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The Main Line is an affluent area in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Originally developed with estates and mansions owned by the area's wealthiest families, the Main Line is now a line of communities catering to those looking for luxurious homes in a beautiful location. With famous attractions, shopping, recreation and high-ranking schools, the Main Line’s vibrant real estate market is one of the largest and most stable in the US.
The Main Line communities are located along the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale rail line, and are the midpoint between Washington, DC and New York City. The core Main Line communities include Gladwynne, Bryn Mawr, Wayne, Radnor, and Villanova, and are all well established and the most affluent in the area. However, there are also younger communities that provide an urban feel, including Narberth and Ardmore.
The Main Line is also well known for the numerous schools in the area that are some of the highest ranking in the nation. With a mix of public school systems, private schools, and parochial schools, there is a great school for every student, including those requiring gifted programs or special education.
The real estate on the Main Line includes entry-level properties that start in the $250K range up to $400K. These homes are currently in high demand as more Philadelphians are choosing to relocate to the area for its beauty and culture, and so their children can benefit from stellar education.
Those looking for homes in this prosperous area can expect gorgeous properties and stunning homes, all at solid market prices. The high demand and price appreciation for homes in the $600K to $900K mid-level market has made the Main Line area home prices stable, even during the recession when other communities were seeing considerable losses in the values of their homes.
While homes ranging into the $2.5 million price range are seeing stable prices, this is not the norm. Those interested in living in one of the Main Line communities need to work with a professional realtor if they want the home of their dreams – in this demanding market, spectacular homes can sell within days or even hours of listing. A realtor can help you with negotiation tactics specific to the market, and help you secure that home you love.
Ardmore, located at the heart of the Main Line, is a vibrant community of both urban and suburban neighborhoods. Ardmore is in Lower Merion Township (Montgomery County), and is along the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line. Many residents walk to the train station every day and do a short 15-minute commute to Philadelphia city center. Amtrak direct train service from Ardmore is in place to New York Grand Central Station. Ardmore is also served by the light rail system connecting to Philadelphia’s 69th Street subway station.
Ardmore is one of the key economic centers of the Main Line region with thriving shops, restaurants, and businesses and one of America’s oldest shopping centers, “Suburban Square”. In Ardmore, you’ll find the farmers’ market, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Iron Hill Brewery, and trendy microbreweries.
Ardmore offers several urban parks to its residents, the two main parks being Vernon Young Park and South Ardmore Park. They offer opportunities for swimming, tennis, basketball and baseball, and are rallying points for young families over the weekend.
The Merion Golf Club located on the southwestern side of the city was created in 1912. It is an institution on the Main Line as it hosted several major golf championships, and more recently the 2013 US Open.
You will find a wide diversity of properties in Ardmore, from multimillion-dollar properties north of Lancaster Avenue, to white and blue-collar neighborhoods to condos mostly along Montgomery Avenue.
Bala Cynwyd (pronounced Bala "kinwid" or sometimes "kinwood" by the locals) is located on the Main Line, the western suburb of Philadelphia. It is the closest community to Philadelphia, bordering its western edge at US Route 1 (City Avenue). Merion and Merion Station border the communities of Wynnewood, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd.
It is a well-established mixed residential community made up predominantly of single-family detached homes, mostly in the tradition of Pennsylvania homes with stone construction.
You will enjoy Bala Cynwyd and Merion for the quiet neighborhood, yet its proximity by car to the city.
Tredyffrin Easttown school district is one of the best, potentially the best on the Main Line, neck to neck with Radnor and Lower Merion school districts.
Berwyn, Devon & Strafford are located along major roadways, specifically I-76 and Route 202, connecting Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
Berwyn, Devon & Strafford are very close to the King of Prussia Mall, referred by local as “KOP”. It is the largest shopping mall in the United States of America with numerous upscale retailers.
Devon is renowned for hosting the Devon Horse Show, a world-class dressage competition that draws competitors from around the country.
