Our History


The School District of Philadelphia approached One Bright Ray, Inc. (OBR) to pilot a new accelerated alternative high school model based on The Community High School format that was established in the 1980’s by One Bright Ray, Inc. as the first alternative school in the City of Philadelphia. On September 24, 2004, OBR, Inc. opened one of four accelerated high school programs in the city, Fairhill Community High School. Fairhill CHS started with 100 students and quickly gained a positive reputation as a viable option for over-aged, under-credited students.


Fairhill CHS expanded its student population to 210, doubling its size and gaining a new three-year contract extension from the School District of Philadelphia. Fairhill CHS became a model for accelerated schools and received national media attention and recognition. Fairhill CHS partners with several community based organizations and non-profits to provide non-educational services to the students.

One Bright Ray, Inc., was asked by the School District of Philadelphia to open a second accelerated high school location in North Philadelphia. North Philadelphia Community High School opened its doors on March 28, 2008 in Norris Square with 100 students, which quickly expanded to 180 students. North Philadelphia Community High School had a Learning-to-Work component that allows students the opportunity to experience the workforce environment while attending high school.


Due to educational financial cuts made by Pennsylvania State officials, the School District of Philadelphia fell on hard financial times. Experiencing the new financial situation, One Bright Ray, Inc. creatively merged its two Philadelphia Schools, Fairhill CHS and North Philadelphia CHS, into one school and named it One Bright Ray Community High School. Fairhill Campus, on 4th and Somerset Street, served 9th-10th grade students, while Simpson Campus, on K and Erie Avenue, served 11th-12th grade students. By August 2012, One Bright Ray, Inc.’s accelerated high school model graduated over 700 former high school dropouts.


One Bright Ray, Inc. opened it’s third campus in Southwest Philadelphia with 100 students. The One Bright Ray Community High School Elmwood Campus was the first to open outside of North Philadelphia and has found great success in Southwest Philadelphia.


The One Bright Ray, Inc. accelerated high school model earned Middle States Accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. This accomplishment marked a major milestone in OBR’s history as our team worked extremely hard in evaluating our past and present to map out our future. 2016 also marked a year of change for OBR, Inc. as the School District of Philadelphia increased the school’s enrollment from 500 students to 675 students. At that time, we began offering 9th through 12th grade courses at each campus.


One Bright Ray Community High School opens two new schools in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood – Mansion Day and Mansion Evening. Manson Day is modeled off of the other OBR neighborhood schools, while Mansion Evening is designed specifically for adult students 18+ who are eager to return to school and earn their high school diploma.

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