The annual Shining Star gala highlights how enrichment activities prepare students to be dynamic, well-rounded leaders. (Courtesy of DCPCS)

More than 80 percent of students at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School in Southeast participate in at least one of 20-plus clubs and programs at the school that include green and chess clubs, debate and dance teams and an array of athletics and emerging sports teams.

Learn more about how enrichment activities prepare students to be dynamic, well-rounded leaders at this year’s Shining Star Gala, which will be held Thursday, April 27 from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. at Thurgood Marshall Academy.

On ‘Segregation’ and ‘Integration’

Bernida Thompson, founding principal of Roots Public Charter School, recently responded to a newspaper article on the issue of segregation within D.C.’s public schools, saying it’s important to recognize that integration isn’t the opposite of segregation.

“Don’t get it twisted,” Thompson said. “Segregation is a forced separation for the purpose of treating people inferior. It is when the ruling class separates people from the wealth, dignity, respect, and ability to achieve power over any of these three things. Integration doesn’t change the philosophy of segregation — it still uses ruling class standardized tests to measure proficiency, not taking into consideration that nobody is proficient in everything and people’s needs for specific proficiencies are different.

“Everybody’s needs, interests, proficiencies, and talents are different,” Thompson said. “This is where real consideration for diversity becomes an actuality. The opposite of segregation is independence and choice. People of all races should be given the independent means to develop wealth for their communities, the choice to set up schools and other institutions for the benefit and needs of their children and community.”

DCTAG Has Money for College

The DC Tuition Assistance Grant expands higher education choices for District residents by providing grants of up to $10,000 toward the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

DCTAG also provides up to $2,500 per academic year toward tuition at private colleges in the D.C. Metropolitan area and private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), nationwide. As the June 30 deadline nears, residents may apply either by computer or mobile device, using the DC OneApp.

From the Chancellor’s Desk

Beginning after this year’s spring break, a new weekly email from new DCPS chief Antwan Wilson, titled “From the Chancellor’s Desk,” will be circulated.

The emails will serve as Wilson’s opportunity to share his thoughts from week to week, surrounding various issues within the DCPS system.

The issues will focus on ensuring fairness and equity in schools; how students pursue excellence through rigorous coursework and enriching experiences outside the classroom; updates on academic and social-emotional learning supports, and more.

Dual Enrollment

“It’s a great way to get ahead in college,” says Kai Quander, an H.D. Woodson senior who’s taking a class at UDC-Community College through the DCPS Dual Enrollment Program. “You’ll learn how to manage your time, and you’ll meet some nice people. I’ve met people studying all sorts of subjects, from political science, to psychology, to French. I was nervous at first, but on [the first day], the person next to me told me to strive.”

Growing Numbers

For the fourth consecutive year, demand for a spot at a quality public charter school continues to grow, as evidenced by the waitlist analysis released earlier this month by the DC Public Charter School Board.

Overall, there are 9,703 individual students on waitlists to attend one or more PK-12 public charter schools in the 2017-18 school year, a 12.3 percent increase over last year’s 8,640 students.

All told, 23,448 students are on a waitlist, up from 20,880 last year.

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