The most visited park, located in Berwyn, is Jenkins Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It showcases 46 acres of Pennsylvania's native trees, rhododendrons, azaleas, ferns, wildflowers, and more. It is a must visit park, all year round.
Bryn Mawr, located at the heart of the Main Line, sits on two counties and three townships. Specifically, Bryn Mawr lies in Lower Merion Township, Radnor and Haverford townships.
Bryn Mawr is situated along the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line connecting to city center in 20 minutes, and the light rail system connecting to Philadelphia’s 69th Street subway station.
The name Bryn Mawr, which means “big hill” in Welsh, is named after an estate in North Wales, the owner of which immigrated in 1686 to Pennsylvania from Dolgellau to escape religious persecution.
As for many of the Main Line communities, Bryn Mawr was initially settled as a summer destination for affluent families escaping Philadelphia’s summer months. With the development of the railroad and automobile, farmland was purchased by families who replaced pastures with manors and gardens.
Bryn Mawr is a well-established upscale urban and suburban community. It offers a beautiful setting for luxurious homes, with large country executive estates as well as planned communities such as Cornerstone or Radnor Chase subdivisions.
Bryn Mawr is home of the Bryn Mawr Hospital, one of the main hospital and health services providers in the region.
Gladwyne, located at the heart of the Main Line in the area’s wooded hills, is one of the most exclusive communities in the Main Line. It hosts some of the United States’ most prestigious estates and is home to CEOs, Wall Street bankers and famous sports team owners and players. Gladwyne was ranked as the seventh richest zip code in the country in a study by Bloomberg Business Week.
Thanks to the town’s effort to preserve space and restrict development, property development has been limited. To this day, many estates have retained the grandeur of the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
Gladwyne is mostly a residential community nestled among large estates on rolling hills, and still has a very rural feel, but is only a few minutes’ drive from I-76 and Philadelphia downtown.
Gladwyne is home to The Courts, a private tennis club, the Philadelphia Country Club, and Merion Cricket Club.
Gladwyne is located in the Lower Merion school district.
Haverford, bordered to the south by Ardmore and to the north by Bryn Mawr, is at the center of the Main Line. Haverford sits in both Haverford Township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County.
Haverford is located along the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line connecting to the city center in 20 minutes, and the light rail system connecting to Philadelphia’s 69th Street subway station.
Haverford is an exclusive suburban residential community, with a warm and low-key atmosphere. Like many of the Main Line communities, Haverford was initially settled as a summer destination for affluent families escaping Philadelphia’s summer months. With the development of the railroad and automobile, farmland was purchased by families who replaced pastures with manors and gardens.
Today, Haverford is most notable for being the site of Haverford College, a private, coeducational liberal arts college. It sits on a beautiful campus in the heart of Haverford, along Lancaster Avenue. The college was founded in 1833 by Quakers and was ranked 11th among all colleges and universities in the 2014 edition of Forbes’ “Top Colleges".
Malvern, a borough of just 3000, sits at the western end of the Main Line. Malvern's zip code is used by four surrounding townships, so the geographic area that is associated with it extends well beyond the minuscule borough.
Malvern is located along major roadways, specifically I-76 and Route 202, connecting Philadelphia and Harrisburg. The SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line connects you to Philadelphia’s city center in just 20 minutes.
At the edge of the traditional Main Line, and more affordable, Malvern is a growing community and is experiencing remarkable revitalization. The Malvern business district is now thriving as the community expands.
Malvern is home of the Great Valley School District, and together with Radnor, Tredyffrin and Lower Merion, is one of the best school districts in the nation.
Narberth is a small borough enclave in the middle of Lower Merion Township, close to the western edge of the city of Philadelphia.
With no major roadway slicing through Narberth, it has remained a small, contained, well-integrated, white and blue-collar community. Residents meet regularly at the park, and host numerous block parties.
Thanks to its small size and ample availability of shops, restaurants, banks, grocery stores and its two French bakeries, Narberth is a very walkable town. Many resident commute to the Philadelphia city center, which is just 10 minutes away via the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line.
