September 2018 DC Public Charter School News

Public Charter Schools Serve All Students
In school year 2017 - 18, DC's public charter schools educated 43,340 students compared with 47,982 in traditional schools (DCPS). Our public charter schools also educated higher percentages of at-risk students and high needs special education population students than DCPS.  

Students at public charter schools continue to improve on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC) test. Public charter students earning career and college ready scores (Level 4 or 5) increased by 2.7 percentage points on the English language arts (ELA) assessment and by 1.8 percentage points on the math assessment in school year 2017 - 18.  

We breakdown the results of the PARCC assessment by subgroup in the graphic below. A more comprehensive overview of the PARCC results can be found here.

*At-Risk includes students who are homeless, in the District's foster care system, qualify for TANF or SNAP, or are overage high school students. 
People of Public Charter Schools

Photo Credit:  St. Coletta PCS of Greater Washington

Working at St. Coletta of Greater Washington at various levels has provided me with encouragement to find ways to connect the dots and to find different ways to reach each individual student with disabilities on their own level. My goal is to ensure that each student will be able to use what they have learned in this environment for real life situations and to become more independent.  Always keep in mind there is always a teachable moment! - April Adams-Fowler, Administrative House Assistant, St. Coletta PCS of Greater Washington

Photo Credit:  Monument Academy PCS

New to Monument Academy PCS - a weekday boarding school that serves students in grades 5 - 8 - seventh grade English language arts teacher, Charles Williams, not only meets students where they are but teaches them to reach heights they never believed were attainable due to their surroundings or previous life experiences. As a lifelong resident of DC, Mr. Williams is aware of the struggles that youth in Washington, DC may face. “This population is dear to my heart, as I am the first male in my family to not go to jail…the first in my family to go to college and attain a higher education. Your geographical ward does not determine your lifetime reward." Mr. Williams' educational philosophy is felt the second you enter his space. “Mr. Williams makes me feel like I matter", said Kamren, a student at Monument Academy PCS, after detailing a time in which he had to stand in front of the classroom and read aloud - something he’s terrified to do. Mr. Williams’ counseling and therapeutic background is truly evident in his teaching efforts. He believes that since he’s a product of the city and he can make it, his students can do the same.

Finding Your Identity in the Middle Ages:  Student Led Socratic Seminar at Center City PCS - Capitol Hill 

Photo Credit:  Center City PCS - Capitol Hill

Seventh grade students at Center City PCS - Capitol Hill recently finished reading the novel, Castle Diaries, which is written like a journal about the life of a page during the Middle Ages.  To explore the themes within the book, students led a socratic seminar that explored their own identities, social hierarchies during the Middle Ages, and what it would have been like to live in that time period.  During the discussion, students quickly identified with the inequities within social classes and the unfairness that can come with those inequities. Leading the discussion gave students the chance to build on each others' ideas, debate answers, and hold each other accountable for what was said.  It also gave them an opportunity to take charge of their learning environment. 

Representing Lee Montessori PCS's Legacy Through a Teacher

Photo Credit:  Lee Montessori PCS

Cierra Littlejohn reflects Lee Montessori PCS to a significant and wide degree. First, she represents their mission: Using the Montessori Method to close the Opportunity Gap. Second, she represents the legacy of Tahiira Lee - the Montessori evangelist for whom the school is named. That’s because Ms. Littlejohn just returned to Lee Montessori after a sabbatical year, where she was studying to become a lead teacher in a Montessori environment. Now she’s back, and her ability to connect with the students in her class, both through her innate ability and as a result of the training she received, is remarkable. Going forward, Ms. Littlejohn is Lee Montessori's proofpoint - a shining example of Lee Montessori's strategy for ensuring that, when their students look at their teachers, they’re looking up to someone that represents them, their family, and their community.

Upcoming Events


October 15 - Board Meeting
The Board will hold its next monthly meeting on October 15 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at DC PCSB (3333 14th Street NW, Suite 210)*. 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.

Voices in School Choice - A Community Conversation 
DC PCSB will host three community conversations to share how we define school quality and approve new public charter schools and learn from you about the types of schools and programs you would like to see in the city. Your input will help shape the future of education in our city.  Join us at one of the conversations (childcare will be provided). For more information, please contact Nicole Newman, Senior Community Engagement Specialist at  Flyers for the event in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Amharic are linked.  <
Wednesday October 17
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
LAYC Career Academy PCS
3224 16th Street NW

Thursday November 1
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Bright Beginnings 
3640 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE

Tuesday November 6
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Washington Latin PCS
5200 2nd Street NW

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