Our mission

We are transforming public education – one student, one classroom, one school at a time.

By providing 1:1 academic and social-emotional support to the lowest-performing students in a classroom, we not only transform outcomes for those students, but also support teachers by giving them the time and space they need to teach grade-level content effectively in the classroom.

A Bonds of Union Initiative

Ascend is the first demonstration project of Bonds of Union, a start-up nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing persistent social and economic challenges through the design and implementation of innovative, high-impact initiatives.

Ascend was started by Bonds of Union’s small group of experts and practitioners in K-12 education. In our intersecting experiences serving marginalized communities in schools, policy, and community-based services, we identified a need:

There are few interventions that create tangible transformation for the lowest-performing students in urban public schools.

So we asked the question: “How can we dramatically improve outcomes for our lowest-performers?”

Then, we worked together to craft a solution that is both groundbreaking and simple.

To transform outcomes, we must help students develop the conceptual tools and social-emotional competencies to succeed in school and in life — and do so in a way that integrates seamlessly into the complex, urban public school environment. The result: an innovative initiative that reconceptualizes the delivery of 1:1 instruction for our highest-need students, introduces a new category of highly-trained professionals in the school building, and even reimagines the physical design of the school building itself.

We began with a pilot program for students in grades three through six at Bond Hill Academy. While in this demonstration phase, we are rigorously refining our instruction, curriculum, and training as we increase the number of students we serve. Each cohort is an opportunity to analyze our data and refine our learning.

We are excited to bring Ascend to new locations in 2022 and transform classrooms and schools in regions throughout the country.

We are practitioners who believe that every student can reach their fullest potential.