Climbing the Mountain to College

Achievement First 2009 Annual Report

Dear Friends, This is an exciting time in our organizational history—and for education reform both locally and nationally. As states vie in an unprecedented “Race to the Top,” there is a growing awareness that education reform is not just a moral imperative, but also an economic one. As we struggle to get out of our current recession, nothing will do more to ensure our long-term, collective prosperity than creating outstanding public schools for all students. A great education can break the cycle of poverty, level the playing field and prepare our students to compete in a global economy. Five years ago, most traditional school districts were focused on incremental changes that were producing, at best, incremental improvements, and Achievement First and other charter operators were seen as irrelevant and even adversarial. Today, highperforming charter schools are a central piece of both local and national strategies to accelerate efforts to close the achievement gap. Over this time, Achievement First has grown to serve more than 4,600 students at 17 academies in Brooklyn, NY, and in Connecticut’s big three cities—New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford. In 2009 in both New York and Connecticut, our fourth- and eighth-grade students (the oldest students in our elementary and middle schools respectively) outperformed state-wide averages, proving again that the achievement gap can be closed—and that it can be closed at scale. Perhaps more importantly, Achievement First is now doing this work as an active partner with many of our host school districts. Achievement First Hartford Academy in its first year posted the greatest performance gains of any school in the city—providing a powerful validation of Hartford Superintendent Adamowski’s courageous decision to close a failing school and use the facility to launch Achievement First Hartford. In New Haven, our hometown mayor and Amistad board member, John DeStefano, has announced a bold, district-wide reform plan based, in part, on the success of Achievement First schools. We are in active discussions with the district about launching a potential leadership training program and other ways that we can support New Haven’s ambitious reforms. In New York City, Chancellor Joel Klein has asked us to expand from nine to 20 academies (eight elementary, eight middle and four high schools), eventually serving more than 7,200 students in central Brooklyn. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. The more we do this work, the more optimistic we become about the potential of our collective commitment to make a real difference in the lives of kids and the future they will create for all of us.

Dacia M. Toll Co-CEO

Doug McCurry Co-CEO

William R. Berkley Board Chair

Climbing the Mountain to College
Achievement First students work hard every day to climb the mountain to college. Our students make this climb with the help of effective instruction from great Achievement First teachers and leaders, a longer school day and school year, a rigorous college-prep curriculum, assessments that track their progress, and a disciplined and joyful school culture. At Achievement First, it is cool to be smart and everyone feels cared for as a part of the extended school family. There is a lot at stake on this climb. Despite the promise of equal educational opportunity, the United States has largely failed to provide low-income children access to a high-quality education. The difference in academic performance between poor and affluent students, known as the achievement gap, has serious implications for the future life opportunities of students and for our society at large. With only one in 10 low-income students in the U.S. graduating from college, closing the achievement gap is both an economic and moral imperative—the modern frontier of the civil rights movement. Over the last 10 years, thanks to the example set by individual, high-performing schools across the country, conventional wisdom has shifted from a belief that “demographics are destiny” to an acknowledgment that student success is possible. Education reform skeptics now question whether success is possible at scale.

Achievement First Growth Projections

Achievement First’s theory of change is that by creating the equivalent

As we develop the Achievement First network, we are guided by three big goals: quality, scale and sustainability. We remain committed to creating the kind of top-quality schools our students need and deserve, and to doing so at a meaningful scale and with a per-student cost equal to or less than that of our host public school districts.

Achievement First is focused on continuing to close the achievement gap in a manner and scale that is replicable and relevant for traditional public school districts.

of a high-performing urban public school “district,” we prove that the achievement gap can be closed at scale and can thus inspire and inform broader district-wide reform efforts. Our current strategic plan calls for us to expand from 17 to 34 schools, eventually serving more than 12,000 students. At this size, we will serve more students than 95 percent of school districts in the United States.

Power of the Network
Climbing the mountain to college is a team sport. Achievement First is much more than great individual schools—it is an interconnected “team and family” of students, teachers, parents, school leaders, data specialists, operations and finance professionals, content experts, and more. Teachers learn effective classroom practices from on-site coaches, network leaders and peers at sister schools. Innovative techniques are spread from Hartford to East New York as principals come together regularly to reflect and share, and everyone benefits from efficiencies created by our operations teams and shared central support services. We call this The Power of the Network.

The Achievement First Network Approach
To ensure the success of our schools, Achievement First has created a network-wide “school support” team of professionals focused on finance, curriculum, talent development, operations, recruitment, human capital, technology, data practices, external relations and more. Our network-wide support team has five objectives: Freeing Schools to Focus on Achievement Running an outstanding school is a difficult and complex job. Achievement First has found that by centralizing certain functions— teacher recruitment, fundraising, budgeting and fiscal operations, data management, information technology, facilities operations, and more—we are able to free principals and teachers to focus on the most important things: teaching and learning. Centralizing and coordinating these services enables us to deliver them at both a higher level of quality and lower cost than a single school would on its own. In addition, within each school, teachers and principals are supported by an outstanding school operations team that handles most non-instructional tasks, including busing, facilities, food service, field trips, purchasing, budget management and state reporting. Talent Development Finding, developing, recognizing and retaining great educators is the key to the success of our students and the network as a whole. Achievement First has focused on recruiting the best people from around the country, providing them with outstanding professional development, and creating opportunities that will inspire and support them in their careers. For example, we have a leadership fellows program for aspiring school leaders and are piloting a new “master teacher career path” for outstanding teachers who want to stay in the classroom. Knowledge Capture and Sharing One of the greatest benefits of the network is that Achievement First schools, while sharing some common elements, are also free to innovate—each discovering new answers to the significant challenges of urban education. We share a core focus on results and continuous improvement, which means that successful practices at one school are often shared and systematized for the benefit of the entire network. School Support and Quality Control The Achievement First network provides a variety of support services, from direct coaching for principals by assistant superintendents (who have previously been successful principals of their own schools) to networkwide professional development for teachers, teacher leaders and principals. At the same time, Achievement First has a commitment to ensuring that every school delivers on its big promises to students and families; when a school is not meeting goals, Achievement First has the power and expertise to intervene and make whatever changes are necessary to set the school up for success. Efficiencies That Enable the Network to be Sustainable Through economies of scale and specialization, Achievement First performs key tasks (e.g., student recruitment, real estate) with significantly less expense and with higher levels of quality than the schools could on their own. These efficiencies are what enable the network to operate at cost levels that are the same or less than our host districts.

Helpful Tools for the Climb

Packing for the Climb

Network-wide support teams provide “backpack essentials” for schools as they climb.

Our 4,600 students benefit each and every day from the power of the network as they climb the mountain to college. In the next several pages, we will showcase four network elements utilized by teachers and school leaders to help students maintain their footing and complete their difficult journey.

Honing Trail Skills

New staff training, content experts, coaching and continuous professional development ensure that teachers and school leaders are constantly learning and are prepared for the work ahead.

Following Trail Markers

Navigating Rough Terrain

Interim assessments and the strategic use of data help provide key markers along the trail for teachers and school leaders to plan for success.

Teachers and school leaders work together from grade to grade and school to school to collectively ensure that students continue on the right path.

School Support
Assistant superintendents each coach and support four to six school principals in order to help them achieve their ambitious student achievement goals. The assistant superintendents train and coach principals, develop and share best practices, serve as a principal’s liaison to the network team, and conduct school evaluations.

Packing for the Climb
Network-wide support teams provide “backpack essentials” for schools as they climb.
The Achievement First network-wide team “takes the rocks off the road” by focusing on the countless functions essential for effective day-to-day school operations. In traditional schools, these tasks can dominate the time of teachers and school leaders, taking critical time away from their ultimate goal of student achievement. As a result of the Achievement First network approach, our principals are able to serve as true instructional leaders, spending the majority of their time observing and coaching teachers—and even teaching classes themselves.

