Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School
BROOKLYN NY 11203 Map
Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School
Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School, part of a network of schools based in Connecticut, offers a highly structured program with tight discipline and a long school day. The school, which opened in 2005, now serves children in grades K-12 in two different locations. While many parents appreciate the structure and generally high test scores, others have objected to the discipline and complained of what they see as insufficient opportunities for parent involvement.
Students in grades K through 8 attend classes at 790 East New York Avenue. The building is shared with New Heights Middle School, which opened in 2012 as a replacement school for the Middle School of the Arts. The school adheres to the Achievement First model where students are expected to work hard--both the school day and school year are longer than usual. Classrooms and hallways are lined with posters and labels reminding students of what they have to do and how they should do it. "We are an extremely intentional organization," says Mel Ochoa, the network's senior director for marketing and communications. "Efficiency allows for more time to teach."
Although AF Crown Heights has generally exceeded test scores for the community district as a whole, it has not met its own goals. In 2011-12, only 38 percent of 8th graders scored proficient on their state English Language Arts exam.
Some parents have complained of what they saw as petty rules that resulted in about one in six middle school students being held after school every day, and a high suspension rate. On its website, AF Crown Heights says it uses "fun incentive programs" to encourage good behavior. These include rewarding classes that have top homework completion and attendance rates with a party, and giving middle school students who complete their homework on time or come to school in the full uniform points to spend at the school store. The middle school principal is Gillette Eckler, a former teacher and dean at the school.
For grades 9 through 12, students attend Achievement First Brooklyn High School at 1485 Pacific Street, in a building shared with Uncommon Charter High School. The phone number is 718-363-2260. Paul Adler, a math teacher and former assistant principal at Brooklyn Preparatory High School, is the principal.
Every student there is expected to go on to college, and acceptance to a four-year college is a graduation requirement. On its website, Achievement First says it offers demanding academics through a longer school day and individual attention, as well as strict discipline. Its Regents pass rate exceeds the state average. All students must take AP US history and biology, and the school offers other AP classes as well. The school graduates its first class in 2013.
At all level, AF Crown Heights serves a largely African American, low-income student body. While the elementary school is evenly divided between boys and girls, by high school, according to the school's own figures, fewer than 40 percent of all students are male.
The school gets high marks for its environment based on its Learning Environment Survey, although only a small percentage of teachers and parents filled out the survey.
Special education: Achievement First says it provides team teaching and special education services at all of its schools.
Admission: By lottery. Most students enter in kindergarten or 1st grade, although Achievement First also holds a lottery for admission to the 5th grade. The schools select from their waiting lists to fill any vacancies in other grades. (Gail Robinson, website, interviews, June 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 1016
Average Daily Attendance 98%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?96% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average middle school english classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?89% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school NULL self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:14% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:14% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school NULL team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:13% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:9% 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?