Fall news!

Fall News!

I hope all are enjoying the fall and, for those who celebrate, Happy Halloween! Our Ward 1 schools are doing amazing things! Be sure to check out the News from our Schools update below to learn about the creative academic and enrichment initiatives our talented principals are putting in place. OysterNov16-2.png

As always, your input on the critical policy decisions under consideration by the State Board is welcome! Before the end of the year we will vote on new residency requirements for school enrollment as well as shape our recommendations for our new accountability law -- Every Child Succeeds Act. Please reach out with your ideas!

With election season upon us, don't forget to head to the polls! Early voting has started within Ward 1 at Columbia Heights Community Center at 15th and Girard Streets.


DC Education News

School Nurse Program

Many of you may have heard about the DC Department of Health's proposal to right-size the school nurse program across the city. The proposal, called Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, aims to provide an equitable level of nursing coverage to each school based on a needs assessment of the health of the children who attend that school. Parents and City Council members have expressed concern about the lack of detail surrounding this program, which is supposed to be implemented in January. Council member Grosso has introduced emergency legislation to delay implementation of the program. You many find coverage of this in the Washington Post here.

Global Education Opportunities 

The student application for the 2016-17 DCPS Study Abroad program is now open! Application deadline: 11:59 PM EST on Monday, November 7, 2016. http://dcpsglobaled.org/how-to-apply/

DCPS Chancellor Search Update

Deputy Mayor Niles recently released The DCPS Rising: Chancellor Search Community Engagement Report, reflecting the feedback of hundreds of District residents that participated in community forums, student focus groups, and online.  The Memo of Recommendations from the DCPS Rising Leadership Committee is the result of multiple meetings of the 17-member committee, where they translated the community feedback into actionable recommendations for the Mayor on how she should approach the vetting and interview process. Check out http://dcpsrising.dc.gov/ for more information.

Volunteer Opportunity at Bancroft!

Bancroft Elementary School needs your help! We are seeking volunteers for two programs at Bancroft, a DC public school with many English language learners that is currently located in Petworth (4300 13th Street NW):

Reading Partners. Last year, Bancroft launched a very successful tutoring program in partnership with a national non-profit, Reading Partners. However, this year when Bancroft moved from Mount Pleasant to Petworth for a 2-year renovation, we lost some tutors. We now have many kids on a waiting list. 

The greatest need for tutors is Thursdays at 8:45 am, 12:45 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30pm (during afterschool). We also need tutors at 8:45am on Mondays and Wednesdays. The expected commitment is 1 hour per week.  You can register here (*important*: when registering online please indicate that Bancroft is your top priority) or email RP's Bancroft coordinator, Jake (james.thomas@readingpartners. org ). 

Lego club: We also need volunteers to help with Bancroft Builders, an afterschool Lego program that runs from about 3:45-4:45 pm. If interested, please email Bancroft principal Art Mola (arthur.mola@dc.gov).
**All volunteers will need to undergo the DCPS volunteer clearance process (TB test and fingerprinting)**

State Board News

Residency Requirements Review

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is in the process of developing new residency regulations for the State Board's approval. The State Board has recommended more frequent audits of residency documentation in DC's early childhood programs and an easier, yet more fool proof way for residents to prove residency through linkage to tax returns filed in the previous year. 

Public comment on the proposed regulations through OSSE closed on October 26, but additional information and comment is welcome prior to the State Board vote on November 16, 2016.  If you would like to provide written comments, please email sboe@dc.gov with “Residency Regulations” in
 the subject line. 

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The State Board continues to develop recommendations related to the new federal accountability law - Every Child Succeeds Act. Our next discussion is Wednesday, November 2 at 5 pm (441 4th St NW, 8th Floor) at our working session. Both OSSE and the State Board have met with a range of community and school-based stakeholders over the past several months, including an online survey that I have shared in the past two newsletters. We will continue to collect public input. 

For more information about ESSA, including upcoming engagement opportunities and previous meeting materials, please visit sboe.dc.gov/essa and osse.dc.gov/essa.     


News in your schools!*

Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC)

Through the efforts of Project Give Back and the CHEC PTSO, there will be a Thanksgiving Food Basket distribution for CHEC Drum_Dream_Girl_(12).jpegfamilies-in-need on Saturday, November 19th.  This annual event will take place at CHEC. The CHEC PTSO and Parental Involvement Coordinators will also sponsor and host an additional Thanksgiving Food Basket distribution for CHEC families on Tuesday, November 22nd.  The overall goal this year is to distribute 100 baskets.

