Status

CHPSP Meeting Notes– January 16, 2018

Brent Elementary School, January 16, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Michelle Edwards, Executive Director of Learn It, Live It, Love It gave a great presentation. Her non-profit organization partners with DCPS Title I schools to bring structured, standards-aligned field trips experiences to students leveraging the museums and organizations in DC and the surrounding areas. She encourages schools and families to reach out to her if you are interested in learning more, contact Michelle at edwards@liveitlearnit.org. You can learn more about the organization at www.liveitlearnit.org.

Gene Pinkard, Chief, School Design and Continuous Improvement joined for a discussion about issues of interest to CHPSPO members. He started off with a brief introduction of his office. His office is new since June 2017 and is focused on the following:

  • Enrollment and Enrollment Growth
  • School Performance
  • Innovation and School Design

Their core question to address is: what is going to make DCPS a world-class district?

The discussion moved to questions from attendees:

Question: The Public Charter School Board analysis on charter programs, need and growth, encourages charter school applicants to consider opening Montessori, language immersion, and schools in Ward 6 (calling it a “green zone”). Yet DCPS has those schools already in Ward 6 –  why is DCPS not targeting or supporting that kind of growth? Is DCPS thinking about these kinds of things?

Answer: Chancellor Wilson has made it clear he is not a fan of wait lists; he wants to focus on the need for making the space bigger or replicate programs in other places. So, Gene’s office is thinking more about how we connect successful programs to schools or communities that want and need them. Some examples could be:

  • Bruce Jackson Miner Principal and LSAT want to talk about some additional programming and working to decide what is best for the students today and the future.
  • Looking at enrollment growth and facilities is a key aspect – and we need to have smart solutions to that – even potentially serving students with partners.
  • Think about the equity we create with our students. Opportunities to open high-quality experiences for students including perhaps more citywide programs. Families in DC value diversity and citywide schools may offer that option.

Question: Can you talk about the data you use on citywide programs? In DC, being a citywide school does not mean you are a diverse school necessarily.

Answer: The data we used was national data.

Question: Will you communicate short and long-term plans to address growth across school communities? People want to know what is ahead so they know whether they want to also stay and invest in a school instead of leaving for a charter.

Answer: We do need to improve communications, but we are working hard on this area and improving planning. We want to bring more schools into the portfolio so that there are more choices in DCPS; we want to increase capacity to capture demand now and in future; and we want to improve how we communicate about all of it. Need to do more to communicate about all of this

Question: Can you talk more about the role of DCPS in increasing enrollment as this is the first-year enrollment has gone down? And, we encourage more meetings like this one in order to address the gaps between parents and DCPS and to use more of a common language. CHPSPO is about investing in our school particularly neighborhood schools and less about choice; and we know that quality is not just test scores.

Answer. I want to make clear is that test scores are important but don’t define quality. Quality is outlined in the Excellent Schools Framework we are developing. It’s achievement, talent and leadership, culture and climate, equity and engagement.

OSSE has PARCC and test scores tackled in the conversation. We want to also look at formative data and whether a school feels right for my kids and my community. We want to capture what families feel when they are valued and feel safe and welcomed.

Choice and neighborhood schools are not a contradiction. Primary investment has to be in our neighborhood schools. The city is only going to function if its neighborhoods have strong quality schools. So, we are looking at strengthening feeder patterns, culture/climate and other aspects of quality.

Question: Will DCPS support a Challenger Center at Elliot Hine?

Answer: We have mixed thoughts on whether it works, and whether it’s what the community wants. But I want to talk more about it with you offline.

Question: We need to focus on retaining teachers and leadership. But some school leaders are not collaborative and problems with school leadership can fester for a long time. Teachers don’t have a way to give robust feedback on principal performance. There isn’t a safe way for teachers to bring feedback that is taken seriously. Principal evaluation is set up with an incentive to manipulate the system and to encourage fraudulent reporting of data. What is the plan for supporting transparent data, better systems for teachers to report concerns, and for teachers to be an integral part of principal evaluations.

Answer: Yes, everybody in the school community should have a voice in its success. I agree on the general concerns. But we do have some mechanisms – the INSIGHT survey is anonymized and goes to quality of leadership and instructional culture, student/parent surveys. Every school has areas for improvement.

My office checks and collects that data. Principals are half evaluated on outcome data. And they choose other areas they want to be evaluated on – but they can’t control the data.

But, there is more that we can do around principal development. We have a periodic leadership academy – but don’t yet have ongoing, robust support that helps principals become more successful on all aspects of leadership.

On family engagement, we recommend that principal engagement with the LSAT is the norm. That needs to be the expectation and how they are responding.

Comment: Concerns were raised that LSAT is implemented differently in every school and is not enough to garner authentic, robust engagement of families. Need support for principals on family engagement and communications across the board.

Question: Gene asked to the group: what would you like to see as the DCPS response to high demand of a limited number of sites in a geographic region?

Answer from Suzanne: I appreciate the work DCPS has to do in this area is hard. Conversations and communications with our community are key. We have talked about a strategic plan for Ward 6 with Claudia Lujan. The current DCPS strategic plan doesn’t get into details. I’d like to see decisions made on where and when we are going to open x school and expand y program and add program to school x. To do this in a way that will work, we should have citywide and neighborhood conversations.  For example, Historic Miner could be an early childhood center. We should generally have much more project-based learning – ask every school to do more. But we can’t just give our ideas, we need a broader conversation with a plan and a process.

