CHPSPO Meeting Notes – December 16, 2014

Tyler Elementary School, Art Room, 1001 G St., SE

December 16, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. A representative from OSSE did not attend the meeting to discuss the extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver.  They will be invited to the January meeting.
  2. DCPS Education Councils Meeting – DCPS held a meeting in December with representatives from the education councils from all eight wards.  CHPSPO was represented by George Blackmon (Maury), Samantha Caruth (J.O. Wilson and Stuart Hobson), Mandla Deskins (Payne), and Suzanne Wells (Tyler).  The main topics discussed were the FY15/16 school budgets, and a new Young Men of Color initiative DCPS is undertaking.  We discussed that we expect to vary who from CHPSPO attends future meetings based on the topics and interests of CHPSPO members.
  3. DCYOP – Joe Weedon mentioned that the DC Youth Orchestra Program is looking for a home for a summer camp they are planning.  They will need five to eight classrooms, and a performing space.  It is a two-week camp in July.  The camp will be for pre-school through 5th grade.  The DCYOP recently received a grant to develop a string curriculum.
  4. Levine School of Music – Joe also mentioned a meeting that the Levine School of Music held to discuss how they can help bring musical instruction into the schools (band, string and choral).  Representatives from Eastern, Maury, Tyler, Payne, Stuart Hobson, and Jefferson attended the meeting.
  5. Challenger Center – Joe said the Challenger Center is working to put together a delegation to meet with DCPS to discuss a space use agreement.  Eliot Hine and Jefferson are potential sites.
  6. State Board of Education Priorities – Joe Weedon is our newly elected Ward 6 representative to the State Board of Education.  Joe explained that some current roles of the State Board of Education are developing graduation requirements and serving as an advocate for parents.

    Some suggestions we gave Joe for future work for the State Board of Education are:

  • Look at whether funding follows the student, e.g., at-risk youth funding and funding for students who leave a school after the audited enrollment date;
  • Look at the small school cutoff, and what impact it has had in DCPS. The small school cutoff number has been rising in recent years, i.e., from 250 to now 400. How do other systems handle staffing critical positions at small schools, e.g., librarians, art & music, world languages?  What are the impacts of the staffing formula when looked at in light of the per student allocation?
  • Look at transparency in spending between the charter schools and DCPS.
  • Look at the new elementary world language instruction. Is DC implementing programs that have proven results in other settings? Is the current structure of world language instruction a good use of resources? What can DCPS do to support increasing desire for dual language instruction?

7. Art sculptures – Marty Welles shared how Amidon Bowen used some of their Proving What’s Possible grants to fund an artist, Kevin Reese, to work with K – 2nd grade students to build a moveable sculpture that is outside the entrance of the school.  The project cost $20K.  A second project is planned for 3rd – 5th graders.  Visit to see examples of the projects.  The sculpture outside of Amidon Bowen says this is a school that people care about, and where good things are happening.

8. 3rd grade sports participation.  Marty also discussed his efforts to get DCPS to allow 3rd graders to compete in the school sports.  More to come on this issue.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  January 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

March 7           SWS Auction

March 13         Cluster Rocks Auction

March 14         Alchemy of Great Taste, Tyler Fundraiser

March 28         Maury at the Market

May 17            Capitol Hill Classic


CHPSPO Meets Tuesday, December 17 at Tyler ES

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization Members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, December 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Tyler Elementary (1001 G Street, SE). Attached is the agenda for our meeting.

Many of you know that George Arlotto, a parent who lives on Capitol Hill, was selected earlier this year to be the Superintendent of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools. This week he delivered his recommendations for his school system’s FY16 Operating and Capital Budget. I’ve included a link to his remarks because he is a strong and clear voice for public education.

Finally, I hope you read the editorial in today’s Washington Post ( about a proposal to turn a 40-acre asphalt lot at RFK Stadium into a youth sports park that would provide much needed recreational space in our city.

See you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

121614 CHPSPO Agenda.docx


Dear Payne ES Community:

As you may know, we received exciting news this week that Mayor Gray transmitted a reprogramming to the Council to fund the completion of Payne’s modernization project, including critical improvements for special education students and fourth and fifth graders, as well as compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If approved, this reprogramming will bring to an end this year’s “tale of two schools,” where some students have modernized classrooms and some students do not, and where physically disabled students, parents and community members continue to have to navigate a school without an elevator or sufficient ramps.  We understand that one parent is not able to visit her child’s classroom because the school does not have an elevator.

Unfortunately, the Council may block the reprogramming.  We understand that Ward 7 Council Member Alexander either has or is planning to introduce a disapproval resolution that will delay or block the reprogramming because it moves funds from a future Ward 7 capital project and directs them to the Payne and Stanton ES projects (a Ward 8 school that is also in need of additional dollars to complete its modernization).  We understand and respect Council Member Alexander’s position, but we strongly believe that improving the learning environment of CURRENT Payne students NOW is a more critical need than funding construction of a new building that is still only in the planning stages.  You can learn more about the reprogramming here:

Please help ensure that the reprogramming is approved by contacting all 12 Council Members ASAP!  You can send them the following message.  Please also use social media to get the word out.

Their email addresses and telephone numbers are listed below.

