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DC Public Schools Launches School Year 2019-2020 with New Schools, Opportunities and Supports

Monday, August 26, 2019

Contact: Shayne Wells – [email protected]; (202) 215-8384

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee welcomed students across the District of Columbia back to school. The start of School Year 2019-2020 for DCPS comes with newly modernized buildings, strategic investments, and innovative programming that will expand opportunities for more than 49,000 students.

“As we welcome our students back to DCPS, I am proud of the new programming, state of the art learning environments, and intensive supports that we have to offer them,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “This school year, I look forward to working alongside our amazing educators to ensure that DCPS provides a great school in every neighborhood at every grade level, and that our students are set up for post-secondary success.”

The school year begins following the announcement that for the fourth consecutive year, DCPS students made gains on the 2019 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. The number of DCPS students scoring at a Level 4 or 5 increased by 4.9 percentage points in English language arts (ELA) and 1.9 percentage points in math in 2019, outpacing the state average.

New Schools and Programs

DCPS launched two new programs this school year that are focused on preparing students for college and their future careers. Bard High School Early College DC in Ward 7 opened its doors to students, and will provide them the opportunity to earn college credit and an associate degree from Bard College, while earning their high school diploma. In Ward 4, Coolidge High School launched the Early College Academy, where students will gain the valuable experience of attending college-level courses while earning their high school diploma, and up to an associate degree from Trinity Washington University. Educators also welcomed 6th grade students to DCPS’ newest stand-alone middle school, Ida B. Wells Middle School, which will provide a rigorous and loving learning environment for students while also engaging and developing them as change agents in their communities.

This school year, DCPS expanded access to high-quality prekindergarten by adding nine new classrooms at the following schools: Bunker Hill Elementary School, Ketcham Elementary School, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Miner Elementary School, Takoma Education Campus, Truesdell Education Campus, West Education Campus, Wheatley Education Campus and Whittier Education Campus.

Many DCPS schools opened with brand new school buildings and facilities that will transform learning environments and support high-quality instruction for hundreds of students.

  • Hyde-Addison Elementary School (Ward 2) now includes an addition that connects the Hyde and Addison buildings. The modernized Hyde-Addison campus features a new gym and auditorium space, main entrance and welcome center, and music and art classrooms.
  • Calvin Coolidge High School (Ward 4) was transformed and includes state of the art spaces for the school’s Health Sciences Academy and Mass Media Academy, a new daycare, and a community health center.
  • Ida B. Wells Middle School (Ward 4) is on the Coolidge campus and includes new science labs, classrooms, and a historic courtyard that was converted into an atrium for expanded programming.
  • Maury Elementary School (Ward 6) was fully renovated and includes an innovative media center and maker space, and indoor and outdoor play and community spaces.
  • Kimball Elementary School (Ward 7) was completely transformed and the new building supports the school’s STEM focus with new science spaces, an outdoor classroom, and community spaces.
  • Jefferson Middle School (Ward 6), C.W. Harris Elementary School (Ward 7) and Houston Elementary School (Ward 7) buildings were also renovated to meet 21st century learning standards. Those renovations include new and updated classrooms, technology, and learning spaces.

Investing in Equity

DCPS is proud of the gains students made in the 2018-2019 school year, and remains committed to closing opportunity and achievement gaps this school year. DCPS will continue to work to ensure that every family has a high-quality school in their neighborhood where students feel loved, challenged, and prepared. To accelerate outcomes for our students furthest from opportunity, DCPS is:

  • Launching 10 Connected Schools across the city, which will become resource hubs in their community to meet our students’ needs inside and outside of the classroom. These schools will provide students and families with wraparound services, including: family wellness supports, housing, childcare, and financial assistance referrals. Connected Schools will also implement trauma-informed practices and will have a full-time Connected Schools Manager as part of the school leadership team;
  • Investing $4.6 million in technology, which will provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a laptop or tablet, and a 3:1 technology device ratio for all other grades in School Year 2019-2020. The investment will also include technology infrastructure updates at schools;
  • Doubling the number of students enrolled in high school NAF academies, which provide students with real-world experiences in hospitality, information technology, engineering, emergency medicine, and more;
  • Restructuring central office supports to focus resources and capacity on schools in the Anacostia and Ballou feeder patterns to accelerate achievement in those schools; and
  • Beginning the school redesign process at Anacostia and Ballou High Schools, which will transform their school’s programming through a process grounded in student and community input.

For more updates, follow DC Public Schools on Twitter and Facebook. Join DCPS as we celebrate School Year 2019-2020 by using #BacktoDCPS.