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Monday, September 29, 2014

Eight Schools Seek To Change Their Charters'

PCSB announces an opportunity for the public to submit comment on the following public charter school requests to amend their charters': 

  • Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17.  The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.  
  • AppleTree Early Learning PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
  • Creative Minds International PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
  • DC Preparatory Academy PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
  • DC Scholars PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
  • Ingenuity Prep PCS seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
  • The Next Step/El Proximo Paso seeks to increase its enrollment.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15.
    • St. Coletta Special Education PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before November 17. The public hearing will be held on November 17 and the Board will vote on December 15. 

    IMPORTANT DATES

    • Comments must be submitted on or before November 17 or sign up to testify in-person by 4 p.m. November 17.
    • A public hearing will be held on November 17 at 6:30 p.m.  For location, check here.
    • A vote will be held on December 15 at 6:30 p.m. For location, check here.

    HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENT

    You may submit comments, identified by “Name of School - Notice of Petition to Amend Charter – Goals and Academic Expectations or Bylaws,” by any of the following methods:

    1. Submit a written comment via:
      1. Email: public.comment@dcpcsb.org
      2. Postal mail: Attn: Public Comment, DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th St. NW., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010
      3. Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as postal address above 
    2. Sign up to testify in-person at the public hearing on November 17, by emailing a request to public.comment@dcpcsb.org no later than 4 p.m. on November 13.

     *Please select only one of the actions listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT

    Laterica (Teri) Quinn, Equity and Fidelity Specialist, at (202) 328-2660 or lquinn@dcpcsb.org.


    Posted by: PCSB at 10:48 a.m.
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    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Meet PCSB's Newest Board Member



    We’re thrilled to welcome Rick Cruz to the Board.  Cruz’s appointment was unanimously approved today by the DC Council.  He will serve until 2018. 

    Cruz has spent the last seven years, working for organizations as varied as DC Prep Public Charter Schools, Teach for America and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. He shared more about his background and interest in education during his nomination hearing:

    I have long been interested in education. My father came to this country from Peru, arriving with a fierce immigrant work ethic and belief that education was the way to move ahead. For nearly 40 years, he worked as a machinist for a small contracting business and did engineering and electrical maintenance for New York City buildings.

    He had amazing technical skills and an intellectual curiosity that would have been well served by higher education, but he didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. In fact, he gained much of his formal schooling while in the Navy in Peru.

    From an early age, he talked to me about the importance of education. Educational access and opportunity has always been a conversation in our family. I kept his words in mind as I went to college – the first person in my family to do so – and began my professional career.

    Nearly 20 years ago I moved to the District. I stayed to raise a family and ultimately be part of the effort to make this city a better place to live and to raise children.

    Before that, I spent 12 years working and leading strategic consulting and advisory services in the corporate sector. A largefocus of my work was in the finance, audit and risk management arenas. And now I work day-to-day with corporations, foundation and nonprofits, advising their leaders on serving young people in the communities in which they operate.

    In the time I have lived in the city, education has improved and  the public charter sector has played a large role in this progress. There are many reasons for that. Much of it is due to the hard work of social entrepreneurs, school leaders and teachers. However, credit is also due to PCSB which has distinguished itself as a high-quality authorizer and is recognized nationally as such. While at DCPrep, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Board and its staff who carried out their duties with great professionalism, urgency and transparency. They have set and maintained policies and standards that have allowed public charter schools in its jurisdiction to thrive, innovate, scale and increasestudent achievement.

    Analyses of charter school sectors across the country recognize the District of Columbia amongst a very small sample of cities where charter schools unequivocally perform, setting and meeting a high standard for student achievement. Governance - both by the PCSB and of the PCSB - is an important component of its success. That is why I am so honored to have theopportunity to join the Public Charter School Board.


    Posted by: PCSB at 2:08 p.m.
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    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    What Parents Need to Know About Enterovirus



    The DC Department of Health has received a number of calls from schools and parents regarding the Enterovirus D68 (EV- D68). The following letters provide information about the infection and offers guidances to reduce the risk of your child becoming infected.  Read the letter distribute to parents and guardians.  

    Non-polio enteroviruses are very common viruses, causing 10 – 15 million infections in the United States each year. Anyone can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses, but infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to get infected and become sick. That's because they do not yet have immunity (protection) from previous exposures to the viruses.
     
