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GreatSchools Rating

Central High School

Public | 9-12 | 2360 students

 

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5 stars

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2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 5 ratings

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82 reviews of this school


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Posted October 10, 2014

As a teacher at Central, I'll say we have some of the most energetic, intelligent, caring young individuals I've ever encountered. The many supportive family, faculty, and staff members work together to keep Central strong, even when the politics of our big urban district are tough. I love this school!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 28, 2014

As a parent of class 276, this school prepares you for college (and life in general). It reminds me of a college campus with a wonderful diverse culture. Class of 276, wish you the best and know you are in a good place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 9, 2014

Beautiful...just - beautiful. It's a magnificent place that brings together the greatest minds and spirits of the young adult generation in a troubled city. A melting pot of people -very diverse- especially in a city like Philly where every STREET is liable to have a different culture, neighborhoods within neighborhoods. Much more to offer than a[ny] curriculum, the lifestyle and nature of the school is everything that is good with the world. It really prepares children for what is to come in life: the good, the bad, the beautiful. Not to mention that the curriculum and extracurricular activities actually are of the best kind - having won many championships, in all fields, and providing a variety of sports and clubs equal or better than that of most colleges. This is the best school and experience any person could as for. Sincerely, your proud alumni.. P.S. 270 !!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 15, 2013

I am a member of 273 and the diversity of the school never ceases to amaze me. Sure, as with any school you'll find your cliques, but Central has a way of inspiring unity through the unity of loads of homework and crazy teachers (both of the draconian variety and the wacky, family ones). The school budget cuts are now the Boogeyman but if you somehow find a way to last through it, it'll be worth it (maybe). Be prepared to make lifelong friends that you never thought you'd be friends with, a more open mind, and senioritis during freshman year.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 13, 2013

I am a member of the 258th graduating class, and I am proud to see that the school still has the highest rating on Great Schools. Central is and was a wonderful place to learn, grow and enjoy the changes that come with intellectual curiosity and social cohesion. I was well prepared for the demanding college I attended and for my career. Socially, I met so many people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and to this day I have yet to find a community of more diverse, open-minded and accepting peers. Central will always have a special place in my heart and I will always support Central financially and otherwise.


Posted July 1, 2013

I am a member of the 274th class of central! i absolutely love it. I've met so many amazing people in my two years so far and I cant wait to meet even more in the years to come. Even though some of the teachers can be not so motivational, others put their heart and soul into teaching us and coming up with lesson plans that will make classroom time more exciting. I love how the central family is close knit and diverse and we all can get along with each other without many disagreements. Good luck to anyone applying and definitely keep central as an option!
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 31, 2012

There is no way that anyone could ever sum up the experience of being a student of Central High School in 1200 characters or less. The simplest way to put it is that it is the closest thing to a utopia that one could find in the school district, the city, the state, and as far as I'm concerned, the world. (I suppose I'm a bit biased.) This school is truly one of a kind. I would never have expected to feel such love for all the things that most people would not think twice about once they've left, an institution, a student body, a faculty, a president. Dr. Pavel was an amazing president and we all have faith in his replacement to keep the school's reputation the way it is. Not to mention the teacher quality increased exponentially each year that I attended. Central is as close to perfect as one could hope, and if you have experience with the school and you disagree, you must be doing something wrong. Central is a difficult school, but it is worth every bit of work. SO MUCH LOVE! <3 271!
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 9, 2012

Best and the brightest students. Wonderful education. Caring teachers. Productive Home and School Association. Amazing President, Dr. Pavel.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 6, 2011

I am a member of the 271st graduating class and I love Central dearly. The people are all amazing, the student and staff included. You won't find anywhere nearly as diverse and it introduces you to a new way of interacting with your peers. The work is hard, but it is Central, I don't know what else to expect. A was taught to expect a challenge and most teachers will provide one; whether they choose to help is a different story. If you're a student that needs constant attention and help this is not the place for you. There is tutoring of many different forms available to everyone however most teachers will not tutor, there are simply too many students to take out the extra time to review things that can be found in our textbooks or call 90 different parents to talk about grades. All in all, you won't find any better public school in Philadelphia.
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 23, 2011

as a parent of a student in 272, i must say i have been disappointed since day one. my child loves CHS, but the lack of competent teachers, blows my mind. i think no one in this school cares about any of the students, but this is Central. i know i'm not alone feeling this way...since most of the parents i know feel the same way too. hopefully, the next 2 years will go fast........
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 13, 2011

I am a graduate of Central. 259th graduating class. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of the education I received at Central. Yes it was tough, no I did not get the grades that I had been getting in my middle school, but that was my own fault. For anyone who says that the teachers do not care than they probably didn't even try to talk with the teacher. I had a teacher who would not let me take the easy way out my senior year. He knew I could do the work and was not going to let me be lazy. My experience at Central helped me become the person I am today. The diverse population of the school allows for differences of all kinds. I had friends from all races and religions. Yes there is a strong focus on academics, but there is also support for clubs and sports. Central is a community. This school is not for the lazy or the closed-minded.


