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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Board Approves Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS Request to Move to Ward 4


The Board unanimously approved Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS request to relocate its school to Ward 4 ending their sprint to locate a new facility by August 25, the first day of school.  (Watch the video above beginning at the 9:21 mark.) 

The school will relocate from 1328 Florida Ave., NW in Ward 1 to 6017 Chillum Place, NE in Ward 4, and enroll 124 students in grades PK3 to 3.

Posted by: PCSB at 1:33 p.m.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Pahara Institute Names Executive Director Scott Pearson as Education Fellow


PCSB's Executive Director Scott Pearson was named a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, a highly selective program designed to support innovative leaders who are doing exceptional work in transforming public education.  

Pearson is the first PCSB Executive Director to receive this prestigious honor, which recognizes his leadership and commitment to creating innovative solutions and defining new ways to provide an equitable and excellent education for students and adult learners in DC.  

He joins 23 other accomplished leaders in the Fall 2014 cohort of fellows.

Since joining PCSB in 2012, Pearson has implemented significant reforms in how the Board approves and oversees public charter schools, making it a national model for charter school authorizing.  Under his leadership, PCSB has pioneered new strategies, tough and rigorous oversight, and best practices that other authorizers around the nation are adopting. With 61 schools on 112 campuses, Washington, DC now has a network of outstanding public charter schools, offering families quality and diverse educational choices.  

“Achieving excellence and equity in our public schools requires leaders who think creatively, act boldly, and work to bring people together to ensure that a quality public education is available for every one of our children,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO.  “The exceptional leaders in this new cohort of Pahara-Aspen Fellows are using diverse and innovative approaches to making sure high quality learning opportunities are available for all of our children. We are so pleased to be able to support them in their tireless service on behalf of our young people and communities.”

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a two-year, cohort-based program that identifies innovative leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public schools, especially for low-income children and communities. 

The Fellowship is a partnership between the Pahara and Aspen Institutes.  Pahara-Aspen Fellows become part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, which currently includes nearly 1800 Fellows from 46 countries who are collectively making tremendous positive change in the world. 

Past Fellows include: Abigail Smith, Deputy Mayor for Education; Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools; Allison Fansler,  President & Chief Operating Officer, KIPP DC; Emily Lawson, Founder, DC Prep PCS; Jessica Cunningham, Principal, KIPP DC - College Prep PCS; Jennifer Niles, Founder, E.L. Haynes PCS; Preston Smith, Founder, Rocketship Education.   

Congratulations, Scott!  

Posted by: PCSB at 4:50 p.m.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to School: When Does School Begin?

Students at E.L. Haynes – Georgia Ave, E.L. Haynes - Kansas Ave (Elementary & High School) and KIPP DC – Quest Academy (New Campus) [pictured above] and KIPP DC - Arts and Technology PCS (not pictured) kicked off the 2014-15 school year yesterday, August 11. 

Whether your young learner will start their first day in PK or your teenager will embark upon their last “first day” of high school, the back to school countdown has officially begun.  Use this chart 
to determine when your child's school and grade start school.   

* New School or Campus


Ingenuity Prep PCS


Achievement Prep PCS - Elementary and Middle | Only New Students

AppleTree Early Learning PCS – All Locations

Potomac Preparatory PCS

Tree of Life PCS


Ideal Academy PCS


Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science PCS


KIPP DC – Arts & Technology Academy PCS

KIPP DC – College Preparatory PCS

KIPP DC – Connect Academy PCS

KIPP DC – Discover Academy PCS

KIPP DC – Grow Academy PCS

KIPP DC – Heights Academy PCS


KIPP DC – Lead Academy PCS


KIPP DC – Northeast Academy PCS

KIPP DC – Promise Academy PCS

KIPP DC – Spring Academy PCS



Achievement Prep PCS - Elementary and Middle | Only Returning Students


Bridges PCS [Main]

Bridges PCS [Sharpe]

