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Monthly Digest with Coalition Updates, Must-Read News, and Upcoming Events

Dear Coalition members, friends, and partners,

It is with great pleasure that I announce our newest DCSC member schools! Our newest members come from six different states. They include dual language and International Baccalaureate programs. These new members also represent over 6,000 students. These eight schools went through a rigorous application process overseen by our membership committee. Each school completed an application with their reasons for wanting to join the Coalition, submitted student achievement data, and answered additional questions from the committee on how they are prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their school communities. Because of the meaningful conversations that these eight new schools sparked among the membership committee, I have no doubt that our newest members will greatly add to the Coalition.

I am also excited to include our new members in the exciting work that we are planning for the 2019-2020 school year. Based on your input gathered through both the DCSC Member Needs Analysis (by EduDream) and the DEI Data Collection Survey (by Maya Bugg and La Mikia Castillo) we will be launching Communities of Practice in the fall. Both new and returning members will also be instrumental in the recruitment for the 3rd cohort of our UnifiED School Launch Program (for the 2020-21 school year). And finally, all of our members will be able to come together at our annual convening in Washington, D.C. to continue to carry the work forward. As we grow the coalition to now include 57 schools that are nationwide, we know that this can only bring more momentum and attention to the work of school integration and equity, with our dedicated member schools leading this charge.

Please take a look below and help me welcome to the Coalition our newest member schools. On behalf of the entire Coalition, we are glad to have you apart of DCSC! I have nothing but joy and optimism about new beginnings as DCSC continues to promote, expand, and support the work of diverse-by-design schools across the country. For all of our member schools – new and returning – congratulations on the end of another school year, and enjoy the summer break!



Sonia C. Park

Coalition Updates

Updates from the Coalition:
UnifiED Cohort One Capstones
If you’re attending the National Alliance of Public Charters Schools Conference in Las Vegas next week, come out and support Cohort One UnifiED Fellows presenting their Capstones. Alisha Gripp, Citizens of the World Middle School, Kristin Hull, DSST Aurora Science and Tech, Daniel Brink-Washington, Buffalo Commons, and Dana Mulwanda, Brooklyn Prospect Elementary. If you want to learn more about the Capstone or attend, email Ashley.

Welcome to Cohort Two UnifiED Fellows
We are pleased to introduce UnifiED’s 2nd cohort of Fellows – Phillip, Geneveive, Brandon, and Alex. Together, Cohort Two has an average of nine years experience in education and an average of four years in school leadership. Visit our website to read more about our incredible Fellows and feel free to welcome them via email.

Phillip Hon
Residency at Yu Ming Charter School
Launching in Stockton, CA

Genevieve Backer
Residency at City Garden Montessori School
In partnership with The Opportunity Trust
Launching in St., Louis, MO

Brandon Johnson
Residency at Inspired Teaching Public Demonstration School
In partnership with CityBridge
Launching in Washington, D.C.

Alex Baron
Residency at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
In partnership with CityBridge
Launching in Washington, D.C.

UnifiED Cohort Two Fellow Receives Authorization in Washington, DC
Brandon Johnson, a UnifiED Fellow in Cohort Two, has received authorization to Launch the Social Justice School in 2020. Brandon will complete his Fellowship at Inspired Teaching Demonstration School under the mentorship of Deborah Williams and in partnership with CityBridge. Congratulations Brandon!

UnifiED Cohort Three Fellowship Recruitment is Open 
We are recruiting and preparing future school leaders of new, excellent, diverse-by-design charter schools. Priority locations for Cohort Three are Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Michigan, and North Carolina. To recommend a Fellow, learn about hosting a Fellow, or talk more email Ashley.

Tell us how your year went!
The 2018-19 school year has been a major one for DCSC and we’re sure it has been for you, too! We’d love to highlight what has happened at your school this past year on our website, in newsletters to come, and on social media. Send any pictures that you’d like to Seon over the course of this summer for us to share!


Where we’ve been
Bridging the Divide Summit (Denver, CO)
Earlier this month, Sonia participated in the Bridging the Divide Summit. This three-day gathering brought together scholars and researchers, social entrepreneurs, practitioners, policymakers, and business and nonprofit leaders to highlight the very best research and action-oriented solutions to increase opportunity and mobility in communities across the country. Also in attendance and sitting on a panel discussion were Robert Doar and JD Vance (pictured below).

