CHPSPO Meeting Notes – September 15, 2015

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Stuart Hobson Middle School

September 15, 2015

1) Discussion about CHPSPO’s nomination to the Cross-Sector Task Force

  • Issues we think are important for the Task Force to address
    • Planning: # of seats, site selection, curriculum
    • Grade alignment (consistency around at grades are included in middle school)
    • Financial transparency
    • Long-term à amend the existing laws
    • Ways to foster stability throughout the school system
    • Ways to foster collaboration not competition
  • Discussion with people interested in serving on Task Force
    • Caryn Ernst (Capitol Hill Cluster School parent and former PTA president) and Sandra Moscoso (Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan & former LSAT Chair/BASISDC parent)
  • Voting on CHPSPO’s nomination
    • Caryn Ernst was selected to receive the CHPSPO nomination.

2) Discussion about blog, Valerie Jablow;

  • Follow the blog via email, disseminate it into your communities and reach out to Valerie to contribute posts

3) Upcoming DC Council Education Committee hearings and events. Laura Marks

  • Visit here for calendar of Education Committee hearing dates in September and October 2015 and instructions for submitting testimony
  • Public School Food and Nutrition Services Programs and School Food and Nutrition Services Contract Requirement Act of 2015 – public roundtable. Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 412
  • Early Learning Quality Improvement Network Amendment Act of 2015 and Higher Education Licensure Commission Amendment Act of 2015. Thursday, October 1, 2015, 10:00 a.m., Hearing Room 412
  • Public Charter School Fiscal Transparency Amendment Act of 2015. Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 1:00 p.m., Hearing Room 120

4) CHPSPO visits to Wilson Building, Ivan Frishberg.

In process of scheduling group visits with councilmembers on education committee.

5) DCPS Library Resourcing. Peter MacPherson.

  • Proposal to advocate for adequately resourcing DCPS libraries (recommended is 20 volumes/student, which is not currently the case at many schools). Idea is to apply the $13.7 million settlement from Chartwells towards funding volumes in schools without adequate collections.
  • Surveys were distributed to CHPSPO librarians to collect information about individual school collections. Please return completed surveys to Suzanne Wells.

6) Walk-to-School Day Planning, George Blackmon

  • Wednesday, October 7, 7:30-8:30 AM @ Lincoln Park
  • Schools are encouraged to hold their own events, if the distance to/from Lincoln Park is inconvenient.
  • Speakers; draft agenda:
    • 7:30: Arrival/Snacks and American Parkour Academy demos
    • 7:45: Ward 6 CM Charles Allen welcomes everyone
      • NOTE: Charles give a shout out to Mark Toorock and Matt Caraballo from American Parkour Academy (they won’t speak, but will be leading demos on the park).
    • 7:48: Maury ES Cheerleaders perform
    • 7:53 Miriam Kenyon, director of health and physical education at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)
    • 7:56: Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment
    • 7:59: JO Wilson ES Cheerleaders perform
    • 8:04: Fitness celebrity Gabriella Boston leads yoga stretch
    • 8:10: Charles Allen sends everyone off to school

7) American Parkour, Mark Toorock and Matt Caraballo

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  October 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

September 30 Education Committee hearing on DCPS Food & Nutrition Services Program, 10AM

September 30  DCPS State of Schools with Chancellor Henderson, Dunbar HS, 7-9 PM

October 4        Brent Fall Festival

October 7        Walk-to-School Day (register your school at

October 8        Jefferson Academy vs Stuart Hobson (6-8 PM @ Coolidge HS)

October 10      Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA Renovators Tour Fundraiser

October 17      Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s A Literary Feast (

October 21      Education Committee hearing on issues facing youth

October 24      Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan’s Haunted Harvest, 6-9PM

October 24      Maury Elementary’s Fall Festival

October 24      Tyler Elementary’s Harvest Festival, 11AM-3PM

November 8    JO Wilson’s Taste of H (


CHPSPO Meets Tuesday, February 17

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, February 17, at 6:30 p.m. at a private home. We will be discussing the ESEA waiver, upcoming education hearings, Living Classrooms, and CHPSPO priorities for the coming year. I will send a final agenda around on Tuesday morning.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Stay warm!

Suzanne Wells

021715 CHPSPO Agenda

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 18, 2014

Payne Elementary School Library, 1445 C St., SE

November 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver, Jeff Noel, OSSE

  1. Process of preparing first administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment – computer delivered assessment; higher standard of rigor; aligned with Common Core State Standards
  2. Proposing a one year pause for high-stakes decision making (school classifications and teacher evaluations) during first year of implementing new assessments
    • in order to evaluate impact
    • Test results often come back late – may be 6 months behind: a lot of analysis follows initial rollout
  3. OSSE proposes we come together to have a discussion as the education community to discuss the new assessments. Jeff Noel was invited back to the December CHPSPO meeting for further discussion.
  4. Concerns were raised about high-stakes testing, and the desire to see more data on schools beyond test scores, e.g., student re-enrollment, school climate, teacher retention.