Gene: Claudia, Michael and myself will embark on a portfolio retreat around the composition of the schools itself. We will look at options like a complimentary layer of citywide schools for the next 5-10 years with citywide conversations to ensure equity.  It’s also likely that we need to be more present in communities around what we are doing.

Idea from Erin Roth: Schools need to really market themselves and be slick about it in order to compete with charters that have high marketing budgets it seems. DCPS could help schools with simple communication and marketing tools and templates that would get across the basic mission and messaging statements for each school in a packaged way for parents.

Idea from Sara Carr: I would argue for a little more ad hoc action. Charters will be here in five years with five new Montessori schools. We need quick action and keep our schools and not give up buildings to charters. The long-term planning is needed, but we need action now too.

Caryn Ernst, CHPSPO Member, and Member of the Cross Sector Task Force

Over the course of two years, the Deputy Mayor of Education (DME) has allowed the Task Force to only focus on a small set of areas that would result in little or no push back from DCPS or charters. They are releasing soon a set of recommendations for public input and are releasing meeting dates for feedback.

Generally, they have proposed the following core issues which are generally the right issues:

  • Opening, closing and siting of schools
  • Serving at-risk students
  • Enrollment stability

But within each category the recommendations are very narrow and parents on the Task Force, including Caryn, have concerns the Task Force should recommend more:

Opening, closing and siting of schools

Issue: Charters are opening schools without citywide strategic plan and without community input. Areas with dozens of schools and other areas with dirth of schools. No coordination re: closing schools or siting of schools.

Recommendation: Have a citywide strategic plan on where schools are, where excess capacity is, how are programs spread throughout city, where are achievement levels different, etc. This is a good recommendation however there is no overarching criteria around that nor any requirement that charters abide by it. Charters have said that they will continue to open schools regardless of plan as long as there is one child not achieving at proficient. There has been no pressure put back on the charter board to stop opening schools without the plan. No agreement to put caps on the amount of charters or collaborative planning – they are allowed to open as many as they want whenever.

Issue: On school sitings parents have pushed for community involvement. Currently, charters simply notify an ANC commissioner within a month of the opening of a school and count that as community engagement. They believe that is sufficient.

Issue: The recommendations do not acknowledgement that neighborhood schools and charters are different and should be treated differently around closings. Neighborhood public schools should not be closed based on ESSA metrics/test scores. Yet DME is pushing very hard to replicate what Denver does – when a school scores below a certain level on the quality score, they are closed after 3 years of warning. Then there is a notice to open new schools. Denver however even acknowledges that schools in low-income communities get closed first and that creates churn and that is not good for those communities.

Serving At-Risk Students

Issue: Of the 10-15 recommendations that will be released for input, the vast majority are about promoting school choice. To improve options for at-risk kids, they recommend giving preference in the lottery if you are at-risk. DME data shows this policy would impact less than 1,000 at-risk students which means it’s not a solution. It doesn’t solve the problem of educating at-risk students better. We need to figure out which schools are beating the odds, look at those schools and what they are doing, and then replicate them. The DME refused to do that.

Enrollment Stability

Recommendations to centralize the mobility process are included to address the problems we have now that you can walk out and go to another school, and there is no data or funding transfer and it creates many issues. So, the recommendation is to centralize the mobility data and the parents on the Task Force support that recommendation. But it’s not enough. The recommendation doesn’t address enrollment stability. It helps smooth mobility and data collection, but doesn’t solve it.

Parents recommended (but were rejected) that after October, wait lists be eliminated and the decisions about mobility go to a centralized system so that movement can be distributed evenly. A centralized wait list would increase stability.

The recommendations from the Task Force also include instituting that the funding follows the student if they transfer.

The parents encouraged other parents and community members to attend the meetings and give feedback. (Confirm here, in case of changes –> https://dme.dc.gov/collaboration)

  • School Leader and Principal Focus Group
    • Wednesday, February 7, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm at Capitol View Library (5001 Central Ave SE)
    • Register Here
  • Family and Advocacy Focus Groups
    • Friday, February 9, 9:30 am – 11:00 am at Mt. Pleasant Library (3160 16th St NW)
    • Tuesday, February 13, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Capitol View Library (5001 Central Ave SE)
    • Register Here
  • Policy Expert Focus Group
    • Wednesday, February 14, 9:30 am – 11:00 am at Shaw Library (1630 7th St NW)
    • Register Here
  • Teacher and School Staff Focus Group
    • Wednesday, February 28, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm at Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Library (3935 Benning Rd NE)
    • Register Here
  • Citywide Meetings
    • Tuesday, March 13, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (Location TBD)
    • Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (Location TBD)

 

Upcoming Events

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

  • General Meeting: Tuesday, January 30, Education Counsel (101 Constitution Ave, NW, Suite 900)
  • Focus Groups: (see above)

JO Wilson’s 4th Annual DC Summer Camp Fair (http://www.dccampfair.com/)

Thursday, January 25, 6 – 8pm, J.O. Wilson (660 K Street, NE)

CHPSPO Strategic Planning Meeting

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

 

Next CHPSPO meeting is on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

 

Status

CHPSP Meeting Notes– November 21, 2017

CHPSPO Meeting

Payne Elementary School

November 21, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Brent Diversity Working Group & Town Hall Meeting— Alicia Dorsey, Parent at Brent ES

Provided an overview of the diversity working group and recent town hall on the new efforts targeted at closing the achievement gap at Brent ES. The parent-driven working group started as a way to address concerns around the racial dynamics and inequities at the school. The group determined that an initial focus would be on closing the achievement gap by starting targeted supplemental tutoring for students most in need of academic support.

