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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Chancellor Confirmed

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s choice for schools chief has been confirmed by the D.C. Council.

Antwan Wilson, who formerly led the public school system in Oakland, California, was selected in November for his new post as chancellor of D.C. Public Schools.

After being unanimously confirmed Dec. 20, Wilson will take the reins Feb. 1.

“Wilson is a lifelong educator, and I am confident that he has the experience, expertise and character to lead our schools,” Bowser said in a November statement announcing the nomination. “Our school communities are stronger than they have ever been, and I know that together we will be able to work with Wilson to make progress in closing the District’s opportunity gap, while continuing to expand opportunities and provide a world-class education to students from every background and circumstance.”

Earning Families’ Trust

Early-childhood teacher Aneesah Saleem said she is honored by the trust families at Hendley Elementary School in Southeast have placed in her over the past seven years.

Aneesah Saleem teaches pre-kindergarten students at Hendley Elementary School in Southeast.
Aneesah Saleem teaches pre-kindergarten students at Hendley Elementary School in Southeast. (Courtesy of DCPS)

“Our families want their children to learn and be in an environment that’s warm, that’s loving that they can trust where they’re sending their kids every day,” Saleem said.

Lessons in Inclusion

Students at Walls at Francis Stevens School in Northwest have shown how #DCPS rocks inclusion while sharing what inclusion means to them.

Immigrant Student Policies

DCPS has recently received several questions about what impact the presidential election might have on its immigrant families. To support the school system’s shared vision for inclusive school environments, a few questions are being answered here regarding immigrant students and families:

– Can undocumented students enroll at a D.C. Public School school?
Yes. Children have a constitutionally protected right to equal access to education, regardless of their parents’ immigration status or their own.

– Will DCPS ask my student about his or her immigration status in the enrollment process?
No. DCPS does not inquire about any child’s immigration status. Public school districts like DCPS have an obligation to enroll students regardless of their immigration status and without discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

– Will DCPS share my immigration status with anyone?
No. As mentioned above, DCPS does not ask for information regarding any immigration status. If DCPS becomes aware that a child lacks immigration status, DCPS does not share that information.

– Will my student be able to enroll at a DCPS school if he or she does not have proof of where he or she lives?
To be enrolled in DCPS, the parent or guardian must show certain original documents as proof of DC residency. However, please keep in mind that “residency” for this purpose only refers to where the student lives, not their immigration status in the United States. If no documents are available to verify that the student lives in DC, DCPS has alternative documentation procedures to verify residency. For more information about DCPS enrollment policies, contact the DCPS Student Placement Office at (202) 939-2004.

– Will this election affect how the District of Columbia treats immigration laws?
It’s important to remember that the transition to the new administration will not take place until Jan. 20, 2017, and even then, any new immigration laws would have to be passed by Congress. And, as Mayor Muriel Bowser reaffirmed on Nov. 17, Washington, D.C., is a sanctuary city, meaning that all of its public school students have a right to free public education, regardless of their race, ethnic background, religion, sex, language, family’s income level, or immigration status.

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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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