Join the Ascend family! The application is now open for school year 2020-21.

Ascend schools are tuition-free public schools open to all, and offer an ambitious liberal arts education in a warm and welcoming community, creating a clear path to success in college, career, and life. Apply today!

Watch: Welcome to Lefferts Gardens Ascend

Learn more about Ascend from Lefferts Gardens Ascend Lower School Director Nadine Rubinstein, and enroll today!

We're in your neighborhood!

Click the name of a lower school to learn more.


Visit us!

Weekly tours

We invite all families to visit Ascend schools throughout this application season and participate in 30-minute school tours, offered weekly. Visit our beautifully renovated, private school buildings at your convenience; no sign-up necessary! Click below to view tour days and times at each school.

Open houses

Our schools host open houses for families, with opportunities to meet school leaders and learn more about Ascend’s rich liberal arts curriculum, warm and supportive school culture, and strong academic results. Check back soon to view open house days and times at each school.

Watch: It's June 18, 2018 at Brooklyn Ascend Lower School.

Teachers at Ascend create a culture of warmth and high achievement by establishing meaningful, lasting relationships with their students. Step into Ascend to meet Mr. St. Jean and his fourth-grade students at Brooklyn Ascend Lower School.

Ascend is now accepting applications for school year 2020-21!

Thank you for your interest in Ascend.

Ascend schools provide a rich curriculum in English language arts, math, science, and the creative arts in beautiful, newly renovated buildings. Ascend’s supportive community—where families and students are cherished—fosters social skills, self-reliance, and intellectual confidence and enthusiasm. We welcome and serve students regardless of academic ability, prior academic achievement, special needs, or English language learner status. Once enrolled at Ascend, students may attend an Ascend school through 12th grade.

Application information

The application deadline for the random enrollment lottery is Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Applications received after the deadline are placed on the waitlist in the order in which they are received.

  • Only one application per student will be accepted.
  • You may apply to more than one Ascend school using this application.
  • Separate applications must be filled out for each sibling.
  • Applications and waitlists do not “roll over” from year to year; be sure to re-apply even if you’re currently on an Ascend waitlist.

To learn more about Ascend, email us at

Frequently asked questions

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    Do Ascend schools charge tuition?

    Ascend schools are public schools: they are tuition-free and open to any student. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, mental or physical disability, athletic performance, special needs, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, or prior academic achievement.

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    If I applied to an Ascend school last year and am currently on the waitlist, do I need to re-apply?

    Yes; our waitlists do not “roll over” from year to year. If you submitted an application for the 2018-19 school year—even if you are currently on the waitlist for this school year—you must apply again to be included in the lottery for the 2019-20 school year. If you are currently on the waitlist for the 2018-19 school year, placing an application for the 2019-20 school year will not remove you from the current waitlist.

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    How do I enroll a child in an Ascend school?

    Ascend conducts an annual lottery to fill open seats across all of our schools. Though the enrollment lottery for the 2018-19 school year has already occurred, we continue to accept applications for the 2018-19 school year for kindergarten through 12th grade. Those who apply will be placed on a school’s wait list and will be offered a seat based on position on the list.

    In accordance with the law, we give preference to residents of the Community School District (CSD) in which an Ascend school is located and to the siblings of students currently enrolled in a school operating under the same charter. We also give preference to students whose parents work for Ascend Learning or one of our schools.

    Once enrolled at any level, a student is guaranteed a seat at an Ascend school through high school graduation. Complete the online application now.

    Llene su Intención de Inscribir (Matrícula) en español por el internet.

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    Does a child have to pass a test to be offered a seat at an Ascend school?

    No; there is no entrance exam for our schools. Ascend schools are open to all students, and no student is denied a seat based on mental or physical ability, athletic performance, special needs, or language proficiency.

    Once students are enrolled, we administer diagnostic tests in English language arts and mathematics to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. These tests help teachers and instructional leaders understand the specific learning needs of each student. The results of the tests have no bearing on a student’s enrollment at the school.

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    Does Ascend accept students with special needs?

    Yes; Ascend schools are open to all students, and no student is denied a seat based on special needs.

    Our director of student services, teachers, and school leadership teams are committed to creating an inclusive and integrated space for all students, and we have developed systems and procedures that target and support students with academic, emotional, and behavioral challenges. We work with the Department of Education’s Committee on Special Education to create, modify, and fully implement a student’s individualized education plan (IEP).

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    What subjects are taught at Ascend schools?

    We provide our students with a rich, well-rounded course of study from kindergarten through high school that develops children’s full academic, social, artistic, and ethical aptitudes. A liberal arts education develops students’ curiosities and capabilities and prepares them for a life of meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and success.

    At all levels, the Ascend curriculum includes instruction in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Beginning in grade 5, students participate in Ascend’s Humanities Program, which includes cultural literacy, critical thinking, writing, close-reading, and public-speaking skills; and art and music appreciation. Each lower and middle school designs its own specials program, which often includes offerings in Spanish, visual arts, music, dance, and physical education.

    The high school program includes numerous course offerings—a combination of a full Regents course of study as well as electives—in the Humanities (English and social studies); science, math, and technology; foreign language; and the arts.

    Read more about our liberal arts approach.

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    What are the hours at Ascend schools?