Data and Information Technology
AF AthenaTM is a custom-built, webbased student performance tool that allows teachers and principals to analyze and interpret student

Greg Foster Regional Director of Operations - New York With a goal as audacious as CLOSING the achievement gap for ALL students, our school leaders and teachers do not have a minute to spare on meetings with bus companies, food service providers or facility maintenance staff. The operations team handles all of the non-instructional aspects of running a school so that our school leaders and teachers can focus on students.

performance data after each sixweek interim assessment. The Data Team works with school leaders and teachers to use the data in their instructional planning and identifies areas of network-wide strength and need. The broader IT Team works to ensure that schools have access to all necessary technology, while also maintaining our tech infrastructure and providing desktop support.

External Relations
“Team X” manages Achievement First’s relationships with all external parties, including philanthropic organizations, individual donors, local communities, charter school authorizers, state and local governments, board members, and advocacy organizations.

Operations, Finance and HR
Our Operations Team provides oversight of the daily financial operations at all schools, negotiates and manages contracts for common services (e.g., employee benefits, commercial insurance), plans and leads school start-up/expansion, and manages key school-site

Curriculum and Professional Development Talent Development and Recruitment
The Recruitment Team aggressively recruits and selects the finest teachers and leaders. The Talent Team provides an intensive leadership training program for all new principals and deans, facilitates ongoing training and collaboration for school leaders, and partners with our schools to ensure strong talent practices are creating a great place to work for all of our team and family members. Our Curriculum and Professional Development Team creates and facilitates the sharing of instructional resources, teaching tools and interim assessments. The team also provides instructional leadership training for school leaders and a range of professional development activities for teachers. The Special Ed Achievement Team trains and supports learning specialists and teachers in intervention strategies and ensures that our special education students achieve at high levels.

data systems. The Finance Team provides schools and boards with financial reports on a monthly basis, oversees all audit and legal needs, and negotiates and monitors network-wide contracts with key vendors to leverage our purchasing power. The Human Capital Team promotes consistency in HR policies and practices across the schools to ensure all employees are treated with fairness and respect.

Honing Trail Skills
New staff training, content experts, coaching and continuous professional development ensure that teachers and school leaders are growing in their craft and prepared for the work ahead.
Prior to the school year, new Achievement First teachers and school leaders spend three weeks together learning the “Achievement First Essentials” of effective instruction. New teachers collaborate and learn in subject- and grade-specific training sessions around lesson and unit planning, the “joy factor,” academic rigor, classroom management and engagement, long-term planning, school culture, and more—forming a cohesive picture of instructional excellence across Achievement First. Network-wide content experts in math, English, science, history, music and PE find, create and share top-notch curricular resources for teachers, while allowing for flexibility and creativity in the classroom. These experts meet with school leaders and teachers to diagnose student and teacher needs, and to implement school-specific and network-wide training to improve the quality of instruction. Experts also oversee the creation of interim assessments, ensuring that they yield the best possible data on the skills that students have mastered and the skills that still need work. Achievement First teachers are constantly supported, challenged and inspired to take their skills to the next level. We recognize that the number one factor impacting student achievement is teacher quality, so every teacher at Achievement First—whether a 10-year veteran or a recent college graduate—has an instructional coach. Principals, deans and master teachers all serve as coaches who provide teachers with individualized support to help achieve their professional learning goals and maximize student achievement. The pair meets regularly to reflect on instruction, debrief lesson observations, and co-plan lessons and units. All Achievement First teachers come together twice a year for a day of network-wide professional development to learn from master teachers and each other. In addition, every Achievement First school releases early on Friday afternoons so that teachers can participate in school-based sessions. School leaders structure these Friday afternoons to support teachers in analyzing video, data and/or student work, in planning upcoming lessons and units, and in sharing instructional best practices. We also know that teacher effectiveness and satisfaction are heavily influenced by the quality of school leaders. Achievement First works hard to select outstanding school leaders, many of whom now come from the ranks of our great teachers through our Leadership Fellows Program. After serving as an instructional coach or grade-level chair, some teachers become deans focused either on teacher coaching and professional development (academic deans) or school culture and parent engagement (deans of students). If an Achievement First dean or top external candidate is ready and interested in becoming a principal, they have a full additional year of training as a “principal in residence.” During this residency year, the aspiring principal receives additional training, spends time observing great schools both inside and outside the Achievement First network, and performs many of the tasks that they will be required to handle as principal—all while receiving feedback from their mentor principal and Achievement First’s director of leadership development.

Sara Keenan Director of Leadership Development It is absolutely rewarding to witness a talented teacher develop into an effective leader. Many of our principals and deans began their Achievement First careers as teachers, giving them unique insight into the challenges their teachers face and helping them become respected and empathetic leaders. Nancy Livingston Director of Math Achievement I am passionate about math, and I want all Achievement First students to feel that way too, but I know that math can be a challenging subject. I work hard to create curricular materials and professional development sessions that support our teachers in teaching math in a way that is rigorous, clear and fun. At Achievement First, we believe that ALL students can learn, and an important part of my job is making sure that we explore and utilize a variety of instructional approaches to help all students achieve mastery of math content and develop critical thinking skills.

Following Trail Markers
Interim assessments and the strategic use of data help teachers and school leaders plan for success.
Our curriculum for each grade level is divided into five cycles, each of which culminates in a cumulative assessment where students demonstrate mastery of the standards they have learned. A school-wide Data Day follows each cycle, giving teachers the information they need to edit their unit plans, target their instruction and design interventions for struggling students. This datadriven lens gives teachers the flexibility to target their instruction for each individual student. As a network, the work being done helps us gain a big picture overview of our results. Athena™, Achievement First’s custom-built, web-based interim assessment platform, has been instrumental in increasing the efficiency of our data analysis and the effectiveness of our planning and instruction. Athena facilitates the data analysis for teachers and school leaders and helps them create datadriven instructional battle plans.

Harris Ferrell Chief Information Officer Especially as the Achievement First network grows, we need to develop systems that allow us to continue doing what we’ve been doing for the last 10 years— delivering an achievementgap-closing education to all of our students at a high level of quality. The Information and Data Team is excited about utilizing technology to do just that.

Chi Tschang Assistant Superintendent I feel incredibly honored to help our talented and committed teachers and leaders become even better. We are constantly asking, ‘What is the next level in terms of instructional planning and delivery and school culture?’ Tapping into a network of 17 schools means that instead of always starting from scratch, our schools are able to build upon the strengths of sister schools and leverage the power of many. After all, as the African proverb says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’

Navigating Rough Terrain
Teachers and school leaders work together from grade to grade and school to school to collectively ensure that all students continue on the right path.
Closing the achievement gap is a team sport. Teachers and school leaders across the Achievement First network support each other and collaborate to develop and share best practices, both at in-person, networkwide professional development days and through online tools. When the network comes together twice a year, there is extraordinary energy in school chants and cheers and in the structured sharing sessions.Teachers trade successful teaching strategies and materials, with many of the best documents posted on the networkwide shared server (which can be accessed by any Achievement First employee at school or at home). In addition, since most Achievement First schools offer complete K to 12 programs, teachers appreciate knowing that the progress they make with a student continues when he or she moves onto a new classroom or school in the network. In conversations with Achievement First teachers, they have said that “there is a larger sense of closeness and community,” “everyone is looking out for each other and pushing each other toward success,” and that “it feels like you’re part of a greater mission working collectively with likeminded educators driving toward the same goal.” Achievement First school leaders benefit from an even greater level of collaboration. All Achievement First school principals gather five times during the year for formal sessions focused on network-wide priorities. This year, the training and sharing has focused on boosting reading achievement, providing effective coaching for teachers and deans, and creating disciplined, joyful school cultures. In addition, principals gather more often within their geographic areas to participate in inter-visitations to observe each others’ schools, borrow good ideas and provide meaningful peer feedback. Academic breakthroughs and high student achievement also require teamwork with parents. At Achievement First, students, parents and teachers all sign a contract outlining their shared commitment to hard work and consistent support of one another.