Cedar Tree Academy PCS

Center City PCS – Brightwood

Center City PCS – Capitol Hill

Center City PCS – Congress Heights

Center City PCS – Petworth

Center City PCS – Shaw

Center City PCS – Trinidad

César Chávez PCS for Public Policy – Capitol Hill

César Chávez PCS for Public Policy – Chávez Prep

César Chávez PCS for Public Policy – Parkside High School

César Chávez PCS for Public Policy – Parkside Middle School

Community Academy PCS – Amos 1

Community Academy PCS – Amos 2

Community Academy PCS – Butler Global

Community Academy PCS – CAPCS Online

Creative Minds International PCS

DC Bilingual PCS

DC Scholars PCS

Democracy Prep Congress Heights PCS

Eagle Academy PCS – New Jersey Avenue

Eagle Academy PCS – The Eagle Center at McGogney

Early Childhood Academy PCS

Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS - K-5 Only

Excel Academy PCS – DREAM

Excel Academy PCS – LEAD

Friendship PCS – Blow-Pierce Elementary

Friendship PCS – Blow-Pierce Middle

Friendship PCS – Chamberlain Elementary

Friendship PCS – Chamberlain Middle

Friendship PCS – Collegiate Academy

Friendship PCS – Southeast Elementary Academy

Friendship PCS – Technology Preparatory Academy

Friendship PCS – Woodridge Elementary

Friendship PCS – Woodridge Middle

Harmony DC PCS – School of Excellence

Hope Community PCS – Lamond

Hope Community PCS – Tolson


Lee Montessori PCS

Meridian PCS

National Collegiate Preparatory PCHS

Options PCS

Perry Street Preparatory PCS - High School Only

Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts | 8th grade Only

Sela PCS

Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS

St. Coletta Special Education PCS

Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS

Washington Latin PCS – Middle School

Washington Latin PCS – Upper School

Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCHS | 9th grade Only

William E. Doar, Jr. PCS for the Performing Arts


Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS | PK - K Only

Paul PCS – Middle School

Perry Street Preparatory PCS - Lower School

Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts| 9th grade Only

Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCHS | 10th grade Only


Briya PCS [Georgia Avenue]

Briya PCS [Main]

Briya PCS [Newton St]

Paul PCS – International High School | 10 & 11 grades Only

Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCHS | 11th grade Only


Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts | 11 & 12 grade Only

Washington Mathematics Science Technology PCHS | 12th grade Only


Capital City PCS – High School

Capital City PCS – Lower School

Capital City PCS – Middle School

Carlos Rosario International PCS [Harvard St]

Carlos Rosario International PCS [Sonia Gutierrez]

DC Prep PCS – Benning Elementary

DC Prep PCS – Benning Middle

DC Prep PCS – Edgewood Elementary

DC Prep PCS – Edgewood Middle

District of Columbia International School

Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS

Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS [Missouri Ave & South Dakota Ave] PK4 - 5th grade

Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy PCS

Maya Angelou PCS – Evans High School

Maya Angelou PCS – Young Adult Learning Center

Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS

 Roots PCS

SEED PCS of Washington, DC

Somerset Preparatory Academy PCS

Two Rivers PCS [Elementary]

Two Rivers PCS [Middle]

Washington Yu Ying PCS


Latin American Montessori Bilingual PCS [Missouri Ave & South Dakota Ave] | PK3 Only


Community College Preparatory Academy PCS

LAYC Career Academy PCS


The Next Step/El Próximo Paso PCS


Academy of Hope


YouthBuild PCS


Posted by: PCSB at 9:23 p.m.
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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS Request to Locate to Ward 3, Board Opens Public Comment Period

Shining Stars Montessori Academy PCS plans to relocate to a new location in Ward 3.   The Board will hold a public hearing on August 18 to discuss the school’s request to relocate from1328 FloridaAve., NWin Ward1 to 2461 Wisconsin Ave. NW.   The montessori school opened in 2011 and will serves grades PK3 through 3 this school year.  

The Board will accept public comments about the request until August 18.   

Submit written comments to or mail to DC Public Charter School Board, 3333 14th Street, NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20010, Attention Board Meeting. 

To sign up to testify at the public hearing, email  or call PCSB at (202) 328-2660 by 3 p.m. on August 15 to be placed on the witness list. Witnesses are limited to two minutes each and are asked to bring 10 copies of the testimony to the hearing. 

