We have had kids at The Philadelphia School for 9 years and couldn't be happier. Our children are challenged to be their best selves, academically and socially. The teachers are extremely invested in every child, and we are continually impressed by how well everyone (administrators, teachers, staff) know our children. The progressive curriculum encourages children to think and learn in a way that is much deeper than memorizing facts. The homework is thoughtful and project-based - we never feel like they are wasting time just "doing." This school is a gem-I wish I'd had the opportunity to go here!
We couldn't be happier with The Philadelphia School. The teachers nurture and challenge our kids. Teachers and administrators are responsive and collaborative when parents have questions. It's a warm and inclusive environment, and we feel so thankful for this resource in the city.
We are in our 11th year at TPS and have three children there. We find it to be an exceptional place with innovative, project based learning, devoted and talented teachers and staff and a community of parents that are unique, fun and interesting. Perhaps the best evidence of the value of a TPS education is the fact that my daughter, now in 8th grade and applying to high schools, has been accepted to all the schools she applied to. In fact, many of the people we met during our high school visits commented on how much they like kids from TPS. They describe them as being articulate, enthusiastic learners and an asset to the high schools they attend.
My children have been at TPS since preschool and this is currently our 7th year there. We love TPS, it is truly a home away from home. My kids feel safe, nurtured and part of a community. We chose TPS for it's progressive curriculum, environmental studies program (city kids explore and learn about nature weekly and have class outside in a beautiful, wooded , protected park on the outskirts of center city). The Spanish, Art, Music, Technology and PE programs help to round out the vibrant academics. TPS kids are talented writers, math geeks, book worms, critical thinkers, problem solvers, friendly, amazing kids. The teachers and staff are talented, intelligent, available, and truly know and care about your child. TPS also has an involved parent community. Monthly meetings, parent /support groups, committee work, volunteer efforts, or just spending time in your child's classroom. Parents are always welcome at the school.
For the money we are spending, we would like to see what our child is actually learning via homework, sending art/classroom projects, reading/writing samples, etc. home each week. Grandpa laughs whenever he sees how my child comes home each day with an empty backpack ("What does he carry in there?" "Nothing, his lunchbox.") We get a brief summary written by the teacher each Friday online but it speaks to the entire class in a newsletter format. The school also focuses a lot on the social development of the child, which is great, but the minute they see your child not wanting to participate in a physical or sport themed game at recess, they sound an alarm and tell you there's a problem. Maybe some kids don't like baseball and would prefer to build with legos? I fail to see an issue, but it's a HUGE issue to the school. Academics might be better at a smaller school, but it makes it that much harder for a child with different interests to make good friends. I don't feel TPS really fosters the individual, they turn it into a problem and single you out if your child is not "cookie cutter." We are hoping to be at different school next year.
Kids are not taught respect, humility, or kindness. Lots of bullying (psychological) which the school deals with very badly or not at all. Kind of a survival of the fittest attitude for social stuff. Academics of course really good though sometimes too unstructured, but social environment not good even at younger ages.
This school initially seemed like a lovely place and the teachers are in fact quite good. However, it suffers from a huge degree of arrogance, smugness even. The super rich have a big influence -- parent get togethers aren't potlucks but $40.00 at the door per person events with fancy catering and booze (and those aren't school fund raiders). The school has brains but lacks heart and soul. Progressive teaching environment works well for middle of the road kids, but can feel chaotic or even boring for others. Better than some other center city options, but some humility and warmth would be nice.
Excellent school. My son loves it! He has learned so much in only few weeks. The entire team is just so professional that I have not words. Each child is different and unique, the teachers confidently learns each student needs and guide them in the right direction. The thinking process is stimulated and creativity is #1. Overall we are confident that made the best choice for our son.