CHPSPO Meeting Notes – March 15 2016

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan, 215 G St., NE

March 15, 2016 – 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 1) Report out on meeting with DME, Marty Welles and Suzanne Wells

  • Issues raised:
    • Funding/support for Ward 6 middle school Eliot-Hine & Jefferson renovations
    • Task Force; grade misalignment
  • DME suggested issues raised should be heard by charter school leaders/board
  • DME will be responsible for drafting Mayor’s capital improvement plan
  • DCPS now in charge of renovations, but DGS in charge for implementation

2) Discussion of school security procedures, Caroline Kopek-Pezzarossi

  • Are schools locked all the time? Including drop off and pick up?
  • Reports from Miner, Maury, Van Ness, Amidon-Bowen, Tyler, CHM@L, SWS, Watkins, Stuart-Hobson, JO Wilson, Eliot-Hine
  • Variances on front doors being open all day vs locked all day vs locked between 9-3 and after 3:30,
  • DCPS Security Tips Hotline here:

3) Bike to School Day, Sandra Moscoso-Mills

  • Wednesday, May 4 @ Lincoln Park
  • Partnership with National Center for Safe Routes to School
  • Connect with DCPS Cornerstone
  • Reach out to DDOT
  • Follow up planning w/ George, Beth, Danica, Suzanne & Sandra

4) Budget Oversight Hearings – Who is testifying on what – Everyone


Next CHPSPO Meeting:  April 19, 2016


Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

March 21, Education Counsel, 101 Constitution Ave. NW, Suite 900), 6 pm 

Council Performance Budget Oversight Hearings Register at

Tuesday, April 12:  PCSB and State Board of Education

Wednesday, April 13: DME

Thursday, April 14 (10 a.m. and 5 p.m.): DCPS (public witnesses)

Monday, April 18: OSSE

Ward 6 Budget Town Hall

April 21st, 6:30-8:30PM Ward 6 CM Allen to host budget town hall, DHS H St Service Center (645 H St. NE)

Eliot-Hine Enrollment Nights

Tuesday, April 5th and Wed, April 13th (overlap with PTO mtng at 6pm), from 4:30pm – 6:30pm – 1830 Constitution Ave NE

School Auctions

March 19, Maury at the Market, Eastern Market North Hall

April 30, Brent’s Taste of the Hill, Capitol Skyline Hotel

Bike to School Day – May 4 at Lincoln Park. Save the date!

Lion King – May 20 – 21 at Stuart Hobson.  Save the date!



CHPSPO Meeting Notes – December 15, 2015

CHPSPO Meeting Notes

Brent Elementary

December 15, 2015


1) 3-8th grade PARCC results presentation by Bonnie O’Keefe OSSE

  • Reviewed PARCC Results and handed out one-page guides to the new assessment –> PARCC one pager.
  • New student reports have been designed for DC – mockups and a parent guide are available on the OSSE website in 6 different languages. Schools will get the individual student test results this week. Each school has the option for when and how to distribute those scores to parents. Parents will receive a copy of the parent guide with their child’s report card.
  • PARCC v DC CAS comparison: DC CAS had composition and reading test, PARCC has only one English Language Arts (ELA) test. General level of rigor is much higher on the PARCC assessment.
  • Because this is the first year of PARCC, there were no new identifications to put schools into focus or priority status (i.e. not meeting their goals). However, if schools already in focus or priority status made progress on certain criteria on the 2015 test, they can be removed from that status.
  • The new Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) – the rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Law and the law that will supersede current state waivers – will change state accountability systems. There is more flexibility for states, but some of the rules have changed to in what is required for states in their accountability systems. For example, how OSSE will use test scores will change. But the use of PARCC as the test and the use of the new report cards will not change. Under the new law, OSSE will have 18 months to finalize a new plan with the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Joe Weedon: The State Board of Education will have to approve the OSSE plan and there will be public hearings on what the new accountability plan throughout the Spring and Summer of 2016. The Board is particularly interested in equitable access issues and competency based education.
  • PARCC defines college and career readiness as the 70% likelihood a student would earn credit in an entry level college course (scoring a level 4 or 5 in PARCC).

