Twinning School of Truxton Circle

This is from the pile of stuff I have on my computer about DC History and while reviewing Church Survey uploads that hadn’t a lot of views, I noticed this one. I got this from the Sumner School Archives, a great resource and it is from DCPS Public School Buildings Past and Present, which appears to be an unpublished manuscript.

The Twinning School used to be a school at 3rd and O Streets NW. It was an 8 room school house built in 1883 and demolished sometime around the time Dunbar expanded. When it served as a school it was a segregated white school. It appears that it served as a school for white students until 1918. It became a school for African American students in 1925. In 1930 the Truxton Circle neighborhood was predominately African-American. It soon got absorbed by Armstrong on the other end of the block and became an auxiliary building. Now there is an empty field where it stood.

Twining School by Mm Inshaw

Education Rock and Hard Place

Since my blogging at Citymoms is supposed to be more positive, I’m going to post here.

Virtual Pre-K

So we had a video session with Destructo’s new teacher and classmates. It did not go all that well. My spouse is a hopeful man and despite all the disastrous Zoom sessions with his daycare and Sunday school group, with kids he knew and liked, he thinks the virtual classroom thing is going to work going forward. I think trying to hold a wriggly and loud toddler still for a camera, 2 seconds after he’s lost interest, is an unnamed circle of Dante’s Inferno.

Virtual classroom learning is not for everyone. It is clearly not Destructo’s style. Have you ever taken a Lynda.com course? I highly recommend it and it’s free through the DC Library. However, I have to be very motivated to finish a full course, and I’m an adult. Destructo is a hands on boy who needs positive peer pressure with kids around his own age or older.

But he’s not going to be in a classroom anytime soon. My theory is things don’t get back to normal until 2022. I’m not going to force him to sit in front of a screen for any amount of time. Some Pre-K kids do well with the virtual environment, ours doesn’t. Until things get back to normal, we’re going to have to cobble together something. While in the middle of moving. I feel like I’m juggling sippy cups, not disastrous if something drops, but still a mess.

Schools between rock and a hard place

Teachers, school supers and boards have my sympathy. If this was actually temporary, this would have been a bump that could have been remedied with extra in school time. But we are where we are. Whatever the powers that be do, they are damned. They don’t open, lots of kids’ educations will suffer, educational inequality will get worse, special needs will not be met, and minors’ mental health will degrade. They do open, they will be blamed for spreading the virus, not keeping kids safe, endangering compromised staff and students, and be liable to possible lawsuits. They open partially, then they get all of the damnation and I’ve mentioned the problem with virtual learning.

Asking schools to have a good universal virtual learning programming for all grades for Fall is akin to expecting a mom and pop eatery to be a Michelin starred or bib gourmand listed within the first year. It could happen, but highly unlikely.  There are kinks to be worked out, lessons to be learned, and discoveries of what does and doesn’t work. Despite all the happy positive talk, I don’t expect DCPS, DC Charters or any school system to hit the ground running without falling face flat. I don’t expect students to get the same or better level of education they would have gotten in an in-person space.

Looking Forward

We have a bunch of balls in the air. We are in temporary digs. Like many, we’re working from home. We are trying to get our long time home on the market and later find new digs close to family and the Help’s church friends. The potty training and any decent education is on the side burner.

We keep saying to ourselves that once we get settled, we’ll see what we can do with Destructo’s Sunday school buddies. We’ll look into a nanny share or attempting to hire a nanny. Because of the age cut offs in Maryland vs DC, Destructo isn’t eligible to transfer to private MD Pre-K3 from his DCPS public school. Waiting lists are going to be crazy.

And because people like trying to send parents on guilt trips, don’t even. Unless you’re a child care provider offering hours of free care, keep it to yourself. Many parents all over this country are making hard decisions. Some have choices, some don’t and the availability of those choices change day by day. This pandemic has stolen options and removed safety nets.

So we got our DC School Lottery Results

First off, we’d pretty much given up on caring that much. The daycare that Destructo is one of those few child development centers that offers free Pre-K 3 and 4. I was angling for something a bit fancier but due to Destructo’s not being fully potty trained, put a monkeywrench in the ranking order. So maybe next year. Also we’re eying an exodus from this lovely city for career reasons in the near future, so there’s that too.

Anyway, here is what we got in the email today.

My school DC waitilist resultsYes, I knew we had a snowball’s chance in the hottest part of Hell of getting into Mundo Verde. If we got in or if his waitlist number (not shown) wasn’t 3 digits, I’d be fast tracking that potty training. For reasons, too gross to put here, I believe he has more control over his body than he’s letting on. Same thing for Yu Ying, which is also a three digit waitlist number.

