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GreatSchools Rating

Penn Hills Senior High School

Public | 9-12

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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19 reviews of this school


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Posted May 23, 2014

As a parent I find that our school has a lot to offer students. We have a wonderful music/theatre department, art department that offers ceramics and digital photography, forensics and anatomy classes the list goes on as to the experiences our students receive. The new building is state of the art but what's really important is our teachers. We have some of the most dedicated group of teachers around. Penn Hills pride is alive and well in our district!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 11, 2014

I find it amazing that the diversity listed for this school makes a difference. So what if 57% are black, a good student is a good student, good teachers are good teachers and to redline our district because of the percentage of minorities is atrocious. Penn Hills is a great place to grow up, be educated in and live. See for yourself before believing the discriminatory numbers meant to scare.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2013

I was a Class of 1980 student here... I liked the Teachers, and the Admin. Computers were just starting to be taught at the time. I think we had an old IBM model 360 that used punch cards. Think of it, as the SST/Concord & 747 were designed by engineers using the IBM-360 ! No Windows 7 & fancy GUI's... Everything else was pretty much the same. There was one thing very seriously different, and if you are a present day student, and want to do better, then take heed. G.M.O. foods, and pesticides are destroying your generations minds. That is what is primarily responsible for all the violent / apathetic behavior you see around you in school. In my day this was just starting to effect young adults like you. Organic foods were not yet available, and there was not a way to avoid all the poisons that are now in mainstream processed foods. If you can get your parents to start eating organic non-GMO foods, you will get sick less, and your brain will get more lucid as the poisons work out of your body. I hope that some of you will start a movement at P.H. Senior High School to educate students who are having a tough time, but can not figure out why. This might save all your educations !!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 15, 2011

Penn Hills is not as bad as many who go here want to make it appear. The education I've recieved here is very high intensity and full of options for every student. Our issue is not in the education system here as much as it is in the behavior of the students. Many would rather do anything then be in school, which takes away from classes and gives the illusion the education system is bad. Every teacher I have had here in the past 12 years has been informative and curteous. So please don't blame the school, blame the subgroup of students who choose to not take these tests seriously for our reputation.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 15, 2010

I currently attend the High School. I personally think I am getting a good education. I have the opportunity to particiapte in many Advanced Placement classes and after school activities. The majority of my teachers are there to help me, and I enjoy my interactions with them. I have made a great many friends here. I am sorry to see people who don't attend the school put it down..
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 10, 2008

Drastically under performing school. School board needs renovated. Some teachers are much worse than others but the collection is very unimpressive. The school is actually much smaller than it appears on paper. Not many people actually do work. It is not just the classes. Guidance, teachers, no one is really there to make you believe that you have legitimate options. The school has much lower aspirations for their students and it shows.


Posted January 25, 2007

Penn Hills is a wonderful, diverse area. We have our problems, and they do show through in the school. However, the students who want to excel are highly encouraged and receive a quality education. Work with the teachers, they'll be happy to work you.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 25, 2007

Excelling in horrible leadership, an education becomes hard to get when it is disrupted by idiotic security practices and constant policy change that never remains enforced for longer than a few weeks. The school has a handful of dedicated teachers that are educated in their field. The management remains a joke because of micro management and unresolved conflicts after taking them to the principal. The view of administration is viewed just as bad by the teachers. Fights are a common occurrence, most likely at least one a month. Pssa failure has caused the school to constantly provide testing for failures which cuts out of classroom time. District is unstable and on the brink of failure. If you can accept a poor education, then it can possibly be sufficed by an assortment of after school actives which are normally ran by parent involvement leading to their excellence.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 11, 2007

I currently attend penn hills high. I have to say it is much better than the middle school, But many of the teachers are new and unexperienced, or just don't care. I am not getting a quality education. The school is also very dirty. There is too many issues, aka fights.
—Submitted by a student


Posted December 15, 2006

I actually graduated from Penn Hills Sr. High in 2005 and yes the school is very diverse but I loved it. I was on the Varsity Cheerleading squad and I am African American and was not one of the wrong people?as stated in another comment. I now am a sophomore at Harvard with a 3.8 GPA. I was also accepted to Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Duke, and UNC at Chapel Hill. So I would defiantly recommend this school to any parent.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted April 25, 2006

I graduated from Penn Hills in 1993, my sister in 1987, my mother, aunts, and uncles all went to PHHHS. Therefore, I couldn't have imagined sending my kids anywhere else, but the reality is Penn Hills is not what it once was..not even close. The teachers are under qualified and the principles are lax.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2006

