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Summer is busy at the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition! While schools work to end the 2018 school year strong, we are gearing up to welcome the inaugural class of Fellows participating in the Coalition’s School Launch Program. Kickoff for School Launch Program coincides with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convening, a time for DCSC schools in DC and Baltimore to come together and learn from each other as neighbors and peers. All in all, we expect over 50 people to join us in DC July 24-27th.

School Launch Program Kickoff is July 24-27th. During Kickoff, Fellows and their host school site leaders will get to know each other and their cohort, explore best practices in exemplary diverse-by-design schools, and begin planning their new schools. One crucial part of this work is centering efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). To ensure that fellows and host school site leaders begin the year-long fellowship with DEI at the center of their work, DCSC has partnered with OneTILT. OneTILT will work with fellows and host school site leaders to actualize inclusive leadership practices. More specifically, they will deconstruct the habits, practices, and systems within and beyond schools that perpetuate white dominant culture and grow ideas that creatively reimagine more equitable school practices. DCSC is proud to partner with OneTILT in this essential work of school design and with CityBridge Education who is kindly providing space and meals for our learning.

School staff and partners from the Coalition’s Mid-Atlantic Region, as well as up to 15 aspiring leaders in the Explore Series of the School Launch Program, will join us in DC on July 25-26th. Schools in the Mid-Atlantic Region include:

  • Baltimore Montessori
  • City Neighbors Schools
  • Capital City Public Charter School
  • E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
  • Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School
  • Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School
  • Lee Montessori Public Charter School
  • Washington Latin Public Charter School

All participants- staff from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convening schools, Fellows and host school site leaders in the School Launch Program, aspiring leaders in the Explore Series of the School Launch Program, and our generous partners and expert facilitators- first come together  for a get-to-know-each-other reception at Busboys and Poets, the evening of July 25th. The next day, we will all meet to learn together at Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School. At the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School, a professional learning community of master teachers and teacher residents work to ensure that a diverse group of students achieve their potential as accomplished learners, thoughtful citizens, and imaginative and inquisitive problem solvers through a demanding, inquiry-based curriculum. We are excited to share this unique school’s model with participants.

July 25th is chock full of exciting and challenging sessions focusing our attention on DEI, policy, and promising school models. After breakfast and welcome, DCSC will invite to the stage the student facilitators from Diversity Talks. The Coalition first got to know this fantastic organization through its work with Promise54’s DEI Accelerator. Inspired by Diversity Talks’ presentation at the DEI Accelerator cohort meeting earlier this year, we were anxious to get them in front of Coalition schools. Diversity Talks students are powerful facilitators who will help build the cultural competencies of DEI in order to increase academic performance and achievement of our students.

Following Diversity Talks, we will switch gears to consider existing public policy that helps or hinders the growth of excellent diverse-by-design schools then spend the afternoon in breakout sessions covering DC policy and advocacy, diverse-by-design Montessori models, community-based models, and Inspired Teaching’s teacher training program.

We are grateful to the following individual experts who will help guide our conversations during the Convening:

  • Allison Shecter, Baltimore Montessori
  • Arthur McKee, CityBridge Education
  • Chris Pencikowski, Lee Montessori Public Charter School
  • Deborah Dantzler, Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School
  • Hilary Dailek, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
  • Irene Holtzman, FOCUS
  • Kate Cromwell, Washington Latin Public Charter School
  • Matt Walker, Teach For America
  • Monica Campbell, Baltimore Montessori
  • Naomi DeVeaux, DC Public Charter School Board
  • Paul O’Neill, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
  • Ramin Taheri, Office of Deputy Mayor for Education
  • Sunil Mansukhani, The Raben Group
  • Veronica Brooks-Uy, National Alliance for Charter Schools Authorizers

All in all, the last week of July is shaping up to be a big one for the Coalition and the ongoing work of bringing more, excellent diverse-by-design school seats to communities that want them. We know that diverse schools drive student learning, prepare students to pursue higher education and meaningful work, and enable graduates to play an equal role in our democracy. This work is tough and crucial and we look forward to digging in with many of you in DC this Summer.

To learn more about School Launch Program Kickoff or the Mid-Atlantic Regional Convening, please email Ashley.

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