Roosevelt Community Cabinet Notes

Principal James led last week’s Community Cabinet meeting in the new Roosevelt building, discussing her enrollment plan and instructional vision for Roosevelt High School. She also discussed her leadership of MacFarland Middle School’s Dual Language Program for its first two years, and how the middle and high school programs will align.

Notes are here.


Learn More About What EMHS Will Offer!

Learn More About What EMHS Will Offer!

Empowering Males High School (EMHS) will be Washington, DC’s only all-male public high school and will open its doors in August 2016.  Through a college preparatory model, EMHS will provide a student-centered, humanities-focused curriculum that will develop and enhance young men’s character, academic curiosity, and service. Click below to learn more about the school’s mission, pillars, and core values.

EMHS Overview-One pager

EMHS Community Cabinet Meeting Kick Off – February 2016

EMHS Community Cabinet Meeting Kick Off – February 2016

The Empowering Males High School Community Cabinet kicked off the first of eight monthly meetings on February 23, 2016.  Cabinet members had the opportunity to get to know each other and learn more about their roles as members. Principal Ben Williams led the meeting by setting norms and expectations, sharing an overview of the academic plan, and introducing subcommittees the Cabinet will form to address specific focus areas including marketing, community outreach, academics, and extracurricular activities/partnership. The Cabinet will meet monthly through the opening of the school. See below to view the meeting notes and presentation deck.

Meeting 1 Deck

EMHS Community Cabinet Meeting Minutes (Meeting 1)

MacFarland Leadership Announcement

Below is the letter  announcing MacFarland Middle School’s leadership structure from DCPS Chief of Schools John Davis. The full announcement was sent home to our feeder families last week; the key idea is that Roosevelt High School Planning Principal Aqueelha James will lead MacFarland during its first two years with the support of a bilingual, biliterate Assistant Principal with dual language expertise to oversee the day-to-day operations of the middle school. We’re excited to start enrollment on April 1st!

032116 MacFarland letter English032116 MacFarland letter Spanish

Announcing the Empowering Males High School Community Cabinet

Announcing the Empowering Males High School Community Cabinet

The DCPS Office of Family and Public Engagement and the School Planning Team are excited to announce the Empowering Males High School (EMHS) Community Cabinet!

The Cabinet will be an opportunity for community members to make recommendations to DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson and the EMHS Principal about the school’s opening in School Year 2016-2017!

As EMHS is a citywide school, we were pleased to receive over 70 applications from across the city from a qualified pool of applicants ranging from parents, community members, and DCPS staff. These applications were deeply passionate and showcased a real commitment to contributing to launching the new school. We chose applicants from every ward of the city that reflect the incredible diversity of experiences, cultures, and interests that are present in the DCPS community. This Cabinet will bring a  valuable contribution and a strong representative voice that will help to build the foundation for such a historic school.

The Community Cabinet will be responsible for offering targeted support, feedback and input on three core areas for the school: 1) Academic Programs 2) Community Outreach 3) Marketing/Partnerships. Based on these categories, Cabinet members will gather input from his/her community, bring this input to monthly Cabinet meetings, and share these updates and recommendations made in Cabinet meetings with his/her community.

The Cabinet’s first meeting was February 23, 2016 and will continue to meet on the 3rd Monday of each month at the Deanwood Recreation Center.  For more information about the Empowering Males High School Community Cabinet, please email

Meet the members of the Empowering Males High School Community Cabinet below:

Ward 1:

Erwin Kwawu

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Cabinet because I believe in the power of education and the opportunity it gives anyone to participate at the highest level.  I presently support a few charities like the SEED Foundation, Mentor Foundation and Girls Inc of the Metropolitan Area (DC).  Each charity has humbled me and allowed me to witness how learning can transform our youth and our next generation.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope is to help EMHS succeed on its mission of educating the next generation, thereby highlighting how successful such schools can be, in the hopes that every major city follows suit on their own EMHS.