2) DCPS Budget 101 Presentation (Laura Marks and Anne Phelps from Councilman Allen’s office and Joe Weedon from SBOE)

  • Overview of Budget Process
    • Capital budget and operating budget are the two big pots of funding. You can’t transfer money between them. School modernizations are in the capital budget. Everything in the school walls comes from the operating budget.
    • Budget is about $12 billion per year for the city (federal, private and local funding). Of that, $7 billion is from local funds that can be moved around. 27% of those funds are dedicated for education – the highest percentage of the local budget.
  • Current 2016 DCPS Budget (compared to 2015)
    • No increase in uniform per-pupil funding formula.
    • Capital budget reduced by $330 million over 5 years out of the education sector; Ward 6 school modernizations cut $125 million (though they agree to the current year plus 5 years out when they do capital budgets, they can reassess and change them each year). Overall, the DC 6-year capital plan is $1.3 billion.
    • “At-Risk” Funds are being distributed on need. The original intent is for those funds to follow the at-risk students, but that hasn’t happened in past. This budget makes the effort to get the funds into the schools that qualify. Councilman Allen and others are now interested in knowing whether the funds are being used to supplement not supplant funds in individual schools. Council will continue to look into that through oversight.
    • Extended Day funding is increased, aftercare funding reduced. Councilman Allen is interested in learning more about the effects extended day has on aftercare offerings and how effectively the extended day funding is being used at schools.
  • FY2017 Budget Process has Kicked Off
    • November – normally the Chancellor outlines her priorities, but this year we are still waiting to hear what DCPS will identify as their big funding priorities
    • Now: Parent and community survey online – place to weigh in on budget priorities (November-December)
    • November: DCPS held citywide LSAT planning and training meetings (three done)
    • Now: Chancellor team in process of identifying school enrollment targets and a modernization plan
    • Feb-March: School, LSAT and DCPS work to finalize school budgets
    • In the first 2 weeks of March, DCPS has to wrap up the back and forth with the schools to submit to Mayor’s budget team
    • Date to submit Mayor’s proposed budget to Council is March 24th.
  • Council Role
    • Once the Mayor submits the budget to Council, Council has 56 days (by law in the Home Rule Act) to hold hearings, develop priorities, develop a committee chairman’s budget, then the full committee amend and vote on the committee budget
    • Performance oversight hearings: February 4 – March 11, 2016
    • Budget oversight hearings: April 6-28, 2016
    • May 4 and 5 committee budgets go to the committee of a whole to reconcile all the budgets
    • May 17th there is a reconciliation vote – vote on the entire budget package
    • In the Operating Budget, Council cannot amend the DCPS operating budget easily or at all because even if they have a directive put in to change the operating budget, the Chancellor can reprogram that money. DCPS is a unique circumstance. For example, in the library budget, Council can direct more of the funds. But Council can move around priorities in the Capital budget.

What can parents do:

  • Advocates: Now is the time to focus on advocating at the school level for the right operating budget for the school – with the Principal, LSAT, and parents – to work with DCPS to achieve priorities. For issues across schools, need to advocate with the Mayor and Chancellor on city-wide programmatic funds.
  • Advocates: On Capital side of the budget there is less ability to manipulate the budget than before, but still some ability. But there needs to be coordinated prioritization particularly in Ward 6.
  • Now is the time to start pushing priorities.
  • Two big asks could be: more money in school modernization/capital budget overall, and increases in the per pupil funding formula.
  • DCPS does not fund schools on a per student basis. They fund on a staffing model (see below).
  • Operating Budget Issues – Where can we influence DCPS funding?
    • Key is enrollment projections. If 300, 350, 400 there are different staffing models.
    • Still elements of the budget where the principal and LSAT can advocate within the DCPS process.
    • LSAT has a “School Budget Development Guide” put out by DCPS that can be a tool to help. It often lays out elements that DCPS is changing in terms of priorities and what is changing in terms of school and district funding and thresholds. The FY17 version is not yet available of this guide. Parents need to ask principals for this guide. They may need to ask DCPS for it.

What can parents and advocates do?

  • Ask your principal: what is the projected enrollment number from DCPS (now is when they are asking for adjustments). By Dec 18th the enrollment numbers will be final.
  • Ask principal/LSAT for the latest “School Budget Development Guide” and read and understand the parameters for how DCPS will build the draft school budgets this year.
  • Work with principal and LSAT – now – to align school budget to community priorities. Discuss what trade-offs have to be made and how collectively the community can work on priorities.

