How to Find the Best Philadelphia School for Your Child

A clear-eyed, judgment-free look at how to get the best education for your kid.

Photography by Christopher Leaman

Photography by Christopher Leaman

The move to the ’burbs used to be almost automatic for Philadelphians with means — families of all races picked up and left the city when their kids were old enough for school, and they did it without much handwringing.

But something’s changed. Philadelphia parents aren’t so eager to quit on a city that’s bigger, better and more vibrant than it’s been in decades. And they’re not at all convinced that what’s best for the kids is a big backyard and often homogenous classrooms. For them, picking a school is about much more than standardized test scores; it’s about finding a place that fits their family’s expectations, values and lifestyle.

Philadelphia doesn’t always make that easy, but there actually are tons of city schools — from standouts in the troubled public system, to charters, to steadfast parochial options, to elite private schools — where your child can get a great education.

So here’s your ultimate guide to city schools, from getting into the great public school across town to maximizing your odds in those charter lotteries — and everything in between. And hey, if your best school is in the ‘burbs, no judgment; we’ve got you covered there as well.

Click here to read a note about this story from Philadelphia magazine editor Tom McGrath.

Edited by Patrick Kerkstra and Christine Speer Lejeune. Photography by Christopher Leaman

Reported and written by Victor Fiorillo, Sandy Hingston, Joel Mathis, Holly Otterbein, and Ashley Primis

» How to Find the Best Philadelphia Public School

» How to Find the Best Philadelphia Charter School

» How to Find the Best Philadelphia Parochial School

» How to Find the Best Philadelphia Private School

» The Best Suburban Towns for City Families