It was good to see the smiling faces of children return to Ross this morning. I hope everyone enjoyed the winter break and is feeling rested and rejuvenated. 

 

Arts Update
Thank you to parents who completed the Arts survey. For the coming school year, Ross will offer visual art and general music aligned to the DCPS curricular standards on-site and the following year, the new art and music classrooms will be completed in the renovated attic space. 
The Ross Personnel Committee will prioritize hiring a general music teacher who is also trained to teach band or strings instrument. The structural work on the attic is schedule to begin this summer with the completion of the space scheduled for the summer of 2021. The RFP has been released by DGS. A contractor has not yet been selected. You can learn more about the project here: https://dgs.dc.gov/event/dcam-20-cs-rfp-0007-design-build-services-john-w-ross-elementary-school
The summary of parent and student survey results is attached. You can expect to receive a “Frequently Asked Questions” document addressing questions and concerns in next week’s bulletin.

 

FY21 Budget
The FY21 budget was submitted on Friday, February 14. Thank you to parents who attended one of the two budget engagement sessions held the week of February 10. You can find the FY21 initial budget allocations for all DCPS at dcpsdatacenter.com
After submitted budgets have been approved, they will be made public, as well.

 

What is our FY21 budget providing?
We will continue to prioritize education that supports the whole child with:
Two full-time English Language Learner (ELL) teachers and two full-time Special Education Inclusion teachers, a full-time Social Worker, a part-time Psychologist, related arts positions (World Language, Library, Health/Physical Education, Visual Art and General Music) eleven classroom teachers including Math and Literacy instructional coaches who also provide targeted interventions and a full time STEM teacher who works with teachers and students. 

 

To provide this level of professional, instructional support for all learners, we will reduce our current level of educational aide staffing from seven to five positions. We will partner with Urban Teachers (urbanteachers.org) for two of the five positions in order to prioritize the recruitment of racially diverse aspiring teacher candidates.  We also need to reduce the main office administrative support staff from full-time to part-time. Our operations budget and non-personnel spending (administrative positions and custodial support) are among the leanest in DCPS, allowing us to prioritize teaching and learning. 

 

Race and Diversity Working Group
Following January’s community meeting to discuss how racial diversity strengthens communities, parents had the opportunity to indicate an interest in leading future race and diversity work with families. This working group will launch Tuesday, February 25 at 9am in Principal Searl’s office and begin developing what the group’s core work will be as well as what organizational structures need to be established in order to sustain the work. This meeting, and all future working group gatherings, are open to anyone who is interested in leading race and diversity work with Ross families.

 

Volunteer Clearance Update
We encourage all parents/guardians to complete the volunteer clearance process with DCPS.
Your clearance expires every two years and must be renewed. We have been advised that you may leave the “social security number” fields blank if you do not have a SSN. Learn more about the process here: https://dcps.dc.gov/page/volunteer-our-schools

 

Thank you for coming to BINGO Night!
A great time was had by all at last week’s Bingo Night.  We appreciate everyone who came out and spent time with the Ross community.  A special thank you to our MC, Mr. Eickmeyer, and to all who helped set up, serve pizza, and clean up!

 

12th Annual Ross Fundraising Auction: Saturday, March 7th, 7-10pm at the Human Rights Campaign
This year’s Hawaiian Luau-themed auction is less than two weeks away and final preparations are underway!  Please RSVP now to help the committee plan accordingly!  We are hard at work procuring items and planning a fun party for our community.  Do book your babysitters now as this is an adults-only event.  To assist you with finding childcare, here is a code for 50% off your first month of UrbanSittermembership: EVENTSCH350. It’s valid now through March 31, 2020 and can be redeemed here: https://www.urbansitter.com/promo/event50

 

Check Out Our Auction Website!
Please visit our website to not only RSVP, but also browse some of the items procured for our live and silent auction to date, including sports tickets, restaurants, gyms, and camps, like HeadFirst!

 

Last Call for Auction Items!
Not only do we want you to come to the Auction, we also hope that you will consider donating an item.  You could donate a themed auction basket (the PTA will provide the basket!), home-cooked meal; photography; or vacation home.  If you have an item, talent, or skill, please email us at rossauction2020@gmail.com, or fill out this online form. 

 

Tuesday, February 25
*Parent Equity & Diversity Working Group Meeting, 9:00 a.m.
*Auction Committee Meeting, Treehouse Atelier, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday, February 27
*LSAT Meeting, 5:00 p.m.

Friday, February 28
*Free Dress Day
*February Birthday Celebrations

Saturday, February 29
STEM in the City, US Botanic Garden, 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 3
*PTA EB Meeting, 8:45 a.m

Saturday, March 7
*12th Annual Ross Fundraising Auction, 7:00 p.m., HRC

Sunday, March 29
*Politics & Prose Book Fair