On December 8th – The CHEC PTSO and Parental Involvement Center will host its annual International Dinner.  This event will offer the CHEC community cuisine from 30 different countries, feature music by the CHEC All Star Band, and celebrate the season of giving.



Clerks are on the rise at Cardozo Education Campus!   In October, we celebrated the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month with a fun-filled Latino Night with soccer, food, and friendship!  Clerks also showed their school spirit with Homecoming Week Activities - School Trivia, College Day, a Pep Rally, Dance, and so much more!  Our scholars engaged in the school-wide election process by voting for their Student Government Association Officers. These leaders will act as ambassadors and liaisons between the student body, community, and administration. 
During the month of November, we have a variety of ways to connect with us here at Cardozo.  We encourage our families to come out and continue the invaluable home-school partnership by attending our Parent-Teacher Conferences on Friday, November 4th.   On November 9, Cardozo will host Vertical Articulation Day in order to showcase the programs and offerings for potential incoming elementary students.  
Stay tuned for upcoming Open House tour dates as the Cardozo family looks forward to welcoming new Clerks Grades 6 -12 at our illustrious, newly renovated facility.OysterNov1-1.png

Oyster Adams

Oyster Adams Tigres celebrated Hispanic heritage month!  The student performances brought many teachers and parents to tears- they were so confident and so beautiful.  Also, the MS teachers launched school wide, multi grade level clubs last week.  From speaking to students, MS clubs were a huge reason why we finally broke into 90% of student satisfaction last year.  Our MS students broke into over 11 clubs this past Friday ranging from: knitting, yoga, meditation, basketball, cooking, board games, book clubs, Zumba, arts and crafts and much more! Middle schools thrive when there are both high expectations and student choice/student voice. 

Marie Reed

The Marie Reed community has had a strong start to the fall season.  During the month of October our students in the Story of Our Schools club have begun MRNov16.jpgresearching the history of Marie Reed ES in order to create a permanent museum-quality exhibit to be installed in our new building.  We are thrilled to have continued many partnerships that benefit our students with Sitar Center for the Arts, Everybody Wins! DC, and Washington International School, even while we are in transition in a temporary location.  In the next month, we will be creating a new vision for arts/music programming in the new Marie Reed.  Parent engagement sessions on this topic will be held November 17 at 5:30pm and November 18 at 9:00am. 

HD Cooke

HD Cooke will began an exciting new program - Enrichment Clusters! Enrichment clusters are one component of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model created by the gifted education researcher Joseph Renzulli.  HDCNov16-2.jpeg

All classrooms, and special area teachers as well as our Student Support Team members have selected an area of study that is interesting to them. We presented all the possible cluster choices to the students, and each student listed 3 topics that they were interested in studying in depth. Some of the cluster topics this semester include: baking and cooking, jewelry making, drama, magic, arts and crafts, healthy living, exploring animals and their habitats, computer science, soccer, dinosaurs, singing, dancing, writing, basketball, and much more! We took the students choices and placed them into groups of no larger than 15.  

At the end of the semester, students will have created an authentic product, service or performance for an authentic audience.  We will invite families in December to a cluster fair, where we will be able to celebrate our students’ successes and see what products, services, and performances they have created.


It is with great pleasure that I share with everyone the recent announcement from State Superintendent Hanseul Kang from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), congratulating Bancroft Elementary for earning the rating of a Rising Focus School. In addition to increasing the number of students that we moved into Proficiency and Advanced during the 2016 PARCC standardized state assessments in grades 3 - 5, we moved an exceptional number of students out of Far Below and have positioned them ready for success when the 2017 PARCC assessment rolls around.

I cannot begin to express how proud and thankful I am of the community of teachers, professionals, and parents that support our students every day. We could not have done this without them. I would also like to send out a personal appreciation to the PTO and the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) for supporting our vision, as ambitious and adventurous as it may sometimes seem. We grapple and we debate, but in the end they always stand by us. Thank you. With the teachers and professionals we have on our staff, I look forward to more celebrations this year and in the years to come. The future of Bancroft is looking bright thanks to them.

*I have included school news from those schools who have submitted information to me. I welcome updates!


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