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CHPSPO Meeting Notes – February 12, 2014

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Amidon-Bowen Elementary School

401 I Street, SW

February 12, 2014
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. Update on school boundaries and feeder patterns – Abigail Smith (Deputy Mayor for Education (DME)); Claudia Lujan (Deputy Mayor for Education’s office); Denise Forte and Martin Welles (Ward 6 representatives to Advisory Committee) http://dme.dc.gov/book/student-assignment-and-school-boundaries-review-process
    • Abigail Smith delivered a powerpoint presentation with an update of the DC Student Assignment and School Boundary Review Process.  At the end of her presentation, the floor was opened for comments/questions.
    • Comment: At the focus groups that were recently held, participants were asked for feedback on school boundaries and feeder patterns, but were not provided data about how the current boundaries/feeder patterns are playing out. A: Data will be part of overall discussion, particularly with working groups. See policy brief #3: http://dme.dc.gov/node/776162
    • Misalignment of middle schools – Q: what is percentage of rising 5th graders enrolled in their designated middle schools (and elsewhere) and data around ‘out of feeder’ enrollment/trends around actual feeder patterns from ES to MS to HS? A: The DME’s office has not assessed that data, but the data will be pulled.
    • Comment: Process seems to lack a comprehensive plan around schools; how to utilize space, how system(s) want(s) to evolve. A: The process is meant to elicit ideas that could inform a comprehensive plan.  They are not making an assumption that comprehensive planning will happen prior to making decisions on school boundaries and feeder patterns.  There are discussions between the DME’s office, DCPS, and the PCSB, but there isn’t a “beautifully coordinated process.”
    • Q: How can planning take place when there is no predictability around the opening of charter schools/misalignment of middle grades (e.g., many charters enroll MS at 5th grade)? A: DME does not have authority over PCSB, but the goal of including them in the advisory committee and having the discussions is so that there is better coordination.  DME’s office wants to focus on things they have control over.
    • Q: Will committee make any recommendations about closing schools? A: No, this exercise will not lead to recommendations around closing schools but will make recommendations around strategically opening schools (like Van Ness).
    • Q.  Is it possible to get choice and equitable access simultaneously while looking at issue of income distribution across the city? What is definition of quality?  A.  Example of San Francisco was described, which incorporates a policy that guarantees a certain number of slots in high-performing schools for students from low income families.
    • Brainstorming around ideas to influence policy
      • Controlled choice (San Francisco example)
      • Colorado example of once in an out of boundary feeder pattern, cannot go back to ‘in boundary’ schools without going back through lottery
        • Expression of ‘too much choice’ today in DC leading to a lack of investment in feeder or destination schools.
    • Opportunity for better programmatic integration among feeder/destination via vertical alignment (foreign language consistency across ES/MS/HS, specialty programming like IB, museum, project-based learning…)
    • Address capacity issues by creating more ‘Cluster’ models that dedicate a building to early childhood, ES, MS, HS
    • Better sharing of data by PCSB and DCPS so that when schools open/closing decisions are made, they are done with strategic approach.

2. Adequacy Study Analysis – Soumya Bhat, DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Read detail of recommendations here: http://www.dcfpi.org/dcfpi-feedback-on-dme-adequacy-study

    • Question was asked about at risk funding, and how it is allocated at the school level?   Several examples of schools that do not receive the proportion of funds they should.  It was discussed that OSSE is accountable for the distribution of these funds.
    • Per pupil funding to include the facility funds… could underfund DCPS by $47M and overfund charters by $9M
    • Support around keeping maintenance costs outside school funding formula. Data does not exist around facility needs.
    • Moving resources allocated by outside agencies (like school nurses, etc..). Support keeping nurses outside.

3. Candidates Forum Update and Planning – PLEASE CIRCULATE WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITIES

  •  February 20     Ward 6 City Council Candidates Forum – Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church

-          Sponsored by Eastern Market Metro Community Association (EMMCA) and Capitol Hill Group Ministry

-          Spread the word

  •  March 6        Ward 6 City Council Forum at Stuart Hobson

-          Sponsored by CHPSPO

-          Assist in planning and spread the word

-          Article in Hill Rag

  • TBD    City-wide Mayoral Forum focused on education

 

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  March 18, 2014

 

Upcoming Events:

Candidates Forums

  • February 20     Ward 6 City Council Candidates Forum (CHPSPO co-sponsor) – @ Capitol Hill Prebysterian, 7-9PM
  • March 6           Ward 6 City Council Candidates Education Forum (CHPSPO sponsor)
  • TBD                Mayoral Candidates Education Forum (CHPSPO co-sponsor)

