clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Where did thousands of students from closed schools go? First reports are in

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Just-released 2013 enrollment numbers from the School District show that the overwhelming majority of students displaced from closed schools ended up in other District schools.

The new reports on District, charter, and alternative school enrollments reveal some significant movement of students between schools this year and include the first publicly released data about where the students who were displaced by 24 closings in June have ended up.

The 213 District schools that remain open took in 5,763 of the students who moved out of closed schools. The closings resulted in an enrollment increase at the remaining District schools averaging 5 percent.

The city’s 86 brick-and-mortar charters took in only 511 students from closed schools, but charters saw their overall enrollment climb by 5,000 students. No data have been provided yet on cyber charter enrollments. Counting cybers, about one-third of all Philadelphia public school students are now enrolled in charters.

Alternative schools took in 68 students from closed schools, and the District’s new virtual academy enrolled 26 of the displaced students.

At some District schools designated as "receiving schools," the influx of new students was dramatic. Four schools saw their enrollments more than double: Duckrey Elementary, Penn Treaty Secondary School, Rhodes Elementary, and Roosevelt Elementary.

The District has not yet provided a complete accounting of how many students were displaced from closed schools and their whereabouts. Officials say nearly 600 are still unaccounted for; they say they can only track students who don’t appear in a District school or charter if the families ask for transcripts or other records to be sent to another district or to a non-public school.

Readers can compare the new data to fall 2013 District enrollment projections for schools previously published by the Notebook.

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing our daily reality

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help.

Connect with your community

Find upcoming Philadelphia events


  1. Dec 8 – Virtual Information Session

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat Philadelphia

Sign up for our newsletter.