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Ward 6 Council Candidates Forum on February 20 – Candidate Issues

Image Courtesy of League of Women Voters of California

Image Courtesy of League of Women Voters of California

 

Joining us for the Ward 6 Council Candidates Forum on Thursday, February 20?

  • Time: 7-9 PM
  • Place: Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 4th and Independence, SE.

Here’s some background on where the candidates stand on key issues:

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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

Ward 6 State of the Schools – May 14 @ Eastern HS

Ward 6 State of the Schools

Saturday, May 14, from 10:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.
Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street, NE

Join Councilmember Tommy Wells and Acting Chancellor Kaya Henderson

The work of improving our schools is too hard for anyone to do alone.
Everyonehas a role to play in this effort!

You will have the opportunity to:
-Learn more about Ward 6 DCPS schools
-Interact with Ward 6 school leadership
-Meet fellow parents and community members
-Share your ideas about how to improve Ward 6 DCPS schools

Read the Agenda for more details.

Refreshments will be served & childcare will be provided

Questions? Contact Bryant.Sewell@dc.gov

Next CHPSPO Meeting – April 12

The CHPSPO meeting on April 12 will be at Tyler Elementary (1001 G Street, SE) in the music room on the 1st floor starting at 6:30 p.m.  Tommy Wells and Monica Warren Jones are scheduled to attend the meeting.  We will have an open discussion with them about implementation of the Ward 6 middle school plan, facility modernization funding, and other issues on your mind.  We will also be discussing with Todd Cymrot the future of the Shakespeare at School Program that the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, the National Capitol Bank and the Folger have been supporting for the past four years.