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Old 09-05-2018, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus215 View Post
And those magnate schools are still going to have a very different environment than a suburban school, which may or may not be appealing to you.
Yes. They'll be much more diverse. They won't be less orderly.

And most of the citywide magnets actually deliver good educations, not just Central and Masterman. Many of them (Bodine International Affairs, Creative and Performing Arts, W.B. Saul Agricultural - no school like this one in the 'burbs - Academy at Palumbo and especially Girard Academic Music Program) produce grads who get into top-flight colleges and universities too.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 09-05-2018 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus215 View Post
If you are going to live in Chestnut Hill or Mt Airy or anywhere else in the City of Philadelphia, you need to operate under the assumption that you will need to send your kids to private school.
Also not quite correct: parents in the catchments of four schools - Penn Alexander in University City, William Meredith in Queen Village, Gen. George McCall in Society Hill and Albert M. Greenfield in Rittenhouse Square - do not operate under that assumption; houses in the Penn Alexander and Meredith catchments in particular sell at a premium over similar homes outside the catchments for that reason. (Houses in Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square are already pretty pricey to begin with.)

Samuel Powel in Powelton Village ditto, but it's K-4.
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Old 09-05-2018, 08:36 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,966,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Also not quite correct: parents in the catchments of four schools - Penn Alexander in University City, William Meredith in Queen Village, Gen. George McCall in Society Hill and Albert M. Greenfield in Rittenhouse Square - do not operate under that assumption; houses in the Penn Alexander and Meredith catchments in particular sell at a premium over similar homes outside the catchments for that reason. (Houses in Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square are already pretty pricey to begin with.)

Samuel Powel in Powelton Village ditto, but it's K-4.
This is true, but extremely rare and as you have noted, in expensive areas.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:24 PM
 
5 posts, read 4,252 times
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I am Korean. My husband white. Our daughter looks mostly like me. I crave diversity - as we are moving from the midwest. That is part of the relocation that excites me.

If I decide to try to navigate through the magnet schools - are they all lottery +/- tests? Or are there any location radius rules?

The four elementary schools listed above (are they part of the magnet program?) are far from Chestnut Hill (relatively speaking). I would have to go the opposite direction of Merck to take her to school and then backtrack to work. Are there any highly rated elementary schools close to Chestnut Hill?

And if we did decide to go the private school route - what are some of the good private schools? It's hard to find ratings for private schools.

Again - thank you very much for your input!

Last edited by Nufsed2018; 09-05-2018 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nufsed2018 View Post
I am Korean. My husband white. Our daughter looks mostly like me. I crave diversity - as we are moving from the midwest. That is part of the relocation that excites me.

If I decide to try to navigate through the magnet schools - are they all lottery +/- tests? Or are there any location radius rules?

The four elementary schools listed above (are they part of the magnet program?) are far from Chestnut Hill (relatively speaking). I would have to go the opposite direction of Merck to take her to school and then backtrack to work. Are there any highly rated elementary schools close to Chestnut Hill?

And if we did decide to go the private school route - what are some of the good private schools? It's hard to find ratings for private schools.

Again - thank you very much for your input!
I'm a Midwesterner myself, btw: born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. But I've lived here for 35 years now, so I present as a native, though it's actually easy to tell I'm not.

By definition, the citywide magnet schools have no geographic catchments; they draw students from all over the city. Masterman is the only one that puts applicants through a lottery, and Central is the only other one that requires you to pass an entrance exam. All of the others simply have an application process to get in.

None of the elementary schools are magnets; their attendance zones are all geographically based, so the four I listed are out if you settle in Northwest Philly.

There is one other public school option available to you: public charter schools. These are independently run schools that receive public funding from the School District and thus are tuition-free and open to anyone who wishes to attend. Some, like most of the schools run by Mastery Charter Schools, tend to draw from the geographic catchments associated with the regular public schools they took over - one of those is Francis Pastorius, two blocks east of my Germantown home - while others draw from a wider area and offer enhanced curricula.

Wissahickon Charter School is one of the latter, and the newer of its two campuses is convenient to Mt. Airy - it's on Washington Lane just east of Chew Avenue, across from the Awbury Arboretum. Environmental education and service learning are major components of its program, and I'd recommend it as an option for you to consider if you wind up settling up this way. Most of the other highly regarded charter schools are located in or closer to Center City Philadelphia and thus not practical for you.