Connecticut School Sites

Highlights
Hartford

Ten years since its founding with 84 fifth- and sixth-grade students, Amistad Academy Middle’s inaugural fifth graders are now seniors in college.

New Haven

Amistad-Elm City High expanded to serve its first class of 12th graders and is excited to celebrate their admission to college later this spring. Amistad Academy successfully negotiated the purchase of the

Bridgeport

Amistad Academy Elementary Amistad Academy Middle Amistad-Elm City High Elm City College Preparatory Elementary Elm City College Preparatory Middle Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle

former Dwight School on Edgewood Avenue in New Haven, Conn. The school will undergo two years of renovations and construction to become the new, permanent home of Amistad Academy elementary and middle schools. Achievement First Bridgeport Academy moved to a new, permanent home at the former Barnum School on Noble Avenue. The board of directors also purchased the former Garfield School, which will be renovated so that the school can launch an elementary program in 2010.

Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing

Elementary School Results 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test

Results
Elementary Schools: On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, Achievement First’s oldest elementary students in Connecticut—Elm City College Preparatory Elementary fourth graders—outperformed their New
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing

Middle School Results 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test

Haven peers in math, reading and writing proficiency by 27 percentage points and surpassed the state average by six percentage points. Middle Schools: On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, Achievement First’s oldest middle school students in Connecticut— Amistad Academy Middle and Elm City College Preparatory Middle eighth graders—also outperformed their New Haven peers in math, reading and writing proficiency by 25 percentage points and surpassed the state average by four percentage points. High School: On the 2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test, Achievement First’s 10th graders at Amistad-Elm City High outperformed their New Haven peers in math, reading, writing and science proficiency by 36 percentage points and surpassed the state average by eight percentage points. At the conclusion of its inaugural year, Achievement First Hartford Academy posted the greatest performance gains of any Hartford public school.

High School Results 2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test
Percent of 10th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading, Writing and Science

AF Hartford Academy Performance Gains
Overall Student (OSI) Gain

New York School Sites

Highlights
Achievement First East New York Elementary and Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary both
Bushwick Brownsville Crown Heights East New York

graduated the first group of fourth graders, who are now the founding fifth graders at their respective middle schools. Thus, instead of admitting fifth graders by lottery— students who have historically performed two years below grade level—we now have fifth graders who are, on average, one year above grade level. The 2009-10 student enrollment lottery was our most successful to date. We received more than 3,500 applications for only 500 open seats—generating more than seven applicants for every open seat.

Brooklyn
Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Achievement First Bushwick Middle Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary Achievement First Crown Heights Middle Achievement First Crown Heights High Achievement First East New York Elementary Achievement First East New York Middle Achievement First Endeavor Middle Achievement First Brownsville Elementary

Achievement First opened its first New York high school— Achievement First Crown Heights High. The school is currently housed in a temporary facility, but construction continues on schedule for occupancy of a new, permanent facility in 2010-11.

Elementary School Results 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
96 82 73

Results
Elementary Schools: On the 2009 New York state tests, Achievement First’s oldest elementary students in New York—Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary and Achievement First East New York Elementary fourth graders—

New York State

Local Districts 17 & 19

Achievement First

outperformed their local community school district peers in math and English Language Arts proficiency by 23 percentage points and surpassed the state proficiency average by 14 percentage points.

Middle School Results 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
84 75

Middle Schools: On the 2009 New York state tests, Achievement First’s oldest middle school students in New York—Achievement First Crown Heights Middle eighth graders—outperformed their local

54

community school district peers in math and English Language Arts proficiency by 30 percentage points and surpassed the state proficiency average by nine percentage points.

New York State

Local District 19

Achievement First

All Achievement First New York schools received straight “A”s on the annual NYC Department of Education Progress Reports. According to our 2009 Parent Satisfaction Survey, 98 percent of our parents agree that their child attends a great school.

Amistad Academy Elementary
Principal: Tisha Markette Grades Served: K-3, growing to K-4 # of Students: 337 School Highlights At the end of the 2008-09 school year, 91 percent of kindergarteners were reading at or above grade level, up from 29 percent at the start of the school year, as measured by the nationally normed Developmental Reading Assessment. Similarly, 98 percent of first graders and 94 percent of second graders were reading at grade level, with more than half of these students reading a full grade level ahead. Joy is a key component of the school culture. Every day begins with a chant called “Are you going to have fun today?” Amistad Academy Elementary had 100 percent teacher retention from the 2008-09 school year to this school year. Amistad Academy Elementary has its inaugural class of third graders this year, and they are excited to show what they have learned when they take the first third-grade state test in 2010.

Connecticut Elementary School Sites
I work here because I know that everyone does whatever it takes to give our kids the topquality instruction they need. Before I came to Achievement First, I had nightmares about what ‘my kids’ would face when they moved to other classes and grades. Now I’m surrounded by phenomenal teachers. Morgan Barth, Principal, Elm City College Preparatory

Amistad Academy Elementary Developmental Reading Assessment
Average DRA Level at the Beginning of Kindergarten to the End of Second Grade
42 40 32 30
End of 2nd Grade Proficiency

20

18
End of 1st Grade Proficiency

10
End of Kindergarten Proficiency

0

1

Beginning of End of Kindergarten Kindergarten

End of 1st Grade

End of 2nd Grade

Elm City College Preparatory Elementary
Principal: Morgan Barth Grades Served: K-4 # of Students: 278 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, fourth graders outperformed their New Haven peers by 27 percentage points and their state-wide peers by six percentage points. Teachers find creative ways to reward hard work, such as taking students on trips to local book stores and participation in “Funtastic Friday” celebrations. The curriculum has always included a three-hour reading block. This year, the school is adding even more reading time for third- and fourth-grade students and more interventions for struggling readers. Teachers are focused on relationship building with parents and families, recently hosting more than 100 parents for “Parent Reading Mania Night.” This is a series of workshops to teach parents how to use the school’s reading strategies to support their children at home.

Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary
Principal: Claire Shin Grades Served: K-2, growing to K-4 # of Students: 269 School Highlights At the end of the 2008-09 school year, 82 percent of kindergarteners were reading at or above grade level as measured by the Fountas and Pinnell assessment. Similarly, 77 percent of first graders were reading at or above grade level, an improvement of 25 percentage points from the start of the school year. Every day begins with Morning Motivation, which includes recognition of exemplary REACH values and a schoolwide song to put all students on track to have a successful day of learning. Every teacher has a coach who they meet with on a weekly basis to identify strengths and develop strategies for improvement. Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary is focused on fostering open communication with families. Before the first day of homework, teachers call every family to explain the school’s homework expectations. As a result of this and many other efforts, homework completion rates have been on the rise.
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Elm City College Prep Elementary 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Connecticut New Haven Elm City College Prep Elementary 60 81 87

Achievement First Hartford Elementary 2009 Fountas and Pinnell Assessment
Percent of First Grade Students Reading At or Above Grade Level
77 52

Beginning of First Grade

End of First Grade

.