Narberth is part of Lower Merion school district.
Narberth offers a good mix of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums in all price ranges, and its real estate market has always been one of the most vibrant on the Main Line.
In 1681, William Penn planned the "first inland town west of Philadelphia". The township was laid out around a center square, or "townstead" of approximately one square mile surrounded by farmland, and the city of Newtown Square was born.
While further away from the Main Line, Newtown Square and Broomall are more affordable communities, and offer of a wide range of housing options.
Some farms and large estates remain, but for the most part, the township was developed into a suburban community with old stone homes and structures dotting the landscape to serve as reminders of days gone by. Newtown Square and Broomall offer wide varieties of properties, from the million dollars houses located in newer subdivisions, to farmland properties, blue-collar neighborhoods, and condos along Route 3 and West Chester Pike.
Newtown Square and Broomall are located in Delaware County, and are served by Marple Newtown Schools.
In 1719, Joshua Evans' father purchased a 500-acre site from a certain William Penn. In 1969, Joshua Evans opened an inn, which he named 'Paoli' in honor of the Corsican General Pasquale Paoli after receiving the 45th toast while celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
The Battle of Paoli where the British launched a surprise attack on the American troops is also associated with this inn. The settlement that gradually developed around the inn gave rise to the modern Paoli.
Paoli is one of the farthest communities along the Main Line, and Paoli Station was actually the original end of the old Main Line. Today, the current end of the Main Line is Downingtown.
Paoli is located along major roadways, specifically I-76 and Route 202, connecting Philadelphia and Harrisburg. It is a short drive away from King of Prussia Mall, referred to by locals as “KOP”. It is the largest shopping mall in the United States, and is home to numerous upscale retailers.
The SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail system and Norristown High Speed Line connect you to the Philadelphia city center in just 20 minutes via the direct train. Amtrak direct train service from Paoli is in place to New York Grand Central Station.
Paoli is in Montgomery County and part of Tredyffrin Township, and is home to the Delaware Valley Friends School.
Penn Valley is located southeast of Gladwyne, and north of Bala Cynwyd and Narberth. With many winding roads, open spaces, and heavily wooded lots, it is a scenic and desirable community of the Main Line.
Penn Valley is located entirely within Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County, with all students attending the Lower Merion School District.
Penn Valley's proximity to I-76 makes it a short commute by car to downtown Philadelphia.
The communities of Radnor, Rosemont, Villanova, and St. Davis are thriving small towns located along Route 30, Lancaster Avenue, at the center of the Main Line, that offer a sophisticated lifestyle.
Together, the three neighborhoods create a strong community life and enjoy a rich cultural heritage. Settled in 1681 and incorporated as a township in 1684, Radnor became a first class township in 1901. It derives its name from early settlers from Radnorshire in Wales.
Commercial life in Radnor began to develop when the Welsh immigrants opened farms, tanneries, sawmills and gristmills. After the Pennsylvania Railroad came through Radnor in 1832, Radnor began to acquire more residential neighborhoods as well as commerce.
Over time, grand, luxurious estates developed as wealthy industrialists from Philadelphia turned farms into gorgeous country estates. Many of these remain today, and to this day, the Radnor Hotel remains an iconic institution on the Main Line.
Villanova, located just south of Radnor, enjoys great access to I-476, which is commonly called the Blue Route. While best known for Villanova University, it is a prime upscale community of the Main Line. Villanova offers a beautiful setting for luxurious homes, with large country executive estates as well as planned communities such as Trianon in Radnor Township and Harriton Farm in Lower Merion Township.
The Radnor and Lower Merion School Districts have been rated as two of the finest in the nation with STEM/Gateway curriculum starting in 8th grade, and offering IB (International Baccalaureate) programs.
Radnor has many parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields for picnicking, fishing, jogging, and team sports. In addition, the preservation of trees and landscape along significant streets makes Radnor one of the most picturesque towns of the Main Line.
