School Details

Penn Alexander School

4209 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 823-5465
9

(out of 10)

Public Grades PK-8 626 students 16 students/teacher (PA avg is 15)

Test Scores by grade

91%
49%
80%
94%
45%
74%

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

92%
56%
83%
85%
42%
72%
97%
49%
82%

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

83%
45%
73%
79%
35%
65%
86%
32%
64%

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

96%
52%
77%
88%
42%
69%

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

94%
56%
80%
94%
52%
76%

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

91%
52%
76%
97%
58%
80%
85%
24%
60%
97%
48%
73%

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

Penn Alexander School is a public middle school in Philadelphia. The principal of Penn Alexander School is Ms Sheila Sydnor. 626 students go to Penn Alexander School and are mostly Hispanic; Multiracial; and Black, non-Hispanic. 24% of the 626 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at Penn Alexander School is 16:1. The Islamic Education School -Ties is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

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

Languages Taught

  • Spanish

Sports

  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 8% 17%
Multiracial 7% %
Black, non-Hispanic 38% 61%
White, non-Hispanic 30% 13%
Asian 16% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 14% 6%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1.0% 0.2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 24% 73%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    What school does house searches to conform if someone lives in the neighborhood? I feel like they only do that to the foreign families. my daughter attended Pa since the 6th grade.. Half the kids who went there didn't even live in the area. Finally I had enough and I took her to Masterman. I felt racism within the administration at Penn Alexander. It's sad because nothing has changed.

  • (1 year ago)

    My fifth grader has attended the Penn Alexander School since he was in kindergarten and I could not be more pleased. The leadership quality of instruction and facility are all top notch and all the school's stakeholders take great pride in ensuring that things stay that way. Parents are not only involved but welcome at the school. Even in the face of the current District-wide funding crisis the staff is doing yeomen's work by wearing several hats at once to keep things operating as smoothly as possible for the students. I am proud to be a part of this school community.

  • (3 years ago)

    I've been a student @ penn alexander for 5 years. There were extremely good academics and activities. Also there were good teachers and good gym library and computer science. Although one down fall some of the teachers were strict but that changed. The principal was extremely good caring about her students and you knew not to disrespect her. I respect this school.

  • (3 years ago)

    To all the people who keep saying that Penn Alexander has no extracurriculars you are incorrect. As a student at PAS I am a member of National Academic League Carver Science Fair the School Play Yearbook Staff and the School Newspaper. Most of my friends play instruments and there are many clubs. To name a few we have chess club women's history club Student Council Spanish reading olympics and many more. The school is amazing and challenges me everyday but not to an excruciatingly high level. Oh and to the person who said that Masterman is a better option past fourth grade? I have multiple friends who left for Masterman or private school in 4th or 5th grade and they all want to come back to the amazing program at PAS because they hate Masterman. On a final note the principal isn't as horrible as everyone seems to putting her out to be. She seems tough and unkind at first but when you get older you see that she just genuinely cares about her students.

  • (3 years ago)

    to the parent who wrote there is no music program to speak of Penn Alexander has an outstanding music program with all orchestra instruments being taught plus guitar middle eastern percussion. Multiple performing opportunities for all!

  • (3 years ago)

    I don't like Penn Alexander past the 4th grade honestly. Some of the teachers in 5th grade aren't particulary good. Some of the middle school teachers aren't good either. The school has no art program no language and if a student were to go from there to high school they would need help to do well in high school i recomend to apply to JR Masterman High School in the fourth grade to try and leave by 5th becuase Masterman will get you on a better track.