Achievement First Bushwick Elementary 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 3rd Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
92 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 New York State Local District 23 Achievement First Bushwick Elementary 67 85

New York Elementary School Sites

Achievement First Brownsville Elementary

Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
99 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 New York State Local District 17 Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary 82 74

Achievement First East New York Elementary 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
93 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 New York State Local District 19 Achievement First East New York Elementary 82 72

Everyone at Achievement First is driving toward the same end and held to the same high bar, yet there is room for individuality. Achievement First recognizes the strengths different people bring to the table and seeks to leverage and build upon those strengths. Kevin Lohela, Academic Dean, Achievement First Crown Heights

Principal: Gina Musumeci Grades Served: K-2, growing to K-4 # of Students: 247 School Highlights At the end of the school year, 95 percent of kindergarteners were reading at or above grade level as measured by the Fountas and Pinnell assessment. Of these students, 54 percent were reading at a level equivalent to a student at the end of first grade. The math curriculum uses a constructivist approach wherein students generate their own strategies for solving math problems using manipulatives, writing and discussion. The entire Achievement First Brownsville team and family—teachers, students and parents—gather for a weekly Morning Circle, during which the community celebrates successes and identifies challenges to overcome. Students share their learning and talent with parents during quarterly “arts nights” and potluck dinners. Students perform before their parents, teachers and school community while becoming accomplished dancers, singers and artists.

Achievement First Bushwick Elementary
Principal: Lizette Suxo Grades Served: K-4 # of Students: 415 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state tests, third graders outperformed their district peers by 25 percentage points and their state-wide peers by seven percentage points. Achievement First Bushwick Elementary hosts an annual multicultural showcase and potluck dinner to celebrate the cultural heritage of its students and families. The school serves the largest Hispanic population in the Achievement First network. In addition to offering students martial arts, drama club, health and fitness, and chorus after school, the school has partnered with The Piano School of Brooklyn to offer students lessons in music. Achievement First Bushwick Elementary has launched a revised kindergarten reading and math curriculum focused on thematic units. This approach to reading and math instruction is based on discovery through the exploration of themes relatable to the life and experiences of a kindergarten student.

Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary
Principal: Marin Smith Grades Served: K-4 # of Students: 422 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state tests, fourth graders outperformed their district peers by 25 percentage points and their state-wide peers by 17 percentage points. Students earn “paw prints” (the school’s mascot is the cougar) and can redeem them for special events and activities. The school recently introduced new incentive programs to boost homework completion, attendance and uniform compliance rates. A public scoreboard tracks weekly homework completion and attendance rates for each class, and winning classes are treated to a celebratory party. If a class has 100 percent uniform compliance, they receive a fun treat from the dean of students. Each month, students read stories, role play, sing songs and create artwork, which helps them learn about one of the five REACH values. At the end of the month, the school gathers to celebrate what they have learned and to reward students who exemplify the REACH values.

Achievement First East New York Elementary
Principal: Denniston Reid Grades Served: K-4 # of Students: 418 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state tests, fourth graders outperformed their district peers by 21 percentage points and their statewide peers by 11 percentage points. The cornerstone of school culture is team and family as embodied by the “wolf pack” (the school’s mascot is the wolf). Students earn their way into the pack by demonstrating citizenship, hard work and achievement. At Achievement First East New York Elementary, parents are partners. The school distributes a weekly parent newsletter and holds regular workshops on reinforcing aspects of the school program at home. Students can participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including kung-fu, basketball, yoga, track, step team, dance team, chorus, guitar club and African drumming.

Amistad Academy Middle 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Connecticut New Haven Amistad Academy Middle 62 90 83

Connecticut Middle School Sites

Elm City College Prep Middle 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Connecticut New Haven Elm City College Prep Middle 62 83 83

Amistad Academy Middle

Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 6th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Connecticut Bridgeport Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle 63 83 82

When I walk into an Achievement First school, sometimes I just want to pause and hang out for a little while because it’s so electric. The teachers and faculty are just so interested—each and every one of them— and so engaged in what they are doing. Christopher Champion, Parent, Amistad Academy

Principal: Matthew Taylor Grades Served: 5-8 # of Students: 278 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, eighth graders outperformed their New Haven peers by 28 percentage points and their state-wide peers by seven percentage points. The school gathers weekly for Morning Circle, where students are recognized for academic achievement and strong character skills. Town Meetings take place every six weeks and build school spirit with music, skits, cheers and awards. This year, the school team is establishing higher, clearer expectations for student achievement and behavior so that follow through on academic and discipline issues is consistent and effective. The result has been a dramatic drop in class time missed by students who are struggling with discipline issues. Instructional coaching is a cornerstone of the school’s professional culture. Every teacher meets weekly with their coach to debrief classroom observations, analyze student work, and create short- and longterm curricular plans.

Elm City College Prep Middle
Principal: Marc Michaelson Grades Served: 5-8 # of Students: 218 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, eighth graders outperformed their New Haven peers by 21 percentage points and scored on par with their state-wide peers. Elm City College Preparatory Middle boasts a particularly “warm demanding” school culture, where respect, teamwork and hard work are the platinum standards. Students look forward all year to the end-of-year college field trips. During these trips, students tour campuses, attend lectures, participate in mock interviews with admissions staff and stay in the dormitories. Approximately 30 students participated in the second annual “Tent City” fundraiser to benefit the homeless. The students raised money to keep the Cedar Street overflow shelter open through the winter.

Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle
Principal: Debon Lewis Grades Served: 5-7, growing to 5-8 # of Students: 236 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, sixth graders outperformed their Bridgeport peers by 19 percentage points after only two years at the school. This year, Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle completed its most successful Lionization Week to date. The school’s mascot is the lion, and Lionization Week is a powerful induction experience that welcomes new students into the “pride.” Students spend a portion of every day “independent hunting,” an activity otherwise known as independent reading. Achievement First Bridgeport Academy is one of three schools piloting Life Prep, a new Achievement First program focusing on character education. As part of the program, students are partnering with 11 charities and nonprofit organizations in the Bridgeport area to raise funds and provide volunteer services.

Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle
Principal: Jeff House Grades Served: 5-6, growing to 5-8 # of Students: 173 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test, fifth graders outperformed their Hartford peers by 13 percentage points after only one year at the school. The students demonstrated the greatest performance gains from 2008 of any Hartford public school. Following the school’s inaugural year, the Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle team is looking to raise the bar even higher. The school experienced an improved student orientation week; as a result, students are happier, better behaved and working harder than ever before. Teachers submit written lesson plans at the end of each week. School leaders review the plans and provide feedback to support teachers in developing highquality lessons that help all students learn.

New York Middle School Sites

Achievement First Bushwick Middle

Achievement First Crown Heights Middle
Principal: Keisha Rattray and Roseann Sheehan Grades Served: 5-8 # of Students: 345 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state test, eighth graders outperformed their district peers by 30 percentage points and their state-wide peers by nine percentage points. Achievement First Crown Heights Middle pioneered the Natural Born Aces (NBA) program to help male students who are on the cusp of receiving straight “A”s achieve their goal. The school hosts challenge events to foster healthy competition, like a Book Bowl or a Multiplication Tournament. Teachers have tons of school spirit and are known for performing high-energy, crowd-pleasing cheers during network-wide professional development days.

When you walk into an Achievement First school, you immediately notice how much learning is taking place. Teachers are delivering powerful lessons and students are engaged. There is a calm, welcoming and safe feeling as you observe the amazing work that’s going on. Laci Chisholm, Dean of Students, Achievement First East New York

Principal: Amy D’Angelo Grades Served: 5-7, growing to 5-8 # of Students: 246 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state tests, sixth graders outperformed their district peers by eight percentage points and scored nearly on par with their state-wide peers after only two years at the school. Students serve on a Principal Advisory Board, which oversees and rules on “cases” in which students are close to meeting homework and behavior/ character goals but have not made the cut-off for the end-of-year field trip. Students participate in Scholar Dollar auctions in which all items are focused on “quality time” with teachers. Students perform in a traveling orchestra, which made its Manhattan debut as part of the Vision Jazz Festival.

