D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Lottery Closes March 1

March 1 is the lottery deadline for academic year 2017-18 spaces at participating D.C. public charter schools, which educate 46 percent of the city’s students enrolled in public school, and out-of-boundary places within the traditional public school system.

DCPS buildings participating in the out-of-boundary program also accept applications for places for all D.C.-resident students, and parents can automatically enroll in in-boundary schools in their neighborhood.

Black History Exhibition

Black history is being celebrated Tuesday, Feb. 28 at Patterson Elementary School in Southwest, where participants in the B.R.O.S. (Brothers Reaching Outside Stereotypes) program will present an exhibition of their creative projects.

B.R.O.S. involves a group of students in grades 2-5 exploring music production, video production, photography and theater — all through a literacy and cultural arts lens.

College Tuition Access

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education recently announced changes to the District of Columbia Tuition Assistance Grant program, that will enable service to more college-bound students.

The changes increase the award amount for community college students to up to $10,000 per year in tuition assistance, increase the age limit for DCTAG eligibility to age 26 and change the eligibility time limit to reflect six years of receiving a DCTAG award.

“It is critical that we do everything we can to support the success of college bound District residents,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “DCTAG will now help even more students reach their full potential during their journey through college and career.”

The application period for DCTAG runs through June 30. Eligible residents should apply early, as funds are dispersed on a first come, first served basis.

ESSA Community Meetings

State Board of Education members will co-host a series of community meetings this month in all eight wards of the District to collect community input on the new Every Student Succeed Act.

ESSA, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, gives the District more flexibility in advancing educational excellence and providing individual assistance to schools.

Residents’ feedback is needed to determine how school board members can define quality schools and put ESSA’s requirements into action.

Between now and March 3, community members are encouraged to review the final draft plan and submit public comments.

The meetings will be held:

Ward 4
Feb. 16   6:30-8:30 p.m.
Barnard Elementary School

Ward 5
Feb. 22   6:30-8:30 p.m.
Brookland Middle School

Ward 6
Feb. 27   6-8 p.m.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

Ward 7
Feb. 23   6-7:30 p.m.

Ward 8
Feb. 28   6-8 p.m.
Anacostia Neighborhood Library

Charter Schools Achievement

Public education in the District is experiencing sustained gains in student achievement.

The latest results from D.C.’s standardized tests, known as Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), show charter students outperformed DCPS in six of seven grade levels.

The share of District 3rd-grade charter students achieving top grades in math and English language arts was 4 percent points higher than their DCPS counterparts.
At the 8th-grade level — a strong indicator of future college success — D.C. charters also outperformed the traditional public school system.

Charter and DCPS high-school graduation rates also have increased, with charters ahead of the curve.

National Signing Day

Officials at Friendship Collegiate Academy, alongside former Washington Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs, announced on Feb. 3 during the annual National Signing Day that 18 of the school’s scholar-athletes would be attending college in the fall on both athletic and academic full ride scholarships.

The scholar-athletic standouts signed their letters-of-intent with institutions of higher learning that included Howard University, Bowie State University, Morgan State University, Fairmont State University, Shenandoah University, Stevenson University, Temple University, Syracuse University and the U.S. Naval Academy.

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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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