School Details

Penn High School

56100 Bittersweet Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545
(574) 259-7961

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 3401 students 22 students/teacher (IN avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade


End-Of-Course (ECA)

In 2011-2012 Indiana used the End-of-Course (ECA) assessment to test students in middle and high school in Algebra I, Biology I, and English 10. The ECA is a criterion-referenced assessment developed specifically for students completing their instruction in Algebra I, Biology I, or English 10. The goal is for all students to score at the passing level on the test.
  • This school in 2013
  • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation average
  • Indiana state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Penn High School is a public high school in Mishawaka. The principal of Penn High School is Mr Steve Hope. 3,401 students go to Penn High School and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Multiracial. 2% of the Penn High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 23% of the 3,401 students here get reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Penn High School is 22:1. Mishawaka High School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 84% 81%
Black, non-Hispanic 4% 5%
Multiracial 4% 4%
Asian 4% 5%
Hispanic 3% 4%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.8% 0.7%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.1% 0.1%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 23% 28%
Limited English proficiency 2% 3%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (8 months ago)

    Penn High School is an exceptional school with excelling programs such as marching band athletics orchestra choir art and many more. Penn can seem intimidating from the size and number of students but this school isn't as scary as it seems. The school also has begun using Chromebook laptops (2014-2015 school year) and every student gets their own which is very helpful and gives every student an opportunity to have access to a computer. This school is filled with opportunities for everyone.

  • (11 months ago)

    Great school all together. I'm a senior in this school and its been a great four years here! I recommend Penn High School.

  • (1 year ago)

    Its would be hard for anyone school to handle so many kids. Penn is not doing all they could do to make the school a safe place to be. Its not a place where the teachers or staff will know who the students are or even try to.I guess if you scored a winning shot on the team you might be recognized but everyone else if left feeling cold.

  • (1 year ago)

    Entering as a freshman who had just experienced cancer I was worried that I wouldn't be accepted because of my lack of hair. To my surprise fitting in was natural; and for a fairly keep-to-myself kind of kid I was glad it worked out that way. The teachers are great (with a few exceptions of course) and truly care about the students. They'll stay after school or come in early if you need help which is an incredible thing to do. The security guards are well not very intimidating. Generally their barks are bigger than their bites. And they bark a lot. But security is above average because we have actual police officers in school all day. The sports are competitive and intense and school spirit is contagious. There's really a place for everyone at Penn whether you're a super sporty kid an art kid an intelligent kid or somewhere in between. My personal experience with guidance counsellor a has been superb and they try to get to know you for an intimate feeling during appointments and scheduling. I'm a current junior and don't regret choosing Penn a bit. It can be hard but it's worth it!

  • (1 year ago)

    I am an alumnus from 2002. I can't imagine having gone to a school where I would have had more opportunities.

  • (1 year ago)

    When it comes to education Penn does a good job overall at preparing students for the future. However there are some key issues to keep in mind. Being a part of the alumni and being a multiple state champion while attending it makes me sad to see the political hold from the boosters dictating who plays. More student athletes quit or are disheartened because of this very issue. Back in my day it was all smash mouth the best athlete will play. Now if you are a granger elite your kid will play. Your child could have all the talent in the world but if that "donation" is made the coaches will not rock the boat and the Elite's Child will play. This isn't only happening at the High School level. It has now spread to the middle-school Jr-high that feeds into Penn. When a coach tells a 5-yr near perfect starter who loves the game "Your just not big enough" (Mind you its Jr-high) there is something wrong with Penn Harris Madison Athletics as a whole. When was the last time the Football Team won State? Let the best players play based on the definition of an athlete and not how big your parents wallet is. So sad.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a current student at penn and I don't like it here at all. Most not all of the teachers didnt really teach and just gave us "busywork" for an hour and a half and then yelled at us for not trying to learn. The schools focus seemed to be targeted towards its sports and music programs more than their actual education. The school is just so big that the security can't control us and that leads to fights happening every week or so. I am a part of the wrestling team and a few other clubs so im not an antisocial kid by any means. If you're looking at schools around this area do your kids a favor and don't send them here.

