Penn Alexander School K-8

Sheila A. Sydnor

4209 Spruce St.
Philadelphia PA 19104
Phone: 215-823-5465

Providing all students with the academic, technological & social skills needed to be productive & contributing citizens in our society.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander

Welcome to Penn Alexander School




The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School is the result of a historic partnership among the University of Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to build a model university-assisted, K-8 public school for West Philadelphia children. Befitting this “first” public-private partnership, the school was named for Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, a distinguished graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a woman of many “firsts.”  Founded in 2001 at 43rd and Locust Streets in Philadelphia, the school is dedicated to providing high-quality public education to neighborhood children through a child-centered, research-based program.  Located in a diverse West Philadelphia community, the Penn Alexander School serves approximately 550 neighborhood students. 


Visit our News & Events page for information about what's happening at PAS.

Learn about the PAS Science Fair

Visit our Middle School Homework website

Learn about the School District of Philadelphia's Parent Volunteer policy






The Penn Partnership

In June 1998, the University of Pennsylvania, School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers announced an unprecedented commitment to public education: the creation of an exemplary PreK-8 neighborhood public school. The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School was developed with the participation of parents, teachers, university faculty, community members, and neighborhood groups. The school was named for Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, a distinguished graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. To read more about her, please visit the biography page.

The School opened with Kindergarten and first grade in September 2001. The phase-in of all grades (PreK-8) was complete in 2004. The School currently serves approximately 550 students in grades K through 8.



Located on a five-acre campus site, this unique public school has already been hailed as a “gold standard” by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities for bringing the most effective, research-proven educational practices into the classroom.

Penn’s partnership with PAS is a campus-wide endeavor. The University subsidizes the school with an operating contribution of $1330 per student—an amount that helps to keep the student-teacher ratio low (18:1 for kindergarten and 24:1 for grades 1-8).

In addition, Penn has participated in raising additional funding, including a grant from the William Penn Foundation to support the school’s community programming and the creation of the PAS Endowment, seeded with gifts from former Penn president Judith Rodin and others. The University also maintains the lush green space surrounding the school and cooperates with the community and the school in developing the grounds for use by students and University City families.

A large number of Penn schools, departments, and programs are working with PAS to enrich the students’ educational experiences. Penn Graduate School of Education is closely involved, contributing expertise and hands-on effort to Penn Alexander by providing Penn student teachers in the classrooms, professional development courses and workshops for staff, and enriched curriculum in literacy, math and science as well as an integrated global studies program at the middle grades. Penn students from all across the campus serve as interns, tutors, pen pals, and leaders of after-school clubs. Penn faculty in many different disciplines develop curriculum units and assist PAS teachers with instruction. Penn organizations provide reduced-rate or complimentary tickets and services to PAS students. Every grade at Penn Alexander has its own unique Penn partnership, and all students benefit from the depth and breadth of the school’s collaboration with the University. The school is grateful for the support of the Kelly Writers House, Department of Music, School of Social Policy and Practice, School of Dental Medicine, Annenberg Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University Museum, School of Nursing, Penn Law, University Bookstore, Weiss Tech House, WXPN, Department of Recreation, Center for Community Partnerships, Community and Government Affairs and many others.




Check in to see the latest photos of school events as well as the photo galleries from past years. We are working to bring all of our photo albums back online.




Penn Alexander General School Enrollment Policies

From the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement

General Guidelines

From the Office of Student Enrollment and Placement

Kindergarten Guidelines 2015-2016



Penn Alexander wins Middle School Science category at Intel Schools of Distinction Awards 




University of Pennsylvania Partnership School


More information on the Intel Schools of Distinction