Eliot-Hine Middle School

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We are excited to add Eliot-Hine Middle School, located in Ward 6, to our DCPS Planning Blog! Come along with us as we map out the upcoming modernization for Eliot-Hine and provide updates from the School Improvement Team meetings.We will also feature Eliot-Hine events and school staff, showcase the IB Middle Years Programme, and share more about their feeder schools (Maury ES, Miner ES, Payne ES, and School-Within-School@Goding). Additionally, this letter was sent to the Eliot-Hine feeder schools and staff to provide the community with both programmatic and modernization updates.

The next Eliot-Hine Open House is Tuesday, December 13th at 9:30 AM. We hope you will join us as we hear from Principal Vargas, current students, and visit classes in action. The full calendar of events includes more opportunities for you to visit Eliot-Hine and below are all the December events.

December 2016 Events: 

  • HS Fair: December 1st at 10:30 AM
  • Open House: December 13th at 9:30 AM
  • PTO Meeting: December 14th at 6 PM
  • Winter Showcase: December 15th at 6 PM

December Basketball Schedule: 

  • December 6th- Eliot-Hine vs. Stuart Hobson (Home game): 4:45 girls, 6:00 PM boys
  • December 8th- Eliot-Hine vs. Francis Stevens (Away game): 4:45 boys
  • December 13th- Eliot-Hine vs. Kramer (Away game): 4:45 girls, 6:00 PM boys
  • December 15th- Eliot-Hine vs. Oyster Adams (Away game): 4:45 girls

Dual Language Planning Updates

Our DL engagement process is ongoing. Want to connect for an update or to share your thoughts? Contact DCPS.Planning@dc.gov or (202) 821-6557.

Background

This school year, DCPS opened three new Dual Language programs at Houston ES, MacFarland MS, and Roosevelt HS, bringing the total number of English/Spanish programs  in DCPS to 11. Through all our work engaging school communities over the past two years around dual language, we’ve heard demand from parents across the city for more language programming in DCPS. Some parents want more English/Spanish programs, some want a more equitable spread of programs across the city, others want to see new languages like Mandarin, French, or Arabic introduced.

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Map of DCPS Dual Language Programs.

In the past, DCPS has generally opened new Dual Language (DL) programs one at a time, addressing needs and demand from school communities as they come. As you may notice in the map above, there is now a strong concentration of DL programs in Wards 1 and 4, an area there is also a high concentration of native Spanish speakers.

While opening in this cluster helps programs enroll a mix of native Spanish and native English speakers, it makes equity of access across the city difficult. Looking at the map above, if you’re a student in Ward 8 or 5 you’re looking at a lengthy commute if you’re able to get into a DL program. Having programs clustered in Columbia Heights / Petworth also makes it challenging to offer convenient feeder patterns for schools outside that hub.

Process

Our goal through this process is to engage a wide range of stakeholders across the city and develop a multi-year plan for dual language going forward. In particular, we want to address equity of access and complete feeder patterns (referenced above). We’re talking with parents who have kids in DL, parents who don’t, school leaders, staff, dual language experts, and community members and asking:

  • What’s going well with dual language now? What do you like about it or find appealing?
  • What do you want to see change going forward?
  • How do you think DCPS should expand dual language?

What we’ve done

  • One on one meetings or phone calls with 30 different parents and community members.
  • Larger community meetings at Takoma EC, Marie Reed ES, the Ward 5 Council on Education, Tubman ES, and the Ward 4 Education Alliance.
  • Conversations with dual language leaders and staff members at Oyster Adams, Tyler ES, CHEC, Powell, and Bancroft.
  • Looked at preliminary data on English Language Learner (ELL) and non-ELL performance in our dual language programs.
  • Spoke with a range of dual language researchers and other school districts and states across the country with successful DL programs.

What we’ve heard

  • Parents are interested in ways for their kids to learn another language. Many are excited about dual language specifically, but many are also open to alternative ways for students to learn a second language. This could include more intensive language study, or after school and summer programs.
  • Dual Language school leaders are bought into and excited about dual language, and want it to be available to more students across the city.
  • While parents are excited about language, there are reservations about adopting the program at their school because of what it would mean for the school culture and staff. Moving to DL often implies significant staff turnover to get the right number of bilingual educators.
  • Parents and staff want clear, logical feeder patterns so students can progress in dual language from elementary to middle to high school.
  • Parents, staff, and community members want students across the city to be able to access dual language programming more easily. They’ve pointed out the lack of DCPS programs in Wards 5 and 8 specifically.
  • Concerns about strand programs vs. whole school models. Some parents and community members feel strand programs can create divisions within one school community, while others feel it’s important to offer the option of a non-DL program in their neighborhood school.

