DCPS Academic Plan: A Parent's Guide
Preparing our students for college, career and life
All of the District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) teachers, principals, school staff and district leaders are committed to preparing all of our students for success in college, career and life. This means that we must provide every student, in every school, in every ward an excellent education.
Over the past four years, we have made great strides in improving education across the city and have built a solid foundation for the future.
We started with the basics, ensuring that all schools open on time for the first day of school with books for every student; that teachers were paid on time and in the correct amount; and that the central office responded to teachers, parents and principals quickly and with solutions.
Then we set the bar high for teacher performance and student achievement with the firm belief that every child can achieve at high levels.
We're proud to offer a growing number of robust program choices and school options, including International Baccalaureate; Advanced Placement courses; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics); Career and Technical Education; arts integration; world cultures; Reggio Emilia; Montessori; and dual-language programs.
We are also helping prepare students for the transition to college or careers, with advisory programs; the Individual Graduation Portfolio (IGP), an online academic and career planning tool for all students in grades 6-12; free SAT preparation programs; dual enrollment agreements with local colleges; and a new DCPS High School Online Application for students in grade 8 to choose their high school.
Put simply, DCPS has more to offer than ever before and will keep progressing to offer even more. We believe there's no limit to what our children can achieve.
Common Core State Standards and the DCPS Academic Plan
In July 2010, DCPS joined more than 40 states in adopting new and more rigorous academic standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades K-12. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) set clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
The CCSS start by establishing what high school graduates need to truly be ready for success in college, careers and life. Then those goals are back-mapped down through the grades to kindergarten, so that students, parents and teachers all know what skills and knowledge are necessary at each step along the way.
We have crafted an Academic Plan for the next four years that is the road map to implementing these game-changing new standards and to advancing student progress even further than we have over the past four years.
Because the CCSS apply to almost the entire country and have been created to match the highest expectations around the globe, we can now be sure we are preparing our students in each grade level and subject area to be competitive not just in our city, but also our region, our country and the world.
There are a number of key components of the DCPS Academic Plan, including:
• a comprehensive early childhood curriculum;
• new standards for grades K-12 in English/Language Arts and Mathematics;
• scope and sequence documents and unit overviews for teachers;
• paced interim assessments; and
• additional support systems and resources for teachers.
Importantly, all of these components are closely aligned to our Teaching and Learning Framework, which provides a common set of expectations for how teachers effectively plan and deliver instruction and then how they increase their effectiveness by reflecting on student progress.