  • (4 years ago)

    PA hardly warrants the $100k premium placed on homes in its catchment. It has no arts music program or extracurricular activities to speak of and will have you incessantly fund raising under the guise there's some great plight to provide these benefits to students. Schools downtown afford students an array of enrichment programs and activities and are on par with PA academically (McCall Meredith and Greenfield are exceptional options). Communication with PA is also suspect. No e-mail made available for its principal or teachers. Our son s teacher told us she doesn t really use it much. PA s failure to meet our child s special needs led us to disenroll him from the school. If applicable to your child be diligent in confirming that the school is meeting the obligations of his IEP. Our son s therapist was MIA until a week before Thanksgiving. The positives A beautiful facility clean and safe. It also boasts one of the most diversified student bodies of any in the city. These kids are much lauded and rightfully so for academic excellence happy and highly motivated. Their parents are likewise extremely proactive and committed an amicable bunch overall.

  • (4 years ago)

    I am a student who was in the first graduating 8th grade class. I don't know how much Penn Alexander has changed in the past few years but when I was there it was not strong academically at all. I was not challenged in the slightest and easily scored straight A's. I did not feel prepped for high school and initially did not have a smooth transition into the 9th grade. There were not many extra curriculars then and according to recent comments Penn Alexander still lacks them. My favorite teacher at the time thankfully still works there but I still see the names of a few teachers that did little to no good. Yes the school looks very pretty but is that what is most important? I hope Penn Alexander changes for the better sooner rather than later.

  • (4 years ago)

    Great Administration staff parents and children.

  • (4 years ago)

    Love love LOVE this school. It's a wonderful facility and teachers that really encourage the kids to be successful and happy.

  • (4 years ago)

    Best middle school in the city. Expects high performance from all students and test scores reflect it. Fantastic staff and amazing physical plant.

  • (4 years ago)

    Great faculty great kids great parents small classes. Highly diverse in cultures ethnicities backgrounds and interests. This school has a wonderful ability to help each student do his or her best. Kids from this school go to the best high schools in the city.

  • (4 years ago)

    We are a multicultural school that strives to build a successful community both inside and outside the school environment.

  • (5 years ago)

    Penn alexander has great teachers and it is a beautiful renovated building. The weakness of this school i think is the lack of art foreign language and music in the school. In addition there are no extra curricular activities for the children. Thre is one play once a year. Many more chhildren audition that can be accepted and this leaves many young children who would like a chance to express themselves feeling left out and not good enough. Thre are no sports teams and no opportunities for joining scouts.

  • (6 years ago)

    As a previous Philadelphia Public School student and now as a parent of students at PAS I am thrilled with the quality of teaching and the facilities provided by PAS. The faculty and staff are dedicated and provides interesting projects and programs. While the school is not perfect (it really needs a language and arts program) my kids are always happy to go to school and I am pleased with their intellectual prowess. Will you get everything at PAS that you can get at a Private School? Probably not. However I believe the benefits of being in a diverse economic social and ethnic environment has some positive lessons that you may not find in a private school environment.

  • (6 years ago)

    Amazing school learning program! Fantastic diversity with the students and the staff

  • (6 years ago)

    The teachers are involved in the education of each and every child. However the principal is involved in very trivial affairs. She has a childlike mentality when dealing with the children. It's almost as if she stoops down to their level. This is a good school but needs new leadership.

  • (7 years ago)

    High quality education program with a staff and administration that is student focused. There are numerous activities for my children to be a part of some provided by school staff and many others through neighborhood organizations. Music programs science programs writing and technology programs are just a few of the extra curricular activities. Parents are involved in classroom volunteering as well as with special programs like the harvest festival and Broadway musical program. The principal is very accessible and with the kids in the yard in the morning and at dismissal and knows every child by name.

  • (7 years ago)

    My son is in 3rd grade a PAS. This is our first year in the school and overall we've had a very positive experience. It's an excellent public school. My one issue is the frequency and quality of communication. We were at private school for pk-2 and there was constant communication from the school and his teachers. We just don't get the same level of communication from PAS. There is a high level of parental involvement in the school and the home and school association. I've been very impressed with the teachers. The school facility is beautiful. Penn's committment to the school allows for many additional resources that are not present in most public schools.

  • (8 years ago)

    The teachers are good and there is a good amount of parent involvement. Unfortunately the school administration is unfriendly and somewhat disorganized. There are some very good programs available during school and after school.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 25 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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