Donny Gonzalez

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the cabinet because I believe action is needed to change the trajectory of lives of young men growing up in DC. This is how we proclaim that their lives, their futures, their success matters to us all. The opportunity to use my personal story to contribute to the body of knowledge that DCPS will tap into is an honor. This is a unique school with a specific, attainable mission. To be a part of this, is to make a difference. I’m all in.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for the future of this school is for it to change lives in a ripple effect. Success here means lives will be saved, strong families will be forged, a generation a youth can serve a greater purpose. It’s not enough to want young men to survive in DC. It’s my goal to see them prosper. This school will create that opportunity. It’s really that important!


Ward 2:

Julian Wright

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

More than anything, I want to serve these young men by helping to provide the incremental scaffolding on which they will construct their own dreams. My experiences, having been raised in a single parent home, attending an elite private school, attending Morehouse College, being a longtime music executive in Atlanta and currently being one of the few black co-founders of a tech startup, affords me a unique perspective on how a man of color can navigate a non-traditional route to success in America.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school? 

I envision the EMHS becoming a beacon of hope, a symbol of strength, a badge of excellence, a bastion of leadership, and a path to greatness for the residents of DC.


Dr. Monica Roaché

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

Students from minority populations, who have limited English proficiency, or who are from low socioeconomic status, are often under-served in gifted and talented programs while they are over-represented in special education programs.  My goal on this committee is to support identifying strategies focused on developing a student’s potential, marketing of the program and recruitment of students, and to share my own experiences with the development of a successful single sex middle school mentor program. In my program I was able to support students in raising their academic performance, attendance, and decreasing their discipline concerns. 

  • What is your hope for the future of the school? 

My hope is that the students in EMHS will find a safe, welcoming, and challenging learning environment.  All students will be encouraged to take challenging coursework, but will be given the appropriate support to be both academically and emotionally successful. If we don’t give students access to rigorous coursework and diverse cultural opportunities we can’t expect them to raise to their skills and talents.


Dr. Lois Berlin

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I am a retired educator with more than 35 years of experience in public school education.  I want to be part of this new venture for DCPS and to provide my insights and experience to promote and support EMHS’s success.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope is EMHS provides opportunities for its students to grow and excel as individuals.  I understand the importance of administration, teachers and staff connecting with students and forming strong, positive and nurturing relationships.  I want to see every student at EMHS feel supported, valued and successful.


Ward 3:

Kathy Silva

  • Why did you join the EMHS Community Cabinet?

I want to make a difference in the lives of high school-age males who are at risk of not graduating from high school or enrolling in and graduating from college.  I am a former educator of 40 years at local school levels, federal level,university level, and as a consultant in the private industry.  In my 15 years of experience in south central Los Angeles with economically deprived, predominately African American and Hispanic as a counselor and administrator, my favorite position was that of a College Counselor. The best reward at the end of the year came when “my seniors” were accepted to college.  I look forward to supporting EMHS help its students reach these goals.

  • What is your hope for the future of EMHS?

I would like to see 100% of the students graduating with a diploma, admitted to universities/colleges and other post-secondary programs, and graduating with professional degree.   I would hope to see committed family involvement and that happens when the school welcomes them and includes them in the decision-making.  I  would like to see innovative programs that not only prepare the students for college, but also work to make the students want to be there.  Not only should this be a school of choice for the students and their family, but it should also be for the teachers.


Ward 4:

Keith White

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

As a life-long Washingtonian who grew up in the Trinidad Ave community, I had a mother, many teachers, and mentors that helped me live up to my potential and not get caught up in the negative things in our community. I have used these same principles in raising my two boys who are high performers in school and other things. With the mission of EMHS growing our boys of color, I want to express what has made me successful and how it has worked for my boys.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I hope the school develops into a strong incubator for our young men regardless of their socio-economic background. I want to see the school producing young men who can contribute to society and that they are ready to go to college, enter a trade, or serve our military upon graduation.