If I could have found something about proximity as a preference for Cleveland Elementary, I would have. Cleveland is closer to our home than our in-boundary school Seaton. But I didn’t see anything about proximity, so apparently that wasn’t a factor…. maybe. Our waitlist number for both Cleveland slots is thirty-something.

I love the fact that DC has school choice. I didn’t have to choose a school based on an address. When I bought my house, almost 20 years ago, I was a single childless woman, so what school boundary I was in was immaterial. Looking at where we’d move to in the land of Maryland drivers, yeah, elementary school boundaries are a concern. It also helps that Seaton is our in-boundary school, which isn’t that bad, and there are a couple of good charters in walking distance.

Looking at our top 5 which actually is a top 4, you can guess what we found important. Language. What do Cleveland Elementary (DCPS), Yu Ying PCS, and Mundo Verde PCS have in common? Dual language programs. Destructo is getting a bit of that at his daycare, ad hoc, but I don’t think Tagalog is a language he can take with him past Pre-K 4.

I appreciate an article written in the Post profiling 8 families and what went into their lottery choices. I get that people want to have families choose in-boundary or neighborhood schools over charters and out of boundary DCPS schools. But the reality is some schools suck. And I have a good memory of what DC schools were like in the 1990s and early 00s, and schools have improved, but they aren’t equal to all students. We and other parents, make decisions based on what we think is best for our family or our individual kids. We only have one, but I know kids, even in the same family are different. And the school that worked for kid #1 may not work for kid #2. Same for the neighborhood school that may work for kids 1-11, but not kid #12, #32, #57 or #71- 102. And programs take time to develop and by the time it’s ready for the kids it was promised to, those individual kids have moved on.

Anyway, I hope your waitlist number was low, or you got into the school of your choice, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Shaw School Review: Friendship PCS- Armstrong Elementary

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Friendship PCS- Armstrong Elementary
1400 1st St. NW or 111 O St NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades: PK3-5 (Note: Middle School for 2020 grades 4-8)
Before & After School care: Yes. Contact school. Prob. $70 a week for before and after care.
Enrollment: 417 (2019-20)
PreK3: 55; PreK4: 72; K: 63; 1st: 40; 2nd: 65; 3rd: 38; 4th: 37; 5th: 47
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 900; Unfilled seats 499 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- No figures found. Apparently those numbers will be available later in 2020 or 2021.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

Name of School # of Students
Thomas Elementary School 17
Truesdell Education Campus 10
Walker-Jones Education Campus 88
Browne Education Campus 23
Langley Elementary School 15
Seaton Elementary School 36
Cleveland Elementary School 13

Physical activity: Grades K-5: 65.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Pac. Is/Native Am.
ELA 2018-19 9.2% n<10 n<10 n<10
Math 2018-19 22.9% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males ELA 7.3% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 18.2% n<10 n<10 n<10

Views from Dunbar High SchoolMari’s 2 cents

I chose the picture of Armstrong before it was renovated. Friendship is the second charter school to take over the building. I almost feel that I should have a photo of the Langston school to show the importance of charters on the neighborhood. However, Langston is so far long gone no charter, no matter how well funded, isn’t going to touch it, unless the neighboring Slater building comes with.

I should write about the program. As the mom of a toddler, I should point out this is one of the few (the only I found) charters that seems forgiving when it comes to potty training. KIPP and Mundo Verde demand that students be potty trained.

They will have an open house on

Sources:
https://www.myschooldc.org/schools/profile/150
https://www.dcschoolreportcard.org/schools/120-0269
Copy of EdScape_Chapter 3 Facilities_Facility Enrollment and Utilization_6
2018-19 School Year Annual Enrollment Audit Report Supplemental Tables
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

Truxton Black History Link- Dunbar Cadet Corps

Right now the Library of Congress website is being very uncooperative. They have photographs of Dunbar High School girl cadets from the 1940s. So instead I’m going to link to someone else’s old blog post about the boys’ cadet corps circa 1950-1960.

It’s a pretty good post with photos from the Dunbar High School year book describing what the cadet corps did and their history. The author, Marion Woodfork Simmons,  said that the cadet corps was the precursor to the JROTC. My niece is in the JROTC at our (I & her mom – my sister- went there too) Florida high school. She’s interested in the Navy. Anwho, it seems Dunbar still has an JROTC program.

