School Details

Academy at Palumbo

1122 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 351-7618

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 567 students 19 students/teacher (PA avg is 15)

Test Scores by grade


Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA)

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 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.
  • This school in 2012
  • Philadelphia City School District average
  • Pennsylvania state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Academy at Palumbo is a public high school in Philadelphia. The principal of Academy at Palumbo is Ms Adrienne Wallace Chew. 567 students go to Academy at Palumbo and identify mostly as Black, non-Hispanic; Asian; and White, non-Hispanic. 49% of the 567 students here get reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Academy at Palumbo is 19:1. Creative and Performing Arts is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


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

Languages Taught

  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 49% 61%
Asian 20% %
White, non-Hispanic 20% 13%
Multiracial 2% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 16% 6%
Hispanic 10% 17%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 49% 73%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (8 months ago)

    This school is beast... Sooo sad i have to move... Mrs. Tuff n ms. miner are the best

  • (9 months ago)

    I love teaching at the Academy at Palumbo. I have been here for three years and hope to never leave! We have a great community of educators here who strive to do our best every day and prepare our students for college (P.S. I'm not sure where the parent below got her numbers but we do NOT have a low staff attendance rate!). Our students are bright creative well-behaved and goal-oriented. No it's not perfect - we still struggle with the cuts in our budget as well as everyday issues that every high school has. If you work hard and avail yourself of our resources you will do quite well at Palumbo. Take advantage of our choir orchestra literary magazine champion chess and debate teams new football team step team and many many more. We hope to see you in the fall!

  • (1 year ago)

    i am a 10th grader who attends academy at palumbo. i was not planning on writing a review but the negative ones i read made me angry. this is a great school. in elementary school i got straight As without trying. at palumbo i am being challenged in so many ways. one parent wrote that we dont get enough homework. thats honestly really funny. i have assignments in every subject to this this weekend along with studying. another person wrote how the kids throw trash on the ground do drugs and bully others. EVERY HIGHSCHOOL HAS THESE PROBLEMS. it's a highschool filled with TEENAGERS. we tend to disrespect our surroundings do drugs and not get along with everyone. seriously the only way to not have your kid exposed to things like that is if you homeschool them. you will not find a school where everything is clean sober and 100% friendly. anyway this is a great school with so much potential. we have a lot of intelligent students and awesome teachers. students also have the opportunity to find themselves and expand their minds with clubs. this is a great school. send your kid here. i could go on but theres a word limit.

  • (1 year ago)

    This school is outstanding. I really enjoy the student/teacher connection. My child graduated last year and was accepted to YALE university. I was so proud that Academy at Palumbo had bred another winner. My youngest is a sophomore and is FLUENT in spanish. I am so proud that Palumbo strives to teach the children everything they need for college.

  • (1 year ago)

    It's a great school that has a family atmosphere with caring teachers and counselors who are very dedicated to their students.

  • (1 year ago)

    I am a student of the 2014 Graduating Class and to be honest I am happy that I am getting out of this place. Don't get me wrong I don't hate the school but I don't love it either. I more so tolerate it than anything. The teachers are BRILLIANT but the students and administrative staff including the principal are a complete embarrassment to what this school was meant to be. I have never met such arrogant and ignorant people in my life. Students have no respect for teachers or this building that they live in for 7 hours a day 5 days a week for 10 months. They treat it like a trashcan and throw their belongings and trash anywhere they want. They curse like they are out in the street and the don't have a drive to learn or to strive for greatness. Our principal doesn't seem to listen to complaints from students and she only takes time to get to know the misbehaving students. There isn't a real connection there. And the very sad part is it wasn't always like that. When I started in 2010 the school was everything I wanted it to be but every class after mine has turned this school into another neighborhood school. Without a change in the admissions process that is what it'll become.

  • (1 year ago)

    Academy at Palumbo is truly not what we expected and I am considering transferring my child soon. The school is unsafe and allows too much nonsense. My student has to be a different person in order to not be harrassed or bullied and this has affected her academically in more ways than i am willing to accept. And now with the school closings many other area school students will now be added to the mix. There is a small % of students that do not belong but this % will definitely increase now. Good luck.

