March 2018 DC Public Charter School News

Quality Options for Every DC Family
I should be held accountable for providing an excellent education to every single student that's in our school community. - Brittany Wagner-Friel, Principal, E.L. Haynes PCS
We visited several public charter schools in Washington, DC to capture what a quality public charter school education means to parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Watch the video (above) to hear administrators describe the importance of being held accountable to high standards, families who want to find the right fit for their children, and students who are thriving in the school of their choice. 
Four New Charter School Proposals 

Four groups submitted applications to open a public charter school in Washington, DC. If approved, the public charter schools could open in the 2019 - 2020 school year.

One proposal plans to educate students in grades 5-8, another will serve grades 6-12, and two will offer grades 9-12. 

Our staff evaluates each application based on our Standard for Approval, which requires that the application demonstrate five criteria: a demonstrated need for the school; sufficient progress in developing the plan; consistency of the mission and philosophy; inclusiveness; and founding group ability.

The criteria are evaluated through the following process:

  1. Review of the written application using the Charter Application Guidelines;
  2. Visit to an existing school(s) operated by the group (if applicable) before May 19;
  3. Capacity interviews on April 3.  (These interviews allow DC PCSB staff to ask in-depth and clarifying questions about the proposal to each applicant group); and
  4. Public hearings, which are opportunities for DC PCSB's Board and the public to hear from the applicant groups and public.

Learn more about the process and read each group's application here

People of Public Charter Schools
A Pioneer in Education, Honoring Women's History Month

Photo Credit: Eagle Academy PCS

The gender gap is biggest of all when it comes to the STEM workforce. Children are naturally curious about the world around them and as a female STEAM teacher, my goal is to capitalize on that and encourage our young women to study engineering, math and the sciences. They too can be biologists, physicists, mathematicians and engineers! - Karen S. Brooks-Bauer, Early Childhood STEAM Specialist at Eagle Academy PCS

School Stories
Whole Brain Teaching at The Children's Guild DC PCS
Photo Credit:  The Children's Guid DC PCS

 “Class, class,” the teacher calls out to which the students respond “Yes, yes!”  She then asks her students to mirror her words and animated gestures as she explains the task for the students. This dynamic teaching method is known as Whole Brain Teaching, or WBT. WBT is an approach that maximizes student engagement by integrating classroom management with effective teaching strategies.  All teachers and school staff at The Children's Guild DC PCS engage students through this method. WBT has brought the school much success reaching students who have endured trauma, live in impoverished areas, and/or may qualify for special education services. The school plans to get a certification in WBT. 

National Collegiate Prep PCS's Football Coach Helping Students Succeed

When Malcolm Hilliard took the football coaching job at National Collegiate Prep PCS, he wanted to send a message. Now that message couldn’t be any clearer. On National Signing Day, Hilliard watched seven of his seniors sign letters of intent to play college football, something young men from Ward 8 aren’t supposed to do. Hilliard's team finished their season at 12-0. Not bad for a team that doesn't even have their own football field or weight room. The DC native is hoping to continue this tradition for youth in the areaRead more here.

Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS Students Showcase Legal Skills in Peer Court

Photo Credit: Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS

Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS is a legal themed high school located in Anacostia. This year, the school partnered with YouthJustice, Inc. to begin a “Peer Court.”  In Peer Court, students are encouraged to become more involved with law, school policies, and help others make better decisions. Students also gain insight into how school officials handle disciplinary matters and provide alternative and restorative responses to violations of their disciplinary code. As participants in the course, Thurgood Marshall Academy students learn how to question, empathize with whom they are speaking, apply restorative justice practices, as well as learn the practical mechanisms for running a courtroom. Thurgood Marshall Academy administration provides students with a range of cases through Peer Court, from skipping class to physical altercations. Peer Court allows students the opportunity to come together to determine a fair sentence. Richard Pohlman, Executive Director, stated that “Peer Court has definitely shifted the way our students interact in the disciplinary process, and how administration thinks about responses to situations at the school. It has been a win all around and encouraged us to think deeply about how we expand the program.”

Upcoming Events
April 23 - Board Meeting
The Board will hold its next monthly meeting on April 23 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 Friendship PCS - Armstrong (1400 1st 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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