The District's public schools received an A-plus grade from the city for the month of October. (Courtesy of DCPS)
Courtesy of DCPS

The D.C. State Board of Education received input Wednesday, Dec. 21 from two policy experts regarding the crafting of a new school accountability plan, just weeks after the board heard from community members on the issue.

The city will eventually implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind as the new federal education law. ESSA gives the District more flexibility determining what constitutes a successful school, and what needs to be done to support increased student achievement.

In November, the board heard testimony from roughly two dozen community members concerning the implementation of the new law.

For more information about ESSA, including upcoming engagement opportunities and previous meeting materials, visit and

Also, the terms of three school board members — Mary Lord, at-large representative, Kamili Anderson, Ward 4 representative, and Tierra Jolly, Ward 8 representative — end on Jan. 2.

New OSSE Regulations

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has updated regulations governing the licensing of child development facilities throughout D.C.

These regulations not only ensure that safe care is provided at the city’s licensed child development facilities, but that they also support children’s healthy development, future academic achievement and success.

“Ensuring the District’s earliest learners develop in healthy and safe environments served as one of the motivating factors to update the regulations for licensing child development facilities, which were last revised in 2008,” said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. “Every child in the District deserves a quality education, and through the new regulations we are able to ensure that happens.”

The updates are in alignment with the District’s regulatory framework for child development facilities as well as with national health and safety standards.

Charter Schools

Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Dewhurst, a reading intervention teacher at Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Northeast, and leader of the school’s Reading Intervention Team, was named the 2017 D.C. Teacher of the Year in a surprise event at the school on Monday, Dec. 19.

The prestigious honor, which is awarded annually to a public school teacher who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to student achievement, includes a $7,500 cash prize.

Dewhurst, a 10-year educator, has taught eighth-grade reading intervention courses at Stuart-Hobson since 2013.

D.C. Teachers of the Year are also nominated for the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Class of 2017 Going to College

For 12 years in a row, 100 percent of Thurgood Marshall Academy seniors have been accepted into the various colleges and universities — a tradition the Class of 2017 is on a mission to continue.

TMA recently hosted its annual On-Site Admissions Day, where representatives from 10 universities and colleges — including Bowie State, Trinity Washington University and Delaware State University — filled the gym to meet with more than 40 seniors. While the students had the chance to advocate for themselves and present their application to the colleges of their choice, 46 seniors were accepted on the spot.

“On-site Admissions Day is such an exciting [event] because you are able to watch students’ dreams come true,” said TMA Principal Melanie Sala, who called it “a true testament to why TMA is such a special place.”

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