Ascend Public Charter Schools Reviews | Glassdoor

Ascend Public Charter Schools Reviews

Updated March 15, 2019
63 reviews

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Pros
  • "The responsive classroom approach" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Ascend has a great team of leaders and teachers who inspire you to push yourself" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work-life balance is hard to achieve" (in 8 reviews)

  • "Long hours for little pay; manual processes" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Great Place to work despite challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Leadership in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Leadership in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends

    I have been working at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    completely aligned to the mission
    warm supportive environment
    HR TEAM IS FABULOUS! They are attentive, impressively responsive and extremely knowledgeable. A pleasure to work with.
    Network Ops team is good
    IT team is GREAT

    Cons

    Work-life balance is hard to achieve. The schools and network office operate on a lean mean budget. HR is a fabulous team but only has only two people supporting 10 schools and over 700 plus staff.
    Salaries are not as competitive as other well-funded charter schools
    Lack of staff appreciation

    Advice to Management

    focus on achieving work-life balance for staff
    offer rewards for high performers
    Offer more internal opportunities for mobility


  2. "Terrific community in a quickly changing field"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Brooklyn, NY
    Former Employee - Teaching Fellow in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone at Ascend wants to be there, and is enthusiastic about the work they share. They consistently push each other to be better.

    Cons

    As it's such a quickly growing network, some communication lines aren't efficient.

  3. "Fun Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Staff Culture is pretty good

    Cons

    None that I can think of


  4. Helpful (1)

    "BACS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Students
    Benefits
    Teachers are committed to serving students

    Cons

    Lack of professionalism from leadership
    Lack of support for teachers
    Low morale for students and teachers


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Lose Your Passion For Teaching"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ICT Teacher
    Former Employee - ICT Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    1) Professional developments are useful. Improvement and feedback on practice.
    2) The students are amazing.
    That's about it.

    Cons

    1) You can expect growth - if you suck up to the correct people. Many of the deans only moved up if they were friends with the director. Many returning teachers have confirmed this.
    2) Students are walking test scores. Classes are put against each other in data. ICT classroom often put down even though we had students with special needs. Other classes did not.
    3) Feedback is often negative and you are looked upon negatively if you push back on any of the feedback. It is said that "feedback is feedback" and you will not survive here if you take anything personally.
    4) No clear explanation of responsibilities and roles - especially in situations with students that may or may not need to be reported.
    5) Staff and leadership are all so fake. They have you come in a month early (August) to train teachers and push this idea of community. The community is there over the summer, but once returning teachers enter you hear the whispers of "It's not really like that at the school." Gossip runs rampant, really.
    6) Children are treated like they're in the military. How are you a pro-social school but force silent lunches, silent breakfast, and seated positions?
    7) SpEd not taken seriously. Everything is behavioral management. These kids need services and intervention. Only one coordinator of special ed for all grades.
    8) NO WORK LIFE BALANCE.

    Advice to Management

    Manage the cliques, especially among leadership. More work life balance. Stop taking preps for coaching and pointless meetings that could be emails, we want our preps - how else are we going to teach effectively?


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Not a healthy working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The children are always the pros when working in a school.

    Cons

    The management is extremely inefficient at these schools. They have school directors with minimal teaching experience running these schools as well as deans of curriculum with no experience. Not to mention the curriculum is completely developmentally inappropriate.

    Advice to Management

    Do better hiring leadership positions and make sure curriculum is appropriate.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "A factory posing as a school"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The responsive classroom approach

    Cons

    Too many to list, basically Ascend is a business and running as such.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing school with so much potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    Incredible Deans of Instruction and professional development! If you want to go somewhere to learn how to teach you will definitely learn a lot here.
    Consistency across classrooms which really shows alignment with the school core values. Nice sense of community amongst staff and families. School Director is wonderful also. She really makes the school what it is! :-) There is a lot of love for this school. School provides dinner for teachers when they have conference nights and other events that mean they have to work late. Also, often provides lunch on PD days.
    They also give little gifts to teachers throughout the year which is really nice.

    Cons

    Little recess time for students. Long day for teachers. School day starts at 7:20 and goes until 4:20 but most of the time you have to stay later to get stuff done. Many teachers get burnt out or have no life out of school.
    Deans of instruction are spread a little too thin. Don't get much individualized coaching which would be so much more beneficial.
    (Not the deans fault they just have too much on their plate).

    Advice to Management

    Shorten the school day. Make it the same or similar to public schools. Make recess longer especially for Kindergarten. Children learn through play! Either take some duties off your DOIs so they can do more individual coaching which will make your teachers more confident AND make them better at their job OR hire some staff that just do individual coaching. Even if it's just for half the year. You have great staff and some of them just need some polishing up and it might help you keep them longer term rather than losing them. So sad when you've spent all this time training your staff and then they leave. Do everything you can to hold onto them!
    Give your staff what they want. Happy staff = Happy Children and classrooms.
    Give them the same public holidays as all public schools.
    Also, all PDs shouldn't be mandatory. If you've been there for a certain number of years you shouldn't have to stay for the whole thing. You should just be able to go to a quick refresher PD thats only a fraction of the time.
    Observations shouldn't feel so serious and like you're being judged. Would be nice if when this happens the observers came in in smaller groups with happier warmer faces. It feels like you're being interviewed by a panel of judges as you teach and is not encouraging to your staff.
    Management need to react more strongly to feedback given from staff so staff feel like they actually do matter and you are listening (this has gotten much better but needs to continue).


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Anonymous"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brooklyn, NY

    I have been working at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great setting with great schools, they really care about the Scholars

    Cons

    No room for growth

    Advice to Management

    Support your employees growth, and don't promise positions that you do not really plan on offering.


  10. "Room to Grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at Ascend Public Charter Schools full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities for leadership development across all schools and departments.

    Cons

    There could be more diversity in leadership.