From a press release:

“District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson released the following statement highlighting inaccuracies in Petula Dvorak column in today’s Washington Post. DCPS is hopeful Avery will return to her school very soon:

The recent Washington Post column by Petula Dvorak titled In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student,” is inaccurate and misleading in its portrayal of the District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) truancy protocols, as well as what happened with the family and DCPS. We are disappointed Ms. Dvorak chose to present a false representation of DCPS’ response about this child’s circumstances rather than taking the time to collect the relevant facts. We believe it is important to set the record straight:

· DCPS excused Avery’s absences for international travel last year after conversations with the family and her school, which was confirmed with Avery’s parents by Andrea Allen, Director of Attendance and Support Services in DCPS’ Office of Youth Engagement. Her attendance summary from last year reflects the “authorized school activity” excuse code for her performance–related absences.

· DCPS did not make a referral to a truancy officer, Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) nor any government agency for intervention, since we had clear information regarding the circumstances of these absences. The family was never at risk for truancy prosecution.

· No DCPS student is ever labeled or identified as a “truant” on a transcript, report card, or academic record.

· While DCPS has universal truancy policies in place, we work diligently to recognize unique situations.

It seems that in this matter, while DCPS was working with the family to excuse the student’s absences, the automatic letter that is generated when a student reaches ten unexcused absences was sent. After a conversation with the Office of Youth Engagement, the family was told to disregard the letter. We also confirmed by phone for the parents that no CFSA referral had been completed, nor would this escalate any further. We believed our communication with the family as recently as August 25 clarified that Avery’s absences had been excused. We were surprised to learn that this is the reason why Avery was voluntarily withdrawn from her school. We sincerely apologize for any confusion that the cross-communication might have conveyed. (more…)

From an email:

“One day. Dozens of lessons, workshops, and classes taught by your neighbors — Washington D.C. residents. The Day of Learning is an opportunity for the city’s community to learn from and teach each other. From an introduction to hand-dancing, to getting the low-down on mixing the city’s signature cocktail (the Gin Rickey), to exploring D.C.’s neighborhoods, the Day of Learning celebrates D.C.’s vibrant culture, history, and people. The Day of Learning is a lively and community-driven event that unites the District through sharing who we are and what we know. Tickets and info at”

Anacostia High School

Anacostia Voices is written by Paul Penniman. In 2003, Paul founded Resources for Inner city CHildren, RICH, which provides tutoring and mentoring services to Anacostia High School and the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School-Capitol Hill.

Paul previously shared Travis’ Essay “The history of me” a year ago.

Travis and I had just gotten into the car for the drive back from Greensboro after his day and a half orientation at North Carolina A&T when he uttered those words regarding his going to college. He doesn’t know anyone in his neighborhood, known as “Lench Mob,” who are going to or who have graduated from college. He is a first generation college attendee, as are D and W, MATHletes all, whom RICH has been working with since freshman year of high school. Travis is excited but nervous, D is jumping out of his skin to start at Morehouse College, and W is incredibly nervous as he approaches the day I leave him at South Carolina State.

It has been an amazing journey for these three scholars. They have endured abuse, neglect, and loss throughout their childhoods. Their teachers at Anacostia High School and members of the RICH staff are some of the steadiest adults in their lives. It will be an awesome experience to help deliver them all of them to their respective campuses.

Historically, 3% of Anacostia students have finished college. Since the terrific Achievers Program has started, that number has jumped to about 15%. RICH is committing resources to help Travis, W, and D finish college, as well as many others. As RICH’s community ages, we need to make sure we don’t say good-bye to them at high school graduation.

One of our first scholars, a boy who attended Maya Angelou and then Virginia Tech, has invited me to his wedding in the fall down South. Seeing him achieve another milestone in his life will give me the opportunity to visit the three MATHletes who are beginning the achievement of their next milestone. As our staff repeatedly tells me, many of whom have taught in many schools and school settings, “This is the most rewarding work we have ever done.”