Posted April 13, 2011

Central is a very large school with much diversity. I think it needs to be equally diverse and all students need to respect one another. My older daughter attended and made many friends outside of her race. She is now in graduate school and doing exceptional and says the teachers at Central prepared her by being hard on her. She appreciated the push she received and states that Central made college a breeze. But things have changed. The problem is, some of the cultures try to overwhelm other cultures by being bullies...This being said, I think Dr. Pavel should get more involved with eliminating those bullies, those uncooperative children who speak a language that is not recognizable and travel in clicks with a bad attitude towards teachers and those kids who push themselves to do better. These children with the bad attitudes have made my younger daughter's experience at Central uneasy...she doesn't want to trust students of a particular cultural persuasion. Both of my daughter's are very bright and always do well at school but I feel my younger daughter would be doing even better if the bullish brats were controlled.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 1, 2011

Central is a very busy school. I attended for 2 years and decided that it wasn't for me. I'm glad I made the switch because my hard work wasn't paying off. There are also WAY too many students to get quality one-on-one attention from staff.
—Submitted by a student


Posted December 11, 2010

As for the kid who has mentioned they aren't having a good time at central, i'm very suprised. and if they hate it so much, they should'nt have stayed there for 4 years. i'm 272 and i absolutely love Central. theres no other school in the world i'd be if i could, because i know i belong here. Okay, maybe not all the teachers are amazing but Central isn't known as the school with the nicest teachers ever, it's known as the school with the smartest kids. If the teacher's aren't pushing you to do good, thats not their problem. It's yours because you are in Central because you know how to mtivate yourself,because you want to be successful. Good look to anyone applying! best school in philadelphia!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 21, 2010

Central is a very ethnically diverse school that teaches some of the brightest minds in the Philadelphia Public School system. Though the school is very big, the obivous camaraderie is so exceptional that the size of the school begins to diminish for kids that came from very small school environments. The children that attend Central are ones who maintained high standards in their former schools and have the desire to continue to do so, with aspirations of attending colleges and universities. The school also enforces that aside form academics, one should have a sense of community and desire to give back what they have been blessed with. Therefore community serviceis a requirement that is met with anticipation. The school also provides ample opportunites for students to be involved in service. I believe children at Central not only go away with an outstanding education that prepares them for college, but also prepares them for life beyond that. The diversity of the student body provides an opportunity for students to become knowledgeable and accepting of others and teaches them how they can work together to achieve much for themselves and for others in the world.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 6, 2010

I am a member of Central's 270th graduating class. Previous attending Central, I had attended private school. My elementary and middle school experiences at private school were very positive. Unfortunately, my time at Central High School has not been nearly as positive. In my three years at Central, I have had one teacher who I would consider on par with the standard of teacher I had encountered at my previous school. I have had many teachers who seem to simply not care about their students. I have found this to be a general theme at Central; the students are not the priority. The administration makes no attempt to help struggling students, they simply let them struggle. The fact that Central is considered to be one of the top schools in the city speaks to the sad state of the city's public education system.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 18, 2010

my daughter is part of the class of 271 and im so glad she attends one of the best schools in the city..she is growing into this beautiful you women and give thanks for the positive enviornment that Central provides. i love that is multi-cultral as well i give Central five stars!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 20, 2010

I graduated from the class of 267 from Central High School and I must say I never regretted it. I absolutely loved every single day I spent at school. Central made the transition from high school to college so much easier. When I look at my classmates that are struggling it makes me think to myself I'm glad I went to Central.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 7, 2010

