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South Philadelphia High School

South Philadelphia High School
2101 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19148
Type Public secondary
Established 1907
Principal Otis Hackney III
Grades 9–12
Color(s) Red and Black
Mascot Ram
South Philadelphia High School from Broad Street

South Philadelphia High School also known as Southern High is a public secondary high school located in the south section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the intersection of Broad Street and Snyder Avenue, just north of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex residential neighborhood, Marconi Plaza, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and near the Passyunk Avenue urban corridor of shops and restaurants.

The school, serving grades 9 through 12, is a part of the School District of Philadelphia.

The school serves portions of South Philadelphia (including Southwark) and the Rittenhouse Square section of Center City.[1][2][3]


  • History 1
  • Transportation 2
  • Feeder patterns 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Architecture 5
  • Student organizations 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Originally built in 1907 as the Southern Manual Training High School for boys. The Philadelphia School District administrators opened the School merely as a three year training facility for immigrant children, mostly Jewish and Italian, and children who lacked intellectual skills who “could only work with their hands”. But Israel Goldstein, a student, and first alumni scholarship winner in 1911, showed to school administrators that there was more promise for academics. He graduated the school at age 14 and then graduated the University of Pennsylvania at the age of 17. Israel Goldstein became a Rabbi, an author, spiritual leader and founder of Brandeis University in Waltham Mass. He became a leader of the Zionist movement in America and founder of the National Conference for Christians and Jews. Due in part to young Israel Goldstein as an example of student possibilities the 3-year training facility became a full four-year co-ed High School.

In the late 1960s the population in South Philadelphia changed from predominately poor Jewish and Italian immigrant and first generation children to include low-middle income Afro-American and immigrant Asian-American children. The number of student enrollment from 1960 to 2009 declined from over 1,000 to less than 500 students.

In the 2000s the school had an Asian American population that made up around 20% of the school, and that population consisted mostly of new immigrants. Tammy Kim of Hyphen said "the school, despite its otherwise nefarious reputation, has become well known for its [English as a second language] program."[4]

In December 2009, several Asian American students accused the school district of mishandling racial attacks that targeted Asian-American students.[5] On December 4, 2009, 26 Asian-American students, most of whom were of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, were attacked by a large group of African American students near campus.[6] Officials involved in resolving the incident, including Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and retired U.S. District Court Judge James T. Giles, were accused of failing to address the rising racial tension between different ethnic groups within the school, mishandling key evidence and eyewitness accounts in recent related attacks, and falsely accusing and punishing Asian-American students for inciting the attacks. Their actions prompted national outrage and boycotts from local Asian-American communities.[7]


SEPTA serves the school with Routes 2, 4, 37, 79, and the Broad Street Line. Students living at least 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away are given a free SEPTA transit pass which is issued every week in order to get to school.[8]

Feeder patterns

Feeder middle schools include Norris S. Barratt Middle School.[8] Feeder K-8 schools include F. Amedee Bregy School, D. Newlin Fell School, Albert M. Greenfield School, Southwark School, and Stanton School.[3][8]


As of 2010, about 1,000 students attend the school. 70% were black, 18% were Asian, and about 11% were non-Hispanic White or Hispanic.[9] As of 2010 the second floor housed immigrant students.[9]


The original school building was constructed 1907 in a Norman Romanesque style designed by Board of Education Architect Lloyd Titus.[10] The main building had an exterior grey stone façade, with two additions added.

Student capacity was three hundred fifty boy students. It expanded in 1914 for more boy students and a duplicate structure built for a new Girls' School with a passage connecting the two buildings that was referred to as "The Tunnel". In 1941 an open field located seven blocks south at 10th and Bigler streets was purchased by a student fund raising and added to the school property as an athletic field to enhance the athletic program. The field was competely renovated in 2008 by the School District of Philadelphia as a supercomplex for larger District-wide events. The original School of 1907 was demolished in 1955.

A new rectangular shaped building was constructed and opened in 1956 on half of the site. The single building was built as a co-ed facility. The frontage included a new grand sized patio plaza entrance, large ashalpted school yard and significant green space enclosed with a regal looking four foot black iron railing tipped in gold painted points. The modern architecture style utilized interior walls of cinder block, cement flooring and staircases, with a facade of light colored tan brick and large glavanized steel metal framed classroom windows. It contained four stories of 190 classrooms with an all modern infra-structure, a large gymnasium, auditorium and lunchroom with 1,500 seats.

In 2013 South Philadelphia High School in partnership with the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association gathered resources for a new sustainable master plan on urban crowdsourcing platform Projexity. The master plan anticipates the creation of rooftop agriculture, outdoor classrooms, porous pavement, solar panels, and many more improvements.[11]

Student organizations

After an incident occurred in October 2008 when 30 black students chased and attacked 5 Asian students,[12] a Chinese student named Wei Chen (s: 陈 威, T: 陳 威, P: Chén Wēi[13]), who originated from

  • South Philadelphia High School
  • Alumni Association

External links

  1. ^ "South Philadelphia High School Geographic Boundaries." School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved on October 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Albert M. Greenfield School." Center City Schools. Retrieved on November 8, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Albert M. Greenfield School – Where the Graduates Go." Center City Schools. Retrieved on November 8, 2008.
  4. ^ Kim, Tammy. "Immigrant Youth Remake South Philly after Anti-Asian Violence." Hyphen. July 21, 2011. Retrieved on January 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Asian students protest violence at South Philly High ABC News, Dec. 7th, 2009.
  6. ^ 26 Asian Students Attacked at Philly High School December 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Gammage, Jeff and Kristen A. Graham. "An Asian's anguish at S. Phila. Beaten at school, Hao Luu, 17, said the district mishandled his case.." The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 18, 2010. Alternate first page: "Asians tell of anguish over S. Phila. attacks."
  8. ^ a b c "A Directory of High Schools for 2009 Admissions." School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Teague, Matthew. "Heroes: South Philly High’s Protesters." Philadelphia (magazine). August 2010. 3. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  10. ^ "'"Lloyd Titus Philadelphia Architects and Building Profile original building name '''Southern Manual Training School''. Retrieved 2011-01-29. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Teague, Matthew. "Heroes: South Philly High’s Protesters." Philadelphia (magazine). August 2010. 4. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  13. ^ "南费城高中生陈威获种族关系奖." The Epoch Times. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  14. ^ Teague, Matthew. "Heroes: South Philly High’s Protesters." Philadelphia (magazine). August 2010. 7. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  15. ^ Teague, Matthew. "Heroes: South Philly High’s Protesters." Philadelphia (magazine). August 2010. 5. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  16. ^ Teague, Matthew. "Heroes: South Philly High’s Protesters." Philadelphia (magazine). August 2010. 8. Retrieved on January 31, 2013.
  17. ^ Broadcast Pioneers, "Al Alberts". Accessed 15 January 2013.
  18. ^ Marian Anderson Biography, Lakewood Public Library. Accessed 15 January 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag South Philadelphia High School Alumni Association, "Hall of Fame". Accessed 15 January 2013.
  20. ^ Official website, "bio". Accessed 15 January 2013.
  21. ^ Great Tenors, "Mario Lanza". Accessed 16 December 2013.


See also

Notable alumni


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