Central High School

high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Central High School is a public high school in the Logan section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Central, the second-oldest continuously used public high school in the United States, was founded in 1836 and is a four-year university preparatory magnet school. About 2,400 students attend grades 9 through 12. It consistently ranks among the top schools in the city and state. Central is regarded as one of the top public schools in the nation due to its high academic standards. This school requires exceptional grades for enrollment.Central High School is the only high school in the United States with authority, granted by an Act of Assembly in 1849, to confer academic degrees upon its graduates. This practice is still in effect, and graduates who meet the requirements are granted the Bachelor of Arts degree. Central also confers high school diplomas upon graduates who do not meet a bachelor's degree requirement. Due to its authority to grant academic degrees, Central traditionally refers to the principal of the school as the "President" of Central High School. The current incoming President is Katharine Davis, the school’s first woman and person of color to hold the position. Central, rather than using a general class year to identify its classes (as in "class of 2022"), uses the class graduating number system (as in "280th" graduating class" or "280"). This tradition started shortly after the school's founding when it was common to have two graduating classes per year – one in January and one in June. In June 1965, semiannual graduations were replaced by annual graduations. As of the 2022-2023 school year, the current senior class is 282.
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