Hope everyone has been enjoying their Spring break!

The CHPSPO April meeting will be held on WEDNESDAY, April 22, at School-Within-School (920 F Street, NE). The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and we’ll meet in the library.

Scott Pearson and Josh Henderson from the Public Charter School Board will attend our meeting to discuss the PCSB’s process for approving new charter schools.

We’ll also be discussing efforts to support the modernization of Jefferson and Eliot-Hine, along with planning for a meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Education, and Bike-to-School Day.

Hope to see you on Wednesday.

Suzanne Wells

042215 CHPSPO Agenda.docx


Letter to the Editor by CHPSPO founder, Suzanne Wells: Put controls in place regarding the approval of new D.C. public charters

The following letter to the editor, Put controls in place regarding the approval of new D.C. public charters, appeared online in the Washington Post on March 27, 2015.

In the March 22 Local Opinions commentary “Why charters need traditional schools,” the executive director and the former chairman of the D.C. Public Charter School Board claimed, “We believe that the balance we have, with a thriving public charter sector and strong traditional schools, is about right.” It is unclear what they believe should happen now that “the balance . . . is about right.”

It seems clear that the charter board won’t stop approving new schools. It has approved an average of six a year. The District has 112 public charter schools, and three will open this fall. One, Washington Global Middle School, will open about a third of a mile from Jefferson Middle School and offer a substantially similar program. In May, the board will vote on whether to open six more schools in 2016. The balance won’t be “about right” for long.

Parents and public education supporters have been advocating for joint planning by D.C. Public Schools and the D.C. Public Charter School Board before charter schools are opened. Many believe we are spreading our education dollars too thin by opening charter schools that duplicate the services found in existing schools.

It is up to the D.C. Council and the mayor to require comprehensive planning before District taxpayers are asked to fund the opening of public charter schools.

— Suzanne Wells, Washington

Support the Capitol Hill Montessori Online Auction – all are welcome to bid!

PrintGreat items you love… for a great cause!

Sports tickets, vacations, restaurant gift certificates, fitness sessions, jewelry, books, art, and more!

Some highlights:

 Go to

Bidding is open until 10 pm on Monday March 23rd!

All proceeds will support our teachers and students next year!


Anacostia River Festival Bike Parade and Fish Windsock Workshops

artreach logo(1)
THEARC’s ARTREACH (program invites you to join uson April 12, 2015, for the first annual Anacostia River Festival Fish Bike Parade. What is a Fish Bike Parade? Well, picture hundreds of bikes riding around the DC streets with colorful handmade fish windsocks like the one’s pictured below flying above their heads and convening at the festival to create an above water river display. We think it will be a beautiful and memorable sight.

Over the next few weeks we will be creating fish flags inspired by the Japanese tradition of creating carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. The fish windsocks will then be attached to poles on the back of bikes for a flying fish performance at the

Anyone and everyone is invited to participate in learning about fish native to the Anacostia River and creating a fish windsock of their own. We are hoping to get as many biking “schools” or “clubs” as possible to join in the fun!

In preparation of thwindsockse parade we will be hosting a few workshops to create fish windsocks at the ArtReach studio at THEARC and various DC neighborhoods. The workshops are free, open to all ages, and for everyone regardless of creative experience. Don’t hesitate to join!

Upcoming workshops – REGISTER HERE: 

  • Saturday, March 28: 3:30 – 5:30pm Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) (545 7th Street, SE)
  • Tuesday, March 31: 6:30 – 8:30pm GW’s Corcoran Printmaking Dept (1801 35th Street NW
  • Wednesday, April 1: 6:00 – 8:00pm THEARC  (ArtReach studio -1901 Mississippi Ave SE)
  • Saturday, April 4: 9:00am – 12:00pm Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) (545 7th Street, SE)
  • Saturday, April 4: 10:00am – 1:00pm THEARC (ArtReach studio – 1901 Mississippi Ave SE)
  • Wednesday, April 8: time TBD Happy Hour AWS
  • Thursday, April 9: 4:30 – 6:30pm Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE)
  • Thursday, April 9: 6:30 – 8:30pm Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE)

Need more information or want to join the mailing list? Please contact Melissa Green at

Melissa Green

Director of ArtReach and the Community Gallery at THEARC

1901 Mississippi Ave SE

Washington, DC 20020

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015,  6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. Extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver, OSSE

Learn more about the waiver here.

