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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: National History Teacher of Year

Alysha Butler, a social studies teacher at McKinley Technology High School in Northeast, has been recognized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History as National History Teacher of the Year.

Butler’s new title, which comes with a $10,000 prize, also makes her an ambassador and spokesperson in support of high-quality history education, especially for underserved students.

“I am honored to be recognized by an institution that supports teachers and their efforts to provide students with a deeper understanding of history,” Butler said. “It is my hope to continue to help students of all backgrounds and communities gain access to and explore the known and unknown voices of the past so that they may develop a more accurate understanding of our present and serve as hope for our future.”

Butler will be honored on Oct. 2 at a ceremony in New York City.

Expanded Student Access

This school year, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration is expanding student access to college and career opportunities.

For instance, at Coolidge High School, students will have access to the Mass Media and Health Sciences NAF career academies, as well as a new Early College Academy, where students will graduate with a high school diploma and two years of college-level courses.

More DCPS students will also have access to real-world experiences through career academies in hospitality, engineering, health sciences, and more.

New Programs
DCPS launched two new programs this school year that are focused on preparing students for college and their future careers.

Bard High School Early College DC in Ward 7 will provide students the opportunity to earn college credit and an associate degree from Bard College, while earning their high school diploma.

In Ward 4, students at Coolidge High School’s Early College Academy will gain valuable experience attending college-level courses while earning their high school diploma, and up to an associate degree from Trinity Washington University.

Educators also welcomed 6th grade students to DCPS’ newest stand-alone middle school, Ida B. Wells Middle School, which will provide a rigorous and loving learning environment for students, while also engaging and developing them as change agents in their communities.

Building Positive Relationships

As DCPS recently closed out another week of classes, students such as those at Randle Highlands Elementary School have shown how working together can make a difference in building positive relationships.

Principals’ Commentary

DCPS principals are excited about applying what they’ve learned to the new school year.

In addition to becoming Connected Schools, Anacostia and Ballou high schools in Southeast are embarking upon a process of instructional redesign to help them reconstruct their instructional models to help serve the needs of all students, particularly those furthest from opportunity.

Meeting the needs of every student is a priority at Dunbar as well, said Principal Nadine Smith, adding that lessons she learned in her first year will help her work towards that goal.

“I will use these lessons to inform next year by leading through an equity lens,” she said. “At Dunbar, equity is working to meet the unique needs of every single student. We will focus on data-driven instruction — that is equity.”

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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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