CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 19, 2013

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary

659 G Street, NE

November 19, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

1. School Boundaries and Feeder Patterns – Open discussion

–          Background: DME’s press release and materials: http://dme.dc.gov/DC/DME/Initiatives+and+Priorities/Statewide+Commission+on+Children+Youth+and+Their+Families/Student+Assignment+and+School+Boundaries+Review+Process

–          ACTION: Sign up for focus groups and working groups

–          ACTION: Volunteers will work on survey for feeder with the help of Mary Filardo, 21st Century Fund, using this as framework (see preliminary discussion below): http://dme.dc.gov/DC/DME/Publication%20Files/Defining%20Principles%20Worksheet.pdf

–          ACTION: To be more intentional to give Chancellor feedback on middle schools, group is forming. For reference, the Ward 6 Middle School Plan: http://www.dc.gov/DCPS/Parents+and+Community/Community+Initiatives/Building+on+Momentum:+Ward+6+Middle+Schools

    • In boundary % (on school profiles) should change to indicate that school is in feeder pattern

–          Feedback on November 15 Council Hearing

–          Preparing for Principles/Survey:

–          Q: What is working about your current in-boundary/in-feeder middle school?

  • Capitol Hill Cluster School:
    • Peabody feeding into Watkins feeding into Stuart (the cluster model is working)
    • Stuart Hobson students are enrolling following on feeder patterns based on their elementary schools (Ludlow-Taylor, JO Wilson, Watkins)
    • DCPS is setting enrollment numbers too high for Stuart Hobson
    • The communication to parents at Peabody and Watkins about activities at  Stuart Hobson helps families become familiar with their middle school and starts to set the expectation that Stuart Hobson is going to be their middle school.
    • Principal reaches out to all feeder schools to encourage participation with the middle school sports, events, etc.
  • JO Wilson:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Stuart Hobson.
    • Great local option supporting neighborhood schools and an established, reliable option for parents.
  • Ludlow Taylor:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Stuart Hobson.
  • Maury:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Eliot-Hine and to Eastern.
    • Seeing the progress around Eliot Hine and link w/ International Baccalaureate w/ Eastern and would like to see it continue.
  • Tyler:
    • Families like the choice of being able to attend the Spanish Immersion program.  Like that we live on Capitol Hill, and can still have choices in the neighborhood.
  • Amidon-Bowen:
    • Like Amidon-Bowen feeding into Jefferson.
  • SWS:
    • The school’s intention to keep cohorts together, beyond geographic boundary. Intent to keep neighborhoods together.

–          Q: What is NOT working about your current in-boundary/in-feeder middle school?

    • Cluster:
      • Boundaries for Watkins don’t match the size of the school.
      • Charters like Washington Latin are pulling most advanced students. If DCPS MS doesn’t offer advanced courses, it’s tough to keep the advanced students.
    • Ludlow Taylor:
      •  At Ludlow Taylor, students are not leaving at 5th grade, because parents see a clear path to Stuart. However, there is no connection with Eastern.
    • Maury:
      • Instructional Superintendents structure does not support vertical integration of programming or collaboration among schools within a feeder pattern.
    • CHM@L
      • The Ward 6 Middle school plan that DCPS approved has not been supported nor adequately funded.
    • Amidon-Bowen:
      • Jefferson is an important piece of puzzle – not successful in getting Brent or Thompson students
      • Capital/facility improvements have come about too slowly. It is a struggle by the school and community to get DC to fund renovations.
    • SWS:
      • Too much choice in the system. Choice came about because system was not servicing schools. There isn’t thought about the capacity of a school vs. cachment as a feeder – needs to take charters into account when thinking about decisions around boundary/feeder. Currently, there is no strategy.
    • General Comments
      • No strategic planning between Charter and DCPS.
      •  (former Ward 5 parent) Ward 5 has shut down DCPS schools and many neighborhoods are being serviced by charters.
      • Boundary discussion is an opportunity to ‘level playing field’ by introducing neighborhood preference and advocating for legislation that requires charters to take in-boundary students, regardless of time of year.
      • Catania’s refusing to outsource MS to charters creates an opportunity.
      • Boundary planning should happen w/ charters as part of discussion.
      • There is intentional misalignment of middle schools starting at 5th grade.
      • IB has been slow to get off the ground at Eliot-Hine, which hurt the implementation of the Ward 6 middle school plan.
      • DCPS’ competitive advantage on middle schools should be a predictable feeder pattern and path for students. Charters seem to be doing a better job of operating as a system than DCPS.
      • Charters seem to do a good job of showing the continuum of education among charter school feeder patterns.

–          Questions still to be answered:

    • What values do we hold that we believe should influence school boundaries and feeder patterns, e.g., proximity, diversity, choice, predictability?
    • What is our vision for school boundaries and successful feeder patterns, e.g., successful feeder patterns from elementary to middle to high schools?
    • How do middle schools influence school boundaries and successful feeder patterns?
    • How to ensure an open, collaborative and fair process for determining school boundaries and feeder patterns?  Ideas for getting broad input from Ward 6 parents – survey?

 

2.  “A Call to Action” event on December 9, organized by the Washington Teacher’s Union. Stay tuned via: http://www.wtulocal6.org/. Read Principles: https://chpspo.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/principlesuniteus2013.pdf

 

3. School Information “Night” – December 8, 2-5PM @ Capitol Hill Day School
Next CHPSPO Meeting:  December 17, 2013

Upcoming Events:

December 8     School Information “Night,” 2 – 5 p.m., Capitol Hill Day School

December 9     A Call to Action (TBD)

December 10   Deputy Mayor for Education’s Focus Group on School Boundaries and Feeder Patterns, Logan

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