maryland
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.

school
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…)

12694765895_a90fe8a561_z
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…)

RallyforRecess_Poster_600

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…)

From an email:

“Thought I’d share this video of parents at a DC elementary school learning for the first time that their school had a positive lead test.

It was almost 8 months after the positive lead test. J.O. Wilson [660 K St NE] had also had gone the entire previous school year without any lead tests (from 4/24/14 – 8/20/15).

This school was not on DCPS’s list of 12 schools that tested positive. Despite the positive lead test and a student being injured this school year by a sink falling off the wall at the school, DGS rated the plumbing systems in this school as “Good.”

I also think it’s important to note that this is a great and growing school with a great community and great teachers being held back by its facilities problems.”

fundriaser

From gofundme:

“We are the Senior Class Student Government representatives at Bell Multicultural High School, a public school in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington D.C. This year, our graduating class has been working tremendously, in order to raise enough money to decrease the cost of our senior fees of $300/per student. This total only accounts for the each students Cap and Gown, Graduation Announcements, Yearbook, 1-Prom Ticket, Senior Class T-Shirt, and a Senior lunch. This amount is extremely expensive, considering this total does not include the Senior Trip to New Jersey and New York, currently priced at $350/per person (more…)