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Penn Wood High School - Green Ave Campus

Public | 11-12


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12 reviews of this school

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Posted February 3, 2013

As a student, I am hurt by the insults here to our teachers. I've been a student in the district since first grade, and I've consistently had very talented and dedicated teachers. Even the students agree that the problems PW has don't stem from the staff or the educational offerings. PW has a reputation that is deserved to a degree, but things are definitely improving. Recent graduates are attending schools like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Swarthmore, the once defunct marching band is competing again, the speech and debate team is a statewide contender, and our sports teams are doing very well. There are a lot of problems with this school; the curriculum is weak, standards are comparatively lower than at other schools, facilities are too small, and decaying, but there is a distinct renaissance taking place. Test scores go up each year, a new-ish principal is galvanizing the students, and things seem pointed in the right direction. Residents still smarting over the break-up of the old "Lansdowne-Aldan High School" may never get over it, but PW is presented as worse than it really is. No worse than BP, UD or even O'Hara. Bottom line is that students can and do achieve success here.
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 7, 2012

All my children attend the William Penn District. I pay mad taxes and for a system that isn't uplifting my children. My children attended private school and got a really good education. I can't afford to send my kids to a private school but the school taxes in Lansdowne are ridiculous.. My children tell me how the teachers aren't involved enough because of the size of these classes. I live in Lansdowne and I travel in Yeadon there is no way that many kids live in our district. They have to find a way to check if they are part of our district. Most but not all are children that have disipline issues and they bring it to our township. Please Pennwood step it up and save our kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2012

Penn Wood isn't the best school but it's certainly not the worst. There are many programs for students to take advantage of. The issue is that there is limited funding for resources ( parents must get involved write your state representative for more funding, etc) and a large amount of students coming from other areas that lack motivation. Test scores are a result of a lack of preparation which is on the the part of the school district and student's willingness to prepare themselves. What's happening is a lack of parent involvement as well. In most schools, if parents show lack of concern for their student, teachers will not bend over backwards and beg your student to be punctual, disciplined and willing to learn. Even in tuition paid college, instructors do not care if your student skips all classes. So really , if your student can't be responsible in high school, why pay college tuition? I believe that parents and teachers play a huge role in students' success. It can't be all on the teachers and administration. In addition, it can't all be on the parents.

Posted September 24, 2010

People underestimate the quality of this school... the students are willing to learn and the teachers are more than willing to teach. We have a reputation as a "bad" school... but as a student here, it's not bad at all. We have our struggles because we don't have much money, but does that make us worse than schools in wealthier communities? I'm in all honors classes, paricipate in extra curicular activities and take dual enrollment classes at Drexel University... without Penn Wood I wouldn't have gotten these opportunities. Bottom line, people should have an open mind about us... our reputation is offensive and inaccurate.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 7, 2009

The faculty and staff rarely return phone calls. The school is very poorly organized. They don't follow their own policies and procedures except when it comes to punishing students, which they seem to enjoy doing. Everytime you call any number at the school, you always get an automated response. When does the office staff ever answers phones?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 29, 2009

I don't like the school at all. Some of the teachers are worst than the children and don't really care about the children. I don't see what my daughter is learning except how to fight. Not until she came here has she been in so many conflicts and I don't see much action being done!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 31, 2008

i am actually a senior at penn wood high school and is not all that bad but yes they do underestimate us as a student body. My mom and dad pay all these taxes for them to give me tons of unnecessary worksheets and for my counselor to not do her job. Well I am making the best of it taking honor classes,ap classes, and dual enrollment. I am envolved in extra ciricular activities and thats what matters. The wood keeps giving me lemons and I'm making gallons and gallons of lemonade each step of the way.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 26, 2008

Well, I graduated from this school in 2007 and I go to school in Atlanta. Penn Wood wasn't the best high school in the area but it definitely wasn't the worst. I learned and I was able to participate in the activites and sports that the school had to offer. As long as you were motivated and tried to go after oportunities and keep yourself in the upper level courses ( we had 9 AP's not 2) and you did dual enrollment, succeeding in college wasn't a problem.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 11, 2007

Most teachers do not care. Some teachers are great and it shows, but the administration will make it tough for most teachers to want to stay. Huge turnover in teachers and school district administration. Stability and consistency is important and it is not here! Why do most teachers run out the door immediately behind the studnets at the end of the class day? Why do the guards kick students out the door 10 minutes after the last bell? Why are there minimal extracurricular activities (mostly sport, only 3 non-sport activities)? Why is there such a large support of detentions, in-school suspensions, out of school suspensions, alternative schools (yes plural)? Why are there only 2 AP classes? Cultural awareness is minimal. But it is not just cultural; it is also religious awareness, ethnic awareness, demographic awareness, etc.

Posted November 9, 2007

I went to 'The Wood' an the schooling was great.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted July 8, 2007

Pennwood High school is a disgrace. The staffs lack of commitment to the students is evident in their performance. There is a lack of control and discipline. This school does not promote success, it sets children up to fail.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 15, 2007

Penn Wood High School, as with any high school, needs improvement. Classroom size is too large for an instructor to be effective in their method of teaching. The tone of the school has change drastically therefore making the transition for non-minority teachers difficult. I would like to see the school become a bit more challenging academically. Penn Wood has a melting pot of diverse cultures however, the high school could be improved by introducing cultural awareness training among students and faculty members.
—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.

303 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

306 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

310 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

313 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 Students43%
Economically disadvantaged40%
Students with disabilities (IEP)18%
English language learnersn/a


All Students45%
Economically disadvantaged39%
Students with disabilities (IEP)13%
English language learnersn/a


All Students13%
Economically disadvantaged11%
Students with disabilities (IEP)6%
English language learnersn/a


All Students69%
Economically disadvantaged70%
Students with disabilities (IEP)29%
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
Black 93% 15%
White 5% 71%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Hispanic 0% 9%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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100 Green Ave
Lansdowne, PA 19050
Phone: (610) 284-8080


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