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S.H.A.P.P.E. Meetings

S.H.A.P.P.E. June 27, 2017 Meeting

Shepherd Park Library

Review of the Year;

Our efforts, based on input at the monthly meetings focused on the following major areas:

·         Chancellor Selection and Evaluation: We worked closely with C4DC to communicate our priorities for the new chancellor as well as how he would be evaluated.  These two documents are posted on the S.H.A.P.P.E. website                

To our knowledge the metrics for evaluation were not formally adopted.  However we can return to them as our priorities of record. 

C4DC was able to have an extended meeting with the Chancellor where S.H.A.P.P.E. was represented along with the other advocacy groups belonging to C4DC.  There was then a follow up meeting on the budget tool. 

·         Every Student Succeeds Act proposal to the Dept. of Education: S.H.A.P.P.E worked with other advocacy organizations to make sure that communities had an opportunity to comment and influence the way schools will be measured.  Our uniform push was to have growth count as far more than proficiency so that schools might be measured on what they have some control over. 

For the elementary schools the measure did change to be weighted more toward growth.  Because the high schools only administer the test once, there is no growth measure. Instead performance and participation are measured on the AP or IB test along with the PARCC results.  We also had hoped for a more robust measure of school climate. There is a window to introduce this as well as a growth measure for the high schools going forward, just not for the immediate future. 

OSSE and the Board did approve a single measure of quality as denoted by a1 to 5 stars.   Our hope is to keep examining this.  It was our feeling that it unfairly favors some schools over others working with students who arrive with more challenges. 

·         Budget:  SHAPPE was represented on the Uniform per Pupil Funding Formula Advisory Committee which recommended an increase to the formula of 3.5%. When the Mayor’s budget reflected only a 1.5% increase we were able to work with groups across the city and the City Council to provide the education budgets with a 3% raise.  Our priority is that these funds go toward the at risk students where current funds are supplanting versus supplementing school budgets. 

·         Capital Budget: Coolidge is the last neighborhood high school to be renovated.  It will start construction this fall.  Our challenge now with our new high schools is to ensure that they are maintained and that the programs take advantage of the space and meet the needs of our students.

Chancellor Wilson has identified 7 areas he will focus on:

Help All Learners Succeed

Embrace the Whole Child

Prepare Students for College and Career

Engage Families

Give Schools What They Need

Invest in People

Focus Our Work


Looking at our work for next year after an extended discussion those present thought that working with the Chancellor on Helping All Learners Succeed would be one important priority. 

Specifically we discussed proposing:

·         Each school working closely with the LSAT will write an education plan. This plan should be supported and signed off on by the LSAT. This planning process will take place in the early fall and should be well supported. It is in this process that suggestions for the use of At Risk funds will be generated.  The budget will fund this plan. 

·         Each school would get a line item in their budget of their at risk funds. This way it will be clear that these funds are not to be used for core services that every student deserves, they are to supplement the basic program

·         S.H.A.P.P.E. will work with each school community, with the research and with DCPS to come up with a menu of strategic options from which schools will choose the initiatives best suited to their students for the use of these funds.  A school community can also suggest an additional option that would be subject to approval.

Those present also agreed from a citywide perspective to advocate for a clear policy that will commit the city to maintaining their infrastructure of publicly managed schools.   DC no longer has the publicly owned buildings to provide this infrastructure.  As the DC Public Charter School Board approves the expansion of schools for 5000 more seats over the next few years, what is the educational vison for the city with regard to its public infrastructure?  With a large number of unoccupied seats across both sectors, where should expansion take place?  We feel these are questions that should be addressed.  Every feeder pattern should have a clear plan for the next 10 years that is included in the Master Facilities Plan that will be written.  This will be an additional focus.  WE hope to identify a champion on the Council to support this direction in policy. 

Our discussion covered many areas that we will see how we can address in our meetings next year. We will continue to add to this list in our meeting in August and fine tune our plans for 2017-2018

·         We look forward to meeting and working with the new Deputy Chief for Socio Emotional Learning that Chancellor Wilson has announced will be part of his cabinet. These are issues that have a profound effect at the high school level. 

·         We hope that at least one member of S.H.A.P.P.E. will be selected to serve on the Task force that will review the graduation requirements.  One member suggested that DC should adopt multiple paths to a diploma with differing requirements similar to many other states.

·         The Office of Youth Outcomes will be moving over to the Deputy Mayor for Education.  DC AYA will be lobbying to restore and expand the funding for out of school time. 

·         The Evaluation systems for teachers and principals drive the program now. We hope to work with the new administration to apply lessons learned.  This means raising the graduation rate takes precedence over other priorities – it has steered us away from concentrating on how the students are learning or being educated to the end point of passing a course sometimes without mastery of the material.  IMPACT is perceived as discouraging a teacher from taking some well thought out risks to meet students where they are. It is also perceived as not as fair for new teachers in challenging schools.

·         We would like to work to have schools and teachers balance giving students equitable experiences better with identifying programs that are most effective with different groups of students.   As central has moved toward greater and greater standardization there have been some unintended ramifications and losses that might be addressed going forward. 

·         We might learn a lot by asking questions like how is reading taught at each level and in different schools?  As we see the deficits that students arrive at high school with can we better inform the preparation? 

·         If International Academies are successful at the high school level for students recently arrived from different countries can we extend that to some of our elementary and middle schools?

·         There is important legislation moving forward in early education.  Would it make sense for high school communities to support adequate support for the city’s young so that they would arrive at high school with a positive approach to learning?  

·         We discussed two movies:

o   Backpack Full of Cash – groups are working to have this movie shown again this fall perhaps at the Wilson building

o   Movie on Dunbar and on Ballou that might be appropriate for us to view even in part along with the Chancellor to help everyone keep our history in mind as well as the strength in our schools that is not always advertised. 

Our meeting ended at 8pm.  We will not have a full July meeting but will meet the 4th Tuesday in August.  We will continue to keep folks posted.  Enjoy the remainder of the summer. 

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