Brooklyn Ascend Charter School

205 Rockaway Parkway
BROOKLYN NY 11212 Map
Phone: (718) 240-9162
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery. Priority to District 23.
charter
Principal: Janna Genzlinger/Samantha Pugh
Neighborhood: Brownsville
District: 18
Grade range: 0K thru 07

What's special:

Immersion Spanish classes, high expectations for students.

The downside:

Long hours, little outdoor play.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn Ascend Charter School, housed in a new building, adheres to a strict “no excuses” regimen. After opening in 2008 with Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade, the school plans to add a grade per year until it serves grades K-12. [The middle school grades are housed at 123 E. 98th Street, Bklyn 11212]

Each morning, children shake hands firmly with the school’s director as they enter the building, look him in the eye and say "good morning" with a loud, confident voice. This ritual is followed by a silent breakfast where scholars eat together. Jana Reed, Chief Operating Officer of Ascend Learning, explained this as a time for students to “regroup.”

Students wear a uniform of navy slacks or skirt, white polo shirt, navy sweater and black shoes. In August, new students attend a week-long orientation to learn the rules and expectations, acronyms and procedures. 

The day started strong with focused scholars sitting silently and participating eagerly in class, but by lunch attention in the classrooms was waning. More students were out of their seats than we saw earlier in the morning. Staff expressed concerns about the long school day and the large class sizes (25-30 students). One faculty member commented, "Other SABIS schools [days] are not as long. It's too much."

SABIS is the curriculum used by Ascend schools. It is a highly structured curriculum that covers a broad range of subjects which lead step-by-step from kindergarten to 12th grade with the goal of preparing children to take four to five Advanced Placement classes. All students take a period per day of immersion Spanish, where the entire class is taught in the language. Each day, students also have 20 minutes of guided reading.  In 4th grade students, called scholars here, read passages and answer questions about them. "We do not teach to the test," explained Reed. "But we do identify where scholars struggle and hone in on those skills."

Though the school boasts a rooftop playground, we were told that scholars were not using the outside play space. Principal Brandon Sorlie said that this is likely because teachers must request to go outside for recess. "Not many go. Teachers are uncomfortable with the time it takes to get students ready to go, get them up there, and bring them back.” Instead, there is a 20 minute recess each day where students can play games or draw quietly in the classroom.

Morning tutoring help is available from 7:15 to 7:30 a.m. and scholars can play soccer afterschool two days a week.

Special education: A SETSS teacher pulls out students for math and reading help in small groups.

Admissions: There is a lottery in April.  Students in District 18 and siblings of students already enrolled have priority.  The waitlist in 2011 had 1250 students. (Aryn Bloodworth, February 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 861

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
94%

Hispanic

  
4%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
85%

Special ed

  
10%

English Language Learners

  
1%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

17% 20% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

82% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average middle school english class

NA 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

69% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

49% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

6% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

50% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

65% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

23% 30% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students in grades 3-8 who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

22% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

90% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

NA 60% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 8th grades pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

NA 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

NA 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the 2013 school survey?

40% 61% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the 2012-2013 school year?

77% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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 2012-2013 school year?

59% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

94% 92% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

6% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

6% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

62% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

65% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

93% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

78% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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