What is Education for Change Public Schools?
Education for Change Public Schools manages six high-achieving charter schools in East Oakland, serving over 3,000 students. They are: ASCEND, Achieve Academy, Cox Academy, Lazear Charter Academy, Learning without Limits, and Epic Middle School. We deliver success to our students through high quality instruction and its continuous improvement.
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are free, public schools that operate independently of Oakland Unified School District and are subject to higher levels of accountability.
What does it cost to attend ASCEND?
There is no cost to attend. ASCEND is a publicly funded school.
What will my child gain by attending ASCEND?
We believe that it is essential for students to master basic foundational skills in every subject area; in addition, we believe that we help students to become lifelong learners by giving them frequent opportunities to create, explore, question, and make connections. We use arts-integrated learning expeditions and shorter multi-disciplinary units to teach students the Common Core Content Standards while creating opportunities for exploration and creativity. A learning expedition is a semester-long unit of study in which students use inquiry and project-based learning to master skills, strategies, and new information in an authentic context. In each learning expedition or multi-disciplinary unit, we make learning meaningful for students by connecting a variety of subjects (for instance, science, math, and language arts), actively engaging students in field trips, readings, and investigations related to the topic, and frequently using art and music to provide a creative way for students to deepen and express their learning.
ASCEND teachers often work with students in small groups and one-on-one, in order to meet each individual child’s needs. In our elementary grades students learn in multi-age classrooms to meet them at their instructional level, with flexible learning environments. To best support the learning needs of our students, we need to know who they are as learners and how they learn best. Our students also participate in “blended learning” – they engage in learning through adaptive computer programs in math and reading – in order to make sure that we are meeting their individual needs. When students struggle, we support them with a thoughtful interventions process that leads to extra small-group instruction and/or counseling services in order to help the children be successful. We also support middle school students through a robust high school application process in 7th and 8th grade.
How is ASCEND different from other charter or district schools?
One thing that makes ASCEND special is the strong partnership between families and school staff. Our goal is that families and teachers develop supportive relationships rooted in deep, mutual respect, so that as a team, we can support your child. We are also unique in the expeditionary learning work that engages students in real world issues rooted in the community. Families play a critical role in governing the school and deciding policies and procedures. In addition, an on-site resource center reaches out to families and provides valuable workshops and tools.
What grades does it serve?
ASCEND is a TK-8 school.
Does ASCEND offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
Yes , children must be five (5) years old between September 2, and December 2nd, . Our other schools Achieve Academy (510) 904-6400, Cox Academy (510 904-6300 and Lazear Academy (510) 689-2018 also offer TK.
Where is ASCEND located?
ASCEND is located in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland at 3709 East 12th Street.
What are the school hours?
On regular days, elementary school (TK-3) hours are 8:30-3:15 and middle school (4-8) hours are 8:30-3:30. On minimum days, Wednesdays and Fridays school ends at 1:30 for all students.
What is the school’s uniform policy?
TK-5th grade students wear navy pants/dresses/skirts and a white shirt with the ASCEND logo, or a plain white shirt with no logo at all. 6th-8th grade students wear khaki pants/dresses/skirts and a white or black t-shirt with the ASCEND logo, as well as a sweatshirt with the ASCEND logo when the weather is cold.
What is the teacher-student ratio? Do you have small class sizes?
The teacher to student ratio is 1:25 in grades TK-8.
How much does breakfast cost? How much does lunch cost?
ASCEND is a Provision ll school. As such, all students are eligible to receive free lunch and breakfast.
What electives are being taught at this school? Will there be PE, music, art ?
The electives taught at ASCEND vary by grade level. Elementary students might participate in PE, Art, Music, Dance, and Maker Design classes. All middle school students take PE, Music, Dance, and Art. ASCEND will also pilot teacher led elective classes to provide students with further enrichment opportunities.
Are there bilingual classes?
ASCEND does not offer bilingual classes as part of its core program. We have had home language instruction in the past, and as funding allows, are interested in integrating this back into our instructional program.
Is there an afterschool program? What is the cost?
ASCEND has a comprehensive afterschool program in partnership with Oakland Leaf that offers both homework help and enrichment activities such as sports, visual arts, creative play, computer game design, and theater arts. There is no cost to participate in afterschool programs.
What kind of Special Education services are offered?
Per California statute, charter schools are public schools open to all children, including those with disabilities; charter schools provide programs for and services to students with disabilities. EFC schools operate their own Special Education programs and related services. EFC partners with several agencies to provide high quality inclusive special education services to students who have IEPs. In addition, we have a robust Multi Tiered System of Supports to provide academic and social emotional intervention to students who need support whether or not they qualify for special education services.
When and where can I meet the Principal and learn more about ASCEND?
We welcome prospective families to immerse themselves in the ASCEND experience. Please contact the school directly to a tour. We encourage you to attend our Exposition of Student Learning on January, 27, 2018 from 11:00AM and 3:00PM.
Can I select an Education for Change school as part of the Oakland Unified School District’s options process?
No, you must submit your application directly to ASCEND or another Education for Change school. Accepting an offer from one of our schools does not affect in any way your options for OUSD or any other school.
What’s the application process?
To apply to for an Education for Change school, we highly recommend the online application thru the website www.enrolloak.org. complete and submit a one-page application. Other options are to complete a paper application, and phone in the information to the EOC Center, @ 510-454-9360 not Oakland Unified School District. Space is limited to the number of spots available; interested families are encouraged to submit their applications early. All applications must be received by February 16, 2018. If there are more applicants than spots available, a lottery will be held March 7th at 4PM. Notifications will be mailed by March 14, 2018. Applications received after the February 16th deadline will be considered on first come first serve basis.