The DCPS School Planning team in collaboration with the DCPS Offices of Public and Family Engagement and College and Career Programs has recently completed a series of meetings with over 250 teachers, school leaders, parents, families and community members. The purpose of these meetings and events that started in November 2017 and concluded in April 2018 were to update the public and hear feedback about the district’s plans to modernize and redesign Coolidge High School as well as to open a to-be named northern Ward 4 middle school for SY 2019 – 2020.
The school planning team has heard plenty of helpful feedback, important critical questions and areas of excitement that fit into three big themes: A strong middle school opening, robust and equitable Coolidge academies and a successful middle school transition at the education campuses. Please note that below are overall themes and thus not every detail is included in the summary below.
- Teachers and school staff at the new middle school should know students and the community.
- The new middle school should have a strong academic program that prepares students for the new offerings at Coolidge High School.
- It should be a school that is safe, supportive and able to support students from diverse backgrounds.
- There is strong interest to hear more soon about what the new middle school will offer and opportunities to provide input into the planning.
- The middle school grades at the education campuses need to stay strong and robust during the transition years.
- Students in the middle grades at the education campuses must have a quality middle school experience.
- Schools and teachers must have the needed resources to successfully graduate their final middle school grades.
- Middle school teachers and staff at the education campuses must be supported in securing new positions at either the new middle school or another middle school in the district.
- All students should have access to dual enrollment, advanced placement, career pathways and extracurricular activities.
- All students should have plenty of opportunities to interact and build community across the three academies.
In the spring and summer months, the DCPS school planning team will be working on its next round of engagement which will likely include
- Planning activities with 4th grade students, who will be the first 6th graders at the new middle school, in order to build investment and excitement
- Working to continue the development of both the MS and HS programs
- Working to promote overall awareness with parents and families about the changes that will take effect starting in August 2019.