The STEP program at Youthbuild Public Charter School helps students develop resumes and college applications, meet with employers, college admissions offices, practice interview techniques and master job skills. (YouthBuild PCS photo)
The STEP program at Youthbuild Public Charter School helps students develop resumes and college applications, meet with employers, college admissions offices, practice interview techniques and master job skills. (YouthBuild PCS photo)

Five years ago, the YouthBuild Public Charter School team implemented a personalized learning program called Student Transition and Education Portal (STEP).

STEP was designed to help students to track their progress as they improve their math and literacy skills, work to earn a GED, and strengthen the community as they build their construction skills. STEP also helps students develop resumes and college applications, meet with employers, college admissions offices, practice interview techniques, and master job skills.

YouthBuild’s transitions coordinator creates partnerships with colleges, employers, and groups such as ACE Mentoring — which pairs students with mentors in architecture, engineering, and construction.

Last year, more than 75 percent of Youthbuild’s students enrolled in college or secured a job three to nine months after leaving the school. More than 90 percent of them retained employment.

Proposed Charter Schools

The DC Public School Board is reviewing proposals for its 2020 charter application cycle.

Each applicant is evaluated through a rigorous review process that includes capacity interviews with community public hearings to voice opinions on proposed schools.

The proposals include:

• Capital Experience Lab: The mission is to empower students in Washington, D.C., to harness the resources of their world-class city in the service of their dreams. If approved, Capital Experience Lab will serve students in grades 6 through 12 and seeks to locate in Ward 6.

• The Garden School of Business and Entrepreneurship: The mission is to holistically prepare students to build their future. They aim to intellectually grow, culturally affirm, financially educate and emotionally support the next generation of innovators. If approved, The Garden School of Business and Entrepreneurship will serve students in grades 9 through 12 and seeks to locate in Ward 8.

• Global Citizens: The mission is to inspire and prepare the next generation of global citizens, offering dual language immersion in both Mandarin-English and Spanish-English. If approved, Global Citizens will serve students in grades PK3-5 and seeks to locate in either Wards 7 or 8.

• Washington Arabic: The mission is to believe that the intellectual promise of each student is enhanced in a multi-lingual community that incorporates and celebrates diversity. They challenge students to think critically and creatively, to know themselves as learners developing into global citizens in a joyful environment. If approved, Washington Arabic will serve students in PK3-5 and seeks to locate in either Wards 1, 4, 5 or 6

‘Intermission’ Program

Educators at Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School give students two opportunities a year to do a deep dive into an area of interest that falls outside of the usual curriculum called “Intermission,” a program that gets students energized about exploring new topics that intrigue them.

Students choose their Intermission course based on a set of options designated for each class. For example, PK students choose from topics ranging from slimes, food science, animation, mud and more.

During the animation intersession, students studied different types of animation and watched “Steamboat Willie,” one of the first cartoons created.

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