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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Summer Law Day

Summer prep students at Thurgood Marshall Academy attended “Summer Law Day” in July at Wiley Rein LLP, in downtown DC, where they learned about contracts and performed their first mock trial.

Dressed in professional wear, students worked with summer associates, law partners, and staff on contracts, legal skills (research, argumentation, critical thinking, advocacy, and negotiation) and using their voice.

Derek Petit, a Wiley Rein associate, has been involved with Summer Law Day from the early days, and even helped facilitate the TMA partnership with his Howard Law School alma mater.

Petit also stressed “making a connection with the students” to fellow Wiley Rein employees.

SBOE Teacher Panel

As part of its ongoing teacher retention work, the DC State Board of Education recently convened a District teacher panel to learn more about best practices and insights in the classroom. State Board members have spent the summer working on strategic initiatives and connecting with parents, families, and students at local education events around the District.

While there will be no SBOE working session or public meeting in August, the board will hold a member retreat on Aug. 27 for training and assistance and to review of the current strategic plan. This meeting will be closed to the public.

Teacher Contributions

SBOE members recognized exemplary teachers from the District of Columbia Public Schools and public charter schools at their July 17 meeting for their significant teaching contributions over the past year.

Panelists and board members engaged in discussions and heard testimonies and dialogue on education in D.C.

The SBOE teacher panel included:

  • Gary Hamilton (3rd-grade teacher at Wheatley Education Campus) 2019 Rubenstein Winner for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Justin Lopez-Cardoze (Life Science teacher at Capital City Public Charter School) 2020 DC Teacher of the Year finalist.
  • Daniel Spruill (Music educator at Center City Public Charter Schools-Brightwood Campus) 2020 DC Teacher of the Year finalist.

Achievement Results

Increased enrollment for both public charter and traditional public schools shows that investments in D.C.’s public education are working as more families continue to choose a public school.

There continues to be a high level of demand for public charter school seats in grades PK (ages 3 and 4) and kindergarten, with waitlists across public charter schools totaling 11,861, an increase of 544 students since school year 2018-19.

Student Achievement

For the past 12 years, students at D.C. public charter schools have continued to improve on statewide assessments — DC CAS and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers (PARCC) test.

Public charter school students earning college and career reading scores (Level 4 or 5) increased by 2.7 percentage points on the English language arts assessments and by 1.8 percentage points on the math assessment.

Chancellor Dialogues

After months of connecting with stakeholders across all eight wards through a series of “Ferebee Friday” events, DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee is looking forward to engaging more deeply on topics that matter most to the school system’s families, students, staff and community members.

In the coming months, Ferebee will be hosting a series of small group “DCPS Dialogue” gatherings at schools, libraries and community centers across the District.

Through these topic-specific conversations, Ferebee will gather feedback for going into the 2019-20 academic year.

Ferebee has expressed his excitement to listen to DCPS stakeholders to better understand their experiences and learn from them, how school officials can improve programs and policies.

The format of these events will be small group discussions with attendance capped at 20 to keep the conversation intimate.

Sign up at bit.ly/dcpsdialogue2019. For questions, contact ofpe.info@dc.gov or 202-719-6613.

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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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