The program required resources to pay tutors and for other supports from the overall PTA budget. Brent raises about $300K per year so the program leads needed to convey the importance of this program to the whole school in order to get PTA buy-in. They named the program “Rising Tides” to convey that an investment in a smaller group of students would help the entire student body. The PTA did choose to provide support for the tutoring program by funding some outside staff; some internal staff are paid by DCPS through administrative premium. They relaxed the definition of the achievement gap so the net could be cast more broadly, but the program still turned out to serve 100 percent African-American students.

The program is all voluntary, but five teachers rotate through and one teacher provides the coordination. The program runs on T, W, Th with 16-20 students gaining additional instructional time in their days. The first hour is reviewing academic support work and the second hour is focused on structured play and whole child support. They provide homework support (plus snacks) focused primarily on math support. While it is early to see all of the results, the students participating are engaged and responding well.

Ongoing Challenges

Parental engagement in the tutoring program— Realize that parental involvement is critical to the success of the program and Brent is still struggling to engage parents. They want to work on some additional ideas for doing so this Spring.

Although the initial goal was to address concerns around poor racial dynamics, the program has done little o really bring the community out in support and underlying racial divisions persist. The Brent town hall meeting was not well attended by Brent families, an indication that support/enthusiasm is generally not high.

Ward 6 Master Facilities Planning— Nancy Huvendick, 21CSF

Received an update on the city’s Master Facilitations Planning (MFP) process and changes that may impact Ward 6. With the PACE (Planning Actively for Comprehensive Education facilities Amendment Act), the Council Ed Committee tasked the deputy mayor for education (DME) with developing a longterm MFP for all publicly funded schools in DC.

In the past, the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was often ad hoc and fluid, and schools that were in the plan did not always stay in the plan because it was very political. The Ed Committee’s plan for how to do the CIP using data and criteria has helped, and is an improvement to how the CIP was handled in the past.

MFP Schedule

The MFP is behind schedule, but this is not unusual. The PACE Act originally called for it to finished in March 2018 with a budget, but it is now scheduled for completion in June 2018. The MFP scope is ambitious and requires substantial community input, which takes time. The city has not yet selected a contractor.

Cross-sector Planning

DME’s guidance memo to LEAs requests charter participation and promises nondisclosure of charter data since the charter sector is autonomous. This makes cross sector planning difficult and the Cross-Sector Task Force has had a hard time establishing a coordinated planning process.

Ward and feeder-based planning is a foundational piece of the MFP. Local knowledge is crucial, especially within the complex sector landscape. Ward 6’s 2010 initiative with middle school planning was an example for Wards 1, 5, and 7. Also pertinent to Ward 6 is that a new PCSB report identifies it as a “green zone” where prospective/expanding charter schools are encouraged to consider opening new charter schools.

Discussion about how the overpopulating in Ward 3 schools and lobbying for expansions impacts the planning process across the city. Concern that the context of “providing more accessibility to higher performing schools” is framing the process and not better utilization of buildings and pushing quality across the city.

Discussion about Miner historic building as one on the list of “vacant but on an active school site,” and interest in exploring ways to ensure the building is utilized to support the community rather than make it into an excess building. Also, raised the importance of maintaining green space even when schools undergo renovations.

Decision to draft a sign-on letter from CHPSPO to invite DCPS and DME to plan with us as they committed to doing. Plan to share the CHPSPO letter with other Ward-based educational councils to see if there is interest in a city-wide letter.

CHPSPO Strategic Planning Proposal — Danica Petroshius and Suzy Glucksman

Discussed a proposal to conduct a half-day retreat in an effort to create a strategic plan for CHPSPO. The purpose is to level set knowledge in the group given the influx of new members, leverage new energy and excitement, and collectively identify future goals and objectives over the next few years. Also, interest in thinking more about how to recognize 15 years of CHPSPO (in 2021) and how to market and celebrate it.

All agreed it would be a great opportunity to do so on a weekend afternoon with potential timing set in late January. If you are interested in helping to plan the retreat, contact Danica or Suzy.

Upcoming Events

Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force, Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 EdCounsel (101 Constitution Ave, NW, Suite 900)

Chancellor Community Forum, Tuesday, Dec 12, 8:45am – 10:00am, Eastern HS

Next CHPSPO meeting is on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Status

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – June 20, 2017

Payne Elementary School, 1445 C Street, SE

June 20, 20176:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

SBOE Update – Joe Weedon, Ward 6 SBOE Representative

  1. Additional funding allocated by DC Council

When council added additional funding to schools, came w/ a directive to put money into local schools. Chancellor committed that $$ would go to schools and would reinstitute cuts. How to ensure this will happen?

