D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Kudos Keep Coming for Henderson on Anniversary

District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson continues to receive accolades in the wake of her fifth anniversary at the helm.

“Henderson’s relentless energy and boundless public praise in support of her teachers and principals has created positive morale and considerable buy-in among classroom educators to what is one of the most ambitious reform agendas in the country,” said Education Post, a nonpartisan education-advocacy website. “In a city with the greatest economic inequity in the country and with a rapidly expanding charter school now serving nearly half of the city’s students, D.C. is one of the few traditional public school districts in the country with enrollment gains and is on track to exceed 50,000 students by 2017. Much of the credit goes to Henderson’s leadership.”

Extended School Day

The typical school year, which is about 180 days, will be 10 days longer this year at one D.C. public school, with educators hoping the extension will improve academic achievement.

Since the start of school in late August, students at Raymond Education Campus in Northwest list as DCPS’s first to attend classes for 190 days.

The intent of the extended class time is to reduce the “summer slide,” typically when students fall behind during the summer months while school is out of session. Last summer, students at Raymond experienced a 20 percent decline in reading scores.

Second-grade teacher Stefani Smith emphasized in an interview with WJLA-TV (ABC-7) how extending the academic year will make a difference.

“Students [who] have the extended school year [will be] able to continue to be proficient, have their same level in reading and mathematics and then come back to school and be right where they were before,” Smith said.

Expanding School Libraries

DCPS and the DC Public Library are considering expanding the distribution of public library books to the individual school libraries.

DCPS and DCPL conducted a joint study last year that examined sharing resources and reducing the number of city libraries with collections containing less than 10 books per student.

Although the community reportedly supports the idea, administrators still need to work out funding before the initiative can move forward.

Parent Curriculum Guides

School officials recently announced the launch of their “DCPS Parent Guides,” which aim to provide fun and meaningful ways for parents to support students’ learning at home.

To download the guides, visit

Volunteers Needed

“Martha’s Table”
9 a.m., Friday, Nov. 20
Powell Elementary School, 1350 Upshur St. in Northwest

Phelps Open House

For perspective students and families
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17
Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School
704 26th St. in Northeast

Nophlin Steps Down from Charter School Board

Award-winning educator Barbara Nophlin, a longtime advocate of public schools, resigned her post earlier this month on the Public Charter School Board.

In a letter to board Chair Darren Woodruff, Nophlin said she’s learned a lot and appreciated the opportunity to serve on the board.

She also said she will always champion the role of charter school in our city, and looked forward to the future collaboration of public and public charter schools in all eight wards.

“Both the charter board and our schools have benefited greatly from Barbara’s experience as an educator and her unique insights as a longtime member of the community,” Woodruff said. “We thank her for her contributions to D.C. charter schools and we will miss her greatly.”

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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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