no teachers who will help/ work with you without giving you attitude. there are many fights and people cursing and drama going on. I feel that i have learned nothing throughout all my years here. there are bugs all over the school. I was afraid to even put feet on the ground because of all the ants and other bugs there are. there are cockroaches in the bathrooms and its a unhealthy and unsafe environment for kids and teachers to be in. Walking in between buildings can be nice when its warm but its brutal when its cold. Even if its cold and below freezing they will still make you walk. even if there are busses theres only about 5 to transport every kid and than you get introuble for being late to class. the teachers are conceited. I have friends who go to other schools and they seem to never have any problems like pennsbury does. If you are at a disadvantage with learning disabilities or have money issues pennsbury gives you problems and wont work with you to be more succesful. they sometimes will give you homework to do online and if you dont have a computer they wont give you credit. pennsbury is a terrable school. dont go there
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 3, 2013

The school is fine if you are all honors or AP students. The exextracurricular activities take too much time out of the students, which switched the priority as a student. Instead of spending more time on academic work, the students spent more time in exextracurricular activities, i. e. the "famous" marching band takes at least 20hours/week in September, at least 30hours/week (couple times around 40hours) in October and November. They leave the poor kids no time to manage even though the exextracurricular activities suppose to help the kids to learn how to manage their time.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 22, 2013

Very good school, though not quite the level of nearby richer Council Rock area high schools. Old building, although well maintained. Pennsbury still has the same gym from when the school was built back in the mid 1960's. It's an embarrassment, considering the modern gyms in other schools in the area. There are issues with the teacher's contracts at times. They have a very good wage and benefit package, which sometimes comes into play at contract negotiation time, when the union is asking for more or the board is asking for concessions. A couple of strikes over the years. Overall, good teaching staff, yet some of the older ones are just putting in time until retirement.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 15, 2012

As parents, we are very happy with the Pennsbury High School. This school offers every AP class, and has great arts and sciences. Their programs are top notch and well organized - i.e. world class marching band, young engineers / programming clubs, full set of athletic programs, etc. School pride is very evident, and I always get a good feeling when I'm around the students. For whatever reason, the students I meet are always well mannered and show good respect to adults. This speaks volumes for the school leadership - almost like a "we expect more" attitude. This is great to see as a parent.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 30, 2010

Currently, I am a junior at this school, and I don't like it at all. You VERY rarely get teachers that truly love what they do. For the majority, they are just there to make money. As an honors student, I feel as though the pressures are way too high. In parallel classes the teachers just don't care. In honors, they leave you on your own expecting that you should know everything. And in AP you have 3 to 4 hours of homework every night. Although the education were getting is VERY good, we are taught the wrong way. Were taught to memorize now, and forget later, which is why a lot of us are good test takers, but have trouble when we get to college because we never learned that common knowledge. Most of the students are miserable, and the general atmosphere is bad. Most of the students are relatively nice, but I use that term very loosely. All in all, on my graduation day, I'm going to be the happiest person alive, I cannot wait to leave Pennsbury.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 4, 2010

Pennsbury is a great school and they understand students problem and help students any time
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2010

Overall, PHS is an average school. Most teachers do not seem to care about what they're teaching, with some exceptions. they just use the textbooks and force students to copy notes. they have an i-don't-care attitude. the school is also too big. PHS uses two campuses, and students have to travel back and forth, which can be tiring. they rid of the shuttle buses, so students have to walk everyday, except when it's raining/snowing. the administrative staff are the most unsupportive and so impatient. but PHS offers many extracurricular activities and have decent classes to choose from. they also have a good music program.

Posted February 7, 2010

Pennsbury HS comprises well over 3000 students who travel between two buildings separated by the school football field. Previously, it had been segmented as a 9/10 school in one building and an 11/12 school in the other. Plans to reorganize once again are being discussed. The HS has some outstanding curricular and extracurricular programs, including highly respected theater and music programs, as well as offering a wide variety of AP classes. On the down side is its very size. Classes have been large, and with cuts in tax revenue, they are likely to grow larger. Pennsbury HS is a school where self-motivated, talented students cannot only survive, but thrive. But for the rest, parents must be vigilant and active to make sure that their children are getting the education and services they need--not because teachers and administrators lack desire, but simply because the school is so large.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 14, 2010

