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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Enrollment Increases

Enrollment in the DCPS system grew to 49,103 students — or by 2 percent — for the 2018-19 academic year.

Driven by a 12 percent increase in the middle grades, the additions put DCPS on track to meet enrollment goal of serving 54,000 students by 2022.

“I am proud that more families continue to trust DCPS to provide their children with the opportunities and support they need to thrive,” said interim DCPS Chancellor Amanda Alexander. “I thank all of the talented educators working tirelessly in our schools across the District to ensure that every student we serve feels loved, challenged and prepared to positively influence society and thrive in life.”

Five schools in particular saw strong growth in enrollment compared to last school year:

• Hardy Middle School (Ward 2) increased by 15 percent, due in part to students and families in feeder schools taking advantage of the strong programming and social emotional learning;

• Roosevelt STAY High School (Ward 4) increased by 24 percent, due in part to an aggressive recruitment strategy;

• Dunbar High School (Ward 5) increased by 8 percent, due in part to the strong programming available for students and families;

• Noyes Elementary School (Ward 5) increased by 14 percent, due in part to an aggressive recruitment strategy spearheaded by the principal;

• Jefferson Middle School (Ward 6) increased by 8 percent, due in part to several years of strong and consistent engagement with the feeder school community;

• Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7) increased by 24 percent, due in part to the surrounding community’s excitement about the community school model; and

• Johnson Middle School (Ward 8) increased by 8 percent, due in part to a strong recruitment strategy that is focused on building relationships with the in-boundary community and feeder schools.

Annual Report

The Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education released its annual report for the 2017–18 school year, which offers an analysis of the data collected over the past year and provides a review of the past five years.

This year’s report also provides data, analysis and recommendations related to the work in mediation and conflict resolution to resolve complaints and concerns for parents and families regarding public education in the District of Columbia.

Student Advisory Committee

Tatiana Robinson and Marjoury Alicea, student representatives on the Student Advisory Committee, hosted the school year’s second committee meeting in October with representatives from multiple DCPS and public charter high schools.

The meeting began with a discussion with OSSE’s Health and Wellness Division.

Dr. Heidi Schumacher, assistant superintendent, and Tia Brumsted, deputy assistant superintendent, talked with the committee about the resources available in their schools, a new suicidality resource created by OSSE and gathered frank feedback about how OSSE can do a better job in terms of student health and wellness.

Tatiana and Marjoury used the remainder of the meeting to discuss what issues the committee would tackle this year.

SBOE Honorees

The State Board of Education recently recognized the achievements of Joyanna Smith, former ombudsman for public education, and longtime DCPS administrator Theodore Hinton Jr.

Smith, who was appointed ombudsman in February 2014 and served for nearly five years, made a lasting impact in the District through her work reestablishing the Office of Ombudsman for Public Education.

She helped parents, students and families resolve problems and ensure that the best interests of students come first.

Hinton worked in the DCPS system for 50 years serving as a math and science teacher, an administrator and most recently as dean of culture at Powell Bilingual Elementary School.

In addition, Hinton was a strong proponent of using positive reinforcement to help all students find direction in their lives.

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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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