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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Boundary Changes Approved

9/3/2014, 3 p.m.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray gave the thumbs-up on Aug. 21 to forge ahead with final recommendations from the advisory committee ...
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Vincent C. Gray gave the thumbs-up on Aug. 21 to forge ahead with final recommendations from the advisory committee regarding school boundary changes.

The changes, which will be the school system’s first in 40 years, go into effect at the start of the 2015-16 term.

“[This] gives us a year to plan for many of the things that will happen next year,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “I’m really proud of the boundary process, as I think that the deputy mayor [for education] and the citywide task force did an awesome job of really capturing the community’s [sentiments],” regarding the changes.

Back-to-School Night

Several dates from Sept. 3-25 have been scheduled for “Back-to-School Night,” to give parents the opportunity to visit their children’s schools and meet teachers, administrators and other staff members.

The dates for respective schools are published on the DCPS website.

Enrollment Highest in 5 Years

Schools opened their doors on Monday, Aug. 25 to welcome more than 47,000 students for the 2014-15 school year – the highest enrollment on the first day of school in the past five years.

To support the increase in enrollment, school officials hired 300 new teachers, 24 new librarians and 29 new guidance counselors and other personnel.

“We are going big this year at DCPS – with more students in our schools, longer school days across the city and a continued focus on engaging and supporting our students to strive for their absolute best,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “The first day was so much fun, and I want that enthusiasm and that love for school to continue throughout the entire year.”

ACT Registration

Online registration for the American College Test (ACT), which offers college admissions assessments for high school students through standardized tests, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Students will know immediately if their preferred test center has space for them to test, and they will be able to print an admission ticket from the ACT website.

Parents can register via mail if their child is younger than 13 or if payment cannot be made with a credit card.

Nutritious School-Served Lunches

With an abundance of fruits and vegetables being a staple among items served at schools, lunchtime this year promises to be a lot more nutritious.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the “Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act,” which originated from first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, ensures that major improvements are being made to promote better nutrition and reduce obesity among students.

“We’re getting positive results from our initial research [surrounding school-served meals] and this year students will be getting more nutrition,” said Madeline Levin, policy analyst for D.C. Hunger Solutions in Northwest. “We’re also excited about a new nationwide program that the District has implemented called ‘Community Eligibility’ which allows students who live in high-poverty areas to qualify for free meals at their schools.”