Dion Davis

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

After reviewing the mission of the new all-male District of Columbia Public High School, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to join the school’s community based advisory team and share my passion of empowering and enlightening youth to be and do their best. Understanding the times in which we live, social ills and great challenges at times for youth to overcome the stigmas and negative labels that have been placed upon them, I knew it would be beneficial for the union of my passion, the school’s administration and DCPS to happen. My mission has been and shall always be to sow the seeds of educational excellence and affirmations of achievement into the lives of those that cross my path in life.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

It is my belief that in order to obtain or reach levels of achievement in any area of life, one must understand and embrace their worth and value. I hope each student will obtain an understanding of their purpose and actively engage in the provided moments of empowerment to strive for the best in life. I hope this school becomes a model space of educational excellence and a conduit of positive changed within the lives of each student, their family and the community at-large.


Dr. Jessica Scheer

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I welcome the opportunity to become part of an advisory group charged with assisting the principal and DCPS representatives achieve a successful first year for entering 9th graders.  My commitment is to emphasize the importance of providing appropriate remediation in math, reading, critical thinking and writing as an integral part of EMHS’s enriched academic environment. Based on my experience teaching writing to bright and at-risk boys from several high schools in Wards 7 and 8, and keeping up with the literature on education, first generation college students, and poverty, I believe that effective remediation is a key predictor of college success — not just getting into college but staying in college and graduating.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I hope that the leadership and faculty’s use of ongoing program evaluations will lead to a model of effective academic and extra-curricular programs for single gender public high schools serving boys of color.  I hope that parents and other community members feel engaged in the school environment and welcomed to assist in planning school events and participating in parent-teacher conferences.


Ward 5:

Michael Taylor

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

Empowering Males High School’s Community Cabinet is an important commitment to our young males in the DC area. As a native Washingtonian (Ward 7), and DCPS Alumni, I am motivated to be a part of the solution that will allow some of our most important citizens to reach their personal best through much needed academic, emotional and cultural support.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for EMHS includes the opportunity to offer wrap-around services to young DC males that will assess and support every element that makes a student successful in education and in life. The ability to offer a young male student the chance at success with a community of support will not only change a life, but hopefully will allow a bright future and leaders for our community.


Larry Womack

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Cabinet because I saw it as way to give back and really help contribute to the growth and development of the youth in our community. Direct involvement in helping to stand up the EMHS will have a great impact on the city for years to come.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I hope that the school excels in providing the education, guidance, and support that underprivileged young men of color need. Having a place that is built for them with the intention of breaking the cycle with these students moving onward and upward to a brighter future is something that I hope the school succeeds beyond leaps and bounds of the expectations set for it.


Chantal Fuller

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the cabinet to be able to offer up my ideas and thoughts on how as a community, we can do better by our black and latino boys who are falling through the cracks. We need to be able to divert them from the school to prison pipeline and this is done by us coming together and presenting viable options and supports.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for the future of the school is that we accept, education, train and GRADUATE a cohort of boys who just needed that extra help to tap into their potential. I hope that we can begin and maintain valuable community relationships and supports that will in turn produce positive contributors to society and boys who excel in which ever route they choose upon completion of the program.


Ward 6:

Mark Samburg

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Cabinet because I was thrilled to see a school built on this model enter my community, and I wanted to contribute to its success in any way I could.  I’m a firm believer in both humanities-focused education and the value of studying a classical language.  This is an exciting approach to high school education, and I wanted to be a part of it.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I hope that EMHS becomes one of the jewels of the DCPS system, and that it remains innovative and effective for years to come.  Even more importantly, though, I hope that every EMHS alumnus is able to build on the lessons he learned at EMHS, and is able to use his time here to find success in a wide range of endeavors, both personally and professionally.


Hah-na’h Wright

  • Why did you join the EHMS Cabinet?

