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District releases annual School Progress Report showing 115 district schools with increased SPR scores and major gains in school climate across the city

PHILADELPHIA—Today, the School District of Philadelphia recognized 21 schools for high achievement on the 2015-2016 School Progress Report (SPR), and 4 district schools who have shown the highest level of SPR improvement. Both district and charter schools were honored during an awards ceremony at Olney Elementary School.

William H. Loesche School (Elementary), General George A. McCall School (K-8), Girard Academic Music Program (Middle) and Franklin Towne Charter H.S. (High School) received the highest SPR scores citywide for their grade levels. They joined an additional 17 schools – ten District, seven charter – in achieving the highest SPR scores among their peers.

“Today we are celebrating schools that have accomplished gains in multiple areas, and, our growth as a school district. The schools we honor represent high quality  and diversity,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “Every child deserves a great school close to where they live.  These schools show us what is possible in public education, and the commitment of the principals, teachers, parents and school communities who are working together to create better educational opportunities for our children.”   

The SPR is the District’s primary information tool to measure progress towards the Action Plan 3.0 anchor goals on grade-level literacy and college- and career-readiness. Now in its fourth year, the SPR evaluates schools in multiple areas, including student achievement, student growth, school climate, and for high schools, college-and career-readiness. The SPR speaks to the District’s belief in school autonomy paired with support and accountability.  It is a transparent, actionable tool to gauge school progress in meeting the District’s standard of excellence.

“I’m pleased to learn that this year’s SPR results show increases in achievement scores, school climate, and attendance,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “While there is much work to be done to ensure all of our schools are high performing, this progress demonstrates that the District is continuing to move in the right direction. I commend the hardworking teachers, principals, and support staff who go above and beyond for our students every day.”

“​​​​​Through a laser focus on effective instructional practices, William Loesche Elementary School is on the move from good to great! The SPR has been a valuable tool provided by the district to measure where we are in order to plan a course of action to move forward. In a way, it is a blueprint for schools,” said Sherin Philip Kurian, principal of SPR City Leader William Loesche Elementary School. “Creating a nurturing learning environment, providing balanced literacy in the classroom, offering opportunities for meaningful student-to-student conversations, writing across the curriculum, and holding all staff members are some of the attributes that have contributed to our growth.” 

Also honored for the first time at the event were the district schools who had improved the most in SPR performance over last year.  “We continue to make progress across the District, and it is important that we recognize that progress as 115 district schools saw an increase in their SPR score,” added Hite.  “We are here at Olney Elementary because it represents the progress we are making across the city.  This is an example of a dedicated principal and staff using SPR data and other metrics to create improvements for Olney Elementary in every SPR performance area.”  Jodan Floyd, Principal of AMY-Northwest, commented on her school being named the District’s Most Improved Middle School.  “I couldn’t be prouder of our students, teachers, and parents for what we have accomplished together.  We consistently reinforce the 4 C’s - Creating, Critical Thinking, Collaborating and Caring at AMY Northwest, and to be recognized among the city’s best schools is an important milestone for our school,” said Floyd.

“While there remains work to be done as we improve learning opportunities for children across our city I am proud to say we are making progress across the School District of Philadelphia. We are seeing more schools moving from Intervene to Watch, from Watch to Reinforce and from Reinforce to Model,” added Dr. Hite.  “One area where we saw great progress District-wide was in school climate, where 74% of District schools increased their school climate score. We know better climate is a strong indicator of future academic improvement, and our strategic effort to support schools in improving their climates by implementing evidenced-based initiatives and coaching schools on best practices paid off.”

