So much has happened since the last newsletter! To begin, many of our Ward 1 schools were recognized for excellence at the District’s Standing Ovation Awards last month. Congratulations to:
- Anita Berger, Principal of the Year, Banneker
- Art Mola and the Bancroft team, Excellence by an Academic Leadership Team
- Katie Larkin, Highly Effective Principal, HD Cooke
- Bruce Jackson, Highly Effective Assistant Principal, Cardozo
- Anna Krughoff, Highly Effective Assistant Principal, Marie Reed
- Bobbie Verdegaal, New Teacher of the Year, Cardozo
- Sandra Gutierrez, Highly Effective School Staff, Oyster-Adams
- Imelda Lopez-Diaz, Highly Effective School Staff, Bancroft
Those recognized are selected from amongst their peers across the entire District, and the awards ceremony is held at the Kennedy Center. This is a tremendous honor! Congratulations!
The State Board spent the last few months soliciting feedback from residents about the new school accountability framework. I personally led conversations with parents and school personnel from nearly all of our elementary schools. The result was the passage of a new framework for assessing school performance that will begin in school year 2017-18, with the first results to be shared in the fall of 2018. Please find more information below about the details and my vote on this important issue.
The work of sharing information about our schools with the community continues with the launch of discussions related to school report cards. These are different from the accountability framework in that they don't count as part of the official state rating system, but they include very information that many of you have expressed interest in knowing about your schools. Report cards could include whether the school is dual language, what types of extracurricular activities are offered and teacher retention rates. The State Board, together with several partner organizations, will begin a range of community input opportunities. I’ll be sure to share these out as soon as the timeline is developed.
It’s hard to believe that this school year is nearly over! Happy Spring Break to all!
Meet Chancellor Wilson in Ward 1!
Throughout March and April, the new DCPS Chancellor, Antwan Wilson, is hosting engagement sessions in every Ward to gather feedback to inform a new strategic plan for DCPS over the next 5 years. Ward 1's session will take place on: Thursday, April 13th at Columbia
Education Campus (3101 16th St NW) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Heights
Mayor Bowser announced her Fiscal Year 2018 Budget last week (press release; direct link). While the budget represents the city’s largest investment in public education – over $1.58 billion for DC’s public schools – it includes just a 1.5% increase in the amount spent per student. In a time of record surpluses, we hoped for a greater increase and have heard from schools across the city about cuts and tough funding decisions.
Make Your Voice Heard!
Please bring your questions and concerns about the FY18 Budget to the City Council. A full list of Education Budget Hearings can be found here: http://www.davidgrosso.org/education-committee/
As you are probably aware, DC's annual standardized testing season is upon us. If you want to help your child perform his/her best, you may be interested in this PARCC Parent Resources page: http://www.parcconline.org/resources/parent-resources. The PARCC resource page also has sample test questions if you or your child wants to get a sense of the types of questions on the test.
State Board News
SBOE Approves Final School Accountability Plan
On March 22, 2017, the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) voted to approve a new accountability system for the District of Columbia. For the first time, this system will apply to all schools in the District – traditional and charter – enabling families to compare schools on a variety of measures including student growth and academic achievement. The state plan, drafted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), gives the District more flexibility in advancing educational excellence and provides assistance to schools so that each student has the opportunity for success.
The Board will continue to work with OSSE to implement the plan and develop additional metrics related to a well-rounded education, high school growth, and school climate. The State Board remains committed to including these metrics as part of the state plan as soon as possible. You may read my comments prior to our vote here by clicking on item VII on the page.
Next Up: School Report Cards
The next step in school accountability is the development of a comprehensive school report card – the detailed information about each of our schools’ programs. In the coming months, the Board will release to the public a plan of action that will provide a clear and transparent process of engagement on the elements we, as a city, want to see in our report cards. The Board is committed to approving a report card that ensures that parents no longer have to search for essential information across multiple websites and that they provide comprehensive information about each school. The Board will also work with the Mayor and Council to ensure that these report cards are accessible and translated into all of the languages required by the Language Access Act.
Calling all High School Students!
Want to join @DCSBOE as a student representative next year?
The application period for Student Representatives to the DC State Board of Education will open soon. Applications will be posted online and distributed to school principals, State Board social networks, community organizations, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Check the SBOE website for details.
Does Your Child Struggle in School?
The Office of the Ombudsman helps parents and students who have questions, concerns, and complaints about the DC public schools and DC public charter schools. The Ombudsman is independent and impartial in its approach to solving problems, listening to all parties involved and making recommendations based on the student’s best interests. The Ombudsman helps families solve problems their children are facing in areas that include special education, discipline, school environment, academic progress, and enrollment.
The Office can coach, mediate, or participate in a school meeting with you. They can be reached at 202-741-0886 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have Public Education Questions?