  • By end of March, DC needs to submit updated ESEA flexibility waiver
  • The substantive updates in this draft application include:
    • DC’s transition to the Next Generation Assessments (NGAs);
    • Increased flexibility to take high school level courses in middle school;
    • Updated language related to OSSE’s State System of Support (SSOS);
    • A requested pause in school classification during the assessment transition; and
    • A proposed pause in the use of state assessment growth data for teacher evaluations.
  • Opportunity to influence:
    • Role of Assessments, how much we are assessing students
    • Accountability plans
      • Types of resources schools should get vis a vis school rankings
    • Role of IMPACT
  • End of summer, vote for new accountability framework
  • OSSE committed to have meaningful public engagement
  • OSSE’s support of students w/ disabilities (who qualify for any sort of IEP)
  • OSSE will ask teachers/Principals these types of Qs
  • Grants avail through this process for research
  1. Upcoming Committee on Education Performance Oversight Hearings – Schedule here.

ACTION: Encourage families to attend working groups and hearings.

  • Questions to consider:
    • Too much testing??
    • How are teachers being evaluated? Are they being evaluated fairly? How do we get the best teachers in our schools and keep them?
    • How are students with disabilities being supported?
    • What was impact of the Proving What’s Possible/Student Satisfaction funding?
    • Is the at-risk funding truly following the at-risk students?
    • How is DCPS marketing its schools? How are the feeder patterns being promoted?  How are 4th graders being engaged at the middle schools?  Charter schools are out-marketing DCPS with fact sheets and open houses.
    • Have assessments been done on impact of ½ time foreign language teachers in elementary schools?
  1. Possible CHPSPO/ANCs meeting with Deputy Mayor for Education to discuss education issues from our community’s perspective.
  • Will reach out to ANCs to find dates. Sandra will contact 6b, Marty 6d, and Joe 6e.
  • Modernization of our middle schools is an issue to discuss with the DME.
  1. Libraries update by Peter Macpherson

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  March 17, 2015

Upcoming Events


February 21     10 to 11:30 am, Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E Street NE. 

Meeting hosted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education on the role of testing in our schools, how to close achievement gaps, and how to improve the quality of instruction for all students. This conversation is designed to get the public’s input on important topics in advance of the State Board of Education voting in March on a waiver to the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as No Child Left Behind.

March 7           SWS Auction

March 13         Cluster Rocks Auction

March 14         Alchemy of Great Taste, Tyler Fundraiser

March 28         Maury at the Market

April 11           Anacostia Fish Bike Festival

May 6              Bike to School Day

May 17            Capitol Hill Classic

Upcoming Committee on Education Performance Oversight Hearings on FY 14/15

Wednesday, 2/18/2015, 10:00am, Room 123

  • Public Charter School Board
  • Bullying Prevention Taskforce
  • Healthy Youth and Schools Commission

Thursday, 2/19/2015, 10:00am, Room 412

  • District of Columbia Public Schools (Public Witnesses Only)

Tuesday, 2/24/2015, 10:00am, Room 500

  • District of Columbia Public Schools (Government Witnesses Only)

Thursday, 3/5/2015, 10:00am, Room 412

  • Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • State Board of Education

Tuesday, 3/10/2015, 10:00am, Room 123

  • Deputy Mayor for Education
  • District of Columbia Public Library System

Persons wishing to testify about the performance of any of the foregoing agencies may contact: Christina Henderson,, or by calling 202-724-8191.