Parent Bill of Rights, Monica Warren-Jones

  • Goal is for kids to become the global citizens they need to be and DCSBOE are engaging families in a proactive manner
  • Draft reflects what is expected of schools
  • Not supposed to impede or supersede existing federal/state laws
  • Draft Parent Bill of Rights Public Roundtable, 6 to 8:30 pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library
  • Aiming to vote in December and adopt as a board
  • No Bill of Rights for DC currently (MASS, NY, NH have them)

Challenger Center, Joe Weedon

  • Challenger Center was created by family survivors of the Challenger. Today there are 30 Challenger Centers in the U.S.
  • Strong desire for there to be a Challenger Center within a few miles of Capitol
  • Eliot Hine has been identified as a good location
  • In order to move forward, there is a need for a long-term rental agreement w/ DCPS
  • The existing Challenger Centers are independent, non-profit organizations.
  • All DC schools would have access to it, as well as schools and visitors from outside of the city
  • Curriculum, professional development are owned by the Challenger Center. The Challenger Center raises the money to build the Center.
  • A trip to a Challenger Center in NY may be planned in near future.

Committee of the Whole vs. Education Committee, Suzanne Wells

  • Phil Mendelson considering moving Education Committee back into Committee of the Whole
    • 9 standing committees and 8 veteran councilmembers
  • How to advocate?
    • Call Chairman’s office
    • Make office hours apt
    • Joint coalition letter

Disposition of Gibbs School Building, Suzanne Wells

  • Deputy Mayor for Education’s office is reviewing two applications for Gibbs. One application is for three charter schools (an adult education program, Monument Academy which is a boarding school for students in the foster care system, and Washington Global which is a middle school).  The other application is for Friendship Edison to move its younger students to Gibbs, and to co-locate with two adult education programs.

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  December 16, 2014

Upcoming Events


November 17  FY15/16 DCPS Budget Hearing, Payne Elementary (

November 22  EdFEST, DC’s citywide education fair, 11:00am to 3:00pm, DC Armory.

December 2     Draft Parent Bill of Rights Public Roundtable, 6 to 8:30 pm at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library

December 4     Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools, 6 – 8 pm, MLK Library

December 4     Levine School of Music to present program for instrumental music at Tyler ES, 4PM – Encourage Music teachers to attend

December 7     MOTH School Information Night, 2 pm – 5 pm

March 7           SWS Auction


CHPSPO meeting Tuesday, October 21, at Eliot-Hine

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

CHPSPO will meet on Tuesday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Eliot-Hine Middle School (1830 Constitution Ave., NE). Attached is the agenda for the meeting. Also, attached is the list of the current PTA presidents/co-presidents, principals and CHPSPO representatives. Please review the list, and send me any updates. Apologies in advance for any errors on the list.

Please remind your school communities that there will be a mayoral candidates forum focused on education this Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. at the Thurgood Marshall Center. Attached is a flyer about the forum.

See you on Tuesday.

Suzanne Wells

102114 CHPSPO Agenda

CHPSPO School Year 2014 2015 Representatives.docx


CHPSPO Meeting Notes – August 12, 2014

Capitol Hill Montessori@Logan, August 12, 2014

Discussion on holding a Ward 6 School Board Forum

  • Decided to hold a Ward 6 School Board Candidates Forum
  • Petitions submitted by Tom Brennan, Mark Nayden, and Joe Weedon
  • Suggested that we identify potential partners to cosponsor the forum: (VanNess parents group, NLPNA, Capitol Hill Group Ministry, Hill Rag, SESW CBCC, etc)
  • Suggested we hold the forum at (Eastern)
  • Discussed possible moderators
  • Timing (2nd-3rd week October) October 7, 14 or 16

Mayoral Candidates Forum – CHPSPO will join education and community groups across the city to sponsor this event

Discussion on holding a Ward 6 Education Summit:

  • Identify what people feel is lacking in the schools, identify how to fill those needs, and re-articulate the Ward’s commitment to schools
  • Discussed that parents have been asked multiple times what they want. People want to see action rather than another “ask” session.
  • Discussed the effort being undertaken by Companies for Causes, and the All Roads Lead to Eastern effort.
  • Discussed the importance of involving teachers more in open houses.
  • Will do a little more thinking around how CHPSPO can support the Ward 6 schools in planning for vertical integration among the feeder schools, and marketing of the schools through their websites, etc.
  • Michael Moss, Walker Jones principal, discussed “backwards education mapping” effort that Wilson High School undertook a number of years ago that brought together the Wilson feeder schools to discuss vertical integration among the schools and ensuring that elementary school students are prepared for middle school, and middle school students are prepared for high school.

