Meet Our Schools
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Elementary School
655 Stillman Street
Bridgeport, CT 06608
Opened: August 2010
Grades: Kindergarten (growing to K-4)
Number of Students in 2010-11: 91
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/bridgeport-elementary/about/
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School
529 Noble Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06608
Enrollment in 2010-11: 320 students
Achievement First Bridgeport Academy’s 2007 start-up marked an important milestone in Achievement First history—the expansion of our Connecticut family beyond New Haven. This took some cunning and courage, so it is fitting that the school’s mascot is the lion. For scholars, the lion symbolizes a school culture that takes great pride in personal achievement, teamwork and strong community bonds. Students gather on Friday afternoons for Pride Circle, where individuals are recognized for academic accomplishments and acting in ways that show the REACH values (Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Citizenship and Hard Work). Achievement First Bridgeport Academy is one of three schools piloting Life Prep, a new Achievement First program focusing on character education. As part of the program, students partner with local charities and non-profit organizations in the Bridgeport area to raise funds and provide volunteer services.
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/bridgeport-middle/about/
Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary School
395 Lyme Street
Hartford, CT 06112
Grades: K-3 (growing to K-4)
Enrollment in 2010-11: 352 students
Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary opened as part of Superintendent Steven Adamowski’s ambitious reform plan for Hartford Public Schools. At Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary, a tremendous focus is placed on reading, which occupies three hours of instruction per day broken into alternating blocks of small group instruction. Teachers and students start the day with Morning Motivation, which includes recognition of exemplary REACH (Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Citizenship and Hard Work) and a school-wide song to put all students on track to have a successful day of learning. At Achievement First Hartford Academy Elementary, teachers do not just preach constant learning—they practice it. Every teacher has a coach who they meet with on a weekly basis to identify strengths and develop strategies for improvement.
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/hartford-elementary/about/
Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle School
305 Greenfield Street
Hartford, CT 06112
Grades: 5-7 (growing to 5-8)
Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle opened as part of Superintendent Steven Adamowski’s ambitious reform plan for Hartford Public Schools. At Achievement First Hartford Academy Middle, the backbone of the daily program is a schedule that provides three-and-a-half hours of literacy instruction for every student, in the form of a 90-minute literature class, a 30-minute reading skills block and a 45-minute “literacy” workshop where students at similar reading levels receive targeted instruction in small groups. Students also receive 90 minutes of math instruction and 45 minutes of history and science instruction daily. All of this intellectual activity is offset by a 45-minute daily physical education class. One hour is set aside every Friday afternoon for community-building activities. The school is also excited about its after-school program, which will grow in proportion to the school until scholars are participating in a full array of sports teams, music and arts opportunities and academic clubs.
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/hartford-middle/about/
Amistad Academy Elementary School
540 Ella T. Grasso Boulevard
New Haven, CT 06519
Enrollment in 2010-11: 408 students
Amistad Academy Elementary opened in New Haven in 2006 as the long-awaited elementary expansion of the flagship Amistad Academy Middle School. At the beginning of the elementary school’s first year of operation, only 4 percent of kindergarten scholars were reading at or above grade level; by the end of the year, the percentage had risen to 99 percent. The key to Amistad Academy Elementary’s success is a school culture built on a strong foundation of sharing and caring, working hard, reflecting and having fun. Every morning, the music teacher kicks off Morning Motivation with a chant called “Are you going to have fun today?” For teachers, collegial observation is common, and “best practices are constantly shared.”
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/amistad-elementary/about/
Amistad Academy Middle School
407 James Street
New Haven, CT 06513
Enrollment in 2010-11: 295 students
Amistad Academy Middle, the Achievement First flagship, opened in New Haven in 1999 and celebrated its 10th year of operation in 2009. The school was profiled in the PBS documentary “Closing the Achievement Gap” (2004) and was named Connecticut’s 2006 Title I Distinguished School after having the greatest performance gains of any middle school in the state. The school gathers every week for Morning Circle, where students are recognized by teachers and peers for academic achievement and strong character skills. Town Meetings take place every six weeks and build school spirit with music, skits, cheers and awards. Amistad Academy Middle’s robust after-school enrichment program, Encore!, offers students daily expert instruction in theater, karate, dance, orchestra, volleyball, step team, graphic design and other arts and athletic activities.
