Spring 2018

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. 

MR_chef.pngAmidst 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 CHEC_student_scholarship.pngshared 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 laura.wilson.phelan@dc.gov 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.



Community News

Ward 1 Education Collaborative
The Ward 1 Education Collaborative Happy Hour is coming up!! Share in some great conversations and meet other parents who share the same passion for their schools, kids, and community.
WHEN: Sunday, April 29th, 1:00-3:00 pm
WHERE: Letena Restaurant, 3100 14th St NW (Park Road side of DCUSA parking)
Follow them on Twitter for more information and updates: @ward1EdCollab

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

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is building a new report card website to share information about public schools in the District, both DCPS and charter schools.
school_rept_card_flyer.pngOSSE has finalized what information will be included on the report card and is asking for feedback on the design of the report card, including the layout, organization of information, and clarity. Information about the report can be found at https://osse.dc.gov/designdcsreportcard.
OSSE would appreciate your help and input. There are a few ways you can give your feedback:
  • 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
Our goal is to create a report card tool that is helpful and easy-to-use for parents, and we can’t do it without community feedback. If you have questions about the report card or need assistance in hosting your own feedback session, please contact builddcsreportcard.osse@dc.gov.

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.Screen_Shot_2018-04-22_at_4.09.49_PM.png 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 sboe@dc.gov or by filling out an online form here

News from your Schools*


Clerks are on the move at Cardozo Education Campus!   During the month of March, Cardozo students advocated against gun violence during the March for our  Lives rally - lending  their voices to the national debate.   We also hosted our Science Fair.  Students truly demonstrated inquiry, creativity, and diligent work!  
Cardozo students continue to apply for college and enjoy numerous tours to numerous post-secondary institutions.  We celebrate our students' successes.  For example, Alejandra is a recipient of George Washington University's prestigious Trachtenberg full scholarship award! Also, Munisa was accepted to Princeton and Brown Universities!
We invite you to join us for Cardozo Enrollment Night on April 26 from 5 pm - 7 pm in our school's auditorium!  We look forward to welcoming new students to our school family for the 2018-2019 school year!  


Bancroft.jpegBancroft art teachers will work with the school’s 545 students to create an artistic mural that will cover 150 feet of interior wall. The mural images will communicate a story about the relationship between Bancroft Elementary, its community, and the surrounding natural environment. Its purpose is to strengthen the school’s sense of community, responsibility, and pride. It will help to define the school’s values for years to come".

Marie Reed

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 MR_protest.pnganswered 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!  

HD Cooke

Cooke.jpgEnrollment Season! Enrollment for next school year has begun. Make sure that you come register and bring in your proof of address. If you have any questions about documentation, please stop by the main office and speak with Ms. Emma. You will receive an enrollment gift upon being fully enrolled and entered to win a raffle item. Be on the lookout for enrollment event on April 28. For more information visit the enrollment website: https://enrolldcps.dc.gov.​
Photo caption: Prek visits our neighborhood Harris Teeter to learn about Markets!

Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC)Prof._Barbara_Harman_visits_CHEC_-_Teaches_AP_Lit_Class.jpg

The Columbia Heights Educational Campus is entering testing season for PARCC and Advanced Placement – throughout the end of April and May.  CHEC is also in a registration drive for enrollment –look for our enrollment campaign signs on buses and in Metro stations.


The Garrison Wildcats have been busy in 2018!  Highlights include:
  • 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!
Garrison.jpegIn the final quarter of the school year, we’re looking forward to:
  • 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
Please visit our website at www.garrisonelementary.org and follow Principal Kip on Twitter @PrincipalKipGES to learn more about the great things happening at Garrison!


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.

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