Welcome to our annual fall guide, the first of the Notebook’s six print editions for the new school year. Each September we try to provide you with vital information in an edition designed to be kept as a reference.
Despite an uncertain fiscal future, the School District under Arlene Ackerman is pressing ahead this year with major new initiatives called for in her reform blueprint, buoyed by an eighth straight year of test score increases and more schools meeting federal achievement goals.
Where do I start?
Talk to the adults in your life, including teachers, counselors, and parents or guardians. Get a copy of the District’s middle school guide, which gives advice about making the most of the middle years and sorting out your interests. Then consult the District’s high school directory, read this guide, and meet with your counselor. Also, attend the High School Expo that is scheduled in October for 7th and 8th graders.
When should I start thinking about high school choices?
Janette Rivera, the 2010 valedictorian of Kensington High School of Business and Finance, knows the difference between a good school and one that is not so good. A Philly native, she left the city at age seven for Massachusetts, only to return just in time for high school.
“Stuff we learned in two months there, we learn in six months here [in Philadelphia],” she said, sitting outside the skyscraper housing Independence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, where for the last three summers she has interned for its CEO, Joseph A. Frick.