schools
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Bowser announced that she has chosen Antwan Wilson to lead DC Public Schools (DCPS) as the next Chancellor. Over the past two years, Mayor Bowser has worked to expand learning opportunities for students throughout Washington, DC. Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has launched extended school year at 11 DCPS schools; opened DC’s only all-boys public high school, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School; fully-funded a travel abroad program for DCPS students; launched the Summer Strong DC initiative; increased access to libraries and books; and expanded access to hands-on learning opportunities. In fiscal year 2017, the Mayor made historic investments in education, investing an additional $220 million in the modernization of schools and increasing the Uniform Per-Student Funding Formula by two percent. With increased enrollment and graduation rates and increased academic achievement, DCPS continues to be the fastest improving urban school district. Mr. Wilson’s experiences make him well-qualified to build on these successes while focusing more attention on closing the District’s opportunity gap.

“In his 20 plus years in education, Antwan Wilson has been a teacher, a principal, an assistant superintendent and a superintendent, and at every level, he has been successful,” said Mayor Bowser. “Not only is he an experienced leader, Mr. Wilson is role model for our students. His success proves that with hard work, they can achieve what they set out to do.”

Bowser continued: “As we welcome Mr. Wilson, I share my utmost appreciation for Interim Chancellor John Davis for his leadership during this period of transition and for his continued commitment to our students. The entire team at DCPS deserves our applause for their critical work. I also want to thank the DCPS Rising Leadership Committee – chaired by Pat McGuire and Gina Adams – for undertaking the most comprehensive engagement process since the start of mayoral control and for their guidance during this process.”

Mr. Wilson joins DCPS from Oakland, California, where he is serving as Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). (more…)

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rendering via Bancroft Elementary 1755 Newton St, NW

Thanks to a reader for passing on:

“I’m reaching out to you today to inform you that the Bancroft Traditional campus will be completely shutting down due to the modernization work beginning next week. Effective Friday 10/21, Coakley-Williams will be shutting down access to the soccer field, playground, basketball court, and all of the other outdoor amenities behind Bancroft.”

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2201 18th St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I was wondering if you had any info on the huge construction happening at Marie Reed. They’ve been working on it for months and just recently tore out the whole pool. I haven’t heard anything and was wondering what the plans were for it.”

From DGS:

“Opened in 1977, Marie Reed Community Learning Center is a wonderfully diverse school located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Marie Reed is proud of its many services, partnerships, and course offerings. We offer English monolingual and English-Spanish Dual Language strands as learning environments for our children. With a robust public health clinic, child care center, adult education, swimming pool and turf field, Marie Reed is a hub of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. The modernization of Marie Reed intends to renovate the existing spaces or build a new school to accommodate not only the needs of its elementary school students, but the needs of the community for years to come.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Brian Mosley

“Dear PoPville,

You might be interested in this six-part series showing that a huge portion of DC schools students actually live in Maryland, and the DC government has turned a blind eye, in part because many of the perpetrators work for the city. I would be curious to hear your readers’ observations in the schools in their neighborhood.”

The DCNF spent a month observing pick up/drop off times, tallying license plates of hundreds of cars at multiple schools convenient to Maryland residents. At one school, of 212 cars, 79 had Maryland tags. The result was much the same across the board. The DCNF estimates that of the nearly 1,000 observed plates, as many as 40 percent had Maryland plates.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user rockcreek

From Mayor Bowser:

“This morning, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and I announced that she will be leaving her role on September 30, 2016. I am incredibly grateful to Kaya for her nine years of service to our students, our schools, and our city.

Without a doubt, DCPS is a very different place today than it was when Kaya joined our school system in 2007. DCPS is the fastest improving urban school district in the country. After decades of decline, DCPS has also seen consistent, annual enrollment growth since Kaya became Chancellor—growing from 45,000 students in 2010 to nearly 49,000 students this year. While we will miss Kaya, we can all be proud of her team and her tenure as the second longest-serving leader of DCPS. (more…)

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Photo of 3500 R Street, NW by PoPville flickr user Jacques Arsenault

Office of the District of Columbia Auditor:

“The cost of a new Duke Ellington School for the Arts has grown from $71 million to $178 million without a comprehensive review by the D.C. Council on the location, other cost drivers, and all of the elements required for a performing arts high school, according to a new report by the D.C. Auditor.”

From ODCA’s executive summary (read the full report here):

“May 31, 2016

The Department of General Services Failed to Provide Information the DC Council Needed to Make Informed Decisions on the Scope and Cost of Modernizing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
What ODCA Found:

 The Department of General Services (DGS) and The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) failed to provide timely information to policy makers so they could make informed decisions on the location and desired level of investment for a new performing arts high school.

 DCPS did not finalize Educational Specifications for Duke Ellington School of the Arts before DGS proposed the project for inclusion in the FY 2012 District’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) adopted by the Council.

 DGS based initial and subsequent cost estimates for Duke Ellington on significantly different projects that did not take into account the costs required for a performing arts school.

 DCPS, DGS, and the Executive Office of the Mayor were not transparent while considering alternate sites for Duke Ellington—sites that might have cost less and/or better served the needs of the student population. (more…)

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From an email:

“Saturday’s Rally for Recess in Northeast DC will feature DC Central Kitchen, local chefs, cross trainers and Playworks coaches, providing games, healthy food, demonstrations, A PlayShop training, fun toys and easy recipes. The Rally is supported by Playworks, DC Central Kitchen, the DC Department of Health, Kaiser Permanente and local food/drink donors. (more…)