The Takeaway | SBOE Education Updates

The Takeaway | SBOE Education Updates 

July 25, 2017

#DCGradReqs Task Force

First Meeting Wednesday, July 26th

The High School Graduation Requirements Task Force holds its first meeting tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in Room 1114 at 441 4th St. NW. This meeting will be broadcast LIVE through our new Facebook discussion group dedicated exclusively to the work of the Task Force. Join the group today to get the latest updates and connect to our live meetings. All task force meetings are open to the public. However, individuals and representatives of organizations are not permitted to speak or participate during task force sessions. District residents may stay involved and provide input throughout this process in other ways as well. Individuals and representatives of organizations may submit written testimony or information for consideration by the task force. You may also share your thoughts with your elected State Board member or the task force co-chairs, Laura Wilson Phelan (Ward 1) and Markus Batchelor (Ward 8).


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#ESSA Task Force

Members to be Announced Next Week

Thank you to everyone who applied to serve on our Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Task Force! We received close to 60 applications from students, parents, teachers, community members, and education advocates from across the District. The SBOE Educational Excellence and Equity Committee will review all applications over the next week. Expect an announcement of selected members next week!

Under the leadership of Ward 4 representative Dr. Lannette Woodruff, the ESSA Advisory Task Force will advise the SBOE over the next two years. The SBOE is committed to broad community input in the decision making related to the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

new essa TF

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Every Day Counts! Task Force

DME Provided Update to SBOE

At this month’s public meeting, the SBOE welcomed representatives from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) to present an update on the Every Day Counts! Task Force. In September of last year, the SBOE and the DME launched a joint attendance campaign, Every Day Counts!, to highlight the importance of attendance in District schools. The Every Day Counts! Task Force, of which Ward 7 Member & President Karen Williams is a Steering Committee member and At-Large Member Ashley Carter participates in committee discussions, partners with District agencies and stakeholders to collectively advance and coordinate strategies to increase student attendance and reduce truancy.


  • 21% of DC students are chronically truant and 26% of DC students are chronically absent
  • Truancy rates are lowest in Wards 2 & 3 (17%) and highest in Ward 8 (38%)
  • Truancy rates in DC are 2-3 times higher in high school than in other grades
  • Economically disadvantaged students in DC are 2.3 times more likely to have been truant than wealthier peers
  • African American students are at the highest risk for truancy
  • Students receiving special education services have higher rates of truancy and chronic absenteeism
  • Homeless students have the highest rates of both truancy (45%) and chronic absenteeism (49%)


  • Change community awareness, attitudes, and behaviors related to attendance
  • Increase the number of youth with an adult mentor or other positive adult relationship
  • Evaluate new attendance interventions to support a body of evidence-based practices
  • Reduce absenteeism by 3-5% in among target groups (K, 6th graders, 9th graders, and students with chronic health conditions)
  • Reduce all absenteeism Districtwide by 3%

The goals above will be measured using a variety of metrics including utilizing a school climate survey, pilots for intervention, and analysis of absenteeism rates.

NEW ATtendance counts

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Public Comment: Teacher Turnover

Summary to be Sent to Council Committee on  Education

At this month’s public meeting, the SBOE received a tremendous amount of public comments on teacher turnover from District teachers, community members, and education advocates. Over the next week, SBOE staff will review and summarize all of the testimony heard at the public meeting and attach each individual testimony as appendices. Once the Board has reviewed the summary, it will be sent to the Council Committee on Education for inclusion in their upcoming hearings.

whole board 07 17

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