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Leading with love since 1999 A Timeline.

We set out to prove that zip code should not and does not determine destiny.

Thirty New Haven community members work together to develop a charter school. State evaluators rank our application for Amistad Academy as #1, and the State Board of Education grants us a five year charter. But we are told the school can’t open because there is no funding for new charter schools. We don’t give up.

With the support of local legislators who secured a special funding appropriation, our first school opens to 84 fifth- and sixth-graders with a three-week Summer Academy in 1999.

AF’s co-CEOs Doug McCurry and Dacia Toll talk about the early days at Amistad Academy:

Amistad Academy graduates its first class. Our students have improved more than 40 percentage points on the Connecticut Mastery Test—far more than any other cohort of students in the state—and they perform at the same level as students from Greenwich.

The New Haven Register names our staff at Amistad Academy its first-ever “People of the Year” for changing the conversation about what’s possible in Connecticut.

AF is the centerpiece of “Closing the Achievement Gap,” a nationally-televised PBS documentary:

At the request of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, we open three Brooklyn schools: AF Crown Heights Elementary and Middle, and AF East New York Elementary. We are working to prove gap-closing student success is possible at scale.

Doug and Dacia reflect on expansion:

To better serve our middle school graduates, we open our first high school—AF Amistad High in New Haven.

The Park City calls, and AF answers! We expand to Bridgeport with the support of our current Board Chair, Andy Boas. With the opening of AF Bridgeport Academy Middle, we grow to six schools in Connecticut and six in New York. In New York, AF Crown Heights and AF East New York receive all A’s on NYC’s progress report. Both schools rank in the top 4% of all NYC schools, and AF East New York is the fourth-highest performing school in NYC.

AF opens our first school in Connecticut’s capital city! We have the support of the superintendent and a facility free of charge from Hartford Public Schools, but the General Assembly goes home without passing a budget, leaving us with no funding. We partner with the city and private donors to open AF Hartford Academy Elementary and Middle on time anyway.

With the Residency Program for School Leadership, AF commits to increasing our impact by sharing what we have learned with other schools. Our partnership work expands into what is now known as AF Accelerate.

At the urging of Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist to “prove what is possible” in the Ocean State, we open our first Rhode Island school. We’re also named a finalist for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools for the first of 4 times.

AF launches the Charter Network Accelerator to support, learn from and scale smaller CMOs.

Sara Keenan shares more about our AF Accelerate programs:

AF test scores are on the rise for the first time since the Common Core began. In New York, our students’ combined ELA and math score outperform the average for students from middle- and upper-income families. We also introduce “AP for All” for our high school students.

Doug explains how AF approached the Common Core challenges:

After a smaller pilot in 2015, we launch our Greenfield program at Elm City College Prep to increase student independence, investment, and choice. AF announces a commitment to being fully open source and is the first, large CMO to make all of our curriculum materials accessible via our website.

Follow a scholar in one of our Greenfield schools:

The AF Bushwick Empower Program, our intensive program serving students with disabilities, opens. We also launch Navigator, a new partnership program to support schools and networks implement AF open source curricula.

In their first year of state testing, AF Iluminar Elementary ranks as the top performer in all of Rhode Island—#1 in ELA and #1 in math, beating the wealthiest schools in the state by double digits.

We celebrate our 20th year 14,000 students strong across 37 schools in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. With our AF Accelerate programs, we reach an additional 40,000 students!

Created By
Jordanna Hertz
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