Niche.com, a locational/educational guide site I've cited before, grades both public and private schools. You can find grades and rankings for private schools in the area there. The highly regarded private schools in and near Northwest Philadelphia include Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Chestnut Hill and two Quaker schools: William Penn Charter School in East Falls (a private school despite its name; established in 1689 with a charter from William Penn (hence the name), it's the oldest private school in the Philadelphia area) and Germantown Friends School. Catholic Norwood-Fontbonne Academy in Chestnut Hill will probably be more affordable; AFAIK, no Catholic parochial schools are located in Northwest Philly (these are popular with parents in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods looking for educational alternatives for their children; they also charge much lower tuition than private schools charge).
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,473 posts, read 10,234,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
AFAIK, no Catholic parochial schools are located in Northwest Philly (these are popular with parents in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods looking for educational alternatives for their children; they also charge much lower tuition than private schools charge).
What about Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill?
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:30 AM
 
5,348 posts, read 5,570,613 times
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Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
What about Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill?
Now that looks like a pretty good option if the public schools aren't suffice.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:05 AM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,966,735 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nufsed2018 View Post
I am Korean. My husband white. Our daughter looks mostly like me. I crave diversity - as we are moving from the midwest. That is part of the relocation that excites me.

If I decide to try to navigate through the magnet schools - are they all lottery +/- tests? Or are there any location radius rules?

The four elementary schools listed above (are they part of the magnet program?) are far from Chestnut Hill (relatively speaking). I would have to go the opposite direction of Merck to take her to school and then backtrack to work. Are there any highly rated elementary schools close to Chestnut Hill?

And if we did decide to go the private school route - what are some of the good private schools? It's hard to find ratings for private schools.

Again - thank you very much for your input!
If cost wasn't an issue, probably the best / most convenient private school nearby is Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, which is where many (relatively affluent) people in CH send their children. Germantown Academy and Germantown Friends are also excellent (and expensive) and relatively close by. These are all among the best private schools in the area. The private catholic schools are a bit less expensive (though not exactly cheap), and still very good, including Norwood Fontbonne and Gwynedd Mercy. Then, a level down, you have the parochial catholic schools, which will be the least expensive, and essentially public school alternatives with religion. I'm not familiar with the ones close to CH. Those are probably your best alternatives that I can think of. In PA, public busing to private schools is generally mandated within a certain radius of your school district. However, I'm not sure that applies to Philadelphia - they may just give you a SEPTA pass.

Edit: Also, just to point out, in terms of diversity, Ambler is in the Wissahickon school district, which is excellent and relatively diverse. The high school is 13.8% Asian and 11.5% African American, according to Niche. North Wales and Lansdale are in the North Penn school district, and their high school is also excellent and 19.6% Asian and 9.8% African American. Doylestown (Central Bucks West) is about as white as you can get.

Last edited by Angus215; 09-06-2018 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:36 AM
 
544 posts, read 462,269 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
What about Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill?
There is also Holy Cross in Mt. Airy and DePaul in Germantown but OMC is by far the best regarded of these. Some parents also send their kids to IHM in Roxborough. My block is full of OMC kids and they seem to be doing quite well.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,095 posts, read 1,124,385 times
Reputation: 2100
Quote:
Originally Posted by KansastoSouthphilly View Post
There is also Holy Cross in Mt. Airy and DePaul in Germantown but OMC is by far the best regarded of these. Some parents also send their kids to IHM in Roxborough. My block is full of OMC kids and they seem to be doing quite well.
FWIW: I have neighbors who send their kids to OMC and are quite satisfied.
As to Penn Alexander and other magnets mentioned earlier - yes, they're great, but as the poster pointed out, there's a heft premium attached to house prices in the catchment areas. Plus all 4 or 5 of the schools mentioned were in U. City or Center City, both of which are too far South for a decent northbound suburban commute to OP's place of work.
As any of you who've read my "yes! move to Philly!" posts know, I'm a huge fan of the city and don't regret for a second my decision to move here. That said, it makes me sad to still have to temper my enthusiasm by saying, in effect, "odds are that if you have kids you'll want to either consider a good suburban location or pay for private school." Here's hoping that at some point I'll be able to remove that qualifier from my comments.
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