D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced a new partnership that will bring a new college preparatory high school to either Ward 7 or Ward 8. (Courtesy of DCPS)
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently announced a new partnership that will bring a new college preparatory high school to either Ward 7 or Ward 8. (Courtesy of DCPS)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and interim DCPS Chancellor Amanda Alexander recently announced a new partnership between the schools system and Bard College that will allow students to earn college credit and an associate degree from Bard while in high school.

Bard Early College High School, to be located in either Ward 7 or Ward 8, opens in the 2019-20 academic year as a tuition-free, four-year early college facility jointly operated by Bard College and DCPS.

The new school, which will serve more than 150 students, includes a two-year pre-college sequence for ninth- and 10th-graders and a college curriculum for students in the 10th and 12th grades.

Students will graduate with an associate degree as well as 60 college credits that will be transferable to four-year colleges and universities across the country.

Students will be admitted to the school based on an essay and an interview, rather than test scores or grades.

New North Middle School

New North Middle School is the placeholder name for a new school slated to open in August 2019 on the campus of a fully modernized Coolidge High School.

DCPS’ newest facility will open with a sixth-grade comprehensive class, adding a grade each year until academic year 2021-22 when New North becomes a full sixth- through eighth-grade middle school.

The facility will address a longtime request of parents and families in northern Ward 4 for a stand-alone middle school

The goal is for the school to be separate from Coolidge High with its own school leadership, mascot and school colors.

New Funding Opportunities

Interim DPCS Chancellor Amanda Alexander has announced new funding and programming for students aligned with the strategic priorities outlined in A Capital Commitment 2017-22.

New investments include grants to launch full-service community schools in Wards 7 and 8, a new Health Sciences Academy and a literacy program to support elementary school students.

DCPS has also been awarded funding to select schools through “Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders” and “Empowering Males of Color” grants.

The grants announcement coincides with the “International Day of the Girl,” which aims to highlight challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

“As we make the investments necessary to give every student in DCPS a world-class education and the resources and support they need to reach their full potential, Reign is helping us ensure that our young women of color are not left behind,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “On International Day of the Girl, we celebrate all the girls and young women in our schools and commit to ensuring that at every level — every step along the way — we are sending the message that they can achieve at the highest levels.”

DCPS Grad Goes to College

After moving to D.C. from Ethiopia, Kalkidan Melesse encountered teachers at Dunbar High School who were willing to go above and beyond to support her transition to a new school system.

“It was really hard for me at first, but with the help of my teachers, I was able to succeed,” said Kalkidan, who chose to attend the University of the District of Columbia this fall after graduating with the Class of 2018.

She said that when she needed additional help, her teachers stepped up to the plate, offering to stay after school.

Looking back at her high school career, Kalkidan said she had “the best experience and was ready to graduate.”

Kalkidan’s studies in biology at UDC will help her follow in her parents’ footsteps to become a doctor.

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