PICS Organization Name
Ascend Public Charter Schools
Brooklyn, New York
Kaitlyn Waslawski '19, James Sung '19, Becca Weng '18
Ascend is a Brooklyn-based network of K-12 public charter schools serving 4,000 students across ten schools. At Ascend, our mission is to provide an extraordinary education for the children of Central Brooklyn, placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.
We are passionate about guiding our students to think critically and independently, and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students’ natural curiosity about the world, and we foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks.
A summer internship at Ascend allows you to explore a career in public education in the heart of Brooklyn. Our team has developed a thoughtful and coherent program that allows interns to contribute their talents at the Ascend network office while also having the chance to teach summer school students.
As an Ascend intern, you will have the opportunity to learn from highly dedicated, experienced professionals who are committed to urban education and our ultimate goal of paving a clear path to college for the children of Central Brooklyn.
Princeton’s unique emphasis on civic service makes Princeton students excellent candidates for an internship at Ascend Learning. Previous PICS interns have made significant contributions to Ascend - some examples include math curriculum materials that are used during the school year and data analyses that inform those curricular decisions. Ascend benefits greatly from the work that mission-aligned interns bring to our organization.
There are internship positions available in the following departments: curriculum, talent, communications, operations, technology, and finance. When applying for the internship, your cover letter must address which department you are applying to intern for and why you are interested in joining this department.
Position: Curriculum team
Curriculum internship positions are available within the curriculum team: math, science, humanities, lower school literacy, and innovation/art.
Responsibilities include supporting the development of curricular and school training materials for grades K-10 in math, science, lower school literacy, and upper school humanities; creating digital tools aligned to the Ascend curriculum and the Common Core State Standards; working with the network team to develop the August training program for teachers; fundraising and organizational support for the key network fundraising initiatives relating to curriculum initiatives; researching curriculum innovation and best practices in K-12 education; and teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
Position: Talent team
Talent internship positions are available for recruitment/marketing, and human resources. Responsibilities include: development and execution of an events and social media calendar; talent ambassador and teacher performance data review and analysis; research, development and management of an employee performance management system; research, development, and management of an employee onboarding system; producing, recording, editing, and archiving professional development videos; teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
Position: Communications team
A communication internship position is available within the external affairs department. Responsibilities include: creating a resource for our schools to distribute to our families with summer enrichment opportunities for students; updating the Ascend website with staff bios and other information; updating the design and copy on our schools’ websites; developing a report on the success of various digital communications July - June, including our website, social media, blog, and emails; creating one-page information sheets about each of our individual schools; conducting research into potential foundations and individuals to support our development efforts; build an up-to-date list of reporters for media outreach; and teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
Position: Operations team
An operations internship position is available within operations and student recruitment. Responsibilities include: assistance in planning and development of organization-wide online knowledge base; assistance to families over the phone and in-person with enrollment and registration; creating and disseminating reports which utilize operational data; fulfilling ad-hoc requests for operational data from internal and external stakeholders; assistance in development and dissemination of training materials for school staff pertaining to using operational information systems; and teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
Position: Technology team
An internship position is available with the technology team. Responsibilities include: rebuilding of staff and student laptops; network-wide hardware and software inventory project; assisting with setup and troubleshooting of technology for summer institute; and teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
Position: Finance team
An internship position is available with the finance team. Responsibilities include: reconciling debit and accounting activity; designing templates for payroll and management fee journal entries; designing templates for per-pupil revenue reconciliation; and teaching once a week in our middle school summer school with fellow interns.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Extreme attention to detail
- Alignment with the core beliefs of Ascend Public Charter Schools
Depending on preferred position:
- Passion for writing and organizing instructional content (curriculum team)
- Strong Excel and data management skills (operations intern)
- Experience and enthusiasm for working with children
- Fluent Spanish preferred (operations intern)
- Technology savvy – self-motivated to learn new skills using the internet (operations intern)
Expected Start Time
Expected End Time
6/4/18 - 7/27/18
Meets Certificate Requirement
Previous interns at Ascend have found housing through the Princeton network (see the Princeton in NYC Facebook page, for example), sites like StreetEasy, NYCIntern (https://www.nycintern.org/; the Brooklyn Heights location is very convenient to Ascend's schools) or NYU Summer Housing. We suggest that potential interns look for housing with proximity to the 2-3 and 4-5 subway lines.
During Leader and Teacher Institute we may need interns to support work on Fridays or to come in to work before 10:00 am (between 8:00-9:00 am). These instances, however, are rare, and when we do so, interns are permitted to leave earlier or take a day off elsewhere.
As interns will be working in schools, they must be fingerprinted by the NYC Charter School Center. Interns will be required to complete fingerprinting to work with children in NYC. Ascend will facilitate all logistics and costs of fingerprinting.
I think Ascend does a good job trying to reach low-income minority communities through education, and by extension, my contributions to the organization helped towards that goal in some way. I was also able to teach Math to some of these low-income minority students in summer school, so I definitely felt that I had some impact in contributing to positive social change. It was also an educationally enriching experience, as I was able to gain good exposure to what it’s like to work at a charter school network in New York City. I also gained some professional development and some understanding of office dynamics.
— James Sung '19
The mission of the organization was something I was interested about prior to the internship and my passion for it grew and developed significantly during my time with Ascend. I have learned a lot about the work that I truly enjoy doing and what I want to do in the future as a result of this internship.
—Kaitlyn Waslawski '19