School Spotlight: Esperanza Academy Charter School

Esperanza Academy Charter School

Esperanza Academy Charter School was founded in 2000 by Esperanza, Inc, in its quest to provide quality education to the North Philadelphia community. Esperanza Academy started out on one floor of a building with one group of ninth graders. Today, the school has a two-building campus serving more than 1400 students in grades six to twelve, due in part to a Philadelphia School Partnership growth grant to create the 6th-8th grade middle school.

A comprehensive college-preparatory school, Esperanza Academy was designed to prepare critically thinking, socially capable, spiritually sensitive, and culturally aware young adults who can use English, Spanish and technology as tools for success. One of the unique characteristics of the school is its curricular major program. Students have the option to declare a major in their high school years and dedicate their elective credits to a concentrated area of study, such as: engineering, entrepreneurship, journalism, health sciences, criminal justice/law, teacher education, technology, visual arts, music (vocal and instrumental), film, drama, and dance. All senior level classes in the major have exciting opportunities for students, such as EMT certification, master dance classes, internships, and guest speaker series. Esperanza Academy also partners with Esperanza College, a branch campus of Eastern University, to provide its students with dual enrollment opportunities.

Esperanza Academy is also proud to offer nine Advanced Placement courses. The successful AP program, as well as impressive value-added growth data, led to a U.S. News & World Report Silver Medal in 2013 and Bronze Medal in 2014. In addition to its robust academics offerings, the school also offers its students tremendous extracurricular activities, such as National Honors Society, Student Council, and a variety of athletics. Esperanza Academy looks forward to continued improvement in student outcomes and post-secondary preparedness.

Contribution: Lori Schwartz-Walinsky, Director of Curriculum, Esperanza