Valley Forge was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777–1778 during the American Revolutionary War. Sitting approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, it is located along major roadways and more specifically I-76, Route 202 and Route 422, providing easy access to the city.
Valley Forge is also located near the King of Prussia Mall, which is referred to by locals as “KOP”. KOP is the largest shopping mall in the United States of America, and is home to numerous upscale retailers.
The Tredyffrin-Easttown school district is one of, if not the best, on the Main Line, neck and neck with the Radnor and Lower Merion School Districts.
Valley Forge is mostly known for its National Historical Park. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.
The community is mostly composed of residential single homes in quiet wooded neighborhoods.
Originally settled in the late 1600s by Quakers, Wayne was primarily a rural area until the Pennsylvania Railroad brought further development.
Well-to-do Philadelphians settled in Wayne in search of beautiful summer properties. Wayne became one of the most exquisite communities on the Main Line, and is highly desired by affluent families, executives, and families alike.
For over 100 years, Wayne has been considered one of the best suburbs of Philadelphia in which to live and raise a family. Victorian and Colonial homes are abundant in Wayne, many with beautifully landscaped grounds.
The public school system is one of the finest in the country and includes the districts of Radnor, Tredyffrin-Easttown, and Upper Merion. Wayne also has excellent private schools including the Valley Forge Military Academy and the Devereaux School.
The centerpiece of the Wayne community is the historic Wayne Hotel and the iconic Anthony Wayne 1920s art-deco movie theatre. Wayne is also one of the most popular shopping areas of the Main Line, with charming boutique shops and family restaurants along Lancaster and North Wayne Avenues.
Parks abounds in Wayne, and it is home to the Chanticleer Foundation, the house and grounds of which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The area was originally known as Turk's Head — after the inn of the same name located in what is now the center of the borough.
West Chester has a large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic boroughs in the country. The Downtown Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and is one of the most walkable communities in Pennsylvania.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania is located in West Chester, and is a big part of the character and culture of the town.
West Chester is part of the rapidly growing suburban community. A few years ago, CNN rated West Goshen Township in West Chester 11th in the country on the list of best places to live.
Wynnewood is a Main Line community located in Lower Merion.
Wynnewood is a wealthy, lovely, well-established suburban residential neighborhood which encompasses institutions such as Lankenau Hospital, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Palmer Theological Seminary, and Friends' Central School.
Wynnewood sits just next to Ardmore, which is one of the key economic centers of the Main Line region with thriving shops, restaurants, and businesses. Locals enjoy shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Wynnewood is serviced by the award-winning Lower Merion School District.
Haverford School District
The Haverford School District serves the northeastern Delaware County area, and currently has a student body of 5,475 students. The district is broken down into five elementary schools for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, one sixth through eighth grade middle school, and one high school. HSD has a School Performance Profile Score of 97.7%, which places it as one of the best school districts in Pennsylvania.
HSD ranks number 8 overall among the 500 school districts currently serving Pennsylvania students based on the rankings released in 2014.
Haverford School District consists of seven schools, including:
· Chatham Park Elementary – Currently teaches 595 students, with a racial breakdown of 87.23% being white and 12.7% being students of color. The school has a 96.7 academic building level score.
· Chestnutwold Elementary – Chestnutwold re-opened its doors in 2006, and has a total enrollment of 501 students. The school has an 87.1 academic building level score and a 100% promotion rate with students.
· Coopertown Elementary – Has a current attendance level of 441, and an academic building level score of 93.3.
· Lynnewood Elementary – Currently educates 592 students, with an ethnic breakdown of 83.36% white and 16.64% students of color. Lynnewood also has an 87.5 academic building level score.
· Manoa Elementary – Manoa serves 559 students in grades kindergarten 5th grade. Students have instruction weekly in special areas, which include music, art, physical education, and library. The academic building level score is 83.8.
· Haverford Junior High – Haverford Junior High opened its doors in 1945, and today serves 1,298 students. The school has an academic building level score of 88.4 percent.
