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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, high-
performing 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 Doug McCurry William R. Berkley


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

Achievement First Growth Projections


Achievement First’s theory of change As we develop the Achievement First
is that by creating the equivalent network, we are guided by three big
of a high-performing urban public goals: quality, scale and sustainability.
Achievement First is school “district,” we prove that the We remain committed to creating
focused on continuing to achievement gap can be closed at the kind of top-quality schools our
close the achievement gap scale and can thus inspire and inform students need and deserve, and to
broader district-wide reform efforts. doing so at a meaningful scale and
in a manner and scale that Our current strategic plan calls for with a per-student cost equal to
is replicable and relevant us to expand from 17 to 34 schools, or less than that of our host public
for traditional public school eventually serving more than 12,000 school districts.
students. At this size, we will serve
districts. 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, Talent Development School Support and Quality Control
Achievement First has created a Finding, developing, recognizing and The Achievement First network
network-wide “school support” team retaining great educators is the key provides a variety of support services,
of professionals focused on finance, to the success of our students and from direct coaching for principals by
curriculum, talent development, the network as a whole. Achievement assistant superintendents (who have
operations, recruitment, human First has focused on recruiting the previously been successful principals
capital, technology, data practices, best people from around the country, of their own schools) to network-
external relations and more. Our providing them with outstanding wide professional development
network-wide support team has five professional development, and for teachers, teacher leaders
objectives: creating opportunities that will inspire and principals. At the same time,
and support them in their careers. For Achievement First has a commitment
Freeing Schools to Focus on
example, we have a leadership fellows to ensuring that every school delivers
Achievement
program for aspiring school leaders on its big promises to students and
Running an outstanding school
and are piloting a new “master teacher families; when a school is not meeting
is a difficult and complex job.
career path” for outstanding teachers goals, Achievement First has the
Achievement First has found that
who want to stay in the classroom. power and expertise to intervene
by centralizing certain functions—
and make whatever changes are
teacher recruitment, fundraising, Knowledge Capture and Sharing
necessary to set the school up for
budgeting and fiscal operations, One of the greatest benefits of
success.
data management, information the network is that Achievement
technology, facilities operations, First schools, while sharing some Efficiencies That Enable the
and more—we are able to free common elements, are also free to Network to be Sustainable
principals and teachers to focus on innovate—each discovering new Through economies of scale and
the most important things: teaching answers to the significant challenges specialization, Achievement First
and learning. Centralizing and of urban education. We share a core performs key tasks (e.g., student
coordinating these services enables focus on results and continuous recruitment, real estate) with
us to deliver them at both a higher improvement, which means that significantly less expense and with
level of quality and lower cost than successful practices at one school are higher levels of quality than the
a single school would on its own. In often shared and systematized for the schools could on their own. These
addition, within each school, teachers benefit of the entire network. efficiencies are what enable the
and principals are supported by an network to operate at cost levels that
outstanding school operations team are the same or less than our host
that handles most non-instructional districts.
tasks, including busing, facilities, food
service, field trips, purchasing, budget
management and state reporting.
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 Following Trail Navigating Rough


New staff training, Markers Terrain
content experts, Interim assessments Teachers and school
coaching and continuous and the strategic use leaders work together
professional development of data help provide key from grade to grade
ensure that teachers markers along the trail and school to school to
and school leaders are for teachers and school collectively ensure that
constantly learning and leaders to plan for students continue on
are prepared for the success. the right path.
work ahead.
School Support
Assistant superintendents each
coach and support four to six school
principals in order to help them
achieve their ambitious student

