This year in the classroom, DC Public Schools will remain focused on creating joyful and rigorous learning experiences to accelerate student success. Our elementary schools will continue to make strides in math and literacy, so all students are on the path to academic progress throughout their educational journey. And for middle school and high school students, we’ll focus on ensuring what they learn in the classroom aligns with success in career and college, including expanded Career and Technical Education (CTE) and mathematics offerings. Plus, we know there are new memories to be made in our classrooms, on our playgrounds, inside school labs, on athletic fields, and from our stages!
Mayor Bowser Guiding Student Success All Year Long
Check out Mayor Bowser’s Back-to-School Guide for information to support your student this school year. This one-stop resource contains the details you need to plan for success from PK-3 through 12th grade.
Download the Digital School Year 2023-2024 Calendar
Getting To and From School
Student arrival and dismissal schedules are set by schools. Please see the information provided by your school for more details about when your student should arrive and will be dismissed each day.
Safe Passage is Mayor Bowser’s investment to protect students and families as they travel to and from school. Safe passage programming includes conflict resolution, mediation services, and community relationship building to keep students safe and improve student attendance.
The Kids Ride Free (KRF) program allows students to ride for free on Metrobus, Metrorail, and the DC Circulator while traveling within the District. Please note that School Year 2022-2023 Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards will remain valid through September 30, 2023. New cards for School Year 2023-2024 will be distributed at your child’s school, or you can contact your school to request a card. Learn more about the Kids Ride Free program from the DC Department of Transportation.
Every day counts! Regular school attendance is critical for academic success. Our goal is to ensure that every student attends school regularly and on time. Daily presence in school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success, starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families can play a key role in ensuring students understand why attendance is so important for success in school and life.
Visit dcps.dc.gov/attendance for more information.
Tracking Student Progress
DCPS believes that grades support ongoing learning by providing timely feedback and informing personalized instruction while making a record of growth and development over students’ school career. Grades can include student engagement during class and group activities, practicing a skill learned during a lesson, and tests and quizzes to demonstrate mastery.
You can utilize the DCPS Assessment Guide for Families as a resource to understand your student’s assessment results.
Student progress reports and report cards are provided during each of the four terms that make up the school year. Families are encouraged to utilize the Aspen Parent Portal to access student schedules and grades. This tool allows you to gain insight into what occurs in the classroom, helping families become better equipped to support their child’s strengths, and areas of growth.
Staying in Touch with Your School
Families are experts in their child’s development and partners in their success at school. Connecting with your child’s teacher and school is important for a successful school year. Ask teachers how and when you can expect to hear from them and the best ways to work together to support your child’s learning. Be sure to also follow important information shared by your school principal, this may include email newsletters, text messages, phone calls, or letters sent home with your student.
Parent-Teacher Conference days are scheduled for Thursday, October 19, 2023, and Thursday, March 14, 2024. Additionally, most schools will hold back-to-school nights throughout the fall. Visit dcps.dc.gov/page/back-school-night for more details.
DCPS will share district-wide updates to families via regular emails and text messages, as well as post information on this website and the @DCPublicSchools social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Afterschool Programming, Extracurricular Activities, and Athletics
DCPS afterschool programs allow students to participate in academic and extracurricular enrichment activities and to develop new hobbies and skills. DCPS teachers, paraprofessionals, and after school partner organizations provide a variety of unique programming options to students.
Afterschool Programming and Extracurricular Activities
In SY23-24, afterschool programs managed by Out of School Time Programs (OSTP) will be offered in 55 schools. Schools not participating in OSTP afterschool programs may offer their own programs to students. Please contact your student’s school for more information. Visit dcps.dc.gov/afterschool to learn more about afterschool programs.
Research shows that participation in extracurricular activities is linked with academic success. Many teachers and staff advise clubs and activities, which are great opportunities for students and staff to get to know each other. Your school can share more information on all the activities available for students.
DCPS student-athletes in grades 4 – 12 play within the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA). Sanctioned DCIAA sports offered at schools include adaptive bowling, archery, baseball, basketball, bowling, cheer, cross-country, flag football, football, golf, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, unified basketball, volleyball, and wrestling. Visit thedciaa.com for more information.
Page updated: September 7, 2023