Teacher of the Year Justin Lopez-Cardoze has dedicated himself to being an exceptional teacher inside and out of the classroom. (Courtesy of Capital City PCS)
Teacher of the Year Justin Lopez-Cardoze has dedicated himself to being an exceptional teacher inside and out of the classroom. (Courtesy of Capital City PCS)

The Office of the State Superintendent recently honored Capital City Public Charter School seventh-grade science teacher Justin Lopez-Cardoze with the 2020 DC Teacher of the Year award.

With Lopez-Cardoze being the first Latino to win the prestigious award, several D.C. education leaders decided to surprise him with the award in front of his mother, husband and the entire Capital City PCS middle school student body.

Along with his science teacher duties, Lopez-Cardoze serves as the Middle School Science Department Lead, Instructional Leadership Team, and a member of the Equity Core Committee at Capital City PCS.

When he is not at work, Lopez-Cardoze works as a member of the clinical faculty for Urban Teachers with Johns Hopkins University School of Education delivering coursework to Urban Teacher Fellows.

As Teacher of the Year, he received a $7,500 reward, part of which he plans to use as a scholarship for a perspective student interested in STEM.

College Application, Exploration Month

In recognition of November as College Application and Exploration Month, OSSE has partnered with area colleges — including historically Black colleges and universities — to waive application fees for D.C. students.

The announcement was made this week, stating that more than 3,000 graduating seniors at 45 high schools and community-based organizations across the District will have the opportunity to explore colleges and submit applications at zero cost to students and families — as part of the seventh annual DC College Application and Exploration Month.

OSSE secured agreements with 11 area institutions of higher education to waive college application fees for DC students all month long.

“Exploring and applying to colleges can be overwhelming and costly for students and families – our goal is to lift as much of that burden as possible by eliminating application costs and providing guidance and support to ensure that each participating student completes and submits at least one application,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “This is an exciting time for our graduating seniors, and I encourage them to take advantage of the resources available to them as they begin to navigate the college application process.”

DCPS Tweets

• Through DCPS’ partnership with the @Nationals and @NatsAcademy, 10 Grand Slam schools — including @RossESDC, @KetchamES, and @HearstES —are participating in #STEM-based hands-on learning.

• On the nation’s report card, DC is the fastest improving state. That means that, over time, DC has made major progress in closing gaps with public school students nationally across all four subject/grade assessments – including a 26 point gain on fourth grade reading #NAEPGainsDC

• This week, we’re shouting out schools with the highest teacher retention rates in the district. First up, Banneker High School, who saw 100% of its teaching staff return for School Year 2019-2020. #DCPSProud

Charter School Quality Report

Each year, an evaluation is done regarding the performance of D.C.’s public charter schools that includes a range of categories.

PK-8 schools are evaluated in the areas of: Student Progress, Student Achievement, Gateway (outcomes that predict future educational outcomes), and School Environment (e.g., reenrollment).

This year, school officials are pleased to have 45 Tier 1 PK3-8 schools.

This equates to an increase of seven more public charter schools than last year.

In addition, there are zero Tier 3 PK-8 schools and 12 PK-8 schools that have improved their tier this year.

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