Posted on December 20, 2023
Categories: News from SDP

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Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,

As the end of 2023 approaches, I think it is fitting to close the year by reflecting on the accomplishments and progress we’ve made as a community. From reducing the student dropout rate, increasing the number of students passing state tests while decreasing the number of students scoring at the lowest levels, and increasing student and teacher attendance — we are Accelerating Philly.

Our schools and students have accomplished some remarkable things this year. Here are just a few examples:

In addition, U.S. News & World Report recently released the 2023-2024 Best High Schools and Best Middle and Elementary School rankings. High schools were evaluated based on state assessments, underserved student performance, college readiness and graduation rates, while middle and elementary schools were evaluated based on state assessments and publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Education. The following School District of Philadelphia schools were ranked both statewide and nationally:

Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School

  • #1 high school in Pennsylvania and #33 nationally
  • #1 middle school in Pennsylvania

Central High School

  • #3 high school in Pennsylvania and #238 nationally

Academy at Palumbo

  • #13 high school in Pennsylvania and #551 nationally

George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science

  • #29 high school in Pennsylvania and #995 nationally

Penn Alexander

  • #25 middle school and #66 elementary school in Pennsylvania

Albert M. Greenfield School

  • #36 middle school and #189 elementary school in Pennsylvania

William M. Meredith School

  • #49 elementary school  in Pennsylvania

Gen. George A. McCall School

  • #77 elementary school in Pennsylvania

I am profoundly proud of the achievements of the schools above and the progress that we are making across the board in Philadelphia. And I am optimistic as we look ahead to 2024. Together – every staff member, student and District family – we will continue to build on our progress in pursuit of an even brighter future.

Indeed, we have a lot to look forward to next year. Until then, I hope everyone will take advantage of the holiday break to spend quality time with loved ones, relax, enjoy things that bring you joy, eat delicious food, participate in traditions and have new experiences. Remember that all District schools and administrative offices will be closed from December 26 through January 1, 2024. Staff return on January 2 and students return on January 3. Let’s all come back renewed, ready to continue preparing our children to imagine and realize any future they desire.

Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year! In partnership,


Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia