Key Takeaways from the SBOE

District of Columbia State Board of Education

Key Takeaways Newsletter


November 2018

Earlier this week, the State Board co-hosted a public form on teacher and principal retention in District public schools, convening more than 100 students, teachers, principals, policymakers, and community members to design systemic solutions. At our public meeting this month, the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate released their 2018 annual reports. Our ESSA Task Force heard an update from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on the school report card timeline and an overview of ESSA school improvement designations that will be made this winter. The Student Advisory Committee met this month with representatives from the Deputy Mayor of Education’s (DME) office to discuss best practices in attendance.

Engage with your State Board members on the issues that affect you the most. All students, parents, educators, and community members are invited to provide testimony at our monthly public meetings. Call us at (202) 741-0888 (TTY:221) or email us at to find out more!

2018 SBOE Members

Karen Williams
President, Ward 7
Jack Jacobson 
Vice President, Ward 2
Ashley MacLeay
Laura Wilson Phelan
Ward 1
Ruth Wattenberg
Ward 3
Ward 4
Mark Jones
Ward 5
Joe Weedon
Ward 6
Markus Batchelor
Ward 8

Citywide Forum on Teacher and Principal Retention

Retention Forum 2018

Group collaboration during Retention Forum

As a next step in our work on this important issue, the SBOE partnered with EmpowerEd to host a public forum on teacher and principal retention to identify potential solutions to issues that both the traditional and public charter sectors are facing. The report that we commissioned from Mary Levy provided us with data, but developing solutions requires that educators, parents, school leadership, and policymakers work together.

Thanks to the over 100 educators, policymakers, students, parents, and advocates who joined us earlier this week for our citywide forum focused on solutions to our teacher and principal retention challenges in both sectors of our education system. DC has among the highest rates of teacher turnover nationally and among similar urban school districts. We had diverse voices from every section of our city weigh in and help the State Board bolster our advocacy for the support and resources educators need to stay in our system and support our students.

Key Points

  • Need to understand where pressures are coming from and the effect on teachers/principals
  • Create strategies to develop healthier work/life balance
  • Look at extending principal contracts past one year to create consistency
  • Appreciate teacher value and offer opportunities for mentorship
  • Offer more flexible staffing to enable teachers to step into more leadership roles

Stay tuned as we review and synthesize the information from the forum into strategies and seek more public input in the coming weeks.

View Photos from Event

Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education Annual Report

Ombudsman Annual Report 2018

The Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education presented its Annual Report for School Year 2017–18 at this month’s public meeting. In this report, the office highlighted the office’s impact over the last year, offers an analysis of the data collected over the last year, and provides a review of the last five years. This year’s report provides data, analysis, and recommendations related to the office’s work in mediation and conflict resolution to resolve complaints and concerns for parents and families regarding public education in the District of Columbia.

Read the Report

Office of the Student Advocate Annual Report

Student Advocate Report

Led by Chief Student Advocate Faith Gibson Hubbard, the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA) works to equalize the balance of power between families and schools by increasing family voice, access, and power. In the office’s day-to-day work, OSA supports students and families in their advocacy through parent education, one-on-one coaching, resource supports, and trainings. In school year 2017–18, its third year of operation, the office focused on partnering more intentionally and scaling impact by touching over 3500 families through its Request for Assistance (RFA) line and outreach efforts.

Read the Report

ESSA Task Force Update

ESSA Task Force November 2018

ESSA Task Force members during November meeting

During this month’s meeting, representatives from OSSE presented a progress update on the new DC school report card set to debut next month.

Key Points

  • Over 3 years, OSSE will invest $11 million to help schools improve.
  • In December 2018, OSSE will designate specific schools for improvement.
  • The future school report card home will be:
  • The new school report card will be released in December 2018.

The task force meets again on December 11, 2018. The task force meeting will be streamed live via Periscope for those community members who are unable to attend in person.


Presentation Slides | Watch the Replay

ESSA Info Page

Student Advisory Committee Update

Student Advisory Committee November 2018

Student Advisory Committee at November meeting

Student Representatives Tatiana Robinson and Marjoury Alicea hosted the school year’s third Student Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting on November 5, 2018 with representatives from the Deputy Mayor of Education’s (DME) office. DME leads the citywide Every Day Counts Task Force in an attempt to provide cross-sector comparable information about student attendance as well as lowering rates of chronic absenteeism and truancy.  The Student Advisory Committee discussed the DME’s efforts over the past few years and offered their suggestions on how to improve programming for students.

SAC Info Page

SBOE in the Community

Our Visit to Excel Academy

SBOE Visit to Excel Academy

State Board members, staff, Principal Pritchard and her team

This week, State Board members Ashley MacLeay (At-Large), Ruth Wattenberg (Ward 3),  Markus Batchelor (Ward 8), and SBOE staff visited Ward 8’s newest DCPS school, Excel Academy, to learn about the amazing things happening since the start of the school year.

Key Facts

  • Excel Academy welcomed 20% new students this year, with 80% returning from last year when it was Excel PCS
  • 50% of the teachers returned from last year
  • New PTA has formed, with elections held earlier this week
  • Pre-K3/4 through 8th grade, all in one building
  • 460 female student population all grades
  • All students participate in “Sister Circle,” where once a week scholars are celebrated and recognized

SBOE members walked the halls and classrooms with Principal Tenia Pritchard to see how her staff uses wrap-around supports and high expectations to build up the community’s girls. Principal Pritchard talked about the transition she led this past summer and how their work in the first year is already shifting achievement and building family confidence. Thanks for welcoming us and we look forward to coming back!

View Photos from Visit

Upcoming Events

December 3 Special Education Workshop

December Working Session

December ESSA Task Force Meeting

December Student Advisory Committee Meeting

December Public Meeting