LocalEducation

D.C. Public Schools Briefs

EdFest 2016

EdFest, D.C.’s only citywide public school fair, will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the D.C. Armory in Southeast.

During the event, representatives from more than 200 of the District’s public schools will showcase their programs and give attendees the opportunity to ask questions about schools and related services and programs, prior to the Dec. 12 launch of the “My School DC” lottery application process.

The event will also offer free services such as flu shots and immunizations.

Admission and parking are free, and interpretation in American sign language, Spanish, Amharic, Mandarin, Vietnamese and French will be available throughout the day.


DC State Diploma Ceremony

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has recognized the accomplishments of District residents who passed exams for the 2014 Series General Educational Development (GED) or completed the requirements of the National External Diploma Program.

A commencement ceremony, where more than 50 participating adults were awarded a DC State Diploma, was held Dec. 3 at Howard University.

District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles, State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang and District education leaders celebrated the achievements of the new graduates, encouraging them to take the next step in their career pathway, by either enrolling in a two- or four-year college or university, or entering an apprenticeship or industry-certification program.

“Offering the DC State Diploma removes barriers for residents as we continue to build and foster pathways to the middle class,” Niles said. “I congratulate the first group of graduates and look forward to celebrating each year as more and more residents take this step toward success.”


Educators say bilingualism is linked to enhanced academic and social skills. /Courtesy of DCPS via the Hechinger Project
Educators say bilingualism is linked to enhanced academic and social skills. /Courtesy of DCPS via the Hechinger Project

Bilingual Instruction

With bilingualism linked to enhanced academic and social skills, educators say dual-language programs, such as the one at Houston Elementary School in Northeast, can be used to narrow the achievement gap and equip underserved students for a future in a competitive workforce.

Houston’s Spanish-English program opened at the preschool level this school year, making it one of a growing number of city public schools emphasizing bilingual instruction to minority children in low-income areas.


Kenneth Wells is president of the Young Men of Phelps club at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. /Courtesy of DCPS
Kenneth Wells is president of the Young Men of Phelps club at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. /Courtesy of DCPS

Extracurricular Spotlight

Kenneth Wells, a 12th-grader at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Northeast, is president of the school’s Young Men of Phelps club.

The club is a student-run organization made up of more than 50 male scholars who do activities and volunteer work together and support each other.

Kenneth, who has been in the club for three years now, served as vice president before becoming president this year.

Alonzo Thompkins, an 11th-grader at Eastern High School in Northeast, said he “started making better decisions” after joining the Eastern Men of Excellence Club.

Alonzo, who joined the program which pairs students with adult mentors, said that “with a better and positive role model,” he can stay on his path, continue doing his work and be focused.

“It helps me to help others and make sure my friends are doing the right thing, not just me,” he said.


Public Charter School Day

The city’s public charter schools were well-represented at a recent D.C. Council meeting.

In addition to the more than 200 participating leaders, teachers, students and parents who also visited council members’ offices, council chair Phil Mendelson gave special recognition to the 12 visiting schools and their students, who ranged in age from toddlers to high schoolers.

The event was supported by Friends of Choice in Urban Schools, the D.C. Public Charter School Board and Parents Amplifying Voices in Education.

The DC Association of Chartered Public Schools believes that each member of the council should know each Local Educational Leader the same way they know the traditional public school chancellor. Also, because there are many new council members and public charter school leaders, the day helps facilitate a day of introductions, networking and goodwill.

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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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