Ascend Learning is a not-for-profit K-12 charter school management organization focused on providing an extraordinary liberal arts, college-preparatory education to students in educationally underserved communities in Brooklyn — New York City’s most populous borough. Our overarching mission is to place our students firmly on the path to success in college and beyond, offering them an opportunity to transform their lives and the lives of their communities.
Nine schools in central Brooklyn
Founded in 2007, and having opened its flagship school Brooklyn Ascend Charter School in 2008, Ascend Learning today comprises seven schools — growing to nine in September 2015 — in the central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Bushwick, Canarsie, and East Flatbush. Next year, over 3,300 students in kindergarten through ninth grade, from these and surrounding Brooklyn communities, will benefit from the private school-caliber education Ascend schools provide. More than 5,000 students remain on our wait list.
A rich curriculum available to all
Ascend schools offer a rich, varied, rigorous Common Core-aligned curriculum, in a warm, supportive, and joyful culture. All Ascend schools occupy inspiring, light-filled, privately-leased facilities.
Ascend schools are open to all students by lottery, with no admission criteria other than New York City residence, and at no cost to families. Ascend schools serve all students and actively seek to fill every available seat.
Ascend succeeds when our students discover a passion for learning and their intellectual curiosity is awakened, when they master essential knowledge and skills, when parents are deeply satisfied with the education their children receive, and when school leaders and faculty return year after year to drive their schools to new levels of excellence. Performance on the New York state Common Core assessments, given in grades K-8, and the Regents exams, are critical measures of our work. So are annual surveys of our parents, teachers, and students. Other measures include rates of referrals and suspensions.
Results from all five tested Ascend schools demonstrate the power of an Ascend education. Consistently from year to year and across all schools, Ascend schools outperform their district peers.
- 98 percent of Ascend parents surveyed agree their school has high expectations for their children.
- 97 percent of Ascend parents surveyed agree their school keeps their children on track for college, career, and success in life after high school.
- In 2012, in every Ascend school and grade, students posted higher proficiency levels on the New York State tests in English Language Arts and math than their peers in the community school districts in which the schools are located, in New York City, and in the state as a whole.
- Ascend schools are closing the economic achievement gap. In 2012, proficiency levels in most grades and subjects were higher than those of District 2, which comprises the Upper East Side, SoHo, and TriBeCa, some of the wealthiest areas in Manhattan.
- In 2012, Gotham Schools cited Brooklyn Ascend Charter School as one of the top-ten scoring charter schools in New York City.
- In 2013, the first year of Common Core testing in New York State, with the exception of Brooklyn Ascend sixth grade math and sixth grade ELA, scholars in every Ascend school, grade, and subject met or far surpassed the proficiency rates of their peers in their respective school districts.
- In 2014, the second year of Common Core testing, third and fourth grade students in every Ascend school outperformed their district peers in both ELA and math.
- In September 2014, Ascend launched its new Common Core-aligned curriculum. Students across the network have posted dramatic gains in proficiency in both ELA and math on interim assessments that emulate the State’s exams. Results on the State’s spring 2015 tests will be released in the summer.
The mission of Ascend Learning
Ascend Learning’s mission is to develop a scalable solution to the underachievement of economically disadvantaged children—a network of urban, college-preparatory, K-12 charter schools, operating with widely available human and financial resources, and posting achievement levels equal or superior to suburban schools educating students from middle-class families.
The mission of Ascend schools
The mission of Ascend schools is to equip every student with the knowledge, confidence, and character to succeed in college and beyond. Our students will, from the earliest grades, steadily build a strong foundation of learning habits, critical thinking skills, and knowledge; excel academically in the middle and high schools; and graduate as confident young adults, prepared to succeed as college students, citizens, and leaders in their chosen fields.
Join a warm, collaborative, and diverse community of professionals who challenge and support one another to ensure all students achieve their highest potential.
Five reasons why educators choose Ascend#1 Focus on academics and character
Ascend offers a warm and supportive culture rooted in logical consequences and a Responsive Classroom approach at the lower schools, Origins at the middle schools, and Restorative Justice at the high school.
Our decision to depart from a proscriptive disciplinary model, with its frequent high rate of referrals and suspensions, has led to the creation of a unique school environment where the focus is on learning, problem-solving, and personal responsibility. Our students develop the internal support needed to successfully engage in our extraordinary liberal arts Common Core Curriculum.
We care about student achievement, and we also care that our students gain the skills and character strength to be successful in college and throughout their lives.
#2 Ascend’s liberal arts Common Core Curriculum
Ascend schools deliver a rich, well-rounded, inquiry-based curriculum that develops students’ full academic, social, artistic, and ethical potentials. Our teachers shift the intellectual work to students and encourage them to think creatively and deeply about how to solve problems. Ascend scholars will grow to be lifelong learners and informed citizens who lead lives of purpose and impact.
#3 Shared mission
Our teachers and leaders collaborate, connect, and act as one team. We are passionate about creating a joyful culture of high expectations. We share a love of learning among adults and students. We are relentless in our commitment to our students and to making sure they have every opportunity to succeed.
#4 Growth opportunities
At Ascend, teachers and leaders receive individualized coaching, resources, and tools to help deepen and improve their craft. Additionally, our career pathways program offers opportunities for highly effective teachers to attain leadership positions as grade-level team leaders, deans of students, or deans of instruction.
#5 Beautiful school buildings
We believe that our school buildings should reflect the incredible accomplishments that are achieved within their walls. All Ascend schools are housed in their own privately leased and newly renovated buildings where every detail is chosen to communicate our aspirations for teaching and learning.
Ascend Charter Schools Photos
I have been working at Ascend Charter Schools full-time
Ascend schools have amazing leadership teams committed to the growth of their teachers and the future of their scholars. The teachers give it their all and you can see how proud they are of the accomplishments of their students. School teams celebrate student success and are there for each other personally and professionally. The culture is very special and is based on dignity and respect instead of punishment.
Nice to see more community outreach and school tours.
Advice to Management
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceDifficult Interview
I applied online. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Ascend Charter Schools (Brooklyn, NY) in August 2015.
First there was an online application I submitted. I found the posts on Idealist.org. A day later I received an invitation from Ascend to take an online interview. There were 10 questions with a range of topics such as FBA's and, why pick Ascend Charter School? Next I got a call from HR and they invited me to come in for an in-person interview.
- What do I know about creating IEP, 504, RTI, and FBA plans? 1 Answer
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We are passionate about providing a rich, engaging, and joyful liberal arts education. We are committed to providing a sure path to college for our students and families in Brooklyn. Ascend Charter Schools transform lives. Join us. See more at: www.ascendlearning.org
Mission: Ascend Charter Schools equips every student with the knowledge, confidence, and character to succeed in college and beyond. Our students will, from the earliest grades, steadily build a strong foundation of learning habits, critical thinking skills, and knowledge; excel academically in the middle and high schools; and graduate as confident young adults, prepared to succeed as college students, citizens, and leaders in their chosen fields.