D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Digital Innovators

While the founding year at Digital Pioneers Academy Public Charter School is coming to a close, the members of the National Society of Black Engineers Junior Club are just getting started.

After recently coming in first place in the local competition, members of the club represented the District in the National KidWind Challenge.

During the process, some of the D.C. Public Charter Schools students who participated in NSBE Jr. competition felt that making the wind turbine had been difficult.

Although the DPA Innovators team had a lot of fun in the beginning, they struggled with communication when making the base to support the blades of the turbine.

The final base was made of PVC pipe, which, along with friction, was held together with gorilla glue and an unusually large amount of hot glue that resulted in two legs, each of which had two other legs sprouting from it for support.

New Public Charter Schools

The D.C. Public Charter School Board has approved the opening in academic year 2020-21 of five new public charter schools.

“These applications represent quite literally years of efforts on the part of founding groups and leaders,” said Rick Cruz, board chair. “Several individuals here this evening have stepped down from full-time roles at other schools and organizations to focus 100 percent on developing innovative approaches to serving the District’s students. It is also important to note that these individuals are parents, teachers, and some are our neighbors. I cannot think of a finer example of civic engagement on behalf of our city than the work each of you has done.”

The five newly approved schools are:

• Capital Village will have an EL (Expeditionary Learning) model serving students in grades 5-8.
• Girls Global Academy will be a single sex program serving students in grades 9-12.
• The Sojourner Truth School will have a Montessori program serving students in grades 6-12.
• I Dream School will be an inquiry-based, learner-centered program approach serving students in PK3-5.
• Social Justice School will have an EL (Expeditionary Learning) focused on social justice activism serving students in grades 5-8.

Wearing Many Hats

Walking swiftly with poise and a cheerful high pitched “Hello” Cortney Wiggins-Mayfield can often be found throughout the halls of Early Childhood Academy wearing one of her many hats as Family Support Coordinator. In her role, Mayfield supports families through homelessness, attendance, providing children who are out of uniform with uniforms, planning school-wide events and so much more.

Mayfield is also known as the ECA barrier buster, meaning that whatever barriers students may face that distracts them from receiving a quality education, Mayfield will tackle head on.

“Whenever I feel like I’m not doing enough, [the parents] come and visit me and tell me they got an apartment or job,” Mayfield said. “Or our students gleam and smile when I give them a clean uniform or new pair of shoes. Those are the things that keep me going.”

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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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