Posted on June 14, 2024
Categories: News from SDP

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Dear School District of Philadelphia Parents, Families and the Class of 2024,

In reflecting on the Class of 2024, I am struck by a fascinating reality. This class started their high school careers in the middle of a world-changing pandemic. Their freshman year was completely virtual, as was some of their sophomore year. Our young people spent those years communicating with teachers and peers through computer screens, physically distant from friends and loved ones, and uncertain of what the future might bring.

The odds were against our young people. Experts expected a steep decline in academic performance and an uphill battle to return to pre-pandemic levels. The climb has been steep, but thanks in large part to the hard and strategic work of our educators and central office staff, combined with the drive and perseverance of our students, the School District of Philadelphia has outpaced large urban districts nation-wide, and similar PA districts, in recovering from the pandemic.

Indeed, the Class of 2024 is impressive. As of June 12, 88% of our seniors are on track to graduate. In addition:

  • More than 500 seniors are graduating from International Baccalaureate programs
  • Nearly 700 graduating seniors were dual enrolled in higher education
  • More than 1,300 seniors will graduate with a Career and Technical Education Certification, enabling them to enter the workforce at competitive salaries
  • More than 2,800 seniors are graduating with Advanced Placement credits

Congratulations and well done Class of 2024 – you should be extremely proud! Your hard work, resilience and determination has paid off. You have balanced life’s hurdles and rigorous coursework to meet the academic requirements of your graduation pathway. You have graduated high school and earned your diploma, an extraordinary achievement!

Abolitionist and education reformer Horace Mann said – “Education is a great equalizer.” Prove Mr. Mann right! Do not let graduation be the end of your journey. Follow your dreams, start your careers or perhaps continue your education. Whatever you do, do it well using the tools and skills you’ve learned, and do it to help your community thrive. I cannot wait to see you realize any future you desire!

In partnership,

Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.


The School District of Philadelphia