· Haverford High School – This high school serves 1,737 students in grades 9 – 12. Its current academic level building score is 99, with over 82% of students achieving scores in the top 3 or 4% for AP exams and IB exams.
The Haverford School District also offers Gifted Individualized Education Plans for students who test with IQs of 130 or above. These plans are designed around the student’s strengths, and includes both inside and outside the classroom instruction. Gifted courses include AP and Honors classes, as well as extracurricular activities including robotics and student government.
Lower Merion School District
The Lower Merion School District (LMSD) serves Lower Merion Township and Narberth Borough residents. The public school district was established in 1834, and was one of the first in Pennsylvania. LMSD consists of six elementary, two middle, and two high schools, and currently serves over 8,200 students. It is also known as one of the best public school systems available in the United States.
The Lower Merion School District consists of ten different schools, and is located amidst the Main Line suburbs in Philadelphia. The 8,200-student body is made up of 76.87% white, 9.32% Asian, 7.84% African American, 3.19% Hispanic, and 2.78% multiracial ethnicities.
The Lower Merion School District consists of the following schools:
· Elementary Schools
o Belmont – 468 students with 100% of courses taught by teachers that are highly qualified. This school also has a 92.3 academic building level score
o Cynwood – 543 students and has a 93.4 academic building level score. The student body also includes 9.07% who are considered gifted
o Gladwyne – 738 students and earned an academic building level score of 90.5, with 8.53% of students in gifted programs
o Merion – 568 students, and a 100.5 academic building level score based on receiving all 100 scores on performance measures, plus .5 for advanced placement courses
o Penn Valley – 660 students with a 94.6 academic building level score. This school also has 9.48% of students enrolled in gifted courses
o Penn Wynne – 682 students and earned a 94.8 academic building level score. Each class is taught by teachers who are highly qualified, with 10.71% of students enrolled in gifted courses.
· Middle Schools
o Bala Cynwyd – 901 students with an 89.9 academic building level score, with 18.11% of students enrolled in gifted courses
o Welsh Valley – 973 students, 16.65% of which are enrolled in gifted courses. This school also earned an 86.9% academic building level score.
· High Schools
o Harriton – 1,170 students with a 96.4 academic building level score. This school also received individual scores of 100 for their International Baccalaureate programs in Mathematics and Life and Physical Sciences. The IB program could be a great option for expatriated students looking at continuing their education overseas.
o Lower Merion – 1,350 students with a 96.0 academic building level score and 96.73% of available classes being taught by highly qualified teachers
The Lower Merion School District is one of the highest ranked in Philadelphia, ranking along with Tredyffrin Easttown and Radnor School Districts within the top 10 districts in the state.
Marple Newtown School District
The Marple Newtown School District serves Delaware County in Pennsylvania, and has a current student body of 3,545 students. The district provides 23 Advanced Placement courses and 32 Honors courses across all academic areas, and Special Education options. Students have a variety of learning options available, including cyber learning, independent study, elective courses, athletics, and numerous extra-curricular activities.
Marple Newtown School District is composed of four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. There are 3,545 students, with an ethnic breakdown of 88.83% white, 6.87% Asian, 2.21% African American, 1.25% Hispanic, and .84% multiracial. The district has 144 students enrolled in gifted programs, and 699 in Special Education courses attending MNSD. Of those students, .2% are considered limited English proficient, and 5.13% are considered low income.
The current graduation rate is 96.9%.
The schools in Marple Newtown include:
· Culbertson Elementary – Culbertson, like all the elementary schools in this district, serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This school has 356 students, with 5.9% of the students being of color. The school has an 85.4 academic building level.
· Loomis Elementary – This school serves 325 students, with 1.23% being in gifted courses. The ethnic breakdown is 86.46% white, and 13.54% students of color. Loomis has an 82.6 academic level building score, and has 4.62% of the student body in ELL courses.
· Russell Elementary – Russell serves 362 students, 2.21% of whom are listed as gifted students. The school has an academic building level score of 83.1.