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/amistad-middle/about/
Amistad-Elm City High School
49 Prince Street
New Haven, CT 06519
Enrollment in 2010-2011: 194 students
Amistad-Elm City High School is based on an innovative premise: closing the achievement gap by providing a prep-school quality education to inner-city students. Amistad-Elm City 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 Amistad-Elm City High School program include:
- Rigorous course of studies for all students
- Personal attention for each student
- Open communication
- Focused learning environment
- Intensive college counseling
- Expanding athletics and after-school program
- College courses and internships senior year
- Commitment to robust student life programs
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/amistad-elm-city-high/aechs/
401 Kossuth Street
Bridgeport, CT 06608
Enrollment in 2010-11: 270 students
The Bridge Academy provides a college preparatory education designed to overcome the problems presently found in the inner city. This charter school is small, and run by a caring group of teachers, parents, teacher aides, and dedicated community leaders. Our program includes intense classes in reading, writing, and math to counter the learning deficits currently illustrated by Bridgeport’s Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance test (CAPT) scores. The college preparatory curriculum focuses on continually increasing standards for students and teachers. Small, focused schools have proven more successful in urban America, and our school is a leader in this new educational movement in Connecticut.
The traditional urban schools are large and complex, thus our school’s small size and simplicity is unique to the community. Students meet once a month with mentors in the business community. The mentors and school personnel push the students to reach a level of maturity and learning needed for success in the working world. The Bridge Academy seeks to end the racial isolation of our students. This is done through recruitment of students outside of Bridgeport, field trips, community events, and inter-district projects that foster cooperation between diverse groups of people. In addition, the school provides the students with as many excursions into the adult community as possible, through community service, field trips, Internet conversations, and guest lectures. Therefore, upon graduation our students have the maturity, the academic training and the exposure to successful adults necessary to make positive choices in their future lives.
For more information, visit http://bridgeacademy.org
Common Ground High School
Common Ground is the nation’s first charter school focused on the urban environment and creating the next generation of environmental leaders. Common Ground is also a small college preparatory high school, where students experience a combination of individual support and high expectations that help them achieve academic success. With only 155 students, Common Ground is able to challenge and support each individual, linking them with on- and off-campus opportunities that push them as far and as fast as possible. Common Ground use our three campuses – the forested ridge of West Rock State Park, our 20-acre educational farm, and the city of New Haven – to engage students and provide active, authentic learning experiences. Our students master state standards as they design new green buildings on our site, partner in the research of university scientists, launch successful environmental business ventures, and create outdoor museum exhibits. Each year, more than 93% of our students are accepted to college. After three years of double-digit test score gains, Common Ground students now outperform the New Haven average in every subject area, and the state average in reading.
Elm City College Preparatory Elementary School
240 Greene Street
New Haven, CT 06513
Enrollment in 2010-11: 296 students
Elm City College Preparatory Elementary opened in New Haven in 2004 and was the first Achievement First school with an elementary program. Four years later, the elementary reading curriculum continues to center around a three-hour, sacred reading block that uses a phonics-based literacy program and text-rich classrooms. Immersed in sounds and words, students are quickly provided with a solid, early foundation for more advanced reading. At Elm City College Preparatory Elementary, teachers find creative ways to encourage and reward hard work, such as taking students on trips to local book stores and participation in “Funtastic Friday” celebrations.
