Benjamin Franklin High School (Philadelphia)

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Franklin High School
Benjamin Franklin HS 01.jpg
Benjamin Franklin High School, main entrance
550 N Broad St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
United States
School districtThe School District of Philadelphia
PrincipalGregory Hailey[1]
Enrollment703 (2014-15)[2]

Benjamin Franklin High School is a public high school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The school, located north of Center City, is a part of the School District of Philadelphia. Franklin serves sections of North Philadelphia and Center City.

Franklin is a mostly African American school.[3] In the late 1960s, there was a student-led effort to rename the school in honor of recently slain Malcolm X.[4] This effort officially failed, but some students still refer to the school by this name.[5]

Around 2005 Franklin began housing a charter school catering to Chinese Americans.[6] In addition, as part of an international studies academy, it added Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language for study in 2005. The new international studies focus attracted 40 new students from the Chinatown area.[3]


Benjamin Franklin High School, side facade with murals, 2016

In September 1979 the school opened up to the first 9th graders and females. The class of 1979–1980 graduated its first and only female, Iris Chase, who wore a white and red robe instead of a blue and gold one.[citation needed]

Franklin was one of the first high schools in Philadelphia serving the African American community. By the late 1980s the school had become run down and plagued with violence. Conditions at Franklin worsened when the School District of Philadelphia cut the school's funding due to many economic problems in the area. In 2007, a $4 million renovation was made. The renovations included the gymnasium, auditorium and classrooms, and front entrance facade, as well as the replacement of doors and windows. In order to create new classroom space, a small rooftop building addition was constructed, with the addition of new steel dunnage and air handling units.[7]

In January 2016 a fight occurred in a hallway, and an individual fired a gun. Nobody was injured by the gunfire, and one student was arrested.[8]

Zoned neighborhoods[edit]

Franklin serves several areas, including the Fairmount, Spring Garden, the section of Northern Liberties south of Poplar Street, and portions of Center City, including Chinatown, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, Logan Square, and Society Hill.

Franklin used to serve the former Richard Allen Housing Project.[6]

Feeder patterns[edit]

Feeder K–8 schools include:[9]

  • Bache-Martin
  • Dunbar
  • Greenfield
  • General Philip Kearny
  • McCall
  • Meade
  • Morris
  • Spring Garden
  • Laura Wheeler Waring

Former feeder K–8 schools include:[10]

  • Ferguson
  • Harrison
  • Hartranft

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "School Profile". Archived from the original on 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  2. ^ "Franklin Benjamin HS". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "China's clout echoes in classes, To spread the word on global needs, schools add Mandarin instruction. Paul Vallas hopes students join the crowd and learn a language spoken by 1.3 billion." Philadelphia Inquirer. Monday October 31, 2005. B01 Local News Philadelphia & its Suburbs. Retrieved on November 8, 2011.
  4. ^ Moore, Acel. "Stamp Honoring Malcolm Shows How Times Change." Philadelphia Inquirer. February 23, 1999. Retrieved on December 12, 2016.
  5. ^ A Philadelphia fencing prodigy
  6. ^ a b Snyder, Susan. "Selling schools – to families, A new campaign touts 20 Center City sites. Its aim: Retain the middle class. Schools pitch aims at stemming flight of the middle class." Philadelphia Inquirer. Monday August 22, 2005. City-D A01 Local. Retrieved on November 8, 2011.
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Juvenile arrested in Ben Franklin shooting". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  9. ^ "High School Directory Fall 2017 Admissions" (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. p. 30/70. Retrieved on November 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Benjamin Franklin High School Geographic Boundaries Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.." School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved on November 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "George Nock bio". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "Wendell Tucker bio". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "J.T. Turner bio". Retrieved January 6, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′49″N 75°09′44″W / 39.9636°N 75.1621°W / 39.9636; -75.1621