Packing for the Climb achievement goals. The assistant


superintendents train and coach
principals, develop and share best
Network-wide support teams provide “backpack practices, serve as a principal’s
essentials” for schools as they climb. liaison to the network team, and
conduct school evaluations.
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 Data and
goal of student achievement. As a result of the Achievement First network
approach, our principals are able to serve as true instructional leaders,
Information Technology
spending the majority of their time observing and coaching teachers—and AF AthenaTM is a custom-built, web-
even teaching classes themselves. based student performance tool
that allows teachers and principals
to analyze and interpret student
Greg Foster performance data after each six-
week interim assessment. The Data
Regional Director of Team works with school leaders
Operations - New York and teachers to use the data in their
instructional planning and identifies
With a goal as areas of network-wide strength and
audacious as need. The broader IT Team works to
ensure that schools have access to
CLOSING the all necessary technology, while also
achievement gap for ALL students, our school leaders maintaining our tech infrastructure
and providing desktop support.
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.
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
data systems. The Finance Team
Curriculum and provides schools and boards with
Professional Development financial reports on a monthly
basis, oversees all audit and legal
Talent Development and Our Curriculum and Professional
needs, and negotiates and monitors
Development Team creates and
Recruitment facilitates the sharing of instructional network-wide contracts with key
The Recruitment Team aggressively resources, teaching tools and interim vendors to leverage our purchasing
recruits and selects the finest assessments. The team also provides power. The Human Capital Team
teachers and leaders. The Talent instructional leadership training promotes consistency in HR policies
Team provides an intensive leadership for school leaders and a range of and practices across the schools to
training program for all new principals professional development activities for ensure all employees are treated with
and deans, facilitates ongoing training teachers. The Special Ed Achievement fairness and respect.
and collaboration for school leaders, Team trains and supports learning
and partners with our schools to specialists and teachers in intervention
ensure strong talent practices are strategies and ensures that our
creating a great place to work for all special education students achieve at
of our team and family members. high levels.
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 are and units, and in sharing instructional
Achievement First teachers and school constantly supported, challenged and best practices.
leaders spend three weeks together inspired to take their skills to the next
We also know that teacher
learning the “Achievement First level. We recognize that the number
effectiveness and satisfaction are
Essentials” of effective instruction. New one factor impacting student
heavily influenced by the quality of
teachers collaborate and learn in achievement is teacher quality, so
school leaders. Achievement First
subject- and grade-specific training every teacher at Achievement
works hard to select outstanding
sessions around lesson and unit First—whether a 10-year veteran or a
school leaders, many of whom now
planning, the “joy factor,” academic recent college graduate—has an
come from the ranks of our great
rigor, classroom management and instructional coach. Principals, deans
teachers through our Leadership
engagement, long-term planning, and master teachers all serve as
Fellows Program. After serving as an
school culture, and more—forming a coaches who provide teachers with
instructional coach or grade-level
cohesive picture of instructional individualized support to help achieve
chair, some teachers become deans
excellence across Achievement First. their professional learning goals and
focused either on teacher coaching
maximize student achievement. The
Network-wide content experts in math, and professional development
pair meets regularly to reflect on
English, science, history, music and PE (academic deans) or school culture
instruction, debrief lesson observations,
find, create and share top-notch and parent engagement (deans of
and co-plan lessons and units.
curricular resources for teachers, while students). If an Achievement First
allowing for flexibility and creativity in All Achievement First teachers come dean or top external candidate is
the classroom. These experts meet together twice a year for a day of ready and interested in becoming a
with school leaders and teachers to network-wide professional principal, they have a full additional
diagnose student and teacher needs, development to learn from master year of training as a “principal in
and to implement school-specific and teachers and each other. In addition, residence.” During this residency year,
network-wide training to improve the every Achievement First school the aspiring principal receives
quality of instruction. Experts also releases early on Friday afternoons so additional training, spends time
oversee the creation of interim that teachers can participate in observing great schools both inside
assessments, ensuring that they yield school-based sessions. School and outside the Achievement First
the best possible data on the skills that leaders structure these Friday network, and performs many of the
students have mastered and the skills afternoons to support teachers in tasks that they will be required to
that still need work. analyzing video, data and/or student handle as principal—all while receiving
work, in planning upcoming lessons 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 Athena™, Achievement First’s
is divided into five cycles, each of custom-built, web-based interim
which culminates in a cumulative assessment platform, has been
assessment where students instrumental in increasing the
demonstrate mastery of the standards efficiency of our data analysis and
they have learned. A school-wide the effectiveness of our planning and
Data Day follows each cycle, giving instruction. Athena facilitates the
teachers the information they need data analysis for teachers and school
to edit their unit plans, target their leaders and helps them create data-
instruction and design interventions driven instructional battle plans.
for struggling students. This data-
driven 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.
Harris Ferrell
Chief Information Officer
Especially as the Achieve-
ment 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 achievement-
gap-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 when he or she moves onto a new achievement, providing effective
team sport. Teachers and school classroom or school in the network. coaching for teachers and deans,
leaders across the Achievement First In conversations with Achievement and creating disciplined, joyful school
network support each other and First teachers, they have said that cultures. In addition, principals gather
collaborate to develop and share best “there is a larger sense of closeness more often within their geographic
practices, both at in-person, network- and community,” “everyone is looking areas to participate in inter-visitations
wide professional development days out for each other and pushing each to observe each others’ schools,
and through online tools. When the other toward success,” and that borrow good ideas and provide
network comes together twice a “it feels like you’re part of a greater meaningful peer feedback.
year, there is extraordinary energy in mission working collectively with like-
Academic breakthroughs and
school chants and cheers and in the minded educators driving toward the
high student achievement also
structured sharing sessions.Teachers same goal.”
require teamwork with parents. At
trade successful teaching strategies
Achievement First school leaders Achievement First, students, parents
and materials, with many of the best
benefit from an even greater level of and teachers all sign a contract
documents posted on the network-
collaboration. All Achievement First outlining their shared commitment to
wide shared server (which can be
school principals gather five times hard work and consistent support
accessed by any Achievement First
during the year for formal sessions of one another.
employee at school or at home). In
focused on network-wide priorities.
addition, since most Achievement
This year, the training and sharing has
First schools offer complete K to
focused on boosting reading
12 programs, teachers appreciate
knowing that the progress they
make with a student continues
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.

Amistad-Elm City High expanded to


New Haven
serve its first class of 12th graders
and is excited to celebrate their
Bridgeport admission to college later this
spring.

Amistad Academy successfully


negotiated the purchase of the

Amistad Academy Elementary former Dwight School on Edgewood


Avenue in New Haven, Conn. The
Amistad Academy Middle
school will undergo two years of
Amistad-Elm City High
renovations and construction to
Elm City College Preparatory Elementary become the new, permanent home
Elm City College Preparatory Middle of Amistad Academy elementary
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy and middle schools.
Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary Achievement First Bridgeport
Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle 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.
Elementary School Results
2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing

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
Middle School Results Haven peers in math, reading and
2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing 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,
High School Results
2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test reading and writing proficiency by 25
Percent of 10th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading, Writing and Science 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
AF Hartford Academy Performance Gains
Overall Student (OSI) Gain 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.
New York School Sites

Highlights
Achievement First East New York
Elementary and Achievement First
Crown Heights Elementary both
graduated the first group of fourth
Bushwick
graders, who are now the founding
Brownsville fifth graders at their respective
Crown Heights middle schools. Thus, instead of
East New York
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
Brooklyn seats—generating more than seven
applicants for every open seat.
Achievement First Bushwick Elementary
Achievement First opened its
Achievement First Bushwick Middle
first New York high school—
Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary
Achievement First Crown Heights
Achievement First Crown Heights Middle High. The school is currently
Achievement First Crown Heights High housed in a temporary facility, but
Achievement First East New York Elementary construction continues on schedule
Achievement First East New York Middle for occupancy of a new, permanent
facility in 2010-11.
Achievement First Endeavor Middle
Achievement First Brownsville Elementary
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
Results
73
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 Achievement outperformed their local community
17 & 19 First
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 Middle Schools: On the 2009 New


2009 New York State Test York state tests, Achievement First’s
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency oldest middle school students
in Math and English Language Arts
84
in New York—Achievement First
75
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.

All Achievement First New York


New York State Local District Achievement
19 First 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

Connecticut Elementary the school year, as measured by the


nationally normed Developmental
Reading Assessment. Similarly, 98

School Sites percent of first graders and 94 percent


of second graders were reading at
grade level, with more than half of
I work here because I know that everyone does these students reading a full grade
whatever it takes to give our kids the top- level ahead.

quality instruction they need. Before I came to Joy is a key component of the school
culture. Every day begins with a chant
Achievement First, I had nightmares about what called “Are you going to have fun

‘my kids’ would face when they moved to other today?”

