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W6PSPO Meets Tuesday, August 20 @ Northeast Library

Dear Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization members,

W6PSPO will meet on Tuesday, August 20 at 6:30 pm at the Northeast Library (330 7th St., NE). We will be discussing the Eastern High School feeder pattern. Claudia Lujan, Deputy Chief, Strategic School Planning and Enrollment with DCPS will join us for our meeting. Claudia will present data on in-boundary/out-of-boundary enrollment patterns at the elementary and middle schools that feed into Eastern, and where students residing within the Eastern High School boundaries attend school.

This meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the strengths of the feeder pattern, and where efforts are needed to bolster the feeder pattern. We are hopeful Eastern principal, Sah Brown, will be able to attend, and we welcome other principals to the meeting.

Also, Walk-to-School Day is October 2. We will begin to plan our annual event at Lincoln Park soon. Please register your school on the national Walk & Bike to School Day website.

Hope to see you at our meeting on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

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W6PSPO Updates

Dear Ward 6 Public School Parent Organization members,

First, I want to thank Danica Petroshius and the CHM@Logan community for their leadership and persistence on the sexual misconduct issues, and their efforts to ensure this won’t happen to other children.

Below are updates to share with your school communities:

1. W6PSPO will meet on August 20 at 6:30 pm. We will be joined by representatives from DCPS who will share information on the Eastern High School feeder pattern. The location for the meeting is TBD.

2. The Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s A Literary Feast will be October 26, 2019.
Over thirty homes on Capitol Hill will host a book-themed dinner party. All proceeds from the ticket sales go to support the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s grants to neighborhood schools. The are still looking for families (you can also co-host to lighten the load) who are willing to host a dinner for 8 or more guests. Contact Todd Cymot, if you are interested or want more information.

3. The Deputy Mayor for Education is requesting comments on the city’s water filtration and testing protocol. Comments are due August 7. Attached are suggested comments that were prepared by Hannah Donart and other parents. Because the presence of lead and other contaminants in drinking water at our schools is a serious concern, it is important to comment on this protocol.

4. On Wednesday, August 7, Natalie Wexler, tutor, education author and blogger will discuss her new book The knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education –and How to Fix it with Elizabeth Green, of Chalkbeat education news organization, at 7 pm at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Free, (202) 364-1919, politics-prose.com

5. On Thursday, August 15, The cast of children and adults of a delightful play with a lovingly learned lesson, The Lemonade Stand, will give two performances. Tickets are Adults–$20, Seniors & Students–$10, Children–$5. See flyer below for more information.

6. Attached is the current roster of principals and PTA leaders for the schools in Ward 6. Please send me any updates to the roster. Also, if you wish to have your name taken off the W6PSPO distribution list, please let me know.

Hope everyone enjoys the remaining days of the summer break.

Suzanne Wells

DC Water Filtration & Testing Protocol for DCPS and DPR Facilities – Questions & Comments.pdf

CHPSPO School Year 2019 2020 Representatives 080419.docx

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W6PSPO Meeting Notes – June 18, 2019 (DRAFT)

June 18, 2019
Payne Elementary School, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. Discussion on what makes a rich curriculum – Jessica Sutter (DC State Board of Education – Ward 6 Representative)
    • SBOE Role:
      • No power over books, approach, etc
      • Purview over state standards: focus on social studies, art, health, pe
    • SBOE Challenges:
      • Not sure what is being taught in schools; what are students actually learning?
        • looking at required time allocated to curricular areas; if schools are dedicating time to subjects per state standards (example: mandates that physical education be provided for an average of at least 150 minutes per week for students in grades Kindergarten through five and an average of at least 225 minutes per week for students in grades six through eight)
        • If schools are not dedicating required classroom time to subjects, what is getting in the way?
    • Process:
      • Reviewed Ward 6 school websites for curriculum / calendars. Not all schools publish schedules; spoke w/ principals; reaching out to community
    • Learnings/Discussion
      • PE: Most schools list 30 mins for elementary schools
      • Concerns that when classroom time is allocated to social studies and science, there is less time for literacy
      • For Elementary: Teachers may be asked to teach new subjects, which can be a professional development issue
      • For Middle Schools: Standards won’t change, but adequate staffing is an issue
      • Science: lack of materials and qualified/competent teachers is an issue
      • Access to resources and equity issues impact the ability for schools to offer content meeting standards
      • Gentrification impact: needs change, students don’t all face intense needs and now needs are more about “lifting students from above”.
      • Stuart Hobson adds advanced/elective offerings by stretching the schedule w/ 0 period, etc.
  2. At-Risk Funding and Transparency Bills Hearing –
  3. W6PSPO Strategy
    • Annual tour of schools by CM Allen?
      • Need point person for each school
    • Attend CM Allen office hours with focus on school facility issues
    • Working on W6PSPO branding, communication strategy changes to better reflect Ward 6-wide work.

Next CHPSPO Meeting: July 16, 2019

Upcoming Events

 

DCPS: Reducing Barriers for Attendance July 17
6 – 7:30 pm

Anacostia Library
1800 Good Hope Road, SE

DCPS: Navigating Special Education in DCPS August 7
6 – 7:30 pm

Tenley-Friendship Library
4450 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

DCPS: The Immigrant Family Experience
in DCPS (Conducted in Spanish)
August 15
9 – 10:30 am

Latin American Youth Center
1419 Columbia Road, NW

October 2: School Transparency Amendment Act of 2019 Hearing: Committee of the Whole and Education.