Council Member Wells: 724-8072

Council Member Catania: 724-7772

Council Member McDuffie: 724-8028

Chairman Mendelson: 724-8032

Council Member Graham: 724-8181

Council Member Evans: 724-8058

Council Member Cheh: 724-8062

Council Member Bowser: 724-8052

Council Member Alexander: 724-8068

Council Member Orange: 724-8174

Council Member Grosso: 724-8105

Council Member Bonds: 724-8064

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 18, 2014

Payne Elementary School Library, 1445 C St., SE

November 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver, Jeff Noel, OSSE

  1. Process of preparing first administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment – computer delivered assessment; higher standard of rigor; aligned with Common Core State Standards
  2. Proposing a one year pause for high-stakes decision making (school classifications and teacher evaluations) during first year of implementing new assessments
    • in order to evaluate impact
    • Test results often come back late – may be 6 months behind: a lot of analysis follows initial rollout
  3. OSSE proposes we come together to have a discussion as the education community to discuss the new assessments. Jeff Noel was invited back to the December CHPSPO meeting for further discussion.
  4. Concerns were raised about high-stakes testing, and the desire to see more data on schools beyond test scores, e.g., student re-enrollment, school climate, teacher retention.

Parent Bill of Rights, Monica Warren-Jones

  • Goal is for kids to become the global citizens they need to be and DCSBOE are engaging families in a proactive manner
  • Draft reflects what is expected of schools
  • Not supposed to impede or supersede existing federal/state laws
  • Draft Parent Bill of Rights Public Roundtable, 6 to 8:30 pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library
  • Aiming to vote in December and adopt as a board
  • No Bill of Rights for DC currently (MASS, NY, NH have them)

Challenger Center, Joe Weedon

  • Challenger Center was created by family survivors of the Challenger. Today there are 30 Challenger Centers in the U.S.
  • Strong desire for there to be a Challenger Center within a few miles of Capitol
  • Eliot Hine has been identified as a good location
  • In order to move forward, there is a need for a long-term rental agreement w/ DCPS
  • The existing Challenger Centers are independent, non-profit organizations.
  • All DC schools would have access to it, as well as schools and visitors from outside of the city
  • Curriculum, professional development are owned by the Challenger Center. The Challenger Center raises the money to build the Center.
  • A trip to a Challenger Center in NY may be planned in near future.

Committee of the Whole vs. Education Committee, Suzanne Wells

  • Phil Mendelson considering moving Education Committee back into Committee of the Whole
    • 9 standing committees and 8 veteran councilmembers
  • How to advocate?
    • Call Chairman’s office
    • Make office hours apt
    • Joint coalition letter

Disposition of Gibbs School Building, Suzanne Wells

  • Deputy Mayor for Education’s office is reviewing two applications for Gibbs. One application is for three charter schools (an adult education program, Monument Academy which is a boarding school for students in the foster care system, and Washington Global which is a middle school).  The other application is for Friendship Edison to move its younger students to Gibbs, and to co-locate with two adult education programs.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  December 16, 2014

Upcoming Events


November 17  FY15/16 DCPS Budget Hearing, Payne Elementary (

November 22  EdFEST, DC’s citywide education fair, 11:00am to 3:00pm, DC Armory.

December 2     Draft Parent Bill of Rights Public Roundtable, 6 to 8:30 pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library

December 4     Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools, 6 – 8 pm, MLK Library

December 4     Levine School of Music to present program for instrumental music at Tyler ES, 4PM – Encourage Music teachers to attend

December 7     MOTH School Information Night, 2 pm – 5 pm

March 7           SWS Auction


Stuart Hobson Performing Annie the Musical

Students from Stuart Hobson Middle School will be performing Annie, the Musical on Friday, December 12, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, December 13, at noon and 6 p.m. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased in the main offices at Peabody, Watkins and Stuart Hobson. Stuart Hobson is located at 410 E Street, NE.

Please share this information (flyer attached) with your school communities, and come out to support the Stuart Hobson students!

Suzanne Wells

Annie Stuart Hobson.pdf


November 18 CHPSPO Meeting at Payne

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, November 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Payne Elementary (1445 C Street, SE). We will have a representative from OSSE at our meeting discussing the extension of the Elementary and Secondar Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver, and Monica Warren-Jones will be discussing a draft Parent Bill of Rights developed by the State Board of Education.

Also, on Monday, November 17, DCPS will hold a public hearing on its FY15/16 budget at Payne Elementary. See

Please share with your school communities the attached flyer about a panel discussion on December 4 on Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools.

See you on Tuesday!

Suzanne Wells

111814 CHPSPO Agenda.docx

DC Language Immersion Project Flyer.pdf

Draft DCSBOE Parent Bill of Rights – 10_28_14.pdf

Language Immersion In Urban Public Schools – December 4, 6-8 PM @ MLK Library

Language Immersion In Urban Public Schools: Exploring The Benefits & Challenges

(co-hosted by the DC Public Library, DC State Board of Education and the DC Language Immersion Project)

Thursday, Dec 4, 2014


MLK Library – 901 G St. NW

You are invited to join us for a panel discussion with a focus on the benefits and challenges of implementing language immersion programs in our public elementary schools – both charter and traditional public schools. This discussion is not only meant to highlight the overall value of language immersion but also is designed to be a forum that will engage all stakeholders in a way that will move toward collaborative strategic planning to expand language immersion offerings in public schools in the District of Columbia.


  • Marty Abbott – American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Delores Millhouse and Gina Bowler – My Bilingual Child
  • Maquita Alexander –Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
  • Lynn Fulton-Archer –World Language Immersion, Delaware Department of Education
  • Sally Schwartz – Globalize DC
  • Donna Sothern, Spanish Immersion Teacher – Cleveland Elementary, DC Public Schools



DC Language Immersion Project Flyer