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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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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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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.

 

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W6PSPO Meeting Notes – January 21, 2020

W6PSPO Meeting Notes

January 21, 2020

Stuart-Hobson MS

1. Laura Marks (Councilmember Charles Allen’s Chief of Staff), Anne Phelps (DC Budget Office Counsel and Senior Advisor) and Jonathan Antista (Deputy Director for Budget) shared an overview of the DC Council performance and budget oversight process. Please review the following documents:

2. Elizabeth Feinstein with Flavors Hook Kids DC presented information about the risks of flavored tobacco products, and current bills before the City Council that would end the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

  • Most needed action now is to reach out to Councilmembers and ask: 1 for a markup of the bill to ban flavored tobacco to include the flavors of mint and menthol; 2 fund the bill. Take action here.
  • Learn about vaping-related issues at https://flavorshookkidsdc.org/. Contact Elizabeth Feinstone to get involved in local, DC advocacy.

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Next W6PSPO Meeting: February 18, 2020, 6:30-8pm, Location TBD

Upcoming Events

From February 3-7, Teaching for Change’s DC Area Educators for Social Justice, local organizers, and community members will collaborate for the DC Area Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. The Black Livers Matter at School Week of Action seeks to improve the school experience for students of color. Throughout the week there are evening events and resources are offered to teach about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history, and anti-racist movements. More information is available at http://bit.ly/BLMatSchoolDC2020.

Upcoming Hearings – Sign up early to testify and double-check date here (dates change)

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ShawMS@Banneker community meeting – Sunday 11/24/18 at 2pm

Neighbors –
On behalf of the parent-led ShawMS@Banneker group, I am writing to invite you to our community meeting this coming Sunday, November 24th, at 2pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St NW). Shaw@B is a group of parents formed to engage with DCPS and the community around the planning process for a Shaw Middle School at the Banneker site, with the goal of having students in 800 Euclid St NW as soon as possible, potentially as early as the fall of 2021 (when current 4th graders would be in 6th grade).
At this meeting:
  • we will present the background on Shaw@B,
  • host a presentation by Cardozo EC Principal Arthur Mola on the current middle school program at Cardozo, and discuss how the community can support his school,
  • dig into the result of our survey of parents on their aspirations regarding educational programming for middle schoolers, and
  • discuss next steps.
We hope you can join us!
Becky Reina
Cleveland ES parent