Achievement First Bushwick Middle 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 6th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 New York State Local District 32 Achievement First Bushwick Middle 82 73 81

Achievement First East New York Middle
Principal: David Hardy Grade Served: 5, growing to 5-8 # of Students: 90 School Highlights Achievement First East New York Middle opened this year, welcoming the first fourth-grade students from Achievement First East New York Elementary. Achievement First East New York Middle strives to develop students who are prepared for the rigors of high school and college by thinking critically, listening, learning and articulating their opinions with respect. Students can earn the honor of serving on the Principal Advisory Committee, which meets weekly with the school leadership team to discuss improving school culture and academics. Each month, students have the opportunity to attend exciting events as a reward for demonstrating outstanding character and academic achievement through hard work.

Achievement First Endeavor Middle
Principal:Tom Kaiser Grades Served: 5-8 # of Students: 302 School Highlights On the 2009 New York state tests, seventh graders outperformed their district peers by 14 percentage points and scored on par with their statewide peers. On their end-of-the-year trip, sixth graders were pushed outside their comfort zones and developed confidence through camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Achievement First Endeavor Middle is proud of its teams and clubs, especially the Rhythm and Funk Jazz Band and the boys’ basketball team, which won the NYC Charter School Athletic League Championship. Achievement First Endeavor Middle is eagerly anticipating an early 2010 move to its new $55 million facility on Waverly Avenue. The facility will be complete with modern classrooms, a full library and rooftop recreation areas.
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Achievement First Crown Heights Middle 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
84 75

54

New York State

Local District 17

Achievement First Crown Heights Middle

Achievement First Endeavor Middle 2009 New York State Test
Percent of 7th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math and English Language Arts
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 New York State Local District 14 & 16 Achievement First Endeavor Middle 70 84 84

Connecticut & New York High School Sites
Amistad-Elm City High
Principal: Jeff Sudmyer Grades Served: 9-12 # of Students: 175 School Highlights On the 2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test, 10th graders surpassed their New Haven district peers by 36 percentage points and outperformed their state-wide peers by eight percentage points. Students have the opportunity to earn up to nine college credits from UConn. Amistad-Elm City High teachers are certified as adjunct professors and all 11th and 12th graders are considered UConn students with unfettered access to the university’s libraries and other resources. Amistad-Elm City High’s four-year program far exceeds the baseline of 20 credits mandated by the state for high school graduation. In all, graduates earn over 30 credits and must take both AP Biology and AP U.S. History. Every student must participate in at least one summer enrichment program before graduation. Students are encouraged to apply to programs that provide enriching experiences and challenge them to step beyond their comfort zones.

Amistad-Elm City High School piloted Achievement First’s high school program, and with the founding of Achievement First Crown Heights High we are thrilled to have a sister high school for collaboration. Knowing all of the incredible progress made by Amistad-Elm City High over the last three years, I cannot wait to see how much further we will go together. Mary Ann Holland, Teacher, Amistad-Elm City High

Achievement First Crown Heights High
Principal: Paul Adler Grade Served: 9, growing to 9-12 # of Students: 62 School Highlights Achievement First Crown Heights High is the first high school in Achievement First’s Brooklyn network of schools. All students are educated about the many facets of college life and the different programs offered at colleges and universities, and will receive guidance in drafting their college lists and preparing to navigate the admissions process. Achievement First Crown Heights High offers an interest-based extracurricular program aimed at cultivating the whole student through athletics, yoga, the arts, dance, leadership or peer mediation. Every student is working toward a mission of community leadership. Students are expected to support their local community by demonstrating good character, participating in meaningful volunteer work and learning about others from different backgrounds.

Amistad-Elm City High 2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test
Percent of 10th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency in Math, Reading, Writing and Science
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Connecticut New Haven Amistad-Elm City High 53 89 81

Climbing the Mountain to College
Beginning The Ascent: Kindergarten
CHRiSoNiA BARNABY, Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary Even as a kindergartener, Chrisonia Barnaby is already on the path to college. She knows that it is a long climb requiring a lot of hard work, but she is focused on 2026, the year she will graduate from college. Like all Achievement First students, Chrisonia receives three hours of reading instruction every day. Incredible growth in reading is common among Achievement First kindergarten students, with nearly 100 percent finishing the year reading at or above grade level. Chrisonia is also a great writer, and she often thanks her teachers for “teaching me to write.” As a reward for her hard work, Chrisonia looks forward to the joyful celebrations that make learning fun. Each morning begins with Morning Motivation, which includes recognitions and shout-outs for great student work. Chrisonia also enjoys monthly REACH Circles where students are recognized for demonstrating our core values. She earned a citizenship award by keeping her workspace neat and consistently cleaning up after her teammates.

Traversing Difficult Terrain: Fourth Grade
KAYLA CoLoN, Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Kayla Colon is a member of Achievement First Bushwick Elementary’s first fourth-grade class. At the end of the school year, Kayla and her classmates will be the first fourth graders to matriculate to Achievement First Bushwick Middle as fifth graders. This is an important milestone for the Achievement First network in reaching our goal of providing a continuous K to 12 education that delivers our students to the doors of college prepared for its rigors. Kayla’s favorite subject is math and she benefits from an extended math block every day. For Kayla, fourthgrade math has been a fluid transition from third grade. This year, Kayla will continue building her knowledge of fractions, multiplication, division, basic geometry and algebra, units of measurement, and statistics and probability.

Reaching for Higher Elevation: Eighth Grade
MERENo WiLLiAMS, Achievement First Crown Heights Middle As an eighth grader, Mereno Williams has the important responsibility of serving as a role model and leader for Achievement First Crown Heights Middle students in grades five to seven. With high school just around the corner, Mereno will continue pushing himself to work hard in preparation for its rigors. The first eighth-grade class graduated from Achievement First Crown Heights Middle last year and became the founding class of the new Achievement First Crown Heights High, laying a road map for Mereno as he aspires toward success. Mereno is a participant in Achievement First Crown Heights Middle’s Natural Born Aces (NBA) program, a unique program that helps male students on the cusp of becoming Aces (getting straight “A”s) achieve this goal through team goal-setting, emotional support from peers and candid conversations about the formation of their identity as young, African-American males.

Reaching a Summit: Twelfth Grade
JuLiuS BENNETT, Amistad-Elm City High As a senior, Julius Bennett is finally positioned to use all that he has learned in his college readiness classes, which he began in ninth grade. With the support of his college counselor, teachers, peers and family, he is successfully navigating the college selection and application process, the financial aid process, and the transition to adulthood. Julius is applying to the University of Connecticut, Yale University, Union College, Fairfield University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Bates College. Amistad-Elm City High aspires to develop well-rounded students. As a senior, Julius has the opportunity to choose from several electives, such as interning at local businesses and non-profit organizations, earning college credits from the University of Connecticut and other local universities, serving as a teaching assistant, taking computer programming courses, and serving on the Student Life Committee that plans graduation, prom and the yearbook. Julius is currently enrolled in a semester-long philosophy course at Southern Connecticut State University.