  • Budget changes should be announced via LSATs
  • Council called for DCPS to issue report by September 30

2. ESSA Advisory Task Force,

  • Chair of task force is Lanette Woodruff – Ward 4
  • ESSA over-emphasized ELA, Math; did not emphasize public process going forward for outstanding items
  • Task force to work w/ OSSE on those outstanding items: science assessment, school climate pilot, develop system to measure growth in high schools. These outstanding ESSA elements to be sorted out while school report card (likely to come out at year 2 of new state rankings) is under development. The items should align w/ what is used for accountability;
  • Represents all Ed entities: DCPS, DC PCS, OSSE Superintendent, individual schools, teachers, Ward Ed councils, business leaders and policy experts, community activists, 25 voting members who will work to approve recommendations; 2-3 seats reserved for parents
  • Over course of next year – monthly meetings for different topics related to the outstanding elements. Developing schedule and identifying speakers, experts, etc.
  • Changes for ESSA need to come from OSSE (w/ SBOE vote)
  • Application for task force participation will going up in next week or so on https://sboe.dc.gov/

3.  High School Graduation Task Force; https://sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs

  • Open application for high school graduation task force; looking at HS graduation requirements and identifying ways to be more flexible to meet student needs
  • DC has some of highest requirements in nation for HS grad; very prescriptive – hoping for more flexibility: https://sboe.dc.gov/gradreqs
    • Ideas: computer coding could count as world language and science credit
    • How to better prepare students for college or career
      • Align skills w/ growth in local economy: what are key elements we need to build into curriculum?
    • Board is willing to listen and bring in a wide range of stakeholders

 

Does Ward 6 need an education strategic plan?

  • Ward 3 working on overcrowding issues; unclear how the formal structure w/ DCPS was initiated
  • Ward 7 – Opposite issue of Ward 3, as many kids go to Ward 6 (and other wards) schools
    • Recently sent letter to DME, PCSB, DCPS to engage w/ them re: charter schools. Have abundance of charters, making them defacto neighborhood schools. DC Prep and KIPP in last few months, have asked for enrollment increases, adding 4000 new seats (2 elementary schools (ES), 1 middle school (MS), 1 high school (HS)
      • Public Charter School Board recently denied DC Prep’s ES
      • KIPP approved for HS, and withdrew ES and MS applications
  • Ward 6
    • Maury overenrolled and about to be renovated while Miner is under-enrolled
    • Eliot-Hine and Jefferson under-enrolled
    • Overcrowding at PreK3-PreK4; many go to Appletree as a result
    • Eastern enrollment has dropped from 1066 to <900 projected for next year.
    • Enough big picture issues facing Ward 6 that warrants planning discussion
    • Claudia Lujan just selected to be director of strategic planning for DCPS – has history with Ward 6 in willingness to listen
    • How are additional Prek-3/PreK-4 classrooms granted?
      • Ward 3 is focused on facilities
      • Experience w/ facilities planning w/ DCPS shows inputs are:
        • Expected retention?
          • DCPS’ numbers are artificially low and dated
        • Facilities meet requirements?
      • Discussion re: needs
        • Need for predictability and stability around enrollment and budgets
        • Need alignment in the feeder pattern from elementary to middle to high school, e.g., begin preparing students from beginning in “Eastern Way”
        • We say we have a system of schools, but not preparing them for what’s next
        • DCPS reluctance is re: we have to teach the students who are here today – schools need vision around what they want to be excellent at
        • IB à MYP à pulls from ES, but need to be articulated in that way
        • How to convince DCPS to sell the schools and the community of schools?
        • Need for schools to talk; parents should be able to match a school w/ children’s needs and interests; schools should coordinate around strengths, weaknesses, resources; good to keep children within the system
        • Need to be better about branding
        • Invite representative from Ward 3 Education Council to future CHPSPO meeting to discuss the working group on overcrowding

 

Chancellor’s Parent Cabinet

  • https://dcps.dc.gov/page/chancellors-parent-cabinet
  • application period through June 30
  • Encourage Ward 6 parents to apply
  • A critical responsibility of cabinet members is to disseminate discussions w/ community and to engage community in providing input into issues raised w/in cabinet

 

CHPSPO Officer Positions Elections (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Walk-to-School Coordinator, Bike-to-School Coordinator) – election in September 19, 2017 meeting.

Next CHPSPO Meeting: July 18, 2017

 

Upcoming Events

Twitter Town Hall with Chancellor Wilson

Thursday, June 22, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, #AskChantwan

 

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

Tuesday, June 27, EducationCounsel (101 Constitution Ave, NW, Suite 900)

 

Chancellor’s Parent Cabinet

 Application can be found online at bit.ly/dcpsparentcabinet. Applications are due by 11:59 on June 30.

 

Capitol Hill Independence Day Parade

Visit CHPSPO on the web at http://chpspo.org

 

Status

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – January 17 2017

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization

Jefferson Academy, January 17, 2017, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

1. Capital Rowing Club – Ergathon

Capital Rowing Club is hosting an Ergathon on Saturday, February 18 @ Stuart-Hobson. The Ergathon benefits Capital Juniors, a program of Capital Rowing Club that combines academics and competitive rowing to build in DC’s young people (ages 13-18)  discipline, camaraderie, fitness, and stewardship for the Anacostia River. Join the fun, cheer a team, learn about rowing.

 

2. Education Committee Performance Oversight and Budget Hearings – Laura Marks (Chief of Staff for Councilmember Allen) and Angela Joyner (Deputy Director of the Council’s Budget Office)

See presentation for process, timeline, and contacts: https://chpspo.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/short-fy18-education-budget-process-chpspo-presentation-1.pdf

Noteworthy:

  • Council has 56 days to act on budget upon receipt on April 4
  • Fed budget act and local budget acts fund budget, Budget Support Act says how it will be funded
  • Per Pupil Funding Formula determines how individual schools are funded. If a school community needs funding beyond PPFF standards, start w Mayor’s office – Matthew Brown in budget office (see slides for contact)
  • Important to testify and articulate what your school needs
  • DGS / DCPS can be expected to hold joint performance oversight hearing, not budget hearing
  • DCPS is working with CM Grosso on school evaluations (vis a vis modernization) under PACE Act.

