November 6 — 3:49 pm, 2013

Resources to help with choosing a high school

by Naveed Ahsan

Over the summer, the School District announced that it had canceled its annual high school fair to save money. Then, the Philadelphia School Partnership stepped up by offering to underwrite the event, while working with partner groups to plan it. The fair was resurrected.

Next Saturday, Nov. 16, students and parents can attend the Philly High School Fair, where they can gather information about admissions criteria, academic courses, extracurricular activities, and other special programs at more than 80 public, private, charter, and Catholic high schools throughout the city. The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Armory at Drexel University, 33rd and Market Streets in University City.  

At the fair, parents and students will learn about high school options for the 2014-15 school year, and questions can be directed to staff members of individual schools. Kristen Forbriger, PSP’s manager of communications and public affairs, said organizers expect a turnout of 5,000 to 8,000 attendees.

The high school fair is one, but not the only, resource for information on high school selection. The Notebook publishes an annual Fall Guide to High Schools, a publication that lists individual school profiles and data for the city’s more than 80 public school options, including enrollment, admission requirements, and extracurricular activities. The school profiles are also searchable on the Notebook website.

Last year, the Notebook distributed about 6,000 copies of the fall guide at the District-run High School Expo. This year, Notebook staff will return again, so drop by if you’d like.

The District’s high school directory is another available resource. In the past, the District produced both a print and online version of its directory, this year opting to offer just the electronic version to curb spending.  

GreatPhillySchools, whose site launched last year, gives visitors information about K-12 schools in Philadelphia. On that site, readers can find maps, school descriptions, enrollment data, and other school performance data.  

Naveed Ahsan, a senior at Temple University, is an intern at the Notebook.

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