Starting Another Climb: College
KiARA FuLLER, Alumna of Amistad Academy Kiara Fuller is in her senior year at Connecticut College, working toward a degree in psychology. She was a member of Amistad Academy’s founding fifth-grade class and will be among the first Amistad Academy alumni to graduate from college in the spring. While Kiara found Amistad Academy Middle very strict when she first started, she eventually realized that the discipline and hard work that was expected of her was for the best. Today, she applies the value of hard work to everything she does, and it has certainly paid off. Kiara admits that, early on, most people did not expect her to graduate from college, much less a top school like Connecticut College. She credits her networks of support, including her family, friends and Amistad Academy, for helping her overcome obstacles along the way. When Kiara becomes a college graduate in May, it will be her proudest accomplishment to date—although we are sure she will have many more!

Finances

Our Network Finances
(2008-09 unaudited financials)

Revenues
Management Fees Philanthropy Other Total 3,377,701 4,136,542 186,244 7,700,486

Network Expenses
1%

Expenses
Personnel Expenses Non-personnel Expenses Depreciation Expense Total 5,326,006 1,794,337 239,871 7,360,214 340,272

17 %

26%

Surplus/(Deficit)** Athena*
Revenues Expenses Surplus/(Deficit)

17 %
812,344 952,090 (139,746)

21 % 18 %

*Athena™ is Achievement First’s custom-built, web-based interim assessment platform, providing performance data analysis and knowledge management for teachers and school leaders to create data-driven instructional battle plans as they help every student climb the mountain to college. Athena is a stand-alone software platform that is independently managed from Achievement First’s central operations. **The FY09 surplus has been put in a board-resigned reserve account that will be used for FY10 expenses and to cover facility purchases and renovation expenses for Achievement First schools.

Curriculum, Prof. Dev. & School Support Talent Development & Recruiting General, Administrative & FInancial Development & Community Relations Operations & IT Depreciation

Our School Finances
(based on 2008-09 funding at full enrollment)

New York Achievement First Model
*

Connecticut Achievement First Model
*

Achievement First operates college-preparatory public charter schools at a per-student cost equal to or less than its host public school districts in New York and Connecticut.
*Host district pupil data based on 2007-08 actuals, increased by 3 percent per year to compare to 2009-10. The amount was adjusted to control for expenses provided in-kind to Achievement First schools such as facilities operations and transportation.

Revenue Philanthropy Revenue Federal Revenue State Facility Operating Expenses Non-Personnel, Non-Program Expenses Non-Personnel Program Expenses Personnel Expenses Host District Expenses

Facilities

Securing appropriate, permanent facilities is a critical issue for all charter schools, and Achievement First has made great progress in meeting that challenge in 2009 through the generous support of our donors, tremendous assistance from allied organizations and strong partnerships with our host districts. In New Haven, we purchased the former Dwight School from the City of New Haven and have begun a two-year renovation project to make this a permanent home for Amistad Academy’s elementary and middle schools. The $32 million project is being funded through a combination of private philanthropy and an unprecedented $24 million state grant. Our two new schools in Hartford were provided with an existing public school facility at no cost by the Hartford Public School District. While the current building is too small to house us permanently, the district has committed to providing another building and is working with us to make the necessary capital improvements.

Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School found a permanent home when it purchased the former Barnum School from the City of Bridgeport and made renovations over the summer. Further improvements, such as the addition of a gym, will be necessary, but the existing building provides an excellent foundation. A site has also been secured for Achievement First Bridgeport Elementary, which we hope to open in August 2010. In Brooklyn, construction is nearing completion on the Waverly building, which will house Achievement First Endeavor elementary and middle schools. Built in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and Civic Builders, this $55 million project will also house Achievement First’s New York office.

Construction also began on an incredible new building in Crown Heights that will house our New York high schools. The 200,000square-foot facility will be shared with our charter school partner Uncommon Schools, and has been funded and managed by the unbelievable generosity of the Robin Hood Foundation in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Our remaining schools in New York continue to occupy facilities provided by the New York City Department of Education, thanks to the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein. In Connecticut, our other schools occupy a mix of owned and leased properties.

Our Approach
All Achievement First schools share six core program elements.
unwavering Focus on Student Achievement All Achievement First teachers and principals are focused on completely closing the achievement gap for our students, and student performance is the chief factor in school, principal and teacher evaluations. Talent Development Achievement First firmly believes that the most important determinant of student achievement is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Likewise, the quality of school leaders is the most important driver of teacher success. Achievement First goes to great lengths to recruit, develop, recognize and retain a team of talented teachers and school leaders. All new Achievement First school leaders train for an entire year before launching a new school, and all new Achievement First teachers participate in nearly three weeks of professional development. Achievement First schools release early on Fridays to provide two additional hours of staff meeting and learning time. Every Achievement First teacher has a coach (a principal, dean or master teacher) who meets with them at least once every two weeks to provide individual coaching and support. More Time on Task The Achievement First school day is nearly two hours longer than the traditional public school day, allowing many students to have two reading classes and an extended math class every day. Tutoring is available during and after school, an average of one to two hours of homework is assigned per night, and an intensive independent reading program is prioritized so that students READ, READ, READ both at home and at school. In addition, all Achievement First students attend a required 15-day Summer Academy. Over the course of a K to 12 education, this extra time amounts to one additional year of instruction. Rigorous Curriculum Achievement First outlines the ambitious academic standards that all Achievement First students are expected to master at each grade level, so that success in one grade can be seamlessly built on in the next. Teachers understand that “covering material” is not our goal; what is important is how well students master the essential knowledge and skills.

Strategic use of Data and interventions for Struggling Students Every six weeks, Achievement First teachers give interim assessments (IAs) that measure whether students have actually mastered what we have taught them. These results are then uploaded to AF Athena, a custombuilt assessment system. Teachers and principals spend a Data Day after each IA dedicated to reviewing the individual assessments and together creating data-driven instructional plans that target whole class, small group and one-on-one instruction to address any gaps in student learning. Strong School Culture Immediately upon entering an Achievement First school, you can feel a sense of urgency, order, focus and joy. Key elements of Achievement First’s school culture include the following: Commitment to character education: All students live by the REACH values (Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Citizenship and Hard Work). Our goal is to develop well-rounded students, and we teach these character values as explicitly as we teach academics. Sweating the small stuff: In many urban schools, teachers and leaders “pick their battles,” only addressing egregious instances of poor behavior. Achievement First, on the other hand, has adopted sociologist James Q. Wilson’s “broken windows” theory

that even small details can have a significant effect on overall culture, and we believe that students will rise to the level of expectations adults have for them. College focus: The message at Achievement First schools is that all students are going to college. We continuously expose students to college—all of our classrooms are named after universities, students make field trips to college campuses, hear speakers talk about college, write research papers on colleges and, most important, master a college-preparatory curriculum. From the moment our students arrive, they know what year they are expected to graduate from college (our current kindergarteners are known as the “Class of 2026”). Teachers know and care: Achievement First schools are small learning communities in which all teachers and leaders know the names of all students. Every Achievement First school has some form of advisory program so that teachers are able to develop meaningful relationships with each student in their advisory.

Parents as partners: At Achievement First schools, parents, students and leaders all sign a contract that outlines their shared commitment to hard work and consistent support of one another. While this contract is not legally binding, it is an important symbolic commitment and plays an integral role in strengthening the relationship between parents and the school. Uniforms: All Achievement First students wear their school’s chosen uniform. Joy factor: Achievement First believes that great education should be rigorous AND fun, challenging AND engaging, structured AND joyful. In fact, we coach teachers to ensure that the J-Factor (the “joy factor”) is high in every class and dominates regular school-wide celebrations. Students are frequently and systematically recognized for academic achievement and good behavior.

