Spring 2017 Update

Good evening –

I hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful Spring weather and has a wonderful Spring Break.  Below are some updates on the work we’ve done at the Board of Education over the past few weeks and information on school budgets and related issues.  As always, #ThankYou for your support.

 

My_School_DC_logo.PNGEnroll now…

Matched to a school or called off a waitlist? For info on how to enroll your student, visit MySchoolDC or the school you plan to attend. Enrolling early helps schools plan for the upcoming year; please take a few moments to enroll NOW.

 

Chancellor Wilson @ Eastern Senior HS.

Join me in welcoming Chancellor Wilson to #Ward6 & Eastern Senior High School (1700 East Capitol Street, NE) tomorrow, April 11, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

 

Budget_log.PNGCity Budget

Mayor Bowser announced her Fiscal Year 2018 Budget last week (press releasedirect link). While the budget represents the city’s largest investment in public education – over $1.58 billion for DC’s public schools – it includes just a 1.5% increase in the amount spent per student. In a time of record surpluses, I’d hoped for a greater increase and have heard from schools across Ward 6 about cuts and tough funding decisions.

With regard to the School Modernization Budget, available here, I continue to be concerned that the process of developing the city’s modernization priorities is not being done, as recommended by the Deputy Mayor’s Boundary Taskforce, with public input and that we continue to utilize bad data in determining needs. Even for the modernizations that have moved forward, we lack clear enrollment projections and an overall vision for our schools. I strongly believe that the learning conditions impact student performance and will continue to advocate for a transparent process that involves the community.

 

Make Your Voice Heard!

Please bring your questions and concerns about the FY18 Budget to the City Council. A full list of Education Budget Hearings can be found here:  http://www.davidgrosso.org/education-committee/

 

SBOE Update

SBOE_approves_plan.PNGOn March 22, 2017, the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) voted to approve the final state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (press release; Washington Post article). The state plan, drafted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) with significant impact from the State Board of Education, gives the District more flexibility in advancing educational excellence and provides assistance to schools so that each student has the opportunity for success.   

You can read my comments prior to our vote here and an Op-Ed co-authored with my colleagues, Markus Batchelor and Ruth Wattenberg here.

Now that the ESSA plan is our plan, I will work tirelessly to see it implemented effectively. At our April 5th working session, the Board took our first steps to ensure successful oversight and implementation of the ESSA Accountability Plan. The Board will move a resolution at an upcoming meeting to form a working group of stakeholders to provide insight from a variety of stakeholders to offer guidance as new metrics are developed and we implement the overall plan. I look forward to our continuing work on this issue.

 

PARCC

PARCC-Prep.pngAs you are probably aware, DC's annual standardized testing season is almost upon us.  If you want to help your child test their best, you may be interested in this PARCC Parent Resources page: http://www.parcconline.org/resources/parent-resources

For those who may not be that familiar with the PARCC, I would suggest that one of the best tips you can give your student is to read each question carefully and make sure that they address each part of the question as many of them have more than one part.  Here are some other tips:

  • Read a combination of fiction and non-fiction with your child. Look for subjects of interest.
  • Discuss and “do” real life math with your child. Help him/her know basic math facts.
  • Discuss the new tests with your child. Make sure he/she is not scared or anxious going into the new tests.
  • Explain to your child that the tests will initially be more challenging. Tell your child to do his/her best on the test and that you are there to help every step of the way.
  • After the test, review the results with your child. Bring the teacher into the discussion as needed.
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable place for studying at home and make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before a test.
  • Above all, be positive and encouraging about the tests.

The PARCC resource page also has sample test questions if your child wants to get a sense of what they're likely to see on the test.

 

Calling ALL HS STUDENTS!

Want to join @DCSBOE as a student representative next year?

The application period for Student Representatives to the DC State Board of Education will open soon. Applications will be posted online and distributed to school principals, State Board social networks, community organizations, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.  Check the SBOE website for details.

 

Finally, I want to extend my condolences to the family and friends of former Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose. Our community has lost a treasure.

 

Thanks again for your support.

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joe

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