3) CHPSPO School Modernization Advocacy

  • CHPSPO feels we need more priority on the school modernization budget overall – arguing that overall and Ward 6 need more funding for the capital budget. Funds should be restored and increased overall.
  • CHPSPO will start working with the Deputy Mayor and Mayor and make an effort to increase the capital school budget overall and for Ward 6 in particular.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  January 19, 2016

Upcoming Events  (inclement weather may impact schedules – please confirm open house dates w/ individual schools -see )

January 5 – Amidon-Bowen Open House, 9:30-10:30 am

January 7 – Ludlow-Taylor Open House, 9:30-10:30 am

January 8 – Jefferson Academy Open House, 9:30-11:00 am

January 11 – Maury ES Open House, 9:00-10:30 am

January 11 – Brent ES Open House, 9:00-10:30 am

January 11 – Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan EC Open House, 6:00-7:00 pm

January 11 – Maury ES Open House, 6:15-7:45 pm

January 14 – J.O. Wilson ES Open House, 9:30-11:00 am

January 14 – Miner ES Open House, 9:30-10:30 am

January 14 – Eastern HS Open House, 5:30-7:00 pm

January 14 – Jefferson Academy MS Open House, 6:00-7:00 pm

January 14 – School Within a School @ Goding Open House, 6:00-7:30 pm

January 15 – Tyler ES Open House, 6:00-7:00 pm

January 19 – Walker-Jones EC Open House, 9:00-10:30 am

January 19 – Tyler ES Open House, 9:30-10:30 am

January 21 – J.O. Wilson Summer Camp Fair, 6 – 8 pm

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 17, 2015

Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St., NE

November 17, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

1) Keep Calm and Substitute Teach – How DCPS plans/budgets for substitutes, and why/how to become a substitute – Suzanne Wells, Tammy Alexander and Heather Schoell

  • Principals can name request parents to be subs
  • John Isabella (DCPS) reported– substitutes pool fills 200-300 requests per day. 90% of requests are filled.
  • Substitutes fill in for teachers and aides.
  • Schools get budget but rolled into teacher salaries.
  • Substitute are licensed by OSSE
  • Substitute must deliver a 5 min prez/lesson – those who meet the bar, go on to background check
  • DCPS sees sub pool as a pool of potential teachers;
  • Subs can put in name for a specific school (and schools can request specific subs)
  • Every teacher is supposed to leave a file w/ lessons

2) High School Credit Flexibility – Mary Lord, At-Large Member State Board of Education ESEA – reauthored

  • State board trying to innovate/engage public
  • How to focus more on learning and the learner – free up teachers and students to innovate & allow students struggling to get the time they need and those who excel to be able to accelerate
  • Move towards mastery-based (or performance-based) learning.
  • Q: How to assess mastery

3) Wilson Building Visits, December 4 – Ivan Frishberg 9-Noon

  • Requests to meet with Chairman Allen (11 AM)
    • Mendelson
    • Grosso
    • Bonds
    • Todd
  • Issues – modernization – process and what is happening at the schools and cross sector collaboration task force (Key issues under cross-sector task force to be refined)

4) Eliot-Hine Update – Roni Hillmon and Heather Schoell

  • Watkins to be renovated 2016-17 / Looking at swing space at Eliot Hine
  • Promises to Eliot-Hine
    • HVAC (promised by may 2015)
    • Tech in each classroom
    • Room in need of repair (leaks into classrooms); mold/air quality
    • Dec 9 next PTO meeting – 6PM in library. Patrick Davis, lead


Next CHPSPO Meeting:  December 15, 2015


Upcoming Middle School Open Houses

Nov 16, (Monday) 9:00-10:30 am: Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, Upper Elementary and Middle School Open House (

Nov 17, (Tuesday) 9:30-10:30 am and 6-7:00 pm: Eliot-Hine Middle School Open House (

Nov 19, (Thursday) 9:30-10:30 am and 6-7:00 pm: Stuart-Hobson Middle School Open House (

Nov 20, (Friday) 9:30-11:00 am: Jefferson Academy Open House




CHPSPO Meeting Notes – October 20, 2015

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Maury Elementary School, 
1250 Constitution Ave., NE

