D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Better Academic Instruction

Over the summer, more than 700 Friendship Public Charter School teachers from 12 campuses that serve grades pre-K to 12, learned from some of the city’s best academic instructors at Standards University.

Hosted by Friendship PCS’s Academic Department, the three-day conference provided teachers with a deep analysis of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and math.

Teachers also gained greater insight on how to align their instruction and innovative ideas with rigorous, college-ready standards for STEM, social studies, world languages, art, music, and physical education.

Jamisha Goes to College

In middle school, Jamisha Brown set her sights on North Carolina Central University and this fall, that dream has become a reality. Jamisha, a 2018 graduate of Anacostia High School in Southeast, will major in criminal justice with a minor in psychology.

During her time at Anacostia, Jamisha traveled through a DCPS study abroad trip to Barcelona and opportunities set up by her involvement in “Outward Bound.”

Jamisha encourages younger students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and apply to as many scholarships as possible to prepare themselves for post-secondary success. This advice has come in handy for Jamisha — as this summer, she was selected to receive a $20,000 scholarship from the David M. Rubenstein Economic Club of Washington, DC scholarship program.

Parent/Family Engagement Summit

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education presents the fifth annual “DC Parent and Family Engagement Summit” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest.

Information provided at the summit will engage, inform, and empower parents and families to effectively support the highest level of quality education for all the children in the District of Columbia. This year, parents will also have an opportunity to learn more about DC’s new school report cards, coming in December 2018.

PARCC Results

A DC State Board of Education-sponsored press conference held recently at the newly-modernized Bancroft Elementary School in Northwest, and which was attended by the school’s principal, Mayor Muriel Bowser and others, revealed statewide results for the 2017-18 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams.

Overall, the percentage of District students who are on track for the next grade level and to leave high school prepared for college and careers has increased since last year.

While the SBOE is encouraged by the increases in scores for almost all students, the organization remains concerned about the enormous gaps that remain between students of color and white students.

The District’s scores for high school math and students with disabilities are also of particular concern. Statewide, the proportion of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the PARCC has increased gradually in each of the past two years, and the District is up 5.5 points in English language arts/literacy and 4.8 points in math over 2014-15 levels.

New Facilities

Several DCPS buildings opened for the 2018-19 term with brand new classrooms and other facilities aimed at transforming learning environments and supporting high-quality instruction for thousands of students.

• Bruce-Monroe at Park-View (Ward 1) received a new cafeteria and kitchen that will accommodate more students, a new gymnasium, and exterior site improvements;

• Bancroft Elementary School (Ward 1) saw the complete modernization of its historic facility, with an addition that features updated classrooms and outdoor learning spaces;

• Murch Elementary School (Ward 3) was fully renovated with an addition. The building features unique collaborative learning spaces for students, new exterior play features, and an outdoor classroom;

• MacFarland Middle School (Ward 4) was transformed to meet 21st century learning needs. The dual-language middle school features updated classrooms, art spaces, and an inspiring library with state-of-the-art technology;

• Boone Elementary School (Ward 8) received a complete transformation. In addition to new classrooms, music, art, and library spaces, the building is now home to DCPS’ largest rooftop outdoor classroom.

Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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