February 2018 DC Public Charter School News

Thank You DC PCSB Chairman Darren Woodruff
"Looking back at my time on the board, I am proud of what we have accomplished and how far we’ve come to improve public education in this city."

On February 13, DC Public Charter School Board's (DC PCSB) Board Chair, Darren Woodruff, gave his final testimony during DC Council's Committee on Education Performance Oversight Hearing.  On February 24, Darren's tenure ended; however, he will continue to serve until his replacement gets sworn-in.  We thank him for his exemplary leadership and dedication to public charter school students across the city. 

Read Darren's testimony here and read our responses to the DC Council's oversight questions here

People of Public Charter Schools
Celebrating Black Excellence in Education 

Photo Credit: Washington Latin PCS

I teach because I believe it is so important to the future of our country that my students know their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as citizens of the United States, as well as the legacy and history they have inherited from the entire western world. I believe that my students are not what they were born, but what they have it in them to be; and it is an honor and a privilege to help them explore history and our world. - Lawrence Staten, Teacher, Middle School Civics (6th grade), Washington Latin PCS, Tier 1 School

Representation matters.  Research has found that economically disadvantaged black boys and girls do better when they have at least one black male teacher.  It is crucial for students to have role models and see people that look like them in positions of influence. 

For Black History Month, we recognized a black male public charter school teacher throughout the month.  These individuals are impacting students’ lives.  Besides teaching core subjects like reading and math, they are also mentors, confidantes, and friends to their students.  Read about these black male educators who are making a difference here

School Stories
When History Inspires Change at Capital City PCS - High School

Photo Credit:  Capital City PCS

At Capital City PCS - High School, a Tier 1 school, history classes require more than memorizing a long list of dates.  Capital City students learn why major events happened and their impact on today’s world.  The school strives for its students to learn all sides of a story to inform their own understanding of events.  The Washington Post highlighted this approach to education in “Students gain an appreciation for history after learning there’s more to the story.”  In the article, two Capital City 11th graders, Tori and Kiara, discuss how examining multiple perspectives and sources provides them a more accurate picture of history and how this knowledge empowers them to take action to make the future better.  Last school year, Capital City students created a petition to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Today, they have more than 500 signatures and are now requesting DC Council Chairperson, Phil Mendelson, to call a hearing on this Bill to share their research in hopes of officially changing the holiday. 

Friendship Woodridge International Middle PCS Student Traces His Lineage

Like the millions of African Americans whose glimpses into their family trees yield a bounty of names, faces, and unearthed narratives, Ziyahn Richardson has touched his past.  For the 11-year-old Washingtonian, his research did more than trace ancestry, though. It connected his lineage to one of the District’s most memorable historical events: Emily Edmonson and the Pearl Escape.  Read more here.

Black Lives Matter Week of Action at Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS

Photo Credit: Inspired Teaching Demonstration PCS

One of the thirteen principles of the [Black Lives Matter] movement is Black Villages. The Inspired Teaching Demonstration School [a Tier 1 schoolhosted "Voices of our Village", an event during which families, teachers, and school leaders had honest conversations about diversity and equity.  They looked at student work, discussed implications of taking this on, and brainstormed next steps to keep this energy in their school. Learn more about what other schools across the District did during the week here.

Upcoming Events
March 19 - Board Meeting
The Board will hold its next monthly meeting on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss various issues related to public charter schools and to hear from the public. *The meeting will be held at the DC Public Charter School Board's office (3333 14th Street NW). 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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