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SBOE Honors 2018 Teacher of the Year and Blue Ribbon Schools

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At this month’s public meeting, the State Board honored the exceptional efforts of Mr. Paul Howard who was recently named the District’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Howard has taught social studies at LaSalle-Backus Education campus for the last five years.

SBOE members applauded the outstanding leadership and commitment to student achievement exhibited by Mr. Howard. He will now go on to proudly represent the District of Columbia in the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year competition.

The State Board also honored DCPS’s Banneker High School and Horace Mann Elementary School for being selected as a U.S. Department of Education 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. The National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.

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Ombudsman Releases Annual Report

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The Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education provides conflict resolution services for parents and students across the city. Serving approximately 500 families per year, the dedicated staff of the office, under the leadership of Ombudsman Joyanna Smith, works on issues including: student discipline, special education, truancy, student enrollment, transportation, academic progress and bullying. The 2017 Ombudsman’s report builds upon the equity analysis provided in last year’s report by introducing a proposed equity framework for the city. This framework builds upon more than three years of collaboration with school-based, local, and national education leaders, and intervention with over 1,500 families in all eight wards.

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Student Advocate Releases Annual Report

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The Office of the Student Advocate, led by Chief Student Advocate Faith Gibson Hubbard, assists District families in navigating the complex public education system. By supporting and empowering District residents, the Office of the Student Advocate strives to bring equal access to public education. The Student Advocate’s office focused this year on expanding the services our office offers in support of students and families throughout all eight wards of the city. By leveraging connections and partnerships with government agencies, schools, and community-based organizations and increasing strategic outreach efforts, the office has nurtured vital working relationships that are student and family-centric. In doing so, the office tripled the amount of families it was able to serve through its Request for Assistance line (350 families) and direct outreach engagement (2000 individuals).

Read the Report

#DCGradReqs Update

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Our SBOE #DCGradReqs Task Force held its seventh meeting on November 8, 2017. In case you missed our #FacebookLive broadcast, watch the replay here and read the minutes here.

Key Takeaways

  • Task force members split into four groups to react to a “straw man” set of requirements – proposed changes to high school graduation requirements designed to ensure the District diploma fulfills its intended purpose.
  • Members then 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, members will take a new version of the draft straw man out to their constituent groups and provide feedback from those conversations at our December meeting.

Tell us what you think of our progress so far! Please take a look at the updated draft straw man and tell us what you like about it, what you dislike about it, and what you would change. Please submit all comments by emailing or by filling out an online form here. We also encourage you to join our Facebook discussion group here to make your voice heard.

The next #DCGradReqs task force meeting will be held on December 13, 2017.

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#ESSATaskForce Update

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The SBOE ESSA Task Force, led by Ward 4 representative Dr. Lannette Woodruff, held its fourth meeting on November 7, 2017. Representatives from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provided an update on feedback received from recently held community focus groups on a new school report card. Dr. Lillian Lowery of The Education Trust delivered a presentation to task force members on equity.

Presentation  | Watch the Replay | Updated Overview | Required Report Card Elements

On November 16th, SBOE staff members headed out on a #SBOESelfieTour  to visit schools across Wards 7 and 8 to help spread the word about our #ESSATaskForce and the new DC report card. Check out which schools they visited here. The next ESSATaskForce meeting will be held on December 5th.

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DC STEM Network


At this month’s public meeting, the State Board heard from two members of the DC Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network’s Backbone: Marlena Jones and Maya Garcia. The State Board supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM and recognizes that these subjects are vital components of a 21st century education. The Network updated the Board on their work and provided some opportunities where the Board and public can become more involved.

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