Three students from Eastern High School spent their spring break in Barcelona where they worked with FC Barcelona's coaches. (Courtesy photo)
Three students from Eastern High School spent their spring break in Barcelona where they worked with FC Barcelona's coaches. (Courtesy photo)

Twenty female soccer players from eight high schools in the District spent their spring break abroad in Spain through a partnership DCPS created last year with FC Barcelona.

As part of the all-expenses-paid trip, the girls — which included Keyanna Kelley, Daijhanna Murphy and Paris Whealton from Eastern High School in Northeast — trained at the team’s facilities and worked with FC Barcelona’s coaches.

To be considered for the trip, the students had to compete for a spot during a tryout. During their trip, the girls also competed in two matches against Spanish students, while savoring the opportunity to play soccer in a new environment.

FC Barcelona coaches will also visit the United States this summer to run Futbol Net, a six-week soccer program.

Anniversary Celebration

DCPS recently celebrated the first anniversary of its “Empowering Young Women as Leaders” program — a multifaceted initiative that provides additional supports the school system’s young women of color.

The initiative, which aims to build community, confidence, and leadership skills, also provides DCPS more resources to address disparities in student satisfaction, graduation rates and nationally-mandated test scores.

Lottery Results

Nearly 25,000 families have received the results of the 2018-19 My School DC Lottery. Unlike most school districts across the country, D.C. families can choose to directly enroll their students at their neighborhood school or they can elect to apply to any charter or traditional school outside their boundary.

“We are excited to have supported the successful execution of the My School DC lottery in its fifth year, after welcoming the team to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education this summer,” said state Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “Between now and the lottery for the 2019-20 school year, we will focus on the improvement of our schools and the expansion of high-quality options for all of our students.”

Throughout the school year, families receive support understanding the lottery and the options available through EdFest, the My School DC hotline, and community office hours. My School DC received 24,996 applications for the 2018-19 school year from families, an increase of nearly 3,000 applications over last year.

Art of ‘Mindfulness’

For nearly 15 years, DCPS students have been acquainted with a project taught by local organization Peace of Mind that helps focus their attention and calm their emotions.

However, students at Horace Mann Elementary School in Northwest recently got some extra help with a visit from JusTme, a rapper from California’s Bay Area.

The rapper, who describes himself as a “mindful” hip-hop artist, told WUSA-TV (Channel 9) that his goal is to show children self-love and care through mindfulness and hip-hop.

“Giving these kids tools to navigate their thoughts and emotions will just make it so that they make great choices for themselves,” he said.

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