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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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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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W6PSPO Meets January 21 & Updates

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization members,

1. The W6PSPO will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 21, from 6:30 – 8 pm at Stuart Hobson Middle School (410 E St., NE) in the choir/theater room. Laura Marks and Anne Phelps will give us an overview of the DC Council performance and budget oversight process. Also, Elizabeth Feinstein with Flavors Hook Kids DC will present information about the risks of flavored tobacco products, and current bills before the City Council that would end the sale of e-cigarettes.

2. On January 23, there will be a Welcoming for All? Getting to Inclusive Schools Through Policies and Practice event at VanNess Elementary, 1150 5th St., SE, 6 – 8 pm. You can register for the event at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/welcoming-for-all-getting-to-inclusive-schools-through-policy-practice-tickets-86861389755

3. On January 25, the Multilingual Education Fair of DC will take place at Roosevelt High School, 4301 13th St., NW, 10 am – 3 pm. You can register for this event at https://www.mefdc.org/register/. See attached media kit.

4. 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.

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W6PSPO Updates

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization members,

Below are updates to share with your school communities:

1. EdFest is this Saturday, December 14, 2019, at the Stadium Armory from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Good luck to all of you as you get the opportunity to share what makes your schools special.

2. DCPS will be opening the Stevens Early Learning Center at the historic Thaddeus Stevens School building (1050 21st St., NW) for SY20/21. This will be the city’s first citywide (no boundary) PK3/PK4 program. There will be a priority preference for at-risk families. You can learn more about the Stevens Early Learning Center at EdFest.

3. The Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education will hold a public oversight hearing on updates to the Master Facilities Plan (MFP) on December 18, 2019. Testimony at the hearing is being limited to invited witnesses, and W6PSPO was invited to testify. Sandra Moscoso-Mills will deliver W6PSPO’s testimony. We plan to include the following in the testimony:

a. The importance of the MFP being guided by the principle that the city is responsible for providing facilities for our by-right public education system;

b. The continuing need for School Improvement Teams (SIT) to be partners with DCPS and DGS, and for the SIT to have genuine opportunities to provide input in a timely manner so the input can be considered in the design process;

c. The continuing need to address adequately environmental issues like lead in water during major renovations;

d. The importance of considering renewable energy generation as part of every school renovation in the city;

e. Questions about how swing space is funded;

f. Express reservations about co-location of charter schools on the site of existing DCPS facilities; and

g. Encourage planning to ensure priority access to field space on school property for all DCPS students.

If you have other thoughts on this testimony, please contact Sandra Moscoso-Mills at smoscosomills@hotmail.com.

4. DCPS is shifting to STEMscopes as its primary science curricular in SY19-20 (see attached). If there is a parent interested in following the rollout of the STEMscopes for W6PSPO, please let me know.

5. There will NOT be a W6PSPO meeting in December. The last thing any of you need during this busy time of the year is another meeting. W6PSPO will be back in full swing for its January 21 meeting.

Suzanne Wells

Science Overview K-5 SY19-20.pdf

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W6PSPO Meets Tuesday @ Miner

The Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization will meet on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at Miner Elementary (601 15th St., NE). At our meeting we will be sharing best practices with each other on organizing PTA/PTO meetings. Representatives from Miner, Tyler, the Capitol Hill Cluster School, and Maury will kick off our discussion. We will also be joined by representatives from the Washington Teachers Union who will be sharing their FY20/21 budget priorities.

111919 W6PSPO Agenda

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

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W6PSPO Meets Tuesday, October 17

The Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization will meet on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 pm. I am still working to confirm the location, and will let you know ASAP where the meeting will be.

We will be joined by Carla Mike, the DCPS Connected Schools Manager and Lena Heid, the Eliot-Hine Connected Schools Manager. We will also be joined by Teresa Biagioni, the DCPS Director of School Planning who will be sharing initial plans for the Stevens Early Learning Center DCPS will be opening. We will also have a discussion led by Betsy Wolf on the Comprehensive Staffing Model (see attached), and a discussion on possible agenda topics for W6PSPO meetings during SY19/20.