The Office of the Student Advocate supports families in navigating the DC public school system, both DC Public Schools and public charter schools. The Office operates a Request for Assistance line LIVE Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5:30 pm as a “311” system for public education. Call them at (202) 741-4692 for resources, referrals, and one-on-one coaching on a variety of public education issues. Also visit us online at https://studentadvocate.dc.gov for additional resources and toolkits, such as our Online Education & Community Resource Guide!
New Physical Education Standards
During the March Public Meeting, the State Board voted to approve the proposed recommendation from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education on updating District-wide physical education standards. These academic standards will cover all students from pre-kindergarten through high school age. Physical education standards were last approved in 2008.
News from your schools!*
Columbia Heights Educational Campus
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) is pleased to announce three new extraordinary developments that best illuminate the promise and resilience of our students and the impact of CHEC's instructional program.
Seniors Lorrin Davis and Ana Lopez (left) each won the highly-coveted Steven Trachtenberg scholarship, a full ride scholarship to George Washington University. Seniors Elleny Ayano and Paris Young were awarded full ride scholarships to Washington College in Chestertown, MD, and Sierra Queen is bound for the Ivy League with her offer from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Also, three CHEC students, Brandon Andrews, Valerie Figaro, and Juan Lovos have been awarded full ride POSSE Scholarships.
We salute these students for their embodiment of pride, poise of perseverance; each of them worked relentlessly, and are truly deserving of the life changing awards.
Cleveland Elementary School held its annual Science Fair the week of March 13-17, 2017. The students did a great job on their projects! The judges were most impressed. Third grader, Gavin Leonard, won first place overall for his “Think Fast” project.
Marie Reed has had a lot to celebrate over the past month! Our boys’ basketball team, which had previously never gone to the tournament, won the West-side Championship Title and taking 2nd place in the City-wide Tournament! Overall, their record was 11 wins and 1 loss. We are so proud of our panthers for their tenacity and teamwork! Also, last month our Math Masterminds team of 3rd-5th grade panthers took 4th place in the city-wide Math Bowl at LaSalle-Backus EC. Our student “mathletes” dominated with their math skills and leveraged team members’ individual strengths to make such a strong showing. Watch out DCPS, we’re coming for 1st place next year!!
Enrollment season begins for the 2017-18 school year! We are excited to begin re-enrolling current students and welcome new students who were matched through the My School DC Lottery. We will be here ready to enroll 9 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.
Intersession starts April 11-14. Students in grades 3-5 are all invited to participate.
Clerks are on the rise at Cardozo Education Campus! During the month of March, we celebrated International Women's Month by hosting a Women in Leadership Panel and a Women's Tea with our new Chancellor Antwan Wilson and surprise guest - Michelle Obama! In order to support our parent scholars, we also opened our Centronia on-site Child Care Center and hosted numerous guests for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
During the month of April, we have a variety of ways to connect with us here at Cardozo. Join us for our Open House Tour on Thursday, April 6th from 5:00 pm -7:30 pm as the Cardozo family looks forward to welcoming new Clerks Grades 6 -12 at our illustrious, newly renovated facility. Also, students will have Spring Break from April 10 – 14, and students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of community service projects on campus with our City Year partners.
Oyster-Adams has a partnership with Carlos Rosario School and we are currently offering free English classes to our families. We have about 10 parents (and grandparents!) participating in the classes that meet 3 mornings per week at the Oyster Campus. Participants received an iPad to do homework for the class and they have been encouraged to load apps like Raz-kids and i-Ready on the iPads to support students’ learning at home. Principal Canizales worked directly with the leadership at Carlos Rosario to bring this wonderful program to our school.
The OA elementary school girls’ basketball team finished in second place in the DCPS City Championship. Congratulations, Tigers, on an incredible basketball season (picture attached)!
We also want to congratulate our brilliant Instructional Coach, Sandra Gutierrez, who won the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Supporting Staff for DC Public Schools. We are so proud of Srta. Gutierrez and the great work she does with our instructors each day to help support the academic success of our students. You rock, Sandra!
Great work Tubman Artists-Laylis, Alecia, Nathalia, Angeline and Lesli created this Revolutionary War themed art work with the help of Ms. Daley. This fabulous art work will be on display at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site from May 1st - August 31st! Tubman also wants to recognize our Playwrights, Taya Gant and Maruice Roberts who wrote one act plays with Young Playwright’s Theater. Taya will have her play performed May 1st at the Gala Hispanic Theater and both she and Maurice will have their plays published. Tubman Toads are proud at work!
Bancroft Elementary has a new website! ¡Bancroft tiene una nueva pagina de internet! http://www.bancroftelementary.org/
On Monday, March 13, 2017, Bancroft's Academic Leadership Team was honored for its commitment to excellence and its students. DC Ed Fund proudly hosted Standing Ovation to celebrate and reward the men and women of DC Public Schools for their innovation, service, and excellence. A distinguished DC tradition, this star-studded awards show brings together business, civic, and philanthropic leaders to applaud DCPS’ progress. Please click here to see a video of the Bancroft Academic Leadership Team in action.
*I have included school news from those schools who have submitted information to me. I welcome updates!