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Fall Guide 2014 Vol. 22 No. 1 Focus on Looking Ahead to High School

Austerity, uncertainty loom large as Class of 2018 arrives

Photo: Charles Mostoller

Superintendent William Hite is stuck with cuts he says “severely and adversely affect many services our students and families depend on.” But there are some new initiatives this year.

By

Dale Mezzacappa

Beginning high school is daunting enough for most young people. But this year, students in Philadelphia face worries that most of their counterparts in more reliably funded districts don’t have.

Will their schedules be disrupted if more layoffs become necessary and some teachers disappear? Will counselors be available to make sure they are taking the courses they need? Will their high school even offer all the courses they want – in some cases, courses that attracted them to that school in the first place?

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Getting a jump on high school

By

Cathy Quero and Marilyn Vaccaro

It’s the start of another school year, and your middle grade child is settling into classes. After all the work you’ve done to get them where they are, you may want to relax and just focus on the year’s work ahead. But the middle years are the time when parents need to start preparing their kids for high school.

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Students wonder: Where has our education gone?

By

Hina Fathima

For Nazir Vincent, an 11th grader at Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School, transferring from Charter High School for Architecture + Design and adjusting to his new environment were challenging enough. But when the District started making severe cuts to valuable programs and services – watering down the quality of education – Vincent said high school life got even tougher.

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Philadelphia's District and charter high schools: How are they doing?

Making sense of the numbers

The Notebook's school profiles provide a lot of detail about the 90 public high schools and their programs. Here we provide statistics about their students and how they are performing. That is important information as you think about where to attend high school.

You’ll find data about all the District-run high schools and charters below. For each school, you can see the enrollment and whether it serves large percentages of low-income and special education students and English language learners.

Student attendance is often a good indicator of how engaged students are. Keep in mind that a school with 90 percent attendance has twice as many students absent as one of the same size with 95 percent attendance. The number of suspensions tells you about school climate, though a large school might be expected to have more suspensions than a small one.

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