    Most people who get infected with non-polio enteroviruses do not get sick or they may have mild illness like the common cold. Some people can get very sick and have infection of their heart or brain or even become paralyzed. Infants and people with weakened immune systems have a greater chance of having these complications.
     
    You can get infected with non-polio enteroviruses by having close contact with an infected person. You can also get infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
     
    In the United States, people are more likely to get infected with non-polio enteroviruses in the summer and fall.
     
    Symptoms 
    Symptoms of mild illness may include:
    • fever
    • runny nose, sneezing, cough
    • skin rash
    • mouth blisters
    • body and muscle aches
    Some non-polio enterovirus infections can cause:
    • viral conjunctivitis (infection of the eye)
    • hand, foot, and mouth disease
    • viral meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and/or brain)
    Less commonly, a person may develop:
    • myocarditis (infection of the heart)
    • pericarditis (infection of the sac around the heart)
    • encephalitis (infection of the brain)
    • paralysis 
    Transmission 
    Non-polio enteroviruses can be found in an infected person's:
    • feces (stool)
    • eyes, nose, and mouth secretions (such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum)
    • blister fluid
    You can get exposed to the virus by:
    • having close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with an infected person
    • touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them
    • changing diapers of an infected person
    • drinking water that has the virus in it 
    Non-polio enterovirus can be shed (passed from a person's body into the environment) in your stool for several weeks after infection. The virus can be shed from your respiratory tract for 1 – 3 weeks. Infected people can shed the virus even if they don't have symptoms.
     
    There is no vaccine to protect you from non-polio enterovirus infection. Since many infected people do not have symptoms, it is difficult to prevent non-polio enteroviruses from spreading.
     
    You can help protect yourself and others from non-polio enterovirus infections by:
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers
    • Avoiding close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick
    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces 
    Treatment 
    There is no specific treatment for non-polio enterovirus infection. People with mild illness caused by non-polio enterovirus infection typically only need symptom treatment. They usually recover completely. However, some illnesses caused by non-polio enteroviruses can be severe enough to require hospitalization.
     
    If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.
     
    More information is available at the following resources

    Posted by: PCSB at 5:50 p.m.
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    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Open Hearing Tonight Focuses on Options PCS

    Tonight, PCSB will hold a public hearing on Options PCS.  Students, parents, community members and the court-appointed receiver will have an opportunity to share their views with the Board on Options PCS.  

    Hearing from students and parents is particularly important.  With Options as well as any public charter school, we as a Board want to learn more about the education our students are receiving.  While there will be a time for Board action at a later date, our role tonight is to listen and ask questions.  We are looking forward to having an in-depth conversation. 

    Immediately after the public hearing concludes, the Board will begin its monthly public meeting and focus on a number of public charter school matters.  

    The public hearing and monthly meeting are open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. at KIPP DC Grow Academy, 421 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.  Attend in-person or watch via  live stream, here.

    Read the board meeting materials, here.  

    The Court-appointed received will discuss the quarterly report during the meeting. 

    Options PCS Quarterly Summary Report - September 2014


    Posted by: John H. "Skip" McKoy at 10:36 a.m.
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    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Friendship PCS - Collegiate Academy Student-Athlete Balances Sports and Academics


    Jay Cammon, Jr. is a running back and outside linebacker for the school's nationally known football team.  He hits the books as hard as he hits the corner on a pitch-sweep or an opposing quarterback on a fire blitz. Last summer, Jay attended a three-week long pre-law program at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York through the Early College Program and help from the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE). Although a confident and effusive young man, Jay is realistic about balancing his academic and athletic goals. When asked if he plans to continue playing football in college, without hesitation he will say, “Hopefully in the Ivy League or a small [Division]-1 school.”

    In this weekend's Pigskin Classic held at Catholic University, Cammon lead Friendship PCS - Collegiate Academy to win over Turkey Bowl runner-up Wilson High School, 52-44.   


    Posted by: PCSB at 9:53 a.m.
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    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Board Receives Two Applications to Start New Charter Schools

    PCSB has received two applications for potential new charter schools. Both proposals seek to operate a middle and high school program in the District.

    PHILLIPS PCS proposes to open a middle and high school program that will be managed by PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families.  The organization currently operates special education and nontraditional schools in Maryland and Virginia.

    PCSB also received a proposal from the current staff and leaders at Options Public Charter School to operate Kingsman Academy PCS.

    If approved on November 20 by the Board, both of the applicants plan to apply to the Options Receiver request to identify a new operator for Options PCS.