Amistad Academy Elementary had


classes and grades. Now I’m surrounded by 100 percent teacher retention from
phenomenal teachers. the 2008-09 school year to this school
year.
Morgan Barth, Principal, Elm City College Amistad Academy Elementary has its
Preparatory 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.
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
1
0
Beginning of End of End of 1st End of 2nd
Kindergarten Kindergarten Grade Grade

Elm City College Preparatory Achievement First Hartford


Elementary Academy Elementary
Principal: Claire Shin
Elm City College Prep Elementary
Principal: Morgan Barth 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Grades Served: K-4 Grades Served: K-2, growing to K-4 Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing
# of Students: 278 # of Students: 269 87
90
81
School Highlights School Highlights 80
70
On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery At the end of the 2008-09 school year, 60
60

Test, fourth graders outperformed their 82 percent of kindergarteners were 50


New Haven peers by 27 percentage reading at or above grade level as 40
points and their state-wide peers by six measured by the Fountas and Pinnell 30
percentage points. assessment. Similarly, 77 percent of first 20
graders were reading at or above grade 10
Teachers find creative ways to reward
level, an improvement of 25 percentage 0
hard work, such as taking students on Connecticut New Haven Elm City College
points from the start of the school year. Prep Elementary
trips to local book stores and participa-
tion in “Funtastic Friday” celebrations. Every day begins with Morning
Motivation, which includes recognition of
The curriculum has always included
exemplary REACH values and a school- Achievement First Hartford Elementary
a three-hour reading block. This year, 2009 Fountas and Pinnell Assessment
wide song to put all students on track to
the school is adding even more read- Percent of First Grade Students Reading
have a successful day of learning. At or Above Grade Level
ing time for third- and fourth-grade
80
students and more interventions for Every teacher has a coach who they 77
70
struggling readers. meet with on a weekly basis to identify 60
strengths and develop strategies for 52
Teachers are focused on relationship 50
improvement.
building with parents and families, 40

recently hosting more than 100 parents Achievement First Hartford Academy 30
20
for “Parent Reading Mania Night.” Elementary is focused on fostering open
10
This is a series of workshops to teach communication with families. Before
0
parents how to use the school’s read- the first day of homework, teachers Beginning of End of
First Grade First Grade
ing strategies to support their children call every family to explain the school’s
at home. homework expectations. As a result of
this and many other efforts, homework
completion rates have been on the rise.

.
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

New York Elementary


90 85
80
70 67

School Sites
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
New York Local Achievement First
State District 23 Bushwick
Elementary
Achievement First Brownsville
Elementary
Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary Principal: Gina Musumeci
2009 New York State Test Grades Served: K-2, growing to K-4
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
# of Students: 247
in Math and English Language Arts
99 Everyone at
90
80
82 Achievement First is School Highlights

70
74
driving toward the At the end of the school year, 95
percent of kindergarteners were
60
50
same end and held reading at or above grade level as
40
30
to the same high measured by the Fountas and Pinnell
assessment. Of these students,
20 bar, yet there is 54 percent were reading at a level
10
0
room for individuality. equivalent to a student at the end of
first grade.
New York
State
Local
District 17
Achievement First
Crown Heights
Elementary
Achievement First The math curriculum uses a
recognizes the constructivist approach wherein

Achievement First East New York Elementary


strengths different students generate their own strategies
for solving math problems using
2009 New York State Test
Percent of 4th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
people bring to the manipulatives, writing and discussion.

90
in Math and English Language Arts
93 table and seeks to The entire Achievement First

80
82
72
leverage and build Brownsville team and family—teachers,
students and parents—gather for a
70
60
upon those strengths. weekly Morning Circle, during which
the community celebrates successes
50
40
Kevin Lohela, and identifies challenges to overcome.
30 Academic Dean, Students share their learning and talent
20
10 Achievement First with parents during quarterly “arts
nights” and potluck dinners. Students
0
New York
State
Local
District 19
Achievement First
East New York
Crown Heights perform before their parents, teachers
Elementary and school community while becoming
accomplished dancers, singers and
artists.
Achievement First Bushwick Achievement First Crown Achievement First East New
Elementary Heights Elementary York Elementary
Principal: Lizette Suxo Principal: Marin Smith Principal: Denniston Reid
Grades Served: K-4 Grades Served: K-4 Grades Served: K-4
# of Students: 415 # of Students: 422 # of Students: 418

School Highlights School Highlights School Highlights

On the 2009 New York state tests, On the 2009 New York state tests, On the 2009 New York state tests, fourth
third graders outperformed their fourth graders outperformed their district graders outperformed their district peers
district peers by 25 percentage points peers by 25 percentage points and by 21 percentage points and their state-
and their state-wide peers by seven their state-wide peers by 17 percentage wide peers by 11 percentage points.
percentage points. points.
The cornerstone of school culture is team
Achievement First Bushwick Students earn “paw prints” (the school’s and family as embodied by the “wolf
Elementary hosts an annual multi- mascot is the cougar) and can redeem pack” (the school’s mascot is the wolf).
cultural showcase and potluck dinner them for special events and activities. Students earn their way into the pack by
to celebrate the cultural heritage of demonstrating citizenship, hard work and
The school recently introduced new
its students and families. The school achievement.
incentive programs to boost homework
serves the largest Hispanic population
completion, attendance and uniform At Achievement First East New York
in the Achievement First network.
compliance rates. A public scoreboard Elementary, parents are partners. The
In addition to offering students martial tracks weekly homework completion school distributes a weekly parent
arts, drama club, health and fitness, and attendance rates for each class, newsletter and holds regular workshops
and chorus after school, the school and winning classes are treated to a on reinforcing aspects of the school
has partnered with The Piano School celebratory party. If a class has 100 program at home.
of Brooklyn to offer students lessons percent uniform compliance, they receive
Students can participate in a variety of
in music. a fun treat from the dean of students.
extracurricular activities, including kung-fu,
Achievement First Bushwick Each month, students read stories, role basketball, yoga, track, step team, dance
Elementary has launched a revised play, sing songs and create artwork, team, chorus, guitar club and African
kindergarten reading and math which helps them learn about one of the drumming.
curriculum focused on thematic units. five REACH values. At the end of the
This approach to reading and math month, the school gathers to celebrate
instruction is based on discovery what they have learned and to reward
through the exploration of themes students who exemplify the REACH
relatable to the life and experiences of values.
a kindergarten student.
Amistad Academy Middle
2009 Connecticut Mastery Test
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing
90
90 83
80

Connecticut Middle
70
62
60
50

School Sites
40
30
20
10
0
Connecticut New Haven Amistad
Academy Middle

Elm City College Prep Middle Amistad Academy Middle


2009 Connecticut Mastery Test Principal: Matthew Taylor
Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing Grades Served: 5-8
90
80
83 83 When I walk into an # of Students: 278

