Supporting Low-Performing Schools through Out-of-School Time Programs and Parent Engagement
DCFPI testified today before the DC Council Committee on Education to highlight two ways that that DC Public Schools can extend the reach of its limited resources while serving the needs of our most vulnerable students. These kinds of targeted steps are needed to meet the school system’s goal of improving test scores dramatically at lower-performing schools.
- Effective out-of-school time programming: Through a combination of organized school-based services and coordination with community partners, the DCPS Out-of-School Time Programming has promoted high-quality programs and increased access to out-of-school time services for the city’s neediest residents. Yet DCPS cut funding for these services this year, and the process for awarding new “Proving What’s Possible grants” was rushed and lacked transparency. DCFPI recommends that funding be strategically invested to ensure the continuity and scaling up off effective programming. The school-based coordinator model should be reinstated to improve the ability to partner with community-based organization to support each school’s academic plans.
- Expand quality parent engagement efforts: DCPS is working in partnership with the Flamboyan Foundation to provide robust parent engagement services in a handful of schools. These privately funded efforts already are showing positive outcomes but will need to be supported with public to be scaled up system-wide. DCFPI encourages the Council to identify plans and funding to scale up these strategies across DC’s schools.
We hope that DCPS will address these priorities during next Friday’s performance oversight hearing with government witnesses. You can read the full DCFPI testimony here.
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