350 Linwood Street
Brooklyn, NY 11208
Opened: August 2010
Grades: K to four
Number of Students in 2016-17: 472
Achievement First Apollo Elementary places a large emphasis on every student graduating from college. In addition to students' daily classroom discussions about college, each year culminates in a trip to a university for a firsthand college experience. The path to college at Achievement First Apollo is a combined emphasis on literacy and character education. Students spend three hours per day on focused literacy instruction, and each week begins with a character education assembly that is then incorporated into lessons taught throughout the week. After-school and intervention programs focus on giving students individualized attention and pushing them to excel. Achievement First Apollo is able to meet and exceed the established academic and character goals due to strong parent engagement with an average of 15-20 volunteer hours per parent.
Jesse Balis-Harris is the principal of Achievement First Apollo Elementary School. Prior to this role, he participated in a rigorous leadership training through Achievement First’s Principal-in-Residence program at Achievement First Aspire Elementary in Brooklyn. Before joining AF Aspire Elementary, Mr. Balis-Harris served for two years as an academic dean at AF Apollo Elementary where he was also a founding teacher. He began his teaching career in West Philadelphia teaching first and second grades at Samuel B. Huey Elementary School, and then went on to coach teachers in Philadelphia. Mr. Balis-Harris earned his B.A. in international relations from George Washington University, and his master’s from Teacher U at Hunter College.
We are always eager for visitors to see firsthand the extraordinary teaching and learning taking place in our schools. Click here to learn more about visiting an Achievement First school.