Partnerships to Understand the Experiences of Students of Color with Disabilities in Charter Schools Convening (Chicago, IL)
Last week Sonia and board member, Halley Potter of The Century Foundation, attended this meeting in Chicago. Presented by the NYU Metro Center and hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the convening focused on the intersection of race and ability: examining the education of students of color with dis/abilities in charter schools in CA, FL, TN, TX and WA.


From Member Schools
Blackstone Valley Prep: “Mentors help 2 Blackstone Valley charter school seniors reach their potential”
Blackstone Valley Prep was featured this month in the Providence Journal for the positive outcomes of its mentoring program. BVP assigns students to adult mentors, and these mentors are instrumental in providing guidance and encouragement to their mentees in planning for college, career and life. Josian Quianes and Mariela Cadena Hernandez, two graduating seniors from BVP featured in the article, will be attending Tufts University and Williams College, respectively.
Read the article here.

Boston Collegiate Charter School: “Boston Collegiate fund strives to keep teachers coming back each year”
The Boston Globe wrote an article on Boston Collegiate and its new Fund for Teaching Excellence. The fund is a million-dollar, five-year initiative established this past January to retain teachers by creating programs and incentives for them. The fund will grant annual awards for teachers, funding for innovative teaching ideas, and support with professional development.
Read the article here.


From the Field
The Educator Diversity Playbook to Improve Educator Diversity
The Education Trust–New York, The New York State Council of School Superintendents, and the Council’s Commission on Diversity & Inclusivity released the Educator Diversity Playbook, a tool for school district leaders to improve educator diversity, equity, and inclusion in their schools and central offices. The Playbook focuses on five practical steps that school districts can take to cultivate a more diverse workforce.
Read and download the playbook here.

Student-Teacher Race Match in Charter and Traditional Public Schools
There’s mounting evidence that, for children of color especially, having one or more teachers of the same race over the course of students’ educational careers seems to make a positive difference. But to what extent, if any, do the benefits of having a same-race teacher vary by type of school? To answer this question, Dr. Seth Gershenson of American University, uses student-level data for all public school students in North Carolina from traditional and charter schools from grades three to five between 2006 and 2013.
Download the report here.

Welcoming Schools website
A project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Welcoming Schools offers resources and professional development training to elementary school educators to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students. Both virtual and in-person opportunities are offered through the website.
Visit the Welcoming Schools website here.

Segregation by School Zones
Using data from Tomas Monarrez, a UC Berkeley economics PhD candidate, Vox has published an article that explores the exacerbation of school segregation by the creation of school attendance zones. The article also comes with an interactive map that shows school segregation by school district for all 50 states.
Read the article and use the interactive map here.


Upcoming Conferences & Events

National Charter Schools Conference
June 30th to July 3rd in Las Vegas, NV

Learn more about the conference and register here
The entire DCSC staff will be attending the conference and delivering two sessions! Our first cohort of UnifiED Fellows will also be presenting their capstones! Read below for more information, and we hope you can attend any of these opportunities!
The National Charter Schools Conference is for current and aspiring charter school leaders to come together to learn from experts in the field as well as peers. The conference delivers learning and networking opportunities for participants and activities include keynote speakers, more than 100 breakout sessions, and networking events. The conference is hosted by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, of which our board Member, Robert Reed, is apart. Last year’s conference had over 4,000 participants and this year should have something for everyone.

DCSC Sessions:
Diagnosing and Rethinking School-Level Leadership Models

Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Mandalay J
Time: Tuesday 7/2, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Presenter(s): Dave Bryson, Michael DeMatteo (Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy), Kristin Droege (Citizens of the World Charter Schools – Kansas City)

Description: Principal? Executive director? Dual leadership? Deans and instructional coaches? What is the right leadership model for your school? What are the benefits and challenges of these models? How can leaders (and the leadership structures they choose/design) “reimagine education” and help move the needle on student achievement, staff development, and organization sustainability? Come to this session ready to learn from people who have made key leadership structure changes in their schools, report on your context, and engage with other attendees.

Navigate a Tumultuous Chartering Climate by Mastering 3 Critical Areas of Focus
Location: Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Lagoon E/F
Time: Wednesday 7/3, 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Presenter(s): Sonia Park, Ted Fujimoto (Landmark Consulting Group, Inc.), Raj Thakkar (Charter School Business Management Inc.)