Donors
William Curran Sarah Curtis-Bey Kevin and Katrin Czinger Emile Dabora Anthony and Suzy Davis Carlton and Letamarie Highsmith Dick and Angelica Hinchcliff Kenneth M. Hirsh Gary and Julie Holloway Vanessa Jackson Daisy James Norman and Sandra Jellinghaus Chandra Jesse and Julius Gaudio Jalak Jobanputra Judge Clarance and Mrs. Maureen Jones Harold and Margaret Kamins Elana Karopkin Shelly and Michael Kassen Charles T. Kellogg Karen Kesner William H. Ketcham and Beth Ward Shannon Kete Sylvia Kete Amin J. Khoury Dr. Richard Kiley Charles and Gretchen Kingsley Matt Klein Jan Kliger Robert and Dana Kligerman Nathaniel Klipper Hugh Knetzger Fleur Knowsley Herbert Kohler Jr. Carol Kranowitz Andrew and Ruth Lachman Jean LaVecchia Vivian Lau Robert Lebby Janet and Peter Lebovitz William and Kate Lee Russell and Tracey Lev Fredrik Lindholm Dr. Benjamin and Mrs. Ruth Littman Dr. Steven Eisen and Dr. Emily Littman-Eisen Schuyler Livingston Kevin and Erika Long Henry Lord Richard and Katherine Loughlin Matthew Lucke Leora Magier Stephen and Susan Mandel Nancy A. Marks Kristin Marlow Grant McCracken Paul and Cynthia McCraven Doug McCurry Ian and Sonnet McKinnon James McLaren Rachel Meisel Suzanne Tanner-Meisel Nisa and Martin Mellin Kenneth and Jo Merlau Frances Messano Drs. Jerome and Roslyn Meyer

We are profoundly grateful and appreciative of the support displayed by our many benefactors. Your gifts sustain and inspire our aspiring students and dedicated teachers. Thank you!

Nancy DeLisi Roberta Denning Alexandra Desbrow Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Allison Douglas Jane and Chuck Dowding Frank and Augusta Downey Susan B. and Thomas Dunn Andrew and Eileen Eder Andrea Edic David and Cindy Eigen Emily Eisenlohr Charles and Jane Ellis Katherine Ender Bruce and Joan Ente Daniel and Elizabeth Esty John and Katharine Esty Cyrille Farrell Eric and Anne Ferguson Richard and Marissa Ferguson Harris Ferrell Aileen Ferrick Barry and Pamela Fingerhut Tom Foley and Leslie Fahrenkopf Wanda Felton Terence and Linda Fox Catherine Frantzis Alan and Ilene Frost June Gaston John and Anne Geissinger Lee Gelernt Julia Getman Dave and Sonal Gibson J. Colin Gibson Regina Glocker Seth Goldman Edwin Goodman Denise Gordon William and Jean Graustein Nicholas Graves Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Greenfield Keely Gregorio Michael D. and Molly Griffin Chris Growney Priscilla Hall Teresa Hamdan Jim and Melinda Hamilton Mark and Amanda Harmeling Taylor and Amy Harmeling Steven Harris Robert and Kristy Harteveldt Darrell Harvey William and Judy Heins Malda Hibri Alexis N. Highsmith

Individuals
Anonymous Anonymous Bruce and Christine Alexander Dave Anderson Sean Andrews Jurek and Stephanie Antoszewski Elaine Appellof and Jerry Saunders Dr. Walter and Mrs. Diane Ariker Mary Arnstein Andrew B. and Connan Ashforth Jon Atkeson Martha Banks Edgar and Joan Barksdale Polly Barry and Richard Clarida Richard and Ilene Barth Gary and Myrna Baskin Elizabeth Giffels-Berardino and Peter Berardino Dr. Eric and Mrs. Ethel Berger William R. Berkley Diahann Billings-Burford Erin Bingle Andrew Blackwell Jerry Blumberg Andrew and Carol Boas Marx G. Bowens III and Natasha Bowens Mr. and Mrs. Anders Brag Jonathan Brandt Jeffrey Brickman Susan and Malcolm Brown Richard Buery Khephra Burns Julie Burton and George G. Sharrard Guido and Anne Calabresi Kate Cameron Iris Chen Tom Chiappetta and Pat Tyre Henry Clark III Ann and Richard Cohen Justin Cohen Louise Cohen Brooke Connolly William Connolly Michael and Joyce Critelli Jim and Eileen Cullen Daniel Curran

Graham and Bonnie Miles Daniel and Sharon Milikowsky Robert Minicucci Robert Mnuchin John Motley Emerson Moore Gerard Murray Joseph Nathan Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Netter Herbert S. Newman David Newton Harold and Sandra Noborikawa Susan Oba Peter and Beverly Orthwein Sharon Oster and Raymond Fair Tricia Pacelli and Eric Wepsic Colleen Palmer Suzie Hahn Pascutti Herbert Pearce and Martha Wood Patricia Pierce and Marc Rubenstein Josh and Sharon Polan Max Polaner John and Noreen Poulson Hasoni Pratts Shaka Rasheed William Reese and Dorothy Hurt Lystra and Renelle Richardson Lesley Esters Redwine Claire Robinson Morgan Rodd Judith M. Rodriguez Daniel Roitman Gerald Rosenberg and Cheryl Wiesenfeld Harvey and Diane Ruben Marshall Ruben and Carolyn Greenspan Mally and Alan Rutkoff Jonathan Sackler and Mary Corson Adam and Margot Sappern Ankur Saraiya Nick and Clara Sartori David Savin Lawrence and Gloria Schaffer Anne Schenck Everett and Sally Schenk Melissa and Kenneth Scheve Jennifer L. Schiff Gabriel Schwartz Vinit Sethi Deborah Shanley Peter and Susan Shirk Katherine Shoemaker Mark Shufro Constance Silver John Simon Maya Simon Bruce and Pamela Simonds Christopher Sommers Craig Steffen John and Susan Steuer

Chrystal Stokes Williams Michael Stone Lawrence and Joyce Stupski Patricia and Stedman Sweet David Tattan Dr. Beecher and Mrs. Iris Taylor Holland Taylor Minochka Taylor Christine Theodore Nicholas W. Tiller Whitney R. Tilson Dacia Toll and Jeffrey Klaus Alexander and Dale Troy Jennifer Smith Turner Kelly Wachowicz Giselle Wagner and Paul Myerson Lyn Gammill Walker Roy and Carol Walzer Holly Washington Robert Watson George Weiss Mark Weissler and Nancy Voye Barbara and Theodore Widmayer Tiger and Caroline Williams F. Perry and Pamela Wilson Natalie Wiltshire Terrie E. and John F. Wood Hope Woodhouse and Richard Canty Nat and Margo Woodson Lily Zoberman David Zussman Julie Zussman

Ender Family Foundation Fairfield County Community Foundation—Donor Advised Fund Frederick DeLuca Foundation H.A. Vance Foundation Hartford Courant Foundation Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Imagineers Foundation Jana Foundation The Leo and Libby Nevas Family Foundation Lone Pine Foundation The Louis Calder Foundation Marx Family Foundation Meg and Tim Callahan Family Foundation The Moody’s Foundation Near and Far Aid Association, Inc. New Profit New Schools Venture Fund New York City Center for Charter School Excellence NewAlliance Foundation Newman’s Own Foundation The Ohnell Family Foundation The Olson Foundation The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation Rich Charitable Family Trust Robertson Foundation Robin Hood Foundation The Seedlings Foundation Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation The Shumway Capital Foundation Silverleaf Foundation Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, Inc. Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation Tiger Foundation Tortora-Sillcox Family Foundation The Vranos Family Foundation The Walton Family Foundation William C. Graustein Memorial Fund The William H. Pitt Foundation Woodward Fund