October 20, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. PARCC test results and Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force (Claudia Lujan)
  • PARCC Results
    • Timing:
      • District-wide @ school level for high schools out next week
      • District-wide @ school level for grades 3-8 out end of November
      • Student –level data out in December
    • This is a BASELINE Year.
    • We will not be able to compare PARCC with past (DC CAS) data.
    • OSSE will pause on accountability for one year; schools will not be able to move from rising to reward, etc.
    • OSSE report to go out to parents in December, to enable parents to understand where students lie on new scale and the 5 performance levels (but not comparable to past). See how to read the PARCC here.
    • Q/A:
      • At district level, we will compare how we are faring w other districts; school level comparisons will be available; Peer group = other states that are using PARCC
      • Is OSSE sticking w/ the cutoffs of proficiency on the PARCC scale? A: Yes, DCBOE voted to keep to PARCC scale, rather than own scale.
      • How were technical glitches been addressed? These would have impacted scores.
        • A: In rollout, from tech perspective and questions, a lot was done to gauge
        • A: Report around glitches will be developed, but not sure about timing
      • Concerning that scores are being shared publicly when tech issues are known; A: this should be considered as input to FAQs that will be released w/ scores
      • From an administration perspective, changes this year:
        • Only 1 testing window as compared to last year’s 2 testing window
        • OCTO supported the hardware in the past, but hoping this year, if OCTO could set up the computers so they are ready w/out pop up windows/hiccoughs, would be really helpful.
      • Professional development (PD) for common core? How is it being addressed? A: PD is addressed at LEA/school level, not district-wide. Teachers participated in developing questions that were included in localized PARCC DC test
  1. Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force Update (
  • Received many nominations (90ish) for parent/community members, were overwhelmed, now sifting through; Separate nomination process for LEAs
  • Announced in a couple of weeks; will kick off in January 2016
  • TF will meet monthly; 1 year commitment of the 2 year process
  • Initial target 23-25 members in task force, but not over 30
  • Q&A:
    • FAQs said meetings would be private – open meetings act requires government committee meetings to be open to public – A: Closed meetings reasoning: difficult conversation. Important to have honest conversations; would open meetings compromise this? Risk of media/social media taking statements out of context
  • What is actionable? Mayor has no authority over PCSB. A: While PCSB is authorizer, charter leaders will be engaged and they understand that lack of coordination cannot continue. Many charter leaders have expressed willingness to coordinate.
  1. DCPS-led discussion about the upcoming food services contract (Shanita Burney)
  • Liz Leach (DCPS OFNS) – history of food services contracts; $19M going back to DCPS from settlement; RFP will go out in December; We cook in every single kitchen in DCPS except Rev Foods schools
  • Feedback from parents in the room:
    • Ben Feldman (Brent ES)– addressed history of Chartwells contract, issues with outsourcing; noted Chancellor did not join whistleblower suit
    • Heather Schoell (Eliot-Hine MS)– can we use settlement money for library books?
    • Q from JO parent about food waste
    • Miner parent (w/interpreter) — Do not like Prepackaged, processed, high sugar items
    • Concern about being cut out of “boutique” groupings of schools
    • Ward 1 parent(?) — Concern about survey; Half of the survey being about student preference
    • Standards fall during summer meals program
    • Unhealthy choices at school make it hard to hold the line at home
    • Group meals at Title I schools end up reinforcing high-sugar food preferences
    • Let’s have oatmeal, low sugar yogurt;
    • Caryn Ernst (Capitol Hill Cluster Schools) – how to make menus more accommodating for gluten-free students (same for allergies, lactose-intolerant)
    • Salad Bars — more days, more options – kids eat plenty of vegetables that way
    • Gwenn (sp?) — Bbq chicken, blackened tilapia, etc — are those items too spicy, seasoned?
    • Heather – vendors off menu is real problem for kids with dietary issues, allergies
    • Make sure all the equipment is working — foods too cold, not high quality
    • Lisa Miller – kids subbing milk for juice
    • Developmentally appropriate portions, menus — PK3 – 4 / K – 5 different choices by age
    • Ben Feldman — We are an 80% FARM district. We have to do food as a core mission. Focus on scratch-made food, locally sourced meals. Focus on vendors who ensure staff have strong culinary skills, care about presentation, good food smells.  Food experience that shows we’re investing in children. RFP needs to be tilted in a way that knife skills, culinary experience, cultivates palates, scratch-made, on site, appealing food
    • W1 parent (?) — More technical concerns. DCPS meal costs are among the highest in the country but we’re not seeing the return on investment. Advantage of privatization should be higher quality, lower costs. We’re not seeing that. What is DCPS going to do to drive up the quality of the food? In-house food service in other districts returns a profit.
    • We’re paying the money but we’re not getting results.
    • Are you breaking down the schools into pods for bidding? A: Liz Leach — Bidding on single schools isn’t efficient for vendors.
    • Payne ES Parent – other countries serve soups; A: LL: Great idea. We don’t have the equipment right now.
    • Parent (Gail) – single vendor? A: LL – TBD
    • Always milk? A: LL – Well, we could sell water. Laura Marks/: No! (we have DC Water!!)
    • Sandra (Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan): What about disconnect between school and vendor? What is the DCPS oversight over vendor? A: LL: There is oversight and management Cafeteria Lead who is site manager, manager over that with 10 schools, 3 managers over that, DCPS personnel over that.
    • Give feedback/ideas here!
  1. Planning for November discussion about substitute teachers (Moved to next month’s agenda)