I am a student at Central High School class of 270, and I think this is the best high school in Philadelphia. This school gives you the chance and opportunity to do what you want to do and pick the career you want in life. I love this school it's so diverse and has so many clubs and sports, there is always something to do. It makes you work very hard but in the end I guess it's all worth it. I love CHS and would recommend anyone who wants there high life to be a fun, cool and the alitimate best one come to our loving school!
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 22, 2009

this school is the best the curriculum is fantastic a lot of productive children will seek higher education and go to ivry league school i thank the staff and administration for being so concerned for our children thank you
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2009

Love this school as a place to learn and to encounter a vast array of good kids, but think its arts & music programs need to be dramatically expanded & integrated into the curriculum, which requires more funding, either public or private.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2009

this school has everything the students need to be succesful in life and provides lots of programs to get them interested in other things than being on the street.....ur children are safe at central high school


Posted September 17, 2009

Central High School consistently produces the best & the brightest students. Socially conscious young adults that will help shape our nation's future!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 24, 2009

This school really prepared me well for college. The classes at Central were hard at first, but I adapted and succeeded! It was worth it when I entered college and saw my classmates struggling while I knew how to properly prepare for class and get an A.
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 15, 2009

i belive that this is a good school and it shows children to prepare for college


Posted May 18, 2009

I think that central hight school is a good,eduaction school for smart kids to express their self
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 2, 2009

I'am a member the 269th graduating class at Central High, a member of the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. I must be honest, Central is a very difficult school and even more so in the IB program, there is no room for lazy people here. But for the dedicated, Central will be the mortar that builds the temple of success. The diversity, challenges, and rewards of those challenges are unparelled by almost any high-school in the world. Being at Central has changed my life, I'm able to interact with people of different ethnicities, social classes, etc., its so diverse yet we are unified by our common denominator of diligence and intellectuality. The high levels of work are going to prepare and benefit students for college (99% of graduates attend a four year college). I will never regret attending such a magnificent school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 15, 2009

Going to Central gave me what every HS should be able to do for its students, the opportunity to do whatever I wanted to do with my life, provided I worked hard enough to deserve it. A student at Central can literally, if they work hard enough, attend any college or university in America. There are enough AP classes to graduate from College more than a year early. The teaching and instruction in every area is excellent. I graduated in 07 and went on to college, but I strongly believe that, outside of the upper-level courses that are a part of my major, the courses I took at Central were better taught and more comprehensive.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 8, 2008

My daughter went to central high in north Philadelphia for two years and is now a sophomore at Nazareth academy high in northeast Philly. She attended Nazareth since she left central, although it is in a bad neighborhood central is listed one of the best schools in the Philadelphia inquirer, the Philadelphia daily news, and in the region! and it really does not matter what kind of neighborhood it is in because your child would be in a very safe and sanitary building. Central is also rated one of the best academic schools in the country! Nazareth is also a good school but not as good as central because what my daughter is learning this year is what the juniors are learning in central. my daughter only left central because we moved further away than we already where. In college my daughter will never regret going to central.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2008

Central is a fantastic school! It's a great experience and I loved my four years there. It feels more like our own little community rather than just a school and the lessons I learned there definitely helped me in college. In fact, college seems so much easier.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 31, 2008

I'm the parent of a freshman. After a bit of a transition, it's the end of the 1st semester, and I have to say, it's a terrific school. We looked around quite a bit, seeking the best possible solution, at all the private and other public schools, including those in the suburbs. The opportunities and help to take advantage of them are there. The diversity in the student body is there. The challenging courses are there. We couldn't be happier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 18, 2008

I am a freshman at central and I must say that this school is exceptional! It is extremely difficult but the education that I am getting is outstanding.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 10, 2008

Central high school is the best school ever. i would rate it an infinite out of 100. everyone is respectful, its its a great big community run by our president (and i mean president) , Mr. Sheldon Pavel. It is the only school in the US that can confer A bachelor of arts degree to its students. Oh central high, dear old central high...
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 30, 2008

great school!you receive great education and the teachers are amazing!the alumni and staff help the students with any problems they have.the school is very disciplined and safe.it truly is the best school in philadelphia!
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 18, 2008

As a parent who attended Central 248 and having my daughter attend Central 268 I am very proud of the progress she has made and the independance she has gained. This school is the best of the best.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 7, 2008

excellent school. amazing education and experience. would not trade it for naything.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 25, 2007

