August 22, 2011
Renovated and Refocused: DCPS opens for successful 2011-2012 school year
Today, more than 47,000 DC Public Schools students returned to our schools eager to learn, meet their teachers and reconnect with friends in 126 buildings that were clean, properly staffed, well supplied, and ready for a successful 2011-2012 school year.
And a strong community of 122 school leaders, nearly 4,000 teachers and more than 6,600 staff opened their doors – prepared and excited – to welcome and educate our children.
“I am thrilled to start my first school year as Chancellor with this strong group of school leaders, talented corps of teachers, and dedicated community committed to the success of our schools,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “Today, we all share the enthusiasm of our students as we continue our work to help our children achieve at the highest levels.”
Beginning in the spring and lasting throughout the summer, several District of Columbia government agencies joined DCPS central office and school-based staff to prepare our schools for the first day and ensure that all school buildings were ready to receive students and staff.
Efforts focused on ensuring that the following goals were met:
- All schools were properly staffed;
- All schools had the necessary textbooks and materials;
- All students had full schedules or classroom assignments; and
- All families had the information they need to ensure their children were ready for a strong start to the school year.
School opening highlights include the following:
- Expanding for early learners: DCPS has opened 15 new pre-K classrooms with nearly 250 new seats.
- Community connections: More than 4,100 volunteers participated at 105 schools on Beautification Day.
- New standards: DC has joined several other states in adopting the Common Core State Standards, which will have a major impact on the quality of education we provide our students.
- Improving teacher quality: DCPS will offer more high-quality professional development options and targeted coaching and supports to ensure that teachers have the support they need for students to achieve at high levels.
- Afterschool: This school year, afterschool programs will feature a more rigorous Academic Power Hour that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and a “Stomp out Bullying” theme for the enrichment and wellness component.
- Modernizations: With Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM), DCPS has completed major modernizations and renovations at Hart MS, Langley EC, Maury ES, Seaton ES, and Logan ES.
- Full-scale renovations: Chancellor Henderson, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and hundreds of community members recently celebrated the completion of full-scale renovations at Anacostia SHS, Wilson SHS and Woodson SHS. The Janney ES community will celebrate their school’s renovation in early September. Other renovations include new windows at Tubman ES and Drew ES.
- New libraries: Through a partnership with Target and The Heart of America Foundation, five DC Public Schools are receiving renovated libraries and donation of thousands of books: Amidon-Bowen ES, Davis ES, Garfield ES, Garrison ES, and Orr ES.
- Transitions and consolidations: Logan ES reopened as a new Montessori program (Capitol Hill Montessori) for 200 students. Emery and Shaed education campuses consolidated and moved into the former Langley School building that has reopened as a preschool to Grade 8 school for 400 students. Transition Academy at Shadd moved to Ballou SHS. Hamilton Center moved to Ron Brown MS and Prospect Learning Center.
“This is our season of renewal,” said Chancellor Henderson. “We begin the school year focused on helping our students achieve at even higher levels. We are committed to engaging our teachers, students, parents and community in our collective effort to close the achievement gap. We know we have a lot of work ahead, but we are certain that we are making progress and heading in the right direction.”