Intersection of Interests or Diversity is Hard part #354

Sunday, an obit in the paper edition of the Washington Post caught my eye because of the circumstances of the persons death. Courtney Mykytyn was standing on a curb, chatting with a neighbor, when another neighbor in a car accelerated in reverse, hitting and killing Mykytyn. I’m sensitive to drivers killing pedestrians and cyclists and even stupid people on scooters. [insert 1000 word rant about American car culture and climate change genuflecters who make no real change in their energy consumption habits. Did you know your drivers license is a license to kill?] It wasn’t until the near end of the obituary when I realized I had listened to her podcast.


Integrated Schools is a well produced podcast, but I found it super cringey. I know. I know. I am not the target audience. I’m a black mom and this is a podcast for lefty white parents talking to other lefty white parents about their whiteness and education. Knowing I’d probably write on this, I listened to some more podcasts to be fair. What I got out of that was an exposure to only what I can call a perverse white superiority that feeds on black and brown dysfunction. And it isn’t just for white people, Asians and bi-racial people can join in on struggling over their privilege too. Opposite of the Asian Parenting for College Success podcast.  I listen to a lot of podcasts.

Listening to these podcasts I grew concerned about my own neighborhood and the in-boundary school of Seaton. The message I was hearing in these podcast to white parents was ‘don’t bring your A game.’ To which I am going to scream BRING YOUR A GAME! I wanted you to fight and try to #SaveShawMS (RIP Shaw Middle School). Was that effort lost because some parents were holding back? Why did I just sit in the background and not bring my A game? I’ve got a great excuse, because my kid is 2 and not enrolled in Seaton and thus not in a feeder for what would have been Shaw Middle School.

I also grew concerned about childless white neighbors and they deciding to hold back too as a way to confront their own whiteness. Nah, I need you to keep on the SaveMcMillian Park effort. This effort began before most of you got here. Former ANC and BACA president Jim Berry put me on some committee or panel a decade and a half ago to slow it down. Mayor Bowser is hellbent on getting the greenspace paved over and developed, historic districting/landmarking or whatever bedamned.

I listened to Integrated Schools podcast episode regarding gentrification and school segregation. There was one thing Ms. Mykytyn said regarding getting mugged that ticked me off. Listen friends, your whiteness is not a bulletproof shield. It does not protect you from stray bullets. It does not protect you from the mentally ill beating you, or raping and killing you. I want you to be safe. Get those damned headphones out of your ears. Be aware of your surroundings. Say ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ to people you pass on the street.

Folks diversity is hard. There are no easy answers and there are many moving parts. Resist the urge to turn people into magic minorities. Resist the idea of not being and giving your best in service to your neighbors. There are so many stories I could tell about how the neighborhood was saved (or delayed an unwanted inevitable until the nab could handle it) by having a lawyer or journalist or some A type personality in the group. It wasn’t their whiteness but the skills they developed in their profession. Bradley Thomas & Teri Quinn brought their lawyer skills, not black lawyer skills but competent lawyer skills to the betterment of Bloomingdale and Truxton Circle. So not about color. Diversity is our strength when we are united in a goal, be it holding people (developers, city govt agencies, etc) accountable or reducing crime after a fatal shooting.

Lastly, on parenting, diversity, and gentrification let me share with you an observation. When I first moved into Shaw in the 00s it was not uncommon to see a Black mother yelling at her kids using profanity and verbally abusing her children. Humans are very social animals. We observe and watch each other. Sometime in the last 10 years I began noticing young and not so young black fathers in the neighborhood interacting with their kids in similar ways as hipster white dads. Several months ago I observed another black mother, walking down the sidewalk,  fussing at her elementary aged son. She was mad. She was livid. But not a single curse word passed her lips. That’s improvement.

Shaw School Review: City Center- Shaw

Center City PCS

Center City PCS – Shaw
711 N St. NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades:   PK4-8
Before & After School care: Yes. Contact school. Monthly cost $180.00.
Enrollment: 230 (2018-19)
PreK4: 16; K: 24; 1st: 20; 2nd: 21; 3rd: 26; 4th: 24; 5th: 26; 6th: 25; 7th: 25; 8th: 23
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 280; Unfilled seats 50 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- No figures found. If I were more confident with math, I’d try. But I’m a humanities person, I don’t do math.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

Name of School # of Students
School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens 26
Walker-Jones Education Campus 20
Cardozo Education Campus 11
Thomson Elementary School 28
Seaton Elementary School 38

Physical activity: Grades K-5: 270.00 Minutes/week
Grades 6-8: 90.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 26.5% n<10 32.2% n<10
Math 2018-19 28.9% n<10 33.9% n<10
Males ELA 13.6% n<10 26.9% n<10
Males Math 31.8% n<10 34.6% n<10

Schools
Mari’s 2 cents– I remember when this was the Immaculate Conception Catholic School. And that makes me sad. What makes me happy is that I had my wedding reception in this school building, but that has nothing to do with the school itself. The Center City schools exist in the former buildings of struggling catholic schools closed by the Archbishop. The reason why they were struggling is that those schools served primarily low-income students and the city was offering free charters, and it is hard to compete with free. So when you can’t beat them, join them. If things go downhill for St. Augustine, this could be their fate too.

