School Spotlight: The City School

The City School is a K-12 Christian school serving over 300 students across three campuses in Philadelphia. The school started in 1978 as a single campus and grew over time through the mergers of Spruce Hill Christian School, City Center Academy and Philadelphia Mennonite High School. City School campuses span the city from West Philadelphia to Center City, and in September, the school will open its fourth campus, an elementary school located in the old Mennonite High School building, to serve Fairmount and communities throughout North Philadelphia.

At The City School, excellence takes the form of rigorous programming designed to challenge students where they excel and meet them where they struggle. The school increases access for lower-income families through over $1 million in need-based financial aid provided to 75% of the student body.

The City School offers an intimate and diverse academic experience. Class sizes are capped at 22 students or less through the 8th grade, and the high school offers a variety of AP and dual-enrollment options. In addition to core academic courses, students can take electives such as photography, drama, weightlifting, Latin, music theory, advanced art and SAT prep. Outside of the classroom, students find enrichment in extracurricular offerings such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, debate, cheerleading and dance.

For the past 10 years, City School’s graduating seniors have boasted a 100% college acceptance rate. Recent graduates have been accepted to schools such as Brown University, Wheaton College, Morgan State University, Savannah College of Art and Design, the Royal Academy of Music, and numerous public universities. A full-time guidance counselor works closely with students to ensure they find a schools where they will continue to thrive in their lifelong pursuit of learning and growth.

Given the challenge and commitment it takes for a private school to develop the organizational capacity to expand while maintaining excellent academics and long-term sustainability, it is exciting that the City School is able to grow to serve more families with help from a PSP grant. The school is currently engaged in strategic planning to grow deeper and wider, to service more students and increase accessibility to for families those who might otherwise not afford a private education. Its long-term vision is to open multiple neighborhood-based elementary school campuses that feed into a centralized upper school. Through this season of exciting growth, the City School remains committed to caring for each individual student, one child at a time.

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