70
62
Achievement First School Highlights
60
50
school, sometimes I On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery Test,
eighth graders outperformed their New
40 just want to pause Haven peers by 28 percentage points
30
20
and hang out for a and their state-wide peers by seven
percentage points.
10 little while because
0
Connecticut New Haven Elm City College
Prep Middle
it’s so electric. The school gathers weekly for Morning
Circle, where students are recognized
The teachers and for academic achievement and strong
faculty are just so character skills. Town Meetings take place
every six weeks and build school spirit
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle
2009 Connecticut Mastery Test interested—each and with music, skits, cheers and awards.
Percent of 6th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math, Reading and Writing every one of them— This year, the school team is establishing
90
80
83 82 and so engaged in higher, clearer expectations for student
achievement and behavior so that follow
70 63 what they are doing. through on academic and discipline
60
issues is consistent and effective. The
50 Christopher Champion, result has been a dramatic drop in
40
30
Parent, Amistad class time missed by students who are
struggling with discipline issues.
20 Academy
10 Instructional coaching is a cornerstone of
0
Connecticut Bridgeport Achievement First the school’s professional culture. Every
Bridgeport
Academy Middle teacher meets weekly with their coach to
debrief classroom observations, analyze
student work, and create short- and long-
term curricular plans.
Elm City College Prep Middle Achievement First Bridgeport Achievement First Hartford
Principal: Marc Michaelson Academy Middle Academy Middle
Grades Served: 5-8 Principal: Debon Lewis Principal: Jeff House
# of Students: 218 Grades Served: 5-7, growing to 5-8 Grades Served: 5-6, growing to 5-8
# of Students: 236 # of Students: 173
School Highlights
School Highlights School Highlights
On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery
Test, eighth graders outperformed On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery On the 2009 Connecticut Mastery
their New Haven peers by 21 Test, sixth graders outperformed their Test, fifth graders outperformed their
percentage points and scored on par Bridgeport peers by 19 percentage Hartford peers by 13 percentage
with their state-wide peers. points after only two years at the school. points after only one year at the school.
Elm City College Preparatory This year, Achievement First Bridgeport The students demonstrated the
Middle boasts a particularly “warm Academy Middle completed its most greatest performance gains from 2008
demanding” school culture, where successful Lionization Week to date. of any Hartford public school.
respect, teamwork and hard work are The school’s mascot is the lion, and
Following the school’s inaugural
the platinum standards. Lionization Week is a powerful induction
year, the Achievement First Hartford
experience that welcomes new students
Students look forward all year to the Academy Middle team is looking to
into the “pride.”
end-of-year college field trips. During raise the bar even higher. The school
these trips, students tour campuses, Students spend a portion of every experienced an improved student
attend lectures, participate in mock day “independent hunting,” an activity orientation week; as a result, students
interviews with admissions staff and otherwise known as independent are happier, better behaved and
stay in the dormitories. reading. working harder than ever before.
Approximately 30 students Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Teachers submit written lesson plans at
participated in the second annual is one of three schools piloting Life the end of each week. School leaders
“Tent City” fundraiser to benefit the Prep, a new Achievement First program review the plans and provide feedback
homeless. The students raised money focusing on character education. As to support teachers in developing high-
to keep the Cedar Street overflow part of the program, students are quality lessons that help all students
shelter open through the winter. partnering with 11 charities and non- learn.
profit organizations in the Bridgeport
area to raise funds and provide volunteer
services.
New York Middle
School Sites

Achievement First Bushwick Achievement First Crown


Middle Heights Middle
Principal: Amy D’Angelo Principal: Keisha Rattray
Grades Served: 5-7, growing to 5-8 and Roseann Sheehan
When you walk into an # of Students: 246 Grades Served: 5-8
Achievement First school, School Highlights
# of Students: 345

you immediately notice On the 2009 New York state tests,


School Highlights

how much learning is sixth graders outperformed their


district peers by eight percentage
On the 2009 New York state test,
eighth graders outperformed their
taking place. Teachers points and scored nearly on par with district peers by 30 percentage points
are delivering powerful their state-wide peers after only two
years at the school.
and their state-wide peers by nine
percentage points.
lessons and students Students serve on a Principal Advisory Achievement First Crown Heights
are engaged. There is a Board, which oversees and rules on Middle pioneered the Natural Born
calm, welcoming and safe “cases” in which students are close
to meeting homework and behavior/
Aces (NBA) program to help male
students who are on the cusp of
feeling as you observe character goals but have not made receiving straight “A”s achieve their
the amazing work that’s the cut-off for the end-of-year field
trip.
goal.

going on. Students participate in Scholar Dollar


The school hosts challenge events to
foster healthy competition, like a Book
Laci Chisholm, Dean of auctions in which all items are focused
on “quality time” with teachers.
Bowl or a Multiplication Tournament.

Students, Achievement Students perform in a traveling


Teachers have tons of school spirit
and are known for performing
First East New York orchestra, which made its Manhattan high-energy, crowd-pleasing cheers
debut as part of the Vision Jazz during network-wide professional
Festival. development days.
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
82 81
80
73
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
New York Local Achievement First
State District 32 Bushwick
Middle

Achievement First East Achievement First Endeavor


New York Middle Middle Achievement First Crown Heights Middle
2009 New York State Test
Principal: David Hardy Principal:Tom Kaiser Percent of 8th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
in Math and English Language Arts
Grade Served: 5, growing to 5-8 Grades Served: 5-8
90
# of Students: 90 # of Students: 302 84
80 75
School Highlights School Highlights 70
60 54
Achievement First East New York On the 2009 New York state tests, 50
Middle opened this year, welcoming seventh graders outperformed their 40
the first fourth-grade students from district peers by 14 percentage points 30
Achievement First East New York and scored on par with their state- 20
Elementary. wide peers. 10
0
Achievement First East New York On their end-of-the-year trip, sixth New York Local Achievement First
State District 17 Crown Heights
Middle strives to develop students graders were pushed outside their Middle
who are prepared for the rigors of comfort zones and developed
high school and college by thinking confidence through camping in the
critically, listening, learning and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Achievement First Endeavor Middle
articulating their opinions with respect. 2009 New York State Test
Achievement First Endeavor Middle
Percent of 7th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
Students can earn the honor of serving is proud of its teams and clubs, in Math and English Language Arts
on the Principal Advisory Committee, especially the Rhythm and Funk Jazz 90 84 84
which meets weekly with the school Band and the boys’ basketball team, 80
70
leadership team to discuss improving which won the NYC Charter School 70

school culture and academics. Athletic League Championship. 60


50
Each month, students have the Achievement First Endeavor Middle 40
opportunity to attend exciting events is eagerly anticipating an early 2010 30
as a reward for demonstrating move to its new $55 million facility on 20
outstanding character and academic Waverly Avenue. The facility will be 10
achievement through hard work. complete with modern classrooms, a 0
New York Local Achievement First
full library and rooftop recreation areas. State District 14 & 16 Endeavor
Middle
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
Connecticut & for collaboration. Knowing all of the incredible
progress made by Amistad-Elm City High over
New York High the last three years, I cannot wait to see how
School Sites much further we will go together.
Mary Ann Holland, Teacher,
Amistad-Elm City High