 

Testimony tips:

 

3. Education Specifications – DCPS Facilities Team

  • Access Draft Education Specifications and a google form for public to provide feedback
  • See presentation here.
  • Note education specifications do not include guidance around items like noise level, electrical wiring standards, etc which fall under DGS’ Design Guidelines.
  • Specifications allow for site specific revisions can be made

 

4. Student Climate Assessment Instruments – Caryn Ernst and Gary Ratner (Citizens for Effective Schools)

  • Draft ESSA to be released by OSSE on January 31.
  • Currently, OSSE is proposing 80% of school evaluation on standardized testing
  • Community has asked for less emphasis on testing, and if that the testing indicators be focused on growth over proficiency.
  • Essa requires school quality indicator, a state could choose an indicator, comprehensive assessment, to evaluate school climate (from perspective of students, staff, parents)
  • NOTE: DC Council – anything that had a hearing in prior period can move forward without a hearing
  • LEAs have own surveys and resist additional surveys
  • http://web.calstatela.edu/centers/schoolclimate/ proposed for consideration by Gary Ratner, Citizens for Effective Schools
    • Note the above approach have not been used yet for accountability

 

3. Sign-on letter Chancellor Performance Evaluation Criteria

  • Group agreed to sign-on

 

Next CHPSPO Meeting: February 21, 2017

 

Upcoming Events

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

January 18, 2017, 6:00-7:30 pm, community meeting to discuss policy proposal to address student mobility, Northeast Public Library (330 7th St. NE).  Register at (http://tinyurl.com/h23v7vc)

January 24, 2017, Task Force meeting, Department of For-Hire Vehicles Hearing Room (2235 Shannon Place, SE)

DC COUNCIL HEARINGS
Feb. 2 – State of School Discipline 2015-2016 School Year at 1:00pm (412)
 
PERFORMANCE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS
Feb. 10 – Department of Parks & Recreation at 11:00 am (412) – sign up via Transportation & Environment Cmte
Feb. 14 – Office of the State Superintendent of Education at 11:00 am (412)
Feb. 15 – Deputy Mayor for Education / State Board of Education at 10:00 am (123)
Feb. 17 – Department of Health at 11:00 am (412) – sign up via Health Committee
Feb. 22 – DC Public Library at 10:00 am (412)
Feb. 23 – DCPS Public Witnesses at 10:00 am (500)
Feb. 28 – Department of General Services at 11:00 am (500) – sign up via Transportation & Environment Commitee
Feb. 28 – Public Charter School Board / Bullying Prevention Taskforce (123)
Mar. 2 – DCPS Government Witnesses at 10:00 am (412)
 
BUDGET HEARINGS
Apr. 25 – Deputy Mayor for Education at 10:00 am (123)
Apr. 26 – Office of the State Superintendent of Education at 11:00 am (120)
Apr. 27 – DCPS Public Witnesses *10am start – RECESS – 5pm start* (500)
May 1 – DC Public Library at 11:00 am (412)
May 3 – DCPS Government Witnesses at 10:00 am (412)
May 4 – Public Charter School Board / State Board of Education at 10:00 am (412)

 

Grant Opportunity

DDOEE Community Stormwater Solutions Grant (grants up to $20K to improve stormwater management), due January 27, 2017 at 5 pm

 

Summer Camp Fair

January 26, 2017, 6 – 8 pm, J.O. Wilson, 660 K St., NE

 

 

 

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 15 2016

Capitol Hill Montessori@Logan, 215 G Street, NE

November 15, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

1 . Film Screening – Most Likely to Succeed – Julie Scofield

  • Looks at alternative schools; focus on critical thinking, how to deal w/ failure, problem-solving
  • Films can only be accessed via screenings
  • $350 to host one screening  http://www.mltsfilm.org/
  • Upcoming Nov 16, 6PM- HU Architecture Bldg, Nov 19 @ Berry Montessori @ Silver Spring
  • Julie is attending the November 16 screening.  General agreement that CHPSPO would be interested in sponsoring a screening.

2. December 9 Wilson Building Visits – Ivan Frishberg

  • Periodic, but regular visits w/ delegation
  • Focus on priority issues; consistency among issues across visits
  • Requests out to: Mendelson, Grosso, Bonds, White, Silverman, Allen, Cheh
  • Issues:
    • Selection of Chancellor; think of Qs council should raise in confirmation process
    • Modernization
    • Cross-sector collaboration task force

3. Discussion with Liz Davis, President of the Washington Teachers’ Union

  • ESSA (WTU member feedback):
    • testing window expanded
    • amount of time devoted to testing vs teaching
    • school climate, teacher morale impacted, which impact teaching and learning

Discussion:

