Philadelphia is the eighth largest school district in the country, and its public students are overwhelmingly poor: 79 percent of them are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. The high school graduation rate is only 64 percent and fewer than half of students managed to score proficient or above on the 2013 PSSA.

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St. James… More Than Just a School!

If not for the residents of Allegheny West, the mission to open the gate to St. James School would have come and gone already. While the primary focus on Clearfield Street this fall is operating a strong middle school, there will be plenty of upcoming opportunities for everyone in the community to be involved.


Adult, Family & Senior Program

  • Computer workshops
  • Garden workshops
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Senior fitness classes

Facility Rental

  • Consider us for your next…
  • Birthday party
  • Anniversary celebration
  • Neighborhood meetings

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St. James School is at the heart of this neighborhood.


Residents have responded favorably to our work and the many activities going on today. We are continually inspired by their collective investment in St. James—it has become a neighborhood initiative. As a community working together, St. James School has found great assurance in the opportunity for middle school children to advance to high schools and colleges that will form their future success.

The Allegheny West community’s location in upper North Philadelphia puts the neighborhood at the geographic center of the Philadelphia region. The borders are Ridge Avenue on the west, 17th Street on the east, Lehigh Avenue on the South. The neighborhood is just five miles from City Hall and within close proximity to the Main Line, Conshohocken and the Philadelphia International Airport.

Home to over 19,000 residents and numerous businesses, civic groups and schools, Allegheny West is a vibrant community full of potential, which St. James School is helping to nurture and grow. Our 400-square-block neighborhood is characterized by pedestrian-friendly neighborhood parks and green spaces, and blocks characterized by traditional Philadelphia row homes and small apartment buildings.

African Americans currently make up the largest percentage of the neighborhood, while a growing Latino and Asian population is emerging.

While the loss of many industrial businesses left a large gap in the neighborhood’s employment and business network, there are several major anchor institutions that provide employment for residents and meet the basic health needs of community members.

Several prominent Philadelphia companies continue to maintain their corporate headquarters in our community, including Penn Fishing Reels and Pep Boys.