By Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sixty percent of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Class of 2018 participated in the “Early Action” program, in which they applied to colleges and universities early in their senior year and, in some instances, even before the end of the first semester.

One of the most important factors in college admissions is SAT scores. To that end, the academy further invested resources to offer SAT prep classes to seniors, and as a result, 97 percent of its students scored better than 800. Additionally, 50 percent of the academy’s students earned a “super score” of 1000 or greater.

Board of Education Honorees

The D.C. State Board of Education recently honored Paul Howard as the District’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Howard, who has taught social studies at LaSalle-Backus Education campus in Northeast for the past five years, will represent D.C. in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year competition.

The board also honored Banneker High and Horace Mann Elementary schools for being selected as a U.S. Department of Education 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.

The program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Task Force Update

At its most recent meeting in November, the D.C. State Board of Education proposed changes to high school graduation requirements designed to ensure the District diploma fulfills its intended purpose.

They also suggested further edits to the requirements, indicating which of their peers’ changes they liked, disagreed with, or wanted more information about.

In the coming weeks, the board will present a new version of the draft to constituent groups and provide feedback from those conversations at their December meeting.

Team-Building Success

Under supervision of SEED DC Public Charter School teacher Nick Ford, program coordinator Indian Brown, partners at BUILD and six dedicated mentors, 30 ninth-graders spent a year dreaming up business ideas, forming teams and pitching their business plans to peers and local entrepreneurs.

Through a daily class supplemented by weekly evening programming, students built relationships with local mentors who helped them refine their ideas, products, and approach.

BUILD is a real-life testing ground for students to learn skills in critical thinking, collaboration, innovation, and self-management. And it worked: one SEED DC PCS team won BUILD’s year-end citywide competition for their “Chop-a-Cake” cake-cutter business plan and pitch, while another team took home an award for problem-solving.

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