I am proud to live in the Pennsbury district and have a child being educated here. Overall, the staff and administration exhibit extrodinary committment to the students and a willingness to work with parents for student success.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 4, 2009

i use to go there. but when i waa there was so many teachers would stay after and help me with mork i had problems with. there were understanding to my sistuations and they helped me home problems. this school is great

Posted May 16, 2009

I give this school a 9. It has wonderful dispcipline, values and caring teachers. My child could not have gotten a better education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 2, 2009

My graduating class had just over 100 students. The school was located in Yardley. I believe I received a good High School Education, which was my most important goal.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 21, 2009

My daughter is currently enrolled in 10th grade at pennsbury and BOY ! she loves it there. She is a very athletic student and found that even though it was hard to make the sports teams, it was worth it because of her team's excellence. she finds it a little hard to get around because of the shuttle and largeness of the schools, but other than that, loves it. she has a ton of help from teachers and her peers with work. one downside is the fact if you are envolved with a sport or after school activity, you have to leave classes early due to the intense athletic schedules. although she may miss some work here and there, she always has a teacher that can help her out! PHS (:
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 14, 2008

Excellent school district providing a proper balance of educational opportunities, involved teachers, strong athletic programs, and diverse social community. Student body talent and ability surpasses other local school districts. Large class size provides competition amongst students while teachers continue to provide personal attention.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 27, 2007

I hate to admit it but Pennsbury was/is one excellent place for academics and sports. Speaking as a newly graduated student I have found that the foundations laid upon me during my high school career is what is carrying me through college. I have also found that I have scored higher on my college entrance exams then my fellow peers. Parent involvement was not very evident,but we had a very supportive staff in terms of teachers,principles,etc.,The academic curricula is great. There were many different outstanding programs for gifted students. Overall I had a good Pennsbury experience
—Submitted by a former student

Posted July 24, 2007

As a current student at PHS, I have much to say about the school. The school in general is excellent. The academic sometimes can be very demanding due to many intelligent students at Pennsbury. Even though many teachers do push you in order to success, mostly it is the fellow classmates who help you to success. Making friends at Pennsbury, I believe is very easy. It might seem like there are cliques, such as popular, jocks, nerds etc., but everyone fits in. No one is left out. If you are an athlete, Pennsbury is definitely the school for you. All the sports team is very comeptitive. Most of the sports team make it to the stae level. Overall, Pennsbury might lack in food services, and locking bathrooms just because they want to, it is an excellent school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 27, 2007

Honestly, I believe the school is too big. The school is set up as 2 separate campuses which are about a 1/2 mile apart. The students shuttle by bus, or walk, between the buildings. Therefore, when transferring from 1 building to another they are often late. This logistic problem really needs to be addressed. The athletics are top notch as are the extracurricular activities. The school has a lot to offer and does address the needs of everyone. They have a terrific special education program and offer many AP classes as well. For being a large school, the students needs are met well.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 26, 2006

As a student of PHS, I can give a fairly good evaluation of the school. As far as 'principal leadership' goes, there is none, unlike the middle and elementary schools. I don't even know the principals' names. The teachers in high school, are the best. I can remember much about each teacher I have had, and have done exeedingly well in most academic activities because of them (although my spelling and grammer need improvement). Where extracurricular activities are concerned, there are countless things to chose from! Most teams have at some point brought home national titles, exept the football team, which is expiriancing a losing streak. The walking between buildings is awful, many students use the chance to cut class or smoke. Although the attemts to controll this is greatly improving. Parental involvement seems to vary on how much parents want to be involved. The school functions with or without them equaly.
—Submitted by a student

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.

769 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

768 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

765 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

802 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 Students71%
Economically disadvantaged44%
Students with disabilities (IEP)47%
English language learnersn/a


All Students84%
Economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities (IEP)57%
English language learnersn/a


All Students50%
Economically disadvantaged23%
Students with disabilities (IEP)28%
English language learnersn/a


All Students87%
Economically disadvantaged74%
Students with disabilities (IEP)61%
English language learnersn/a
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
White 81% 71%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 7% 3%
Black 7% 15%
Hispanic 3% 9%
Two or more races 1% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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705 Hood Blvd
Fairless Hills, PA 19030
Website: Click here
Phone: (215) 949-6700


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