Courtesy of Excel Academy Public School for Girls
Courtesy of Excel Academy Public School for Girls

DCPS’s decision earlier this year to take over the Excel Academy Public School for Girls in Southeast hopefully turns out to be a good one. The school, which reopened this week, previously had its license revoked due to poor performance.

During a kickoff rally Monday, school leaders said they will hold students to high academic expectations by working hard to help defy negative stereotypes of what Excel’s students are and what they will become.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, who attended the rally, added that the school will also offer strong mentoring programs to help students grow up to become “productive competitors in the 21st century.”

Children’s Guild PCS Success

After learning how to overcome feelings of frustrations and bouts of impulsive behavior that led to an inability to build relationships with students and school staff, Trevin Backus can now walk away and find someone to talk to.

Trevin, a standout student at The Children’s Guild Public Charter School in Northeast, credits the addition of social workers who helped him find coping strategies to effectively self-regulate and formulate bonds.

He also began to visit the Langdon Park Recreation Center, through the school’s community partnership, and participate in its after-school programs. Trevin’s drive and focus to work on himself was evident throughout his final school year, where he went from impulsivity to reflection and self-regulation. As an older sibling and rising freshman at the Ron Brown Academy, Trevin now wants to make his family proud. After high school, he would like to attend college and major in sports medicine and management.

Extended Learning Time at 13 Schools

Aug. 13 marked the first day of school for more than 4,000 DCPS students on the extended-year calendar.

Students at extended-year schools benefit from additional classroom learning time in all subjects — from math and English language arts, to world languages and music. Aimed at eliminating summer learning loss, the extended-year calendar offers extra support for the students who need it most.

“At DCPS, we are committed to putting our students’ needs first in everything we do, and I am proud that for the third consecutive year, students at 13 of our schools will have more time for academic and social emotional learning through our extended-year calendar,” said Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander. “Mayor [Muriel] Bowser invested in extended year to combat summer learning loss and give students more time to learn and explore. I have experienced firsthand how our incredible educators keep students engaged in innovative lessons, enrichment activities, and real-world learning experiences during their additional time in the classroom.”

The 13 schools on the extended-year calendar in School Year 2018-19 are:

• Garfield Elementary School (Ward 8)
• H.D. Cooke Elementary School (Ward 1)
• Hart Middle School (Ward 8)
• Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
• Johnson Middle School (Ward 8)
• Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7)
• King Elementary School (Ward 8)
• Luke C. Moore High School (Ward 5)
• Randle Highlands Elementary School (Ward 7)
• Raymond Education Campus (Ward 4)
• Roosevelt STAY High School (Ward 4)
• Thomas Elementary School (Ward 7)
• Turner Elementary School (Ward 8)

Report Card Design

A task force meeting earlier this summer opened with a presentation from the Office of the State Superintendent on the state report card design and the ongoing efforts in support of measuring and improving measures of school climate and access to opportunity.

OSSE is partnering with five community-based organizations to conduct feedback sessions. The report card is an important part of DC’s responsibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and will debut in December 2018.
The Task Force reconvenes Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Men of Color in Education Town Hall

The Cassandra S. Pinkney Foundation co-hosted a town hall a few months ago with Eagle Academy PCS and DC PCSB regarding the low percentage of “Men of Color in K-12 Education.”

Men of color account for less than 7 percent of the teaching population in the United States, while students of color are projected to make up 54 percent of the population by 2024.

Teachers of color serve as “mirrors” in the classroom where students can see themselves as educational leaders, instead of “windows” where they are being taught through a cultural lens that is foreign to that of their own.

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