With absolutely no intent to sound pompus or be boastful, but I must say Central High School is by far the greatest institution in the country. The school and its legacy have been a stepping stone for students for decades and as a senior at the school, I know first hand of its amazing diversity and culture. Although the school's facilities may not be the best, alumni are striving more and more every year to make it a better place to learn. Some people may be skeptical when reading this review, however, it is imperative that you all understand my eagerness to talk about the place that has helped me grow and mature into a better student and human being. Parents, if your child is so blessed with the oppurtunity to attend CHS, support him/her with your praise and encourage them to step up and face new challenges everyday. CHS 267!
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 20, 2007

I feel the overall discipline and the selection of students to this shcool makes it great, and the dedication of the teachers, marvellous,
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2007

I feel sorry for some of the remarks made by some parents regarding their children,you should feel very lucky to have had the experience to have your children attend a great school such as Central. The amount of money and travel your kids would have to go through would be astronomical elsewhere. Although it is a great school, it cannot perform miracles your kids need to adjust to this college styled environment and it's not easy for some of them to do!! Do not blame the school for this, Central is a microcosm of life beyond high school and a great opportunity for students who realize the potential for success beyond college.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2007

I personally think that this school Central High School is the top school in the City of Philadelphia
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 20, 2007

One thing I find most advantageous about having attended Central HS is the school's rich diversity and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Few schools in Philadelphia, or elsewhere in America, have a student body as ethnically and socio-economically diverse as that which Central HS has maintained for decades. The diversity really enhances the learning environment, as reflected in the diversity of Central's foreign language curriculum--which offers a variety of non-traditional languages including Hebrew, Russian, and Chinese. I took Chinese all four years at Central, and continued studying the language at college. Eight years later and nearly fluent in Chinese, people are always surprised to learn that I am a Chinese-speaking Hispanic-American. When they hear I began learning Chinese at my high school they always say: 'Your high school offered Chinese? You must have went to a really good high school!'
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 13, 2007

I just graduated from central 266. 99% of my class is attending college. Its a great school and has prepared me well for Drexel. Just the reputation of Central alone opens a gateway to great things!
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 19, 2007

My son has just completed his Freshman year at Central High School. The growth that I see in him both verbally and interpersonally is very apparent. I am extremely pleased with Central High School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 16, 2007

I am a graduate of Central's class of 262(2003, for those not familiar with Central) and can't begin to describe how attending there both changed and enriched my life in countless ways. Central somehow combines rigorous & demanding academics with a fun and exciting social experience, which is almost impossible to find in a high school. It also educates a huge number of different nationalities, cultures, and even countries. And amazingly, everyone gets along! The teachers, classes, and the principal are amazing, as is the relationship between teachers and students, due to the mutual respect that exists between them. When you become part of a class at Central, you gain a family that will be a part of you for the rest of your life. As the school song says, 'Dear high, dear Central High, thy mem'ries never die'.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 28, 2007

My daughter graduated June 15, 2007, from Central High. If you have the opportunity to attend Central, take that chance. I have never been so proud of a collective group of individuals in my life. the Class of 266 was of the hook!!!! I was not only overwhelmed by my daughter's personal sucess, but I stayed on my feet through the entire graduation ceremony for each and every one of those amazing students. There were well over 25 million dollars in scholarships earned by these wonderful students of 266! My daughter received a Certificate of Distiguishment, among other awards,for scoring above Advanced in Math, Reading and Writing every year consecutively on her PSSA. She also scored an 1850 on her SAT. She would never had been able to achieve all of this without Central's assistance!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2007

Excellent scholastic record offers MG & AP courses, students able to take courses at neighboring LaSalle University. Has both a strong and active Alumni association and a Home and School association. The Alumni Association recently constructed a multi-million dollar library and research complex. Central's Home and School has pledged several thousand dollars to the school for computer, art and science supplies. Hold Annual Women's Career Day, and an Annual Career Day, offering the student body access to numerous Alumni who work in a field of interest to the students. Social Studies program on the electoral process brought the Mayoral Primary election candidates to the school for a forum broadcast statewide. Has a strong athletics department, defending league titles in Baseball and softball, Girls basketball has 93 straight wins in Public league competition and 6 consecutive league championships. Internationally acclaimed orchestra, traveling to Eastern Europe this summer. Drama society which holds annual productions.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted March 7, 2007

I would like to add a comment about the teacher quality at Central. I feel that people think that the teachers dont care about the students and that they dont pay attention to the student when this is very not true. The Central teachers are some of the finest teachers in the city. Many of these teachers could easily get a job at a higher paying school in the suburbs. Central students have no idea how lucky they are to have such talent at their disposal. I think that the reason that many Central students feel like the teachers dont pay attention to them is because Central teaches in a college-like fasion. Almost all of the teachers that I have spoken to warned me about this before hand and I completely agree with the method. It readies the students for their future. These students won't be babied in College.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2007