  • (1 year ago)

    When my daughter first was accepted here I was so excited...I truly thought this was a school for academia but it seems to have taken a left turn...The front office knows nothing about anything so dont waste your time...My daughter is learning but she does tell us stories about school that just wasnt what i expected...such as kids doing drugs alot of seems this school is growing faster than it can handle it plus you add in the trash it has to allow in the school just because they the standard of smart kids wanting are lowering but the number of kids e

  • (1 year ago)

    This school is a joke!!!! My son has attended for two years and I have now encouraged him to transfer for his junior year. Not only does the staff lazily prepare our children for college they barely ever show up to work. According to the staff attendance record they rate at 47% this year alone. (this information provided by the school district to any parent that wants the information) My son has barely had any homework classwork projects etc. and when a test is given (of course they have to hurriedly provide an exam to be able to put in grades) the children aren't afforded the opportunity to finish the exam leaving them with of course with an overall unsatisfactory grade. (luckily my son is an achiever and has EASILY remained on the honor roll since he began) This is apparently acceptable to both the principal and the staff. Thanks so much for placing our children at the bottom of the achievement pole! This is what they claim to be an uprising college preparatory school... how dare they and shame on them all! With all of the recent budget cuts the principal at this school should have been the first on the list!

  • (2 years ago)

    This school is by far one of the best schools in the city of philadelphia . The teachers strive for the best and take there job very serious . The principle is wonderful and she shows a great amount of respect to just about anyone . My daughter has been here for 3 years and will soon be graduating so I know a couple things about this school . Even though the kids may play around they have a drive and determination for success that drives this school into a path of total success . Every year palumbo just keeps getting better and better . For a new school that was established in 2006 I would say that this school is going to go a long way .

  • (2 years ago)

    My daughter has been going to Academy at Palumbo for two years. This school is really big on eduaction but it allows students to do fun activitiesThis school prepares them for college and gets them ready for the real world. I am glad we chose this school for her. It is wonderful!

  • (3 years ago)

    This school is a joke! The teachers at the school is top notch!! But the administration and the principal leaves something to be desired. Their reputation was built on teachers and staff coming from Central to make a similar environment in South Philly. However they have fallen short. My son graduated from Central many years ago so I am very familiar of what Central has to offer. Central has built their own reputation which they can be proud of however Palumbo has not established their own reputation. Instead they drill it into students that they are like Central's sister...please stop! Dr Chew is going to run the school into the ground. She doesn't have the support of her staff because she has no integrity. I hear from staff and my child the inequity in the students staff and it makes me sick. I've been there and have heard the snide comments Dr Chew makes about certain staff students etc. If it weren't for the awesome teaching staff I would pull her out and report this school to the Board of Education. They don't encourage parent participation at all. If it weren't for the active Home & School Association we wouldn't know anything! Keep watching!!

  • (3 years ago)

    I'll be a junior this sept. and I feel really lucky that I chose to attend this school. All the teachers are very brilliant and fair and taught their students well. The students though playful at times are well disciplined and hard working. and I appreciate that the school is trying hard to give the students as much credits we need.

  • (3 years ago)

    I thought Academy@Palumbo was a school for kids that were striving to be the very best and to get good grades respect one another it turns out to be just another neighborhood school where the kids do whatever they want what a joke. My daughter wanted to be challenged so if she fails a test she can't makeup a test because her overall grades are well but a failing child can do something they call recovery and the school will give them a chance bring their F's up to a C now how is that helping a child to learn. Other kids are really working hard for their grade while others are goofing off the classes need to be stricter and kids need to get their own grades instead of a teacher trying to ease them on by. Again this is supposed to be for smart kids so what happened this does not need to be a magnet school.

  • (4 years ago)

    I've went to this school for 3 years now and out of all my schools I'll say that this has been the one that pulls me closer into education. Next year will be my last and I hopefully hope that as each year goes Academy at Palumbo will grow stronger and stronger

  • (4 years ago)

    I am an very involved parent and this is my daughter Senior year. Academy overall is an excellent academic high school. The school is five years old and Dr. Chew(principal) is working very hard to make Academy a great school and become a pillar in South Philadelphia. I also want to fair and clear there needs to be some more work with social activities for the student ; a stronger participation from current parents and more discipline with the student body on the honor system.

  • (4 years ago)

    this is the best school i have ever attended in my life the teachers strive 4 us to push and push our selfs cause they know we have the potential to go 2 college graduate and make something of our lives in the future i look foward to graduating in 2013 with all my friends and teachers by our side.

  • (4 years ago)

    My son will be graduating in the Inaugural 2010 class and it has truly been a great 4 years for him. The teachers are very warm and caring and the work is definitely college preparatory.

  • (4 years ago)

    The Academy at Palumbo is a fantastic school. Fabulous teachers a great principal and good kids too. My daughter is looking forward to another great year there!

  • (5 years ago)

    The Academy at Palumbo is a 4 year old college prep magnet high school in South Philadelphia. It is housed in a school building but has undergone extensive renovations to make it quite safe comfortable and pleasant. The principal Dr. Chew has the students as her #1 priority that is evident. The student body is multicultural and from all walks of life. School spirit abounds both with the students the staff and the parents. I am quite happy that my daughter chose to begin her high school years at this wonderful school.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 32 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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