Cardozo Pool 2

Yesterday we learned that the Swimming Pool at Cardozo high school was completely restored and would open to the public in October. Thanks to DCPS for sending us these awesome photos of how it turned out. An awesome indoor complement to Banneker!

Ed. Note: Thanks to a twitter follower for tweeting us some historical photos of how it used to look.

Cardozo Pool


From Council Member Jim Graham:

“We have another solid step forward in progress for Columbia Heights~~~~ something very special has now been finished is about to be used by the public.

And that is the swimming pool at Cardozo high school built in 1915 and shuttered for many years. It has now been completely restored! I recently visited to see the fine work that had been done.

I ask you–how many communities have a 100 year old pool back in service?

If you permit me a brief commercial message – the pool was not part of the planned restoration of Cardozo high school and was to be mothballed until such time as the money was available for rehabilitation.

I’m pleased to say that I was able to locate the million dollars that reversed that decision and made the pool restoration possible with the rest of the high school.

Special word of thanks to Mayor Vincent Gray, Alan Lew our City Administrator and Brian Hanlon the director of the Department of General Services. And of course all the people who worked on this

Community use will begin in October– I’m told– with both early morning and evening swim hours

Ed. Note: Thanks to a twitter follower for tweeting us some historical photos of how it used to look.

Photo by PoPville flickr user llahood

From the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education:

“Since last October, an Advisory Committee of parents, community members, and other experts have been working with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education to review student assignment policies, DCPS school boundaries, and feeder patterns. After months of work and community input, the Advisory Committee has developed a draft proposal for additional community discussion and feedback.

To get more information and share your feedback on these proposed changes, we invite you to:

Attend a community meeting
June 16th, 6 – 8PM, Savoy Elementary School, 2400 Shannon Place, SE
June 17th, 6 – 8PM, Dunbar High School, 101 N Street, NW
June 19th, 6 – 8PM, Takoma Education Campus, 7010 Piney Branch Road, NW

Provide testimony at Council of the District of Columbia public oversight roundtable on school boundaries on June 26, 2014 at 9AM. Call 202-724-8000 or e-mail to sign up.

Complete a feedback form by July 21st ( OfficeFeedback Form Coming Soon!)
Email your concerns and questions to or call 202-478-5738

Each DCPS school was provided with a letter and map outlining the proposed boundary changes for that school. To see the proposed boundary changes, by school, please click on the appropriate link below. The Washington Post has interactive maps that allow families to type in their address to view how the proposal could impact their elementary, middle, and high school rights.”

You can read the full report below:

Advisory Committee Draft Proposal and Boundaries – June 2014 (PDF)

From a press release:

“What is worth preserving for posterity? 5th graders in Ms. Ronda Scott’s class at Raymond Education Campus explored this question while learning about the role that conservators and photographers play in preserving and maintaining the U.S. Capitol. On Tuesday, May 6th at 6:30pm, students will open an exhibit of their photographs at The Coupe restaurant (3415 11th St NW). Students will lead a 30 minute presentation about this project which included several lessons and a trip to the Capitol led by Live It Learn It (LILI) and a photography workshop taught by Charles Badal, photographer with the Architect of the Capitol. Students were challenged with capturing elements that are worth preserving of the Capitol, their neighborhood, their school and their personal lives using cameras on loan from Nikon Professional Services. The result is an exhibition in which the Brumidi Corridors of the Capitol are juxtaposed with a prized Wrestlemania t-shirt since students thought both should be preserved. (more…)

From Urban Institute:

Last December, the Urban Institute launched “Our Changing City,” an interactive series designed to help anyone with an interest in DC explore 10 years of dynamic growth, 2000 through 2010.

Chapter One covered demographics. We used data, narrative, and maps—lots of maps—to provide a bird’s eye view of how the city transformed after gaining nearly 30,000 new residents—its first population increase in 50 years.

Today, we turn our attention and tools to the educational landscape. New families are changing DC’s schools, driving the first increase in public school enrollment since the 1960s.

In this chapter, we highlight the choices tens of thousands of families are making—traditional public schools versus charters, staying within a school catchment area or traveling beyond it—as the student population grows and demand for K-12 education increases.”