I agree with many of the previous postings, with one caveat. Central is an excellent choice if your son or daughter is already academically confident, highly-motivated and an excellent student or athlete. S/he will thrive at Central. My daughter---a senior--is finally achieving her potential in small and/or AP classes with good-to-great teachers. Her first three years were less successful and she struggled with academic, racial and social issues. Her teachers were not responsive and/or attentive (and some really just need to retire). If I had the choice, I would not choose Central for her again but would select a smaller, more supportive environment where she could develop relationships with her teachers earlier and have less distractions. There is also limited parental involvement, since students come from all over the city. I felt very dis-engaged from her high school process because of the school's location, size and geographic spread.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2007

Central's students serve as a big motivation to each other, and this is speaking from experience. Even when I look back I realized how much harder I work compared to previous years. The school is really diverse and though we have our own little groups, everyone is always welcome; nobody is left out. The opportunities here are really great, and some people just take it for granted. Get in Central if you can!! It's awesome
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 3, 2007

Central rocks! As a cross country and a track athlete and a captain of 2 clubs I was pleased with the many opportunities I was provided with in the high school. Of course my highlight was biomedical research program which will drive my future and gave me some money in the form of prestigious science fair awards. Academically, your typical yardstick measures: SAT's range from 900 to 1600, myself 1460; AP's go from 1 to 5, myself a recipient of numerous 5's. The class ranking is vicious and is so competitive that a difference between the top 40 people can be 0.1 points. Heck with all this I landed myself at UPENN and my buddies at every Ivy in the country and some who went to employment. But you need to discover these opportunities because no one will give them to you. Graduates are everywhere in the world.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted December 2, 2006

My son is a freshman at Central. As a parent, I am extremely pleased with the level and content of the instruction. I love the diversity of the school, for this will assist in the further development of his interpersonal skills. The teachers are very responsive, and the website is very informative. I am particularly proud of the student athletes at Central, for in addition to attending practice, they must have a higher GPA than the PIAA requires. With Central it is strictly academics first. We had options to attend most of the best schools in the area, but we choose Central, and I am so glad we did. Best wishes to '269.'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2006

As a parent of a 2004 Central grad, I can only say positive things about my son's experience there. It is an environment which will never be matched again for him in his lifetime. Of course, academically, it is superior, but what Central has that other private and public schools don't have is a very diverse student population with students from virtually all corners of the globe. These students are exceptional in so many ways that I cannot begin to list them. They learn the most from each other. This provides an education that cannot be obtained in suburbia. I am very happy that my son will take that with him throughout his life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2006

Central is an awesome school! I love it!! The teachers are great and so are the classes. Anyone would be lucky to come here.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 26, 2006

this school is really bad and is not safe. the teachers teach nothing
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2006

I'm a member of the 265th graduating class the latest products of a magnificent place (and i must add the best so far). If its the indise scoop you want on this place a senior or a leving senior would be the best person to ask. Central is many things to everybody but never the same thing to every one person. To me central was a home, a pratice grounds, but more inportantly central was my life. I loved that school i mean it was soo much fu and the teachers were great the cultural aspects were unbelievable and the education provided is unmatched. The most important thing i garnished from central after running the freshman orientation since sophmore year was the fact that life and oppirtunities are always present. And it was central that taught me to reach out and grab them.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted June 10, 2006

The best high school in Philadelphia. The academic program is top notch, the alumni and parents are both active and the administration is caring and stable. The music program is world class and there are literally more clubs than you can imagine.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted May 29, 2006

This is the absolute best public magnet school in Philadelphia. This is a diverse community where the students and staff share the common goal of learning. Excellent choice !
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2006

I have found that my experience at Central High school has been rewarding thus far. I am Honored that my daughter was accepted to go to this school and will have a top notch education
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2006

Amazing, this school is absoulutly outstanding. I have learned soo much, it is incredibale
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 22, 2006