Meeting Schedule

Interested in talking with us or want to schedule a larger meeting at your school community? You can always reach us at DCPS.Planning@dc.gov or (202) 821-6557, or feel free to join us at an upcoming meeting:

  • Oyster Adams Bilingual School (2801 Calvert St. NW) at 9am Friday, 11/4
  • Ward 8 Education Council house meeting – Monday, November 28th (Location TBD)
  • Miner Elementary School PTO – Monday, 12/5 at 6pm
  • Ward 7 Education Council (TBD)

 

Collecting Input on Potential Ward 4 North Middle School

This post breaks down the details of the potential Ward 4 Middle School opening. One important note is that if the middle school is opened, it wouldn’t happen until School Year 2019-2020. Not this year, the next year, or the year after that. Current third graders at the feeder education campuses would be the first sixth graders if opened.

Background

In 2014, the Deputy Mayor for Education’s office recommended the opening of a new middle school in Ward 4 (New North) as part of its final boundary and feeder assignment recommendations.  This recommendation would open a new middle school in northern Ward 4, converting the four education campuses that currently feed into Coolidge to elementary schools (PK-5th grade instead of PK-8th grade). Those schools are Brightwood, Whittier, Lasalle-Backus, and Takoma Education Campuses.

Two driving factors behind this recommendation were parent/community input and the space constraints at the four education campuses. During the boundary and feeder recommendation community engagement process, parents and community members expressed desire for more stand-alone middle school options, giving both elementary and middle school students more of a traditional elementary and middle school experience. In addition, the education campuses feeding into Coolidge are facing the challenge of growing enrollment that is approaching the capacity in their buildings. Opening a middle school and moving the middle grades there would relieve some of that pressure.

Opportunity

One of the biggest challenges in opening this potential middle school has been securing the space and capital funding to build it. The upcoming modernization of Coolidge High School is an opportunity to have both the space and funding for a middle school, by including a middle school build in the scope of the work being done on Coolidge. There is both money in Coolidge’s modernization budget of roughly $160 million, and space on Coolidge’s south lawn (see below) for middle school construction. In the recently completed feasibility study for Coolidge’s modernization, two of the three options include the construction of a middle school.

coolidge-south-lawn   The Coolidge campus has sufficient space in its south lawn to construct a middle school.

middle-school-renderingArchitect rendering from feasibility study of possible middle school build south of Coolidge High School building.

Gathering Input

In addition to securing space and budget, another important piece in the decision on whether to open a middle school is parent, staff, and community input — do the parents at Brightwood, Whittier, Lasalle-Backus, and Takoma Education Campuses want a stand-alone middle school? Do the teachers and staff? Community members living in the Coolidge boundary? We on the School Planning Team have been working to answer those questions since last spring, with parent meetings, student focus groups, regular Coolidge Community Working Group meetings, and a survey we put out to parents and staff at Coolidge feeder schools.

As the DCPS Facilities Team collects feedback on the Coolidge feasibility study, the Planning Team will continue to analyze enrollment and academic data and meet with Coolidge Community Members, particularly parents from Coolidge’s four feeder education campuses: Lasalle-Backus, Brightwood, Takoma, and Whittier. DCPS will need to make a final decision on the potential middle school by late fall in order to stay on track with Coolidge’s construction timeline. We’ve met with parents at Brightwood and Whittier already, and have upcoming meetings at Lasalle-Backus (10/6) and Takoma (10/20). We are also meeting with school staff along with regular meetings with the Coolidge Community Working Group.

whittierWhittier parents discussing potential middle school and building modernization.lbec1lbec2                                     Lasalle-Backus families filling out the survey at Back to School night

If you’d like to weigh in, please click on the relevant survey link for your language. The results of our survey up to 9/21/16 are below.

Ward 4 North Middle School Survey – English and Spanish

Ward 4 North Middle School Survey – French

Ward 4 North Middle School Survey – Amharic

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Ron Brown HS Speakers Series

RBHS Speakers Series

Ron Brown College Preparatory High School will launch a weekly speakers series as part of its College and Career Exploration Program.  It is designed around the three core pillars of the school – to develop a young man’s character, academic curiosity, and service toward his community.

Sign up to share your story by visiting http://bit.ly/RBHSspeaker, emailing rbhs.speaker@dc.gov, or calling 202-729-4343.

rbhs-speaker-series

Ron Brown HS June Meeting

Ron Brown HS June Meeting

Cabinet members heard updates on the school’s enrollment, facilities, and hiring plans, learned about DCPS’ 500 for 500 mentoring program in order to apply lessons learned when considering RBHS’ mentoring program concept, and provided feedback on the role of the Community Cabinet moving forward.

6-20-16-rbhs-community-cabinet-meeting-minutes

 

Coolidge Community Working Group Reviews Feasibility Study

The Coolidge Community Working Group met last week to review the feasibility study for Coolidge’s building modernization, providing feedback on three different options for the modernization. The three options are for a comprehensive high school, and two different possibilities for a potential middle school on Coolidge’s grounds at 5th and Sheridan. Stay tuned to the planning blog for more on the potential middle school option.

See below for meeting notes and the full feasibility study.

Coolidge Feasibility Study

Coolidge Working Group – Feasibility Study Review Meeting Notes