November 2011 Newsletter
District & Charter News
October was college awareness month—schools and organizations across the district planned a number of events to help students and families learn about options in higher education. In particular, DCPS celebrated College Awareness Day on October 5th, 2011. Learn more here.
On October 3rd, 2011 the DC Public Charter School Board released its 2012 Application Guidelines for establishing a charter school in DC. The application deadline is February 1, 2012 and approved schools would be authorized to open in the fall of 2013. Read more here.
On October 11th, 2011, DCPS provided an update on their family and community engagement work. In particular, DCPS is focusing on creating a district-wide community outreach strategy and working to re-open the Parent Resource Centers (PRCs). Read more here.
On October 13th, 2011 DCPS' Teacher of the Year, Shira Fishman, received the National Milken Educator Award. The Milken Educator Awards have been dubbed "the Oscars of Teaching," and recipients receive a $25,000 cash prize. Read more here.
On October 24th, 2011, DCPS released the results of a stakeholder survey that was given to over 24,000 people. The survey, issued last summer, asked parents, students and administrators alike their opinions on teachers, school safety, family and community engagement and student achievement. General satisfaction grew across the boards, as did the opinion that DC schools were "on the right track." Read DCPS' press release here.
Educator Spotlight: Meet an Outstanding DC Educator
Meet Darla Bunting
What is the funniest thing a student ever said to you?
The funniest topics seem to stem around my age, marriage and kids. One day, a student said, "Ms. Bunting do you have kids?" Another student chimed in, "Ms. Bunting doesn't have kids. She's waiting til she gets married."
Read the rest of the interview here.
Community Member Spotlight: Meet a State Board of Education Member
Meet Trayon White Sr.
In what capacity do you serve youth in the DC community?
I assist youth by providing guidance and resources to help them succeed in life. Such as mentoring, tutoring, helping them enroll in school, college, skill trainings, exposing them to different cultures and lifestyles, helping them find jobs, developing careers, enhancing spirituality, and becoming better people overall. We also have clothing and food drives for families in the community every year.
Read the rest of the interview here.
In Case You Missed It: Must Reads
October 2nd, 2011, Lisa Gartner discusses the results of DCPS' Hopes and Dreams survey. Read it here.
On October 5th, 2011, Bill Turque reports on declining truancy rates at DCPS middle schools. Read it here.
On October 6th, 2011 Chris L. Jenkins reports on the overwhelming unemployment rate of DC's youth. Read it here.
On October 6th, Tony Howell, Jr. talks about the DC City Council getting tough on residency fraud. Read it here.
On October 7th, Lisa Gartner highlights the beginning of new teacher contract negotiation talks. Read it here.
On October 7th, Bill Turque talks further about residency fraud. Read it here.
On October 9th, Kevin Sief discusses how DC teachers are relying on home visits to connect with families. Read it here.
On October 14th, Bill Turque discusses the Public Education Finance Reform Commission (PEFRC) and the creation of a report to analyze the equity in school funding. Read it here.
On October 18th, Bill Turque examines changes in salary for principals and assistant principals. Read it here.
On October 23rd, Dr. John Thompson discusses DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown's proposal to attract high performing teachers to DC's highest needs schools. Read it here.
On October 24th, Bill Turque highlights DCPS' new Chief of Data and Accountability, Cate Swinburn. Read it here.
On October 25th, Bill Turque explains that DC-CAS will be given to second graders starting in the spring. Read it here.
On October 25th, Aubrey Whelan shares DCPS' latest stakeholder survey results. Read it here.
On October 26th, Bill Turque challenges the results of DCPS' latest stakeholder survey results. Read it here.
On October 29th, Lisa Gartner sheds light on bullying in DC schools. Read it here.
What is New with DC School Reform Now?
In October, Erika Beltran joined the Board of DC School Reform Now. Erika is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Children's and Education Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in Washington, D.C. Erika conducts research, policy analysis, and advocacy on education issues and the Latino community. Prior to joining NCLR she was a Fellow at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation where she conducted research to help inform grantmaking strategies related to improving access to high-quality preschool programs in the state of California. Erica began her career in education as a Kindergarten and fourth grade bilingual teacher in Houston, Texas. We're thrilled to have her talent, passion and expertise on our board. Read more about her here.
On Wednesday, November, 9th, 2011, DC School Reform Now along with 23,745 other non-profit organizations will participate in Give To The Max Day: Greater Washington, a 24 hour day of giving. Give To The Max Day: Greater Washington will unite local Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC communities to support nonprofits serving the area. The goal is to get thousands of local residents to support their favorite regional charity. Learn more or give to support DCSRN's mission here.
Would you like to help DCPS plan the new Parent Resource Centers? Join them for a light dinner and planning session on Monday, November 7th, 2011 at DCPS Central Office at 1200 First Street NE or Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at Eliot-Hine Middle School at 1830 Constitution Avenue, NE from 6:00-8:00pm. Childcare will be provided. Learn more here or here.
Interested in how new flexibilities permitted in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) might affect DC students? Join the Office of the State Superintendant of Education (OSSE) for a series of townhall meetings to find out more. Meetings will be held in each ward from November 9th- 21st, 2011. Learn more here.
Are you the parent or caregiver of a Ward 5 or 6 student who wants a say in what programs or services you'd like your child to receive? Come to DCPS's event "Engaging Parents in a New Path Forward" on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School at 659 G Street, NE. Learn more here.
Interested in how the use of data can transform the social sector—even schools? Join DCPS, McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group at "Game Changers: Using Data to Drive Transformation" on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm at DCPS Central Office at 1200 First Street NE.
Do you like the TV show Dancing with the Stars? Then check out DCPS students and DC State Board of Education members in their own "Dancing with the Scholars," on Friday, November 11th, 2011 from 7:00-10:00pm at the ARC . Learn more here.
Are you the parent or caregiver of a Ward 2 or 3 student who wants a say in what programs or services you'd like your child to receive? Come to DCPS's event "Engaging Parents in a New Path Forward" on Monday, November 14th, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm at Eaton Elementary School at 3301 Lowell Street, NW. Learn more here.
Have you ever been to a State Board of Education Meeting? If not, attend the DC State Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 from 5:30-7:30pm at 441 4th St NW. Learn more here.
DCPS will convene the second half of their "Ward 5: Great Schools Initiative" meetings on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm at Langdon Education Campus, 1900 Evarts Street, NE. Learn more here.
Want to learn more about high school options in DCPS? Attend the DCPS High School Fair on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 4:00pm at Eastern High School at 1700 East Capital Street, NE. Learn more here.
Interested in charter schools? You should attend the DC Public Charter School Board monthly meeting on Monday, November 21st, 2011 from 7:30-9:30pm at the Board Headquarters on 3333 14th Street, NW, Suite 210. Learn more here.
Do you know an outstanding DC educator or community member who should be honored in next month's newsletter? If so, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about them!
DC School Reform Now is a member of the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network. The mission of the PIE Network is to build, support, and promote a network of education reform advocacy organizations working to improve K-12 education in their states to ensure every student graduates world-ready.