  • Q: WTU Contract – will there be requirements on class size in future contract? A: already have class size requirements, but it has been difficult to enforce it. Cap (maximum) for any class is 24 (varies depending on type of class). To address this with school (sometimes principals aren’t clear on caps), start by requesting meeting w/ principal, entire advisory team. Parents are the most effective advocates.
  • General Info on new contract:
  • Teacher eval – teachers unable to challenge ratings; cultivates climate of fear; teachers afraid to speak out about gaps in needs/resources like ELL, SpEd, nurse
  • John Davis will complete the process; hoping to be able to finish in 8 sessions
  • Q: Are grievances filed? A: Yes, they are filed and frequently won by WTU, but DCPS frequently appeals. Enforcement is difficult. (WTU follows National Labor Relations Board (NLRB))
  • Q: How to change the ‘adversarial culture’ between DCPS and WTU/Parents. How do we get to a different type of relationship? A: Focus on Mayor and Council and determine endorsements based on issues. Need to increase organizing. Helpful when advocates/parents/constituents/allies craft messages and rely on WTU to lead on engagement.
  • Q: What is the make up to the WTU staff? A: 9 staff members + attorney on retainer. Looking to hire an attorney. Capacity: organizers; partnerships w/ orgs like DC Fiscal Policy Institute

4. Use of Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products – Peabody, SWS&Goding, Payne and Capitol Hill Montessori@Logan representatives

  • Healthy Schools Act requires schools to report whether they use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Three schools self-reported (Peabody, SWS@Goding, Payne and CHM@L)
  • CHM@L has done thinking on environmental issues in and around the building. Cleaning products are low-hanging fruit.

Discussion:

DCPS Energy and Sustainability Liaison, Sally Parker discovered the following:

  • 14 vendors in DCPS list which provide cleaning supplies. Out of 94 pages of products listed, only 14 products met Office of Contracting and Procurement guidelines.
  • How purchased: business manager and custodial foreman should coordinate. Suggest DCPS work with vendors to restrict list to green cleaning supplies
  • Need to retrain custodians to trust that products being used actually do the job
  • Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines: http://ocp.dc.gov/page/sustainable-purchasing
  • Custodians have PD; next session in February
  • ACTION: Try to add to PD agenda, Roosevelt custodian to talk about sustainable cleaning products.
  • ACTION: CHM@L to work w/ foreman and purchasing manager to introduce products from the sustainable list and report back to CHPSPO.  Schools that self-reported they use environmentally-friendly cleaning products will also report back on their experiences at a future meeting.

Recycling/Composting

    • movement towards dispensers that don’t require dilution

5. Remarks by Principal Brown  (Eastern HS) –

  • Jefferson, SH, CHM@L, EH. DCPS will have a vertical articulation day where staff will be invited to Eastern to learn about Eastern’s programs (Nov 30)
  • 825 students enrolled. 9th graders on 4th floor in ‘bubble’. Enter/exit through separate door.
  • Open Houses @ EHS are all 6-7PM: December 15, 2016 and January 12, February 16, 2017

6. Remarks/Update by Joe Weedon, Ward 6 member, State Board of Education

  • EH looking for reps from its feeder schools for the SIT. Meetings will kick off in 2 months. will meet every 2 months once project comes online
  • Residency requirements to address variances in student addresses, legal guardians, joint custody arrangements, etc. After year 1, can opt to use tax records to prove residency.
  • SBOE Hearing – Evaluating School Quality Under Every Student Succeeds Act

Next CHPSPO Meeting: December 15, 2016

Upcoming Events

State Board of Education Hearing on Evaluating School Quality

November 16, 5:30 PM, 441 4th St NW (at Judiciary Square)

Film Screening: Most Likely to Succeed

November 16, 5:30 pm, Howard University, Mackey Building, 2366 6th St., NW

Cross Sector Collaboration Task Force

November 22, 6 pm, EducationCounsel, 101Constitution Ave, NW Suite 900

Open Houses  (See additional open houses here: http://dcps.dc.gov/openhouse )

November 2, 9:30 am and 6 pm, Eliot-Hine Middle School

November 3, 9:30 am and 6 pm, Stuart Hobson Middle School

November 16, 6 pm, Jefferson Academy

December 1, 9 am, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan

December 15, 6 pm, Eastern HS

December 13, 9 am, Eliot-Hine Middle School

December 13, 9 am, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan

January 12, 9 am, Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan

January 12, 6 pm, Eastern HS

February 9, 6 pm, Stuart Hobson MS

February 16, 6 pm, Eastern HS

Wilson Building Visits

December 9

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – February 16, 2016

J.O. Wilson Elementary School

K Street, NE, February 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

  1. – DC Alliance of Youth Advocates  #ExpandLearningDC – Joseph Gavrilovich
  • SEE TALKING POINTS http://dcaya.blogspot.com/2016/01/expandlearningdc.html
  • Work w/ 120-130 youth serving nonprofits in the district
  • Collective voice for issues of interest in DC Gov
  • Main issue areas
    • Youth homelessness
    • Workforce development
    • Expanded learning
      • Afterschool and summer learning opportunities
    • Afterschool/aftercare in DC has sustained declining stream of funding
      • Fewer points of access for kids who need it most
      • Requesting $10M in funding for quality expanded learning opportunities;
    • ASK of CHPSPO/community: Testimony on behalf of community based non-profits/service; DC TRUST; Sign letters/ online petitions
    • Discussion:
      • Compatibility w/ extended day is important
        • Asking DCTRUST and DCPS to coordinate on an aftercare vision; DC has some of best programming in the country (ex: America SCORES started w/ DC SCORES); Coordination w/ OSSE on outcomes for afterschool
      • Focus on quality/avoid disparity in quality
      • How will $10M be used?
        • DC TRUST budget (intermediary to fund community based programming)
        • Funding that covers DCPS funding for after school programming; in schools where there are waitlists, reduce waitlists to zero; increase quality of care
        • Recommendation should be in place ahead of when Mayor compiles budget
      • How does AYA ensure quality of programming?
        • A: Comprehensive survey of all member programs
      • How does AYA implement programming?
        • A: Schools/principals make choices; If what is in place works, enable ability to accommodate all families; if what is in place does not work, want to be able to make space for other community-based partners

