In 2011, we invested $700,000 to support the turnaround of Olney East and West High Schools by ASPIRA of PA. Aspira is a charter network in North Philadelphia now operating 5 schools. Prior to ASPIRA’s partnership with Olney, the school had been split into two schools in a failed attempt to reduce violence and increase student achievement.
ASPIRA Olney is part of the ASPIRA network of five schools serving North Philadelphia. ASPIRA made a significant investment in Olney to first address safety and culture. To transform the school, ASPIRA focuses on engaging parents and community members, developing a new curriculum, and adding multiple supports for students below grade level such as after-school tutoring, credit recovery, push-out and pull-in services for ELL students, and extra training in reading and math. Today, the school offers a college preparatory program and offers students sports and extracurricular activities that had not previously existed.
Olney Charter High School is comprehensive high school serving student from across Philadelphia though the vast majority live in the surrounding neighborhoods. As of 2014, the school’s student population was approximately 93 percent minority (44 percent African American and 49 percent Hispanic) and 51 percent economically disadvantaged. In addition, about 17 percent of the school’s students speak English as a second language.
Olney was ASPIRA’s second turnaround school. In the first two years under Aspira’s management, the school increased math proficiency by 94% (16 percent proficient to 31 percent proficient) and reading proficient by 138% (16 percent proficient to 38 percent proficient).
Learn more at www.aspiraofpa.org