What Types of Schools Do DC Families Want in this City?
Last year, DC PCSB hosted three “Voices in School Choice” public forums and one with our Parent and Alumni Leadership Council to collect information about the types of school’s families would like to see across the city. Attendees at each session included private and public school parents, prospective parents, charter school staff, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs), education advocates, and candidates running for public offices. Forums were hosted in Southeast, Northwest, and Northeast DC.
The forums were structured to include a DC PCSB staff facilitator and notetaker at each table group. Notetakers compiled and reported participant comments by themes and categories. After the forums, staff facilitators and notetakers met to analyze the feedback.
Attendees shared they would like to see these specific program models attendees in Washington, DC:
- Whole family two-generation model in Ward 8
- STEM program in Ward 3
- Dual language program in Ward 3
- Dual language program in Ward 7
- Career and Technical programs
- Early Learning programs
- Arts/Music programs
- Trauma Informed programs
- Specialty programs East of the River
- Montessori programs
Additionally, we heard non-program related feedback:
- DC PCSB should focus on the replication of successful schools versus opening new schools.
- Parents desire feeder patterns and more high-quality schools in the charter sector.
- DC public charter schools should offer more information on school websites (e.g., open houses, PTA meetings).
- Parents long for stable programs and believe school closures are disruptive.
- Parents believe students should not be involved in multiple closures.
- Applicant groups seeking to open a new school should engage individuals throughout the process.
- School founding groups should use community driven processes to open schools (would like to see more models similar to the LEARN process conducted by FOCUS and PAVE).
- The city needs to improve subpar school buildings.
- Students need better options for transportation and safe passage.
As a result of this feedback DC PCSB will: (1) increase our public engagement efforts, and (2) respond to feedback through continued school supports. Read more here.