2014 Fundraisers

  • March 8           Tyler Alchemy of Great Taste
  • March 14         Cluster Rocks! Auction & Gala
  • March 22         Maury at the Market
  • March 29         Brent Taste of the Hill
  • May 18            Capitol Hill Classic 10K/3K/Fun Run

 

Ward 6 Parent/Community Meetings on School Boundaries/Feeder Patterns

  • Eliot-Hine Middle School – Thursday, Feb. 13 (cancelled due to snow)
  • Stuart-Hobson Middle School – Tuesday, Feb. 18
  • Jefferson Middle School – Thursday, Feb. 20

WANTED: Cute DC Kids and Their Parents for White House Project

Are you a DC parent, looking for a school for your 3 year old, middle school or high school student? Have you found a terrific elementary school, but worried about middle school?
We want to hear from you as part of a volunteer-run project we hope to showcase at the White House, at the end of July.A team of civic hackers (volunteer data scientists, programmers, and parents) are working through Code for DC (http://codefordc.org/) to help DC families with understanding the school landscape. We are working with DC school officials to publish information about schools, and answer questions like: are there children enrolled in this school that live in my neighborhood? where are the children from my child’s elementary school going to middle school? We will add more information, as we collect additional information about DC schools that goes beyond standardized testing performance (see a preview of the first version below).

How can you participate today? Help us make a video to get the attention of the folks at the White House, so our project can be included at a showcase. By Thursday, June 20, send us a 20-30 second video (via dropbox, to: Elena Chiriboga  <elc64 at georgetown dot edu>) with you or your children (or both), capturing any of the following:

  • You, in front of something recognizable in your neighborhood (like Anacostia river, Brookland Metro station, Cathedral- whatever makes sense) saying: “Where do the children in my neighborhood go to (Elementary, or Middle, or High) school?”
  • You/your children in front of something recognizable in your neighborhood (like Anacostia river, Brookland Metro station, Cathedral- whatever makes sense) saying: “We live in [XXX neighborhood]!”
  • You, at your child’s school saying: “I love my children’s elementary school, but I’m confused about where to send them to middle school”
  • Your child, in front of something recognizable in your neighborhood saying: “I want to go to school where my neighborhood friends go!”
  • Your child, at their school saying: “My favorite part of school is….”
A few tips:
  • To capture the best sound quality, you have to stand reasonably close to the subject (especially since kids don’t always have the loudest voice). Stand about 1-2 feet away from the subject. Try for a shot that is from the chest up. Playback the video after your first recording to make sure the sound isn’t blown out or peaking. If you’re far away from your subject the volume will probably playback very low and boosting it in editing software will only increase all the white noise.
  • Try to limit background noise when the subject is speaking.
  • Always have the light behind you.
  • B-roll can be really tricky with a phone because people tend to move around the phone really quickly when recording. It’s better to be still and have the objects in your frame moving than for you to be panning with your phone.
  • Send along a few photos, too, which we will mix in with the video.
Be sure to tell us your first name, and your child’s first name and age and how best to reach you, to share the final video, which will be included in our White House submission.
Thank you in advance from the Code for DC Education Project Team!
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Video

Recognition of CHPSPO’s Work in Advocating for Librarians and Transparency in Education

Recognition by The Sunlight Foundation (sunlightfoundation.com) of CHPSPO’s work in advocating for DCPS librarians, transparency in DC education, and open data. Special thanks to Suzanne Wells, Peter MacPherson, Bella Dinh-Zarr, Satu Haase-Webb and Laura Marks for their work on the libraries effort.

My Community, Our Earth – Collaborative Mapping for Sustainable Development

 

 

The Association of American Geographers has a program called MyCOE Global Connections & Exchange. The focus is on sustainable development (e.g., climate change, food security) and raising awareness in our local communities via collaborative mapping. The program is open to high school students and teachers can earn $300 for their classroom. See more details here and visit: http://www.aag.org/globalconnections.startupGCEnewUS

DCPS Proposed School Closures – Impact to Walkable Communities?

We wanted to see how the proposed DCPS consolidation plan would impact the ability of students affected by the closures to be able to attend a school within a 1 mile walk.

We reached out DC Action for Children and they (thank you, Kate Kairys!) built the following map (super quickly!), which show all DC Public Schools, as well as a one mile radius around those proposed for closure.  It helps to see actual impact on a map. Check out DC Kids Count 2012 Databook Tools and Maps for a rich data about DC children and resources available to them (from school performance, to assets like grocery stores and libraries) where they live.

What do you see? How will this impact your community?

DCPS Proposed School Closures, 2012 by DC KIDS COUNT