Amistad-Elm City High Achievement First Crown


Principal: Jeff Sudmyer Heights High
Grades Served: 9-12 Principal: Paul Adler
# of Students: 175 Grade Served: 9, growing to 9-12
# of Students: 62
School Highlights
School Highlights
On the 2009 Connecticut Academic
Performance Test, 10th graders Achievement First Crown Heights
surpassed their New Haven district High is the first high school in
peers by 36 percentage points and Achievement First’s Brooklyn network
Amistad-Elm City High
outperformed their state-wide peers of schools. 2009 Connecticut Academic Performance Test
by eight percentage points. Percent of 10th Grade Students At or Above Proficiency
All students are educated about the in Math, Reading, Writing and Science
89
Students have the opportunity to earn many facets of college life and the 90
81
up to nine college credits from UConn. different programs offered at colleges 80

Amistad-Elm City High teachers are and universities, and will receive 70

certified as adjunct professors and all guidance in drafting their college 60 53


50
11th and 12th graders are considered lists and preparing to navigate the
40
UConn students with unfettered access admissions process.
30
to the university’s libraries and other
Achievement First Crown Heights 20
resources.
High offers an interest-based 10
Amistad-Elm City High’s four-year extracurricular program aimed at 0
Connecticut New Haven Amistad-Elm City
program far exceeds the baseline of 20 cultivating the whole student through High
credits mandated by the state for high athletics, yoga, the arts, dance,
school graduation. In all, graduates leadership or peer mediation.
earn over 30 credits and must take
Every student is working toward a
both AP Biology and AP U.S. History.
mission of community leadership.
Every student must participate in at Students are expected to
least one summer enrichment program support their local community by
before graduation. Students are demonstrating good character,
encouraged to apply to programs that participating in meaningful volunteer
provide enriching experiences and work and learning about others from
challenge them to step beyond their different backgrounds.
comfort zones.
Climbing
the Mountain
to College

Beginning The Ascent: Traversing Difficult Terrain:


Kindergarten Fourth Grade
Chrisonia Barnaby, Kayla Colon, Achievement First
Achievement First Hartford Bushwick Elementary
Academy Elementary
Kayla Colon is a member of
Even as a kindergartener, Chrisonia Achievement First Bushwick
Barnaby is already on the path to Elementary’s first fourth-grade class.
college. She knows that it is a long At the end of the school year, Kayla
climb requiring a lot of hard work, and her classmates will be the first
but she is focused on 2026, the fourth graders to matriculate to
year she will graduate from college. Achievement First Bushwick Middle
Like all Achievement First students, as fifth graders. This is an important
Chrisonia receives three hours of milestone for the Achievement
reading instruction every day. Incredible First network in reaching our goal
growth in reading is common among of providing a continuous K to 12
Achievement First kindergarten students, education that delivers our students
with nearly 100 percent finishing the to the doors of college prepared for
year reading at or above grade level. its rigors.
Chrisonia is also a great writer, and she
Kayla’s favorite subject is math and
often thanks her teachers for “teaching
she benefits from an extended math
me to write.”
block every day. For Kayla, fourth-
As a reward for her hard work, Chrisonia grade math has been a fluid transition
looks forward to the joyful celebrations from third grade. This year, Kayla
that make learning fun. Each morning will continue building her knowledge
begins with Morning Motivation, which of fractions, multiplication, division,
includes recognitions and shout-outs basic geometry and algebra, units
for great student work. Chrisonia of measurement, and statistics and
also enjoys monthly REACH Circles probability.
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.
Reaching for Higher Reaching a Summit: Starting Another Climb:
Elevation: Eighth Grade Twelfth Grade College
Mereno Williams, Achievement Julius Bennett, Amistad-Elm City Kiara Fuller, Alumna of Amistad
First Crown Heights Middle High Academy

As an eighth grader, Mereno Williams As a senior, Julius Bennett is finally Kiara Fuller is in her senior year at
has the important responsibility of positioned to use all that he has Connecticut College, working toward
serving as a role model and leader learned in his college readiness a degree in psychology. She was
for Achievement First Crown Heights classes, which he began in ninth a member of Amistad Academy’s
Middle students in grades five to grade. With the support of his college founding fifth-grade class and will be
seven. With high school just around counselor, teachers, peers and family, among the first Amistad Academy
the corner, Mereno will continue he is successfully navigating the college alumni to graduate from college in
pushing himself to work hard in selection and application process, the the spring. While Kiara found Amistad
preparation for its rigors. The first financial aid process, and the transition Academy Middle very strict when she
eighth-grade class graduated from to adulthood. Julius is applying to first started, she eventually realized
Achievement First Crown Heights the University of Connecticut, Yale that the discipline and hard work that
Middle last year and became University, Union College, Fairfield was expected of her was for the best.
the founding class of the new University, Rochester Institute of Today, she applies the value of hard
Achievement First Crown Heights Technology and Bates College. work to everything she does, and it
High, laying a road map for Mereno as has certainly paid off.
Amistad-Elm City High aspires to
he aspires toward success.
develop well-rounded students. As Kiara admits that, early on, most
Mereno is a participant in Achievement a senior, Julius has the opportunity people did not expect her to graduate
First Crown Heights Middle’s Natural to choose from several electives, from college, much less a top school
Born Aces (NBA) program, a unique such as interning at local businesses like Connecticut College. She credits
program that helps male students on and non-profit organizations, her networks of support, including her
the cusp of becoming Aces (getting earning college credits from the family, friends and Amistad Academy,
straight “A”s) achieve this goal through University of Connecticut and other for helping her overcome obstacles
team goal-setting, emotional support local universities, serving as a along the way. When Kiara becomes
from peers and candid conversations teaching assistant, taking computer a college graduate in May, it will be
about the formation of their identity as programming courses, and serving her proudest accomplishment to
young, African-American males. on the Student Life Committee that date—although we are sure she will
plans graduation, prom and the have many more!
yearbook. Julius is currently enrolled in
a semester-long philosophy course at
Southern Connecticut State University.
Finances

Our Network Finances


(2008-09 unaudited financials)

Revenues Network Expenses


Management Fees 3,377,701
Philanthropy 4,136,542
Other 186,244 1 %
Total 7,700,486

Expenses
Personnel Expenses 5,326,006
Non-personnel Expenses 1,794,337
Depreciation Expense 239,871
17 %
Total 7,360,214
26%
Surplus/(Deficit)** 340,272

Athena* 17 %
Revenues 812,344
Expenses 952,090 21 %
Surplus/(Deficit) (139,746) 18 %