Description: This session will help participants understand three strategic areas that require school boards’ and leaders’ focus in order to navigate the risks and opportunities within the tumultuous climate of the charter movement. This is a work session for a school team to dig deep on the following issues: what risks and opportunities can impact your school; what is in your control and what is not; practical ways for your board and leadership team to build understanding and to make sound decisions; and strategies to improve your school’s execution, storytelling, and ability to stay ahead of regulatory problems.

DCSC UnifiED Fellowship Capstone 
Location: Slice of Vegas (3930 S Las Vegas Blvd)
Time: Monday, 7/1, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Presenter(s): Alisha Gripp (Citizens of the World Middle School), Kristin Hull (DSST Aurora Science and Tech), Daniel Brink-Washington (Buffalo Commons), Dana Mulwanda (Brooklyn Prospect Elementary)

Description: The first cohort of UnifiED Fellows will be delivering their capstones on the schools they will be launching after having completed their fellowships. Attendees will hear the approach each school leader is taking in the design of their school, including how they’ll establish a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture, the instructional best practices they’ll implement, and how they’ll continue their own ongoing growth, humility, self-awareness, and critical thinking. If you want to learn more about the Capstone or attend, email Ashley.

DCSC Reception at the National Charter Schools Conference
July 1st 6:00pm-7:00pm at the Libertine Social in Las Vegas, NV

Learn more about the reception here
DCSC will be hosting a reception for our member schools attending the National Charter Schools Conference! This is an opportunity for folks to meet, mingle, and be social with your peers. Space is limited for this gathering so RSVP ASAP to Can’t wait to see you in Vegas!

NYC Regional Reception
July 10th 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Malt House in New York, NY

Learn more about the regional reception here
For our member schools in the NYC area, come celebrate the end of another successful school year with DCSC! Connect with other member schools as well as the entire DCSC staff to kick off the beginning of summer. Bring a friend and begin the start of a well deserved summer break!

10th Annual DC Data Summit
July 11th 8:00am-4:00pm at Carlos Rosario PCS in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the summit here
For our D.C.-based member schools, the 10th Annual DC Data Summit will provide DCPS and PCS teachers, leaders, and staff with an opportunity to learn the latest trends and best practice for data-driven instruction, decision-making, and performance management. Attend workshops around data analysis, communicating with data, blended learning, continuous improvement, and more! Registration is free and open to all PCS and DCPS teachers, leaders, and staff, as well as non-profit partners and stakeholders.


News Roundup

Better Schools Won’t Fix America” by Nick Hanauer
The Atalantic — July 2019

Study of Los Angeles Schools Shows Only 2 in 10 Low-Income Black and Latino Students Are Enrolled at a School That’s Successfully Closing the Achievement Gap” by Esmeralda Fabián Romero
The 74 — June 18, 2019

Lake: Districts v. Charters Is the Wrong Battle to Pick; Political Leaders Must Focus on the Right One” by Robin Lake
The 74 — June 16, 2019

Schools’ Racial Makeup Can Sway Disability Diagnoses” by Christina A. Samuels
Education Week — June 11, 2019

Democrats Once Proposed Tripling Charter Schools. Here’s What’s Changed” by Evie Blad
Education Week — June 10, 2019

A ‘big deal’ or not enough? What to know about the diversity recommendations de Blasio just embraced” by Alex Zimmerman
Chalkbeat — June 10, 2019

Bill de Blasio: Our new push to diversify NYC schools” by Bill de Blasio
New York Daily News — June 10, 2019

This Brooklyn teen keeps pressing de Blasio on school segregation during his weekly radio appearance” by Alex Zimmerman
Chalkbeat — June 7, 2019

Drive to cap California charter school growth stalls” by Louis Freedberg
EdSource — June 3, 2019

Proposal to cap charter school growth all but dies in California Assembly” by Dustin Gardiner
San Francisco Chronicle — May 30, 2019

School’s out: Charters were supposed to save public education. Why are Americans turning against them?” by Jack Schneider
The Washington Post — May 30, 2019

An Antiracist Reading List” by Ibram X. Kendi
The New York Times — May 29, 2019

The Lottery That’s Revolutionizing D.C. Schools” by Thomas Toch
The Washington Post Magazine — March 20, 2019



Have an upcoming event or know about an interesting conference? Forward information to and we’ll include it in our next month’s update!
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