This was an excellent high school to go to. The quality of the education and classes were so excellent. Unfortunately a lot of this is not realized until leaving Central and talking to other kids who went to other schools. Also the level and accessability of extracurriculars is amazing. Students are able to make their own group as long as they can find 4 students to join it, and find a teacher to sponser it. This allows the students to be in a group with other students with similar interests. Parent involvement is very high also. As an education major now, you realize exactly how much parents have to do with the success of their children. Without parental involvement Central would definitely not be the same. Keep up the good work good ole CHS! :) -Class of 262 (2003)
—Submitted by a former student


Posted February 1, 2006

This school has a top quality academic program. Also offers diverse activities. Good location. The percentage onf students going on to college is excellent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 2, 2006

Central High school is one of the best schools in the U.S. and the top one in pennsylvania. This school is very thought for students that are just coming in especially Freshmans. There is a test or quiz on every subject every day of the week. The students that attend Central high Also get homework everyday. The reason why this school is so tought is because it prepares you to go to college. The best Colleges from all over the nation come to Central to admit students to their schools. Princeton, Harvard, NYU, and PENN are among the colleges that come to our schools. Central high school isn't only the top school in Philadelphia but it also is the school that has all the sports you can think off and 85% of the students that attend Central are enrolled in an extra curricular activity.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 1, 2005

This wonderful school combines academic excellence with a diverse student and staff population and a large range of course offerings. Nine foreign languages, many AP course options, and academic offerings in art and music add to the atmosphere of learning. You will also find many extra curricular activities and staff that are invested in their students.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted October 11, 2005

The Greatest school ever! it has so many activities that its impossible for students to even think of being bored. It also very competitve highschool which is good cause it will prepare you for college.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted September 21, 2005

Simply stated, this is one of the best high school's in the country. Those who attend can get a top notch education at a public school ('free) price. I'm not sure why anyone who resides in Philadelphia would send their high schooler anywhere else. The location isn't the greatest but the education at this school is top notch and its history and influence in the Philly area are unmatched at any other local school.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted September 12, 2005

My daughter goes there and so far, she's loving it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 27, 2005

Central High School is a very good school. All my sisters and brothers have attended here. One is still attending Central and I have already graduated. The academic programs are wonderful becuase there are programs for the gifted, the more advanced and the regular learners. They provide assistance with homework if the student needs or wants it. Central is extremely diverse and offer a great variety of clubs and sports for students to join.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 30, 2005

Central High is one of the best school this state has seen in a long while. It's a great learning institution that provides students with many long term oppurtunities for college.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 18, 2005

Central is very competitive. Not all of the classes are top-quality, but many are, and the students stimulate one another. Although there is a great deal of ethnic and economic diversity, the school feels safe and the kids are generally glad to be there and focused on having a positive experience. Cliques and the like are relatively unimportant; kids cross the boundaries all the time. There is an impressive culture of math/science research, and students focused in that way have many opportunities to do first-rate work on an extra-curricular basis. The language programs are spotty. Faculty and administration do a great job of personal focus on students, even though the school is very large. Parent involvement is limited, but less necessary than at some other places because the kids are self-motivating, and the school encourages them to take responsibility for themselves. Top students go to top colleges.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2005

Central High School is a great school. I learned a lot in the classrooms, but also out of them from the teachers, administration, and other students. Central exposes students to things that will be very helpful in the future.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted February 4, 2005

The quest for academic excellence is best obtained at CHS. CHS has continully churned out high achieving graduates from average joes.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted November 23, 2004

Hello. I am a member of the 266 class of central high school. When i first came to central i didn't know what i was getting myself into. The school was bigger and there were a lot more people in my one class then in my whole middle school. Now that i am a sophomore in central i am part of the school. I am a member of the varsity soccer team and the varsity volleyball team. Central is a great school and everyone should go there. Central's sports are so outstanding! i love being at central. The only thing that i do mind is the teachers there. Some of them are great teachers and know what they are doing but others are just there by luck i think. I believe that the teachers at central should be more highly picked. But besides that i love it!
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 9, 2004

I am a 2002 graduate of Central (261) and I want to say that this school truly is exceptional. I say this with a more knowledgeable perspective, as I am now a junior Elementary Education/Child Development major at Spelman College. All day I learn about what it means to be a good teacher, a change agent, a leader and an advocate for students. I spend my days not only in the classroom as a student at Spelman, but I visit classrooms in Atlanta Schools as an observer and teacher's aide. I have gained knowledge about what makes a school and its curriculum responsive, how schools operate to prepare students for the life. With this mindsight, I can truly say that Central is an elite school; my experiences there and new knowledge about the ways of schools tell me so. I spend all day learning about what I experienced at Central.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 17, 2004

