Support the Ascend Reopening Fund

By Lisa Margosian December 14, 2020

Nine months ago, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we faced the unprecedented challenge of pivoting Ascend’s ambitious program to remote instruction while ensuring that our students and families were well-supported during these difficult times. We’re proud to say that, with the help of the support and partnership from the entire Ascend community, we met that challenge

  • Today, attendance rates for remote learning are at pre-pandemic levels—roughly 95%.
  • All 5,800 students have the technology they need to learn at home.
  • Our robust remote program provides a consistent daily schedule, access to live instruction and teachers every weekday, and personalized support for students and their families.
  • We opened the Ascend Learning Support Center to provide a safe, supervised location for our most vulnerable students to participate in online instruction. 
  • We have provided direct assistance in the form of food and cash support to families struggling to weather the pandemic and its devastating effects on our lives. 

We are grateful to everyone who has made this work possible: our committed staff, dedicated board directors and trustees, and generous contributors.

Despite this remarkable progress, we will face new hurdles in 2021. As schools across the country contend with reopening, Ascend is preparing for every eventuality to guarantee our children continue receiving an excellent education in a healthy, safe, and supportive environment. As we plan, we are finding new areas of need. As our students—84% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch—and their families face financial hardship, we must ensure they have the essentials they need to come to school ready to learn. Should schools take longer to re-open, we must provide alternative arrangements for students to participate in remote instruction from our buildings. As we continue to hone our model to incorporate technology for every student, we must continue providing consistent access to devices. As the city mandates weekly testing in schools amidst the evolving public health situation, we must procure ample tests and supplies to protect all members of our community and meet city standards, regardless of government funding. And as we push on in this uncertain environment, we must be nimble and ready to respond to unexpected challenges as they unfold.

That’s why today we are launching the Ascend Reopening Fund. We hope that with your support, we can set our students and families up for success as we return to our campuses across Brooklyn. All contributions to the fund will directly support our reopening efforts and support our community through the transition, funding the critical investments, including: 

  • laptop and other technology replacements,
  • resources for our learning support centers,
  • personal protective equipment and Covid-19 testing capacity,
  • collection and distribution of essentials like food and clothing, and
  • other unexpected costs of shifting between remote and in-person learning.

Please consider giving today by visiting https://www.ascendlearning.org/support-us/. Donations of any size are appreciated, and your contribution will have a direct, positive, and lasting impact on our students and families.

During this time of continued tumult and uncertainty, we are grateful for your attention and your commitment to Ascend. We wish you a happy and healthy 2021.