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EDUCATION BRIEFS: DCPS to Allocate $50M in Funds to Schools

4/2/2014, 3 p.m.
DCPS officials want to ensure that every school provides a world-class education that prepares students for success in college, their careers and in life. (Courtesy photo)

District of Columbia Public Schools

Prekindergarten Learning Fair

Students from H.D. Cooke Elementary and Eagle Academy and CentroNia public charter schools will be the guests of honor during the 12th annual “Jumpstart for a Day” program that takes places from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday, April 11 at Burr Gymnasium on the campus of Howard University.

The interactive learning fair, for which Howard students will serve as mentors – will use curriculum-based group activities for about 350 children ages 3 to 5, who are expected to attend. The main goal of the Massachusetts-based, nonprofit Jumpstart program, which has offices in several cities including the District, is to help level the playing field for young children from underprivileged households as they prepare to enter school.

Several businesses and organizations, that include the Howard School of Dentistry and the D.C. Fire Department, are expected to be on hand to provide presentations on fire safety and personal hygiene and nutrition for young children.

Parent Cabinet

Chancellor Kaya Henderson recently announced the 25 parents and DCPS community members who make up the new DCPS Parent Cabinet.

The cabinet members, who come from diverse backgrounds and with whom Henderson will meet each month, represent all wards, elementary, middle and high schools.

“We rely on parent feedback and insight to help us make important decisions,” said Henderson. “I am hopeful this new Parent Cabinet will deepen our understanding of parent concerns, foster new ideas and thoughtful solutions and inform our parent engagement efforts. Parents are our most important audience as their children are in our care.”

The cabinet members were selected from a pool of more than 200 applications.

“This is a very important part of our family engagement efforts and will take our work as a district that is committed to parents as partners to the next level,” said Josephine Bias Robinson, chief of the Office of Family and Public Engagement. “As a DCPS parent, I know theirs is a critical voice to our work.”

Improving Student Satisfaction

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will infuse more than $50 million in new, local funds to schools in the 2014-2015 school year, with a focus on middle-grade students, struggling schools, and improving student satisfaction.

This increase, provided in Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s FY 2015 budget, will allow all DCPS middle schools, as well as the District’s lowest performing elementary schools, to have the opportunity for a longer school day next year. DCPS will also provide $5 million in funds to help schools improve student satisfaction, another key priority for Henderson. Schools received their budget allocations on Wednesday. Regardless of enrollment, no schools’ budget decreased significantly, and most schools received an increase.
 “This is a major step forward for everyone, everywhere in DCPS and in this city,” said Chancellor Henderson. “I feel so lucky to have the resources we need to deliver to our families everywhere in this city the kind of education that all of our students deserve. We still have work to do, but this budget takes us to a very different place for our students, our teachers and our families. I am thrilled about the work ahead.”