*Athena™ is Achievement First’s custom-built, web-based interim assessment Curriculum, Prof. Dev. & School Support
platform, providing performance data analysis and knowledge management for
Talent Development & Recruiting
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 General, Administrative & FInancial
software platform that is independently managed from Achievement First’s
Development & Community Relations
central operations.
Operations & IT
**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
Depreciation
expenses for Achievement First schools.
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 Revenue Philanthropy


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

Securing appropriate, permanent Achievement First Bridgeport Construction also began on an


facilities is a critical issue for all Academy Middle School found incredible new building in Crown
charter schools, and Achievement a permanent home when it Heights that will house our New
First has made great progress in purchased the former Barnum York high schools. The 200,000-
meeting that challenge in 2009 School from the City of Bridgeport square-foot facility will be shared
through the generous support of and made renovations over the with our charter school partner
our donors, tremendous assistance summer. Further improvements, Uncommon Schools, and has
from allied organizations and strong such as the addition of a gym, been funded and managed by
partnerships with our host districts. will be necessary, but the existing the unbelievable generosity of
building provides an excellent the Robin Hood Foundation in
In New Haven, we purchased the
foundation. A site has also been partnership with the New York City
former Dwight School from the City
secured for Achievement First Department of Education.
of New Haven and have begun
Bridgeport Elementary, which we
a two-year renovation project to Our remaining schools in New
hope to open in August 2010.
make this a permanent home for York continue to occupy facilities
Amistad Academy’s elementary In Brooklyn, construction is nearing provided by the New York City
and middle schools. The $32 completion on the Waverly building, Department of Education, thanks
million project is being funded which will house Achievement First to the leadership of Mayor Michael
through a combination of private Endeavor elementary and middle Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel
philanthropy and an unprecedented schools. Built in partnership with Klein. In Connecticut, our other
$24 million state grant. the New York City Department of schools occupy a mix of owned
Education and Civic Builders, this and leased properties.
Our two new schools in Hartford
$55 million project will also house
were provided with an existing
Achievement First’s New York
public school facility at no cost by
office.
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.
Our Approach
All Achievement First schools share six core
program elements.
Unwavering Focus on Student More Time on Task
Achievement The Achievement First school day
All Achievement First teachers and is nearly two hours longer than the
principals are focused on completely traditional public school day, allowing
closing the achievement gap for our many students to have two reading
students, and student performance is classes and an extended math
the chief factor in school, principal and class every day. Tutoring is available
teacher evaluations. during and after school, an average
of one to two hours of homework is
Talent Development
assigned per night, and an intensive
Achievement First firmly believes that
independent reading program is
the most important determinant of
prioritized so that students READ,
student achievement is the quality of
READ, READ both at home and at
the teacher in the classroom. Likewise,
school. In addition, all Achievement
the quality of school leaders is the
First students attend a required 15-day
most important driver of teacher
Summer Academy. Over the course
success. Achievement First goes
of a K to 12 education, this extra time
to great lengths to recruit, develop,
amounts to one additional year of
recognize and retain a team of
instruction.
talented teachers and school leaders.
All new Achievement First school Rigorous Curriculum
leaders train for an entire year before Achievement First outlines the
launching a new school, and all new ambitious academic standards that
Achievement First teachers participate all Achievement First students are
in nearly three weeks of professional expected to master at each grade
development. Achievement First level, so that success in one grade
schools release early on Fridays to can be seamlessly built on in the next.
provide two additional hours of staff Teachers understand that “covering
meeting and learning time. Every material” is not our goal; what is
Achievement First teacher has a coach important is how well students master
(a principal, dean or master teacher) the essential knowledge and skills.
who meets with them at least once
every two weeks to provide individual
coaching and support.
Strategic Use of Data and that even small details can have a Parents as partners: At Achievement
Interventions for Struggling significant effect on overall culture, First schools, parents, students
Students and we believe that students will rise and leaders all sign a contract that
Every six weeks, Achievement First to the level of expectations adults outlines their shared commitment to
teachers give interim assessments have for them. hard work and consistent support
(IAs) that measure whether students of one another. While this contract is
College focus: The message at
have actually mastered what we have not legally binding, it is an important
Achievement First schools is that all
taught them. These results are then symbolic commitment and plays
students are going to college. We
uploaded to AF Athena, a custom- an integral role in strengthening the
continuously expose students to
built assessment system. Teachers relationship between parents and the
college—all of our classrooms are
and principals spend a Data Day after school.
named after universities, students
each IA dedicated to reviewing the
make field trips to college campuses, Uniforms: All Achievement First
individual assessments and together
hear speakers talk about college, students wear their school’s chosen
creating data-driven instructional
write research papers on colleges uniform.
plans that target whole class, small
and, most important, master a
group and one-on-one instruction to Joy factor: Achievement First believes
college-preparatory curriculum. From
address any gaps in student learning. that great education should be
the moment our students arrive, they
rigorous AND fun, challenging AND
Strong School Culture know what year they are expected
engaging, structured AND joyful. In
Immediately upon entering an to graduate from college (our current
fact, we coach teachers to ensure that
Achievement First school, you can kindergarteners are known as the
the J-Factor (the “joy factor”) is high
feel a sense of urgency, order, focus “Class of 2026”).
in every class and dominates regular
and joy. Key elements of Achievement
Teachers know and care: school-wide celebrations. Students
First’s school culture include the
Achievement First schools are small are frequently and systematically
following:
learning communities in which all recognized for academic achievement
Commitment to character education: teachers and leaders know the names and good behavior.
All students live by the REACH values of all students. Every Achievement
(Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, First school has some form of
Citizenship and Hard Work). Our goal advisory program so that teachers
is to develop well-rounded students, are able to develop meaningful
and we teach these character values relationships with each student in their
as explicitly as we teach academics. advisory.

