CHPSPO Meeting Notes – December 16, 2014

Tyler Elementary School, Art Room, 1001 G St., SE

December 16, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. A representative from OSSE did not attend the meeting to discuss the extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver.  They will be invited to the January meeting.
  2. DCPS Education Councils Meeting – DCPS held a meeting in December with representatives from the education councils from all eight wards.  CHPSPO was represented by George Blackmon (Maury), Samantha Caruth (J.O. Wilson and Stuart Hobson), Mandla Deskins (Payne), and Suzanne Wells (Tyler).  The main topics discussed were the FY15/16 school budgets, and a new Young Men of Color initiative DCPS is undertaking.  We discussed that we expect to vary who from CHPSPO attends future meetings based on the topics and interests of CHPSPO members.
  3. DCYOP – Joe Weedon mentioned that the DC Youth Orchestra Program is looking for a home for a summer camp they are planning.  They will need five to eight classrooms, and a performing space.  It is a two-week camp in July.  The camp will be for pre-school through 5th grade.  The DCYOP recently received a grant to develop a string curriculum.
  4. Levine School of Music – Joe also mentioned a meeting that the Levine School of Music held to discuss how they can help bring musical instruction into the schools (band, string and choral).  Representatives from Eastern, Maury, Tyler, Payne, Stuart Hobson, and Jefferson attended the meeting.
  5. Challenger Center – Joe said the Challenger Center is working to put together a delegation to meet with DCPS to discuss a space use agreement.  Eliot Hine and Jefferson are potential sites.
  6. State Board of Education Priorities – Joe Weedon is our newly elected Ward 6 representative to the State Board of Education.  Joe explained that some current roles of the State Board of Education are developing graduation requirements and serving as an advocate for parents.

    Some suggestions we gave Joe for future work for the State Board of Education are:

  • Look at whether funding follows the student, e.g., at-risk youth funding and funding for students who leave a school after the audited enrollment date;
  • Look at the small school cutoff, and what impact it has had in DCPS. The small school cutoff number has been rising in recent years, i.e., from 250 to now 400. How do other systems handle staffing critical positions at small schools, e.g., librarians, art & music, world languages?  What are the impacts of the staffing formula when looked at in light of the per student allocation?
  • Look at transparency in spending between the charter schools and DCPS.
  • Look at the new elementary world language instruction. Is DC implementing programs that have proven results in other settings? Is the current structure of world language instruction a good use of resources? What can DCPS do to support increasing desire for dual language instruction?

7. Art sculptures – Marty Welles shared how Amidon Bowen used some of their Proving What’s Possible grants to fund an artist, Kevin Reese, to work with K – 2nd grade students to build a moveable sculpture that is outside the entrance of the school.  The project cost $20K.  A second project is planned for 3rd – 5th graders.  Visit schoolsculptures.com to see examples of the projects.  The sculpture outside of Amidon Bowen says this is a school that people care about, and where good things are happening.

8. 3rd grade sports participation.  Marty also discussed his efforts to get DCPS to allow 3rd graders to compete in the school sports.  More to come on this issue.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  January 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

March 7           SWS Auction

March 13         Cluster Rocks Auction

March 14         Alchemy of Great Taste, Tyler Fundraiser

March 28         Maury at the Market

May 17            Capitol Hill Classic

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