DC Public Charter School Students Head Back to Classrooms for 2012-13 School Year
Contact: Audrey Williams 301-351-6259 (c); 202-328-2748 (o)
(Updated with scheduled visits by Mayor Vincent C. Gray)
Washington, D.C. — Tens of thousands of the District’s public school students will head to charter school classrooms this week, ready to start another school year of high academic performance. This year there are a total of 57 public charter schools across more than 100 campuses. Charter school families will have more education choice this year in four new charter schools. Meanwhile, 10 new school leaders have joined eight schools, and nine schools are operating in new locations.
“We are excited to start another year and look forward to continued growth in the performance of charter schools,” said Scott Pearson, executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB). “With the addition of four new schools, we expect the number of students choosing charter schools to grow as it has every year.”
Creative Minds International, at 3224 16th St NW in Ward 1, is the first public school in the city to offer the International Primary Curriculum, including foreign language instruction in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, to students from pre-kindergarten to second grade when it opens Monday August 27. “The International Primary Curriculum makes learning fun for kids,” said Golnar Abedin, executive director and principal. The school will also have a project and arts-based curriculum.
DC Scholars will open Monday August 27 in the former DCPS Shadd Elementary School on 5601 East Capital St SE, in Ward 7, for students from pre-kindergarten to third grade. The school, which will be managed by Philadelphia-based Scholar Academies, offers an extended school day and school year as part of its college-prep curriculum. “We offer 33 percent more time in school because we want our scholars to be over-prepared for high school,” said Rebecca Crouch, DC Scholars principal. “We believe more time in front of effective instruction will dramatically close the achievement gap.”
BASIS DC at 412 8th St NW in Ward 2 plans to offer what it describes as an academically rigorous liberal arts college preparatory education. Students from across the city have enrolled. "I hope students leave the first day wanting to come back for more," said Principal Paul Morrissey. The school will open with grades 5 to 8 on Monday August 27 . ( Mayor Gray is scheduled to visit BASIS DC on Tuesday August 28)
Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) Career Academy is geared toward students ages 16 to 24 who may be behind academically. It will offer GED courses and other classes and training including college-prep classes to earn college credits. “Students are choosing to come to us because they realize they need more education. We had 250 applications for 100 slots,” said Angela Stepancic, principal. The school, located at 3047 15th Street, NW in Ward 1, will open September 10.
The best charter schools have strong leaders who create and maintain a charter school’s unique education mission. This leadership role is even more critical because charter schools operate as independent public schools. The following schools are welcoming new leaders this year:
DC Prep ( Mayor Gray scheduled to visit on Tuesday Aug 28 )
· Rick Cruz will become the new Chief Executive Officer of the DC Prep network of schools in September, succeeding founding CEO Emily Lawson. Lawson, who steps down after 10 years, will remain through December to assist with the transition before joining DC Prep’s Board of Directors and assisting as a consultant. Cruz, who has lived in the District for 17 years, comes to DC Prep as a seasoned and accomplished leader with experience in education reform and a successful 17-year management career in the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
· Raymond Weeden is the new principal of the Benning Elementary Campus, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 3rd. Weeden was previously the principal of Chavez Parkside Middle School.
· Aldel Brown has been appointed Interim Executive Director of the culturally infused Montessori school with grades pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. Brown formerly served as secretary on the school’s Board of Trustees.
Tree of Life
· Tenika Holden is the new principal of the school, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 8th. Holden was previously assistant principal at DCPS’s Spingarn High School.
Eagle Academy ( Mayor Gray scheduled to visit on Monday August 27 )
· Kimberly Jackson is the new principal at the New Jersey Ave. campus of the school, which serves grades 1 - 3. She was previously assistant principal at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy Charter School in Baltimore.
· Yvonne Waller is the new principal for both Parkside Middle & High school campuses. Waller was previously the principal of Cesar Chavez - Parkside High School.
· Alcine Mumby is the new principal at IDEA, which has grades 7 -12. Mumby was previously Dean of Students at DC Prep and Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School.
· John Goldman is the new executive director. Goldman was previously the executive director at William E. Doar, Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts.
Imagine Hope Community – Lamond
· James Owmby is the new principal at the Imagine Hope Community’s Lamond campus, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 6th. Owmby was previously the principal at Imagine Mableton Charter School in Georgia.
· Maquita Alexander is the new principal at Washington Yu Ying, which has grades pre-kindergarten to 5th and offers a Chinese-English language immersion program. Alexander was previously a school administrator in Fairfax County .
Most public charter schools do not own their buildings and often have to move locations from year to year. Some charter schools are finally able to find more suitable space and move to new school homes.
o Capital City has renovated the former DCPS Rabaut Junior High at 100 Peabody Street, NW in Ward 4 and moved all of its campuses serving grades pre-kindergarten to 12th to the new location.
· Eagle Academy ( Mayor Gray scheduled to visit on Monday August 27 )
o Eagle Academy has renovated the former DCPS McGogney
Elementary into a state-of-the-art facility now called the Eagle Center at McGogney. This will be the school’s main campus and is located at 3400 Wheeler Road, SE in Ward 8.
o Richard Wright has moved to a new location at 770 M Street, SE inward 6.
o Meridian has moved to a new location at 2120 13th Street, NW in Ward 1.
o Inspired Teaching Demonstration & Shining Stars Montessori Academy have moved to a new location at 1328 Florida Ave, NW in Ward 1.
o Mundo Verde also moves to a new location at 3220 16th Street, NW in Ward 1.
o National Collegiate Preparatory has moved to 4600 Livingston Road, SE in Ward 8.
o The Next Step/El Próximo Paso has moved to 3047 15th Street, NW in Ward 1.
About the PCSB: The DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) is setting a national model for creating quality public school options through its rigorous review of new charter applications and effective oversight of charter school performance that is leading the transformation of public education in Washington, DC. PCSB currently oversees 57 public charter schools on more than 100 campuses serving nearly 32,000 students living in every ward of the city. Learn more at www.dcpcsb.org .