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Mayor Bowser Highlights Investments in Middle and High Schools

Friday, February 24, 2017
Investments Mark Eighth Consecutive Year of Expanded Support for Students

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced $6.2 million in new investments for middle and high school programming at DC Public Schools (DCPS). Beginning in School Year 2017-2018, the investments will support additional extracurricular offerings, STEM and algebra courses, and college and career supports.

“These investments will transform the middle and high school experience for students throughout DC, and ensure that we are setting more students up for success,” said Mayor Bowser. “In Washington, DC, we value public education, and we know that investments in our schools are really investments in the future of our community. By adding more extracurriculars, more STEM classes, and additional college and career support, we will be able to engage more students and keep them on track to succeed beyond high school.”

Investing in the Middle School Experience

Starting in SY 2017-2018, DC Public Schools will increase extracurricular offerings in middle schools, a change that will ensure every middle school student in DCPS has the option to participate in at least one extracurricular program. New offerings will include: coding clubs, lacrosse, wrestling, rugby, archery, and hockey, as well as wheelchair track and field and unified basketball for students with disabilities.

“These budget priorities focus on making school joyful for students and providing supports for all students to be successful in school, no matter their path,” said DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson.

Middle schools will also add engineering and computer science electives, allowing students to access robust engineering instruction and have exposure to STEM courses before reaching high school. These electives will be supported by the addition of 750 new computers. Additionally, building on recommendations from the Algebra Task Force, in SY2017-2018, all DCPS middle schools will offer algebra.

In addition to these system-wide reforms, DCPS will also open an “Opportunity Eighth Grade” at Washington Metropolitan High School. The program will launch in SY 2017-2018 and will support students who have struggled in middle school by helping them gain the academic and socio-emotional skills needed to thrive in high school.

Expanding Support for High School Students

Also starting in SY 2017-2018, DCPS will expand their college and career support, ensuring more 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students receive a tailored postsecondary graduation plan for college or career. Piloted at Ballou High School, H.D. Woodson High School, and Anacostia High School in SY 2016-2017, College and Career Coordinators ensure that all students have plans for high school and beyond, more exposure to college via tours and expos, and assistance with SAT prep and FAFSA completion. With the support of their College and Career Coordinator, 100 percent of graduating seniors at Ballou High School have applied to college.

In SY 2017-2018, College and Career Coordinators will support students at Ballou High School, Coolidge High School, Anacostia High School, Cardozo Education Campus, Dunbar High School, H.D. Woodson, Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC), Eastern High School, and Roosevelt High School.

Investing in Over-Age, Under-Credited Students

In SY 2016-2017, Mayor Bowser made critical investments in Opportunity Academies (Luke C. Moore High School, Washington Metropolitan High School, Ballou STAY High School, and Roosevelt STAY High School) and neighborhood high schools. These investments gave more students, especially over-age, under-credited students, a path to graduation.

In the coming year, DCPS will build on those investments at Opportunity Academies by:

  • providing Summit Personalized Learning, an instructional program that integrates high-quality, individualized digital learning in all core subjects;
  • offering specialized programming to prepare students for college and the workplace; and
  • providing students with increased out-of-class opportunities, including paid internships and expanded athletics programs.