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/elm-city-elementary/pictures/
Elm City College Preparatory Middle School
794 Dixwell Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Enrollment in 2010-11: 217 students
In the 2008-09 academic year, Elm City College Preparatory Middle’s fifth graders were the first scholars in the network to have graduated from an Achievement First elementary school and moved up to an Achievement First middle school. While incoming fifth graders had historically averaged two years below grade level, many of these students were more than a full year ahead. Elm City College Preparatory Middle boasts a particularly “warm demanding” culture, where respect, teamwork and hard work are the platinum standard. As with all Achievement First middle schools, students at Elm City College Preparatory Middle look forward all year to the end-of-year college field trips—a critical component of the college-focused curriculum. Elm City College Preparatory Middle’s fifth-grade scholars visit Temple University in Philadelphia, sixth graders travel to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, seventh graders visit Morehouse and Spelman Colleges in Atlanta and eighth graders visit the University of California at Berkeley. During these trips, students tour the campuses, attend lectures, participate in mock interviews with admissions staff and stay in the dormitories. While the college visit is the core of each trip, students’ horizons are broadened in countless other ways. For example, sixth graders go camping, hiking and biking through Acadia National Park, and many eat their first lobster!
For more information, visit http://www.achievementfirst.org/schools/connecticut-schools/elm-city-middle/about/
Explorations Charter School
The Brian J. O’Neil Building
71 Spencer Street
Winsted, Connecticut 06098
Enrollment in 2010-11: 88 students
Located in rural Winsted, Connecticut, EXPLORATIONS was founded to meet the needs of bright high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who were not being motivated in the traditional public school setting, but were full of potential for greater academic achievement. EXPLORATIONS reaches out to its students by providing personal attention, a curriculum that fosters high levels of motivation, and an environment in which students can derive ownership in their future. We believe that educational success is more attainable when the student is personally invested in the choices that will direct his or her future. It is the mission of EXPLORATIONS Charter School to provide an environment that cultivates a positive attitude toward life long learning in an experiential, non-traditional educational setting.
EXPLORATIONS’ program emphasizes activities which foster the acceptance of responsibility and the development of positive decision making and problem solving skills. We encourage students to develop a healthy attitude toward their school, community, work, family, and, most important, toward their own sense of self. Through family and community involvement, our students realize how each of us takes ownership in contributing to a better future for all.
For more information, visit http://explorationscs.com
Highville Charter School
130 Leeder Hill Road
Hamden, CT 06517
Grades: Pre-K – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 300 students
The Highville Charter School, an enterprising and caring community with strong parent and community involvement, prepares and instills a desire for all learners to confidently use technology, think globally, develop globally conscious citizenship, utilize world languages and the study of various world cultures as the basis for launching learners on their voyage as responsible navigators, to discover their potential and chart their course through an ever-changing, interdependent and global future. Such a globally-conscious citizen will be values-oriented, wellness conscious, career directed, competent in communications and problem-solving, skillful in creative and critical thinking, culturally sophisticated, and acutely ware of global interdependence.
For more information, visit http://www.highvillecharterschool.com
Integrated Day Charter School
68 Thermos Ave.
Norwich, CT 06360
Grades: Pre-K – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 330 students
Our goal at the Integrated Day Charter School is to facilitate the development of students who will be thoughtful. These students will care and will independently seek knowledge. With a strong sense of self-awareness and respect, our graduates will be able to adapt to an ever-changing world.
For more information, visit http://www.idcs.org/
Interdistrict School for Arts And Communication
190 Governor Winthrop Boulevard
New London, CT 06320-6633
Grades: 6 – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 180 students
The Interdistrict School for Arts And Communication (ISAAC) is a diverse school serving 12 communities in southeastern Connecticut. ISAAC harnesses the natural passion for learning and fosters the importance of community service. ISAAC is dedicated to being an experiential learning community where students, families, and teachers are challenged to discover and express the best in themselves and each other while valuing the diversity in our school, our community, and the world. It also reduces racial and economic isolation in the region and contributes to the revitalization of downtown New London.
