"Our principals and school-based staff have worked extremely hard to improve school culture," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement. "We know that much work remains. . . . Safety remains a high priority, and we will continue working to ensure positive and safe environments for learning."
The number of assaults shrunk by 42 percent: 2,529 cases in 2011-12 dropped to 1,462 in 2012-13. The number of weapon violations fell by 17 percent, with 507 cases last school year compared with 613 the year before.
The number of abductions and attempts was the sole increase in violent incidents, up 67 percent to 15, compared with nine in 2011-2012.
Beeber Middle School, Douglas High School, Frankford High School, Kensington Business High School and Strawberry Mansion High School were removed this year from the list.
Some advocates said they feared the district's fiscal challenges would thwart the positive course.
"We're seeing the effects, sustained and focused investments, and we're going to start losing ground quickly as we roll back the programs, staffing and support," said Susan Gobreski, director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a public-education advocacy group.
On Twitter: @ReginaMedina