2015-2016 SPR Major Highlights

Major Gains in School Climate and Half of District Schools Saw an Increase in their SPR Ratings 

Highlights of the report include:

  • 115 schools (more than half of district schools) saw an increase in overall SPR score.  
  • 59 charter schools saw an increase in overall SPR score. 
  • 43 district schools went up an overall SPR tier. We are seeing progress across tiers as schools are moving from Intervene to Watch, from Watch to Reinforce and from Reinforce to Model. 9 more district schools are in the top two performance tiers than last year.  There are 3 more schools in the Model tier and 6 more schools in the Reinforced Tier compared to 2014-15.  This represents over 4,000 more students attending schools in the top two SPR categories.  
  • Achievement: 103 district schools and 55 charter schools saw an increase in their achievement score. 
  • Progress: The District exhibited strong evidence of growth (as measured by PDE’s Average Growth Index) in PSSA Math and ELA. 
  • Climate: 74% of district schools saw an increase in climate score (160 district schools in total). 53 district schools increased at least one tier in climate. 
  • Attendance: The percentage of students attending 95% or more of instructional days increased to 42% in SY 2015-2016, up from 39% in 2014-15. This is roughly the same as if 4,000 more children attended school at least 95% of the time and it triples the 1 percentage point improvement seen from years 2013-2014 to 2014-2015. 
  • Career and College Readiness: For the first time, the SPR includes student performance on NOCTI assessments, which measure how students in career and technical programs are performing. Nearly 1 in 5 seniors (19%) performed at the college- or career-level-ready on an AP, IB, or NOCTI assessment.  
Other Notable Highlights: 
  • Isaac Sheppard saw the percentage of K-2 students reading at grade level rise from 24% to 47%.
  • Parkway Center City saw the percentage of students attending at least 95% of days rise by 25 percentage points (from 42% to 67%).
  • Sayre saw the percentage of students with no out-of-school suspensions rise by 14 points (from 73% to 87%). 
  • PSSA science proficiency rates rose by at least 20 percentage points at Arthur, Waring, and Dobson.
  • Twelve schools received the “Model” designation for their Overall SPR score: William H. Loesche; Julia R. Masterman (for its HS report); Central High School; Albert M. Greenfield; Joseph Greenberg; Sadie Alexander; General George A. McCall; Girard Academic Music Program (for its MS report); Franklin Towne Charter HS; Mathematics, Science, and Technology Community Charter School (MaST, for its K8 report); Independence Charter School; and Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter School.  
There are four report types: Elementary, K8, Middle and High. Each school receives an overall score, as well as a score for each of four SPR domains (performance areas): Achievement, Progress, Climate and College and Career (high schools only).  

A school’s overall and domain scores are categorized into one of four performance tiers: Intervene (lowest), Watch, Reinforce and Model (highest).   Schools can achieve a maximum of 100 percent in each domain. Scoring is based on the floor (minimum standard) and target for each key performance indicator.  

The School Progress Report is available for download at  An updated parent's guide to SPR results will be released in mid-February. 

2015-2016 SPR Peer Leaders (bold represents City Leaders)
Elementary - Feltonville Intermediate School (Neighborhood school), Mastery Charter School at Mann (Neighborhood school), Rhawnhurst School (Neighborhood school), William H. Loesche School (Neighborhood school)

K8 – Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (Citywide), Alliance for Progress Charter School (Citywide), Eugenio Maria De Hostos Charter School (Citywide), Overbrook Educational Center (Citywide),Northwood Academy Charter School (Citywide), Eliza B. Kirkbride School (Neighborhood school),  Juniata Park Academy (Neighborhood school), Sadie Alexander School (Neighborhood school), General George A. McCall School (Neighborhood school)

Middle School – Alternative Middle Years at James Martin (Citywide), High School of Engineering and Science (Special Admission), Girard Academic Music Program (Special Admission)

High School – Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (Citywide), Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School (Citywide),  Multi-Cultural Academy Charter School (Citywide), Academy at Palumbo (Special Admission), Franklin Towne Charter High School (Citywide)

Most improved District Schools in SPR in 2015-2016  
Elementary - Watson Comly School
K-8 - Chester A. Arthur School
Middle - Academy for the Middle Years at Northwest
High School - Paul Robeson High School for Human Services


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