Middle School Open Houses Kick off the week of Nov 16!

‘Tis the season for Open Houses! Middle School Open Houses within CHPSPO schools kick off the week of November 16, 2015!

Check out the dates below and be sure to double-check with the school, as changes could happen due to weather, etc.

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – November 19, 2013

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary

659 G Street, NE

November 19, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

1. School Boundaries and Feeder Patterns – Open discussion

–          Background: DME’s press release and materials:

–          ACTION: Sign up for focus groups and working groups

–          ACTION: Volunteers will work on survey for feeder with the help of Mary Filardo, 21st Century Fund, using this as framework (see preliminary discussion below):

–          ACTION: To be more intentional to give Chancellor feedback on middle schools, group is forming. For reference, the Ward 6 Middle School Plan:

    • In boundary % (on school profiles) should change to indicate that school is in feeder pattern

–          Feedback on November 15 Council Hearing

–          Preparing for Principles/Survey:

–          Q: What is working about your current in-boundary/in-feeder middle school?

  • Capitol Hill Cluster School:
    • Peabody feeding into Watkins feeding into Stuart (the cluster model is working)
    • Stuart Hobson students are enrolling following on feeder patterns based on their elementary schools (Ludlow-Taylor, JO Wilson, Watkins)
    • DCPS is setting enrollment numbers too high for Stuart Hobson
    • The communication to parents at Peabody and Watkins about activities at  Stuart Hobson helps families become familiar with their middle school and starts to set the expectation that Stuart Hobson is going to be their middle school.
    • Principal reaches out to all feeder schools to encourage participation with the middle school sports, events, etc.
  • JO Wilson:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Stuart Hobson.
    • Great local option supporting neighborhood schools and an established, reliable option for parents.
  • Ludlow Taylor:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Stuart Hobson.
  • Maury:
    • Want to maintain current feeder pattern to Eliot-Hine and to Eastern.
    • Seeing the progress around Eliot Hine and link w/ International Baccalaureate w/ Eastern and would like to see it continue.
  • Tyler:
    • Families like the choice of being able to attend the Spanish Immersion program.  Like that we live on Capitol Hill, and can still have choices in the neighborhood.
  • Amidon-Bowen:
    • Like Amidon-Bowen feeding into Jefferson.
  • SWS:
    • The school’s intention to keep cohorts together, beyond geographic boundary. Intent to keep neighborhoods together.

–          Q: What is NOT working about your current in-boundary/in-feeder middle school?

    • Cluster:
      • Boundaries for Watkins don’t match the size of the school.
      • Charters like Washington Latin are pulling most advanced students. If DCPS MS doesn’t offer advanced courses, it’s tough to keep the advanced students.
    • Ludlow Taylor:
      •  At Ludlow Taylor, students are not leaving at 5th grade, because parents see a clear path to Stuart. However, there is no connection with Eastern.
    • Maury:
      • Instructional Superintendents structure does not support vertical integration of programming or collaboration among schools within a feeder pattern.
    • CHM@L
      • The Ward 6 Middle school plan that DCPS approved has not been supported nor adequately funded.
    • Amidon-Bowen:
      • Jefferson is an important piece of puzzle – not successful in getting Brent or Thompson students
      • Capital/facility improvements have come about too slowly. It is a struggle by the school and community to get DC to fund renovations.
    • SWS:
      • Too much choice in the system. Choice came about because system was not servicing schools. There isn’t thought about the capacity of a school vs. cachment as a feeder – needs to take charters into account when thinking about decisions around boundary/feeder. Currently, there is no strategy.
    • General Comments
      • No strategic planning between Charter and DCPS.
      •  (former Ward 5 parent) Ward 5 has shut down DCPS schools and many neighborhoods are being serviced by charters.
      • Boundary discussion is an opportunity to ‘level playing field’ by introducing neighborhood preference and advocating for legislation that requires charters to take in-boundary students, regardless of time of year.
      • Catania’s refusing to outsource MS to charters creates an opportunity.
      • Boundary planning should happen w/ charters as part of discussion.
      • There is intentional misalignment of middle schools starting at 5th grade.
      • IB has been slow to get off the ground at Eliot-Hine, which hurt the implementation of the Ward 6 middle school plan.
      • DCPS’ competitive advantage on middle schools should be a predictable feeder pattern and path for students. Charters seem to be doing a better job of operating as a system than DCPS.
      • Charters seem to do a good job of showing the continuum of education among charter school feeder patterns.