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
Donors
William Curran Carlton and Letamarie Highsmith
Sarah Curtis-Bey Dick and Angelica Hinchcliff
Kevin and Katrin Czinger Kenneth M. Hirsh
Emile Dabora Gary and Julie Holloway
Anthony and Suzy Davis Vanessa Jackson
We are profoundly grateful and Nancy DeLisi Daisy James
Roberta Denning Norman and Sandra Jellinghaus
appreciative of the support displayed by Alexandra Desbrow Chandra Jesse and Julius Gaudio
our many benefactors. Your gifts sustain Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Allison Douglas Jalak Jobanputra
Jane and Chuck Dowding Judge Clarance and Mrs. Maureen Jones
and inspire our aspiring students and
Frank and Augusta Downey Harold and Margaret Kamins
dedicated teachers. Thank you! Susan B. and Thomas Dunn Elana Karopkin
Andrew and Eileen Eder Shelly and Michael Kassen
Individuals Andrea Edic Charles T. Kellogg
Anonymous David and Cindy Eigen Karen Kesner
Anonymous Emily Eisenlohr William H. Ketcham and Beth Ward
Bruce and Christine Alexander Charles and Jane Ellis Shannon Kete
Dave Anderson Katherine Ender Sylvia Kete
Sean Andrews Bruce and Joan Ente Amin J. Khoury
Jurek and Stephanie Antoszewski Daniel and Elizabeth Esty Dr. Richard Kiley
Elaine Appellof and Jerry Saunders John and Katharine Esty Charles and Gretchen Kingsley
Dr. Walter and Mrs. Diane Ariker Cyrille Farrell Matt Klein
Mary Arnstein Eric and Anne Ferguson Jan Kliger
Andrew B. and Connan Ashforth Richard and Marissa Ferguson Robert and Dana Kligerman
Jon Atkeson Harris Ferrell Nathaniel Klipper
Martha Banks Aileen Ferrick Hugh Knetzger
Edgar and Joan Barksdale Barry and Pamela Fingerhut Fleur Knowsley
Polly Barry and Richard Clarida Tom Foley and Leslie Fahrenkopf Herbert Kohler Jr.
Richard and Ilene Barth Wanda Felton Carol Kranowitz
Gary and Myrna Baskin Terence and Linda Fox Andrew and Ruth Lachman
Elizabeth Giffels-Berardino and Peter Berardino Catherine Frantzis Jean LaVecchia
Dr. Eric and Mrs. Ethel Berger Alan and Ilene Frost Vivian Lau
William R. Berkley June Gaston Robert Lebby
Diahann Billings-Burford John and Anne Geissinger Janet and Peter Lebovitz
Erin Bingle Lee Gelernt William and Kate Lee
Andrew Blackwell Julia Getman Russell and Tracey Lev
Jerry Blumberg Dave and Sonal Gibson Fredrik Lindholm
Andrew and Carol Boas J. Colin Gibson Dr. Benjamin and Mrs. Ruth Littman
Marx G. Bowens III and Natasha Bowens Regina Glocker Dr. Steven Eisen and Dr. Emily Littman-Eisen
Mr. and Mrs. Anders Brag Seth Goldman Schuyler Livingston
Jonathan Brandt Edwin Goodman Kevin and Erika Long
Jeffrey Brickman Denise Gordon Henry Lord
Susan and Malcolm Brown William and Jean Graustein Richard and Katherine Loughlin
Richard Buery Nicholas Graves Matthew Lucke
Khephra Burns Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Greenfield Leora Magier
Julie Burton and George G. Sharrard Keely Gregorio Stephen and Susan Mandel
Guido and Anne Calabresi Michael D. and Molly Griffin Nancy A. Marks
Kate Cameron Chris Growney Kristin Marlow
Iris Chen Priscilla Hall Grant McCracken
Tom Chiappetta and Pat Tyre Teresa Hamdan Paul and Cynthia McCraven
Henry Clark III Jim and Melinda Hamilton Doug McCurry
Ann and Richard Cohen Mark and Amanda Harmeling Ian and Sonnet McKinnon
Justin Cohen Taylor and Amy Harmeling James McLaren
Louise Cohen Steven Harris Rachel Meisel
Brooke Connolly Robert and Kristy Harteveldt Suzanne Tanner-Meisel
William Connolly Darrell Harvey Nisa and Martin Mellin
Michael and Joyce Critelli William and Judy Heins Kenneth and Jo Merlau
Jim and Eileen Cullen Malda Hibri Frances Messano
Daniel Curran Alexis N. Highsmith Drs. Jerome and Roslyn Meyer
Graham and Bonnie Miles Chrystal Stokes Williams Ender Family Foundation
Daniel and Sharon Milikowsky Michael Stone Fairfield County Community Foundation—Donor
Robert Minicucci Lawrence and Joyce Stupski Advised Fund
Robert Mnuchin Patricia and Stedman Sweet Frederick DeLuca Foundation
John Motley David Tattan H.A. Vance Foundation
Emerson Moore Dr. Beecher and Mrs. Iris Taylor Hartford Courant Foundation
Gerard Murray Holland Taylor Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Joseph Nathan Minochka Taylor Imagineers Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Netter Christine Theodore Jana Foundation
Herbert S. Newman Nicholas W. Tiller The Leo and Libby Nevas Family Foundation
David Newton Whitney R. Tilson Lone Pine Foundation
Harold and Sandra Noborikawa Dacia Toll and Jeffrey Klaus The Louis Calder Foundation
Susan Oba Alexander and Dale Troy Marx Family Foundation
Peter and Beverly Orthwein Jennifer Smith Turner Meg and Tim Callahan Family Foundation
Sharon Oster and Raymond Fair Kelly Wachowicz The Moody’s Foundation
Tricia Pacelli and Eric Wepsic Giselle Wagner and Paul Myerson Near and Far Aid Association, Inc.
Colleen Palmer Lyn Gammill Walker New Profit
Suzie Hahn Pascutti Roy and Carol Walzer New Schools Venture Fund
Herbert Pearce and Martha Wood Holly Washington New York City Center for Charter School Excellence
Patricia Pierce and Marc Rubenstein Robert Watson NewAlliance Foundation
Josh and Sharon Polan George Weiss Newman’s Own Foundation
Max Polaner Mark Weissler and Nancy Voye The Ohnell Family Foundation
John and Noreen Poulson Barbara and Theodore Widmayer The Olson Foundation
Hasoni Pratts Tiger and Caroline Williams The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation
Shaka Rasheed F. Perry and Pamela Wilson Rich Charitable Family Trust
William Reese and Dorothy Hurt Natalie Wiltshire Robertson Foundation
Lystra and Renelle Richardson Terrie E. and John F. Wood Robin Hood Foundation
Lesley Esters Redwine Hope Woodhouse and Richard Canty The Seedlings Foundation
Claire Robinson Nat and Margo Woodson Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation
Morgan Rodd Lily Zoberman The Shumway Capital Foundation
Judith M. Rodriguez David Zussman Silverleaf Foundation
Daniel Roitman Julie Zussman Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, Inc.
Gerald Rosenberg and Cheryl Wiesenfeld Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation
Harvey and Diane Ruben Corporations Tiger Foundation
Marshall Ruben and Carolyn Greenspan Blue Ridge Capital Tortora-Sillcox Family Foundation
Mally and Alan Rutkoff Carter, Morse & Mathias Investment Bankers The Vranos Family Foundation
Jonathan Sackler and Mary Corson Countrywide Cares The Walton Family Foundation
Adam and Margot Sappern Deutsche Bank William C. Graustein Memorial Fund
Ankur Saraiya Forester Capital, LLC The William H. Pitt Foundation
Nick and Clara Sartori Goldman Sachs Woodward Fund
David Savin Greenlight Capital
Lawrence and Gloria Schaffer Hartford Steam Boiler Amistad Academy 10th
Anne Schenck Shekinah Photos, LLC Anniversary Celebration Sponsors
Everett and Sally Schenk Yale New Haven Hospital Ascys Interactive
Melissa and Kenneth Scheve Yale University Bank of America
Jennifer L. Schiff Yannix Management, LP Chapel Construction
Gabriel Schwartz The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Foundations Good Copy Printing & Digital Graphics
Vinit Sethi
The Annie E. Casey Foundation Hadley, Inc.
Deborah Shanley
Henry E. and Nancy Horton Bartels Trust Kenneth Boroson Architects
Peter and Susan Shirk
Bodman Foundation MDG Associates of Connecticut
Katherine Shoemaker
Carl Marks Foundation NewAlliance Bank
Mark Shufro
Carnegie Corporation PPI Benefits Solutions
Constance Silver
Carson Family Charitable Trust Staples
John Simon
Cerimon Fund Whitson’s School Nutrition
Maya Simon
The Charter Oak Challenge Foundation Yale University
Bruce and Pamela Simonds
Clark Foundation
Christopher Sommers
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
Craig Steffen * We are recognizing gifts of $100 or greater
Dalio Foundation
John and Susan Steuer received between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.
Boards of Directors
Achievement First Central Board Achievement First Crown Heights Achievement First North
William R. Berkley, Chair W.R. Berkley Corporation, Hon. L. Priscilla Hall, Chair Supreme Court of Crown Heights
Chairman and CEO the State of New York Appellate Division, Second Wanda Felton, Chair Private Equity Consulting,
Steve Anbinder, Treasurer First Marblehead, Vice Judicial Department, Justice Principal
Chairman of the Board of Directors Holly Washington, Secretary JP Morgan, Vice Denise Gordon, Vice Chair Deloitte Services LP,
Andrew Boas Carl Marks Management Co., LP, President National Service Line Talent Manager | Actuarial, Risk
General Partner Vivian Lau Serengeti Asset Management, Partner and Analytics
Doug Borchard New Profit, Inc., Managing Partner Ethel Phillips Parent Representative Hasoni Pratts, Treasurer Empire State Development
and Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Schwartz Davidson Kempner Capital Corp., Director of External Relations
Barry Fingerhut Fingerhut Management Corp., Management, LLC, Managing Director Mashea Ashton Newark Charter School Fund,
Director Christopher Sommers Greenlight Capital, Analyst Partner
Carlton L. Highsmith Specialized Packaging Group, Dacia Toll Achievement First, Co-CEO and President Matt Klein Blue Ridge Foundation, Executive Director
CEO Lesley Esters Redwine Achievement First, Vice
Judge Clarance Jones Judicial Branch, State of
Achievement First East New York President of External Relations – NY
Connecticut, Superior Court Judge
Anthony Davis, Chair Anchorage Capital Group,

