Frederick Douglass High School senior Alexi Okie has been named PGCPS’ latest Scholar of the Week.

A self-taught artist, Alexi’s passion for art has inspired her to become a visual artist and art therapist, and she is getting an early start on her career through the Best Buddies Club, in which she helps to teach students with disabilities how to paint.

An International Baccalaureate student, Alexi holds a 4.3 GPA and is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses that include government and calculus. She is also a member of the African Student Association and the National Honor Society.

Alexi dreams of attending Yale University, Harvard University or Spelman College. For fun, she enjoys reading comics and dancing.

Ten years from now, Alexi sees herself traveling and hosting art exhibitions, all while helping others through art therapy.

First Quarter Closes, Lottery Open

First-quarter report cards will be available Tuesday, Nov. 19, but parents can check their child’s progress anytime in the SchoolMax Family Portal.

The charter school lottery application is now open for the 2020-21 school year. Apply through Friday, Jan. 31.

Math Coaches

“Count on Us,” the live math homework help show, returns Nov. 7. Here’s what you need to know:

Math teachers and coaches offer tips and real-time help for students in first through eighth grades. There are three ways to submit homework questions — call 301-772-0080, post on Facebook, Periscope or Twitter, or email

“Count on Us” airs Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Watch episodes on social media, Periscope or PGCPS-TV (Channel 96 on Xfinity and 38 on Verizon).

Largest Enrollment in 15 Years

PGCPS enrollment this school year is up by almost 4,000 students, the largest single-year increase in 15 years.

Now at an estimated 136,600 students, the school system’s enrollment has grown by nearly 13,000 students since the 2012-13 academic year.

Last year’s official enrollment count was 132,636.

Winter Enrichment Packets Q&A

Q: Are the Student Break Packets mandatory?
A: No. The student break packets are optional.
Q: How do you access the packets?
A: The packets can be accessed by going to the Student Resources page.
Q: When will the answer keys be available?
A: Answer keys that apply for each packet will already be posted. Many of our summer packets do not include answer keys as they are daily activities.
Q: Are packets for all PGCPS schools, including students in charter schools?
A: Yes. The packets are systemic for all students, and they are optional.
Q: Is there a packet available for pre-kindergarten and Head Start students?
A: No. Packets are available only for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Q: What should I do if my child needs help with completing the packet?
A: These packets are for extra practice only, and teachers will not be expected to assist or review student work.

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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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