Searching for Schools on GreatPhillySchools

GreatPhillySchools offers a powerful search tool to help you identify schools that best match your needs. We explain below the many ways you can use the search function to narrow your selection.

Search by Any Criterion (or None)
Use as many of the search tools as you’d like. None is required. You can click on the “Search Schools” button without filling out anything to get a list of every school in the GPS database.

By School Names
Type in a school’s name as accurately as you can remember it. If you don’t get the result you’re looking for, try shortening the name. (A search for the “John A. Smith” school may not return a result for the “John B. Smith” school, but a search for “John Smith” will return all schools with John Smith in the name.)

By Keywords
You can type in multiple keywords, such as “boys science math.” But if you don’t get the results you’re looking for, try searching fewer words: maybe just “science.” If you get too many results, try narrowing your search by using more keywords.

By Address
Type in a Philadelphia street address or zip code. If you want, select a distance to limit search results to those within a specific radius.

By Neighborhood
Use this option instead of an address. Address searches will list results by proximity; neighborhood searches will list all schools within a neighborhood but not necessarily in the order of distance from your home.

By Overall Quality
For this and other rating categories, if you leave it blank you will see all schools meeting your other search criteria. If you click on 5+ or one of the other numbers, you will get results only for schools with that rating or higher.

By Grade Level
Searches for elementary schools will yield schools serving all or some grades from kindergarten through eighth. Middle schools will include schools that serve all or some grades from fifth through eighth. High schools will include those that serve ninth through 12th grades.

By School Types
There are three kinds of public schools, none of which charge tuition.

  • Public district schools generally have open enrollment for students living in the zone around the school.

  • Most public charter schools are open to students citywide, and if oversubscribed they must choose students via a lottery that gives all an equal chance at admission.

  • Public special-admission schools require applications, and in some cases they have minimum grade and test-score requirements.

Private schools charge tuition, although many offer full or partial scholarships.

  • Catholic schools are the most common type of private school in Philadelphia; they include religious instruction but don’t require students to be Catholic.

  • Private independent schools can be religiously affiliated or not.

How Results Are Sorted
If you search by address, results will be sorted by proximity to the address given. All other searches will be sorted by overall quality, from highest to lowest. (Schools lacking enough data to receive an overall quality score will appear last in such a list.)

Changing How Results Are Sorted
When looking at a list of search results, you can click on the header in any column to re-sort according to the ratings in that column.

Comparing Schools
Click on the “Compare” box at the right for up to four schools, then click the “Compare” button. You will be able to review up to four schools at once side by side.

Viewing School Profiles
Simply click on the name of a school at any time to view that school’s full profile page.

More Information

Looking for more information on finding a great school? See all articles here.