For more information, visit http://isaacschool.org
Jumoke Academy Charter Schools
339 Blue Hills Avenue
Hartford, CT 06112
Grades: Pre-K – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 432 students
Jumoke Academy Charter School was established by founder Thelma Ellis Dickerson and charged with the sacred duty of closing the academic achievement gap that puts urban and minority children behind their more affluent peers and perpetuates historical inequities in our society. It has come remarkably far in this mission. Connecticut Mastery Test Scores at Jumoke Academy are on par with those of the wealthiest districts, including Fairfield and Greenwich. Its 2009 math scores were 38.4 points (16%) higher than those of minority students statewide.
Jumoke Academy enjoys strong parent, family and community support. It is also a supportive school environment. Its talented and qualified teachers come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and bring a rich variety of personal and professional experience, but they all share key values. Our staff is passionately committed to nurturing both the intellect and character of their pupils, as well as helping them attain measurable success.
For more information, visit http://www.jumokeacademy.org
New Beginnings Family Academy
184 Garden St # 109
Bridgeport, CT 06605
Grades: pre-K – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 360 students
At New Beginnings Family Academy, we prepare our students for outstanding academic success in high school, college and beyond by building intelligence plus character. We believe our entire community (students, faculty, parents, administrators, staff and board) must commit to a culture that is unique and in fact will be counter to some of the cultural norms of today’s society. The hallmark of our culture will be a community that is positive, uplifting, forward thinking and hard working, ever reaching for the stars. To meet the expectations of our mission and culture, we must have standards and goals which are both demonstrable and measurable.
Odyssey Community School
Park City Prep
510 Barnum Ave # 2
Bridgeport, CT 06608-2400
Grades: 6 – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 250 students
The mission at Park City Prep is to promote academic excellence, foster interest and competence in math, science and technology, and improve the level of achievement of middle school students from communities historically under-represented in the fields of math, science, and technology. Civic and personal responsibility are emphasized throughout an integrated curriculum that highlights the social, economic, and political ramifications of scientific research and discovery while students develop an appreciation for the contributions that science has made in shaping history and improving our lives.
For more information, visit http://parkcityprep.org
Side by Side Charter School
85 South Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Grades: Pre-K – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 236 students
The mission of Side by Side Community School is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed and every voice is heard. We engage our students in a challenging and relevant curriculum of the highest standard that will reflect and enhance their diversity and promote their unique gifts and talents.We build character and responsibility through a commitment to community, social justice, and tolerance towards others. We will also support the needs of our families. We will strive to perfect the art and craft of teaching and promote excellence in our profession.
We offer parents the freedom to choose a public school that is safe, and affords the highest quality education in a racially and socio-economically integrated setting. Our school attracts both urban and suburban families. Side by Side has a strong connection to our community. We thrive in the heart of downtown SONO, offering a wonderfully diverse and urban setting. Our location enables our students and faculty to partner with surrounding art centers, museums, Long Island science studies, festival performances, and neighboring commerce. Through challenging and enriching hands on activities, SBS focuses on high academic standards, respect, tolerance, and success.
For more information, visit http://www.sbscharter.org
229 North Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Grades: 9 – 12
Enrollment in 2010-11: 135 students
Stamford Academy is the second charter school opened by Domus and Stamford’s second charter school which opened in 2004 for students in grades nine through twelve who struggled in traditional school environments.
The students who enter Stamford Academy do so primarily because they have been unsuccessful in their prior educational environments. Our school was founded to meet the needs of these children. That said, we pride ourselves on our ability and willingness to reach out to students and their families in order to remove social and emotional obstacles to academic achievement.
83 Lockwood Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
Grades: 6 – 8
Enrollment in 2010-11: 170 students
Trailblazers Academy is a public school of choice for 165 students in grades six, seven, and eight. Many students have not been successful in traditional school environments and need a different learning environment to reach their full potential. A rigorous academic focus, paired with a comprehensive human development model and small classes of approximately 12 students per class, allows students to excel academically and build critical social and emotional skills needed for success in high school and beyond.
For more information, visit http://trailblazersacademy.org