Thurgood Marshall Academy mentor Joanna Morrow with student Destiny (Courtesy of TMA)
Thurgood Marshall Academy mentor Joanna Morrow with student Destiny (Courtesy of TMA)

Thurgood Marshall Academy will hold its gala reception on May 3, where participants in the school’s mentorship program will talk about why they volunteer.

“My student inspires me to be a better human being,” said Joanna Morrow, who mentors TMA student Destiny. “She inspires me to hold myself accountable for every decision I make.”

Chavez Open House

DC State Board of Education staff members recently visited an open house at Chavez Prep Middle School in Northwest.

Chavez Prep, one of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, has served grades 6-9 since 2009.

The open house attracted several prospective students and their parents and included a presentation by Director of Campus Operations Myisha Trice, introductions to Chavez’s administrative personnel and a tour of the school.

Task Force Update

Members of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Task Force met last month, where representatives from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shared a report-card mockup website and task force members worked independently in small groups to provide feedback on the draft report card.

After the presentation, task force members engaged in conversation surrounding their work on a shared definition of “equity.”

Piano Basics at Moten

A group of 4th- and 5th-graders at Moten Elementary School in Southeast are learning to play the piano, thanks to a successful pilot program launched last year.

According to their teacher, Tommy Atkinson, the class is part of a program called “D.C. Keys,” a partnership with Washington Performing Arts which teaches elementary students the basics of playing the piano.

Atkinson was one of a few teachers to pilot the program in which students also learn concepts like tempo and rhythm as well as some basic songs. They even compose their own music.

The program, which serves about 27,000 DCPS students, is available at all elementary schools.

Global Learning Statistics

DCPS’ Study Abroad Program was launched in 2016 as the nation’s first districtwide K-12 global travel program.

To date, 801 middle and high school students have traveled on fully-funded trips to 17 countries on five continents, and more than 500 new passports have been provided.

The short-term trips, led by DCPS educators, take place during the summer. Last year, 422 student travelers participated, 262 of whom were first-time travelers.


About Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer 140 Articles
I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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