Sources:
https://www.myschooldc.org/schools/profile/150
https://secureservercdn.net/45.40.149.159/x6k.c0b.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ExtendedDayOverviewEnglish.pdf
https://www.dcschoolreportcard.org/schools/156-1107
https://dcpcsb.org/center-city-pcs-shaw
2018-19 School Year Annual Enrollment Audit Report Supplemental Tables
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

Shaw School Review: KIPP GROW/LEAD/WILL

Technically these are three separate schools…. but on one campus on the corner of P and 5th St NW.
KIPP- Will KIPP Shaw DC Campus
421 P Street NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades:   Grow Academy Grades PreK3-K
………………Lead Academy Grades 1-4
………………WILL Academy Grades 5-8
Before & After School care: Yes. See operator, AlphaBest’s flyer for prices.
Enrollment: 1046 (Grow 318; Lead 400; WILL 328)  (2018-19)
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 1050 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- $19,269 2018 DC Funding per Student/$21,057 Expenses per student for all KIPP schools. Neither the DCPSCB nor OSSE has this data broken down by school.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

KIPP GROW-Pre-K 3& 4 and K # of Students
Hendley Elementary School 11
Walker-Jones Education Campus 22
Thomson Elementary School 14
Tubman Elementary School 10
Smothers Elementary School 16
Nalle Elementary School 10
Langley Elementary School 19
Seaton Elementary School 37
Cleveland Elementary School 10
KIPP-LEAD Grades 1-4 # of Students
Thomas Elementary School 15
Truesdell Education Campus 10
Walker-Jones Education Campus 26
Thomson Elementary School 17
Plummer Elementary School 11
Langdon Elementary School 14
Langley Elementary School 18
King Elementary School 12
Seaton Elementary School 45
Cleveland Elementary School 22
KIPP WILL Grades 5-8 # of students
School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens 17
Walker-Jones Education Campus 42
Cardozo Education Campus 34
Hart Middle School 20
Johnson Middle School 11
Columbia Heights Education Campus 6-8 (CHEC) 16
Brookland Middle School 10
Sousa Middle School 11
Kelly Miller Middle School 31
McKinley Middle School 11
Seaton Elementary School 14
LaSalle-Backus Education Campus 11
Kramer Middle School 10

Physical Activity Time: Grades K-5: 335.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations KIPP- LEAD
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 39.7% n<10 n<10 n<10
Math 2018-19 68.6% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males ELA 30% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 62.2% n<10 n<10 n<10
PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations KIPP- WILL
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 36.4% n<10 53.8% n<10
Math 2018-19 32.1% n<10 53.8% n<10
Males ELA 29.3% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 28.7% n<10 n<10 n<10

Mari’s 2cents– Well the enrollment numbers explain the traffic clusterfrack that sometimes occurs along P Street and the 1500 block of 5th Street in the mornings and afternoon. So many Maryland tags…..
KIPP is a large collection of schools and only some data points are broken down by individual schools. DC isn’t the only source of revenue for KIPP as they use Federal and donor funds.
The math test scores for African-American boys at KIPP-Lead are better than I’ve seen than any school in Shaw. ELA (English) is ‘eh’.
KIPP does attract a number of students away from Shaw in-boundary schools like Seaton and Cleveland Elementary. But what I found curious was the number of students from School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens, which is a stone’s throw from the Park. What’s up with that? Also there are a bunch of schools I had not heard of that aren’t Shaw or Brookland or Eckington adjacent. For KIPP-WILL a lot of students are in the Cardozo and Walker-Jones boundaries. Because of logistics, if you are on the other side of the road of death that is New York Avenue, I understand why. And Cardozo is a PITA to get to.

