More than the sum of our parts

Did you catch them? All seven amazing Ward 1 DCPS elementary school principals took time from their busy days to share their vision and hopes for their schools as part of the Meet the Principal video series. This effort is part of my commitment to keep everyone informed about our schools and to invite your involvement. Our principals want the wider community to know more about thPrincipals.JPGem and their schools. They want our collective support.  

 

There are so many ways we can support our schools. Parent leaders and I met in February to discuss the possibility of joining efforts in a big Ward 1 fundraiser for our schools. What do you think? Would you be willing to help? Should 
parent_photo.jpgthe idea move forward, we will need support in many types of roles. Do you have other ideas about how we could join forces to create more than the sum of our parts? I would love your ideas! Please email me at laura.wilson.phelan@dc.gov. 

I welcome your feedback on the videos and other information you would like to know about our schools. To further my communication with you, please like my Facebook page! 


Adelante!
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State Board News

High school credit flexibility

On March 16, the State Board will vote on revised regulations regarding ways that high school students may earn graduation credit. The regulations provide a pathway for schools to apply for approval to create "competency-based" courses, which would require that students demonstrate thorough understanding of key academic standards before moving on to new content in a course. The intent behind these changes is to allow students to progress through academic material and receive credit for what they can demonstrate they know instead of awarding credit based on class attendance and a score of 60 percent or higher. This approach would open opportunities to earn credit for learning beyond the four walls classroom and meet the diverse learning styles of our students. I chaired the city-wide task force that explored this issue and came up with proposals for the Office of the State Superintendent's consideration. The State Board approved and sent forward the task force's recommendations in November. The official regulations were posted for public comment in January. The Board will review the final version of the regulations at tonight's meeting (3/2) at 4:30 pm in preparation for the vote on the 16th. Both meetings are open to the public and will be held at 441 4th St NW, Judiciary Square. 

If you would like to share your thoughts about the regulations, feel free to email me. I'll also be at ANC 1B's meeting on Thursday night, March 3, at 6:30 pm at the Reeves Center (14th and U St NW) to hear comments from commissioners. 

DCPS budget process

DC Public School is nearing the end of its budgeting process. Principals have until March 7 to submit their budgets and any appeals. DCPS will submit its final budget to the mayor on March 18.  The mayor will adjust the budget thereafter and submit it as part of the budget that she submits to the City Council. From there, it goes to the City Council as part of the Mayor's budget, where there will be hearings, negotiation, and eventually the adoption of a final budget. See timeline here.


Community Opportunities

Volunteer

Bancroft is looking for volunteers to help with after school tutoring through Reading Partners. The program is open to anyone age 14 and up. By becoming a reading partner and volunteering as little as one hour a week, you can help a child learn to read. Bancroft provides an easy-to-use curriculum and on-site staff support to enable volunteers to be effective tutors. Session times are currently Monday-Thursday at 3:40-4:25 pm, 4:30-5:15, and 5:20-6:05 pm. To get involved or to request more information, please contact volunteerDC@readingpartners.org, or fill out the form at: http://readingpartners.org/location/washington-dc/, and request Bancroft as your location when you are contacted.

Bancroft is also in search of two volunteers who would love to lead a class of energetic Lego builders. There are two separate classes, a beginner's class that meets for 8 consecutive Tuesdays from April 21 thru May 30, and an advanced group that meets on Wednesdays from April 22 thru June 1. A person can volunteer to lead or support both classes, or just one. The class meets from 3:45 - 4:45, and students range from 1st thru 3rd grades. Curriculum and lessons are provided. You just present a short task that the students must accomplish, and they do the rest. It is a lot of fun! Click here to view the flyer.

Theater for kids!

GALita, a program for children, is pleased to present El mundo es un pañuelo (The World is a Handkerchief) by the late celebrated Chilean writer Jorge Díaz, with music by Vittorio Cintolesi. This bilingual adaptation will be presented from March 7 through March 19 at the GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010, one block from the Columbia Heights Metro station on the Green and Yellow lines. Parking is available behind the theater at the Giant Food garage on Park Road. Student matinees are at 10:30 am The duration of the show is approximately 60 minutes and the content is appropriate for the entire family, but in particular for ages 5 through 12.  A study guide is available for teachers and students.

