I'm pleased to share that the collaborative effort to raise funds for Ward 1 schools is progressing! We've had three meetings
now with parent and principal representatives from Ward 1 elementary schools. We are formalizing plans for our structure and priorities. If you haven't gotten involved yet and would like to, please attend our next meeting at El Tamarindo (1785 Florida Ave NW) at 7:30 this Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 pm.
I'm also embarking on a new effort to diversify and balance the parent voices that influence our education policy and discussions across the city. If this topic interests you, please reach out! I would welcome your thoughts and partnership as I build a plan and implement ideas. See below for additional updates on the State Board's work.
PS - 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. Be inspired, and watch them all!
It's budget season, and the initial allocations for each school have been released. There are many resources available to understand both your school's budget and the budgeting process in general. Please see the Coalition for DC Schools' blog for an analysis of this year's budget, as well as at data tool to compare and review exact allocations per school. Finally, to understand the overall process itself, DCPS provides this budget guide.
State Board News
Passed! High School Credit Flexibility
I'm pleased to share that in mid-March, the State Board passed a new way for students to earn high school credit. Per prior posts, I chaired the city-wide task force that explored pathways to high school credit and came up with proposals for the Office of the State Superintendent's consideration. 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.
Passed! Revised Health Standards
One key role of the State Board is to advise and approve the standards that govern the content of what each student is expected to learn across all subjects and grades. For the past two years, the State Board has undergone a review of our health standards in order to modernize and update them since they were last approved in 2007. The Board held meetings in February and March to hear from the public regarding the standards. You may find the final version of the standards here.
New! Review of all DC graduation requirements
The State Board heard from a panel of experts on graduation requirements at its last public meeting as the Board launches an effort to review all of the graduation requirements for DC students. The Board is just beginning this effort, and there will be plenty of opportunity to weigh in. If this topic interests you, please reach out to me so that I can be sure to include you in discussions.
New! Diversifying, augmenting and balancing parent voice
As noted above, I am launching a new effort to diversify, augment and balance parent voice in education discussions and decisions across the city. I am looking at changing the way meetings are held, their location and the types communications used, among other topics. I would welcome your thoughts on this topic! Stay tuned for more as this plan evolves and takes shape.
News from your Schools!*
Last week the spring semester of the After School Bancroft Builders Lego Club got underway, and once again the first class was a hit! Students in 1st and 2nd grades were building skyscrapers and putting them to the test against the fierce hurricanes of the Florida coast (a really big fan). Every Tuesday and Wednesday for 8 weeks students will meet to take on different engineering challenges such as building bridges to cross wide rivers, and castles designed to protect kings and queens from danger.
Great things are always happening at Bancroft!
La semana pasada comenzó el curso primaveral de Bancroft Builders Club de Lego que se reúne después de la escuela, y fue un ¡gran éxito! Estudiantes de los 1º y 2º grados construyen rascacielos y probándolos contra los huracanes furiosos de la costa de la Florida (un ventilador bien grande). Cada martes y miércoles estudiantes se reunirán para enfrentar desafíos de ingeniería como construir puentes para cruzar ríos anchos, y castillos para proteger el rey y la reina contra peligros.
¡Siempre hay algo maravilloso sucediendo en Bancroft!
At Marie Reed this month, the PTA hosted a very successful Movie Night! Approximately 150 people came out to see Big Hero Six, and we raised close to $1500, which will go towards appreciating teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. We want to thank all our Adams Morgan partners for making it a success. Pizza Boli, Pizza Mart, Pete’s Pizza, and Paoli’s donated pizza to be sold as concessions. Plus, thank you to the other business that donated prizes for our raffle, including La Fourchette, Bourbon, Cosmo Nail Bar, Joy’s Hair Salon, Tryst, The Diner, Songbird, Philz Coffee, Julie James, Urban Sitter, and Washington Sports Club!
Please mark your calendars for the evening of June 10 when we will have a Marie Reed community potluck and BBQ to honor past students, teachers, and staff of Marie Reed as we prepare to close the building for renovations during the 2016-2017 school year.
Tubman was part of the excellent UNICEF celebration for Washington DC. Students in DC, including Tubman contributed over 300,000 packets of food to families in need. We celebrated with Slapshot and Spot, the Target Dog!
Tubman students also planted the White House Garden with First Lady Michelle Obama on April 5. Tubman is honored to have partnered with the White House Garden since 2009 and hopes the beautiful garden will continue with the next administration.
Tubman also had two teachers accepted into the rigorous City Bridge Fellowship where they will continue to push their own learning to be the best teachers for our students-great work Ms. Doss and Ms. Spangler.
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC)
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) is pleased to announce two new extraordinary developments that best illuminate the promise and resilience of our students and the impact of instructional program at CHEC. Christmas came early this year for four standout students:
Edwin Ordonez, who made the front page of The Washington Post in a moving April 11, 2016, feature article has been offered full ride scholarships to Princeton University and Emory University.
Not to be outdone, Carlos Lopez Sanchez, Lisa Le, and MD Ahammed, each won the highly coveted Steven Trachtenberg scholarship, a full ride scholarship to George Washington University. Edwin is CHEC’s first Ivy League bound student. The Trachtenberg scholarship has also never been awarded to three separate students from the same school in the same school year. 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.
This is CHEC, where every student receives our very best!
We would like to welcome our new Pre-K 3 & Pre-K 4 families!
We are happy to help families enroll, so please bring all your documents!
Our 5th graders went on an adventure to Camp Fraser for 2 fun nights! They explored the great outdoors and learned about environment, watersheds. They participated in many team building activities to learn how to problem solve as a group.
Bruce-Monroe at Park View
Ms. Emily Thulier, 5th grade teacher at Bruce-Monroe ES at Park View, was chosen as the DCPS nominee for the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year Award. Emily, an 8-year veteran, began her career teaching as a special education teacher at BMPV, but currently teachers English language arts in the dual-language program. She has been recognized as a highly-effective expert teacher through the IMPACT evaluation system and has been featured on the DCPS training series for teachers called Reality PD. Emily’s serves as her grade level team lead and the chairperson for the Local School Advisory Team. Emily graduated from the University of Louisville with bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology. She received her master’s from George Washington University in Education and Human Development, after joining DC Teaching Fellows in 2008. BMPV is proud to have one of our own teachers chosen by DCPS as their candidate for this prestigious award. Read more about this award and the 2016 recipient.
*I have included school news from those schools who have submitted information to me. I welcome updates!