Ward 6 Middle School Initiative
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Ward 6 Middle School Initiative Improving Middle School Opportunities Meeting with Kaya Henderson March 23, 2011 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ward 6 Middle School Initiative Improving Middle School Opportunities Meeting with Kaya Henderson March 23, 2011. CAPITOL HILL PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENT ORGANIZATION (CHPSPO). Purpose of Meeting . Share background about the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO)

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Ward 6 middle school initiative improving middle school opportunities meeting with kaya henderson march 23 2011

Ward 6 Middle School InitiativeImproving Middle School OpportunitiesMeeting with Kaya HendersonMarch 23, 2011


Purpose of meeting
Purpose of Meeting

  • Share background about the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO)

  • Share context on why Ward 6 Middle School Plan is important for DCPS and Ward 6

  • Share our perspectives on implementation of Ward 6 Middle School Plan

  • Discuss next steps for ensuring successful implementation of Ward 6 Middle School Plan

Background on chpspo
Background on CHPSPO

  • CHPSPO formed in January 2005

  • PTA representatives and interested parents from Brent, the Capitol Hill Cluster School, Ludlow-Taylor, Maury, Miner, Payne, Tyler, J.O. Wilson, and Eliot-Hine are members of CHPSPO

  • CHPSPO’s mission is “To promote cooperation among the parent organizations of the public schools on Capitol Hill in order to improve the education received by all children attending our schools.”

  • CHPSPO partnered with the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, the Washington Architectural Foundation, and DCPS to create the School Libraries Project, a $2.4 million partnership which renovated 8 school libraries in 2006/2007

  • Visit us at http://chpspo.org, Facebook, and Twitter

  • In the process of becoming a 501(c)3

Background on middle school initiative
Background on Middle School Initiative

  • CHPSPO began a Middle School Initiative in January 2009

  • Conducted survey during Summer of 2009 to learn parent attitudes towards public middle school opportunities

  • Requested by Council member Tommy Wells to accelerate efforts in December 2009

    - Meetings during Winter 2010

    - PTA representatives held discussions about middle schools with their individual schools, and brought back recommendations

  • Achieved consensus and developed proposal that was presented to Chancellor Rhee in March 2010

  • DCPS expanded on CHPSPO’s ideas, and developed the Ward 6 Middle School Plan

Some context
Some Context

  • Newly renovated Eastern High School is “The Pride of Capitol Hill”

  • Six elementary schools on Capitol Hill have PS wait lists between 221 and 519

  • Over 3200 students attend the Ward 6 schools elementary schools, and approximately 1000 attend the middle schools

  • Middle school trends

Dcps ward 6 middle school plan
DCPS Ward 6 Middle School Plan

  • CHPSPO is supportive of the Ward 6 Middle School Plan

  • Abigail Smith and Claudia Lujan have provided exemplary leadership both in development and implementation of the plan

  • Collaboration teams established for Jefferson, Stuart Hobson, Eliot-Hine, and Montessori at Logan in order to involve community in implementation of the plan

  • Many CHPSPO members are members of the collaboration teams

Other public middle school options
Other Public Middle School Options

  • Hardy and Deal Middle Schools (NW DC)

  • Blow-Pierce Junior Academy PCS located five blocks from Eliot-Hine

  • Two Rivers PCS located eight blocks from Stuart-Hobson

  • Cesar Chavez PCS (located on Capitol Hill)

  • Washington Latin PCS (NW DC)

  • Howard PCS (NW DC)

Stuart hobson collaboration team
Stuart Hobson Collaboration Team

Collaboration team has focused on four broad areas: 

  • Ensuring move of 5th graders to Watkins results in these students having the same or better opportunities.

    - Watkins currently does not have the computer/white board technology available at Stuart Hobson

    - final plan has not been presented for how space will be reconfigured at Watkins, including appropriately sized furniture

  • Outreach and recruitment to the new S-H feeder schools (Ludlow-Taylor and J.O. Wilson) is happening, and DCPS has been helpful in developing materials and scheduling meetings

  • Multiple curriculum concerns

    - ensuring continuity in foreign languages taught at feeder schools

    - concerns that curriculum is not rigorous enough to compete with other middle schools

  • Financial support for the museum studies program, i.e., hiring a museum studies coordinator

Stuart hobson infrastructure issues
Stuart Hobson Infrastructure Issues

Serious ongoing concerns related to the structure and physical space, particularly when contrasted with recent upgrades at other DCPS middle schools. These include:

