Ketcham ES Child Development Center

Child Development Center

A child development center for babies and infants ages 0-3 will open at Ketcham Elementary School next school year starting in August 2018. The center will be operated by a community partner and childcare vouchers will be accepted.

How can I learn more?
Parents and families are welcome to come to a community meet at Ketcham ES on Thursday, March 15 starting at 5pm in the school’s library.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP here.

Child Development Center - Copy - Copy

What opportunities will there be to provide input?
We will have information soon for parents and community members to join a panel that will help us select the partner who will run the 0-3 center.

How can I stay updated and who can I contact if I have questions?
You can e-mail dcps.earlychildhood@dc.govFind it at Ketcham (Flyer)


New Ward 4 North Middle School Update

Middle School

Why is DCPS opening a new middle school in Ward 4?
In 2014 the DC Advisory Committee on Student Assignment, which was a group of residents, parents and community stakeholders, came together to review student assignment, boundaries and feeder patterns. After a nine month process of gathering input and feedback from all 8 wards with about 1,500 residents in focus groups, working groups and community meetings, they presented a set of recommendations to DCPS.

One of these recommendations included opening a new middle school in Ward 4. This recommendation and other factors behind this decision are summarized below.

  • 3 of the 4 education campuses that currently feed into Coolidge High School: LaSalle-Backus EC, Takoma EC and Brightwood EC are near capacity or are already over capacity.
  • In a recent strategic regional analysis DCPS helped conduct with the DC Office of Planning, some of the highest population growth in the city is expected in the neighborhoods of Brightwood Park, Takoma and Manor Park over the next 7 years.
  • In a 2016 survey of 150 parents and school staff from the education campuses, 90% of parents and 90% of staff recommended moving forward with the 2014 recommendation to open a new middle school.
  • Early childhood is in high demand. As of September 2017, there were over 70 in-boundary families on a waitlist to enroll in either PK3 or PK4. DCPS can offer more seats with the space created after the MS transition.

What is the schedule for the opening of the new middle school?
The new middle school will open in SY19-20 with a 6th grade class and will add a grade each year until it becomes a full middle school in SY21-22. Students currently enrolled in 5th grade and above will graduate from their education campus while students who are in 4th grade and younger will have the right to attend the new middle school.

New North MS Opening TimelineWho can attend the new middle school?
Families who currently live in the boundaries for LaSalle-Backus EC, Takoma EC, Whittier EC and Brightwood EC will have the right to send their child to the new middle school and will simply need to enroll starting in spring 2019. There is no additional criteria to enroll such as an application or testing.

What will the new middle school be named? Where will it be located?
The new middle school will be located on the campus of the newly modernized Coolidge High School on the corner of 5th ST NW and Sheridan ST NW. It will open in August 2019. The official name of the new middle school has not yet been determined. In the interim, the school will be unofficially referred to as ‘Coolidge MS’ or ‘New North MS’. The naming decision will be led by an extensive process of gathering ideas and feedback with the education campus communities in accordance with the DCPS policy governing the naming of new schools.

How has DCPS collected input from school communities including teachers, parents and school leaders?
DCPS has worked to engage many groups and stakeholders throughout Ward 4 to gather feedback and input following the work of the DC Advisory Committee on Student Assignment. See below for a summary of where we’ve been. As we move into 2018, the school planning team is looking forward to continuing the dialog and gathering input.

Engagment History.JPG

Why is DCPS doing a phased opening starting with a 6th grade?
DCPS considered multiple ideas on how to go about creating the best timeline for opening a new middle school. There was broad consensus among Principals that new school openings are best done by starting with one grade and growing by a new grade each year. This helps build a unified school culture. This is also less of a recruitment burden to hire staff and recruit students when building a new school one grade at a time. We also heard it’s important for current middle school students to have the opportunity to graduate from their education campus rather than moving to a new school while they are in middle school. Because of this phased approached beginning with 6th grade, students will transition to middle school at the end of the elementary grades as opposed to transitioning while in a middle school grade.

What will the new middle school offer?
DCPS is working to create programming at the new middle school that will help create a pipeline for a newly redesigned Coolidge High School that will launch in SY19-20. Families can expect programming that will help students prepare to enter one of the three academies at the relaunched Coolidge High School: Health Sciences, Mass Media and Early College.

If have any feedback, or additional questions or concerns, then who should I contact?
Please feel free to reach out to Brian Alexander on the School Planning team: You can also follow @DCPSPlanning and @BAlexanderLeads on twitter for updates.

MacFarland Middle School Update from Principal Mark Sanders


MacFarland Middle School reopened in August 2016 as a dual-language middle school. Next year, it will continue to grow its Dual-Language program and welcome their first 6th grade comprehensive (non-dual language) class.  It will welcome this class in a newly modernized and renovated state of the art building. You can find the full letter from Principal Mark Sanders right here

What is the timeline for the MacFarland Opening?
MacFarland Middle School will grow its comprehensive middle school program over the next three school years starting with 6th graders. It will become a full 6 – 8th grade middle school in SY20-21. You can find the full timeline below.