–          Questions still to be answered:

    • What values do we hold that we believe should influence school boundaries and feeder patterns, e.g., proximity, diversity, choice, predictability?
    • What is our vision for school boundaries and successful feeder patterns, e.g., successful feeder patterns from elementary to middle to high schools?
    • How do middle schools influence school boundaries and successful feeder patterns?
    • How to ensure an open, collaborative and fair process for determining school boundaries and feeder patterns?  Ideas for getting broad input from Ward 6 parents – survey?


2.  “A Call to Action” event on December 9, organized by the Washington Teacher’s Union. Stay tuned via: Read Principles:


3. School Information “Night” – December 8, 2-5PM @ Capitol Hill Day School
Next CHPSPO Meeting:  December 17, 2013

Upcoming Events:

December 8     School Information “Night,” 2 – 5 p.m., Capitol Hill Day School

December 9     A Call to Action (TBD)

December 10   Deputy Mayor for Education’s Focus Group on School Boundaries and Feeder Patterns, Logan

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – January 15, 2013

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization
Maury Elementary School Library
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.


1) At-large City Council Candidates Forum (Charles Allen, Councilmember Wells’ Chief of Staff)

  • In April, District voters will elect an at-large City Councilmember in a special election for a two-year term.
  • Eliot-Hine would like to host a student-led candidates’ forum focused on education and youth issues.
  • Idea is to get students to organize the candidates’ forum, e.g., invite the candidates, find a moderator, advertise the forum, etc.
  • Joe Weeden offered that Defeat Poverty DC would be a co-sponsor.  CHPSPO offered to co-sponsor.
  • Suzanne Wells offered to let Principals Clemens (Capitol Hill Cluster School/Stuart Hobson Middle School) and Gordon (Jefferson Academy) know about the forum to see if there might be opportunities for their students to participate.
  • Charles Allen offered to put together a timeline leading up to the forum.

2) DCPS Lottery Communications (Alaina Smith, DCPS, Office of Strategic Enrollment Initiatives)

  • Encourage parents to attend open houses
  • Encourage schools to list open houses on DCPS open house list
  • Lottery is open Jan 28-Feb 25. Entering early does not mean better chance of getting in.
  • BIG CHANGES to waitlist and registration processes. See this year’s guide.
  • Lottery website:

3) DCPS Library Task Force update

  • Questions around how recommendations to be implemented, e.g., per pupil funding?
  • Task force recommendations here.

3) Presentation on Maury’s game lending library (Vanessa Ford, Maury Think Tank Teacher)

  • Think Tank and Science Expo on January 24, 6-7:30PM at Maury Elementary School
  • Game lending library at Maury is open to all families in the community. Many families have expressed positive feedback. Games serve as a way to engage children around math, science, problem-solving, cooperation.
  • Maury received a grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation to start the game lending library.
  • Think Tank Blog:

4) Discussion of 2013 CHPSPO Priorities (tabled till next month) – see last year’s priorities here:

5) CHPSPO 501(c)3 (Sherry Trafford) (tabled till next month)

  • Bank account is open
  • CHPSPO has been incorporated
  • Almost there for 501c3

Next CHPSPO Meeting:  February 19, 2013

Upcoming Events:


  • January 22, 2013, 5:30 p.m., Jefferson Academy Open House
  • January 29, 6:30 pm, Living Room Chat with Principal Tynika Young for 2nd grade families

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – July 17, 2012

Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization

Maury Elementary, 1250 Constitution Ave., NE, Library

July 17, 2012 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.


1. DCPS Library Funding Follow up, Suzanne Wells

  • June 15, July 4, and July 11 Bake Sales were successful in generating awareness (media, Washington DC Teacher’s Union, DC Council, general public)
  • CHPSPO and ‘in ward parents’ have had a presence at all ‘State of the Schools meetings (all Wards) and have raised the libraries issue in all meetings.
  • CHPSPO requested meeting to present check to Kaya Henderson of $ raised by bake sales – were instructed by DCPS to submit online
  • CHPSPO requested meeting with DCPS (Kaya Henderson) to discuss libraries, and were told because of her busy schedule she could not meet with us. Follow up requests stressing the need for a thoughtful discussion with DCPS on the library issue has gotten no response


