Achievement First Aspire Charter School

982 HEGEMAN AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11208 Map
Phone: (718) 623-2660
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery, priority to district 19
Principal: Sarah Iannucci
Neighborhood: East New York
District: 19
Grade range: K-2
Unzoned
New School
Charter School

What's special:

High expectations and no excuses

The downside:

Highly structured, longer day may not be for every child

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

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)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with PS 202

Number of Students 185

Average Daily Attendance NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
68%

Hispanic

  
28%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
91%

Special ed

  
11%

English Language Learners

  
4%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

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?

NA 83% 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

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

NA 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

NA 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

NA 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

NA 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

41% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 72% 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 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 5% 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 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 89% 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?

100% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

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

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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