  • (2 years ago)

    Wonderful experience for my two son's who have graduated. Three more to go. My daughter is a sophmore at Penn now and she loves it. Great education. If you want tough classes school spirit and great athletics Penn will meet your expectations.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a parent of two alums. They were exceedingly well prepared for college. One has now graduated from law school and received a fellowship to Cambridge. The other was accepted into the best music universities in the US. What I appreciated most was the district's commitment to preparing the "whole" child for responsible adulthood. I am also confident that kids who chose to enter the military or delay college have had many opportunities to prepare them as well. Unfortunately not all students and families take advantage of the many opportunities. Choir for example sings regularly at Carnegie Hall. High school students have opportunities to travel participate in state and local academic as well as athletic events because of a commitment to excellence in all endeavors. Whatever decline may have occurred recently is due to a necessary reduction in staff brought on by budget cuts year after year at the state level. Yet Penn still is recognized as one of the "best buys" by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

  • (4 years ago)

    I just graduated in May and I believe that Penn is one of the best schools in Indiana. I am now a music education major and during my time at Penn I learned so much and they prepared me so well for what I am doing now. From an academic standpoint I was challenged greatly. I was involved in numerous honors and AP classes that most people don't even have the chance to take. Penn provides people with some of the best resources to learn. I was also involved in many extra curricular activities that would not be available at most other school. I was in marching band concert band Salt and Light (a Christian group) SADD and many others. It was a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  • (5 years ago)

    I have had four children go through Penn. Sadly I think that it has changed a great deal in the last ten years and what used to be one of the most progressive academic schools in the area has become one of the worst schools in the area. It used to be a place that was known as a 'community of caring learners.' Now they have placed two security towers in the front door and have hired rent-a-cops to 'improve' safety. They used to have an advisory system that helped to reduce annonymity and increased learning opportunities. Now they have large study halls of 80 to 100 in which they just 'warehouse' kids. Learning does not seem to be the focus. The curriculum is now a joke created out of a philosophical mindset stuck in the 1980's. Penn is riding on its past laurels. Don't be fooled. Send your kids elsewhere.

  • (5 years ago)

    I transfered to Penn last year and wasnt really happy with the activty I saw. Sports are the main thing they care about. Penns not for a student that wants to interact with the whole school. three thousand kids are way too much for one school...there are local colleges that are not even that big. Im transferring to Jimtown this year because of the nonsense penn is.

  • (6 years ago)

    I love penn so much! i was so scared at first because the school was so big to me but know i don't even relize it. All the teachers i've had so far are really wonderful and truly care about each students. The guidance conselers are so easy to talk to and they well do every thing it takes for you to feel confortable and happy! as i said before i love penn high school

  • (6 years ago)

    I think that penn is one of the best school in the state if not the country. Their academic and extra-curricular programs far surpass the quality of other schools in the area. This is the school to go if you are looking for opportunities and college-prep. While its true that some kids may not like it there because of its size i loved it there- and i transferred there from a tiny school with only 9 kids in my class. There is so much to do there and making friends is easy as long as you get involved with something- which isn't hard to do at all. Most of the teachers are great and will do what they can to help you out. It's not a perfect school for everyone but i'd sure send my kids there.

  • (6 years ago)

    I'm a current student at Penn and I think it's the best school ever. The teachers are great and there are so many opportunties available for people to enjoy. We have great academic and athletic programs that can open the door for so many people. Lot's of people think we are a party school because a bunch of kids from here get caught drinking and whatnot but that's just a few out of all the 3 200 kids that attend. As a school in general Penn is the best. Compared to other schools around here I'd rather go here than anywhere else. They have so much to offer; and I don't know why people are saything that Penn is so strict about ID's.. because they're not. It's a safe school too. If i have the chance when I get older I want to send my kids to Penn.

  • (6 years ago)

    I feel I had an excellent education at Penn especially now that I have seen other parts of the country and the low standards at many schools. I felt I was challenged at Penn and was able to succeed because of it. Penn prepared me for college and was the reason the transition was so smooth. I was not there for the ID issues but I never felt unsafe. The extra curricular activities were unbelievable. Anything you wanted to do you could do practically. I just wish I could convince my husband to move back into the area so that my children could attend.

  • (7 years ago)

    I am extremely pleased with the quality of education my daughter is receiving at Penn. The counselors and teachers have helped my daughter make good choices about the courses she needs to take to make it into the college of her choice. There are many opportunities for students to be involved in school activities.

  • (7 years ago)

    I am currently a student at Penn. It seems hard to fit in without getting involved in the party scene.

  • (7 years ago)

    Penn is a good school. There are just some things that need to be worked on. The ID rules are way to strict when they need to focusing on other things. The classes are good and really are not that hard... if only the kids would pay attention. The extra stuff with the school is an amazing experiance if you get the chance to get involved in. Teachers are amazing and many of the deans and staff know me by name. Just take your time and be sure of what you are doing. and try to get involved in everything you can. It will be helpful.

  • (7 years ago)

    I didn't really like my experience at Penn. It was just too big and kids are just numbers. The deans and counselors don't know the students at all so they assume all students are troublemakers. I have to say that Penn had some wonderful teachers who really did care about their students and that was the best aspect of Penn. Otherwise the school was just too big and full of stupid pointless rules that overlooked bigger problems like bullying. The music and sports programs were great but a student had to be top notch to be recognized. Penn did prepare me well for college but I honestly wasn't happy there.

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Overall score

(based on 38 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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