    PCSB is the sole entity in DC with the power to open new public charter schools. The Board has been focused on increasing not only choice in the city but school quality.  The two applications received on September 8 is a decrease from the nine submitted during the last application cycle.  The Board approved three of the nine applications received in May 2014.

    After accepting the applications, PCSB staff and board members will evaluate the applications based on the extent to which the applicant group meets the standards of approval in the Charter Application Guidelines, available here for new schools and here for experienced operators.  

    PCSB will notify all Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs), review each application, conduct a capacity interview, hold a public hearing, and, if applicable, visit existing programs or schools run by the applicant group.

    You may submit comments, identified by “Name of School – Charter Application” by any of the following methods:

    1. Submit a written comment via:
      1. Email: public.comment@dcpcsb.org
      2. Postal mail: Attn: Applications, DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th St. NW., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010
      3. Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as postal address above 
    1. Sign up to testify in-person at the public hearing on October 14, by emailing a request to public.comment@dcpcsb.org no later than 4 p.m. on October 9.

     *Please select only one of the actions listed above.
     
    To read the applications, visit here.   
     

    School Name

    PHILLIPS PCS

    Educational Program & Key Information

    Middle and high school for at-risk students.

    Currently operating two special education schools and two nontraditional, experiential learning programs that blend academic instruction and career skills development in a building trades setting.

    Aims to take over Options PCS, an existing public charter school seeking a new operator.

    Proposed Ward

    6

    1st Year Grades (No. Students)

    6 – 12 (290)

    Year Reaching Enrollment Capacity:

    Grades (No. Students)

    2019-20: 6 – 12 (300)

     

    School Name

    Kingsman Academy PCS

    Educational Program & Key Information

    Middle and high school for at-risk students.

    Application submitted by the current leadership of Options PCS, aiming to conduct an internal turnaround.

    Proposed Ward

    6

    1st Year Grades (No. Students)

    6-12 (300)

    Year Reaching Enrollment Capacity:

    Grades (No. Students)

    2018-19: 6-12 (320)

     


    Posted by: PCSB at 1:15 p.m.
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    Thursday, September 04, 2014

    New Report: Suspensions and Expulsions Down, Attendance Up

    For years, questions have been raised about the discipline policies at many public charter schools.  Two and a half years ago, PCSB launched an initiative that addressed the use of discipline and suspensions, as well as increase the vitally important in-seat attendance rate at public charter schools in the District. 

    PCSB didn’t place new mandates on schools.  We didn’t pass a new law.  Rather we tried something new.  We shared information.  We let each school know where they stood in comparison to each other – and to the district average.  And we helped schools share what works for them with schools looking for answers.  The results have been excellent.  

    We’re pleased with the report finding --public charter schools in the District have made big improvements on all fronts.   

    First, expulsions overall have decreased by half over the past two years.  The number of expulsions has dropped from 237 students in school year 2011-12 to 186 students in school year 2012-13 and now to 139 students in school year 2013-14.  In 2012 0.8% of students were expelled.  In 2014 that rate has been cut in half, to 0.4%  We are now well within national norms for expulsion rates.  

    Second, suspensions have decreased by a fifth in just the last year.  The percent of students with at least one out-of-school suspension went from 14.7% suspended in school year 2012-13 to 11.9% suspended in school year 2013-14. 

    Third, attendance has increased.  In-seat attendance increased by nearly a full percentage point, from 90.7% in school year 2012-13 to 91.5% in school year 2013-14. This means every day about 300 additional charter school students are in school instead of absent!  

    Fourth, truancy has decreased.  It’s down substantially from 18.8% in school year 2012-13 of public charter school students truant to 14.9% in school year 2013-14. 

    We’re proud of the progress we’ve made, but we recognize there is still more room to improve.  This improvement happened because of the hard work of our charter school leaders.

    THE REPORT 

    SCHOOL BY SCHOOL DATA

    SUSPENSIONS
     

    Powered by Socrata

    EXPULSIONS

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    IN-SEAT ATTENDANCE AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

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    LOST INSTRUCTION TIME

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    View the raw data, here.  

    Posted by: PCSB at 11:20 a.m.
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    Wednesday, September 03, 2014

    Open for Comment: Ten Public Charter Schools Seek to Amend Their Charters

                                            

    PCSB announces an opportunity for the public to submit comment on the following public charter school requests to amend their charter’s:

    • Bridges PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Briya PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Creative Minds International PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Richard Wright PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • William E. Doar Jr. PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • LAYC Career Academy PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • Carlos Rosario International PCS seeks to amend its charter bylaws.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.
    • The Next Step/El Proximo Paso PCS seeks to amend its charter goals and academic expectations.  Comment must be submitted on or before October 14. The public hearing will be held on October 14 and the Board will vote on November 17.

