Area of Interest(check all that apply)
Teaching and School Leadership
Other Ways to Get Involved
Student Enrollment

About Achievement First Hartford High School

305 Greenfield Street
Hartford, CT 06112
Phone: 860-695-6685
Fax: 860-722-8138

Achievement First Hartford High School is a college-preparatory public charter school in Hartford, Connecticut. Achievement First Hartford High provides a life-altering education that prepares students for the opportunities and responsibilities they will face in college and beyond. The school was founded in 2012 based on one innovative premise: close the achievement gap by providing a prep-school-quality education to inner-city students. Achievement First Hartford High combines rigorous courses and high expectations with a host of support services more common at affluent and private high schools, including SAT prep, intensive college counseling, tutoring and explicit character education. Achievement First's high schools are recognized as national models of education reform, proving what is truly possible when urban students receive a world-class education.

Achievement First Hartford High has one goal: 100% of students will be accepted into four-year colleges and universities. The school prepares students to meet this goal by providing a challenging course of studies and supporting students in their growth outside the classroom. In the classrooms at Achievement First Hartford High, all students are prepared to take responsibility for their own learning. Outside of class, students grow as athletes, volunteers, leaders and responsible community members through participation in the school’s extracurricular, athletic and arts programs. For more information, please visit our high school page.

School Description

Opened: August 2012 (with ninth graders)
Grades: Nine to 12 
Community: Urban
School Type: Public charter
School Year: Three trimesters

Student Population

Number of Students in 2016-17: 199
Student Demographics in 2016-17:
46% Boys, 54% Girls
99% African American or Hispanic
100% Qualify for Free and Reduced-Price Lunch


Achievement First Hartford High School is a public charter high school in Hartford. It shares best practices with Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, the first high school in the Achievement First network of high-performing public charter schools, as well as with Achievement First Brooklyn High School, which opened in Brooklyn, NY in 2009. One of the best lessons learned from Achievement First Amistad High School, which opened in 2006, is the need for urban high schools explicitly committed to closing the achievement gap. Achievement First Hartford High School will ensure that students receive the consistent academic rigor and character development they need to complete the path to college. For more information, please visit our high school page.

Achievement First Hartford High School is based on an innovative premise: closing the achievement gap by providing a prep-school quality education to inner-city students. Achievement First Hartford High School combines rigorous academics and high expectations with a host of supports, including SAT prep, intensive college counseling, tutoring, explicit character education and a school culture in which it is “cool” to be smart. Key facets of the Achievement First Hartford High School program include:

  • Rigorous course of studies for all students: At Achievement First Hartford High School, every student is on a college-preparatory track. With college readiness as the paramount goal, we have built our curricula on the concepts, knowledge and skills used and/or developed by Advanced Placement exams, the SAT, the American Diploma Project, the book College Knowledge and actual college courses. All students complete a rigorous course of studies focused on core academics, and acceptance to a four-year college or university is a graduation requirement.
  • Personal attention for each student: As a small school, we can better meet the needs of each individual student. Small class sizes, small case loads for college counselors and small advisories enable us to make sure that no student “falls through the cracks.”
  • Open communication: Every student meets with their advisory each morning. Advisories allow our dedicated faculty to check in with students on a more personal level and to reach out to parents if necessary. Additionally, we enable students and parents to check grades online, and we provide every student with an Achievement First email address so that they can easily communicate with teachers.
  • Focused learning environment: One of the biggest obstacles to learning at many urban high schools is a lack of discipline. At Achievement First Hartford High School, our staff works hard to create and maintain a sacred learning environment where all students are focused and engaged and where it is “cool” to be smart.
  • Intensive college counseling: The college application process can be challenging, cumbersome and confusing. We keep our counselor to student ratio low so that each student and family gets the individual attention and support they need to successfully navigate the college application process.
  • Expanding athletics and after-school program:At Achievement First Hartford High School, we believe in the power of extracurricular experiences to teach students that dedication and hard work lead to excellence in all pursuits. We have focused our energies on a few select programs to build student expertise, and we will grow our programs each year. In 2013-14, Achievement First Hartford High School joined the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and offered cross country, basketball, track, dance and an opportunity to participate in the Capital Preparatory Magnet School football team. 
  • Commitment to robust student life programs: While providing a strong academic foundation will always be our first priority, we also realize that our students need opportunities to have varied experiences, including internships, community service and summer programs. In addition, it is important that our students have a fun and memorable high school experience made possible through awards ceremonies, senior privileges, dances and other popular high school rituals.

School Leader

Emily Banks has served as the principal of Achievement First Hartford High School since 2013. Ms. Banks joined Achievement First in 2007 as a math teacher at Elm City College Prep Middle School and went on to become an academic dean and principal-in-residence at Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, Connecticut. Under Ms. Banks’ leadership, AF Hartford High School students outperformed the state average on the SAT, as well as earned the highest average SAT scores among low-income students in the state. On the 2015 Connecticut state SBAC exam, students achievement scores surpassed those of neighboring West Hartford. Ms. Banks graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College and received a master’s in teaching from American University.

News From Our School

FOX 61
Despite the Heat, Hartford Students Ready for a New School Year

NBC Connecticut
First Hartford Charter High School About to Graduate First Class

Hartford Courant
Laura Lokitis Says Coaching Boys Hoop Team Is No Big Deal 

NBC Connecticut
Making the Grade: Achievement First Hartford High

Hartford Courant
Gateses Give Hartford School Efforts A $5 Million Boost

Hartford Courant
At Charter School, it's Achievement First and Foremost

The Hartford Courant
Hartford School Board Approves Expanding Achievement First Charter School to Grades 9-12

Visit Our Schools

We are always eager for visitors to see firsthand the extraordinary teaching and learning taking place in our schoolsClick here to learn more about visiting an Achievement First school.

with AF