 

2 – Council Oversight Hearings – Laura Marks

  • SEE hearing list provided by CM Allen’s team, but NOTE – SUBJECT TO CHANGE
  • Oversight wraps up mid-March; March 24 Mayor releases her budget, then budget hearings start
  • Not many public witnesses for OSSE or DCPS
  • Capital budget will be discussed in DME, DCPS and DGS hearings
    • Q: Will budgets reflect last FY budget formula? Will there be an increase in per pupil spending (there was not this year)?
    • Q: Will capital budget plan approved last year continue this year?
  • Qs/As:
    • Moving Eliot-Hine and Jefferson’s renovations up depends on whether there is additional capital budget (330M reduction over five years)
      • School Improvement Team (SIT) needs to be in place before architectural firm can come on board
      • Eliot-Hine kicked off SIT committee application (applications being received from community)
    • Q: Has Mayor felt ‘heat’ about moving the capital funds? When is a good time to reach out? A: Now is time to reach out w/ phone calls, etc.
    • ACTION: Resend letter by Ivan Frishberg asking for phone calls to council/mayor/etc re: Capital Budget
    • Q: What happens at DCPCS Budget Oversight hearings? A: Executive Director, team, etc speak. Not much oversight of the DCPCSB. Focus on operation of the board, as there is not much direct mandate.
    • On Cross-collaboration task force: Initial meeting is Feb 17:
    • ACTION: Not many parents have signed up to testify for upcoming hearings (See planned dates below). To testify for hearings, can submit informal paragraph and it is counted in record. Testimony period is open beyond hearing and is counted in record. To ensure points are heard, best to pull together a panel. NOTE: Dates/times/room numbers change, so double-check.

 

  1. Wilson Building Visits on School Modernization Funding –Ivan Frishberg
  • Visit with Deputy Mayor for Education scheduled for February 26 to discuss DCPS capital budget.

 

  1. Operational Budgets – Joe Weedon
  • Schools should get budgets soon
  • Enrollment – Eastern may decline; middle schools continue to drop
  • Budget schedule: http://dcps.dc.gov/page/dcps-budget-planning-fy17
    • Feb 12 initial school budget allocation to be released
    • March 4 – LSATs/principals to work on budget
    • March 7 – principals submit budget to DCPS

 

  1. High School Credits – Joe Weedon
  • BACKGROUND: Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is proposing a broad regulation that would allow high school students to test out of any course. A Task Force convened last year by the State Board of Education had recommended that high school students be allowed to test out of only foreign language and math courses.  A petition is circulating that encourages the State Board of Education to reject this proposal.
  • ACTION: Please consider signing this petition (http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/dont-let-tests-be-a-substitute-for-a-strong-education.html).
  • The way new regulations are written by OSSE enable test-based credits for any class.
  • Concerns: it’s unknown what OSSE is intending to do w/ regulation in future; lose the public process for adding other courses like World History to scope of classes for which test-based credit can be awarded.

 

  1. CHPSPO 2016 Priorities Discussion – Everyone
  • Advocacy/relationship building:
    • Focus on advocacy vis a vis Wilson Building visits, testimony.
    • Civic engagement – give parents tools/training to help them learn how to be effective advocates. Planning vis a vis key legislative/decision activities (budget, oversight, etc)
    • Soft touch; Being present when there is not a crisis; there are schools/advocates in Wilson Building every day
      • PTAs split up the year; (Ex: thank you letters to mayor; )
      • 3rd grade cornerstone – re: DC gov. Every 3rd grader should be there
    • Identify similar issues PTAs are dealing with. Find structured ways to discuss issues like budget, staffing?
      • Ex: follow budget cycle; report back after budgets are allocated to identify common issues/themes and plan for next FY
    • Quality of education should not depend on politics/advocacy
    • Focusing the advocacy around tangible issues
      • Don’t forget CHPSPO priorities from previous years. We need to be accountable for what we’ve advocated for in the past, e.g., middle schools
      • Track what we promised to do, and where we fell short
    • Achievement gaps
      • Gap has not narrowed in a decade. What can we learn from other schools, including charter schools, about how to narrow the achievement gap?
    • PTA Support/Strengthening
      • Sharing session w/ PTOs + tools at beginning of year and ongoing support
      • What are the different ways LSAT operates, how in your schools, how can we operate better in ours?
      • How do PTAs encourage greater collaboration w/ teachers?
      • How can schools manage drop/off/ pick up and breakfast?
      • How do schools implement restorative disciplinary practices? (examples: taking recess away?)
      • Computers/tech are outdated; how do we get computers refreshed especially now that testing is computer based?
      • How does PTO encourage parents to get more involved and more socio-economic collaboration
      • Each PTO re-invents the wheel, how can we learn from each other?
      • What is the city-wide education issue that CHPSPO participates in?
      • How is DCPS ensuring quality of before/after programming
      • How do we advocate for retention of staff
    • High Schools
    • How do we ensure safe, high quality high schools
    • School modernization; increase capital dollars
    • Improving food service

 

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  March 15, 2016

 

