Posted on July 14, 2021
Categories: News from SDP

School District of Philadelphia Recommended for System-Wide Accreditation, 15 High Schools Schools

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) visiting team has recommended that the School District of Philadelphia receive system-wide accreditation. The entity is also recommending accreditation for 15 high schools.

This recommendation is based on strategic planning and focused on continuous and District-wide efforts to grow and improve student performance and the District’s capacity to effect that growth.

“The School District of Philadelphia is committed to providing an excellent public school education to ensure all children graduate from high school ready to succeed. The Middle State Accreditation strengthens the work we are doing by allowing us to examine and improve our processes and procedures and then receive affirmation by a team of experts that we are meeting high educational standards,” said Malika Savoy-Brooks, Ed.D., chief academic support officer of the School District of Philadelphia. “The Middle States accreditation process aligns with the Board of Education’s newly identified Goals and Guardrails”.

The 15 schools recommended for accreditation are:

Academy at Palumbo
Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush
Ben Franklin High School
Franklin Learning Center
Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School
Science Leadership Academy at Beeber
West Philadelphia High School
The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts
Kensington Health Sciences Academy
Kensington High School
Abraham Lincoln High School
Parkway West High School
Paul Robeson High School
W.B. Saul High School
Swenson Arts and Technical High School

Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the MSA-CESS accreditation is the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.

Outside of a third-party validation that the District is improving student performance and meeting distinguished standards of excellence, the Middle States accreditation provides additional opportunities for students. Schools with this accreditation are eligible for certain federal funds. It also is one of the pre-requisites used by the College Board in determining a school’s eligibility to serve as a College Board test center and to offer Advanced Placement courses.

To receive this recommendation, all District offices and 15 high schools had representatives, including employees, students, parents and community members, complete a self-study and provide evidence to support the self-study. Interviews were conducted during MSA-CESS’s District visit last month. Official approval will be announced in October.

Led by the District’s Office of Academic Supports, individual high schools began seeking MSA-CESS accreditation in 2017. The District shifted to a system-wide accreditation in 2019. When the new accreditation becomes official in October, a total of 37 of the 54 District high schools will be accredited, with a goal for all SDP high schools to be accredited by 2024.