Parents in the Northwest put a lot of time and energy into thinking through the myriad of choices for their childrens schooling.
Popular elementary/middle schools include C.W. Henry (K-8), J.S. Jenks (K-8), Henry Houston (K-8) and East Falls. A large number of academically gifted students begin Masterman Middle School, a public magnet school near Center City, in 5th grade. The Philadelphia school system has many fine options for qualifying high school students, including academic magnets, Central High School, Masterman High School, Philadelphia High School for Girls, and the beautiful new High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) on the exciting Avenue of the Arts in Center City. AMY-NW (Academy for the Middle Years) School is a popular public alternative middle school in Mt. Airy, whose students are chosen by lottery.
The Mt. Airy Schools Committee, made up of members of West and East Mt. Airy Neighbors and the Mt. Airy Business Association, takes an active interest and role in improving the schools.
Philadelphia boasts one of the largest Solomon Schechter schools in the country, the Raymond and Ruth Perelman Jewish Day Schools. Perelman has two branches, one in Wynnewood (Main Line, to the west) and the other in Melrose Park, (a northern suburb). Large contingents of students from the Northwest attend each branch; they are bussed to school by the School District of Philadelphia. After elementary school, many students continue their Jewish day school education at Akiba Hebrew Academy, for grades 7-12. Some youngsters switch to Akiba from other private or public schools.
Supplementary Jewish education is offered at Germantown Jewish Centre and Mishkan Shalom. A Secular-Humanist Jewish cultural curriculum is offered by the Jewish Childrens Folkshul, which meets in Germantown. There is a Jewish Community High School at Gratz College for students interested in continuing their Jewish studies. Adult and continuing education opportunities abound.
Northwest Philadelphia has many top-notch private schools, reflecting a variety of philosophies, both religious and non-sectarian. Our neighborhoods Quaker schools, some of which date back to the late 17th century, include Greene Street Friends (K-8), Germantown Friends School (K-12), and William Penn Charter School (K-12). Within easy reach and popular with Northwest families are the Miquon School (Nursery-6), which provides a progressive, hands-on learning environment, as does Project Learn, a parent-run co-op school for K-8. Similarly, The Crefeld School (7-12) in Chestnut Hill, provides a progressive education in small classes in the middle and high school years.Chestnut Hill Academy (for boys) and its sibling, the Springside School (PK-12) for girls, both provide traditional same-sex education.
A Waldorf school, Philadelphia Childrens School, has been launched in Mount Airy, adding yet another flavor to our assortment of school choices. And this list is far from complete! Within a half-hours ride of the Northwest are another dozen excellent schools also popular with Northwest families.
Within easy reach are many institutions of higher learning: the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Drexel, La Salle, St. Josephs, Philadelphia and Villanova Universities. Penn State Abington Campus, Chestnut Hill College, Arcadia University, Moore College of Art and Design (for women), the University of the Arts, and the citys five medical schools are within an easy commute, as is Gratz College, a non-denominational school of Jewish studies in Melrose Park, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in nearby Wyncote.
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