February 25, 2014

Chancellor Henderson to Provide Millions of Dollars to Schools to Increase Student Satisfaction 

Chancellor Henderson to Provide Millions of Dollars to Schools to Increase Student Satisfaction

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District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson will award approximately $5 million to schools to help improve student satisfaction for the 2014-2015 school year. Schools can begin applying for the new Proving What’s Possible (PWP) for Student Satisfaction award this week. Each school can apply for an award to help make school more enjoyable for students in a number of focused areas including additional enrichment activities, field trips, extracurricular activities, clubs, new athletic teams and anti-bullying work, among others. Awards will be available to all schools to spend in the 2014-2015 school year. The amount of the award will be based proportionally on student enrollment.

“We want students to love school, be proud of their school, and feel great about what their school has to offer,” Henderson said. “So much of student satisfaction happens well beyond the classroom. The Proving What’s Possible for Student Satisfaction award will allow schools to create or expand programs they know will work for their students."

“Our schools should be places that make our students feel excited and supported,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray said. “This new award is a great step in the right direction to help improve student satisfaction and ultimately improve our schools.”

Earlier this school year, Chancellor Henderson announced that improving student satisfaction is a key priority for the 2014-2015 school budgets, along with improving middle schools and investing in the 40 lowest-performing schools. This effort will give schools more funds as they budget for next school year. Improving student satisfaction is also a key goal outlined in A Capital Commitment, Chancellor Henderson’s strategic vision for improving schools.

The PWP for Student Satisfaction builds upon the success of the Proving What’s Possible program Chancellor Henderson created two years ago to allow schools to innovate around time, talent and technology. These awards were tremendously helpful in improving student achievement. This award announcement follows a series of engagement meetings with schools over the past six weeks where schools discussed budget priorities with their Local School Advisory Teams (LSAT), which includes school leaders, parents, community members and teachers. A constant theme in the meetings was centered around increasing student access to programs and activities that make students enjoy school more and improve student satisfaction.

“Every parent in this city wants their child’s school to be a place where they can explore, where they can feel safe and supported, and where they can thrive,” Henderson said. “I am excited to see what our schools can do with this new award and how they expand their options to make schools fun and exciting for students.”

Last year, DCPS administered surveys to students in grades 3 through 12. We collected over 20,000 surveys were collected with valuable feedback about students' satisfaction with their schools. Based on the survey, about 78 percent of students say they like their school.

Schools will begin applying for the grant on Feb. 26. Final applications are due the week of March 5 and the award specifics will be announced the week of March 10.

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