“The Accelerator is the best professional learning experience I've had. The one-on-one coaching, cohort experience, and joint professional development with my CEO ensured that my growth as a leader was connected to the work of my organization as well as best practices in the field. The collaboration with my coach and my peers connected me with a group of people who provided valuable insight on my role as the Senior Instructional Leader at my network.”

-Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer, Environmental Charter Schools


We partner with senior leaders to help you achieve your top organizational priorities and grow your own leadership.

The program experience includes:

Resource-rich learning: workshops and training that leverage knowledge from peers across the country

Flexible and personalized coaching: with coaches who are deeply rooted in your network's context

Support from peers: deep connections with a community of leaders in similar roles facing similar questions and challenges

Focused time with your network partner:

to ideate, plan, and align

Hear more about the Accelerator program experience from one of our cohort members, Danielle Kelsick:

Your roles are unique. So is our program.

The support the Accelerator provides to senior leaders of charter organizations is both technical and adaptive.

You'll have access to myriad resources and tools and be exposed to many new ideas to benefit your schools and students -- and also have the support to translate those new ideas into action.



The past two years have been incredibly difficult; there's no doubt. But challenging situations can be made easier with the right support and with the fellowship of leaders going through similar experiences.

We launched our current cohort in the summer of 2020. Here is what our current program participants are saying about what the program experience has meant to them in this difficult time:

Being part of the Accelerator during both the launching of a new school, and during COVID, has been incredibly valuable. My personal development as a leader has been exponential. The strong practices and workshops led with expertise by the Accelerator team have prompted growth and strength for our network that was necessary for longevity. The connections with other leaders who are in the midst of similar growth and change were priceless!

- Corrie Sands, CAO of Aspen Public Schools

Cohort learning is always valuable, cohort learning with others leading schools during COVID times is ESSENTIAL. My work with Accelerator over the past few years has brought me inspiration, new perspectives, countless great ideas I have stolen and implemented to benefit our students and during unprecedented times, a sense of community and the moral support of others leaders doing impossible work right now. I am forever grateful to this incredible group of educators!

- Melissa McGonegle, CAO of Carmen School of Science and Technology


The Application Process

  • Pre-application call with our team

  • Written application

  • Phone interview

  • Virtual finalist day

Applications released in January 2022 and are due in Feb 2022.

The cohort will be announced in June 2022.

Is the Accelerator Program a Good Fit for Our Network Right Now?

  • You lead a charter network serving between 2-10 schools.

  • Your are a learner leader - someone who is hungry for feedback, willing to explore new ideas, and eager to share with and learn from peers.

  • Your network has a senior instructional leader who will participate alongside the CEO / ED. We support both the CEO and the senior most instructional leader from the organization. In order to achieve transformational results at your organization, we believe it is critical to work with both leaders together. Therefore, both leaders participate in the program and the entire application process.

The Accelerator experience is particularly timely for networks that have recently experienced transitions at the CEO or senior instructional leader level. Workshop learning and coaching support you in building a stronger working relationship, aligning on vision and priorities, and managing change as a team.

Ready to learn more? Connect directly with Jen Hines at JenniferHines@achievementfirst.org


We have worked with 60+ charter networks across the country, impacting 80,000+ children. Click on the map to see our partners.