As a parent and a life-long Washingtonian, I believe that our students need an engaging educational environment where they are understood, supported and nurtured. I joined the EHMS cabinet so that I could offer a community perspective on the issues facing males of color in education.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for EHMS is that we build and encourage our students to defy the odds. I hope that all students will feel supported and inspired to become the men they are destined to be.


Bridgette Hudson

  • Why did you join the EHMS Cabinet?

I am really excited about the EMHS and the Cabinet is a great way for me to contribute my time and talent to my community.  I look forward to listening and learning from the other cabinet members, school and community leaders.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I hope the school will serve as a model for what we can accomplish when we invest in our youth.  particularly young males of color.


Ward 7:

David Smith

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?  

As a father, Deanwood resident and Deanwood Citizens Association President, It is responsibility as a citizen to insure that my children and the my community have the best educational programming possible.  It is also critically important for my son and all the young men who attend EMS  be provided with a welcoming, nurturing environment that encourages and support the development of strong, loving, compassionate men of integrity.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?  

My vision of the EMHS is to produce a sustainable holistic school that retains and attracts students from both inside and outside the Deanwood community;  As an international capital city, EMHS should position and provide our young men with direction and support to be competitive in the global market place.


Sirraya Gant 

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Community Cabinet because I feel I can bring my experience from a former PTSA President and most importantly a parent of two black males raised in Ward 7. I have seen and know the importance of parent engagement and the struggles that our Black males face at being successful in a traditional school setting.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school? 

My hope for the future of the school is that it really focuses on the issues and solutions to helping our Black Males be successful in school as well in their family lives. I hope that the school focuses on a robust academic program that helps them build a strong sense of trust, self-esteem and  an understanding of the importance of education. That the school starts and continues to keep an open dialogue with parents and build a strong parent group for the growth of the school and each student.


Eric Vinson 

  • Why did you join the EHMS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Cabinet to continue the work I started this past summer as a TCTL Fellow in DCPS’ Office of Research and Innovation. I want to bring my experience as a DC-native, public & parochial school product, all-male high school graduate and current DCPS teacher to assist in establishing this innovative school that has the potential to create countless opportunities for the impending attendees.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for the future of the school is that it establishes a legacy of learning, discovery and enlightenment that will propel these young men to wildly enriching and successful lives.



Ward 8:

Robert Pierre

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I live in Anacostia and there are plenty of young men in my community who are disconnected and see little hope for their futures. I hope to help be part of the solution to helping to show young men that they can dream and have those dreams become a reality if they work hard and receive the support they need to grow.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

That it can become a beacon of hope for students and a bright light for the District of Columbia, a place where possibility outshines the negative. The path won’t be easy and that’s okay.


Dr. Brandon Daniels 

Responses not available at the time of posting


Maurice Kie

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I joined the EMHS Cabinet because I understand the importance of education and I am passionate about the development  of boys and young men especially those who come from some of the same type under-served communities I was raised in.
Joining the EMHS Cabinet was my way of ensuring that the planning and creation of the school has the voice, ideas, and perspective of a African-American Male who is a native Washingtonian and DCPS graduate. I understand how important the success of the EMHS is and being apart of the planning of this historic institution an honor.

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

My hope for the EMHS is that it becomes a nationally recognized institution and factory that produces high quality and well-rounded young men at the completion of high school. My hope is that the school can be an example to other schools of its kind around the nation and something that all Washingtonians can be proud of.


Appointed Members:  

Eboni-Rose Thompson 

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

I am humbled to serve as Chair of the Ward 7 Education Council. In this role, I work with Ward 7 parents, educators, students, and community members who are committed to ensuring access to quality, community-based education in Ward 7 and throughout the District of Columbia. I welcome opportunities where the Education Council can work in partnership with DCPS to improve schools in our ward and assure their voice is represented throughout the planning process for great schools.   

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

I am hopeful this will be the first of other high quality, citywide public education investments in Ward 7 and that groundbreaking educational institutions can continue to be born in and around our community that serve all our students.


Antawan Holmes

  • Why did you join the EMHS Cabinet?