Visit W6PSPO on the web at http://chpspo.org

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W6PSPO Meets July 16 at Northeast Library

The Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization will meet on Tuesday, July 16, at 6:30 pm at the Northeast Library (330 7th St., NE). Jennifer Comey from the Deputy Mayor for Education’s office will join us to give an overview of EdScape Beta, a new data resource tool intended to inform and support program and school planning. Hope to see you on Tuesday.

| edscape

Suzanne Wells

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School Transparency Bills: Discussion with Councilmember Allen – May 20, 2019

Summary of Discussion with Councilmember Allen regarding School Transparency Bills. Meeting was hosted by the Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization on Tuesday, May 20, 2019.

Resources:

 

Background behind the drafting of the Public School Transparency Amendment Act of 2019 (introduced by Charles Allen):

  • Public accountability and transparency are important
  • Meant to bring parity between DCPS and DCPCSB and require ALL LEAs (DCPS, KIPP, BASIS, etc) to be subject to OMA and FOIA
  • Follows recommendations and best practices established by National Alliance for Charter Schools vis a vis Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA)
  • Talked w/ charter school parents who are surprised FOIA and OMA do not apply to their school boards
  • School leaders looking for transparency and voice
  • In terms of administrative burden, when we look at other school systems, there do not seem to be a lot of FOIA requests
  • Hearings are split. June 26 is School Based Budgeting and Transparency Amendment Act of 2019,; Oct 2 for CM Allen’s Public School Transparency Amendment Act of 2019  expecting both conversations to be similar, including public testimony.

Discussion:

Resources needed to support LEAs in FOIA compliance:

  • CM Allen and colleagues want to think creatively around accountability and transparency and willing to support resources towards LEAs and DCPCSB in fulfilling FOIA requirements.
    • *EmpowerEd Research reflects that subjecting schools to FOIA is endorsed by the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and data show it hasn’t been cumbersome for schools in the least. There are no states that provides support funds to local LEA’s to comply with FOIA since it is usually such a small percentage of someone’s existing job. In EmpowerEd research calling charter schools across many states, they talked to no school who received more than five FOIA requests in a year.

Competing(?) Bills

  • While there are several school transparency bills on the table, it is possible that elements from each will come together in a synthesized version. It’s likely that the hearings on each bill will yield discussion across all of the bills.

Transparency gaps raised:

  • We’re not asking for any more than what public schools provide. Also, all contractors that do work for the city are subject to FOIA.
  • Families concerned about at risk dollars, transparency, is money there for my child being used for my child? If there’s an issue, will we be able to FOIA that? These are public dollars. If passed, will it be properly funded the right way to be implemented?
    • FOIA may not be able to help with this (or other issues) directly, but allows communities to be empowered to ask the questions and sunshine on govt.
  • Monument Academy, sexual assaults, weapons charges and allegations have yielded mixed responses vis a vis transparency. In situations where something wrong is at the school, what could bill do to ensure transparency? CM Allen: When Monument was coming in, there was pushback from neighbors, so stood up for Monument. Does having ability to have more information bring transparency? Some issues described come up against criminal justice system, which we also need to be sensitive to.
  • Is it possible to get a fiscal impact statement for transparency bill? Can we FOIA DCPS and ask how much spent on FOIA? CM Allen: Typically, fiscal impact statement not prepared in advance of a hearing. However, just because FOIA requires resources, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. From agency side, transparency is a cost of doing business.
  • Wish DCPS and DCPCSB get on the same page. It would be so much easier for parents. Parents have kids in both sectors, it would be easier to stay on top of everything happening. Education dollars are significant and affecting a lot of kids. If we take away labels, they are all DC kids. Where is curriculum? Where are the teachers?
  • There are less restrictions on public funds – none of the bills put the same restrictions on at-risk funds across DCPS and charters.
  • Teachers would like for more information sharing so they are more protected: care about how schools are spending money, compensation (no pay scale, equity concerns), how our schools are governed – unless at a school that prioritizes teacher and parent voice.

Possible solutions to DCPCSB FOIA compliance structure:

  • (DCOGC) Recommendation for DCPCSB to serve as FOIA facilitator for LEAs. The way this can work is that while FOIA doesn’t let you reach private entities, but if it’s required that LEAs turn over their information to the DCPCSB, if you don’t get the records; you want, you can appeal to the Office of Open Govt and compel the DCPCSB to turn over the documents. It makes sense for DCPCSB to develop disclosure policy.
  • The way it currently works, you are unable to FOIA the contractor and what power does DCPCSB have to get info from LEAs?
  • Answer is for DCPCSB to include in charter the provision that requires school to turn over records to the board.

Outreach around bills

NEXT STEPS:

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W6PSPO Meets Tuesday @ Payne

The Ward 6 Public Schools Parent Organization will meet on Tuesday (June 18) at 6:30 pm at Payne Elementary (1445 C Street, SE). Jessica Sutter, the W6 State Board of Education representative will join us for a discussion on what makes a rich curriculum. We will also plan for the June 26 hearing on Councilmember Allen’s At Risk Funding bill and Councilmember Grosso’s School Based Budgeting and Transparency Act. We will also discuss organizing an annual tour of the schools in W6 which is one of the action items in our strategic plan.

Finally, please let me know who your school’s newly elected PTA/PTO officers and who your W6PSPO contact is, and I will update our roster. Thanks to those schools who have already let me know. If you want your name removed from this e-mail list, please let me know.

Suzanne Wells

Strategic Plan Action Items 2019.docx