GreatPhillySchools releases list of top NW Philadelphia schools

Northwest Philadelphia parents now have another resource they can use to help them decide the best school for their kids., a group comprised of several education nonprofits, rated Northwest Philly schools based on a number of factors including academics, safety, attendance and college enrollment.

The group gave a rating of 10 out of 10 to Our Mother of Consolation Parish School in Chestnut Hill and Hill Freedman Middle School in West Oak Lane. Green Woods Charter School and AMY Northwest Academy for the Middle Years, in Manayunk and Roxborough respectively, were rated 9 out of 10. Mastery Charter Schools Pickett Campus of Germantown earned an 8 out of 10.  

The website assigns each of more than 400 public, private and charter schools in the city a 1-10 rating – where top-performing schools earn a 10 out of 10. Also available on the website is detailed information on school culture, extracurricular activities, special programs, and upcoming application deadlines.

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The schools

Our Mother of Consolation Parish School (17 E. Chestnut Hill Ave.) is a private catholic elementary school led by Bruce Hagy. Students must submit an application for admittance to this Chestnut Hill-located institution. The school has a total enrollment of 189 students and a 97 percent attendance rate. The school has a Spanish language program and has track, basketball and soccer teams.

Under the leadership of Anthony Majewski, Hill Freedman Middle School (6200 Crittenden St.) is a special admission public school serving grades 6 through 8 with a total enrollment of 214. For academics, the school is rated 10 out of 10 and received ratings of 8 out of 10 for safety and student attendance (94.9 percent). In the category of achievement gap, where the highest ranking means the school has the smallest proficiency gap between economically disadvantaged youth and non-disadvantaged students, the school received 7 out of 10.

The school offers several arts programs, including vocal and instrumental music, visual arts, theater and dance. They have a basketball team and a Spanish language program.

Principal Jean Wallace oversees Green Woods Charter School (119 Rector St.), a science-focused elementary school serving 415 students, who are admitted via lottery drawing. The school earned the rating 9 out of 10 for academics and student attendance. The school’s attendance rate is 96 percent. Because it saw 6.5 serious disciplinary incidents per 100 students in 2010, the school earned a 5 out of 10 rating for safety. The school also has a basketball team.

AMY Northwest Academy for the Middle Years (6000 Ridge Ave.) is a public middle school under the stewardship of Principal Marco A. Zanoni that serves 244 students in grades 6 through 8. For its attendance rate of 95.5 percent, the school earned 8 out of 10 in the category of attendance. Like Hill Freedman, AMY earned 7 out of 10 for achievement gap, which is also the score it earned for safety, based on 2.1 disciplinary incidents per 100 students in 2010.

Students at AMY benefit from several arts programs, including poetry, visual arts, ceramics, choir and an instrumental music program. They can take yoga and have the option of participating in the school’s basketball, baseball, track and cheerleading programs.

Led by Principal Jason Kegel, Mastery Charter Schools Pickett Campus (5700 Wayne Ave.) serves 581 students in grades 7-12 with a wait list of 305 students. Based on standardized test scores that show students able to read and do math on their grade level, this school’s academics earned 6 out of 10. With 92.7 percent attendance, the school earned 9 out of 10. That’s the same score it earned for safety, with less than one disciplinary incident per 100 students in 2010.

The school offers five Advanced Placement classes, which students can take to earn college credits before graduation, that include English language, politics and U.S. history. They have a Spanish language program, drill team as well as theater, choir and dance programs. At the Pickett campus, Mastery students can participate in basketball, football and track.

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