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Achievement First Seen & Heard

See who’s talking about Achievement First and read updates on how and what we’re doing.

Connecticut | New York | Rhode Island | National



From Fair Haven to Yale: Local Student’s Admission Story
It’s a moment New Haven’s Daniel Reyes has worked hard for. Surrounded by family, the Achievement First Amistad High School senior saw online he’s now accepted into Yale University.
NBC Connecticut

Elm City College Prep Becomes 1st CT Elementary School to Compete in Travel Soccer
“Elm City College Preparatory Elementary School in New Haven offers students the opportunity to develop their soccer skills through an elective class. The students have improved to the point that they are ready to compete so the school worked with the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association and registered the Elm City Wolves as a travel soccer team.”
NBC Connecticut

College-Bound Seniors Defy Expectations
“As students testified, often through tears, the crowd, which included bleachers full of underclassmen, let out ear-splitting cheers of agreement, encouraging them to go on and go slow. Throughout, they also thanked their parents, who stood up to film their speeches on their phones, as well as their teachers, social workers and guidance counselors.”
New Haven Independent

New Haven Student Finds Technology Passion
“STEM teachers at Elm City College Prep encourage creativity in New Haven. Student Devon, who used to have trouble in school, is excelling and wants to be an engineer.”
NBC Connecticut

All Students Should Have Access to AP Courses, and I am Living Proof
Hartford junior Brian Ozenne writes, “I took my first advanced placement class — world history — when I was a sophomore in high school. This year, I’m a junior taking three AP courses. Next year, I’ll take four more. As a student of color who lives in Hartford, this makes me unique. It doesn’t have to.”
NBC Connecticut
Connecticut Mirror


students smiling on Senior Signing Day

New York

Brooklyn teacher uses ventriloquism to help teach kids during remote learning
“A Brooklyn teacher found the perfect partner to help teach her first graders during a year like no other, and the lessons learned extend beyond the classroom.”
News 12

Eight NYC schools are awarded the National Blue Ribbon honor
“By contrast, at another 2019 Blue Ribbon school, Achievement First Bushwick Charter School, 86% of students were from low-income families and more than 96 percent of students were black or Hispanic during the 2018-2019 school year. Achievement First schools tout their development of new teachers and principals, as well as a “rigorous” curriculum geared toward college readiness. ”

New School Model Gives Kids Freedom to Choose What They Learn
“We’ve redesigned our middle school to focus in on what it would take, beginning in 5th grade, to see our students when they go to a college campus really thrive on campus and persist, rather than simply being ready to enter a college campus,” Zachary Segall, Principal of Achievement First Aspire said.”

Brooklyn High School Debate Team Defies Expectations to Win Championships
“Students deliver passionate speeches about topics such as civil rights, net neutrality and foreign policy. They often take home honors from the meets, coach DiCo said. Sometimes they’re the only black and Hispanic kids at the competitions.”
Fox 5
New York Daily News
New York Daily News (Hometown Hero award coverage)

middle school boy participating in class

Rhode Island

Some Schools Lead the Way
“Elementary school students at Providence’s Achievement First Mayoral Academy, for example, outperformed the state’s students as a whole in English, though many of them come from immigrant homes where English is a second language. In math, they outshone not only the state but tony East Greenwich, one of Rhode Island’s wealthiest communities.”
Providence Journal

Editorial: The Proof of What’s Possible
“The gem of the state — the greatest outlier — was Achievement First in Providence, a public charter school that serves many poor, minority and immigrant children, a huge percentage of them eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, a measure of poverty.” Providence Journal

Top of Class: 28 R.I. Schools Earn State Commendation
“Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Elementary is among 28 schools statewide that have been recognized as commended schools by the Rhode Island Department of Education.”
Providence Journal

Charter School Achievement First Starts First Year of Middle School
“This month, the first class to go through the Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Middle School will be starting the school year with a class of fifth graders, on the way to growing to grades 5-8. This year’s fifth graders will be the first to graduate from the middle school.”

Acclaimed Charter Serves Special Needs
Achievement First Iluminar kindergarten special education teacher Carmen Naz writes, “I wish this school had existed when my brother was younger. If he had started out here, Achievement First would have done everything possible for him. He would have succeeded in his early days, just like my students.”
Providence Journal


‘I’m Going to Say It From the Heart.’ America’s Reckoning on Race Has Come to High School Speech and Debate

“That could be the unifying idea for the Achievement First speech team. The Crown Heights charter high school is 90% Black, and nearly 80% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch, which often makes its mostly female teammates outliers among winners in their speech categories. Their first-person accounts have an immediacy that’s unusual in speeches at national meets, where competitors minted at summer debate camps tend to approach their topics with analytical detachment.”
Time Magazine
This Week- MSNBC

Can scholarship dollars help solve the college ‘undermatching’ problem? This charter network wants to find out
“Achievement First, which operates 36 schools across three states, is about to try a new way of addressing the problem. The network’s Brooklyn board approved a plan last week to offer scholarships to students who opt to attend a more expensive school with a higher graduation rate for black and Hispanic students.”

In a Wildly Changing World, A School Hits Reset
“Greenfield is a showcase for many of the big ideas converging in a rolling reinvention of school: the idea that more kids will accomplish remarkable things if we treat them as unique learners—something technology now can assist; that non-academic skills can’t be limited to buzzy ideas like building resilience, but must nurture students as confident, powerful individuals; that enrichments are not extras or rewards but fundamental to building a discovery mindset; that schools will not succeed unless families and communities shape them and drive their objectives.”
TFA One Day Magazine

Can Kids Get Passionate About Learning — and Develop the Persistence to Follow Where it Leads? One School has a Plan
“Where the Greenfield model pushes boundaries is in the addition of learning experiences called ‘expeditions.’ These are not field trips. They are two-week intensive courses that take children outside the classroom and beyond the traditional subjects.”
The Hechinger Report

After Seeing Alumni Struggle, A Charter Network Revisits Its Methods
“The Greenfield model emphasizes what the network calls ‘student-directed,’ or online, learning; three-times-a-year special classes called expeditions, meant to allow students to explore their interests and discover possible careers; a social-emotional curriculum focused on developing students’ sense of identity and community; and a beefed-up role for parents and other caregivers and mentors.”
The New York Times