Achievement First Bushwick Middle School

01 Jan, 1970



AF Bushwick Middle School (AF Bushwick MS) opened in 2007. The campus is located in Brooklyn, New York, and serves just over 370 students. The school serves students in Grades 5–8. In 2013, 87 percent of students qualified for free and reduced meals, and 99 percent are African American or Hispanic.

For two consecutive years, AF Bushwick MS scored in the top 15 percent of all city schools in the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Progress Reports. In 2013, the NYCDOE highlighted AF Bushwick MS as one of eight city schools with high-need populations that excel at preparing students for college and careers. AF Bushwick MS earned special credit for closing the achievement gap and making outstanding gains with students who have disabilities. Tables 1 and 2 provide achievement data in reading and mathematics for the general population as well as for students with disabilities (SWD) and those who received free or reduced lunch (FRL).


This case study provides information on the following focus areas that have been identified as key areas for consideration in the shift to implementing the Common Core State College and Career Readiness Standards (Common Core State Standards).  Read the full case study here.

1. Instructional Shift and Strategic Use of Data and Targeted Interventions

This section focuses on how the transition to Common Core State Standards encouraged AF leadership and staff to continue a shift toward a more rigorous curriculum and instructional strategies. In English language arts (ELA), the shift focused primarily on the use of more rigorous text and text-dependent questioning. In mathematics, the shift focused on restructuring classes to increase conceptual understanding.

2. Talent

This section focuses on the changes made to the AF talent management system. AF has refined their system to better support teachers and school leaders in light of the increased demands of implementing the Common Core State Standards with fidelity.

3. Strong School Culture

This section focuses on the cultural shifts for students that AF staff believes are necessary to achieve the Common Core State Standards. The cultural shift for students needed to emphasize grit, curiosity, and perseverance to motivate students. To this end, AF Bushwick MS continues to find creative ways to recognize and reward achievement related to positive behavior.

Tools and resources

Common Core Case Study
This document provides an overview of Achievement First Bushwick Middle School and focuses on instructional shift and strategic use of data and targeted interventions to transition to Common Core, talent management changes needed to adjust to Common Core and cultural shift needed for students to meet the Common Core.

Bushwick Annual Report 2012-2013
This document provides information about enrollment and retention, student performance and financial data.

a href="/sites/default/files/Achievement First_Common Vision Playbook_2013-2014_v7.pdf">Systems Playbook for School Procedures
This document describes procedures and standards for a variety of school operations, including uniform checks, meal timetables, staircase transitions and behavior consequences.

Effective Teaching Cycle Diagram
This document diagrams the cycle of effective teaching, covering elements such as unit planning, sequencing and assessment.

Measuring Ten Essentials of Great Instruction
This document is designed as a rubric to measure essential elements of instruction, including setting standards, classroom culture and scholar learning.

Second Grade Writing Rubric
This document provides a grid that identifies expository writing skills and describes the level of skill required to meet certain standards.

Middle School Math Lesson Format
This document provides a detailed outline for conduct of a math lesson, including the schedule and timing of sections of the program and descriptions of what the teacher and students are doing at various points throughout the period.

Middle School Math Program Overview
This document clarifies the core pillars of the mathematics program, reviews the concepts to be covered by grade level, describes baseline expectations, and includes types of interventions for underperforming students.

Middle School History Instruction Fundamentals 
This document clarifies the approach to lesson design and execution, describing lesson types and the relationships between different lesson types.

Middle School History Program Overview
This document clarifies the core tenets of the history program, explaining how each fits within curriculum and instruction at each grade level, in each instructional unit, and in daily instruction.

Expectations for Staff
This document describes the expectations for staff, including alignment to school vision and areas such as growth, discipline, integrity, care, zest and teamwork.