Posted by: PCSB at 9:43 a.m.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Farewell and Best Wishes to Our Summer Interns

As summer comes to an end, we want to take a moment and thank our summer interns for all their hard work and dedication during their time with us.

This summer, we were fortunate to have, from left to right, Michelle Jean-Baptiste (a student at Howard Law School), Diana Villatoro (an undergraduate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Capital City PCS alumna), Vince Lampone (a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School), Anna Powell (a graduate of Princeton University), Michelle Sczpanski (an undergraduate at Syracuse University), and Amelia Moorestein (a graduate of Georgetown Law Center) working alongside our staff. Emanee Baylor (not pictured, a student at Cesar Chavez PCS for Public Policy – Capitol Hill) also joined PCSB for a few weeks.

The DC Public Charter School Board’s Internship Program offers undergrads, grad students, and recent graduates an opportunity to participate in the burgeoning charter school system of Washington, DC. Interns can apply for any team at PCSB, from Communications, Data Management and Analysis to Human Capital. Through their contributions to PCSB’s work as an authorizing body and support system for the District’s public charter schools, interns gain firsthand understanding of the public education system in DC. This knowledge, combined with professional experience, creates an opportunity to own part of the exciting and important work of PCSB.

Anna Powell, a Human Capital intern, had this to say about her internship experience:

“As a summer intern, I have felt privileged to be a part of the Human Capital team. Not only does my supervisor support me in pursuing meaningful projects, but she also offers me thoughtful professional guidance. As I look forward to grad school, I have an enriched perspective of the education landscape in a dynamic city like Washington. I also value the insight I have gained into the types of jobs available at an organization like PCSB. My internship has thus not only been an important learning experience, but it has also helped me as a young professional to begin discovering how my interests and strengths can lead to a meaningful career in education. “

The entire PCSB staff was impressed by their professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment that each intern displayed over the past months.

Interested in interning at PCSB?  

Posted by: PCSB at 4:56 p.m.
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Monday, August 04, 2014

PCSB Releases 2014 Annual Report



"Quality and Choice. We hear those words a lot, but


what do we really mean?  You'll see from the pages


inside the 2014 Annual Report that even as charter


schools continue to expand, their quality and


academic performance also rise." 


John H. "Skip" McKoy, PCSB Board Chair





Posted by: PCSB at 9:46 p.m.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Information Session for Prospective Charter School Applicants to be Held on August 7

On August 7 from 10 a.m. to noon, PCSB will host a public information session for prospective charter school applicants to discuss the 2014-15 Charter Application Guidelines for New Schools and Experienced Operators at our office. 

PCSB staff will facilitate a question and answer session with potential applicants. Attendees are encouraged to read and prepare questions about the guidelines and the application process prior to the session. Please RSVP at if you plan to attend.


Applicants may also find information from prior application cycles helpful, the information is available on the Start a Charter School section of our website.

 Experienced Operators 2014-15                       New Schools 2014-15
             Charter Application                                Charter Application


Posted by: PCSB at 3:55 p.m.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Charter Founders: Lee Montessori PCS

“When you choose to form a school, you have the beginnings of an idea, but it isn't until you have something on paper that you really start to get an idea of how you will leverage the passion, skills, and experience of a team to achieve a shared vision for closing the achievement gap.”  Founders of Lee Montessori PCS 

We were really excited after turning in our application.  When you choose to form a school, you have the beginnings of an idea, but it isn't until you have something on paper that you really start to get an idea of how you will leverage the passion, skills, and experience of a team to achieve a shared vision for closing the achievement gap.  Our application took this vision to a level of detail that forced us to answer the nitty-gritty questions: Can we afford to implement our model?  How do we have a holistic plan that serves all of the students we want to serve?  What's the best way to grow?  How do we maintain sustainability?

The day we turned in our application to the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), we felt we knew our school.  We didn’t have a building, but we knew what it would look and feel like.  We didn’t have students, but we could see our scholars learning.  And we hadn’t hired teachers, but we could envision the talented individuals we would need to help us in our mission of closing the achievement gap for our students.

