High School selection season is upon us—the window for students to select a Philadelphia School District High School is open now through November 6.
The Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) is proud to kick off a new initiative providing virtual support to middle school youth in their high school search. Thanks to the Jump-Start Philly Schools Fund, a Philadelphia School Partnership project, LEAP was able to digitize their in-person program, Philly High School Choice, and create the phillyhschoice.org website.
How We Got Started
In 2017, LEAP staff at McPherson Square Library witnessed several teens in the community drop out of high school. In response, they developed a series of high school retention programs. The discussions held during the programs illuminated a major factor in the teens' decision to drop out: We learned that most of them had never considered their initial choice of schools. They simply went to the neighborhood school without considering other options. The school proved to be a poor fit for them, they had a negative experience, and they dropped out. To give teens agency in their high school selection and to assist in their decision process, LEAP staff developed a high school choice program. They ran the program at McPherson Square Library for the past two years. However, this year prompted this invaluable in-person program to go virtual.
Using Philly High School Choice
Philly High School Choice is a free, online, one-stop tool for youth and families looking to have control of their high school search. It matches their priorities, such as gaining career training, with high schools that fit their needs. The site serves as a complementary tool to other high school fit resources. It utilizes school data found through Great Philly Schools, the School District of Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The site is also available in Spanish.
The program allows you to create a personal webpage with your school choices, which includes information on each school, the next steps in the selection process, information about advocacy groups, and available grants and resources. The website is safe and private. Your personal information is not collected nor stored online. In fact, you are never asked your name. It allows you to search by AP course offerings and CTE offerings. If you would like, it can search your eligibility for Special Admissions schools. Philly High School Choice is designed to keep the decision-making in the hands of youth and families.
Questions about Philly High School Choice?
If you would like to hear more about this program, you can view LEAP's archived Facebook Live information session from earlier this month.