State Board in the Community: May 2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

In May, SBOE members criss-crossed the District visiting DCPS and charter schools, attending community events, and participating in important policy summits.

Karen (Ward 7 / President) lauded District teachers for their exceptional contributions at the Gold Standard of Excellence Awards.


Jack (Ward 2 / Vice President)
honored parents, families, and the LGBTQ community at the PFLAG 45th Anniversary Reception.


Ruth (Ward 3)
attended #FirstFridays at Rocketship Rise Academy and visited the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum.


Ashley (At-Large) and Joe (Ward 6)
were up early to join District students at the Bike to School Day event.


Markus (Ward 8)
joined Councilmember Trayon White and members of the community to help along safe passage routes near Ballou High School.


Ruth (Ward 3) and Joe (Ward 6)
joined SBOE staff during May school visits to School Without Walls and Center City Shaw.


Laura (Ward 1)
participated in the citywide PAVE Parent Policy Summit on education.


Joe (Ward 6)
joined students, District employers and partners at Eastern High School’s College and Career Day.


The State Board looks forward to continuing our engagement with the community throughout the month of June!

State Board in the Community: April 2018

By: Kit Faiella, Policy Fellow

Spring has officially sprung for State Board members! This past month, the members of the Board participated in and attended enlightening and fascinating events around the District.

Ashley (At-Large) read to students at Cedar Tree Academy as part of the Read Across DC Campaign.

 

Ruth (Ward 3) braved the cold and attended the Nationals opening day game.

 

Similarly, Joe (Ward 6) attended opening day… for the Capitol Hill Little League!

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Big Hairy Audacious Goals at Jefferson Academy

By: Abby Ragan, Policy Fellow

Earlier this month, SBOE representatives Ashley Carter and Ruth Wattenberg joined SBOE staff in a visit to Jefferson Academy (JA), a DCPS community middle school located in Ward 6. The environment at Jefferson Academy during the SBOE visit was warm and welcoming from the moment we entered the building. Everyone from security guards to front office staff to leadership to teachers to students were incredibly helpful and demonstrated a love for their school.

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The morning started with a conversation with Principal Greg Dohmann about the school’s history. Jefferson Middle School was rebranded as Jefferson Academy in 2011, giving rise to a new generation of Jefferson achievement. Jefferson’s feeder schools are primarily Amidon-Bowen Elementary School, Brent Elementary School, Tyler Elementary School, Van Ness Elementary School, and Thomson Elementary School although Jefferson received students from 29 different schools this year. Its destination school is Eastern High School. School enrollment reached 305 students in the 2016-2017 school year, with current numbers for this year at 316. The school expects this trend of enrollment growth to continue, especially considering their upcoming school modernization. 2/3 of the students who attend Jefferson are out of boundary, mainly coming from Wards 7 and 8. Jefferson has a vision called “Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)”: they are working to make 1) Jefferson the highest achieving middle school in D.C. for all students and for 2) all members of the JA community to love school.

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SBOE Visit to John Hayden Johnson Middle School

By: Kit Faiella, Policy Fellow

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Earlier this month, SBOE At-Large member Ashley Carter, Ward 8 member Markus Batchelor, and staff had the opportunity to visit John Hayden Johnson Middle School in Ward 8. We met with Principal Courtney Taylor, who has been leading the school for three years. She explained that Johnson is a “textbook” scenario of a school that serves majority disadvantaged households: currently 10% of the students are reading on level, and 5% of the students are on-level for mathematics. Her vision is to make all 270 students, or “scholars” as they are known at Johnson, academically ready for high school with the goal of exposing scholars to the unexposed – enabling them to explore a potential college or career choice at least once a month.

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State Board in the Community: January 2018

By: Kit Faiella, Policy Fellow

In December 2017 and early January 2018, the Board members attended a variety of events around the DC community, interacting with students and parents alike. Many Board members took tours of schools during December and January, witnessing teachers and students in action firsthand.

• Ashley Carter (At-Large) visited Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

• Laura Wilson Phelan (Ward 1) highlighted the tremendous work of our #DCGradReqs Task Force as a panelist on a National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) webinar focused on equity in high school graduation requirements.

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New SBOE Leadership for 2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

At this month’s public meeting, the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) elected Ms. Karen Williams of Ward 7 as President and Mr. Jack Jacobson of Ward 2 as Vice President. Both members served in these roles during 2017 and both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their roles.

