D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Teacher of the Year

Tumeka Coleman, a 3rd-grade English and language arts teacher at Walker-Jones Education Campus in Northwest, has been selected as D.C. Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Coleman received the surprising news in early December when DPCS officials visited her school.

She will receive a $10,000 prize in February during the annual Standing Ovation Excellence Awards celebration.

“It’s amazing. It’s an experience that I never thought I would get,” Coleman told WJLA-TV (Channel 7). “I am still in shock.”

Coleman attributes her success to her faith in God, supportive and loving parents, great teachers and leaders and her husband.

School Lottery Underway

The My School DC lottery, the city’s common application and public school lottery for DC Public Schools and the majority of public charter schools (grades PK3-12), is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year.

Families must use the lottery system to apply to:

•​ DCPS PK3 / PK4 programs (including programs at in-boundary DCPS schools);
•​ DCPS citywide and out-of-boundary schools (PK3-12);
•​ DCPS selective high schools (9-12); and
•​ all participating public charter schools (PK3-12)

The application deadlines are Feb. 1 for grades 9-12 and March 1 for grades PK3-8.

For help with an application, call the My School DC hotline at 202-888-6336, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit the My School DC team at CentroNía (1420 Columbia Road NW) on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Task Force Update

The State Board of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Task Force met in early December to discuss the new version of the District’s school report card.

Maya Martin, executive director of Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE), Josh Boots, executive director of EmpowerK12, and representatives from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provided task force members with an overview of recent parent feedback sessions on the DC school report card.

PAVE held meetings with each of its Parent Leaders in Education boards in Wards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. At each meeting, parents were asked to rank the top five things they looked for when choosing a school for their child.

Parents then examined PCSB’s Performance Management Framework Reports, DC Public School’s Scorecards, and the LEARN DC profiles, and discussed the pros and cons of each.

In addition, PAVE canvassed and collected surveys from 51 total parents.

Eighty-five percent of parents who attended sessions agreed that “Student Performance by Subgroup” and “Teacher Quality” were the most important factors needed on a school report card. Re-enrollment, school funding and attendance were also rated highly.

Strategic Pause

The D.C. State Board of Education’s High School Graduation Requirements Task Force will be taking a strategic pause during the month of January to focus on upcoming information that will influence the task force’s work.

Stepping back for a month will allow staff and task force members to reflect on constituent feedback received thus far, as well as consider information from the ongoing investigation of the implementation of high school graduation requirements at Ballou High School in Southeast and other schools across the city.

The results of the citywide investigation being led by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education are expected at the end of January. Members will reconvene in February to continue their work.

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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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One Comment

  1. “I believe that the profession of a teacher is a miracle in our world. After all, no one will argue that now the children are not the simplest.
    Now the time is different, now the children are different, now the world is different. To learn these children need a special approach, very diligent. You literally have to give yourself completely to work. Work is your life. A teacher is not just a job, not just an occupation, it’s your life, you live your work. You should definitely like it, or better do not start doing it. Children feel it, they understand what kind of person stands in front of them, whether he likes what he does. Now there is a time when any student can order essay if he did not like the subject. A student may not learn a lesson if the teacher does not interest him. And when you read an article like this, you understand that there are people who really give themselves completely to their business. For them, it’s not work anymore, it’s their vocation. I’m proud of such people! This is a real example, these are real heroes!”

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