Good Afternoon: Council Member Catania and other members of the Committee on Education, thank you for the opportunity to speak at this important council hearing. My name is Tiffany L. Brown, I am a 4th generation Washingtonian, a product of DC Public Schools, a DCPS Teacher, the Chairperson of the LSAT at the Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, (CHM@Logan), and the proud parent of two children at the school, one in first grade and the other in kindergarten. I am here as a member of a school community that works tirelessly to ensure that the District has a great Montessori school, Pre-School through 8th grade. CHM@Logan provides District children an unique learning experience. The Montessori approach to learning is to embrace the whole child in their learning. While there are prescribed gates of learning, each student is guided to ensure they reach their own milestone. In August 2014, CHM@Logan will operate as a full-fledged Pre-school – 7th grade Educational Campus. In order to do this, we need adequate funding to make this happen. In late 2013, We, the CHM@ Logan community solictilated assistance from the Office of the Mayor, City Council, as well as DCPS to assure that the facilities as well as the resources would be in place, not planning to be there, but to be there by August 2014. To date, we have not gotten any assurances that this will happen by the first day of the 2014-2015 school year. As a product of this great school system, I know that this can be accomplished.
I do realize that every parent wants only the best for their child and that is what we want at CHM@Logan. Our school body is composed of students from every ward in the city, including military families. Every year since our inception, our numbers have grown, and the number of families seeking a Montessori Education for their children is astronomical, with 1,283 that applied for this upcoming school year alone. Of that number, nearly 40 have applied for our middle school classes.
With all that said, we need our facilities to meet the ever-growing demands of our school community, as we expand to middle school. We have asked and continue to ask for additional funding to convert our Annex space to a more suitable middle school environment; things like right-sizing the bathroom so that it is appropriate for middle school aged students, adding the needed technology, and other materials that make a Montessori Middle School Program work.
As it stands now in the District, the Middle Schools are a mess! We want to help the District as it turns around its middle schools in the city. We would love to be viewed as a beacon for Public Montessori Education that the Nation can follow. If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail. We want our children to feel supported, protected, and given the opportunity to learn in a Montessori Environment through Middle School. We are asking that you help us by fully funding the Middle School Expansion, now. We need our doors to open in August 2014, Ready to Educate. At CHM@Logan our mission is to educate the whole child for a whole world. Fully funding our middle school expansion will assist us in doing just that! Thank you for the opportunity to testify.
Tiffany L. Brown,
Parent and Local School Advisory Team Chair at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan Education Campus
Education Budget Oversight Hearing
Thursday, April 17, 2014 10:00 a.m.
John A. Wilson Building, Room 500