· Worrall Elementary – Worrall opened its doors in 1957, and currently educates 334 students. The gifted program students are 2.69% of the student body, and 3.89% are English Language Learners.
· Paxon Hollow Middle School – Serving 807 students, 1.98% of whom are enrolled in gifted courses, Paxon is the only middle school for the Marple Newtown District.
· Marple Newtown Senior High School – Marple Newtown SHS currently has 1,163 students enrolled, with 2.15% being in gifted courses, and 1.46% in ELL programs. The school has a 93.1 academic building level score. Over half of the student body earned 3% or higher on AP and IB exams.
The Marple Newtown School District serves students within 20.6 square miles in Delaware County.
Radnor School District
Radnor Township School District encompasses 14 square miles in Radnor Township. The district includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The Radnor school district, like both the Tredyffrin and Lower Merion school districts, has been recognized as one of the best in the nation, and includes numerous athletic fields, educational spaces, parks, and playgrounds.
The Radnor Township School District (RTSD) has 3,605 students enrolled, with the student body being made up of 75.78% white, 15.06% Asian, 4.58% African American, 3.91% Hispanic, and .67% multiracial ethnicities. The district consists of five different schools, including:
· Ithan Elementary School (IES) – Currently serves 434 students, and received a Pennsylvania School Performance Profile Score of 98.3 out of 100 for the 2013-2014 school year.
· Radnor Elementary School (RES) – RES currently has 585 students, and scored 94.6 out of 100 for the 2013-2014 school year on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile Score.
· Wayne Elementary School (WES) – WES has 577 students, and received 85.3 out of 100 for the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile Score.
· Radnor Middle School (RMS) – There are currently 890 students attending RMS, and the school earned 96.1 out of 100 on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile Score.
· Radnor High School (RHS) – RHS has 1,166 students and received a Performance Profile Score of 98 out of 100. Additionally, the school received a Gold ranking on the US News Best High Schools list for 2015.
The Radnor Township School District has 321 teachers, and has the distinction of being listed as the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s highest scoring school system in academic performance. Students attending Radnor Middle and High Schools can enter the STEM-based Project Lead the Way program that features multidisciplinary hands-on enrichment courses in engineering, math, science, and technology for students wishing to enter these fields.
The district also offers Gifted Individual Education Plans for students who test with IQs in the range of 130 or above. These plans include extensions in curriculum, acceleration of individual courses, and/or replacement work based on the individual student’s needs.
Tredyffrin/Easttown School District
The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District (TESD) serves the Tredyffrin and Easttown townships, providing education for over 6,000 students. Located in Chester County, the district is comprised of five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. TESD boasts 450 full time teachers, with an average of 11.6 years of teaching experience, and 84% having advanced degrees.
The Tredyffrin/Easttown School District serves the communities of Berwyn, Chesterbrook, Daylesford, Devon, Paoli, Strafford and Wayne. The district’s 6,000 plus student body is made up of 76.33% white, 15.77% Asian, 3.33% African American, 2.45% Hispanic, and 2.11% multiracial ethnicities. All students attend one of eight schools, which include:
· Valley Forge Elementary – Opened in 1958, and has a current student body of 450 students.
· New Eagle Elementary – Provides classes for kindergarten to 4th grade, and serves around 440 students.
· Hillside Elementary – Provides education for kindergarten through 4th grade students, with classes that include science, social studies, the arts, foreign language, technology, and physical activities.
· Devon Elementary – Currently has a student body of 529 kindergarten through 4th grade students spread among 26 teachers. Special education areas include music, art, physical education, and library.
· Beaumont Elementary – Provides K-4 education to 455 students and has 21 teachers with special areas including music, physical education, art, and library.
· Tredyffrin/Easttown Middle – Currently has a student body of around 1,000 students, and provides education for 5th through 8th grade students. Special areas include one half-year in French and Spanish, as well as art, music, health, and PE.
