Come Enroll at Eliot-Hine for SY17-18!

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This past weekend Eiot-Hine hosted an event to kick off enrollment for School Year 2017-2018. Families enrolled their students while everyone planted peas and participated in a Kusama inspired painting project from a field trip students took to the Hirschhorn Museum earlier. Check out the photos from the event below and stop by Eliot-Hine to see the new artwork!

If you missed this event, below are other opportunities you can come enroll your student or learn more about Eliot-Hine in person. Please call the main office if you have any questions about enrollment: 202-939-5380.

  • April 8, Saturday, 9 – 11 AM: Finishing the pollinator garden installation!
  • April 12, Wednesday 5:30-8 PM: PTO meeting
  • May 10, Wednesday, 5:30- 8 PM: PTO meeting
  • May 13, Saturday, 9 AM – 12 PM: Enrollment Fair
  • May 19, Friday, 12 – 7 PM: Parent Teacher Conference Day
  • June 2, Friday, 5:30 -8 PM: International Night Expo
  • June 6, Tuesday, 5 – 7 PM: Enrollment Fair

Eliot-Hine’s March Highlights & Upcoming Events

March has been very busy at Eliot-Hine! Check out the photos and highlights below:

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  • Eliot-Hine TV Network interviewed new DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson last week! He also met and heard from staff and current students.  
  • A group of students took a field trip to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirschhorn Museum. (A separate blog post on this coming up next week!) 
  • Eliot-Hine students read Ungifted by Gordon Korman and engaged in a book discussion with Kitty Felde of Book Club for Kids Podcast. Stay tuned for this podcast coming out in May!
  • 3 of Eliot-Hine’s Ski Team places in their recent competition:
    • Malia: 1st place, middle school intermediate division
    • Ja’shon: 5th place, middle school intermediate division
    • Elizabeth: 8th place, middle school novice
  • 5 students compete in the Science Olympiad at American University and place in five different categories they competed in!
  •  8th grade students met with their community mentors as they work on their International Baccaleaurate (IB) Community Project. Topics for this year’s research projects include raising awareness about the homeless shelters and population in DC, evaluating high school drop out rate and its consequences, how to address bullying in middle school, education reform, etc. Mentors will continue to meet with students until their presentation in late May.

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, March 23: Eliot-Hine STEM Fair Expo, 1-3 PM. This event brings together our students to demonstrate their abilities to create, problem-solve, and innovate in the fields of math and science. You will be able to view: 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Science Fair Projects; 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Math Projects; STEM demos.
  • Saturday, April 1st: Pollinator Garden Installation & Enrollment Event, 9 AM – 12 PM.

Eliot-Hine April 1st Event Flyer

Eliot-Hine Middle School Modernization Project & Survey for Families

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Project Overview: The existing Eliot-Hine Middle School was built in 1931. The school is scheduled for comprehensive modernization with construction to begin in winter of 2018. Planning started last year in 2016 with the development of an educational specification and community engagement meetings. Additionally, a feasibility study is expected to roll out early 2017. The Department of General Services (DGS), DC Public Schools (DCPS), and the architect is working with the School Improvement Team (SIT) comprised of school staff, current and feeder parents, and members of the community to develop concepts for the school based on program, student, teacher and community needs. The building will meet or exceed sustainability guidelines for LEED Gold and be an asset to the neighborhood.

  • Location: 1830 Constitution Ave., NE
  • Ward: 6
  • Overall Project Budget: $87.7 million
  • Architects: TBD
  • Project Manager: Stephen Kitterman
  • DCPS Contact:  Josh Tuch (joshua.tuch@dc.gov)

To help gather feedback to inform our planning, we have created two short surveys. We encourage fill out your respective survey by Friday, January 29, 2017 and share with your network.

Lastly, our next SIT meeting will be late January/early February. We are looking for more feeder parent representation so any feeder parents interested in joining our SIT can fill out this SIT interest form. All resources from these SIT meetings are available on the Eliot-Hine modernization website here.

Next blog post: Q & A with parents of current 7th and 8th graders

 

2017 Eliot-Hine MS Open House Dates & Opportunities to Provide Input

We hope everyone had a restful winter break! To kick off second semester, we wanted to share photos highlighting events from last semester and opportunities for you to learn more about Eliot-Hine MS. It has been so exciting to see their relationship with feeder schools grow and witness Eliot-Hine MS embrace the International Baccalaureate framework! Come visit while the lottery is open to see classes in action and learn directly from Principal Vargas and her staff.

Open House Schedule:

  • Thursday, January 26: 9:30 AM and 6 PM
  • Wednesday, February 15: 9:30 AM

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Our next blog post will feature details on Eliot-Hine’s upcoming $87.7 million modernization. Are you a feeder or current Eliot-Hine parent and looking to provide input in this planning process? If so, we encourage you to join the Eliot-Hine School Improvement Team (SIT). We meet every 6-8 weeks and discuss academic, programmatic, and facilites’ related planning and needs. Complete this very short form here!

Eliot-Hine HS Fair & Pathway to an IB Diploma

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Eliot-Hine is one of the two DCPS International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) schools. In the fall of 2015, the IB Organization authorized Eliot-Hine as an official IB MYP. Remaining committed to a vision of educational excellence, Eliot-Hine’s Middle Years Programme offers a curriculum for students in grades six through eight committed to promoting independent learning, critical thinking, and inquisitiveness. Their feeder high school, Eastern High School, is also an IB World School so students can continue their pathway to an IB Diploma.

Led and organized by Eliot-Hine, DCPS high schools gathered to showcase their programs at the December 1st high school fair. Prepared with questions to ask schools, students and families learned more about how to apply to schools via the My School DC lottery, extracurriculars, and all their high school options.

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There will also be an Eliot-Hine MS table at EdFest on Saturday, December 10th. Stop by to learn more about the school, hear from the principal and current students/parents, and grab an Eliot-Hine lanyard!

  • EdFEST: Saturday, December 10, 2016
  • 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • DC Armory (2001 East Capitol St SE)
  • Admission and parking are FREE
  • *Interpretation in sign language, Spanish, Amharic, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and French available throughout the day.
  • Transportation
    Metro Station: Stadium–Armory (Orange/Blue/Silver lines)
    Metro Bus: B2, D6, E32, 96, 97
    Free onsite parking: Lot #3
  • NEW: Get to and from EdFEST using Lyft! Enter the code “EDFEST” in the payment section before you request your ride. 

Photos from the HS Fair below:

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Students learning more about the My School DC lottery opening on December 12th, 2016
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8th graders learning about Dunbar High School’s 9th grade Leadership Academy
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Proactive Eliot-Hine students come prepared with questions to ask HS to learn which program may be best for them!
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Eastern HS Principal, Sah Brown, speaking to 8th graders on how the IB MYP prepares them for an IB Dimploma.
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Families learning Cardozo HS has a TransSTEM Academy, featuring engineering and research real-world experiences for students.

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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