Expansion Timeline

What schools and programs feed into MacFarland?
As a middle school with both comprehensive and a dual-language programs, MacFarland has both geographic and programmatic feeder schools.

  • Families who live in the boundaries of the geographic feeder schools below have rights to enroll in the MacFarland MS comprehensive program.
  • Dual-language programmatic families have the right to enroll their child in the MacFarland MS dual-language program.  

MacFarland Feeders

How can I learn more?
MacFarland Middle School will host school tours for families on Wednesday mornings at 9:30am throughout February and March. The tours will be in the school located at 4400 Iowa Avenue NW. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Principal Sanders directly at or please call 202-671-6033.

Congrats Eliot-Hine Honor Roll students!

EH Honor Roll_Feb 2018.JPG

Congrats to these Eliot-Hine MS Honor Roll students! 

Eliot-Hine Middle School’s mission is to prepare students for success beyond high school by providing:

  • A rigorous academic program, individualized instruction, socio-emotional support, and diverse extra-curricular activities for students.
  • Purposeful support, coaching, and individualized professional development for teachers.
  • Proactive communication and intentional engagement of families and all stakeholders through home visits, curriculum nights, community partnerships, PTO, and collaboration with feeder schools

Visit their school website for more details:

Wilson Feeder Pattern CWG: January 2018 Meeting #6 Recap

The Wilson Feeder Pattern Community Working Group (CWG) met January 25th, 2018. In this meeting, representatives from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education shared an update on the Master Facilities Plan (MFP) including goals for the MFP, differences from earlier MFPs, and aiming to share the final version by summer 2018.

Additionally, the group discussed next steps for the CWG, including the review and drafting of the summary document that will be used to capture the group’s feedback and conversations. Notes and our presentation are here.

Eliot-Hine MS: Ready, set, ski!

EH Ski Team 2018.jpeg

An update from Coach Weedon:

Eliot-Hine took their first of three DCIAA sponsored field trips today with 14 students and two coaches attend. The students had a wide range of abilities with some being excellent skiers, others had only skied on school-sponsored trips, and a handful had never been on skis before.

While the newbies took their first lesson, the experienced skiers took the rest to re-acclimate them to the mountain. They patiently took them down the smaller slopes until they were comfortable going on the longer runs. Early in the day Malia slowly took Katora down her first long run so that she felt safe and confident on the mountain. Later that day she and I ran into Katora “rescuing” two others in our crew helping them make their way to the finish. The kids were enthusiastic, resilient, and supportive of each other. It was a wonderful day!

We look forward to bringing back current skiers and welcome any new ones for our trip on February 23rd!


Good luck on your next trip, Eliot-Hine ski club! We can’t wait to see photos of you all on the slopes!


Coolidge High School Community Working Group Meeting

Thanks to everyone who attended our most recent Community Working Group (CWG) meeting on January 31st at the high school.  The school planning team along with the college and career programs team were excited to share some updates about what students and families can expect at Coolidge High School beginning in School Year 2019-2020 when it will open its new building with a new high school program defined by three academies: Health sciences, mass media, and a new, selective early college program.

Academies Overview

You can find the full presentation from the meeting about each of the academies: here . You can also see the full announcement from Wanda H. Legrand, Ed.D who is the Deputy Chancellor of Social Emotional Academic Development at DC Public Schools. The letter is available in five languages: EnglishEspañol, FrançaisTiếng Việt (Vietnamese) and አማርኛ (Ahmaric)

The community working group also had an opportunity to hear from the facilities and planning team about updates on the modernization of the building that is slated to begin in a few weeks and will complete in August 2019. We had special guests from the architect and design firms who showed the group, the color schemes of the tiles, hallways and classrooms of both the High School and the new Middle School. They also received and overall timeline of the construction project.

For more frequent and more in depth updates about the construction and modernization, you can visit the DCPS School Modernization page.

The picture below is a cross section of the atriums

Atriums All

The Middle School addition on the south side of the building

Middle School

Finally, check out below an example of the new classrooms

Classroom 1

Questions? What’s Next?

There are some frequently asked questions we have received over the past few months. You are welcome to check out our current FAQ document to see if it meets your needs. You may also find it in additional languages:  Español, Français, Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), አማርኛ (Amharic), and  中文 (Chinese)

Moving forward the school planning team will continue to engage and get input from a wide variety of stakeholders in the spring to include school staff, family and community members at Coolidge HS and its feeder education campuses at Brightwood EC, Takoma EC, LaSalle-Backus EC and Whittier EC.

The school planning team will work with school leadership and the DCPS Office of Family and Public Engagement to identify and plan future spring engagement events. Stay tuned to this blog for updates. You can also follow us on twitter @DCPSPlanning and @BAlexanderLeads. You can also contact us by e-mail at and