Upcoming Events

  • February 26 – Meeting w/ Deputy Mayor – TBD
  • February 29Mayor’s Budget Engagement Forum @ King Greenleaf Recreation Center

 

Council Performance Oversight Hearings

  • Wednesday, February 17:  OSSE
  • Thursday, February 18: DCPS (public witnesses only)
  • Wednesday, February 24: DCPS (government witnesses only)
  • Thursday, February 25: DGS (including school modernizations)
  • Wednesday, March 2: Deputy Mayor for Education, State Board of Education
  • Thursday, March 3: Public Charter School Board

School Auctions

  • February 27, Tyler’s Alchemy of Great Taste, Eastern Market North Hall
  • March 11, Cluster Rocks, Atlas Theater
  • March 19, Maury at the Market, Eastern Market North Hall
  • April 30, Brent’s Taste of the Hill, Capitol Skyline Hotel

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – January 19, 2016

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization

January 19, 2016, 6:30-8:00 PM – Tyler Elementary School

 

1- BALLOT INITIATIVE PROPOSAL, Peter MacPherson

Peter MacPherson is concerned that there is not an avenue for community and voter engagement in the educational decision making since Mayoral takeover in 2007. He presented his idea for a ballot initiative that he plans to file that would create an elected school board that would appoint the superintendent, move OSSE oversight under the state board of education, and create an ombudsman for education. The charter school board would be abolished and those duties assigned to the new elected school board (see attached proposal).

The process of getting a new initiative on the ballot includes a review by the Board of Elections, then a hearing, a comment period, and a drive to get enough signatures to be able to put it on the ballot. It could be on the November election ballot if it is filed soon and the process moves forward and enough signatures are collected.

Members in attendance had multiple questions including questions about feasibility; messaging; reaction of the general public, media and charter school advocates; its comprehensive nature vs a first-step smaller measure; and implications of the conversation that comes out of such an effort – will it be a conversation that moves us forward or divides us as a community that cares about education.

There has been an evaluation of mayoral control that can be a helpful resource when considering this proposal.

CHPSPO as an organization did not decide to support or oppose this initiative. Members agreed to continue to consider it.

2 – WILSON BUILDING VISITS – Ivan Frishberg

As a follow up to the December Wilson Building meetings, Ivan Frishberg is working with the Deputy Mayor of Education (DME) on scheduling a meeting for CHPSPO members at her offices. We will also explore an additional meeting with the Chief of Staff for the Mayor after we meet with the DME.

Priority topics of interest for us are school modernization, middle school funding and the cross-sector task force. We need to increase our visibility as advocates and a great time to start is now. We need to encourage the mayor to increase funding for schools and school modernization in her FY17 budget proposal that she is developing now. The Mayor is making decisions now that could lead to funding other capital projects and cutting school modernization budgets.

It’s important that we continue to use our collective voice on issues of concern to all of Ward 6 and the entire city. We are louder if we act with one voice – and for now put aside our individual school issues. If the funding “pie” is bigger, we all benefit. If it’s smaller, we all lose.

Encourage your parent communities to call and email not to cut, but increase, the modernization budgets and school funding overall. Ivan created the attached flyer that members can share with PTA meetings or on listservs.

3 – EMPOWERING MALES HIGH SCHOOL – Dr. Ben Williams

Dr. Williams, new principal of the newly forming “Empowering Males High School,” spoke to the CHPSPO meeting. The school will take applicants through the My School DC lottery system. Any rising 9th grade male in the city can apply to the school through My School DC. The program is a college preparatory school based on Pre Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement (AP). The vision is to target young men and prepare them to be successful men in college, career and life. Teachers and administrators will be trained on cultural relevancy and strategies for maximizing learning in an all-male school. The school will be located at the old Roper School (Old Ron Brown School) in Ward 7. The school will open with the first class of 150 students in August 2016 and will add another class of 150 students each year until there are 600 students in the school. Not all teachers and administrators will be male. Students will be required to be in an afterschool activity – sports or other activity. CHPSPO members had good questions for Dr. Williams including:

What other high schools are in Ward 7 and 8? In Ward 7 there is one other high school and in Ward 8 there are two other high schools – Ballou, Anacostia, and Woodson.

What teacher supports are there? Many of the teachers are young and not from DC. Teachers will get professional development and we will do all we can to prepare them and support them as we open the school.

What is the student teacher ratio? We are trying to get support to reduce student to adult ratio. We don’t know what it will be right now. The minimum we would want is 25:1.

What is the process for modernization? The school is kicking off its modernization now and it will be a phased modernization. They will renovate part of the school this summer and then in a few years, they will finish the modernization.

Washington Leadership Academy will open at the same time as your school – a new school approved by the charter board. Have you been coordinating with them? We have not been talking to them.  We support options for students so everyone finds the right school.

We have some concerns about creating new high schools when we have under-enrolled high schools and tight modernization and school funding budgets for current schools. I want this to be an excellent school. I hope by creating an excellent school for DCPS that DCPS will benefit by retaining students.

Who are you targeting? This is a non-criteria school and I would like it to be a very diverse student body. We invite everyone to apply.

What do you envision as your school culture? Professional and businesslike. The students will be in jackets, shirts and ties. I want them to own their education and own their school. The adults in the building will be there supporting them and helping them grow.

4. CHPSPO 2016 PRIORITIES DISCUSSION

Note: We did not have time to get to this part of the agenda given the rich discussion throughout the night. We will have this issue on the February agenda.