DC Public Charter School Students Head Back to Classrooms for 2012-13 School Year

Friday, August 24, 2012

Contact: Audrey Williams 301-351-6259 (c)  202-328-2748 (o)

Washington, D.C. — Tens of thousands of the District’s public  school students will head to charter school classrooms next week, ready to start another school year of high academic performance.  This year there are a total of 57 public charter schools across more than 100 campuses. Charter school families will have more education choice this year in four new charter schools. Meanwhile a dozen charter schools are under new leadership and nine schools are operating in new locations.

“We are excited to start another year and look forward to continued growth in the performance of charter schools,” said Scott Pearson, executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB). “With the addition of four new schools, we expect the number of students choosing charter schools to grow as it has every year.”

New Schools
Creative Minds International, at 3224 16th St NW in Ward 1, is the first public school in the city to offer the International Primary Curriculum, including foreign language instruction in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to students from pre-kindergarten to second grade when it opens August 27.  “The International Primary Curriculum makes learning fun for kids,” said Principal Golnar Abedin. The school will also have a project and arts-based curriculum.

DC Scholars will open August 27 in the former Shadd Elementary School on 5601 East Capital St SE, in Ward 7, for students from pre-kindergarten to third grade. The school, which will be managed by Philadelphia-based Scholar Academies, offers an extended school day and school year as part of its college-prep curriculum.  “We offer 33 percent more time in school because we want our scholars to be over-prepared for high school,” said Rebecca Crouch, DC Scholars principal. “We believe more time in front of effective instruction will dramatically close the achievement gap.”

Students from across the city have enrolled at BASIS DC at 412 8th St NW in Ward 2, which has already hosted students for a summer session and plans to offer what it describes as an academically rigorous liberal arts college preparatory education. "I hope students leave the first day wanting to come back for more," said Principal Paul Morrissey. The school will open with grades 5 to 8 on August 27.

For youth ages 16 to 24 who may be behind academically, Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) Career Academy will offer GED courses, and other classes and training including college-prep classes to earn college credits. “Students are choosing to come to us because they realize they need more education.  We had 250 applications for 100 slots,” said Angela Stepancic, principal. The school, located at 3047 15th Street, NW in Ward 1, will open September 10.  

New Leaders
The best charter schools have strong school leaders who create and maintain a charter school’s unique education mission. This leadership role is even more critical because charter schools operate as independent public schools. The following schools are welcoming new leaders this year:

DC Prep
•    Rick Cruz will take over as Chief Executive Officer of the DC Prep network of schools in September from founding CEO Emily Lawson, who steps down after 10 years. Lawson will remain through December to help with the transition before moving to her new role as a DC Prep Board member.  Cruz comes to DC Prep as a seasoned and accomplished leader with experience in education reform and a successful 17- year management career in the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
•    Raymond Weeden is the new principal of Benning Elementary Campus, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 3rd. Weeden was previously the principal of Chavez Parkside Middle School.

Shining Stars Montessori Academy
•    Aldel Brown has been appointed Interim Executive Director of the culturally-infused Montessori school with grades pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. Brown formerly served as secretary on the school’s Board of Trustees.

Tree of Life
•    Tenika Holden is the new principal of the school, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 8th. Holden was previously assistant principal at DCPS’s Spingarn High School.

Eagle Academy
•    Kimberly Jackson is the new principal at the New Jersey Ave. campus of the school, which serves grades 1-3. She was previously assistant principal at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy Charter School in Baltimore.  

Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy
•    Yvonne Waller is the new principal for both Parkside Middle & High school campuses. Waller, was previously principal of Cesar Chavez - Parkside High School.

Integrated Design and Electronic Academy (IDEA)
•    Alcine Mumby is the new principal at IDEA which has grades 7-12. Mumby was previously Dean of Students at DC Prep and Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School.
•    John Goldman is the new executive director.  Goldman was previously the executive director at William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts.

Imagine Hope Community – Lamond
•    James Owmby is the new principal at the Image Hope Community’s Lamond campus which has grades pre-kindergarten to 6th.  Owmby was previously the principal at Imagine Mableton Charter School in Georgia.

Washington Yu Ying
•    Maquita Alexander is the new principal at Washington Yu Ying which has grades pre-kindergarten to 5th and offers a Chinese-English language immersion program.  Alexander was previously a school administrator in Fairfax County.

New Locations
Most public charter schools do not own their buildings and often have to move locations from year to year. Some charter schools are finally able to find more suitable space and move to new school homes.

•    Capital City


o    Capital City has renovated the former DCPS Rabaut Junior High at 100 Peabody Street, NW in Ward 4 and moved all of its campuses serving grades pre-kindergarten to 12th to the new location.  

•    Eagle Academy  



o    Eagle Academy has renovated the former DCPS McGogney Elementary into a state-of-the-art facility now called the Eagle Center at McGogney.  This will be the school’s main campus and it will be located at 3400 Wheeler Road, SE in Ward 8.

•    Richard Wright



o    Richard Wright has moved to a new location at 770 M Street, SE in Ward 6.

•    Meridian



o    Meridian has moved to a new location at 2120 13th Street, NW in Ward 1.

•    Inspired Teaching Demonstration & Shining Stars Montessori Academy



o    Inspired Teaching Demonstration & Shining Stars Montessori Academy have moved to a new location at 1328 Florida Ave, NW in Ward 1.

•    Mundo Verde Bilingual



o    Mundo Verde Bilingual also moves to a new location at 3220 16th Street, NW in Ward 1.

•    National Collegiate



o    National Collegiate has moved to 4600 Livingston Road, SE in Ward 8.

•    The Next Step/El Próximo Paso



o  the Next Step/El Próximo Paso has moved to 3047 15th Street, NW in Ward 1.

About the PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB currently oversees 57 public charter schools on more than 100 campuses serving nearly 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Learn more at www.dcpcsb.org.