    IMPORTANT DATES

    • Comments must be submitted on or before October 14 or sign up to testify in-person by 4 p.m. October 9.
    • A public hearing will be held on October 14 at 7:30 p.m.  For location, check here.
    • A vote will be held on November 17 at 7:30 p.m. For location, check here.

    HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENT

    You may submit comments, identified by “Name of School - Notice of Petition to Amend Charter – Goals and Academic Expectations or Bylaws,” by any of the following methods:

    1. Submit a written comment via:
      1. Email: public.comment@dcpcsb.org
      2. Postal mail: Attn: Public Comment, DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th St. NW., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010
      3. Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as postal address above 
    2. Sign up to testify in-person at the public hearing on October 14, by emailing a request to public.comment@dcpcsb.org no later than 4 p.m. on October 9.

     *Please select only one of the actions listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT

    Laterica (Teri) Quinn, Equity and Fidelity Specialist, at (202) 328-2660 or lquinn@dcpcsb.org.


    Posted by: PCSB at 5:34 p.m.
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    Friday, August 29, 2014

    As the District Implements New Statewide Testing This School Year, PCSB Seeks Public Comment on Academic Accountability Policy

    This year we were happy to see DC CAS proficiency rates increase for student achievement across many public charter schools. These rates on the DC CAS assessment continue to underscore the quality of the public charter school movement in DC.

    With the transition to PARCC, the new statewide assessment, public charter school proficiency rates are not the only measure that PCSB will use to determine the quality of a school.  We'll measure proficiency and growth in math and reading, in-seat attendance, re-enrollment rates among other measures.  

    We recognize that the switch to a new state assessment raises a lot questions, but we would like to ensure parents, schools and stakeholders that PCSB will continue to use the Performance Management Framework (PMF), our academic accountability tools to assess school performance. 

    Therefore, we would like to do three things: 

    • Work collaboratively with school leaders this fall in task forces to determine how to best incorporate the new assessment into the PMF;  
    • Add ahold harmless” clause in the PMF for elementary, middle, or high schools in school year 2014-15. 
    • Add a “hold harmless’ clause in the PMF for early childhood campuses ending in grade 3 based on the performance of their third graders alone in school year 2014-15. 

    Click on the read more link below to review the proposed (hold harmless) policy and how this will be implemented in the upcoming school year. 


     Individuals may submit comments, by one of the following methods:

    1. Submit a written comment by:
      1. Email*: public.comment@dcpcsb.org
      2. Postal mail*: Attn: Public Comment, DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th ST. NW., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010
      3. Hand Delivery/Courier*: Same as postal address above 
    2. Sign up to testify in-person at the public hearing on September 15, by emailing a request to public.comment@dcpcsb.org by no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30. 

    *Please select only one of the actions listed above. 


    Rashida Tyler is the Senior Manager of the School Quality and Accountability Department at PCSB.  Tyler also was a former principal and teacher at public and public charter schools.


    Posted by: Rashida Tyler at 4:03 p.m.
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    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Open for Public Comment: Cedar Tree Academy PCS Request to Amend Charter

    Cedar Tree Academy PCS request to amend its charter's goals and academic expectations on July 28, 2014.  The Board will accept comments from at public.comment@dcpcsb.org on or before September 26.  A public hearing will be held on September 16 and the Board will vote on October 15 during the monthly board meeting.  

    Individuals may submit comments, identified by Cedar Tree Academy PCS - Notice of Petition to Amend Charter – Goals and Academic Expectations,” by one of the following methods:

    1. Submit a written comment by:
      1. Email*: public.comment@dcpcsb.org
      2. Postal mail*: Attn: Public Comment, DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th ST. NW., Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010
      3. Hand Delivery/Courier*: Same as postal address above 
    2. Sign up to testify in-person at the public hearing on September 15, by emailing a request to public.comment@dcpcsb.org by no later than 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 11. 

    *Please select only one of the actions listed above. 

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laterica (Teri) Quinn, Equity and Fidelity Specialist, at (202) 328-2660; lquinn@dcpcsb.org.


    Posted by: PCSB at 5:08 p.m.
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