(Washington, DC) - Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was at Smothers Elementary School in Ward 7 with District education leaders, students, educators, and members of the school community to celebrate the first day of pre-K at DC Public Schools (DCPS). The Mayor and educators also highlighted a new early childhood math curriculum that DCPS is launching this year.
“We are proud to lead the nation in providing 3- and 4-year-olds with access to free pre-K. Free pre-K has not only made DC a fantastic city to raise a family, but it has significant educational and social benefits for our young people,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we roll out this new pre-K math program, I’m grateful that we have school leaders and teachers who continue to be responsive to the needs of our students and families.”
Research has shown the long-term benefits that pre-K programs have on students’ learning throughout their educational career. Washington, DC stands out in the nation for our robust free pre-K program, which includes access to free pre-K for three-year-olds and four-year-olds.
The new math curriculum, which will be implemented in all DCPS pre-K programs, is tailored to ensure students are introduced to math concepts throughout the day, increasing their exposure to and understanding of math at an early age.
“Test scores and performance across the district consistently indicate that our students are more comfortable with literacy than math. I saw that as a charge to formalize getting mathematical concepts in front of our students as soon as they start school in Pre-K,” said Chancellor Ferebee. “We are excited for our youngest scholars to develop their math thinking through play in our classroom centers, hands-on, teacher-led math experiences, dramatic play, stories, and even songs.”
This curriculum update builds on historic investments in education the Bowser Administration has made in recent years and comes as the District seeks to continue improving support and resources available to students and educators.
In addition to the new math curriculum, the Mayor also announced a $1.6 million investment in math bootcamps for District educators with fewer than five years of teaching experience. These programs, run by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), are open to educators at both public and public charter schools and provide a $1,000 stipend upon completion. Bootcamps offer in-person math content, planning resources, and coaching sessions and online coursework designed to support educators as they continue to develop the foundational content knowledge and skills necessary to instruct students in complex math concepts.
“The gains we saw on the 2022-23 statewide assessments show us that, under the leadership of Mayor Bowser, we are making data-informed investments in DC educators, students and families, and we’re solidly on the path toward restoration,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “These math bootcamps equip our educators with tools to help make math more meaningful and accessible for DC students.”
Currently, nearly 200 educators across all eight wards are enrolled in math bootcamps, and this renewed investment will support new cohorts throughout the 2023-24 school year.