Central is one of the best schools in Philadelphia. As a graduate of 261, Central has broadened my horizons in ways previously unimaginable. My knock on Central is my sincere feeling that certain people were encouraged to do more than others. Some of my peers were told to achieve Ivy League, Honor Roll grades, others with just as much talent were told they were 'doing well' with B/C work. Granted, certain people have different strengths and weaknesses, and for some, a B might be an accomplishment. However, I know that I was capable of A+ work, having secured all As coming into Central, and a 1340 SAT score. Yet on the whole, many teachers were content with letting me underachieve. I am now an A student again at HBCU. I can't say Central didn't prepare me somewhat. I just think that I would be at an Ivy with better counseling.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted July 3, 2004

I am currently a 12th grader at Central high, and I would have to say that this is one of the best schools in Philadelphia. The teaching is excellent and the students are very competitive. (The top-notch students, at least. Unfortunately a good part of the current pool of students does not do justice to the school's record of excellence.) The classes are taught by extremely qualified teachers and every student has the opportunity to get involved in a multitude of extracurricular activities. The building is in desperate condition and during the winter one can risk freezing to death when the heaters malfunction, but besides that, I would not change my school for anywhere else in the city. The academic excellence of this school is shown by its students: in the 2004 graduating class 31 students got into Ivy League colleges: Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Yale and Upenn. Great school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 30, 2004

I graduated from Central High in 2003 and now attend the University of Pennsylvania (along with 30 other Central students). Central High could not have made me happier. The school is a wonderful combination of spirited students, dedicated administration, and enthusiastic teachers. Central really is as good as you make it: Although all classes are very good, I highly recommend honors classes, which are filled with students and teachers who particularly love learning from one another. Central has great extracurricular activities and a very welcoming atmosphere.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted September 28, 2003

Amazing school. Diversity abounds and the education is absolutely first rate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 26, 2003

It was a very good school educationally speaking, but alot of the students are very rude to the teachers, which takes away from the class experience.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 25, 2003

This is a really good and friendly school it has a very good academic grades. To top it all of it's a really good environment for students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2003

This school's Alumni association of 20,000 members keeps it very well funded. Also, the music program (specifically the orchestra) is incredible, having made five trips abroad and planning a sixth. Also, any year in which their sports teams don't win 5 or more titles would be a surprise.


Posted August 22, 2003

As a former and reccent graduate I must say that this school is the best overall school in the city, as well as one in the entire country. Not only does your child get a well rounded education, they are given the knowledge of various areas in which they are able to choose from and apply it to their life quite easily. As far as extracurricular activities, there is always something going on everyday at Central and it is hard not to get involved. Socially, Central is in a league of its own. This is because it is hard to find a school, whether elementary, middle, high or above, where so many different people from so many different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, etc. Like I said before, this school is in a league of its own.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 19, 2003

I'm not a parent, but I did just graduate from Central, 262 (class of 2003)! I just wanted to say how amazing this school is for thousands of different reasons and how grateful I am for the person that Central has helped shape me into today.
—Submitted by a former 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

Math

The state average for Math was 60% in 2012.

620 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
98%

2009

 
 
98%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

620 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
98%

2009

 
 
98%
Science

The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

606 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
84%

2009

 
 
82%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

607 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
98%

2009

 
 
100%
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

Math

All Students97%
Female97%
Male98%
Black94%
Asian100%
Hispanic95%
Multi-ethnic92%
White99%
Economically disadvantaged98%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students97%
Female98%
Male95%
Black97%
Asian98%
Hispanic93%
Multi-ethnic92%
White97%
Economically disadvantaged96%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students73%
Female70%
Male77%
Black63%
Asian76%
Hispanic61%
Multi-ethnic69%
White86%
Economically disadvantaged71%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students100%
Female99%
Male100%
Black99%
Asian100%
Hispanic100%
Multi-ethnic100%
White100%
Economically disadvantaged99%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
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 33% 15%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 31% 3%
White 27% 71%
Hispanic 8% 9%
Two or more races 3% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students School social worker/counselors(s)
College counselor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Visual arts
  • Architecture

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Kitchen
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school

Programs

Foreign languages taught
  • American sign language
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • College counselor(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • Passes/tokens for public transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Cheerleading
  • Football
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Photography
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Volunteer in the classroom
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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1700 West Olney Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19141
Phone: (215) 276-5262

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