D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Graduation Rates

The graduation rate – which indicates the number of students graduating from high school in four years – among public charter school students for the 2017-18 academic year was 72.4 percent, a slight drop of from 73.4 percent.

However, the graduation rate for the state, which includes both public charter schools and DCPS, dropped 3.9 percentage points to 68.5 percent this year. Adding in the percentage of students who graduated in five years brings the five-year graduation rate of public charter schools up to 80.9 percent.

Celebrating ‘Best Practices’

The DC Public Charter School system recently celebrated the achievements of 53 top-ranked (or, Tier 1) schools at the annual “Celebrating Best Practices in Public Charter School Education” event.
The schools also honored 11 Best Practice Award winners who have significantly contributed to city’s charter school sector.

The honorees include:

TIERific Principal
Rachel Tommelleo, Center City PCS – Brightwood

TIERific Teachers
Francis Richards, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS
Alexis Rosario, Cedar Tree Academy PCS

TIERific Student
Kalkidan Haile, E.L. Haynes PCS

TIERific Parent
Nicole Fitzgerald, Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS

TIERific Community Partner
Joyful Food Markets

Excellence in Data Management
Jodi Ihaza, Briya PCS

Excellence in Special Education Programming
Wanda Gregory, Capital City PCS

Excellence in English Language Learner Programming
Alicia Passante, Center City PCS

Excellence in Program Innovation
Stephanie Remick, Washington Leadership Academy PCS’s Internship Program
Zeleta Green, E.L. Haynes PCS, Credit Recovery Program

A Parent’s Story

Clifton Durant is an Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School parent, who recounts showing up seven years ago at an information session in search of a different school for his 4-year-old child:

“I listened to some people I’d never met talk about a school, which until the day before, I’d never heard of (it only existed in theory and by charter at that point).

“They used words like ‘Integrity’, ‘Imagination’, ‘Intellect’, ‘Inquiry’; and phrases like ‘teaching the whole child’ and ‘student-led learning.’

“None of these words or phrases were new to me, of course, neither was it unfamiliar to hear these words used in the selling of a school. But it was the way in which they spoke about their commitment to these words that showed that they were no longer just words; they were ideals transformed into the mission.

“This mission for the charter was not only Inspired Teaching’s but also the communities. They spoke of their mission not just being theirs and the staff’s, but they insisted that the entire community’s effort would not only be needed but encouraged.

“They were visionaries and they were able to share their vision of this place where a commitment to ideals not only mattered but is practiced. So, seven years, three location moves, and a second child later, my wife and I have been able to witness and be a part of the growth of this place built on ideals, and a commitment to those ideals.

“We don’t always get it right. But that just makes the commitment to getting it right, that much stronger.”

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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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