SLA is a wonderful community in a lot of ways, from the top down. Both the current and founding principal care deeply about supporting the staff, and creating an environment where everyone can succeed. The principals know every kid and their interest, and are always willing to take time out of their day to talk to students. Most teachers really enjoy their job and go the extra mile by staying after school. The partnership with the Franklin is also incredible as it's afforded me many many opportunities. However, college counseling at SLA is abysmal. As a magnet school, many students continue their studies at elite colleges and those are the only kids the counselor cares about. She's rude, disrespectful, and discouraging. She refuses to send transcripts to certain colleges for certain kids. SLA is great, the advisory system is supportive, however, unless you're going to Harvard, plan on very little support in the college process.
This school has helped mold me into the person I am today. I am pursuing my education at film school and I couldn't thank SLA enough. There are so many awesome things to say about my experience about SLA (I even made a feature-length documentary about my class going through four years here). The teachers are wonderful parent-like mentors, the students are very friendly and unique, and the learning experience you get at SLA is completely different than other public schools. SLA helps you find your path and find your own learning. Even thought I already graduated, I will continue to support SLA as a committed alum.
The food is the last thing you need to worry about. Over time, the quality of students have gone down and the teachers who did exceedingly well left. There are no standards as to how well you need to behave. There are no metal detectors, which make weapons easy to sneak in. The staff is wonderful, especially the officer, lunch ladies, and even the janitor. However the name of the school is slightly misleading, science is not the schools strong suit, and the students only use lab coats for visitors. It's as if the school puts on a show and when the visitors leave its all back to normal. The students have no discipline, and are essentially allowed to do whatever they want such as skipping class. From my observation I feel bad for the workers to are responsible for cleanup, because the school is constantly dirty, and students purposely litter the lunchroom and the halls. Hopefully the quality of people accepted will improve.
From the principal to the security staff, they were all great. They are not just great educators, they are caring people. They truly have the students best interest at heart. They are not push overs and they keep the parents abreast of what is going on with the students. Whenever, I needed to meet with the teacher to discuss what ever the issue was, they were always accommodating. From day one to graduation, I felt as though my child received the best education in a public school setting. I did not need to send her to a private school for the well rounded education she received. Thank you, Science Leadership Academy.
You always hear about how Philadelphia schools care more about the money than the kids; how the teachers consider their positions as just a job rather than an opportunity to help a student grow. This school is in every way, shape and form not your typical Philadelphia public school. I am a 2011 graduate from Science Leadership Academy (SLA) and this is the school to be if you want your child, or you to feel accepted as an individual. Even after you graduate, you can still feel the connection you have with the school. I personally feel a connection with this school, probably even more since I graduated. My father passed right after I graduated high school and at the funeral, while walking down the isle, it was Mr. Lehmann who pulled me in for a well needed hug, saying that everything would be okay. Now, I'm not sure how it is at other high schools, but for him to have made time to come to such an important event really made a difference and impacted my thoughts in a whole new way on what it means to be part of the SLA community. Being part of SLA is being part of a family.
My daughter is a tenth grader and loves her school. This school is doing amazing things academically. If your child is selected, you will be part of a unique learning community that forces children to think for themselves and encourages independence. Note: Please do not give a negative rating to a school that your child does not currently attend based on what you believe and not the actual facts. Reserve your reviews for the schools your child actually attends. I don't review products I haven't purchased, neither should you. Thanks.