April 2018 DC Public Charter School News

Growing Demand Continues at DC's Public Charter Schools 
2018 Lottery Waitlist Data Available 
Growth in public charter school waitlists is accelerating as more and more families seek to enroll their children in a public charter school. Here are a few highlights from the 2018 waitlist data:
  • 11,317 individual students are on a waitlist to attend a PK-12 public charter school in the 2018-19 school year, an increase of 17 percent over last year.
     
  • Roughly 66 percent of applicants on waitlists are waiting for a spot at a high-performing (or, Tier 1) public charter school. 
     
  • 13,611 total students on a waitlist - across public charter schools -  are waiting for a spot in grades pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, an increase of 1,468 over last year. The greatest demand continues to be in grades pre-kindergaten and kindergarten.
     
  • 65 percent of public charter schools have longer waitlists than they did this time last year. 
Learn more about what the waitlist data show here, and view detailed waitlist data by school and grade here.  Also, view our hidden gems: our highest-performing (or, Tier 1) schools with few or no students on their waitlists here
The Broad, Long-Term Success of DC's Public Charter Schools
 

Scott Pearson, the executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board, explains why the story of DC's public charter school sector is one of continued success, growth, popularity, and quality improvement in an article for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Read his piece here to learn more about why families continue to enroll their students in a DC public charter school. 

A Day in the Life
Briya Public Charter School 
 
Watch the video (above) to see what life is like for students and teachers at Briya Public Charter School, an adult education school that offers a two-generation model. 
School Stories
Encouraging Reading at Two Rivers PCS

Photo Credit:  Two Rivers PCS

Two Rivers PCS's students love to read! Three of their fifth grade students were recently featured on the Book Club for Kids podcast discussing the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. The book is a historical fiction novel by Christopher Paul Curtis. Listen to the students discuss the book here [LINK TO COME].  

Additionally, in a collaborative effort between a pre-kindergarten teacher and a fifth grade teacher to bolster community and reading ability, Two Rivers PCS established a Reading Buddies program. The program pairs fifth graders who need to practice reading aloud with emphasis and fluency, with preschoolers who simply need to be read to in order to develop literacy skills of their own. The Reading Buddies meet for a half hour weekly. The students have developed extraordinary mentorship bonds and are making great strides in enhancing their reading skills.  

Three-Year-Old Dials 911 to Save Grandmother
Pre-Kindergarten three teacher, India Patrick, has taught the same curriculum on community multiple times during her tenure at Early Childhood Academy PCS; this time a life was impacted.

Three-year-old, Harlem, dialed 911 after his grandmother, Kimberly, fainted from a panic attack.

“I am so thankful for Ms. Patrick teaching him. I have really bad panic attacks and I pass out. I felt one coming on, I told him to hold my hand because it’s just [the two of us] us. I had a cell phone and he used it. When I came to, [the EMT] were all there", said Kimberly.
 
As an extension of the text A day in the life of a Firefighter, Ms. Patrick taught all fifteen of her students how to dial 911. “In a section within that book, it [shows] firefighters...teach[ing] fire safety and what to do in case of an emergency. We...get children involved by doing activities that mirror what the firefighter would teach them. [They] learn how to dial 911 and what to say to the dispatcher.”
 
“Harlem was funny because he would write 911 but when we would ask him what number you would dial, he would say '9-9-1'”, says Ms. Patrick with a grin and a chuckle. “We kept telling him if you make a mistake and dial the wrong number, just hang up the phone and try again. But remember the number is 9-1-1."
 
Harlem may have had trouble remembering the correct number to dial in class, but practice makes perfect. When it counted most, Harlem got it right on the first try.

Richard Wright PCS Student Performs Spoken Word at the Rally for DC Lives
Video Credit: The Hill Rag
Imani Ramori, a student at Richard Wright PCS for Journalism and Media Arts, performed spoken word at the Rally for DC Lives on Saturday March 24.  Watch the video (above) to hear her poem. 
Upcoming Events
May 7 - 11 - National Charter Schools Week
Celebrate National Charter Schools Week with us by sharing why you love your public charter school and tagging us on social media (@dcpcsb). 

May 21 - Board Meeting
The Board will hold its next monthly meeting on May 21 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed new charter school applications and to hear from the public. *The meeting will be held at KIPP DC PCS - Heights Academy (2600 Douglass Road, SE). A meeting agenda will be available here

Watch the meeting on our website. Missed last month's meeting? Read a summary here

*Meeting location is subject to change.

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