The reason that I joined the EMHS Cabinet is to ensure that this program is highly sought out and integrates seamlessly in the Deanwood and ANC7C community.  As the SMD Commissioner for Deanwood (7C07) and the Chair of ANC7C, we have great resources within the Deanwood footprint (to include the new Spanish Dual Language program at Houston Elementary, Deanwood Recreation Center/Deanwood Library, the new Academy for Construction and Design at IDEA PCS, and now the EMHS program at Ron Brown) and throughout ANC7C (Aiton ES, Burrville ES, Drew ES, Kelly Miller MS, and HD Woodson HS).

  • What is your hope for the future of the school?

With so many resources concentrated in one neighborhood to include the Deanwood Metro Station, I want to see EMHS as the premier high school experience for young males of color in the District of Columbia and a model program that other school districts will duplicate.

5 Reasons to Choose MacFarland Dual Language

My School DC Lottery results will be out April 1st. If you applied and your child attends a DCPS Dual Language Elementary School Program, your spot is already guaranteed! Here are five reasons to enroll at MacFarland on April 1st.

#1: Research-based benefits of dual language: Research shows students who continue dual language after elementary school do better than students who don’t. Make sure the years your child has invested in bilingual education continue to pay off in middle school. Check out the graphs on page 7 of our presentation to parents for more.

#2: A proven model: MacFarland will replicate the Oyster Adams middle school model. Students take English Humanities, Spanish Humanities, Math in English, and Science in Spanish. Students have the opportunity to get better at each language, or even learn a third during an enrichment block.

#3: Aligned programming: In addition to a bilingual program, DCPS is also implementing a global education focus at MacFarland next year. Roosevelt High School will also have dual language and global education next year, so students can continue to build on their middle school education in high school.

#4: Guaranteed spots for DCPS DL students: Students from DCPS Dual Language programs at Bruce Monroe, Bancroft, Powell, Cleveland, Tyler, and Marie Reed have a guaranteed seat as long as they apply through the lottery by Tuesday, March 1st. Apply now!

#5: Help start something big: Today’s dual language 5th graders have a chance to be part of the hottest startup in town. Submit your application now and lock in bilingual education in middle school!

Questions? Contact or 202.821.6557.

Edited Children


Abajo son cinco razones para elegir a MacFarland Dual Language:

#1: Los datos estan de acuerdo: Las investigaciones muestran que estudiantes que continuan con educacción bilingue después de la escuela elementaria tienen mas éxito que los estudiantes que salen de educacción bilingüe. Este seguro que los años que ha invertido su hijo/a en educacción bilingüe pueden continuar en la escuela intermedia. Mire a los gráficos ennuestra presentación a padres para más.

#2: Un modelo probado: MacFarland va a replicar el modelo de Oyster Adams. Estudiantes toman clases de Humanidades en Ingles e en Español, Matemáticas en Ingles y Ciencias en Español. Estudiantes tienen la oportunidad de mejorar en cada idioma, o aprender un tercer idioma durante otra clase de enriquecimiento.

#3: Programación Alineado: MacFarland tendrá un foqués en estudios globales, en adición a su programa bilingüe. Roosevelt High School también tendra un programa bilingüe y tema de estudios globales, pues estudiantes pueded continuar con sus estudios en el colegio.

#4: Puestos Garantizados Para Estudiantes de LD en DCPS: Estudiantes de programas bilingües en DCPS en Bruce Monroe, Bancroft, Powell, Cleveland, Tyler, y Marie Reed tienen un puesto garantizado con tal de que apliquen entre la lotería por Martes, el 1de Marzo. ¡Aplique ahora!

#5: Empezar un Gran Programa: Los estudiantes del quinto grado tienen la oportunidad de ser parte de un gran programa nuevo. Haz su solicitud ahora para asegurar su espacio en escuela intermedia bilingüe.

Preguntas? Manda correo a o llama a 202.821.6557.