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GreatSchools Rating

Penn Alexander School

Public | PK-8 | 29 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

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21 reviews of this school


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Posted November 24, 2013

What school does house searches to conform if someone lives in the neighborhood? I feel like they only do that to the foreign families. my daughter attended Pa since the 6th grade.. Half the kids who went there didn't even live in the area. Finally I had enough and I took her to Masterman. I felt racism within the administration at Penn Alexander. It's sad because nothing has changed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

My fifth grader has attended the Penn Alexander School since he was in kindergarten and I could not be more pleased. The leadership, quality of instruction and facility are all top notch and all the school's stakeholders take great pride in ensuring that things stay that way. Parents are not only involved but welcome at the school. Even in the face of the current District-wide funding crisis, the staff is doing yeomen's work by wearing several hats at once to keep things operating as smoothly as possible for the students. I am proud to be a part of this school community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 9, 2011

I've been a student @ penn alexander for 5 years. There were extremely good academics, and activities. Also there were good teachers, and good gym, library, and computer science. Although, one down fall some of the teachers were strict, but that changed. The principal was extremely good, caring about her students, and you knew not to disrespect her. I respect this school.


Posted March 30, 2011

To all the people who keep saying that Penn Alexander has no extracurriculars, you are incorrect. As a student at PAS I am a member of National Academic League, Carver Science Fair, the School Play, Yearbook Staff and the School Newspaper. Most of my friends play instruments and there are many clubs. To name a few, we have chess club, women's history club, Student Council, Spanish, reading olympics and many more. The school is amazing and challenges me everyday but not to an excruciatingly high level. Oh, and to the person who said that Masterman is a better option past fourth grade? I have multiple friends who left for Masterman or private school in 4th or 5th grade and they all want to come back to the amazing program at PAS because they hate Masterman. On a final note, the principal isn't as horrible as everyone seems to putting her out to be. She seems tough and unkind at first but when you get older you see that she just genuinely cares about her students.


Posted March 21, 2011

to the parent who wrote there is no music program to speak of: Penn Alexander has an outstanding music program with all orchestra instruments being taught, plus guitar, middle eastern percussion. Multiple performing opportunities for all!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted January 26, 2011

I don't like Penn Alexander past the 4th grade honestly. Some of the teachers in 5th grade aren't particulary good. Some of the middle school teachers aren't good either. The school has no art program, no language, and if a student were to go from there to high school, they would need help, to do well in high school, i recomend to apply to JR Masterman High School in the fourth grade to try and leave by 5th, becuase Masterman will get you on a better track.


Posted December 13, 2010

PA hardly warrants the $100k premium placed on homes in its catchment. It has no arts, music program or extracurricular activities to speak of, and will have you incessantly fund raising under the guise there's some great plight to provide these benefits to students. Schools downtown afford students an array of enrichment programs and activities and are on par with PA academically (McCall, Meredith and Greenfield are exceptional options). Communication with PA is also suspect. No e-mail made available for its principal or teachers. Our son s teacher told us she doesn t really use it much. PA s failure to meet our child s special needs led us to disenroll him from the school. If applicable to your child, be diligent in confirming that the school is meeting the obligations of his IEP. Our son s therapist was MIA until a week before Thanksgiving. The positives: A beautiful facility, clean and safe. It also boasts one of the most diversified student bodies of any in the city. These kids are much lauded, and rightfully so, for academic excellence, happy and highly motivated. Their parents are, likewise, extremely proactive and committed, an amicable bunch overall.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 23, 2010

I am a student who was in the first graduating 8th grade class. I don't know how much Penn Alexander has changed in the past few years but when I was there it was not strong academically at all. I was not challenged in the slightest and easily scored straight A's. I did not feel prepped for high school and initially did not have a smooth transition into the 9th grade. There were not many extra curriculars then and according to recent comments Penn Alexander still lacks them. My favorite teacher at the time thankfully still works there but I still see the names of a few teachers that did little to no good. Yes the school looks very pretty but is that what is most important? I hope Penn Alexander changes for the better sooner rather than later.


