Courtney Saretzky is the principal of Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School. She joined Achievement First in 2010 and most recently served as Achievement First Bushwick Elementary’s dean of special services, where she created and led the school’s special services program. Achievement First Bushwick Elementary proudly serves the largest population of students with disabilities in the AF elementary cohort and was recognized by the NYCDOE as one of only eight city schools with high needs populations that excels at preparing scholars for college. Prior to joining Achievement First, Mrs. Saretzky was a Teach For America corps member and taught for four years at a public school in Brooklyn, NY. She was raised in Virginia and double majored in English and psychology at the College of William and Mary. Mrs. Saretzky earned her master’s degree in teaching and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in autism and multiple severe disabilities from Pace University.
AF Bushwick Empower Program
The Empower Program is currently housed at the AF Bushwick Elementary, AF Bushwick Middle, and AF Brooklyn High School. The purpose of the Empower Program is to ensure that the <1% of students with disabilities in our school communities who have more significant and complex needs have the support they need to achieve their most ambitious individual academic goals, and, ultimately, complete high school with a clear pathway for financial security, personal fulfillment and a choice-filled life. This means that Empower students have access to all of the programming, services and supports that are available to all students. The ways in which an individual student engages with, or participates in, supports and services is determined on an individual basis. Empower students have been identified and selected for this program because they have complex and significant needs. To ensure that we are systematically and intentionally meeting their needs, Empower students receive an additional layer of specialized services that are supplemental to the core program. Empower is a STUDENT-CENTERED EXPERIENCE, with specialized instruction and increased collaboration and communication as a core part of the program model K-12.