Walk-to-School Day Planning – Wednesday, October 8

Next CHPSPO Meeting: September 16, 2014

Upcoming Events

August 23 Beautification Day
August 25 First Day of School
September Student Assignment & School Boundary Plan to be released
October 8 Walk-to-School Day
November 4 General Election

CHPSPO Meeting is Wednesday, April 23 @ Payne ES

Dear Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization members,

Hope everyone had a great Spring break. CHPSPO will meet on Wednesday, April 23, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Payne Elementary (1445 C Street, SE). We will be discussing Bike to School Day (May 7), the proposals for school boundaries/feeder patterns, SY14/15 budgets, and ways our community can support homeless children attending our area schools. Attached is the agenda. Hope to see you on Wednesday.

Suzanne Wells

042314 CHPSPO Agenda


CHPSPO Meeting Notes – March 18, 2014

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
SWS@Goding, 920 F Street, NE – 
March 18, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  1. Report out on March 6 CHPSPO-sponsored Candidates Forum (

2. SY14/15 Budgets (Report outs by each school on the budget allocations) and discussion of upcoming budget hearings

    • Schools reported on FY15 initial operational budget allocations.
    • Q&A around DCPS Budget Guide
    • Points to be covered by individual schools on budget:
      • Lack of transparency
      • 10% increase promised by DCPS was not met
      • What can be done to get more accurate enrollment? Trends over time?
      • Extended day – shouldn’t be tied to union vote
      • Summer school at each lowest performing schools
      • 1st/2nd wave of charter influx Oct/Feb – needs to be accounted for in the budget
      • Adequately fund libraries so that collections can be built (not just maintained)
      • Recruit librarians adequately
      • Number of schools will not have full-time nurses
    • Hearings:
      • Thursday, March 20, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Cardozo Education Campus,1200 Clifton Street, NW
      • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 500, DCPS Budget Oversight Hearing (Public Witnesses Only).  Contact Jamaal Jordan, or call 724-8061.
      • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 123, Department of General Services Budget Hearing.  Contact Ronan Gulstone, or call 478-2456.
    • Budget Open House:
      • Wednesday, April 9 (throughout the day), Councilmember Catania.

3. School modernization funding (Department of General Services guest, Melissa Millar)

    • Reprogramming of capital improvements plan (multi bill 5-6 year plan)
      • Cost escalation due to construction demand
      • Prioritize projects to finish what was started – DCPS controls the priorities
      • Ward 6 examples
        • JO Wilson $726.00 left over to be reprogrammed to other schools
        • 7 schools that totaled 6.6 million
        • 500K to Watkins
        • 2.448 to Stuart Hobson
        • Expect funding for Payne to be restored
    • For capital dollars, need to testify at both DCPS and DGS
      • Y14 about 25M went to Ward 6 schools
      • SY15, will be ready in two weeks
    • Master Facilities Plan does not seem to influence Capital Improvement Dollars
    • DME responsible for MFP, but DME does not have planning resource on staff
    • DCPS has few planners on staff – DGS supports developing education specs
    • Community liaison Jackie Stanley
    • Hearings:
      • Thursday, March 20, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Cardozo Education Campus,1200 Clifton Street, NW
      • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 500, DCPS Budget Oversight Hearing (Public Witnesses Only).  Contact Jamaal Jordan, or call 724-8061.
      • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 123, Department of General Services Budget Hearing.  Contact Ronan Gulstone, or call 478-2456.

4. Public Charter School applications and public hearing

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  April 22, 2014 (note 4th Tuesday in April)

Upcoming Events:

FY15 DCPS and DGS Budget Hearings

  • Thursday, March 20, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Cardozo Education Campus,1200 Clifton Street, NW
  • Wednesday, April 9 (throughout the day), Budget Open House, Councilmember Catania.
  • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 500, DCPS Budget Oversight Hearing (Public Witnesses Only).  Contact Jamaal Jordan, or call 724-8061.
  • Thursday, April 17, 10 am, Room 123, Department of General Services Budget Hearing.  Contact Ronan Gulstone, or call 478-2456.

2013 Fundraisers

  • March 22        Maury at the Market
  • March 29        Brent Taste of the Hill
  • May 18            Capitol Hill Classic 10K/3K/Fun Run

Public Charter School Hearing

April 14 – 16   Exact date TBD