Wednesday, August 14, 2013


ASPIRA of PA charter schools have helped blaze the trail for bilingual English/Spanish education in our region.  Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, ASPIRA of PA’s first charter school founded in 1998, was the first bilingual charter school in the state of Pennsylvania.  In 2010, ASPIRA of PA launched the first bilingual cyber charter school in the state too, ASPIRA Bilingual Cyber Charter School. 

Opening bilingual schools is not the whole story though - ASPIRA of PA bilingual schools have proven successful!  Our two dual-language brick-and-mortar schools, Hostos Charter and Pantoja Charter, both have performed higher than the School District of Philadelphia average on state assessments and have attained Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for several consecutive years.  

Although proven highly effective, these schools continue to perfect their dual language instructional strategies.  In the 2013-14 school year, a 90-10 model will be in place, where all Kindergarten students will have instruction provided 90% in Spanish and 10% in English.  Each year as students progress to the next grade, more classes are taught in English, eventually reaching a 50/50 bilingual school day.  Spanish as a Second Language is offered in all ASPIRA of PA Schools to ensure native-English speaking students are equally supported.  Our goal is for all Hostos and Pantoja students to be biliterate and bilingual by the time they graduate 8th grade. 

Providing instruction, parent communication, and hallway banter in both English and Spanish have become hallmarks within ASPIRA of PA charter schools, and a practice that has positively set us apart from other schools in our city and state.