February 2019 DC Public Charter Schools News

Expanding Public Charter School Transparency



In the year since becoming the Chair of the board, I worked to increase the transparency for DC families. Ensuring that public charter schools are more understandable and accessible to families has been no small task. Our website contains 96,000 pages of information, which can be hard to navigate. To improve accessibility, we created a transparency hub that centralizes the important performance and financial documents we collect annually. By adding this hub, we are hoping to make this information easier than ever to access. We are also in the process of establishing a transparency policy that would further expand the information we make publicly available. 

-Rick Cruz, Chair of the DC Public Charter School Board
Excerpt from his testimony at the DC PCSB Oversight Hearing Committee on Education. Read his full testimony here

Our Transparency Initiatives
In April 2018, we launched a major initiative - #TransparenSEE - to provide detailed information about DC PCSB and public charter schools. We placed detailed information on the DC PCSB website about school climate, academic quality, finances, salaries, PARCC, school contracts, at-risk spending, 990s, audits, and budgets. 

Using feedback from parents, community members, elected officials, and school leaders, we're expanding our transparency initiatives by:

  • Creating a Transparency Hub, where families, students, and the public can turn to when seeking data or other information, and; 
  • Establishing a new "School Transparency Policy" that was outlined in both our January 28 and February 25 public hearings. 


People Love Their Public Charter Schools
Diversity Matters to Students 

Photo credit: Mundo Verde PCS

We love our school because we learn about Human Rights and Diversity in Representation. - Gabriela, Amirah, Dana, and Lila, Students at Mundo Verde PCS

Everyone Struggles with Something

Photo credit: LAYC Career Academy PCS

[LAYC Career Academy PCS] has given me the opportunity to interact with diverse people and it makes me see that we are not all so different. On the inside we are the same. This school has helped me realize how to work with others and be a member of society with people of different races, ethnicities, or members of the LGBTQ community. I have seen that most everyone is struggling with something. - Jose Villalta, Student at LAYC Career Academy PCS

My Public Charter School Gave me a Second Chance

Photo credit: Maya Angelou PCS - Young Adult Learning Center

When I first started as a parent, I was not calm about addressing issues with my children. I am calm, now. Maya teaches you not to be ashamed to be you. It helps to give [you] that wow factor that takes you to the next level. If at first, you don’t succeed, get up and try again. Maya gave me a second chance. - Kristie Garvin, Student at Maya Angelou PCS - Young Adult Learning Center

Moving Outside of Comfort Zones

Photo credit: Rocketship Legacy Prep PCS

[Rocketship Legacy Prep PCS] has made me be more reflective and it has made me a better educator. I am more intentional in how and what I'm teaching at Rocketship. It has forced me to move out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to grow as an individual. I am a 14-year teacher and here I've still dealt with failure but I've also seen enormous success and it is very rewarding to know that I am shaping the lives and minds of young people, East of the River in D.C., who are still our future. - Jennifer Lewis, Teacher at Rocketship Legacy Prep PCS

Upcoming Events
March 18 - Board Meeting
The Board will hold its next monthly meeting on March 18 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.

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