  • Money is there (example: prove what’s possible grants), but “cuts” are really about choices

Next Steps:

  • Reach out to Deputy Mayor Wright, since DCPS is not responsive


2. What does vertical and horizontal integration mean to us? (Brainstorm)

  • Much of this was captured in Ward 6 Middle School Plan (math, languages, IB to feed from feeder ES to MS, then from MS to Eastern)
  • In our current feeder pattern, principals don’ t currently have to talk to each other; principals operate their schools as separate “islands”
  • 2-3 languages should be offered at middle schools (and the elementary schools that feed into them should offer at least one of those languages). Currently, misaligned; JO Wilson offers award winning French, but Stuart Hobson (it’s feeder MS) offers Spanish…
  • Math: Algebra for 7th graders; plan to get ES kids up to speed so they are prepared for Algebra. What happened to summer bridge programs for rising 6th graders?
  • Robotics programs across all feeder schools; similar sports/other programs that can be offered across all schools, and coordinated so schools can share resource
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Lucy Kulkins writing workshops
  • Responsive classroom

Next steps:

  • Draft a white paper (Suzanne Wells to kick off) on what we think should be expectation for Eastern feeder pattern and what needs to happen to make these expectations possible; gather community input (via voting/survey); outlines responsibilities (parents, principals, students, DCPS)
  • Follow up w/ DCPS re: Ward 6 MS plan implementation point person (raised again at State of Schools and still no follow up)
  • Follow up on communications among principals that cut through current ‘clusters’ model – need teachers, principals to communicate with each other and align. Currently, many feeder schools do not coincide with clusters, so principals (and staff) have no incentives to talk to each other.


Upcoming Events:

  • August 21, Next CHPSPO Meeting:
  • August 25, School Beautification Day
  • October 3, Walk-to-School Day – NEED COORDINATORS!!! Contact George Blackmon ( if you can coordinate on behalf of your school


Visit CHPSPO on the web at

CHPSPO Meeting Notes – March 20, 2012

Dear Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization members,


Middle Schools

At our CHPSPO meeting on Tuesday, we had very informative presentations from Principals Tynika Young, Dawn Clemens and Natalie Gordon. After our discussion, we decided to form two “thinking groups” to further explore how we can support our neighborhood middle schools. The two thinking groups are:

1. Outreach – the scope of this thinking group is to look at things like:

a. spreading the word about the good things going on at our neighborhood middle schools;

b. bringing together parents from the different elementary feeder schools, e.g., living room chats, etc.;

c. helping people understand what the IB teaching approach is and the progress Jefferson, Eliot-Hine and Eastern are making in becoming IB certified;

d. creating opportunities for families to visit the neighborhood middle schools, e.g., art festivals, Spring baseball games, etc.

Outreach thinking group members are: Joe Weedon (chair), Andrea Ryan, Isabella Harris, and Barbara Riehle

2. Out-of-school time/Partnerships – the scope of this thinking group is to look at things like:

a. what existing out-of-school time activities do the middle schools currently have such as clubs and sports;

b. what partnerships currently exist at the schools to support out-of-time activities;

c. what are the desires of the principals, teachers and students for after-school activities;

d. identify opportunities for establishing partnerships to support out-of-school activities.

Out-of-school time/Partnerships thinking group members are: Suzanne Wells (chair), Sandra Moscoso-Mills, Principal Dawn Clemens, and Julie Scofield

The thinking groups will report at the April CHPSPO meeting on their progress. If others would like to join the thinking groups, please contact the chairs of the thinking groups (Joe Weedon, for the Outreach thinking group and Suzanne Wells, for the Out-of-school time/Partnerships thinking group).


DCPS Libraries

At our meeting, we also agreed CHPSPO would submit testimony at the March 28 DCPS budget hearing and/or write a letter to Chancellor Henderson regarding the FY13 budget changes that move librarians into a flexible funding category, and that eliminate librarians from schools with enrollments less than 299. A draft of the testimony/letter will be circulated in the next couple of days.


Smithsonian Education Lab

Finally, we had a very informative presentation by Jeff Meade with the Smithsonian Education Lab. There are great opportunities for free teacher training through the Smithsonian Education Lab. If your school is interested in exploring partnering opportunities with the Smithsonian Education Lab, contact Jeff at

Suzanne Wells