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 ...
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.
The mission of Ascend Charter 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 the warm, collaborative, and diverse community of professionals who strive to make a difference. Six reasons why extraordinary educators choose Ascend.
#1 Focus on character development as well as student achievement
Academic achievement is important, but we also care about our students’ character. Ascend provides a warm, supportive, joyful culture where the focus is on learning, problem-solving, and above all, personal responsibility.
The decision to move away from a proscriptive disciplinary model, with its frequent high rate of referrals and suspensions, and toward a responsive and restorative approach, provides our students with the confidence to powerfully engage in our rigorous liberal arts learning environment and provides our teachers with a happy place to work.
#2 An enriched, liberal arts, Common Core curriculum
Ascend schools deliver an exciting, challenging, well-rounded, inquiry-based curriculum that develops students’ full academic, social, artistic, scientific, 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 become lifelong learners and informed citizens.
#3 Commitment to shared mission
The Ascend mission is clear – to close the achievement gap and ensure that all our students gain the skills necessary to succeed in college, career, and life. Our teachers and leaders collaborate as one team to share their love of learning and to push, equip, and inspire our scholars toward excellence. We have exceptionally high expectations for our scholars, and for each other, and we are relentless in our commitment to making sure our scholars have every opportunity to succeed. See The Ascend Approach.
#4 Growth opportunities
A teaching job at Ascend is a great place to start! Ascend’s career pathways program offers opportunities for highly effective teachers to grow into leadership positions as grade-level team leaders, mentor teachers, deans of students, or deans of instruction. Our teachers and leaders receive individualized coaching, resources, and tools, and participate in weekly Teacher Planning and Development sessions to help deepen and improve their craft. Read more about how we provide the best for our students by providing the best support for our teachers.
#5 A beautiful environment
We believe that our physical environment should reflect the incredible accomplishments that are achieved within our walls. All Ascend schools are housed in privately leased and newly renovated buildings where every detail is chosen to communicate our aspirations for teaching and learning. See inside Our School Buildings.
#6 Every voice matters
We believe in continually improving and developing our schools to achieve exceptional outcomes for our students and their families. We actively encourage our teachers to be part of that development process. Our faculty and staff are surveyed several times a year, town halls are held at each school to hear directly from teachers and to capture your ideas, and we solicit ongoing feedback about our curriculum and Teacher Planning and Development sessions.
Ascend has developed a warm and supportive culture rooted in Responsive Classroom in the elementary grades, departing from a punitive and proscriptive disciplinary model with associated high rates of referrals and suspensions. Classroom communities nurture students’ sense of belonging, and by creating calm, orderly environments, Ascend schools foster children’s social and emotional competencies, obviating the reliance on punitive consequences.
In the lower school, our joyful culture builds students’ social and emotional capacities to self-manage. Positive language replaces warnings and threats, and students learn empathy, collaborative problem-solving, and self-control.
We believe that our physical environment should reflect the incredible accomplishments that are achieved within our walls. All Ascend schools are housed in privately leased and newly renovated buildings where every detail is chosen to communicate our aspirations for teaching and learning.
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
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.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –