Freire Schools has more than 20 years of success with raising student achievement and preparing historically underserved students for college. We believe all students can achieve and meet students where they are, providing a rigorous academic program and comprehensive supports that enable them to thrive. Every day, Freire Schools is making a lasting impact on Philadelphia’s and Wilmington’s youth.
- Freire Schools began in 1999 with just 100 students at Freire High School. Today, we serve 2,000 students across our four campuses in two cities.
- Since its founding, Freire Schools has brought life-changing learning opportunities to over 7,000 students in grades 5 to 12.
- 2020-21 was the third year that Freire Schools had graduating classes at all three of our high schools, with 293 students graduating network-wide.
Prepared for College
- Across the network, our Class of 2021 graduates were accepted to 146 colleges/universities and 100% of applicants who applied for college/university were accepted.
- The Classes of 2020 and 2021 faced a unique set of challenges with COVID-19, and more students opted to take a gap year due to uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact on college. But our students still made impressive progress toward their postsecondary goals, and 78% of our Class of 2021 graduates applied to and were accepted to college. With our kids back in in-person learning, our college counselors are eager to support our students as we move toward our pre-pandemic college acceptance rate of 93%.
- Freire Schools is successful in connecting students to the financial resources they need to be able to attend and persist at the college of their choice. The Class of 2021 received over $11.3million in college scholarships and financial aid, an average of nearly $50,000 per graduate.
- On average, 73% of Freire Schools graduates seamlessly enroll in college the fall after high school graduation, compared to the national average of 69%1. Other students have enlisted in the armed services or entered the workforce directly.
- Our students succeed upon enrollment in college. On average, 83% of college-enrolled Freire High School graduates persist to their second year of college – compared to the national average of just 76%2.
- Our college graduation rate far exceeds the national average: Freire High School’s college completion rate within six years after high school graduation averages 37% over the past three years, compared to a national average of just 27% for low-income students from high minority, public non-charter schools3.
- On average, 88% of Freire High School students graduate high school in four years – at least ten percentage points higher than the School District of Philadelphia’s four-year cohort graduation rate.
- In 2018-19 (the last year for which there are full test results due to COVID-19), Freire Middle School ranked #4 out of all public Philadelphia middle schools on the School District of Philadelphia’s annual school progress report. For the third consecutive year, Freire Middle School received a Progress score of 100%.
- The longer students attend Freire Wilmington, the better they perform. In 2018-19, juniors who enrolled at Freire Wilmington for at least three years were significantly more likely to score proficient on reading and math assessments compared to juniors who attended for just one or two years (47% proficient vs 20% in ELA and 22% proficient vs 12% in Math). Due to COVID-19, we do not have complete assessment data for 2019-20 or 2020-21.
- TECH Freire continues to show the incremental growth that is necessary for sustained impact, exceeding the School District of Philadelphia average for Literature proficiency in 2018-19 (the last year for which we have data due to COVID-19) and beating the statewide average for growth in Biology and Literature.
A Comprehensive Education
- Connecting kids to high-interest and academically enriching after-school and summer programs is a key part of our program. With support from the 21st Community Learning Center grant program and generous EITC support in Philadelphia, we are able to keep kids creating, dreaming, and growing during the hours when youth are most vulnerable.
- In a typical year, our students participate in over 52,000 hours of extended-day programming, with nearly 90 after-school clubs network-wide.
- When COVID-19 required us to pivot to virtual learning, we quickly moved our after-school and summer programs online. In 2020-21, we have 58 virtual clubs and academic centers helping kids create, connect, and have fun.
- Freire Schools dramatically reinvented its summer programming in 2021 to provide students opportunities to accelerate academic growth and reconnect with their peers in a variety of fun activities and field trips. Supported largely through ESSER federal funds, students were able to participate in academic activities (like Freire Wilmington’s Skill Builders) and a wide variety of clubs and field trips (from Freire Summer Stock to Junior Barber Academy to Freire High School’s “20 Trips in 20 Days.”
- All campuses provide Emotional Support programs that address social and emotional barriers to learning, by providing individual and family therapy at no cost to families.
- During in-person instruction prior to COVID-19, as many as 25% of students network-wide were accessing these critical mental health services.
- In spring 2020, we prioritized restoring these services online, and in 2020-21, over 11% of our students network-wide participated in virtual individual therapy.
Awards & Recognition
- Freire Middle School received Great Philly Schools’ 2020 High Growth Rating for demonstrating “impressive academic growth” over a three-year period in math and reading.
- In 2018, Freire schools network founder Kelly Davenport was honored by City and State’s PA Above & Beyond Awards.
- Freire High School received U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools Bronze Medal in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.
- TECH Freire was one of only five schools, out of 39 total applications, approved to open a new Philadelphia charter school in 2016.
- Freire Charter School was designated a Pennsylvania Distinguished Title 1 School in 2015.
- Freire Charter School was featured in Philadelphia Magazine’s 2014 article, “Four Philadelphia Schools that Work.”
- Freire Charter School was recognized by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale as “a charter school doing things right” following a clean performance audit in 2014.
- Freire Charter School received the U.S. Department of Education EPIC Silver Award for Student Achievement in 2011.
- In 2010, Freire Charter School became the first charter school in Pennsylvania to receive the National Title 1 Distinguished School award.