ASPIRA Improves Students’ Motivation to Stay in Olney Charter High School

Olney Charter High School's graduation rate dramatically improved after ASPIRA Inc of Pennsylvania began administration. The graduation rate calculation has changed since the public school converted to a charter school. Student motivation has also changed, according to the data.

Philadelphia, PA, January 29, 2017 --( Graduation rate became priority after ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania merged Olney West High School and Olney East High School to form Olney Charter High School, in 2011.

“ASPIRA Schools has changed just about everything,” states a 2011 article in the newspaper, Philadelphia Metropolis.

Measuring ASPIRA School’s impact on OCHS proves difficult. Comparing OCHS graduation rates with the two former OHS graduation rates would provide inaccurate results because the two former OHS enrollment rates tanked at grade 11.

In 2010, OHS East’s ninth grade population accounted for 297 students. The senior class held 142 students, less than half of the ninth grade population. Grades nine, 10, 11 and 12 demonstrated a steady decline in student population: 297, 267, 162 and 142. The graduation rate was 47.7 percent, respectively, according to

At both schools, the morning’s already low student attendance would progressively drop throughout the school day. Students wandered the hallways, according to student and teacher interviews in Philadelphia Metropolis.

In 2010, at OHS West, ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grade student enrollments were 314, 246, 196 and 91, respectively. The graduation rate was 45.5 percent, according to

The 2010 graduation rate calculations fail to account for the number of students dropping out or transferring between ninth and 12th grade. The data represents the Leaver Rate calculation method. In 2012, PA switched to the Cohort Graduation Rate.

“The NGA cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in a given year with a regular diploma divided by the number of high school students who entered four years earlier with adjustment each year for students who transfer in and out,” states the PA DOE. “The rate is determined for a cohort of students who have all entered high school for the first time during the same school year.”

For the class of 2017, the CGR will represent the percent of students graduating from the number of students who entered ninth grade in 2012.

Despite incomparable graduation rates, other measurements exist. In 2016, OCHS’ student enrollment rates were 418, 472, 425 and 535 for ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th grades, respectively, according to

“Olney’s 2016 graduation was 70.67 percent,” ASPIRA Schools Data Specialist Pansy Lambert-Knowles said.

The enrollment data shows ASPIRA Schools achieved both improvement and consistency among Olney students.
Nathan Cross
Candice Martinez