Finally, we need to begin planning for elections for the W6PSPO Board of Directors.

Please consider running for one of the following positions:

Chair – Prepare for monthly meetings including developing the agenda, inviting speakers and identifying meeting locations. Inform membership about relevant education issues affecting public schools in Ward 6. Testify on an as needed basis to represent the views and opinions of the W6PSPO membership.

Vice-Chair – Assist the Chair in all responsibilities.

Secretary – Maintain the CHPSPO website, including CHPSPO’s Flickr, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Prepare minutes from the monthly meetings.

Treasurer – Maintain CHPSPO’s 501(c)3 status and file appropriate tax documents.

2020 Bike-to-School Chair (May 2020) – Lead a group of parent volunteers to plan the 2020 Bike-to-School Day event.

2020 Walk-to-School Chair (October 2020) – Lead a group of parent volunteers to plan the 2020 Walk-to-School Day event.

Self-nominations are encouraged.

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

Budget Models 071719.docx

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Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization – August 20, 2019 – Meeting Notes

Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization – August 20, 2019 – Meeting Notes

Claudia Lujan, Deputy Chief, DCPS Strategic School Planning and enrollment, shared information on enrollment trends for the Eastern High School feeder pattern.  DCPS prepares school level Recruitment Planning Tools to help schools with recruitment.  These Recruitment Planning Tools show the percent of students living in-boundary who enrolled in the school, and they also show the “Top 5 School Competitors,” i.e., the schools where in-boundary students attend.

In general, DCPS is seeing a high in-boundary capture rate at the elementary schools (around 85%), a much lower in-boundary capture rate for middle schools, and a slighter higher in-boundary capture rate over middle schools for high schools.  Recently, DCPS has seen the middle school in-boundary capture rate increase by 3%.

Principals can use these recruitment planning tools to help in recruiting from feeder schools.  The keys to a strong recruitment strategy are:

  • Parents saying good things about schools (parents listen to other parents)
  • Principals’ vision for the school
  • Teachers and their connection with students and their families.

Principal Brown from Eastern High School shared his thoughts and the steps he is taking to increase in-boundary enrollment.  He said building relationships with the feeder schools is key. He feels it is important to get to know the leadership and counselors at the feeder schools.

He wants parents and students to come into Eastern to begin to take away myths about the school.  Some of the myths Principal Brown identified are:

  • Eastern can’t service English language learners (the school can serve these students)
  • Brown Education Campus is a feeder school to Eastern, but many families at Brown believe they fed into Spingarn when it was open or to Friendship Public Charter School Collegiate Academy.

Eastern is working on communicating the strong academic framework it has with its International Baccalaureate program, and its 9th grade academy.  Eastern developed a vision when it reopened in 2010 that it would be the highest performing comprehensive high school in the city by 2020.  Principal Brown is working to update the school’s vision beyond 2020. Principal Brown plans to hold vision setting sessions with the community in the coming months.

The meeting ended with Sarah Livingston sharing some basic facts from the FY2020 budget for DC and DCPS based on information she has gathered from the final budget approved by the Council.  Three changes the Council made to the Mayor’s March 20 proposed budget are:

  • Increased the per pupil formula from 2.2% to 3% which raised the foundation level to $10,980
  • Allocated $5.35 million, to be spent on 31 schools that had net budget decreases in the proposed budget, including Payne, Walker-Jones, and Watkins in W6.
  • Allocated $260,000 to maintain bus service for the Capitol Hill Cluster School.

 

Next W6PSPO Meeting: September 17, 2019

Upcoming Events

October 2, 2019          The Education Committee/Committee of the Whole will hold a hearing on on Councilmember Allen’s Public School Transparency Act.  If you wish to testify you may sign-up online at bit.do/EducationHearings or call the Committee on Education at (202) 724-8061 by 5:00pm on Monday September 30. 2019.

October 2, 2019          Walk-to-School @ Lincoln Park