Ward 6 Special Education Workshop – April 9, 2018

Ward 6 Special Education Workshop Flyer

The Office of the Student Advocate is committed to making the public education more accessible by boosting parent engagement and increasing access to resources and supports for families.

Join us for our Special Education Workshop series in Ward 6 cohosted by DC Councilmember Charles Allen, Joe Weedon, Ward 6 State Board of Education Representative and Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization.

Whether you feel your student needs special education services or you have questions/concerns about existing services, come learn what supports are available. This session will answer your questions about navigating special education at a public charter or traditional public school and provide additional information about you and your student’s rights. Not only will you be able to gather information and resources, but you will also have the opportunity to connect with special education experts throughout the District regarding your student’s specific needs.

PLEASE RSVP for this session at

If you need more information, call us at 202-741-4692 or email the Office of the Student Advocate at

Please share within your schools and communities – parents, caregivers, educators from ALL Wards are welcome! Download the Ward 6 Special Education Workshop Flyer and distribute.


Bike to School Day is May 9 – Save the Date!


How to plan a fantastic party on wheels with all your school friends….

  • Step 1: Mark your Calendar –> May 9, 7:30-8:30 AM @ Lincoln Park.
  • Step 2: Tell all your friends to watch this space for details!!
  • Step 3: Reminisce about past Walk and Bike to School Days!

Stay tuned…


DC Council Hearing on Gun Violence is March 22 – Student Testimony Encouraged

On Thursday, March 22, Councilmember Allen’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will hold a public hearing on gun violence in the District of Columbia and a number of associated bills on gun safety. Students are particularly invited to testify about school safety and how gun violence has affected them. Council welcomes school groups and student witnesses – please let Laura Marks know if you require help with signing up witnesses, making copies of testimony, or anything else.

Please help get the word out. Full details are below (as well as on CM Allen’s website) and a shareable Facebook event can be found here.


CHPSPO Hosts Education Discussions with DC Council Chair Candidates 3/12 and 3/20

The Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO) will be hosting education discussions with DC Council Chair Candidates this month.

Both will take place at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (215 G St NE).

Tonight, March 12, 7-8 PMEd Lazere, the former executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute and candidate for DC Council Chair.  The meeting will take place at the Annex/Middle School which is just as you enter the parking lot off of 2nd Street.  If you are walking, you can enter the parking lot to walk to the Annex through the G Street or 2nd Street gates. If you are driving, cars have to enter at the 2nd Street gate to park in the lot.

Tuesday, March 20, 7-8 PM: Phil Mendelson, current DC Council Chair.

Please pass this on to your school communities.


CHPSPO Meeting Notes– February 20, 2018

Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E St., NE
February 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Mission Statement – To promote cooperation among the parent organizations of the public schools [in Ward 6] in order to improve the education received by all children attending our schools.

Overview of the DC Council Performance Oversight and Budget Hearings –

Laura Marks, Chief of Staff, Councilmember Allen and Anne Phelps Budget Counsel at Office of Budget Director shared a presentation with key budget facts, timeline, and key advocacy opportunities/dates. Please review the FY19 Education Budget Process – CHPSPO Presentation for details.

About the budget: Important to note, the budget is a finite amount. Operating budget (recurring costs like payroll, goods, services) is planned for 4 years (must be sustained for 4 years). Capital budget (one-time, more limited spending like facilities) is allocated annually.

About education budget: Enrollment projections have huge impact on school level budgets

  • Really important to get these #s right, but they are often off
  • Per Pupil Funding applies to DCPS and charter; also takes into account special needs

Education is underfunded. For example, for FY18’s budget OSSE recommended 3.5% increase for FY18. The Mayor’s budget office proposed 1.5%, Council passed 3%. ***If PPF increase this year is <3%, will be tough to fund operating budget; keep programming***

It’s important to engage in Budget forums and hearings not only to bring visibility to specific issues, but to learn about other priorities. When testifying, bring written copies: Councilmembers and staff write notes/qs on testimony.

Ward 6 School Facilities Tour – Joe Weedon, State Board of Education

Joe Weedon to organize on behalf of PTAs a tour of schools to identify potential problems and critical things that need to be implemented between now and when schools are slated to be renovated.

CHPSPO Strategic Planning Meeting – Danica Petroshius and Suzy Glucksman

To enhance our efforts to develop common goals, facilitate collaboration, and drive real change among public schools in Ward 6, to improve the education received by all children, the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO) is engaging the DC education community in a strategic planning process.