As a small founding group, we didn’t have a lot of start-up money. We all pitched in to edit, review, copy, and assemble our more than 200 page application.  The review process was difficult and somewhat arduous, but at the same time exhilarating, because our team was passionate about implementing high-quality Montessori programming. Because we wanted to ensure our application had sufficient detail, we worked long hours leading up to the day the application was due, but thankfully no all-nighters!

On May 20, 2013, PCSB approved our application.  The Washington Post's Emma Brown said it best:  "The two successful applicants for new charters are giddy after PCSB vote. I think I heard talk of champagne."  We were proud to have external, objective validation of the strength of our plan and ecstatic to know we would start implementing our work.  

We're very proud of our application and all the work done so far, but now we begin the hardest part.  We have spent a lot of time doing outreach and project planning to ensure we have a strategy that will get us a school that, on the first day of school, is fully enrolled and staffed by the greatest teachers in the District of Columbia.  

We're somewhat a case study in how perseverance pays off when designing a charter application in DC.  We didn't realize how much was missing in our application last year until we went through the application process, but we knew we had a great idea that others would value, so we kept going.  

Lee Montessori PCS, located in the Edgewood neighborhood in Ward 5, will open in August 2014 and serve 70 students in pre-kindergarten 3 through first grade and add a grade each year up to sixth grade.  

Posted by: PCSB at 10:55 a.m.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Rocketship PCS Prepares to Launch

There has been much buzz over the past year about the expansion of Rocketship Education to our nation’s capital. Community members and partners are excited about the possibilities that Rocketship’s innovative personalized learning approach will bring to the Ward 8. In Woodland Terrace, a longstanding member of the community echoes this sentiment.

Ms. Juanita Britton, who owns and operates a local art gallery in the community, says she is “looking forward to the unique relationship between the Rocketship DC school and the community at large — particularly the Woodland Terrace community.” Britton has worked in Woodland Terrace for years and has quickly become a supporter of Rocketship DC. Other Ward 8 community partners like Horton’s Kids are also looking forward to building a strong partnership with Rocketship DC.

The building will sit on top of a hill looking out over a forest, part of a green way connecting the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum to Fort Stanton Park to Fort Davis Park, all the way to Fort Dupont Park.

The building will sit on top of a hill looking out over a forest, part of a green way connecting the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum to Fort Stanton Park to Fort Davis Park, all the way to Fort Dupont Park.

We’re incredibly excited about the facility for our first school in DC. It will be our best facility to date, probably the best we will ever build. We are working to create a learning environment that is both an asset to the community and conducive to student learning. The two-story, 54,000 square foot building will feature a glass entrance, an outdoor terrace, two playground structures and incredible views.

“One of the unique assets of the site on Raynolds Place is the rolling forested landscape. It’s the driving force behind the campus design,” explains Harrison Tucker, Rocketship’s Facilities Project Manager.

“The cafeteria, learning lab, outdoor gathering space, playgrounds and southern-facing classrooms will all enjoy spectacular views of the trees and hills. There will even be a nature trail within the campus grounds for the students to enjoy the natural landscape in an urban setting. We are very excited about this 3.87 acre site and this design for Rocketship’s flagship DC campus.”

After meeting with families and community members for more than I year, I know Woodland Terrace is a small community of families who truly want the best for their children. Our goal is to create a flagship Rocketship school in this community that is a source of pride and excitement for adults and students alike.

In this spirit, we are asking community members to weigh in on the design of our outdoor front entrance seating area. We also want community input on a mural to be featured on the front of the gymnasium. The neighborhood feeling a sense of ownership of the school is a top priority for us. We want to provide another high-quality option that not only achieves academically, but that also connects with the community.

Barry lives in DC where he’s been working to engage the community before we open our first school. Prior to his work at Rocketship, Barry was the Director of School Services at Metro TeenAIDS. He earned his BA in Psychology with an emphasis on Family and Child Development from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MA in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. When he’s not working, Barry enjoys mentoring, all things Tar Heel basketball and eating great food.

This is a cross post from the Rocketship Education blog.  

Posted by: PCSB at 9:40 a.m.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

We're Closed Today for Professional Development


Posted by: PCSB at 9 a.m.
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