Sixty-five percent of public charter schools currently have waitlists that are longer than last year's lists. (Courtesy of DC Public Charter School Board)
Sixty-five percent of public charter schools currently have waitlists that are longer than last year's lists. (Courtesy of DC Public Charter School Board)

The application cycle for new public charter schools in D.C. is open, with 11 groups having submitted the proper forms.

Each application is evaluated through a rigorous review process that includes capacity interviews and public hearings.

This review process is based on the D.C. Public Charter Schools’ Standard for Approval, which requires the application demonstrate five criteria: a demonstrated need for the school; sufficient progress in developing the plan; consistency of the mission and philosophy; inclusiveness; and founding group ability.

The 11 proposals plan to educate students ranging from pre-K age to adults.

If approved, the public charter schools could open in the 2020-2021 school year.

Student Discipline Guide

The Office of the Student Advocate recently release its District of Columbia Student Discipline Guide, a helpful resource created for students, families and school staff that explains new rules. under the Student Fair Access to School Amendment Act of 2018.

Developed in partnership with the “Every Student, Every Day Coalition” and the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education, the guide helps students and families understand their rights and provides a roadmap for how to challenge a disciplinary decision at school.
The District of Columbia Student Discipline Guide can be accessed online and will soon be available in print.

Summer Camps

The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with DCPS to offer new camp opportunities at school sites across the city.

Registration has already begun, and the camps will remain open until full capacity is reached. Once at capacity, each summer camp will offer a waitlist for prospective families who are interested in sites that have high demand.

Reduced rates are available for qualifying families and before and after care is also available at most locations.

Attendance Counts

Every Day Counts — a citywide effort initiated by Mayor Muriel Bowser to ensure every student attends school every day — will bring together the entire community to support students and families through a public awareness campaign, a Taskforce coordinating public agencies and stakeholders, and investments in data-driven strategies to increase attendance.

Missing just 10 percent of the school year in early grades can leave many students struggling throughout elementary school, city officials say.

By sixth grade, missing 18 days a year is strongly linked to dropping out of high school, and chronic absence affects every grade level and can set preschoolers back substantially. For example, missing just two days a month can put students at risk of academic failure.
Investments Expansion

In academic year 2019-20, DCPS will expand its investments in early college access through the opening of two new early college programs, including Bard DC at Bard High School Early College in Southeast.

Bard DC is a four-year public high school that allows students to take two years of a tuition-free college course of study in the liberal arts.

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