Additionally, the SBOE formally adopted a structure for upcoming policy, governance, and engagement committees to help achieve the goals of increasing equity and academic excellence in District public schools. The Board looks forward to continuing its work on the ambitious goals laid out in the SBOE strategic plan.

Below are the 2018 SBOE Committee assignments:

Administration & Budget – This committee monitors and oversees the State Board’s budget, personnel and governance.

  • Chair: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2
  • Members: Mark Jones, Ward 5; Lannette Woodruff, Ward 4; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Student Advisory – The Student Advisory committee ensures the voice of students is heard in improving education in the District.

  • Co-Chairs: Tallya Rhodes & Tatiana Robinson
  • Members: Students, Karen Williams (ex officio)

Educational Excellence & Equity – Regulations & Laws – This committee will focus on conducting high-quality policy research and analysis to support the State Board’s role in approving District education regulations.

  • Chair: Laura Wilson Phelan, Ward 1
  • Members: Ashley Carter, At-Large; Markus Batchelor, Ward 8; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Educational Excellence & Equity – Educational Standards – This committee will focus on reviewing and analyzing District educational standards.

  • Co-Chairs: Ruth Wattenberg, Ward 3; Mark Jones, Ward 5
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Karen Williams (ex officio)

ESSA Task Force – ESSA implementation began during the 2017-18 school year. The task force will work diligently with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to continue gathering input from diverse stakeholders on the design and development of the new accountability system for the District.

  • Chair: Lannette Woodruff, Ward 4
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Joe Weedon, Ward 6; Karen Williams (ex officio)

Public Engagement & Outreach – This committee is tasked with ensuring that all voices are heard on key education policy issues. Priorities will include developing a community engagement strategy that includes diverse stakeholders and expanding the breadth of participation at SBOE community meetings, forums, and roundtables around the District.

  • Co-Chairs: Markus Batchelor, Ward 8; Ashley Carter, At-Large
  • Members: Jack Jacobson, Ward 2; Karen Williams (ex officio)

State Board in the Community: October 2017

By: Alexandria Smith, Communication Fellow

In addition to our #DCGradReqs meeting this past week, SBOE members were out in full force at community events around the District!

RUTH WATTENBERG

Ward 3 Representative, Ruth Wattenberg, was a guest speaker at a Wilson High School Parent Teacher Student Organization meeting on school report cards.

 

ASHLEY CARTER

Our at-large member, Ashley Carter speaks at Friendship Public Charter School on the Every Student Succeeds Act school report card. Ward 8 parents attended this “chat & chew” focus group to discuss school to parent transparency.

 

JOE WEEDON

Joe Weedon speaks at the Capitol Hill Montessori Stories of Our Schools exhibit opening!

SBOE Welcomes New Student Representatives

By: Paul Negron, Communications & Public Engagement

Late last month, the State Board of Education proudly held swearing-in ceremonies for its two new student representatives, Tallya Rhodes (HD Woodson HS, Ward 7) and Tatiana Robinson (Ballou HS, Ward 8). State Board President Karen Williams was joined by Ashley Carter (At-Large) and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8) at both high schools as our newest student representatives were sworn in with proud teachers, classmates, and family members cheering them on!

Tallya Rhodes Swearing-In

Tallya Rhodes’ Swearing-In Ceremony at HD Woodson High School

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State Board in the Community: October 2017

By: Alexandria Smith, Communication Fellow

In addition to our monthly public meeting this week, SBOE members were out in full force at community events around the District!

JOE WEEDON, WARD 6

Joe Weedon spoke at the Capitol Hill Montessori “Story of Our Schools” Exhibit.

 

MARKUS BATCHELOR, WARD 8

Markus Batchelor attended a KaBoom Park Opening at The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus. ” Thanks to @KaBOOM for serving communities in need of investment and youth in need of play! #Ward8 #BelieveIn8

 

ASHLEY CARTER, AT-LARGE

Ashely Carter attended a talk on the future of education reform at The Center for Education Reform along with Friendship Public Charter School founder and SBOE #ESSATaskForce member, Donald Hense.

State Board in the Community: October 2017

Lannette Woodruff and Laura Wilson Phelan attended a riveting discussion on family and parent engagement within the education policy space. Learn more about DC PAVE here: dcpave.org.

 

Joe Weedon and Ashley Carter got up bright and early to join Capitol Hill-area students on Walk to School Day on October 4th.

 

Markus Batchelor attended the Anacostia High School homecoming game on October 7th!