News from your Schools!*

Bancroft

Bancroft will be hosting its first World Fair on Wednesday, March 9th, inside the school gymnasium from 9:30am to 2:00pm, sponsored by volunteer college students from around the globe attending the University of Central Florida. Students will receive a mock passport and visit several booths depicting embassies and learn important information about countries from all over the world. It should be a very educational and fun experience for all of our global learners. Click here for more information

Bancroft has decided to use the Sharpe Health building as the swing space for Bancroft Elementary School for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years while the school building is modernized. Click here to learn more! (En EspañolClick here for the floor plan

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Marie Reed

Marie Reed celebrated Black History Month with informational and inspirational performances from all students.

Our annual International Night will take place on Friday, March 11 from 4:00-6:00pm.  Prospective students and families are welcome!

Career Day will take place on Friday, March 25 from 9:00am-12:00pm.  If you are interested in coming and sharing your profession with Marie Reed’s students, please reach out to our School Counselor at emily.sacher@dc.gov.

Tubman

Tubman has another winner in the Young Playwright's Theater contest!! Martina Mendoza will have her play, which was selected from over 1000 plays, performed at YPT's 2016 New Play Festival in April. We are so proud of Martina who know has her first published piece!

Tubman is also participating in UNICEF's Kid Power program. Our students are joining students in 13 cities across the country in getting active to save lives. The more our students move, the more points they earn to unlock therapeutic food packets for children around the world.  Tubman was selected to host the celebration for DC recognizing the 3300 DC area students who joined the UNICEF Kid Power team accepting the challenge to get moving to save lives! We are proud partner and if you see any Tubman Toads out and about with our blue arm bands-encourage us to keep moving!

Oyster Adams

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Oyster Adams Math Counts team came in 5th place overall at the Math Counts chapter (citywide) competition! There were either 12 or 13 teams at the math meet yesterday. They were the top performing public district or charter school in the DMV area.

The Oyster Adams MS Swim team is now the city champions with their defeat over Stuart Hobson MS and Brightwood EC!  They are a small but mighty team and only in their second year, but they have a strong coach- Mr. Muldoon- and the will to succeed! They travel every practice to use the Marie H. Reed facilities and for most of them, it was their very first experience on a swimming team.

The Oyster Adams middle school debate team just had their first tournament! It was an all day affair (8AM-5PM) with 4 rounds of debate. We had two teams debating for the very first time, including Memo A., Blanca M., Georgie W., and Oliva C.. Our teams received so much positive feedback from all their judges. They debated with maturity, intelligence and professionalism against mostly high school opponents. On top of that, Memo and Blanca even won one of their rounds! We walked away with a trophy for 6th place, and we are so excited to continue debating!! ​

H.D. Cooke

To give our students the opportunity to excel in core subjects like reading and math, and to explore a wide range of interests including art, music, PE, advanced courses, library, and foreign language, we are excited to announce that for the 2016-2017 school year, H.D. Cooke Elementary School will move to an extended-year calendar! This change will allow for more learning and enrichment time IMG_0357.jpgfor our students and help eliminate summer learning loss. By extending the school year, students will get the equivalent of an extra year of learning by the 8th grade. Specifically, an extended-year calendar will have 20 additional schools days (200 total), two weeks of intercession for students that need additional support, and breaks in October and June to accompany the normal winter and spring breaks. We are very excited to embark on this new adventure and feel confident that our students will gain so much more knowledge. 

Upcoming events: 

March 21 — Principal’s Coffee — 8:45 am, Library

March 21-25 — HD Cooke Book Fair

Photo: HD Cooke Celebrated Black History Month with a fantastic program!



Middle School Opportunities 

Howard University Middle School of Math and Science is looking for neighborhood families to learn about their school! Our school is committed to academic excellence, and offers a foundation in all subjects, with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Located on the campus of Howard University, the school's address is 405 Howard Place, N.W,. right off Georgia Avenue and across from Benjamin Banneker High School. See their website and reach out to Gloria Mobley (gmobley@hu-ms2.org) with questions and interest.

Creative Minds Public Charter School is opening a middle school to be launched for the 2016-17 school year. The CMI Middle School continues the school's mission of providing students with the foundational skills required for successful participation in a global society. This is achieved through hands-on, interactive projects that spark curiosity, encourage teamwork, and make connections to real-world issues. Some of the ways that these goals will be achieved in our Middle School include: an international curriculum (the International Middle Years Curriculum, or IMYC); arts education and arts integration; global language instruction in Spanish and Mandarin; STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and technology), and wellness/mindfulness activities such as daily yoga. Please see the school's website for additional information.



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


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