WALTER B. SAUL HIGH SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
At a Glance
Mission & Approach to Learning
At W.B. Saul High School, our mission is to promote student leadership that makes a difference in our world. Through diverse, hands-on opportunities rooted in an urban setting, Saul students apply their knowledge and skills to address modern environmental and agricultural challenges. To enhance post-secondary and career success, Saul students drive the future by learning to do, doing to learn and learning to serve.
Points of Pride
- Largest agricultural high school in the nation
- Recognized and honored as one of the state’s top Career/Technical schools by the PA Dept of Career and Technical Education
- Named 2019, 2020, and 2021 U.S News & World Report’s Best High Schools in Pennsylvania
- Strong partnerships resulting in internships and job placement
- 96% Graduation Rate
Coat of Arms
The Saul Coat-Of-Arms (or Shield,) is divided into three sections: the Dexter Chief, the Sinister Chief and the Bottom Field.
The Dexter Chief (top right as the shield is carried/top left to the viewer,) is the Coat-Of-Arms of the William Penn, for whom Pennsylvania is named.
The Sinister Chief (top left as the shield is carried,) depicts the clipper ship which appears on the Seal of the City of Philadelphia, denoting the location of the school.
The Bottom Field shows an open book, signifying the educational values of the school. Superimposed on the book are a plow and a cornucopia, which are indicative of the agricultural education provided by the school.
Above the Coat-of Arms is the school’s mascot, the Phoenix bird, emerging from the flames. Below the Coat of Arms is the Ribbon, boldly proclaiming the name.
The agricultural program was founded in 1943, when classes and practicums were held at the Shallcross School. In 1945, the program moved to the Widener Memorial School at Broad Street and Olney Avenue. In 1948, a new classroom center was opened at Howe Elementary School at 13th and Grange Streets. Classroom activities were moved to Howe and the practicum remained at Widener. The School District acquired the property at 7100 Henry Avenue in 1950 (formerly a retirement home,) along with a 99-year lease on the property east of Henry Avenue. The practicum moved to Henry Avenue, and classroom activities to Gratz High School. In 1951, the classes and practicum were united at the present location, the school was renamed the Wissahickon Farm School and operated under that name until 1957, when the old buildings underwent major renovations. With the improvements to the facility came a new name: The Philadelphia High School of Agriculture & Horticulture. Dedication of the current academic building took place in 1961.
Walter Biddle Saul was a prominent attorney in the city of Philadelphia, and a partner in the law firm of Saul, Ewing, Remick and Saul, but is perhaps better remembered for his distinguished and dedicated service as the President of the Philadelphia Board of Education. During his long tenure with the Board, he was a staunch supporter of the programs of Wissahickon Farm School/ Philadelphia High School of Agriculture & Horticulture. In fact, the school was only made possible through his foresight and determination to have the necessary funding provided by the Board.
In 1966, in recognition of his contribution to public education and his devoted patronage of the school, the Board of Education changed with name of The Philadelphia High School of Agriculture & Horticulture to the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agriculture and Horticulture. Walter Biddle Saul was the first (and remains the only,) living person to have had a public high school named after him in the city of Philadelphia.
In 1967, a spate of construction added the science wing and MPR to the main building and the meat lab, and dairy barn across the street.
In 1969, the Board changed the name to the current Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, to reflect its expanding agricultural focus.
In 1976, the latest phase of expansion took place, with the addition of the agricultural building, the gymnasium and the equipment barn (now the horse barn) to the campus.
W. B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences is located in the upper Roxborough section of Philadelphia on the rolling hills of the Wissahickon Valley bordering Fairmount Park. The multi-building complex is located on a 130-acre campus. On one side of Henry Avenue are Academic, Agricultural, Greenhouses, Physical Education/ Health, and Small Animal Laboratory buildings bordered by an arboretum and athletic fields. On the opposite side of Henry Avenue is the working farm which houses our poultry, dairy, swine, sheep, horses, and our Food Science program. These buildings are bordered by the school’s golf course, nursery, field crops, and pasture area for the livestock.
What We Offer
Courses & Program Highlights
- Approved CTE Programs: (citywide access, based on space availability)
- Animal Sciences
- Food Processing Science
- Natural Resource Management
- Students select a “major” from these four CTE Programs of Study. All four programs are academically based on principles of biology and chemistry and classes tend to be hands-on and active.
- Each year, students also have opportunities to develop their skills via a number of large-scale co-curricular projects. These include designing and building a major exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show, showing animals at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and coordination of schoolwide seasonal events: Harvest on Henry (fall festival) and Country Fair Day (celebration of spring).
- Advanced Placement and/or Dual Enrollment Courses:
- English Language
- English Literature
- Environmental Science
- US Government & Politics
- After-school career development clubs allow students to deepen their knowledge in numerous areas of the natural sciences
- FFA provides leadership opportunities locally and throughout the state
- Multimedia, Dance, Chess, Eco-Sculpture, and Poetry clubs provide creative and academic outlets
- National Honor Society recognizes exceptional achievement
- Cycling—Co-ed, intramural
- Volleyball—Girls and Boys
- and interested students may try out for football, track and field, and Boys and Girls basketball through a partnership with Roxborough High School
- Artist Year
- Delaware Valley College
- Fairmount Park Commission
- Food Moxie
- Friends of the Wissahickon
- Minorities in Agriculture Natural
- Resources and Related Sciences(MANRRS)
- Morris Arboretum
- Outward Bound
- Pennsylvania FFA
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
- Pennsylvania State University
- The Philadelphia Phillies
- Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture (PSPA)
- Philadelphia Water Department
- The Philadelphia Zoo
- The University of Pennsylvania
- Weaver’s Way Community Programs
- WorkReady Philadelphia
- Grades: As, Bs, and Cs
- Attendance: 90%
- Standardized Test: 50th Percentile in ELA or
50th Percentile in Math