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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
 

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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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Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Adult Education Program Offers Students a Second Chance



Harrison said the academy offers adult basic education, the general education development, an external diploma program and pathways to college success.

The academy also offers education services to assist adult learners in attaining their educational goals including, computer training, workplace literacy projects and career assessment and planning while also offering a range of student support services to help break down barriers that may stand in the way of a student achieving his or her goals.

“Our students can earn up to four college credits with matriculation to the University of the District of Columbia,” Harrison said.

Chase, a 2012 alumni of the Academy of Hope, began to reflect on his foreman’s comments and to think about his future. “The first thing on my list was to catch up on what I missed in high school. Second, I needed to refresh my mind and get certifications that would help me to be a better professional and I found the Academy of Hope and immediately signed up. I finally conquered the math I had been having problems with,” he said.

Chase has now started taking college preparatory courses at the Academy of Hope and he said he hopes to join the Air Force and train for a career in computers and Internet Technology.

“My message here is that people make mistakes,” Chase said. “But, there is a second chance for everybody.”

For more information, or to inquire about signing up or volunteering at the Academy of Hope, visit www.aohdc.org, or call 202-269-6623.

Source: DC Informer

Posted by: PCSB at 11:13 a.m.
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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

                                                       Scott_Pearson

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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