‘New North’ MS Naming Update

The DCPS school planning team has been searching for a name for ‘New North’ MS that will open next school year on the campus of Coolidge HS with a 6th grade class. This school will serve the Brightwood EC, LaSalle-Backus EC, Takoma EC and Whittier EC school committees. Families who live in the boundaries of these 4 education campuses or who currently attend them will have the right to enroll their child at anytime starting in April 2019 for the 2019-20 School Year.

‘New North’ MS will add a grade each year until it is a full 6th – 8th grade middle school in SY21-22. We spent the summer collecting ideas and nominations from the public. We are very pleased that most of the nominations came from parents, families and community members in Ward. 4




The DCPS school planning team worked together with the Coolidge Community group to help evaluate and narrow down the nominations to 10 finalist names. The group used a rubric that was developed from criteria outlined in the DCPS school naming policy

Here are the 10 finalist names. You can read more about them here.

Ida B. Wells

Georgiana Simpson

Lawrence Graves

Alma Woodsey Thomas

America Libertad Calderón

James Baldwin

Josephine Dorothy Butler

Paul A. Quander, Jr.

John Wesley Cromwell and Otelia Cromwell

Mary Ann Shadd

We are asking the general public to provide us with feedback on these 10 names.

Please take our survey here. It will be open from October 15 – October 30th. This survey will help DCPS narrow this list down to a final three that DCPS senior leadership will consider, review and work with the DC City Council for final review and action on the name of the school.


October 4 Coolidge Community Meeting Recap

The Coolidge Community Working Group came together on October 4th at 6:30pm to discuss and engage around updates on the Coolidge HS modernization. This included highlights on Stadium renovations and progress toward the overall school modernization. Please visit the DCPS Modernization website for more information.

The school planning team shared updates on the progress toward finding a name for ‘New North’ MS that will open next school year with a 6th grade class on the campus of Coolidge HS. DCPS received 50 nominations from the public. Once duplicates are accounted for, this represents 31 individuals and 2 places/neighborhoods. The school planning team is pleased that 78% of the nominations came from Ward 4.



For more information on the nominations including who was nominated and from where the nominations came and the naming process, please click here. During our meeting, members of the working group helped evaluate the submitted nominations with a rubric based on criteria from the DCPS Naming policy. There will be a survey for the broader public to share their thoughts on the finalist names this month.

The school planning team also introduced updates program for New North MS including proposed class and course offerings as well as the overall school vision. For the full presentation of the evening please please click here..

New North MS Program Overview.10042018Our next Community Working Group meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Coolidge HS at 6:30pm. The purpose of this meeting will be to continue the conversation with the materials posted here about Coolidge HS and New North MS. This will include modernization updates of the Frank R. Williams Center and more information about New North MS.

Calling for Nominations to officially name ‘New North Middle School’

The period to submit nominations opened on June 14 and ended on September 7. Please stay tuned to our blog for the next round of community input later this fall. 

The DCPS school planning team is asking for the public to submit nominations to officially name “New North MS” that will open on the campus of Coolidge High School for the 2019 – 2020 academic school year.  This public and community driven process is driven by the DCPS School Naming Policy

Naming Process Updated 062118.JPG

Your nomination may be based on a person or a place. While there are general requirements for all nominations, one based on an individual has additional and more specific requirements. Please see the requirements below but also please take time to review the full DCPS School Naming Policy

General Requirements for all nominations
All names, whether they are based on a person or a place, must meet the following general requirements:

  • The name symbolizes a contribution to society, including contributions made to the local school community
  • The name will lend prestige and status to an institution of learning
  • The name represents the DCPS mission, vision, and values.

Specific Requirements for nominations based on a person
All names based on a person must be the following requirements:

  • The individual must not be a living person
  • The individual must have been deceased for at least two (2) years; and
  • Only the individual’s given name as well as their surname may be used

(e.g. “Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School” rather than “Dunbar High School”)


One Pagers for Parents & Families about the opening of New North MS and the redesign of Coolidge HS



The DCPS School Planning team has made some one pagers for parents & families about the opening of the new Ward 4 middle school that will serve northern ward 4 beginning in school year 2019 – 2020. They also feature information about the phased opening of the school as well as the modernization and redesign happening at Coolidge HS.

Brightwood Education Campus
English, EspañolFrancaisTiếng Việt (Vietnamese),
አማርኛ,(Amharic), 中文 (Chinese)

LaSalle – Backus Education Campus
EnglishEspañol, FrançaisTiếng Việt (Vietnamese),
አማርኛ (Amharic),中文 (Chinese)

Takoma Education Campus
EnglishEspañolFrancaisTiếng Việt (Vietnamese),
አማርኛ (Amharic),中文 (Chinese)

Whittier Education Campus
EnglishEspañolFrancaisTiếng Việt (Vietnamese),
አማርኛ (Amharic),中文 (Chinese)

Winter Engagement Highlights

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.

Winter Engagmement Timeline Summary
Above are the community and school groups the DCPS School Planning team has met with and engaged from November 2017 to April 2018 about the latest on the redesign and modernization of Coolidge High School as well as the plan for opening a new middle school.

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. 

Strong Middle School Opening

  • 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.

Strong Middle School Transition

  • 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.

Coolidge Academies

  • 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.

Continue reading

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)