Students at Ballou High School in Southeast celebrate their annual homecoming this weekend. (Courtesy of DCPS)

Ballou at Spingarn High School in Northeast, 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9.

Increased Graduation Rates

Cardozo Education Campus, Dunbar High School and H.D. Woodson High School have increased their graduation rates by at least 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the percentage of high school students who graduated from DC Public Schools in four years increased by six percent – from 58 percent to 64 percent – continuing four years of growth in graduation rates since 2011.

“The progress in graduation rates is another indicator that we are the fastest-improving school district in the nation,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “We are focused on preparing our students for future success in college and in their careers. Our graduation rates show that we are making real progress with students across the district.”

DCPS in Numbers

• 46,500 – The number of students committed to graduating from high school, prepared for college and work.

• 3,500 – The number of teachers determined to live up to our unparalleled role in ensuring the achievement of our students.

• 111- The number of schools and principals who demonstrate the vision to build positive school communities focused on academic achievement.

• 3,500 – The number of classroom aides, social workers, counselors, custodians and other support staff who understand that our students must be safe, healthy and supported in order to achieve at the highest possible levels.

• Countless – The number of parents and family members supporting our children and demanding a high-quality education for them.

Ellington Students at Youth Festival

Literary Media and Communications students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts participated in the Youth Media Rise Festival, which was held Oct. 2 at Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts.

The students, ages 13 to 18, spent the afternoon participating in an interactive workshop to promote youth civic leadership and media literacy.

The workshops were led by Hawah Kasat, who focused on a collaborative digital storytelling for peace and social good, and Ashley Simmons of Ghandi Brigade Youth Media in Silver Spring, Maryland, who discussed social media for social justice.

Henderson on State of Schools Address

“Thank you to all who attended our State of the Schools discussion [Sept. 30 at Dunbar High School] with News4 Anchor Jim Vance. [We also] thank Principal Zaki and Dunbar High School for hosting such a wonderful event

“DCPS is a school district on the rise. Earlier, while we announced that the percentage of DCPS high school students graduating in four years increased by six points, our truancy rates are declining and student satisfaction rates are rising. This is no coincidence.”

“Our goal is for students in DCPS to see opportunities for themselves and their futures and to be prepared to take advantage of those opportunities. It is because of committed and passionate supporters like you that DC Public Schools are on the rise.”

Charter Schools Respond to Duncan Resignation

Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, issued the following statement this week surrounding U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s decision to step down in December:

“Arne Duncan is the most consequential Education Secretary in our nation’s history. He has consistently and courageously stood for students, especially those least advantaged. He has been a true partner in our efforts to improve public education in Washington, D.C., and we’ll be forever indebted to his efforts,” said Scott.

“The great news is that President [Barack] Obama intends to nominate John King as Arne Duncan’s replacement. John is a hero of education reform. I know he will be equally dedicated to ensuring that all students receive quality education.”

New Charter Schools Get Funding Boost

State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang recently announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the District of Columbia a $20 million Charter Schools grant to support the successful launch and creation of high-quality charter schools in the District.

The five-year, $20,167,800 grant will enable the Office of the State Superintendent of Education

to continue providing three years of start-up funding to new charter schools approved by the Public Charter School Board, and to run a competitive dissemination project grant to enable charter schools to develop and share best practices across the District.

“This funding will help OSSE continue its collaborative efforts with the District’s Public Charter School Board to ensure that new charter schools have the resources to get off to a strong start and actively support programs that help our students succeed,” Kang said in a news release.

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