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The application period to serve on the D.C. State Board of Education’s new High School Graduation Requirements Task Force ended on June 23, with each of the applications being made available for public review.

Ushering in a new wave of transparency, the task force will review, analyze and, as necessary, make thoughtful, implementable recommendations to adjust the city’s high school graduation requirements for both DCPS and public charter students.

Task force meetings will begin in July and continue on a biweekly basis through spring 2018.

Report Overviews

SBOE student representative Alex Dorosin of Wilson High School recently presented an overview at this month’s SBOE working session, of the second annual report of the Student Advisory Committee.

The SAC also met four times over the course of the 2016-17 school year and selected seven key topics that they feel can be changed or improved in the D.C. education system.

The proposals submitted by the SAC focused on graduation requirements, security, access to humanities and civic engagement courses, hall sweeps, food and nutrition, grading systems and student socialization.

Also, during this year’s DC STEM Fair, more than 150 middle and high school students showcased their research project results, interviewed with STEM professionals and competed for awards.

The 73 projects submitted to the fair represented 14 schools, 54 projects in junior division involving 63 students and 19 projects in senior division with 22 students.

DCPS Goes to College

Kemuel Farmer graduated from Ballou Senior High School a year early and will attend the University of Delaware, where she plans to study secondary English education.

“I struggled with English when I was little, so I want to help older kids before they go off into the world,” she said.

Kemuel said the faculty at Ballou are the reason she feels prepared to go to college.

“They prepared [me] for the real world,” she said.

While at Ballou, Kemuel participated in the Book Club, Robotics Club, ROTC and Garden Club.

Despite her excitement for the next step, she has fond memories of her high school.

“Even with our differences, we’re still all one at Ballou,” she said.

Juan Lovos, who graduated from the Columbia Heights Education Campus, “cried a little bit” when he found out he was heading to Sewanee: The University of the South as a POSSE Scholar.

“Last year was rough. I didn’t really have aspirations for college,” Juan said. “But my sister helped me and encouraged me to apply. Now I know that I’m able to face adversity and beat it. I’m a stronger student.”

Charter School ‘Stars’

The “STARS Tribute 2017” recently celebrated the work of four most outstanding high school graduates and 11 exemplars of vision and mission of D.C. public charter schools.

This year’s event, sponsored by the D.C. Association of Chartered Schools, emphasized essential elements necessary for educational success.

Listed among the high school graduates are Artrice Carpenter of Friendship Public Charter School, whose 4.069 grade point average helped earn her admission to Carnegie Mellon University; Dominique Cravens of Washington Latin Public Charter School, who will attend Wellesley College with a 3.6 GPA; Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School’s Lonnie Gordon, with a 3.75 GPA, who gained admission to Temple University; and Alonzo Martinez of Carlos who graduates from Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School.

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