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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Read Across DC

State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Hyesook Chung took time Monday, April 10 to enthusiastically read to classrooms of infants and toddlers at St. Albans Early Childhood Center in Northwest, as part of Read Across DC, an event coordinated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

The event, which recognizes Month of the Young, and for which Chung joined forces with D.C. Board of Education members and others, focuses on literacy for early learners.

“Research has shown that reading to infants and toddler is key for brain stimulation and positive child outcomes and early childhood development,” Chung said.

Thirty-six child development centers participated in Read Across DC.

Charter School Authorizers at Work

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers recently released a video about how charter school authorizers across the country are working to expand and ensure all students have access to quality schools.

In the video, Rashida Young, senior manager of Equity and Fidelity at the DC Public Charter School Board, said that the board addresses access issues by:

•    monitoring unintentional and intentional barriers that may prevent a family from applying or enrolling into a school, with the board communicating any barriers to the school so they can be removed;

•    determining whether schools are doing all they can to keep students in their schools; and

•    understanding if there are particular groups of students exiting the school more than another group of students.

ESSA Update

The DC State Board of Education voted late last month to approve a new accountability system for the D.C. that will provide District parents the ability to compare the performance of public schools on a variety of measures — including student growth and academic achievement.

The state plan, drafted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, gives the District more flexibility in advancing educational excellence and provides assistance to schools so that each student has the opportunity for success.

DCPS Budget

DCPS officials have released their budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018, continuing eight years of increased investments to schools, as well as new investments for middle and high school students.

“This budget [released April 4] — and the additional $25 million going directly to schools — is reflective of what we want for our young people: equity and excellence for students, with algebra and computer science clubs in all middle schools, college and career coordinators in high schools, and the seeding of Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders for young women of color,” said Chancellor Antwan Wilson.

Dual Enrollment Program

This year, 150 DCPS high school students have taken college courses through the school system’s “Dual Enrollment Program” to not only obtain college credit, but to expose themselves early to the demands of college life.

DCPS has showcased some of the students — including Cherisse Hayes from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts — who are taking courses at schools such as the University of the District of Columbia, Howard University, The George Washington University, Georgetown University and The Catholic University of America.

To learn more about the program, visit dcps.dc.gov/service/participate-dual-enrollment.

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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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