I can imagine that reading the latest newspaper articles on DC school administration may be leading some of you to lose faith in our improving education system. Resignations, undetected residency fraud and misallocated funding for our neediest students have topped the Post's headlines over the past couple of months. We have new District education leadership in Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander and Interim Deputy Mayor for Education Ahnna Smith, and the mayor announced she will launch a search for a new chancellor after the June primaries.
Amidst these rough patches, I find inspiration in the amazing teacher and principal leadership our city has attracted. The updates below reveal their steadfast focus on making their schools the best environments possible for students. Marie Reed students are entering cooking competitions (see left photo); Columbia Heights Education Campus and Cardozo students are winning full-rides into competitive 4-year colleges (see right photo). Our educators are plowing forward in this difficult environment, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them, and I hope you will, too! Ward 1 school leaders are doing amazing work for our kids.
Your state agencies - the DC State Board of Education and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) - also remain steadfast in our focus on serving the needs of DC students and families. There is a renewed focus on tackling residency fraud to ensure DC education dollars are spent on DC residents. The State Board is wrapping up its work on recommended changes to high school graduation requirements, and OSSE is finalizing its work on designing the look and feel of the new school-level report cards that will go into effect next school year, allowing information about all DC schools to be shared more transparently and clearly.
Please click on the links below to learn more about all of these topics, and, as always, please feel free send me a note at email@example.com with your thoughts. Of note, this newsletter will be among my last as my term comes to an end, and I will not be seeking re-election. I encourage you to attend candidate forums as the Ward 1 State Board race picks up over the summer and into the fall.
Bancroft Spring Fair
Join your community for music, food and fun for the whole family at Bancroft Elementary's Annual Spring Fair, Saturday, May 5, 11-2:30 pm in the parking lot of our Sharpe location: 4300 11th St NW!!
State Board News
School Report Card Update
- Take our online survey on report card layout by May 4. You can find the survey here: bit.ly/reportcarddesignsurvey
- Share the online survey with your community! We want to hear from as many parents and families in DC as possible, so please help us spread the word.
- Host a conversation about the design of the report card? OSSE has developed two toolkits that give you everything you need to prepare for, promote, and host your own community session. There are two toolkits – one for computer-based sessions, and one for sessions with just pen and paper. You can find them here: https://osse.dc.gov/designdcsreportcard
Cross-Sector Task Force
The Deputy Mayor for Education is also seeking public comment on the Draft Recommendations of the DC Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force. The Task Force was charged with developing a report for the Mayor with clear and fair recommendations on how to improve the coherence of public education in DC for parents and increase the collaboration across and among public schools; this initiative aims to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and student outcomes.
High School Graduation Task Force
The SBOE High School Graduation Requirements Task Force will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 1114 at 441 4th Street NW. During this meeting, task force members will come to consensus on proposed changes to the high school graduation requirements for the District. These recommendations will be introduced to the State Board of Education later next month.
Our meetings are open to the public, and you can view previous meetings on our Facebook page here. Full minutes and information about the task force are published here. We anticipate having a report to share with the full State Board by the end of April. Public comments are welcome by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out an online form here.
News from your Schools*
Marie Reed students have been busy indeed! Last month, six of our students represented Marie Reed at the city-wide Battle of the Books where they answered trivia-style questions about a number of books they read. Our Marie Reed Masterminds competed in the annual DCPS Math Bowl and wowed the crowd with their math skills. And fourth grade student Gabriela B. won FIRST PLACE in the Sodexo Junior Chef Challenge with her original recipe for a “healthy Asian” dish. Our students also took a stand against gun violence on March 14 by participating in the National School Walkout, marching around our soccer field with statements against violence in schools. We invite all new families matched to Marie Reed through the lottery to come and enroll in our loving, inclusive school. We look forward to serving you and your children!
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC)
- Monthly Family Nights, including our Black History Month Celebration, STEM Night, and International Night, featuring food and dress from our families’ diverse cultures (see photo)
- More than 650,000 minutes of reading on our way to A Million Minutes by May!
- Acceptance into DCPS’ selective School Design Lab, which will help us design the Garrison of the future!
- Our third-fifth graders knocking it out on PARCC testing this month!
- Welcoming interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander for a community engagement forum in mid-May (stay tuned to our website and Twitter for exact date)
- Completing our enrollment of all students for next year in May
We will be re-opening our garden space at Cleveland, which has been a vision of Principal Krughoff since she came to Cleveland. Our garden re-launch will happen on Saturday April 21st from 10-1pm, where we plan on cleaning, and beginning to plant lots of wonderful new plants! Our dream is to have the kids work with our science teacher to take care of the garden all year long. Kudos to a few stellar parents for working with my vision and re-opening this wonderful space for the Cleveland community.
*I have included news from schools who submitted information to me. All Ward 1 DCPS schools are invited to submit information.