At a Glance

Dr. Janis Butler

Assistant Principal
Walter Myrick | E-mail
Ms. Sarah Reinbold | E-mail

Phone: 215-400-3700
Fax: 215-400-3701

Student Enrollment: 800

1400 W. Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141

SEPTA Routes:
C, 18, 6, 18, 22, 26,47, 55, 80, Broad Street Line

Mission & Approach to Learning

The Philadelphia High School for Girls has over one hundred and seventy years history as a public college preparatory school whose heritage is founded in tradition, for academically talented young women drawn from the diversity of our city. Our mission is to graduate students who will treat others compassionately and lead lives of personal integrity at the university level, ultimately preparing them to be future leaders. This is accomplished in a safe, nurturing environment that challenges the intellect, provides enriching extracurricular programs, embraces diversity and encourages ethical behavior. We maintain a rich and rigorous academic program, which includes Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment and Senior Year Only Program (SYOP), as well as outstanding humanities courses.

Points of Pride

  • Ranked among the top ten schools in Philadelphia
  • Top 14% of high schools in Pennsylvania and the Country by US News and World Report (2014-2015)
  • 2nd oldest all-girls public school in the country
  • Exceeding for the Keystone exams in the areas of Literature, Algebra I and Biology
  • 99% of students graduate with 90% attending college, many at top U.S. universities
  • Graduates earn more than 3 million dollars in scholarships and grants
  • International Baccalaureate Program and expanding number of Advanced Placement courses
  • Active chapters in the National Honors Society in Academics and Mu Alpha Theta for Mathematics
  • Confucius Classroom, Sister School to Wuxi No. 1 Girls School in China
  • Foreign Languages include Latin, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese
  • Continuous student travel opportunities to various International destinations
  • STEAM- Robotics (State Awardees)
  • Organizations to address diverse student interests
  • Active Student Government (Service Club) and Athletic Association with award winning athletic teams
  • Active Alumnae Association and Parent Teacher Daughter Association (PTDA)
  • District ASPEN Challenge Participants
  • District and State of Pennsylvania Science Fair Awards
  • District and State Art Awardees
  • Dual Enrollment Program (College Credits for students)

Our Traditions & Philosophy

Our Traditions

The Philadelphia High School for Girls was founded in 1848 to “prepare teachers for the common schools of Philadelphia.” It was the first municipally supported secondary school for girls in the United States and was called the Girls’ Normal School. In 1893, the Philadelphia High School for Girls separated from the Girls’ Normal School, and the basis for today’s college preparatory curriculum was laid. It continues to exist as a school for the academically talented, providing young students with outstanding opportunities for scholarship, leadership, and service. Its’ motto, “Vincit qui se vincit” (He conquers who conquers himself), is embodied in the Code of Honor and Courtesy written by students early in this century.


“Vincit qui se vincit” (He conquers who conquers himself), attributed to Publilius Syrus, a first century B.C. writer of mimes whose pithy sayings were frequently used as mottoes in Roman schools. Our school adopted this particular maxim because of the realization that self-mastery is one of the most important goals we should strive to attain.

Code of Honor and Courtesy

We, the students of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, recognizing that all progress comes through the definite pursuit of an ideal, and desiring to perpetuate the traditions of honor, self-control and service to others, so earnestly fostered by our school, do here set down an expression of the ideal of our school society hoping that such it may remain through all the years to come, and calling on each successive generation of students who follow us, solemnly and individually to subscribe to it, in token of their joining that honorable society and devoting themselves to its ideal.

We believe that our most sacred possession is our honor; and we would guard it so jealously that no human being, through us, should suffer the slightest wrong, and that, for no reward whatever, would we accept an advantage that is not fairly ours. Especially we would be faithful to every trust that our own hearts, or the confidence of others reposes in us. We would be kind: helping our fellows with gracious acts and ready sympathy, and in love for them seeking their good above our own. We would be brave: strong to accept defeat, rebuke, misfortune, and to turn them into gain always attempting, at least, the harder task and letting not one golden opportunity pass unchallenged. We would be wise: simple goodness, and devotion to duty, and every grace of the spirit we would set above any intellectual gain, however brilliant, and every mental attainment above all material things whatever; and we would give to what is noble and true our highest reverence. We here declare our purpose to dedicate our lives to this ideal forever.

Our Philosophy:

  • Each individual possesses unlimited potential for growth and change and has the power within to maximize that potential.
  • Each individual is a valued member of the school community.
  • Each individual must take personal responsibility for her actions and by doing so exercise self-discipline, which enhances the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Each individual, as part of the community, is responsible for the success of that community.
  • Moral/ethical behavior enhances the individual and the communities they inhabit.
  • Through honoring differences among individuals and groups, we enhance our community and ourselves.
  • Integrity, empathy, compassion, and respect are essential elements of fully integrated individuals.
  • Persistent individual effort in pursuit of a goal must be supported and rewarded.
  • The pursuit of excellence in a lifetime of learning is a goal of every member of the school community.
  • Each decision made should maximize an individual’s potential for growth.

What We Offer

Courses & Program Highlights

  • International Baccalaureate Program:
    • Biology
    • Chinese
    • History of the Americas
    • Literature
    • Mathematical Studies
    • Spanish
    • Theory of Knowledge
    • Visual Arts
  • Advanced Placement Courses:
    • Art History
    • Biology
    • Calculus
    • Chemistry
    • Chinese Language and Culture
    • English Literature and Composition
    • Environmental Science
    • Macroeconomics
    • Studio Art Drawing
    • U.S. Government and Politics
    • U. S. History
  • Dual Enrollment Programs
  • Extensive Honors and Advanced courses
  • Blended Classrooms
  • Electives including Anatomy, Art, Ceramics, Dance, Instrumental/Vocal Music, Organic Chemistry

Extracurricular Activities

  • Anime
  • Art
  • Creative Writing
  • Cultural Clubs
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Eco Recycling Club
  • Indo-Pak Club
  • Media
  • Music
  • Peer-to-Peer Tutoring
  • Robotics
  • Service Club
  • Student Gov’t
  • Yearbook

Sports Teams

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Competitive Cheer
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Indoor Track
  • Intramural’s
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball


  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia Youth Cycling Program
  • China Bridge Program
  • Classrooms to Careers
  • College Board
  • DASH Music Production Program
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Drexel University and Medical School
  • Eat Right Philly
  • Einstein Hospital
  • Ellis Trust Fund
  • Gift of Life Program
  • Hanban Asia Society
  • Inner Strength Foundation

Admission Criteria

  • Grades: As, Bs, and two Cs
  • Attendance: 90%
  • Standardized Test: 50th Percentile in ELA or
    50th Percentile in Math