Corporations
Blue Ridge Capital Carter, Morse & Mathias Investment Bankers Countrywide Cares Deutsche Bank Forester Capital, LLC Goldman Sachs Greenlight Capital Hartford Steam Boiler Shekinah Photos, LLC Yale New Haven Hospital Yale University Yannix Management, LP

Amistad Academy 10th Anniversary Celebration Sponsors
Ascys Interactive Bank of America Chapel Construction The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Good Copy Printing & Digital Graphics Hadley, Inc. Kenneth Boroson Architects MDG Associates of Connecticut NewAlliance Bank PPI Benefits Solutions Staples Whitson’s School Nutrition Yale University * We are recognizing gifts of $100 or greater received between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

Foundations
The Annie E. Casey Foundation Henry E. and Nancy Horton Bartels Trust Bodman Foundation Carl Marks Foundation Carnegie Corporation Carson Family Charitable Trust Cerimon Fund The Charter Oak Challenge Foundation Clark Foundation The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Dalio Foundation

Boards of Directors
Achievement First Central Board
William R. Berkley, Chair W.R. Berkley Corporation,
Chairman and CEO

Achievement First Crown Heights
Hon. L. Priscilla Hall, Chair Supreme Court of
the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, Justice

Achievement First North Crown Heights
Wanda Felton, Chair Private Equity Consulting,
Principal

Steve Anbinder, Treasurer First Marblehead, Vice
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Holly Washington, Secretary JP Morgan, Vice
President

Denise Gordon, Vice Chair Deloitte Services LP,
National Service Line Talent Manager | Actuarial, Risk and Analytics

Andrew Boas Carl Marks Management Co., LP,
General Partner

Vivian Lau Serengeti Asset Management, Partner Ethel Phillips Parent Representative Gabriel Schwartz Davidson Kempner Capital
Management, LLC, Managing Director

Doug Borchard New Profit, Inc., Managing Partner
and Chief Operating Officer

Hasoni Pratts, Treasurer Empire State Development
Corp., Director of External Relations

Barry Fingerhut Fingerhut Management Corp.,
Director

Mashea Ashton Newark Charter School Fund,
Partner

Christopher Sommers Greenlight Capital, Analyst Dacia Toll Achievement First, Co-CEO and President

Carlton L. Highsmith Specialized Packaging Group,
CEO

Matt Klein Blue Ridge Foundation, Executive Director Lesley Esters Redwine Achievement First, Vice
President of External Relations – NY

Judge Clarance Jones Judicial Branch, State of
Connecticut, Superior Court Judge

Achievement First East New York
Anthony Davis, Chair Anchorage Capital Group,
LLC, President

James Peyser New Schools Venture Fund, Partner Stefan Pryor City of Newark, Deputy Mayor,
Commerce & Economic Development

Achievement First Bridgeport
Andrew Boas, Chair Carl Marks Management Co.,
LP, General Partner

Jon Atkeson, Treasurer Fortress Investment Group,
Managing Director

Jon D. Sackler Bouncer Foundation, President Jennifer Smith Turner Girl Scouts of Connecticut,
CEO

Diahann Billings Burford City of New York,
Chief Service Officer

Shelly Kassen, Secretary/Treasurer Town of
Westport, Selectman

Rich Buery Groundwork, Inc., Executive Director
and Founder

Dick Ferguson Newcity Foundation Richard Kalt CRN International, Inc., Vice President Karen King McGivney Community Center, Inc.,
Executive Director

Achievement First Brownsville
Kelly Wachowicz, Chair iStar Financial, Vice
President of New Business Initiatives

J. Colin Gibson Citi Global Wealth Management,
Director

Melaine Mullan Achievement First, Chief Operating
Officer

Wiley Mullins Uncle Wiley’s Specialty Foods, Inc.,
President

Chrystal Stokes Williams,Treasurer American
Express Company, Director

Tara Griffin McClain Parent Representative

Emily Saunders Teacher Representative

Elgina Brooks Parent Representative Lee Gelernt ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project,
Deputy Director

Achievement First Endeavor
Shaka Rasheed, Chair JP Morgan Asset
Management, Managing Director

Achievement First Hartford
Steve Harris, Chair Community Leader Marshall Ruben, Vice Chair Ruben, Johnson &
Morgan, P.C., President

Max Polaner Achievement First, Chief Financial
Officer

Frances Messano, Secretary Monitor Group,
Consultant

Colleen Palmer, Secretary Monroe Public Schools,
Superintendent

Achievement First Bushwick
Deborah Shanley, Chair Brooklyn College,
School of Education Dean

Sarah Curtis Bey, Treasurer Estee Lauder, Director
Global Makeup Marketing

John Motley, Treasurer MotleyBeup, Owner Dominic Basile Teacher Representative Tom Cody Robinson & Cole, Partner Andrea Comer City of Hartford, Executive Assistant
and Board of Education Representative

Khephra Burns Author and Playwright Justin Cohen Eton Park Capital Management,
Investment Analyst

Jalak Jobanputra, Secretary New York City
Investment Fund, Senior Vice President

Shannon Kete, Treasurer Project Lead the Way,
Chief Operating Officer

Chris Growney Clearwater Analytics, Co-Founder
and Vice President of Business Development

Bruce Douglas CREC, Executive Director Denise Gallucci CREC, General Director of Magnet
Schools

iris Chen I Have a Dream Foundation, CEO/President Harris Ferrell Achievement First, Chief Information
Officer

Elana Karopkin Achievement First, Assistant
Superintendent

Claire Robinson Moody’s Corporation, Senior
Managing Director

Ja Hannah Parent Representative Alexis Highsmith Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.,
Attorney

Malda Hibri Highbridge Capital Management, LLC,
Senior Vice President

May Taliaferrow-Mosleh Parent Representative

Emerson Moore TMP Worldwide, General Counsel Judith M. Rodriguez NYC Comptroller’s Office,
Community Associate

Jean LaVecchia Northeast Utilities System, Vice
President – Human Resources and Ethics

Jim Willingham Retired

Yvette Best Teacher Representative

Amistad Academy
Alexander Troy, Chair Troy Capital, LLC, CEO Carlton L. Highsmith, Co-Vice Chair Specialized
Packaging Group, CEO

Judge Clarance Jones, Co-Vice Chair Judicial
Branch, State of Connecticut, Superior Court Judge

Jane Levin, Secretary Yale University, Director of
Undergraduate Studies of Directed Studies

Paul McCraven Treasurer New Alliance Bank,
Senior Vice President

Anne Tyler Calabresi Community Activist Katrin Czinger Philanthropist Mayor John DeStefano Jr. Board of Education
Representative

Lorraine Gibbons Parent Representative Andrew Lachman Connecticut Center for School
Change, Executive Director

Caroline Williams Event Coordinator Rachel Ziegler Teacher Representative

Elm City College Preparatory
Dick Ferguson, Chair Newcity Foundation Melinda Hamilton, Vice Chair Retired, Trilogy
Enterprises

Lystra M. Richardson, Secretary Southern
Connecticut State University, Professor – Department of Educational Leadership

William F. Heins, Treasurer Private Investor Harold Brooks Parent Representative Joyce Critelli Philanthropist Allen Hadelman Hadley, Inc., President M. Ann Levett Board of Education Representative Sharon oster Yale School of Management, Dean Patricia Pierce Yale University, Major Gifts Senior
Associate Director

Cassandra Reilly Teacher Representative Rolan Young Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., Senior
Partner

* We are including individuals who served on our boards between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

CT Office 403 James Street New Haven, CT 06513 NY Office 1137 Herkimer Street Brooklyn, NY 11233 www.achievementfirst.org

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