    The typical Ascend school day runs from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday. On Friday, the school day runs from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Schools dismiss early on Friday to allow teachers to participate in professional development sessions. Students may arrive as early as 7:30 am to eat breakfast at school; all students receive free breakfast and lunch.

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    Do Ascend schools have an extended school year?

    No; in general, our schools are open the same number of days as the New York City Department of Education’s schools. Students typically begin the school year during the first half of September and end the year during the second half of June.

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    How many teachers are in each classroom?

    In kindergarten, Ascend classrooms have two teachers. Beginning in grade 1, classrooms typically have one teacher. Classrooms that use an integrated co-teaching (ICT) model to serve special education students alongside their peers in a general education setting have two teachers.

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    How many students are in each classroom?

    Each classroom typically has between 25 and 30 students.

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    What tests or exams does Ascend administer to students?

    Upon enrolling in an Ascend school, students take a diagnostic exam. These tests help teachers and instructional leaders understand the specific learning needs of each student. During the course of the year, we administer assessments aligned with the Ascend curriculum to determine what concepts and skills students have learned in a particular subject area. We also administer the New York State exams in English language arts and mathematics to students in grades 3-8; in grades 4 and 8, the New York State science exam is administered. We administer a nationally norm-referenced test to help measure our students’ achievement compared to their peers nationwide.

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    Do Ascend schools offer free and reduced-priced lunch and breakfast?

    Yes; Ascend schools participate in the federal free and reduced-priced lunch program, and all Ascend schools provide breakfast and lunch to the entire school community free of charge.

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    Are Ascend students required to wear uniforms?

    Yes; all Ascend students are required wear school uniforms. Student uniforms are an important part of each Ascend school’s culture, allowing students to focus on their academic pursuits and avoid distractions. Each Ascend school maintains a uniform fund to assist families with uniform purchase.

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    Do Ascend schools co-locate with Department of Education district schools or other charter schools?

    No; Ascend schools are not co-located with Department of Education schools or with other charter schools.

    Ascend schools are housed in inviting, custom-built or newly-renovated buildings where every design detail is chosen to communicate our high aspirations for teaching and learning at Ascend. In these spaces, school leadership teams can focus entirely on instruction and on forging the school’s distinctive culture rather than negotiating a space shared with other another school. For more information about our schools and their locations, click here.

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    Do Ascend schools provide transportation for students to and from school?

    The Department of Education (DOE) Office of Pupil Transportation determines students’ eligibility for bus transportation to and from school, and provides pick-up and drop-off service as appropriate. Students in grade 3 and above may qualify for a discounted MetroCard. More information about service and eligibility can be found here.

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    If I am offered a seat in more than one Ascend school, can I accept more than one seat?

    As part of the application to attend Ascend, all applicants are asked to rank their preference for the Ascend school they would most like to attend. If accepted at more than one school, we will reserve a seat only at the highest ranked school to which a child was accepted. The child’s name will be removed from the lists of any school ranked lower. If you are not offered a seat at your highest-ranked school(s), you will remain on the wait list for any schools ranked higher.

    If you choose not to rank schools on your application, preference will be determined based on the proximity of each school to the child’s address.

    Ranking a school higher or lower does not affect the child’s chances of being offered a seat at a particular Ascend school.

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    My child has been accepted to an Ascend school. What will I be asked to provide in order to complete my enrollment and secure my seat?

    1. the student’s birth certificate, passport, or record of baptism which includes the date of birth
    2. up-to-date health exam form* (note that any student who does not have up-to date immunizations will be barred from school within 14 days of the start of school)
    3. proof of address, which may be verified by any two of the following documents that include the address of residence:
      • a lease agreement, deed, or mortgage statement for the residence**
      • a residential utility bill (gas or electric) in the resident’s name issued by a utility company (e.g., National Grid or Con Edison) dated within the past 60 days
      • a bill for cable television services provided to the residence, including the name of the parent or guardian and the address of the residence and dated within the past 60 days
      • documentation or letter on letterhead from a federal, state, or local government agency, including the IRS, the City Housing Authority, Human Resources Administration, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), an ACS subcontractor, or the federal Office of Refugee Settlement, indicating the resident’s name and address, dated within the past 60 days
      • a current property tax bill for the residence
      • a water bill for the residence, dated within the past 90 days
      • a rent receipt, dated within the past 60 days
      • an income tax form for the last calendar year
      • an unexpired official NYS Driver’s License or learner’s permit
      • an unexpired state, city, or other government issued ID (including an IDNYC card)
      • official payroll documentation from an employer, such as a pay stub with home address, a form submitted for tax withholding purposes, or a payroll receipt (a letter on the employer’s letterhead is not adequate), issued within the past 60 days; voter registration documents, including the name of the parent or guardian
      • unexpired, residency-based membership documents (e.g., neighborhood residents’ association), including the name of the parent or guardian
      • evidence of custody of the student, including, but not limited to, judicial custody orders or guardianship papers documents, issued within the past 60 days with name of student

    *For students having a physical exam at the beginning of the school year, you must provide the most recent health exam form; following the physical exam, you can provide an updated form. Click here to download health form.

    ** If you are not the leaseholder of your residence, you must submit a Residency Affidavit.

Enroll your child.

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the online application and put your child on the path to college.