Sources:

Schools


https://www.alphabest.org/kippdc
https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/2018-19%20UPSFF%20Payment%20Letter.pdf
EdScape_Chapter 3 Facilities_Facility Enrollment and Utilization_6
https://dcpcsb.egnyte.com/dl/CLgymS38ng/
https://dcpcsb.org/sites/default/files/media/file/KIPP%20DC%20PCS_Financial%20Analysis%20Report_2.pdf
FY1718_Public School Enrollments per DCPS Boundary
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

Shaw School Review: St. Augustine Catholic School

St. Augustine school DC
1421 V Street NW

Type of school: Parochial / Private
Grades: Pre-K3 to 8
Before School care: Unsure (ADW says yes)
After School care: Yes, $1,875.00 per child
Enrollment: 183 (2018-19)
Student:Staff Ratio: 6:1

PS K 1st  2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
15 15 12 17 20 18 24 21 18 23

Cost Per Pupil-$13,750  Tuition: $6,250.00 per child (Archdioceses of Washington-ADW provides a $7,750.00 subsidy for every student)

2017-18 PARCC Classification

St-Aug-1

St-AugMathRegion

St-Aug-Reading St-Aug-Math

Mari’s 2cents: This will be the only private school I will be reviewing because finding information about private schools is a bit more challenging. The data is stale because it looks like the Roman Catholic Archdioceses of Washington (ADW) only bothered testing everyone in the 2017-2018 school year. When I look for test data at other Catholic schools they cite 2017-2018 as well. They have a different test, Scantron.
Compared to the rest of DC, and I’m assuming it is DCPS, charter and maybe some other schools, St. Augustine tests very well. Forty-nine percent of it’s students are performing at or above expectations (using the PARC 1-5 system) in reading/ ELA and 51% in Math, compared to DC-State at 28% and 27%. I should also mention the school is about 98% African American.

Sources:
https://staug-dc.org
Q4 Attachment – Private School Enrollment SY14-15 SY15-16 SY16-17, SY17-18 to date (Excel Sheet)
https://adwcatholicschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2018-2019-Strategic-Data-Portfolio-FINAL.pdf
https://d2y1pz2y630308.cloudfront.net/17051/documents/2019/3/St.%20Augustine%202017%20-%202018%20Local%20PARCC.pdf

Shaw School Review: Cleveland Elementary School

Schools

1825 8th St. NW

Type of school: Public
Grades: Pre-K 3 to 5

PreK3: 29;  PreK4: 44; K: 42; 1st: 37; 2nd: 35; 3rd: 40; 4th: 39; 5th: 38

Before School care: No
After School care: Yes, Fee
Enrollment: 304 (2018-19)
Permanent DCPS Programmatic Capacity, 346; Unfilled Seats, 42 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- $11,029 (300 students 2019-2020 General Education)

Boundaries

Percent of in-boundary participation: 29.1% (2017-18)

Schools attended by in-boundary students (2017-18)

Name of School # of Students
Seaton Elementary School 25
KIPP DC – Lead Academy PCS 22
Thomson Elementary School 17
Friendship PCS – Armstrong 13
KIPP DC – Grow Academy PCS 10

Physical Activity Time: Grades K-5: 75 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 20.3% N/A 29.7% n<10
Math 2018-19 20.3% N/A 40.5% n<10
Males ELA 10.8% N/A 21.1% N/A
Males Math 24.3% N/A 42.1% N/A

Mari’s 2cents: I’m taking the participation rate with a grain of salt because I’m not sure if they are counting Pre-K kids who have to lottery into the boundary and space is limited. I have another table for other institutions that take OSSE money for Pre-K so there is that. Also notice which schools students are going to instead of Cleveland, Seaton (DCPS), KIPP Lead and Grow, Friendship-Armstrong, and Thompson (DCPS), these are schools in Shaw or close to it. Two of them are other DCPS schools, so it isn’t that DCPS schools aren’t fitting a need, just that particular one. I’m including unfilled seats because someone tweeted about a horrible number of unfilled seats in Ward 5. Forty-two seats seem small and I suspect those are spread out to the higher grades as the peak number of kids is below 1st grade. Cleveland has a dual language program for Spanish and English which looks very interesting and appealing. But you want to know what’s even more appealing? It’s like almost across the street from the Shaw metro.

Sources:

2018-19 School Year Annual Enrollment Audit Report Supplemental Tables
EdScape_Chapter 3 Facilities_Facility Enrollment and Utilization_6
http://dcpsbudget.ourdcschools.org/
https://www.dcschoolreportcard.org/schools/1-0224
https://www.myschooldc.org/schools/profile/23/
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance
FY1718_Public School Enrollments per DCPS Boundary