Our History

The Philadelphia School (TPS) was founded in 1972 by a group of parents who wanted to nurture the natural curiosity and intellect of children. They set out to create a professionally run school that set high academic standards, celebrated joyful learning, respected  and educated the whole child, and fostered creativity and innovation.  This new school was to use the rich resources of the city of Philadelphia in meaningful ways, provide direct and frequent experiences in the natural world, and respond to new developments in education.

And they succeeded. Today, 46 years later, our founders' vision of a City Country Classroom endures. We have grown from 14 children to 467 and from a handful of rented rooms in Rodeph Shalom Synagogue on Broad Street to our own three-building campus on S. 25th Street. (For a short history of our Lombard Street building by Hidden City Philadelphia, click here.)

Despite this growth, our founders – some of whom are now grandparents of TPS students – recognize the school they started.  So much of what we do today – our values, our passion for teaching and learning, our respect for childhood, our celebration of creativity, multiple perspectives, and innovation – harkens back to the dreams of our founders. Learn here. Go anywhere.

For a trip back in time to the school's early years, take a look at our First Ten Years.