Posted October 18, 2010

Great Administration, staff, parents and children.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 14, 2010

Love, love, LOVE this school. It's a wonderful facility and teachers that really encourage the kids to be successful and happy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2010

Best middle school in the city. Expects high performance from all students and test scores reflect it. Fantastic staff and amazing physical plant.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 13, 2010

We are a multicultural school that strives to build a successful community both inside and outside the school environment.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 13, 2010

Great faculty, great kids, great parents, small classes. Highly diverse in cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and interests. This school has a wonderful ability to help each student do his or her best. Kids from this school go to the best high schools in the city.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 14, 2009

Penn alexander has great teachers, and it is a beautiful renovated building. The weakness of this school i think is the lack of art, foreign language and music in the school. In addition there are no extra curricular activities for the children. Thre is one play once a year. Many more chhildren audition that can be accepted and this leaves many young children who would like a chance to express themselves feeling left out and not good enough. Thre are no sports teams and no opportunities for joining scouts.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2008

As a previous Philadelphia Public School student and now as a parent of students at PAS, I am thrilled with the quality of teaching and the facilities provided by PAS. The faculty and staff are dedicated and provides interesting projects and programs. While the school is not perfect (it really needs a language and arts program), my kids are always happy to go to school and I am pleased with their intellectual prowess. Will you get everything at PAS that you can get at a Private School? Probably not. However, I believe the benefits of being in a diverse economic, social, and ethnic environment has some positive lessons that you may not find in a private school environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2008

Amazing school learning program! Fantastic diversity with the students and the staff
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 24, 2008

The teachers are involved in the education of each and every child. However, the principal is involved in very trivial affairs. She has a childlike mentality when dealing with the children. It's almost as if she stoops down to their level. This is a good school, but needs new leadership.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 5, 2007

High quality education program, with a staff and administration that is student focused. There are numerous activities for my children to be a part of, some provided by school staff, and many others through neighborhood organizations. Music programs, science programs, writing and technology programs are just a few of the extra curricular activities. Parents are involved in classroom volunteering as well as with special programs like the harvest festival, and Broadway musical program. The principal is very accessible and with the kids in the yard in the morning and at dismissal and knows every child by name.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2007

My son is in 3rd grade a PAS. This is our first year in the school and overall we've had a very positive experience. It's an excellent public school. My one issue is the frequency and quality of communication. We were at private school for pk-2 and there was constant communication from the school and his teachers. We just don't get the same level of communication from PAS. There is a high level of parental involvement in the school and the home and school association. I've been very impressed with the teachers. The school facility is beautiful. Penn's committment to the school allows for many additional resources that are not present in most public schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2006

The teachers are good and there is a good amount of parent involvement. Unfortunately the school administration is unfriendly and somewhat disorganized. There are some very good programs available during school and after 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.
Math

The state average for Math was 80% in 2012.

80 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
92%

2009

 
 
89%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 74% in 2012.

80 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
86%
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

The state average for Math was 83% in 2012.

59 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
90%

2009

 
 
95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2012.

59 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
82%

2010

 
 
87%

2009

 
 
87%
Science

The state average for Science was 82% in 2012.

59 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
94%

2009

 
 
96%
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

The state average for Math was 73% in 2012.

58 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
90%

2009

 
 
100%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 65% in 2012.

57 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
79%

2009

 
 
97%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 64% in 2012.

58 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
95%
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

The state average for Math was 77% in 2012.

49 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
80%

2009

 
 
67%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 69% in 2012.

49 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
83%

2009

 
 
67%
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

The state average for Math was 80% in 2012.

46 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
74%

2009

 
 
76%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 76% in 2012.

46 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
78%

2009

 
 
80%
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

The state average for Math was 76% in 2012.

33 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
82%

2009

 
 
78%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2012.

33 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
93%

2009

 
 
94%
Science

The state average for Science was 60% in 2012.

34 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
75%

2009

 
 
76%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 73% in 2012.

33 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
91%

2009

 
 
89%
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 Students91%
Female90%
Male92%
Black79%
Asian100%
Hispanic82%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White96%
Economically disadvantaged91%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students94%
Female95%
Male92%
Black84%
Asian100%
Hispanic91%
Multi-ethnicn/a
White97%
Economically disadvantaged94%
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

Math

All Students92%
Female93%
Male90%
Black85%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students85%
Female93%
Male77%
Black75%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White91%
Economically disadvantaged85%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students97%
Female97%
Male97%
Black90%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged97%
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

Math

All Students83%
Female93%
Male72%
Black72%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White93%
Economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students79%
Female86%
Male71%
Black69%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged79%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students86%
Female97%
Male76%
Black79%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White93%
Economically disadvantaged86%
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

Math

All Students96%
Female100%
Male91%
Black91%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged96%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students88%
Female100%
Male73%
Black78%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged88%
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

Math

All Students94%
Female91%
Male96%
Black89%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged94%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students94%
Female95%
Male92%
Black95%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White100%
Economically disadvantaged94%
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

Math

All Students91%
Female79%
Male100%
Black81%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged91%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students97%
Female100%
Male95%
Black94%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged97%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students85%
Female80%
Male90%
Black75%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged85%
Students with disabilities (IEP)n/a
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students97%
Female93%
Male100%
Black100%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantaged97%
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
White 34% 71%
Black 33% 15%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 15% 3%
Two or more races 9% 2%
Hispanic 7% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
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4209 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 823-5465

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