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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: SBOE Honors Students

At its public meeting in December, the DC State Board of Education honored the achievements of the Martin Luther King Parade Committee, Changamire “Changa” Anderson II and the Ballou Senior High School football champions.

Ward 8 board representative Markus Batchelor presented resolutions based on the honorees’ dedication to the enrichment of students.

In addition, Ward 4 representative Lannette Woodruff introduced a resolution honoring the hard work of Changa, grandson of former Ward 4 SBOE representative D. Kamili Anderson.

In November, Changa represented the United States as a member of the national gymnastics team that competed at the World Trampoline Championships in Bulgaria.

Resolution Approval

The State Board unanimously approved a resolution last month that changes the way the board reports and monitors the progress of some of D.C.’s most vulnerable students.

Most jurisdictions across the country use a definition of economically disadvantaged that’s based on participation in the free and reduced-price meal program, commonly called FARM.

“The problem is that many schools receive what is called community eligibility for FARM, where if a certain percentage of students at a school qualify for FARM, all of its students are labeled as economically disadvantaged,” said SBOE President and Ward 7 representative Karen Williams. “This leads to less precise reporting, since not all students at a community eligible school are actually living in poverty.”

The board’s approval of the resolution would instead link the definition of “economically disadvantaged” to other federal programs, including Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and an individual student’s homeless or foster care status.

EDFest Success

Rain, sleet and snow failed to keep SBOE members from heading to EdFEST17 in December at the D.C. Armory.

Staff from the Office of the Ombudsman and Student Advocate joined by several D.C. traditional public and charter schools to showcase the city’s public education options (PK3-12) for the new academic year.

EdFEST featured many free services and fun activities for the whole family, including: lottery application information and guidance from the My School DC team. Immunizations for youth and adults, and health screenings for both children and teens, as well as recreational activities and story time with D.C. Public Library.

Also, with the common lottery application period now officially open, parents can begin filling out applications ahead of the Feb. 1 high school and March 1 PK3-8 deadlines.

An Actor in All of Us

The English and theater departments at Washington Latin Public Charter School in northwest D.C. met after school one day in December to work with American University theater professor Caleen Jennings.

Jennings spoke to participating teachers about bringing theatricality into the classroom, using body, vocal tones, collaborative performances, and choral readings to bring text alive.

The teachers practiced acting out lines from several Shakespeare plays using pantomime, tone, and humor to give meaning to words. Many of the teachers will be using these skills when they approach various dramatic and comedic texts in the second semester, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Hamlet.”

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

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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