Brownsville Ascend Charter School
BROOKLYN NY 11212 Map
Brownsville Ascend Charter School
A clone of the Brooklyn Ascend Charter School, Brownsville Ascend Charter school opened in 2009 with kindergarten and 1st grade and plans to add a grade each year until it serves Kindergarten through-12th grade. [The school is nowhoused in a renovated theater] The two Ascend schools are nearly identical in tone and philosophy—the only difference is the color of uniforms.
Each morning, children shake hands firmly with one of the school’s directors as they enter the building, look her 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 gray pants or jumper, white polo shirt, maroon sweater and black shoes. In August, new students attend a week-long orientation to learn the rules and expectations, acronyms and procedures. "Almost every kid falls into the culture and structure right away," explained co-director Kelly Bowers. "Kids crave structure." A teacher told us many students are sent home early or suspended in the first month of school, but as the year goes on they adjust to the rules and there are not as many disciplinary incidents.
On our visit, day started strong with focused students, called scholars at Ascend, sitting silently and participating eagerly in class. By lunch attention in the classrooms was waning and children had trouble sitting in their seats. Staff expressed concerns about the long school day and the large class sizes, which range from 25 to 30 students. An Ascend faculty member commented, "Other SABIS schools [days] are not as long. It's too much."
SABIS is the curriculum used by Ascend schools, a coherent system that leads step-by-step from kindergarten to 12th grade with the goal of preparing children to take 4-5 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.
Though the school boasts a rooftop playground, we were told that scholars rarely use the outside play space. Instead, they have 20 minutes of recess each day playing games or drawing quietly in the classroom.
Morning tutoring help is available from 7:15.-7:30 a.m. and scholars may 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 23 and siblings of students already enrolled have priority. In February 2011, the waitlist had 889 students. (Aryn Bloodworth, February 2011)
At a glance
Number of Students 668
Average Daily Attendance NA
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?20% 15% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?33% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?73% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?54% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?13% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 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 2012-2013 school year?47% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?96% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
As of 2012-2013, this school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:NA 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
As of 2012-2013, this school does not offer team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
As of 2012-2013, this school offers SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:0% 7% 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?