Eager schoolchildren participate in classroom activities. (Courtesy of DCPS)
Eager schoolchildren participate in classroom activities. (Courtesy of DCPS)

D.C.’s pre-K program, overseen by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, continues to lead the nation in access and per-pupil funding for pre-K, reaching universal access for the percentage of pre-K students enrolled in the District and outspending all states, according to the 2017 State of Preschool Yearbook released this month by the National Institute for Early Education Research.

The yearbook, which ranks D.C. first out of 43 states in access to pre-K programming for 3- and 4-year-olds for the 2016-17 school year, also ranked D.C. first in the nation in state funding for pre-K.

The publication is the only national report on state-funded preschool programs with detailed information on enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications, and other policies related to quality.

“The District of Columbia has 157 schools/organizations that offer pre-K education across our three-sector system,” said Elizabeth Groginsky, OSSE’s assistant superintendent of Early Learning. “Families have the opportunity to choose the program that best meets the needs of their child. The District invests in our youngest learners and their families because we recognize that access to high-quality early care and education is essential to achieving our goals to close the achievement gap and give all District families a fair shot.”

Residency Fraud

Karen Williams, D.C. State Board of Education president and Ward 7 representative, issued the following statement on residency fraud in District public schools:

The State Board is disappointed that additional residency fraud has been uncovered in the District and that it appears that OSSE was not fully following the regulations approved by the State Board. Residency verification for our public schools can be complicated and we certainly have compassion for families that are struggling.

District tax money must prioritize District students first. It is not news that the systems used for residency fraud investigation and oversight need updating and the SBOE supports these efforts. We are confident that OSSE is committed to improving. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them moving forward.

Snow Day Changes

The 2017-18 school term has been extended by two days, resulting in the following changes to the school calendar:

• Wednesday, June 13 will become a full instructional day.

• Thursday, June 14 will become a full instructional day.

• Friday, June 15 — the last day of school — will become a half-day for students with dismissal at 12:15 p.m.

Teachers will work in the afternoon for records keeping.

While these changes do not apply to Extended-Year schools, every other day will remain as originally scheduled.

‘Stop the Bleed’ Initiative

Howard University Hospital’s Department of Trauma and Critical Care recently teamed up with staff members at H.D. Woodson Senior High School in Northeast to conduct a “Stop the Bleed” training event.

The initiative launched in 2015 by the Obama Administration in response to an increasing number of active shooting incidents.

The program was designed to cultivate and encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to stop life-threatening bleeding during an emergency before professional help arrives.

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