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Learn About the DC Public Education Master Facilities Plan

Join fellow DC residents to learn about the DC Public Education Master Facilities Plan 2018 and take part in a workshop in which you can share your ideas and feedback about public school facilities planning in the District at one of the three Public Education Master Facilities Plan community engagements.

The materials and content will be the same at all three engagements. Dates, times, and locations below. Please RSVP at https://dcpubliceducationmfp2018.eventbrite.com.

MFP Community Engagement #1

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time: 6:30PM

Columbia Heights Education Campus, 3101 16th St NW

Metro Station: Columbia Heights (Green/Yellow)

MFP Community Engagement #2

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Time: 6:30PM

Center City PCS – Capitol Hill Campus, 1503 E Capitol St SE

Closest Metro Station: Stadium/Armory (Blue/Orange/Silver)

MFP Community Engagement #3

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Time: 10:00AM

C.W. Harris Elementary School, 301 53rd St SE

Closest Metro Station: Benning Road (Blue/Silver)

 

For more information, please go to http://dme.dc.gov/MFP2018

DC MFP 2018 - Community Engagement Flyer

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Sandra Moscoso Testimony – DCPS Budget Hearing – April 14 2016

Testimony by Sandra Moscoso

Education Committee DCPS Budget Oversight Hearing,

April 14, 2016

 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

I am a member of the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO), a DCPS Parent at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan and a DC Charter School Parent at BASISDC PCS.

My ask of Council given your influence over education budget are:

  • Be transparent in how decisions are made.
  • Be consistent in your support of and honor commitments made to student, families, and educators.
  • Get the most out of limited funds by supporting TRUE coordination between DC public and DC charter schools.

On transparency, while city education agencies have made great strides over the past few years around making data and policy more accessible, there is still a long way to go for the lay (or even savvy) parent to understand the rationale behind how decisions are made.

This is due to the lack of transparency and lack of consistency around how funding decisions are made. Capital funding decisions in particular.

In the absence of transparent inputs, processes, and evidence-based decision-making, there is plenty of room for lack of trust. Sadly, this is where many (if not most) of parents like me sit today.

On consistency, honor commitments our students depend on.

I think back to my daughter’s school, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan. On April 6, 2011, I sat in the school’s multi-purpose room, along with about 100 parents, teachers, and students, as we learned about our school’s future home. The then Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization of DC Public Schools delivered a presentation of plans for the building we would be moving into August of that year. Those plans included basic repairs to get the school ready to safely accommodate our students, with plans for Phase 1 modernization in 2014.

While disappointed that we would wait 3 years for modernization, we trusted in the system and patiently waited our turn. 2014 has come and gone, and now our students (most of who will have aged out) will have to wait over a decade for a modernized building?

We ask a lot of our students (and their teachers). We ask them to sit through long days, 10-20 minutes to scarf down their lunch, and dwindling recess. We ask them to tolerate hours of skill and drill, and assessments every 6 weeks (if not more). We ask them to adjust to bouncing around schools, yo-yo access to resources, and initiatives du jour. On top of this, our students live with the pressure that if they do not perform well on standardized tests, their teachers or principal could get fired. This is the type of responsibility we put onto 3rd graders, 9 year olds.

In turn, can we really not accept the responsibility for ensuring their learning environments are adequate? We owe them modern, beautiful spaces to learn.

Finally, I recognize that resources are limited and funding is scarce. I believe that funding two public education sectors without strategic coordination between them exacerbates the issue of scarcity.

I have children in both sectors, and the problems I witness in both are quite similar. Aging facilities in need up updating, scarce resources for programming. I cannot understand how it is possible that the city is willing to open a school in the same neighborhood where a similar, up and coming but highly under-resourced school exists. I have seen first-hand how this reckless practice has hurt my children’s DCPS and Charter middle schools, as well as all of my neighborhood middle schools like Eliot-Hine, Stuart-Hobson, and Jefferson Academy.

Fund the schools here today adequately (DCPS and Charter) give them a chance to succeed, and put a hold on opening new ones or we’ll never find our way out of this cycle.

Ensuring there is true coordination between the two sectors should be at the top of EVERY councilmember’s agenda. Doing this well will mean better use of resources, and equity around how those resources are distributed.

Back to trust, if we cannot count on our elected officials to find a way to get the most out of our education sectors, I wonder whether we have the right officials in place. I am very sorry to put it this way, but the argument of “Congress gonna Congress” cannot possibly be tolerated when it comes to addressing our city’s education challenges.

I have faith in this Council, I hope that I can continue to say you have my trust.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Payne ES Modernization – REPROGRAMMING IN JEOPARDY: PLEASE ACT NOW!

Dear Payne ES Community:

As you may know, we received exciting news this week that Mayor Gray transmitted a reprogramming to the Council to fund the completion of Payne’s modernization project, including critical improvements for special education students and fourth and fifth graders, as well as compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If approved, this reprogramming will bring to an end this year’s “tale of two schools,” where some students have modernized classrooms and some students do not, and where physically disabled students, parents and community members continue to have to navigate a school without an elevator or sufficient ramps.  We understand that one parent is not able to visit her child’s classroom because the school does not have an elevator.

Unfortunately, the Council may block the reprogramming.  We understand that Ward 7 Council Member Alexander either has or is planning to introduce a disapproval resolution that will delay or block the reprogramming because it moves funds from a future Ward 7 capital project and directs them to the Payne and Stanton ES projects (a Ward 8 school that is also in need of additional dollars to complete its modernization).  We understand and respect Council Member Alexander’s position, but we strongly believe that improving the learning environment of CURRENT Payne students NOW is a more critical need than funding construction of a new building that is still only in the planning stages.  You can learn more about the reprogramming here:

http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/32935/REPROG20-0269-Introduction.pdf

Please help ensure that the reprogramming is approved by contacting all 12 Council Members ASAP!  You can send them the following message.  Please also use social media to get the word out.

Their email addresses and telephone numbers are listed below.

twells@dccouncil.us

Council Member Wells: 724-8072

dcatania@dccouncil.us

Council Member Catania: 724-7772

kmcduffie@dccouncil.us

Council Member McDuffie: 724-8028

pmendelson@dccouncil.us

Chairman Mendelson: 724-8032

jgraham@dccouncil.us

Council Member Graham: 724-8181

jevans@dccouncil.us

Council Member Evans: 724-8058

mcheh@dccouncil.us

Council Member Cheh: 724-8062

mbowser@dccouncil.us

Council Member Bowser: 724-8052

yalexander@dccouncil.us

Council Member Alexander: 724-8068

vorange@dccouncil.us

Council Member Orange: 724-8174

dgrosso@dccouncil.us

Council Member Grosso: 724-8105

abonds@dccouncil.us

Council Member Bonds: 724-8064