Principal’s Weekly Update

In this week’s bulletin, there is one key announcement concerning the intended number of PK classes for next year and our anticipated FY20 enrollment.  There is also information about a new holiday display and the OSSE STAR Report Card that will go public this week.

DCPS IS OPEN ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5

Planning for the 2019-2020 School Year
Each fall, DCPS shares enrollment projections with Principals and Local School Advisory Teams (LSAT) to inform planning and budgeting for the next school year. We opened with a record enrollment this year (196 students) compared to opening with 171 students in August 2017.

We created a mixed-age K-1 model three years ago to manage robust enrollment trends in those grades and we are now seeing class sizes grow in Grades 2-5 as well. We expect this trend to continue based on strong retention of 5thgraders and current housing construction within the boundary. We currently exceed the recommended class sizes for K-2 and our teachers are feeling strained by this and by limited teaching space. When the LSAT met this fall, I requested they identify short and long term solutions to our physical space constraints. The LSAT identified and discussed a variety of options, including eliminating the PK3 program and requesting completion of the attic space, and shared them in two community meetings in addition to soliciting electronic feedback. After consulting with a variety of stakeholders and central office, the best course of action going forward to immediately manage class size is to eliminate PK3 at Ross. I understand that our PK3 program has been a highly-sought after benefit for our community and that many families with rising PK3 children will be disappointed by this news. However, as a non-Title I school, we are not required to offer this level of programming to our community, especially when our compulsory attendance grades are over-capacity. The Head Start model was created by President Johnson in 1964 as part of his “war on poverty” and was designed to meet the social, emotional, health, nutritional and psychological needs of children from low-income families.  We are grateful that the District of Columbia has a strong commitment to PK3 and is a city of school choice. All city residents can enter the MySchoolDC lottery for PK3 for the coming school year. The lottery opens Monday, December 10. MySchoolDC is hosting the annual “EdFest” at the Stadium Armory on Saturday, December 8 from 11:00am to 3:00pm. All DCPS and public charters will be represented at this event. www.MySchoolDC.org

December Holidays
We are creating a holiday display in the lower lobby to represent the many holidays celebrated by our families in December. We would like to borrow artifacts and decorations for the display.
If you have items you can share, such as a Menorah, Kinara, Advent Wreath or other items, please bring them in to the main office. We are also in need of egg cartons and paper towel and toilet paper rolls. We received a generous donation of a holiday tree for the school community.  It will be on display in the Ross garden. If you have extra lights to loan or donate, we need them for the tree. On Saturday, we will make special birdseed ornaments to feed our feathered friends. If you would like to help with the display, please reach out to Kate or Ms. Juriga.

OSSE STAR Framework
The new OSSE School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) Frameworks and School Report Cards are due to be released to the public on Friday, December 7.  Ross will host a parent coffee on Friday, December 14 at 8:00am in Room 205 to review the data. Information regarding the new reports can be accessed here: https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/page_content/attachments/STAR%20Framework%20At-A-Glance_vFinal.pdf

Best Regards,
Holly Searl, Principal