· Valley Forge Middle - Serves students in 5th through 8th grade, and includes daily curriculum in health, art, physical education, music, tech ed., and Spanish.
· Conestoga High – Provides education for 2,051 students in grades 9 – 12, and provides a wide range of sports activities, including soccer, field hockey, cross country, golf, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, ice hockey, squash, swimming, wrestling, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, and softball.
TESD is considered one of the best school districts in Philadelphia, with students consistently ranking among the top 5% on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, outranking both Lower Merion and Radnor, which are also both highly ranked school districts in the Main Line.
Upper Merion School District
The Upper Merion School District is made up of four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The district serves Montgomery County students located in Bridgeport Borough, Upper Merion Township, and West Conshohocken Borough. The school district was created in 1836, when it was made up of 7 schools and served 868 students. Today, that number has grown to a population of more than 3,900 students.
The Upper Merion School District (UMSD) serves a wide variety of students from all walks of life, and provides cutting-edge technology, an exemplary curriculum, and numerous extra-curricular activities for students of all ages. The schools include:
· Bridgeport Elementary School
· Caley Elementary School
· Candlebrook Elementary School
· Roberts Elementary School
· Upper Merion Area Middle School
· Upper Merion Area High School
Upper Merion High School was ranked 37th among Pennsylvania high schools, and has a total enrollment of 1,129 students. The student body according to the most recent information available from the 2013-2014 school year was 49% female and 51% male, with a 36% minority enrollment.
The Upper Merion School District also includes the Belmont Charter School, which approaches education holistically, incorporating education with emotional and social needs. Another school in the district, the Gulph School, provides before and after school childcare services for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.
UMSD schools provide special education to 12.2% of the student body using the required Individualized Education Programs to ensure that each child’s educational goals are met to further growth. Additionally, the district has 158 students enrolled in gifted courses, and serves 29% of the students who are low-income. As of the most recent data reported in 2-13, there were 153 students in English as a Second Language courses.
Each school in the Upper Merion School District provides Gifted and Talented classes, ensuring those students who test with IQs of 125 or above, and who meet additional screening requirements, receive the education they need to grow in their learning and abilities. This process continues from elementary through high school, providing gifted students with the individualized programs they need for their educational goals while in the Upper Merion School District.
West Chester School District
The West Chester School District is made up of 10 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 high schools. The district covers a 75 square mile area in the center of Chester County, and has a student body of nearly 11,600, which is made up of 79.8% white, 7.3% Asian, 6.2% Hispanic, 5.5% African American, and 1.2% multiracial ethnicities, creating diversity throughout the school system.
The schools in the West Chester School District provide educational options for students and families in East and West Goshen, Westtown, East Bradford, West Whiteland, Thornbury and West Chester Borough. The district includes:
· Elementary Schools
o Sarah Starkweather
o Penn Wood
o Mary C. Howse
o Glen Acres
o Fern Hill
o East Goshen
o East Bradford
· Middle Schools
· High Schools
o East High
o Henderson High
o Rustin High
The West Chester School District attempts to keep the number of students in each school as equal as possible, with a focus on making sure elementary schools do not go over 600 students, middle schools over 1,000, and high schools over 1,350 students.
The students’ progress in each school is carefully monitored with Pennsylvania Keystone exams and the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments, as well as district-based testing. A majority of students throughout the school system achieve scores higher than state averages, with numerous students reaching advanced level scores. Among the high schools, over 90% of graduating students go on to college.
In 2014, 10 of the West Chester schools received Governor’s School of Excellence awards due to receiving School Performance Profiles with scores over 90%.
In addition to the required academic courses, West Chester School District also offers special education programs, individualized gifted programs, and extended kindergarten day programs. Students can begin taking language courses in seventh grade for select students, or eighth grade for all others. High school students can take classes in foreign languages, art, consumer sciences, music, distributive education, family sciences, business, and other specialized courses.
The West Chester School District also places emphasis on the use of technology and Internet-based modalities throughout all schools to provide enhanced learning opportunities.