Top High Schools in Philadelphia

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Top High Schools in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the best cities to study in for various reasons. It is one of the most welcoming and diverse cities in the whole US. It is easy to move around the city through public transport or by bike which is a great advantage for students. Philly is just a short train or bus ride away from some of the world’s best cities like New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. The city has a plethora of options to start a new career or pursue your education while soaking up student life in all its glory.  During winters, the city has ice skating, hot chocolate at the winter feast, or Christmas shopping at the village. The city is home to people from all walks of life and from different parts of the world. The exposure you get in this city can do wonders for your career.

We have compiled a list of the best high schools in Philadelphia for you to choose from.

Julia R. Masterman Secondary School

Masterman is one of the best schools in the city. It has its faults, but for a public school in Philadelphia, it offers challenging and captivating classes, excellent faculty, and great relationships between students. If you thrive in competitive environments, this is a good place for you. The school is known for healthy competition among the students without pulling each other down. Because the student body is so small, students have better opportunities to connect with their teachers and build constructive resources to help them in the future. There is also a genuine appreciation for learning here: most students take school seriously, which fosters a great learning environment for people who like school. Students here are uniquely independent and fierce advocates of their own opinions- the student’s voices are always loud, if not heard.

Founded In: 1958
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Ranking: 1
Contact: +1 215-400-7580
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Top High Schools in Philadelphia

Downingtown STEM Academy

The STEM is incredibly diverse and very different from the other schools in the area. The quality of education is really outstanding. The people and teachers are usually great and provide a rich academic experience. The events like Powerderpuff, Homecoming, Pi Day, Camathon, and Prom are really fun and help students to soak in the high school experience. Although the school is small, students get along really well. Students are often very helpful and work well together as a team encouraging each other. Also, many of the teachers at STEM are very understanding and treat their students with respect, which helps to make STEM such a great experience. Since the students are treated with respect and trust, they have a lot of freedom in the school and makes it more relaxed – even in an environment that can sometimes be very stressful or competitive. It is really easy to make friends and find events that you’re interested in because there are so many clubs. The school is very project-based and it’s a great collaborative environment.

Founded In: 1958
Location: Downingtown, PA
Ranking: 2
Contact: +1 610-269-846
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Top High Schools in Philadelphia

Charter School of Wilmington

Charter School is one of the most sought-after schools in the state. The school definitely accomplishes its goal of making students ready for college academically and mentally. Students develop the skills to learn and study on their own as well as work in a group. The teachers have ups and downs, but overall, the faculty are a wonderful group of people, and students can walk up to every single one in the halls to ask questions. Though not incredibly diverse, the school does have a number of groups and clubs that uplift these voices, as well as many meetings throughout the year to learn about diversity and inclusion. The canteen staff is very nice people, and the quality of food is similar to that of the rest of the district. The facility is kind of small on its own, but with the connections to Cab Calloway School, it opens the normal science math school to have ways to enter into the world of music and art. Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth the application, but be prepared to work hard and don’t be afraid to make new friends!

Founded In: 1996
Location: Wilmington, DE 
Ranking: 3
Contact: +1 302-651-2727
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Newark Charter School

NCS has many great qualities to it. Their sports teams were great for every student because everyone was driven and willing to help one another. If sports were not your thing there were plenty of clubs and extracurriculars to get involved in, from Chess club to Guitar club to Mock Trial. It is a smaller school and you most likely will go through high school with the same people, but this means that you will be part of a tight-knit group, everyone knows each other, and it is extremely diverse. NCS also has some of the best teachers and coaches around. The rigorous curriculum and passionate teachers prepare everyone for the next step in life. The school is also very academically focused and emphasizes creative and efficient learning.