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  November 17, 2015

Upcoming Events

October 28 from 7 – 9 pm, SHAPPE/DC Fiscal Policy Institute Forum on DC Public Schools’ Budget Priorities, , Luke Moore Academy, 1001 Monroe St., NE.

November 2, 11 am, JAWB: DC Council Education Committee Hearing On DCPS School Modernizations

November 7, 10 am Educator Town Hall Curbing School to Prison to Pipeline

November 8, 6 – 10 pm, J.O. Wilson will host the 4th annual Taste of H.  Tickets can be purchased at Taste of H.

For additional Education Committee Hearings and Meetings, go to


CHPSPO Meeting Notes – September 15, 2015

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Stuart Hobson Middle School

September 15, 2015

1) Discussion about CHPSPO’s nomination to the Cross-Sector Task Force

  • Issues we think are important for the Task Force to address
    • Planning: # of seats, site selection, curriculum
    • Grade alignment (consistency around at grades are included in middle school)
    • Financial transparency
    • Long-term à amend the existing laws
    • Ways to foster stability throughout the school system
    • Ways to foster collaboration not competition
  • Discussion with people interested in serving on Task Force
    • Caryn Ernst (Capitol Hill Cluster School parent and former PTA president) and Sandra Moscoso (Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan & former LSAT Chair/BASISDC parent)
  • Voting on CHPSPO’s nomination
    • Caryn Ernst was selected to receive the CHPSPO nomination.

2) Discussion about blog, Valerie Jablow;

  • Follow the blog via email, disseminate it into your communities and reach out to Valerie to contribute posts

3) Upcoming DC Council Education Committee hearings and events. Laura Marks

  • Visit here for calendar of Education Committee hearing dates in September and October 2015 and instructions for submitting testimony
  • Public School Food and Nutrition Services Programs and School Food and Nutrition Services Contract Requirement Act of 2015 – public roundtable. Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 412
  • Early Learning Quality Improvement Network Amendment Act of 2015 and Higher Education Licensure Commission Amendment Act of 2015. Thursday, October 1, 2015, 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 412
  • Public Charter School Fiscal Transparency Amendment Act of 2015. Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 1:00 p.m., Hearing Room 120

4) CHPSPO visits to Wilson Building, Ivan Frishberg.

In process of scheduling group visits with councilmembers on education committee.

5) DCPS Library Resourcing. Peter MacPherson.

  • Proposal to advocate for adequately resourcing DCPS libraries (recommended is 20 volumes/student, which is not currently the case at many schools). Idea is to apply the $13.7 million settlement from Chartwells towards funding volumes in schools without adequate collections.
  • Surveys were distributed to CHPSPO librarians to collect information about individual school collections. Please return completed surveys to Suzanne Wells.

