Achievement First Aspire Charter School
BROOKLYN NY 11208 Map
Achievement First Aspire Charter School
Achievement First Aspire Charter School, part of a growing network of schools in Brooklyn and Connecticut, offers a highly-structured program with tight discipline and a long school day. Aspire Charter opened in 2013 with kindergarten and 1st grade and will serve grades K-4 by 2016.
Nothing is left to chance at Achievement First schools: classrooms and hallways are lined with posters and labels reminding student of what they have to do and how they should do it. A traditional teaching style features repetition of tasks and strict rules to promote good student behavior and minimize disruptions. While many parents appreciate the approach, the discipline and long day may not be right for some children. [photo at right by Gail Robinson of AF Crown Heights Charter]
Children are expected to be alert, obedient and prepared. They use hand signals in class -- putting two fingers in the air to ask for certain help or patting one's head to indicate they agree with what is being said. Teachers clap to get students to pay attention and the children clap in return. Teachers track behavior with a system called stars and strikes. Too many strikes may lead to a parent being called in or detention.
The hard work pays off: test scores in this network are significantly higher than in district schools with a similar population. However, reading scores are lower than math, a challenge the network is addressing with more hours of daily literacy instruction. Aspire students, according to the website, will spend over three hours a day in reading class.
Initially trained in the Teach for America program, principal Sarah Kasok served as an academic dean at two Achievement First schools in New York. She holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from the University of Connecticut.
The charter will share the building with PS 202, a struggling school with low attendance and test scores.
Admission: Lottery. Priority is given to residents of District 19. Parents may contact the school for a tour and to request an application, or can download one from the AF website. Click here to learn more about visiting an Achievement First school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 375
Average Daily Attendance NA
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 86% 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?100% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?91% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th 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?85% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?97% 94% 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 state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 17% 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?