Founded In: 2001
Location: Newark, DE
Ranking: 4
Contact: +1 302-369-2001
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Central High School

Central High School, in terms of learning environments, is absolutely wonderful! The basic academics (English/Literature, Math, Science, and Social Studies) are promoted positively and immensely, and other courses like language classes/clubs and AP/IB are just as important as the basics. It is a very diverse college prep school, so of course, there are a lot of opportunities to grow and develop as a student and as a person in preparation for college life. The goal of Central is to get most, if not all, of its students into the best universities in the world. Although the syllabus can be challenging and the workload torturous, the school makes up for it with its various extracurricular activities, freedom for students, and great teachers. The schoolwork is very rigorous and is prepared for some late nights and early mornings.

Founded In: 1836
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ranking: 5
Contact: +1 215-276-5262
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Top High Schools in Philadelphia

Radnor High School

Radnor is an excellent high school with a lot of resources to offer. The academics at Radnor High School are superb. The extracurricular activities such as the music department and the sports teams are also really good. The school perfectly blends both academics and co-curricular activities in a way that students really absorb the high school experience well. There are a lot of fun traditions like LM week, but the school needs to work on inclusivity and having a more welcoming atmosphere for newcomers. Most of the teachers are excellent instructors with a passion for their subjects. They also have an excellent music program, which includes music, band, and orchestra, and much more. The school also has excellent facilities for its various activities. The school also focuses on getting students prepared for college and a career beyond that.

Founded In: 1893
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Ranking: 6
Contact: +1 610-688-8100
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Conestoga Senior High School

Conestoga offers so many options. You can choose classes in a wide range of fields, and they are great. At all levels, the teachers are absolutely excellent. The curriculums are rigorous and challenging but well taught. Almost all AP courses are offered in the school and students have a plethora of options. The faculty are understanding and kind. They are all very highly qualified. They teach the subjects with grace and are always available to help struggling students. If you are driven, they can open many opportunities to you. Competition between peers is ridiculously high and may cause a lot of stress and lower self-esteem since everyone seems to excel. Overachieving is the average at Conestoga.

Founded In: 1954
Location: Pennsylvania
Ranking: 7
Contact:+1 610-240-1000
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Unionville High School

Unionville High School is a good place for students to find their niche. They have just about every sport under the sun including means and women’s Rugby and even Bocce. They also have an extensive assortment of art and music programs. However, when it comes to academics, this school teaches to a test. Most of your academic experience in this school revolves around teaching students how to read and answer questions correctly on a standardized test in order for the school to appear more appealing in the eyes of the state. As a result, it is not until after you take your SATs and keystones (about 11th/12th grade) that you are able to take more “out-of-the-box” classes such as forensics and oceanography. Lastly, although I think that a lot of the teachers are very passionate about the classes they teach, there is not enough time spent on learning to think for yourself and forming your own conclusions.

Founded In: 1985
Location: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Ranking: 8
Contact:+1 610-347-1600
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The Hill School in Potstown

Hill provides students with an excellent experience academically, athletically, and socially. The school gives a lot of importance to arts and other co-curricular activities and is known to find and nurture the inborn talents of students. The school has a very welcoming and warm atmosphere and the teacher-student relationship is fantastic. The school is strictly against bullying and promotes a positive mindset among students. The academics of the school is also really good and students are encouraged to learn by themselves and ask questions. The Hill School is especially known for its theatre programs taught by experienced faculty.

Founded In: 1851
Location: Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Ranking: 9
Contact: +610-326-1000
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George School

George School prides itself on always having been at the forefront of the cultural revolution. It is a very inclusive institution with students from more than 40 countries and very diverse backgrounds. Regardless of who you are or the circumstances you come from, you are welcomed into the community and your voice is respected. There are a lot of clubs, intramural sports, and other competitions to keep people engaged, but if you have an idea and want to start a new one, all you have to do is ask. You will enjoy the challenges of both AP and International Baccalaureate level classes, and every teacher encourages one on one consultations to supplement classroom activities.

Founded In: 1851
Location: Newtown, Pennsylvania
Ranking: 10
Contact: + 610-326-1000
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About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.