  • As assessed by DCPS, the roof needs to be replaced (not patched) to prevent continued deterioration from moisture penetration

  • Electrical systems (basic electric and cable) are obsolete and need to be replaced to support a modern learning environment

  • Plumbing and heating systems have outlived their useful life and need replacement

  • There is no elevator, so the building is not ADA compliant

  • Gymnasiums are in poor condition and are not regulation size. Proposal to replace them as part of a new wing that would add space for the art and museum programs

  • The school has no athletic fields or other green space for sports teams, recess or recreational use

Eliot hine collaboration team
Eliot-Hine Collaboration Team

  • Eastern High School’s success is closely tied to the success of Eliot-Hine located across the street

  • With four strong feeder schools, a charter school located five blocks away with 375 middle school students, plus a modernized building, Eliot-Hine is poised to rapidly increase its enrollment

  • Collaboration Team has focused on student recruitment, 6th grade transition, supporting Eliot-Hine in IB certification process, and community building

  • General concerns that student recruitment has not proceeded as collaboration team had hoped. Collaboration team subcommittee developed a recruitment plan and identified multiple ways to enhance marketing Eliot-Hine to the feeder schools, but none of the ideas have been implemented

  • Similarly, ideas to support 6th grade transition have not been accepted at school level

  • Middle Years IB certification process is critical to attracting students and providing vertical integration with Eastern

Jefferson collaboration team
Jefferson Collaboration Team

  • Hire Principal immediately - best staff are available NOW.

  • Principals Pride, Knight and Wilhoyte have been great. You have a strong team.

  • Jefferson Academy’s (JA’s) Collaboration Team is focused on inclusion. All students in catchment are encouraged to attend. Out of bounds families are encouraged to apply. Brent, Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson leaderships have good working relationships.

  • We must change the ingrained behavior to leave DCPS at 3rd grade.

  • Support efforts to quickly improve Amidon-Bowen. Its modernization is in ’12 and it is ripe for re-branding.

  • Thomson’s IB and Chinese programs dovetail with Brent and Jefferson Academy.

  • Van Ness is key to Jefferson. Southwest & Near Southeast connection should be fostered.

  • Increase JA’s enrollment to 150 in ‘12. Jefferson Academy can have 600 students by 2015.

  • Potential JA parents want a robust and fair response to bullying. Anecdotal evidence indicates school climate and culture is non-negotiable.

  • Jefferson has a beautiful five story copula. Its ‘13 modernization, plus Smithsonian, Arena Stage and other world-class partnerships, plus $2 billion in adjacent redevelopment ensure that Jefferson will succeed.

  • Peggy O’Brien and Amanda Alexander are helping with Brent Diversity Initiative. We want support for research. Will the Chancellor introduce the initiative? Brent is a 50/50 mix. Jefferson & Eastern represent new SES dynamics. Will the Chancellor lead?

  • Please participate in Brent's Spring Gala on April 2!

Montessori committee
Montessori Committee

The Montessori Committee, (Principal Eatman, teachers and parents from each class, working closely with the terrific DCPS team) have focused on:

  • Communication and outreach;

  • Facility/move logistics;

  • Garden and playground design/fundraising; and

  • Out-of-School Time


  • Middle school decision has yet to be made.  Families are being asked to communicate intentions to DCPS by April 1 without a middle school plan in place for Montessori. In the absence of a Montessori middle school decision, the Montessori community is asking that current Montessori students be guaranteed a seat in Stuart-Hobson when the children reach 6th grade. 

  • Field Space not yet defined. We need a plan for the future of the professional development annex that currently exists on the parking lot. We have potential partners to help fund the field, but cannot get commitment without an official plan in place.

  • Montessori materials vs. textbooks. While the program does not use textbooks, special Montessori classroom materials do need to be purchased and replaced. This is an ongoing procurement discussion that likely needs a policy in place (for ALL DCPS Montessori programs) so materials are funded in the same way textbooks are.

Next steps
Next Steps

To ensure successful implementation of the Ward 6 Middle School Plan, we recommend:

  • Chancellor can show leadership and commitment to the Plan in direction given to instructional superintendents and principals

  • DCPS create a public marketing campaign to change perceptions about our middle schools and attract students to the middle schools

  • Create 5th to 6th grade continuity between all feeder schools and middle schools

  • Make it a priority to fund the resources necessary to implement the Ward 6 Middle School Plan