James Peyser New Schools Venture Fund, Partner


LLC, President Achievement First Bridgeport
Jon Atkeson, Treasurer Fortress Investment Group, Andrew Boas, Chair Carl Marks Management Co.,
Stefan Pryor City of Newark, Deputy Mayor,
Managing Director LP, General Partner
Commerce & Economic Development
Diahann Billings Burford City of New York, Shelly Kassen, Secretary/Treasurer Town of
Jon D. Sackler Bouncer Foundation, President
Chief Service Officer Westport, Selectman
Jennifer Smith Turner Girl Scouts of Connecticut,
CEO
Rich Buery Groundwork, Inc., Executive Director Dick Ferguson Newcity Foundation
and Founder Richard Kalt CRN International, Inc., Vice President
Achievement First Brownsville J. Colin Gibson Citi Global Wealth Management, Karen King McGivney Community Center, Inc.,
Kelly Wachowicz, Chair iStar Financial, Vice Director Executive Director
President of New Business Initiatives Melaine Mullan Achievement First, Chief Operating Wiley Mullins Uncle Wiley’s Specialty Foods, Inc.,
Chrystal Stokes Williams,Treasurer American Officer President
Express Company, Director Tara Griffin McClain Parent Representative Emily Saunders Teacher Representative
Elgina Brooks Parent Representative
Lee Gelernt ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project,
Achievement First Endeavor Achievement First Hartford
Deputy Director
Shaka Rasheed, Chair JP Morgan Asset Steve Harris, Chair Community Leader
Management, Managing Director Marshall Ruben, Vice Chair Ruben, Johnson &
Max Polaner Achievement First, Chief Financial
Officer
Frances Messano, Secretary Monitor Group, Morgan, P.C., President
Consultant Colleen Palmer, Secretary Monroe Public Schools,
Achievement First Bushwick Sarah Curtis Bey, Treasurer Estee Lauder, Director Superintendent
Deborah Shanley, Chair Brooklyn College, Global Makeup Marketing John Motley, Treasurer MotleyBeup, Owner
School of Education Dean Khephra Burns Author and Playwright Dominic Basile Teacher Representative
Jalak Jobanputra, Secretary New York City Justin Cohen Eton Park Capital Management, Tom Cody Robinson & Cole, Partner
Investment Fund, Senior Vice President Investment Analyst Andrea Comer City of Hartford, Executive Assistant
Shannon Kete, Treasurer Project Lead the Way, Chris Growney Clearwater Analytics, Co-Founder and Board of Education Representative
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Business Development Bruce Douglas CREC, Executive Director
Iris Chen I Have a Dream Foundation, CEO/President Elana Karopkin Achievement First, Assistant Denise Gallucci CREC, General Director of Magnet
Harris Ferrell Achievement First, Chief Information Superintendent Schools
Officer Claire Robinson Moody’s Corporation, Senior Ja Hannah Parent Representative
Malda Hibri Highbridge Capital Management, LLC, Managing Director Alexis Highsmith Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.,
Senior Vice President May Taliaferrow-Mosleh Parent Representative Attorney
Emerson Moore TMP Worldwide, General Counsel Jean LaVecchia Northeast Utilities System, Vice
Judith M. Rodriguez NYC Comptroller’s Office, President – Human Resources and Ethics
Community Associate 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

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