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W6PSPO Virtual Meeting April 9 @ 7:30 pm

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization (W6PSPO) Members,

Virtual Meeting to Share Challenges and Solutions
I trust you and your families are staying healthy during these difficult and trying times.  We’d like to have a virtual W6PSPO meeting on April 9, 2020, at 7:30 pm to touch base with each other.  We’ve put together a short survey in advance of our meeting to find out what issues or  challenges you or your school community are facing, and what is working well for you or your school.  We’d love to have principals join us, if their schedules permit.

We will hold our virtual meeting on zoom.  We’d like to ask that you indicate on the survey whether or not you plan to call in for the virtual meeting on April 9.  If you can complete the survey by 5 pm on April 8, we’d appreciate it.  We will send an invitation to  the zoom meeting to all those who plan to call in for the meeting.

Digital Equity Petition
Ensuring equitable access to distance learning is proving to be difficult.  The Chancellor has estimated about 30% of students don’t have access to computers and/or internet connectivity.  Please sign this petition asking the Mayor to make computers available to those students who don’t have them, and work to make broadband access available to low-income families.

Tragedy in the CHCS Family
Finally, I trust by now you have heard about the heartbreaking loss of Maeve McKean and her son Gideon.  Maeve was the PTA president of the Capitol Hill Cluster School, and Gideon was a student at Watkins.  Our hearts go out to Maeve and Gideon’s family, and to the entire Capitol Hill Cluster School community.

Suzanne Wells
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W6PSPO Updates – March 19, 2020

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization members,
I hope everyone in the W6PSPO family is staying healthy and safe.
Our schools have been working hard to ensure students are fed, and getting resources in place so learning can continue remotely.  We greatly appreciate all they are doing.  As homeschooling sets in, we appreciate more and more the hard work teachers do.
Many people are sharing on-line and other resources that parents can use as they home school.  I’ve started a google doc with a few ideas, and encourage everyone to add to the list.
There is one sure thing everyone can do now, and that’s be counted in the 2020 Census!  The U.S. Census Bureau has mailed census IDs to homes across the country.  Fill out your census information online before April 1.  Completing your census information by April 1 will help conserve natural resources, save taxpayer money, and process data more efficiently!
Unfortunately, Bike-to-School Day is not going to be held this year.  We hope we will all be able to celebrate Walk-to-School Day in October.  http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/
For the time being, the DC Council budget oversight hearings have been postponed.  As we learn more about when these hearings will be rescheduled, we will share it.  The Coalition for DC Public Schools and Communities (C4DC) recently released a proposal that seeks investments in DCPS.  When you have time, please take a look at the proposal.
Suzanne Wells
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POSTPONED: Ward 6 Middle Schools Today & Tomorrow – March 17 @ 6:30pm

Please stay tuned for a new date….



Date:         March 17, 6:30-8:00 pm

Location:   Jefferson Middle School Academy, 801 7th Street SW

Register:   https://bit.ly/38vfIeM or go to eventbrite.com and enter “Ward 6 middle schools” in the search option. 

Do you want to learn more about Ward 6 middle schools and how we can support them as parents and community members? Join us for a panel discussion featuring principals from the following schools:

  • Capitol Hill Montessori
  • Cardozo Education Campus
  • Eliot-Hine Middle School
  • Jefferson Middle School Academy
  • Stuart-Hobson Middle School

For questions about the event, please e-mail w6pspo@gmail.com.

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W6PSPO Meets Tuesday, February 25 @ Tyler Elementary

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization members,

W6PSPO will meet on Tuesday, February 25, from 6:30 – 8 pm at Tyler Elementary (1001 G Street, SE). Deputy Chancellor Amy Maisterra will join us for a DCPS budget discussion. We will also be joined by a representative from the Mayor’s Office of African Affairs who will share the city’s efforts to ensure everyone is counted in the 2020 census.

On March 17, the W6PSPO is hosting a discussion with the Ward 6 middle school principals. The panel will feature principals from Capitol Hill Montessori, Cardozo Education Campus, Eliot-Hine Middle School, Jefferson Academy Middle School, and Stuart Hobson Middle School. Child care will be available for children ages 3 and above. We are encouraging people who plan to attend to register for this event. Please share information about this discussion with your school communities.