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at PHHS. My daughter is involved in the chorus and theatre programs and really loves it all. There are a group of caring parents that do everything from fundraise to 'you name it' for these programs, and it really shows. PHHS is more than just football! It's arts, theatre, chorus...even dance. It's all there, just seek it out. Academically, I've been able to speak with most teachers via email when necessary. The counselors are always willing to let you know where you child stands with simply a phone call. Extra help is almost always available after school for the students who want/need it. I wish more of these good things were printed about PHHS..it would give more parents peace of mind...at least the ones that care.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2006

Penn Hills High is a good school, they have many good teachers,they have a lot of extracurricular activties but getting on those teams or shows can be a problem at times, I certainly feel their is a lot of favortism in that school and I don't think they give each child a chance, that could be because there are too many children in the school. There a many good teachers, my daughter graduated with honors and my son is on honor roll, I can't say enough about the teachers they have helped my children in a lot of ways, some more than others. I guess parent involvement could be better, but with both parents having to work these days that can be hard. I wish I could devote more time as I did when my kids were younger.There is still need for improvement in all areas but that will take time.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 26, 2005

I love Penn Hills. Having raised three kids in the district, I think that the quality of teaching, the opportunities for extracurricular activities and the overall experience has been good for my children. It is a district that is racially and economically, and culturally diverse. I still have a 10th grader in the district. My other two have academic scholarships to both a public and private college. My daughter recieved remdial reading help when needed and also advanced placement courses. I have relatives who teach in other districts and comment that the curriculum is superior. Even after my last child goes on to college I will continue to live in Penn Hills. It is affordable, close to the Pittsburgh, and unpretentious.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 29, 2005

i personally dont feel that penn hills has a good school district. i was attending there and it was almost impossible to recieve a good eduction. a good majority of teachers dont really put any effort into teaching their classes.there is always fight. i now attend gateway and the school is so much diferrent. not as many fights,only a few security guards,and teachers put there heart into. i personally wouldnt suggest sending any students to penn hills.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 29, 2005

this school is too diverse and they dont put enough into educating the students.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 26, 2004

Two of my children have been educated in the Penn Hill School District and I am very pleased with the education they have received. They have performed well on standardized tests. The resources within the District, i.e. computer labs, television studio, music studios, athletic facilities, are excellent. Both of my children participated in the marching band and the first comments are inconsistent with my experience. In fact the entire band and visual ensemble were outfitted with new uniforms in 2003! As far as the 'wrong types of people' there are children who misbehave in every school district. Unfortunately, diverse schools such as Penn Hills seem to get all of the attention, while schools such as Mt. Lebanon and Fox Chapel are able to hide their problems. I have friends across every socio-economic level, and they are all concerned about discipline in the schools. This is not unique to Penn Hills.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2004

I agree with the first person here. A lot of the town on welfare says a lot about the money that the district has at its disposal. Furthermore, there are a lot of discipline problems. There are too many of the 'wrong kind of people' at Penn Hills, if you know what I mean. The school district is just on a never ending ride down hill. I do not recommend anyone moving their child into the Penn Hills School District. It's not worth it. There are plenty of other districts around that have all of 'the 'right' kind of people.'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2004

Penn Hills is the second largest district in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and yet, we never seem to have money for anything. Our high school looks the same as it did when my parents went here. We do have good programs, but everything in this schools is cheap. I'm in the the marching band and the funds directed toward the music program is a disgrace. We had to borrow a Tuba from another band at several of our football games. Although, when a third of the town is on welfare, tax money is low. Other than that, there are drugs here just like anywhere else, and fights quite often. If you are very, very smart, you can get an education, but if you're anything less, you have a harder time getting along in this schools compared to other schools.
—Submitted by a 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.

323 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
40%

2011

 
 
44%

2010

 
 
52%

2009

 
 
42%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

322 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
55%

2011

 
 
55%

2010

 
 
62%

2009

 
 
56%
Science

The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

238 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
20%

2011

 
 
29%

2010

 
 
30%

2009

 
 
24%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

301 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
77%

2009

 
 
65%
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 Students40%
Female36%
Male45%
Black27%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White59%
Economically disadvantaged24%
Students with disabilities (IEP)9%
English language learnersn/a

Reading

All Students55%
Female57%
Male52%
Black43%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White73%
Economically disadvantaged43%
Students with disabilities (IEP)20%
English language learnersn/a

Science

All Students20%
Female15%
Male25%
Black7%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White39%
Economically disadvantaged8%
Students with disabilities (IEP)11%
English language learnersn/a

Writing

All Students77%
Female82%
Male72%
Black71%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Multi-ethnicn/a
White86%
Economically disadvantaged65%
Students with disabilities (IEP)54%
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 59% 15%
White 38% 71%
Two or more races 2% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Hispanic 0% 9%
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 »

This school has not yet provided program information.


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12200 Garland Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Phone: (412) 793-7000

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