NINETEEN TOP Philadelphia public schools will expand this year, offering 2,300 new seats to students citywide.

The high-achieving schools - including Greenfield Elementary, E.M. Stanton Elementary, Girls High, Carver High of Engineering and Science, and Franklin Learning Center - will all add seats in September.

The expansion "lets the city of Philadelphia know that the School District of Philadelphia is investing in the growth of high quality, high-performing school options," Penny Nixon, the district's chief academic officer, said at Girls High Tuesday.

In all, 1,802 new high-school spots are opening, and 470 elementary and middle-school seats.

The high schools are all citywide or magnet schools that already require an application for admittance.

Elementary schools will be open to students who qualify for a transfer under No Child Left Behind guidelines.

District and city officials have vowed to eliminate 50,000 seats in the city's lowest-performing schools over five years, replacing them with seats in high-performing schools.

- Kristen A. Graham,

Inquirer staff writer