Many of you saw the Washington Post article about this year’s DCPS budget, and the classification of library media specialists as non-essential. W6PSPO has had a long tradition of supporting school libraries and librarians. A petition is circulating in support of DCPS librarians. So far 630 people have signed this petition. We’d like to help get several thousand signatures. Please share this petition with your school communities.

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

022520 W6PSPO Agenda.doc

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SURVEY: 2020 DC Public Charter School Board Executive Director – Due Feb 5

The next Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board will deeply affect the lives of thousands of DC children and families and hundreds of educators in communities across the city. It is a complex, difficult, and important job. We all want an experienced and well-qualified person with the right combination of talent and experience and need your input to determine that balance.

The Ward 7 Education Council has created a survey where citizens across all 8 Wards can weigh on on what they are looking for from the next DC Public Charter School Executive Director.

Please share your thoughts by February 5, 2020 –> https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XLFQ78

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W6PSPO Meeting Notes – November 19, 2019

Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization (W6PSPO) Meeting Notes

November 19, 2019

Miner ES

1.Sharing PTA/PTO Best Practices – PTA/PTO Meetings Panel/Open Discussion

David Treat and Julie Muir – Miner Elementary, Elsa Faulkenberg – Tyler Elementary, Lona Valmora – Capitol Hill Cluster School

We kicked this series off with a discussion on PTO meetings. Find our notes here. We’ll continue adding to this series at https://w6pspo.org/pto-best-practices/.

2. Campaign for Lead-free water – proposed rule from EPA re; lead and copper is looking for a 60 day extension of public comment period. Asking if W6PSPO will sign-on for extension to March 13 2020 that will go to EPA and OMB. Attendees voted to sign-on

3.  Discussion with the Washington Teachers Union on SY2020/21 Budget Priorities

Priority 1: Fund DC Schools.

Despite an increase in Mayor Bowser’s education budget for FY2020, 20 public schools, including 17 schools in Wards 7 and 8, saw significant budget cuts for the current school year. Overall funding for DCPS did not keep up with rising costs, leading to cuts in many schools.

    • Increased Investment – Meet 2013 Adequacy Levels

In 2013, the District Government commissioned an Adequacy Study calling for per pupil expenditures of $11,628.( In November 2019, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education awarded grant to Afton Partners, LLC to conduct a study of the UPSFF.) We need to reach, if not exceed, this amount in the FY2021 budget and for the first time fully funding our schools. The proposed FY 2020 budget increased the UPSFF base by 2.2 percent, from $10,658 to $10,891 per-student.

    •   Closing the Opportunity Gaps – Spending of At-Risk Dollars

Achievement gaps across nearly all subgroups measured by NAEP have not changed or have grown since 2002/2003. The NAEP scores mirror results on the city’s PARCC tests. The PARCC scores show steady, albeit slow, growth across most demographic groups. However, once again, we see achievement gaps growing. Research is clear that increased spending can, when combined with other reforms, help close achievement gaps, but in DC the funds have not reached the students who are in greatest need.

    • Special Education – Increased supplemental funding.

The District of Columbia continues to fail DC students with special needs. The US Department of Education labeled DC as “needs” assistance” in implementing federal requirements of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Additional funding will allow DC Public Schools to reduce special education class sizes and increase the planning time allowed for Special Education Teachers.

 

Priority 2. Living & Learning Conditions.

If we care about children, we have to improve all the conditions that affect them.’ 

    •   Trauma Informed Practices & Screening

When trauma goes unchecked and is sustained, it can disrupt a child’s brain development, interfering with functions children depend on in school such as memory recall, focus and impulse control. In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. To ensure adequate staffing, we need more information on the experiences of our students and propose that the city screens every student for trauma and uses the findings to ensure adequate staffing.

Priority 3. One Set of Rules for All Schools.

Regardless of where a student attends school, she is entitled to the same rights as a student, including transparency and adherence to all local laws.