Back-to-School Newsletter, 2017-18
Dear Friends of Center City,
On Monday, August 21, our six campuses greeted students in grades Pre-K through 8th-grade for the 2017-18 school year. Our students and teachers were excited to see each other and to be back for another year of character, excellence, and service. They were also lucky to experience the eclipse on the first day of school! Many of our classrooms engaged in special activities to learn about the eclipse before and after they viewed it.

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Students Demonstrate Growth on the PARCC Assessment
We received the results from the district-wide assessment (the PARCC) right before the start of school and were so proud of our students’ growth. Center City students made larger gains in both English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics than the District as a whole, including particularly large gains in the critical 3rd and 8th-grade years. In ELA, the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards increased by 5.8% compared to 3.8% for all DC students. In mathematics, the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards increased by 4.4% compared to 2.1% for all DC students. In addition, our English Learner and at-risk students showed exceptional improvement in both mathematics and ELA compared to their peers throughout DC.
Our Schools Educate the Whole Child
In order to continue to build on these results, we have a number of exciting developments that will enrich our students socially and academically for the 2017-18 school year. As our character focus, our campuses will be using restorative practices to build warm relationships with students, create just and equitable learning environments, and manage conflicts. Our staff will begin using restorative practices during morning meetings with students.
We continue to expand enrichment opportunities for students both during and after the school day, to provide our students with a holistic educational experience and an opportunity to develop new skills and interests. Last year our campuses launched school musicals, school gardens, coding classes, STEM, and arts classes and will continue to build on these enriching activities in the 2017-18 school year. Our Global Ambassadors program, an after-school global studies program, will expand to the Petworth and Trinidad campuses and will continue at the Shaw and Capitol Hill campuses. Through this program, students take global studies classes, examine a social issue such as poverty, and participate in a service-learning project. Some students will also have the opportunity to participate in a service-learning field trip, either in the country or overseas.
We Meet the Needs of All Students
To meet the needs of every student academically, we are working to strengthen our intervention process. We want to meet the needs of students who are struggling before they fall too far behind. Therefore, we now have an interventionist at every campus to lead this work. Our interventionists will also provide more time for our inclusion teachers to work with students receiving special education services.
Teachers Collaborate to Help Students Learn
We are also working to enhance the learning experience for our teachers. We know our teachers learn best when they have the opportunity to share with their peers. So this year our teachers will spend more time in professional learning communities focused on their grade bands and content areas. They will meet twice each month to collaboratively plan instruction, review student work and assessment data, and share instructional strategies.

The entire Center City Community looks forward to the new school year with enthusiasm and optimism!
Spotlight on Character, Excellence, and Service at Center City PCS!
Throughout the summer, all of our teachers and leaders spent time discussing issues of race and equity as they relate to our roles as educators in Washington, DC. We know that without an intentional study of bias, we may continue to create barriers to learning despite our beliefs about educational equality.
We are proud of our work to meet the needs of all of our students. In addition to significant gains among the general student population, our English Learners (EL) and our at-risk students demonstrated greater growth and performed at a higher level on the PARCC Assessment than other EL and at-risk students throughout the District. For example, 32.1% of our EL students met or exceeded standards in math compared to 21.2% for the District as a whole. 23.7% of our at-risk students met or exceeded standards in ELA, compared to 15.8% for the Districts as a whole.
At Center City we believe families are critical partners in students' academic success. At the beginning of each school year, teachers conduct home visits to get to know parents and open lines of communication. Our teachers began visiting families and building relationships during the summer. Our campuses will also hold back-to-school nights, community parties, and other family events early in the school year.
Center City Public Charter Schools expand extra curricular and and enrichment offerings thanks to generous contributions from our supporters.
Thank you! 
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