6) Walk-to-School Day Planning, George Blackmon

  • Wednesday, October 7, 7:30-8:30 AM @ Lincoln Park
  • Schools are encouraged to hold their own events, if the distance to/from Lincoln Park is inconvenient.
  • Speakers; draft agenda:
    • 7:30: Arrival/Snacks and American Parkour Academy demos
    • 7:45: Ward 6 CM Charles Allen welcomes everyone
      • NOTE: Charles give a shout out to Mark Toorock and Matt Caraballo from American Parkour Academy (they won’t speak, but will be leading demos on the park).
    • 7:48: Maury ES Cheerleaders perform
    • 7:53 Miriam Kenyon, director of health and physical education at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)
    • 7:56: Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment
    • 7:59: JO Wilson ES Cheerleaders perform
    • 8:04: Fitness celebrity Gabriella Boston leads yoga stretch
    • 8:10: Charles Allen sends everyone off to school

7) American Parkour, Mark Toorock and Matt Caraballo

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  October 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

September 30 Education Committee hearing on DCPS Food & Nutrition Services Program, 10AM

September 30  DCPS State of Schools with Chancellor Henderson, Dunbar HS, 7-9 PM

October 4        Brent Fall Festival

October 7        Walk-to-School Day (register your school at

October 8        Jefferson Academy vs Stuart Hobson (6-8 PM @ Coolidge HS)

October 10      Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA Renovators Tour Fundraiser

October 17      Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s A Literary Feast (

October 21      Education Committee hearing on issues facing youth

October 24      Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan’s Haunted Harvest, 6-9PM

October 24      Maury Elementary’s Fall Festival

October 24      Tyler Elementary’s Harvest Festival, 11AM-3PM

November 8    JO Wilson’s Taste of H (


CHPSPO Meeting Notes – July 21, 2015

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization

Maury Elementary

July 21, 2015

OSSE Draft Parent Reports

Gwen Rubinstein with OSSE, and Steve Cartwright, a contractor for OSSE, shared drafts of reports being designed for parents to help them understand their child’s test results under the new Partnership for Assessment for Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests.  Ms. Rubinstein explained the test results from school year 2014/2015 will not be available till the fall of 2015.  There were many comments about the draft report including:

  • Because it is anticipated test scores will drop under PARCC when compared with the DC CAS, some explanation about the differences in the two test results is needed;
  • The range for the test scores is between 500 and 580, and it is not clear why the scores are in this range as opposed to 0 to 80, for example;
  • It was suggested that the words describing the level of understanding, e.g., moderate understanding, be more prominent rather than performance level, e.g., Level 3, and the overall score, e.g., 556 which have little meaning to parents;
  • The term “distinguished” understanding is likely not to be understood;
  • When it says “David is growing slower than other students at the same level of prior achievement,” is this a comparison within the individual school or a system-wide comparison, or a comparison across states?
  • The term LEA is not familiar to most parents; and it isn’t clear what it means on the draft report
  • The comparisons between the overall score that is on a scale of 500 to 580 and the English Language Arts Scoring Categories (reading is out of 60 and writing is out of 40) is confusing;
  • Under the questions to ask your child’s teacher there are a series of suggestions related to what the parent can do to support the child’s learning. Equally important to know is what support is being provided by the school to help the child obtain a proficient or above level;
  • Under the section that describes what the child needs to improve his knowledge and skills, some of the language is likely not familiar to parents, e.g., “…writing prompts.”

We invited Ms. Rubinstein to come back to the September CHPSPO meeting to share the revised reports.

Faith Hubbard, State Board of Education (SBOE) Student Advocate

Ms. Hubbard explained her position is a newly legislated role that was created in the Student and Parent Empowerment Act.  While the position is within the SBOE, it is independent of the SBOE.  Ms. Hubbard sees the role as open-ended right now.  The role is designed to look out for multiple interests of families, and work to help families navigate the system.  Ms. Hubbard sees her role including being a resource for individual parents.

Ms. Hubbard described two projects she is actively working on and/or exploring:

  1. Providing parent leadership and advocacy training. This program has been successful in Connecticut (, and has worked well in other cities.
  2. Creating a website with information on the District’s school governance structure, and a broad array of education resources.

Ms. Hubbard also described how the Ward 5 Education Council operates (Ms. Hubbard was the president of the Ward 5 Education Council prior to her appointment as the Student Advocate.  The Ward 5 Education Council was established in 1985, and Ms. Hubbard got involved in the Council a few years ago.  The Ward 5 Education Council has a president, 1st VP, 2nd VP, 3rd VP, Treasurer and Secretary.

