I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the warmer weather. I wanted to share a few updates on what’s happening in our schools and at the State Board of Education.
Doodle4Google: Vote for Eastern High School’s AkilahThe Doodle 4 Google competition ends tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 22. If you haven’t already, take a few seconds to help Eastern High School’s Akilah win with her outstanding concept for a Google Doodle.
Akilah, a sophomore at Eastern, is competing against 10 other high school designs from around the country for a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology investment in their high school. Please click and VOTE HERE! Please share this with 5 friends and ask them to vote today!
Young Playwrights' Theater
Akilah isn’t the only artist in #Ward6. By my count FOUR students from #Ward6 schools are represented among the 15 finalists for the young playwrights’ competition for plays. Check it out.
Broadening pathways to learning to meet each student’s need
Last year, the Board established a citywide Task Force, chaired by Ward1 SBOE member Laura Wilson-Phelan, to consider how high schools could be provided greater flexibility to award course credit. The Task Force Report was adopted by the State Board in December (Click here for details), opening the door for OSSE to develop new regulations to implement the Board’s recommendations.
These recommendations included allowing:
Students to obtain world language and math credit by passing an approved test.
Schools to apply for a waiver of the current Carnegie unit rule, which defines a high school credit as being earned upon passing a 120-hour course (more for science lab courses) allowing students to earn credit for demonstrating their knowledge/mastery of subject content.
And, under the recommendations, students would no longer be required to take Algebra 1 in 9th grade.
While the Task Force’s recommendations limited the ‘testing out’ option to world languages and mathematics, OSSE drafted the regulations in a manner that would allow for the future development of options to test out of any course. I encourage you to review the proposed regulations and let me know if you have insight into whether the proposal to allow “testing out” should be limited to world languages and math or expanded more broadly. The Board is likely to vote on the proposed regulations later this spring.
Revamping and revising the District’s health education standards has been a priority of the Board for the past year. We believe that learning how to be a safe, healthy citizen is a critical component of a student’s education and that our students must develop the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy choices.
Over the past year, the SBOE working group drafted a set of standards that focused more on developing the skills to make healthy choices, and centered on the areas that affect our students most. The standards contain six categories: mental and emotional health; safety skills; human body and personal health; disease prevention; nutrition; and alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Each category includes strands on health promotion, analyzing influences, accessing information, communication, decision-making, goal-setting, healthy behaviors, and advocacy.
In partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE), SBOE is working to ensure that the standards will give teachers the tools to supply the lessons that students need. This has involved community meetings, and student and teacher feedback sessions.
OSSE is field-testing an assessment based on these standards this school year. SBOE and OSSE are collecting public feedback on the standards, and plan to vote on their approval this spring. If approved, they will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year.
View the revised standards and find out more here → http://sboe.dc.gov/dchealthed
Upcoming Events & News.
Cross Sector Task Force
The Deputy Mayor for Education has launched the Cross Sector Task Force to open discussion about collaboration between our traditional and charter public schools. The #Ward6 meeting to gather community input is this week – Tuesday, February 23rd from 6-7:30 pm at Eastern High School. Space is limited at the sessions, and participants must sign-up. You can access the sign-up form here. For more information about the Task Force please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 727-0696.
DCPS school budgets are available
DCPS has released initial school budget allocations for school year 2016-17. They can be found here: http://dcpsdatacenter.com. Local School Advisory Teams (LSAT’s) should be meeting over the coming weeks to finalize your schools’ budgets which due back to Central Office by early March. If you have any questions about the process, please contact me.
Spring 2016 PARCC Assessments in Mathematics and ELA/Literacy for grades 3-8 and high school will be administered from March 28 to May 20. Each Local Education Agencies (LEA) has the ability to select a testing window within that period; DCPS has chosen April 11 - May 20.
The “test preparation” section of parcc.pearson.com provides access to full length practice tests and online tutorials, including accommodated versions of practice tests.
Vote on the DCPS Academic Calendar
DCPS is still accepting survey responses. Go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fx-D-Sv5PjGWKg4GBLw6ByaCqAqjMud8W_S5LfkvrzY/viewform?c=0&w=1
City Council Updates
The Council has begun the annual performance oversight hearings on how DC agencies have operated over the last year and is preparing for the upcoming budget hearings that will start in early April.
Upcoming hearings of importance for Education include:
FY15-16 Performance Oversight Hearings
FY17 Budget Oversight Hearings
Fri, April 22 – Department of General Services
Ward 6 Budget Town Hall, hosted by Councilmember Allen
Thurs, April 21st, 6:30 pm, 645 H Street, NE.
Books from Birth Is Officially Launched!
If you have a child under 5, sign up here -- http://dclibrary.org/booksfrombirth
(And Thanks to Councilmember Allen for making this happen. This was one of the first bills he introduced after taking office. Nevertheless, he’s still taking a back seat in my write-up to Dolly).
Thank you for your support.