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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: New Charter Schools

The D.C. Public Charter School Board has voted to approve three new public charter schools for the 2018-19 academic year.

The approved schools include Digital Pioneers Academy, The Family Place and North Star College Preparatory Academy for Boys. Three other applications were denied and two were withdrawn during the review process.

“We’re pleased to approve three schools that will meet the needs of our diverse student community,” said Darren Woodruff, chairman of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. “This was a rigorous process with a high standard of approval.”

Scott Pearson, the board’s executive director, said the board undertook a detailed examination of each application.

“We are committed to only approving the highest quality applicants,” Pearson said. “In 2016, the board conditionally approved one of three applications. In 2015 and 2014, it approved only three out of eight and three of 10, respectively.”

Teacher Award

Ketcham Elementary School math teacher Milton Bryant recently won a $25,000 cash prize and a summer residency for his work as an extraordinary teacher at the Southeast school.
Bryant listed as one of four teachers to receive the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice in late May.

“He’s grown and developed into one of our most outstanding teachers. He truly cares about his students,” said Principal Maisha Riddlesprigger.

Capital Pride Parade

The DCPS system will continue its tradition of participating in the Capital Pride Parade, aiming to make its schools safe and inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, staff and families.

Register to walk with DCPS on Saturday, June 10. Supporters will meet no later than 4 p.m. for the lineup at the intersection of 23rd and O streets in Northwest.

All DCPS teachers, staff, students, families and friends are welcome.

River Terrace Farmers Market

Many schools in the District and elsewhere have gardens that are used to teach students about healthy eating and the process of growing plants and vegetables.

But the program at River Terrace Education Campus goes a step further, aiming to give an often underserved population of students a chance to gain skills that they can use for permanent employment.

“I didn’t know what arugula was or what kale was, but I learned really fast,” said Adrian Washington, who spends his Wednesday mornings at River Terrace Education Campus’ farmers market in Southeast filling orders for teachers and community members.”I learned everything I needed to keep it growing.”

River Terrace, which opened two years ago, serves 130 students from kindergarten to high school who have severe physical or intellectual disabilities.

Orr Elementary Groundbreaking

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser participated in the May 25 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Orr Elementary School in Ward 8.

Students will begin classes at the 77,000-square-foot building in the 2018-19 academic year.

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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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