Visits to City Councilmembers at the Wilson Building

Ivan Frishberg discussed scheduling another round of visits to the Wilson building to meet with City Councilmembers.  We discussed continuing a focus on school modernizations.  There was support for scheduling the meetings in September.

Walk-to-School Day, October 7

The following people volunteered to help plan Walk-to-School Day:

  • Danica Petroshius – Lincoln Park permit
  • Suzanne Wells – Capitol Hill Community Foundation mini-grant
  • Erin Roth and George Blackmon – bag donations
  • Shahna Gooneratne – DC Water (bottles and Wendy the Water Drop)
  • Beth Bacon and Sandra Moscoso – Line up speakers
  • George has already confirmed the Maury cheerleaders will perform
  • All schools are encouraged to register at

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – June 16, 2015

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization

Jefferson Academy

June 16, 2015

1. Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERRA) Roundtable (June 22)

We discussed the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools. This evaluation was on the Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) of 2007 that gave control of the public schools to the mayor, established the office of Chancellor of DCPS, and established the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the State Board of Education (SBOE).

The report found significant areas of concern regarding 1) the lack of an entity that can support interagency coordinations, i.e., information sharing, collaboration and support, 2) the lack of data infrastructure that could support interagency coordination; and 3) lack of coordination between OSSE, SBOE and the DME. The report found coordination among DCPS and the charter schools “is also limited.”

Individual CHPSPO members are planning to submit written comments or testify regarding concerns with lack of accountability for the public charter schools, the need for open data, the need for a cross-sector task force that has “real teeth behind it,” and that public charter schools should be subject to FOIA requirements.

2. Ward 6 Education Town Hall meeting (June 24)

The State Board of Education was not asked to co-sponsor the Town Hall meeting that was scheduled by Councilmember Grosso.

Individuals are asked to RSVP and post topics they’d like to discuss online.

There is expected to be a discussion about the “tool” the Education Committee developed that set out criteria to determine the prioritization for school modernization funds. Concerns with the criteria dealing with enrollment were discussed. This criteria leads to investments in large, established schools, and delays investments in schools that are small, but trying to build their populations. There are significant concerns with the data that were used to populate the tool. The tool does not look at basic education specs, e.g., does the school have adequate lighting, are there science labs, are the acoustics adequate for learning, etc. Concern was expressed that there was not adequate public input into a tool that has such far reaching implications.

Topics also suggested for discussion were expansion of language immersion programs, and siting of new public charter schools.

3. Ward 6 Speaks

We discussed the Ward 6 Forum on Language Immersion that was held June 11. About 40 people attended the forum, and attendees felt the information provided by the panel on the positive impacts on student achievement was very informative. At the forum, there was discussion about the possibility

of expanding the Tyler Spanish Immersion program within the school, and prospective parent efforts to start a Mandarin Immersion program at Miner.

It was decided CHPSPO would establish a Language Immersion Committee to 1) share information among schools seeking to expand/establish language immersion programs, 2) to develop recommendations across Ward 6 regarding language immersion programs, and 3) to inform and support city-wide language immersion efforts.

The following volunteered to be members of the committee: Gimbiya Lin, Tammy Alexander, Erin Roth, and Suzanne Wells. We will seek additional members.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  July 21, 2015

Upcoming Events

June 22 – Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERRA), Roundtable Part II – 11am

This is the continuation of a public roundtable on the summative evaluation of public schools in the District of Columbia as required by the Public Education Reform Amendment Act of 2007. Copies of the National Academy of Sciences report can be found here. Contact Ade Adenariwo at by close of business Thursday, June 18 to testify.

June 24 – Education Committee Chairman David Grosso’s Ward 6 Education Town Hall together with Councilmember Charles Allen, 6:30-8:30pm, SW Library, 900 Wesley Place SW.

July 3 – 4th of July Parade, Barracks Row.  The Barracks Row 4th of July Parade falls on a Friday this year.   Contact Phil Guire  (  for more information on the parade.

July 8 – DC Council Roundtable: DGS Contracting and Procurement Practices for Constructing and Modernizing District of Columbia Public Schools, 11am, Room 500.  Contact Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present their testimony. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony.