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…)

school
Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced that ten DC Public Schools (DCPS) schools will move to an extended-year calendar in School Year 2016-2017. This announcement comes during Education Week, Mayor Bowser’s week-long effort to highlight how the District is accelerating the pace of school reform and creating pathways to the middle class for District residents.

“A pathway to the middle class starts with a great education,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our public schools have made significant gains in recent years, and I am committed to building on those gains – so that we can close the achievement gap and give all of our students a chance for success. By extending the school year in these ten schools, we will offer students the equivalent of an extra year of learning by the time they reach the 8th grade.”

The extended year includes an additional month of instruction, taking the academic school year from 180 to 200 days. There will be an additional two weeks provided for students who need extra support, and breaks in October and June to accompany the normal winter and spring breaks.

Research suggests that time away from school during the summer contributes to the achievement gap. School districts across the country that have extended the school year have seen significant gains among their student bodies.

“Students, especially our students in struggling schools, deserve the opportunity both to excel in core subjects like reading and math and to explore a wide range of interests including art, music, PE, advanced courses, library, and foreign language,” said Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools.

The ten new elementary and middle schools with extended year planned for the 2016/2017 school year: (more…)

schools
Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

From DC Public Schools:

“Inclement weather announcement below! All DCPS schools will be closed tomorrow, 1/25/16.”

Update from the Mayor:

“DC gov will be closed tomorrow. Essential staff will continue the #DCDigOut. Plz stay off the road while crews work.”

Update from OPM:

“01/25 DC area Fed offices closed.Emergency & telework-ready employees follow agency policies http://www.opm.gov/status”

wilson
Photo by PoPville flickr user Phil

From a press release [3950 Chesapeake St, NW]:

“Incident at Wilson
December 1, 2015

Dear members of the Wilson High School Community,

At Wilson High School, we highly value and are committed to fostering a learning environment where students feel safe and secure. We also want to clearly communicate with parents about safety issues when they arise.

This is to alert you that at around 1:15 pm a gun was discovered in a student’s bookbag. The gun has been surrendered to police, and the student is being detained. At this time there is no immediate threat to the school. All students are safe. We will share additional details with you as appropriate.

I want to assure you that the safety of all Wilson High School students is one of our top priorities, and we remain committed to ensuring that your students are safe.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this incident or safety and security at our school, please feel free to contact me. Thank you again for your cooperation and support.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Martin

Principal, Wilson High School”

dc test scores

From a press release:

“Today, District of Columbia education leaders announced a new baseline for how high school students are performing in DC. As part of its commitment to education reform, the District recently implemented the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

These annual assessments, which replace the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (or DC CAS), measure students’ proficiency in English and math. The District moved to the PARCC assessments because they more accurately measure students’ progress toward acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for success in college and in the workplace.

Eleven states along with DC administered the PARCC assessment for the first time last spring, and the high school results are now in. On English II, 25 percent of students met or exceeded expectations. An additional 17 percent of students approached expectations. On math, 10 percent of students met or exceeded expectations. An additional 24 percent of students approached expectations.

More detailed results can be found at osse.dc.gov/parcc(more…)

From a press release:

In four years spanning the Fenty and Gray administrations, the District’s school modernization program violated statutory requirements on transparency and funding, failed to assess and secure contingency savings, and spent more per square foot on five high school modernization than called for by the District’s Master Facilities Plan, according to a report today from the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (ODCA).

[DGS Final Report (pdf)]

The audit, covering fiscal years 2010 through 2013, found that the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization and its successor, the Department of General Services, failed to provide sound financial management, “creating the risk that the District has not obtained maximum value for taxpayer dollars and the potential for misuse of taxpayer funds.” The District spent $1.2 billion on school renovations during the four-year period. (more…)

StairMural_140707-e1408030983991
Photo from Roosevelt HS renovation via Department of General Services

From an email:

“Good Morning Neighbors,

Last night I attended the meeting at McFarland regarding Roosevelt’s delayed opening. They delays didn’t surprise me, but what shocked me to no end was what I heard about the current conditions at McFarland for Roosevelt students.

Our teens are being taught in an environment that no one should be expected to learn in, or teach in. According to the parents, students and staff present, the bathrooms don’t work, nor does the HVAC, there are not ample facilities for the athletics teams, and most shocking there is a rat infestation bad enough that the students have named the rats – Bigboy and Hunchback. I wrote an article about it that goes into more detail this morning that you can read here if you are so inclined.

In the meantime, I have also written to Mayor Bowser, Councilman Todd and Chancellor Henderson, imploring one simple thing: if you’re going to keep these kids in the McFarland building for another year, make the building habitable.

There is no reason these problems can’t be addressed over the summer, and our children deserve that. Please take a minute to lend your voice to this! I don’t have a current Roosevelt student, and I’m not sure at this point if my children will go there or not – it’s not about me or MY kids. We all, as a community, have a duty to ensure EVERY child receives a wonderful, quality education in a safe environment. It doesn’t matter if they are your children or not. There is power in numbers and we must use our power to help these kids.

I am asking you to reach out to the Mayor, the Council, DCPS, the media (if you have contacts) and anyone else that can help. Below is the letter I sent. Feel free to use it in part or whole or as a reference. I have zero pride of authorship here. I just want to see these kids treated right.

Thanks in advance, and please spread the word.

Lisa Jackson”

17497494398_1247b4f4bf_z

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve noticed that E.L. Haynes, a charter school, is locking their playground on evenings and weekends.This doesn’t seem right to me. Powell Elementary and Roosevelt High keep their facilities open on the weekends. I don’t have kids but I am a tax payer and I like the idea of neighborhood kids being able to play at playground in their neighborhood. Does E.L. Haynes have the right to refuse access to their playground on evenings and weekends?”