All CHPSPO members, as well as families, principals, and engaged community members are invited to participate in this strategic planning (working) meeting where we plan to develop long-term and short-term priorities for our work supporting Ward 6 schools.

Bike-to-School Day Planning – Sandra Moscoso-Mills

Bike to School Day is Weds, May 9. CHPSPO organizes a ‘party’ at Lincoln Park, where families from all nearby schools meetup, socialize, grab a snack, engage in activities, and join bike trains and walking groups to get to school ON TIME! Learn about the national efforts at

Please reach out to Sandra to if you’re interested in helping identify local and national speakers, organize activities, invite city partners (DC Water, DCPS, WABA, bike shops, etc), and help get the word out at your school.

  • JO Wilson Cheerleaders to perform

Chancellor’s Parent Cabinet – Heather Schoell

Meet periodically and have broken out into issue-based groups of Middle School, Budget, College and Career. DCPS central offers a lot of programming, but not doing a good job communicating to families.

Find background and meeting notes, here:

Other advisory committees shared by the group include

  • Global education advisory group (both Heather Schoell (Eliot-Hine and Eastern parent) and Stefany Thangavelu (Maury parent) serve on Global Ed Advisory Group)
  • Public Spaces advisory group

More on Boards and Commissions:

New Chancellor – Group Discussion

Ideas for engaging raised: engage in process for finding replacement; relay shortcomings from last experience; Are there changes we should push for vis a vis governance, particularly regarding the role of the State Board of Education.

ACTION: Draft letter to Mayor articulating issues raised during meeting.


Next CHPSPO Meeting: March 20, 2018

Upcoming Events

DC Council Performance Oversight and Budget Hearings

  • Wednesday, February 21, DCPS Performance Oversight Hearing, public witnesses, 10 am (Wilson Building)
  • Wednesday, March 28, DCPS Budget Hearing, public witnesses, 10 am (Wilson Building)
  • Thursday, April 19, DCPS Budget Hearing, public witnesses (Wilson Building)

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force Focus Groups

  • Tuesday, March 13, 6 – 7:30 pm, Columbia Heights Educational Campus (3101 16th St., NW)
  • Wednesday, March 21, 7 – 8:30 pm, Thurgood Marshall PCS (2427 Martin Luther King Ave., SE)

CHPSPO Strategic Planning Meeting – Saturday, February 24, 9:30 am – 1 pm, Northeast Library (7th & Maryland Avenue, NE)


Kenyon Weaver Testimony – DCPS Performance Oversight Hearing – February 21, 2018

Good Morning. I’m Kenyon Weaver, a parent at Maury Elementary and member of the Maury PTA, as well as the Maury SIT, or School Improvement Team.

Last week, I provided testimony on how, while Maury is blessed with a strong community and high trust within our school, including our excellent Principal, administration and faculty, that DCPS Central Office was failing to meaningfully engage with the community with regard to the Maury modernization process. Today, I’m here to provide suggested solutions for the way forward.

A lot has certainly happened in the past 9 days to further erode trust. The DCPS Central Office leadership needs to restore that trust. These are District-wide proposals that will help to restore that trust:

· First: Transparency. Here we are with a crisis of transparency and fair process at the very top, but it is similarly a crisis in the lower interactions between the DCPS Central Office and the individual school communities. Transparency in the SIT process means:

o Identify community priorities and needs before design;

o Hold regular meetings;

o Provide the community with actual deadlines, real budget numbers – do not deflect or avoid or “run out the clock”;

o Be honest in those responses. The community does not expect every wish and desire will be fulfilled but we expect a candid conversation.

· Second: DCPS leadership, DGS leadership, and DDOT leadership should support Councilmember Allen’s Daytime School Parking Zone Amendment Act, providing teachers a mechanism for permits for on-street parking. Otherwise, the District will not be putting Kids First. At least, not all kids.

· Third: DCPS should adopt minimums for play space in its Educational Specifications. Under the DC Code, we could have a school with a mandatory 30 parking spaces, and zero outdoor play space. That’s because there’s no requirement that a school have play space. Again, without these, in my view the District cannot claim to be putting Kids First.

As I noted last time, because of DCPS Central Office’s intransigence, Maury Elementary’s new building simply will have not the facility it needs to support the expected 500+ students. Yes, it will have classrooms. Like every school. But, no, it will no longer have a usable garden or sufficient playground space. And it never will, because of the poor decisions being made now.

But we can still salvage something, with Transparency that restores trust, and with legislation and policies that puts all Kids First. Daytime School Parking Zone Amendment Act, and with outdoor playspace in Ed Specs. And we can make steps back to restoring trust. Parents are willing.