Promoting Mental Health Awareness


This message was shared with DCPS families and staff on May 31, 2024.

Dear DC Public Schools (DCPS) Community, 

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, I want to say thank you to the more than 500 mental health professionals across DC Public Schools (DCPS) who work tirelessly to prioritize student well-being and collaborate with educators in creating environments where every learner can thrive.

Mental health heroes include staff like Ms. Tracy Hardy, a social worker at Kelly Miller Middle School. I recently connected with Ms. Hardy’s Young Kings of Purpose program, a youth development initiative for our Black male students. Scholars shared how they lean on each other, what inspires them, and who their role models are. And I even had a chance to reminisce about how instrumental being a student athlete was for my personal development journey.

Thank you for the moving discussion, Young Kings!

I also had another important (and fun) conversation about mental health with our early education mascots, Doodlebug and Scribbles, to discuss how to we can live up to Mayor Bowser’s wise words, “The mental health of our littlest residents is critical to the health of our city.” 

As we approach the final month of School Year 2023-2024, we are finishing #DCPSStrong. Keep reading to learn where two of DCPS’ longest-serving educators teach, how our partners support scholars after the school day ends, and who attended the largest student empowerment and equity conference in our district’s history!

Today’s word count – 1,063 words, an 8-minute read

In partnership,      
Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.      
Chancellor, DC Public Schools

Teacher Appreciation🍎

Earlier this month, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the city’s education leaders to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week at River Terrace Education Campus. It was an honor to celebrate the educators who help our most exceptional students soar.

Throughout the week, we shined the spotlight on educators from across all eight wards and ended a week of recognition for long-serving educators at Coolidge High School, surprising two of DCPS’ most tenured teachers, Ms. Antoinette Johnson and Mr. Benjamin Sands, whose combined service spans over 85 years.

Thank You, DCPS Partners 🎉

In line with our commitment to partner with our community, we spent our 3rd annual Partner Appreciation Week highlighting ways our partners help us accelerate student outcomes and expand joyful opportunities in our schools. At Brookland Middle School, Chancellor Ferebee met with Young Playwrights’ Theater, DC SCORES, and Higher Achievement to hear students’ perspectives on the value and importance of school activities. 

Celebrating Family Engagement 🌟

As a thank you to our community leaders, we hosted our annual End of the School Year Family Engagement Celebration at Seaton Elementary School. Chancellor Ferebee, members of the DCPS Parent, Teachers, Student, and Principal Advisory Boards, El Comité de Familias Latinas (Latino Families Committee), educators from the Family Engagement Collaborative (FEC), and partners gathered to fellowship and reflect on School Year 2023-2024. 

Protecting Your P.E.A.C.E 🧘🏽‍♀️🧘🏽‍♂️

Hundreds of students embarked on a day of self-discovery at this year’s Student Empowerment Leadership Conference for participants of Empowering Males of Color (EMOC) and We the Girls (WTG) programming. To support this year’s theme: P.E.A.C.E. Power, Excellence, Academics, Community, and Education, students attended workshops, participated in wellness sessions, and received encouragement from keynote speakers. 

“Use your influence and your voice to help ensure that our schools are empowering places for young women of color.” 
-Chancellor Ferebee to We The Girls participants 

DC Doodle for Google Finalist 🎨

Congratulations to Jackson-Reed High School’s Maisie D. for being selected as one of Doodle for Google’s 55 state and territory finalists among tens of thousands of submissions. View the full gallery and vote for Maisie’s artwork here.  

Complete SY24-25 Enrollment 💻

All returning families are encouraged to re-enroll in their current school at and will not be removed from My School DC lottery waitlists as they await their chances for offers. Waitlist offers from schools that families apply to through the lottery are not guaranteed. 

Mental Health Resource Guide 🧠

The 2024 Mental Health Resource Guide is your key to accessing an extensive range of mental health resources available at DCPS. From referral forms to a provider directory, support is available and within reach. Please explore the Mental Health Resource Guide here.

DCPS Middle School CTE Expo ⚙️

Students, parents, and families—the 2nd annual DCPS Middle School Career & Technical Education (CTE) Expo on Thursday, June 6 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the University of the District of Columbia Theater of Performing Arts to engage in interactive sessions led by CTE educators and partners. 

Share Ideas for SY26-29 Calendars 🗓

DCPS invites you to submit your own calendar proposal for SY26-29 calendars. The submitted proposals will be used to inform the draft calendars that are shared publicly for feedback in Fall 2024. Learn more about how to submit your calendar proposal here. The deadline to submit is Friday, May 31Questions? Email

Feedback on Title 1 Engagement 📝

Each year parents and family members have an opportunity to provide input on key documents used at the district and school level to guide parent and family engagement in our Title 1 schools. Review and provide your feedback here

DCPS Happenings 📰

  • A DCSAA Championship ⚾: The Jackson-Reed High School Tigers take home their second DCSAA title in program history. Read on Washington Post.
  • Let the Games Begin 💪: Athletes from across DCPS compete in the 2024 DC Special Olympic Summer Games. Read on WUSA9
  • Pay It Forward Honors DCPS Teacher 👩🏾‍🏫: Bunker Hill Elementary School teacher, Kendall Maloney, was honored for her work as a stellar teacher. Watch on Fox5 DC
  • DC Adds First-Ever SEL Standards 📓: Students will develop crucial skills to create a healthy identity, manage emotions, show empathy towards others, and more. Read on WUSA9.
  • Timeless Tips 🕰️: Ms. Johnson and Mr. Sands share the secrets to their combined 85+ years of teaching service within DCPS. Watch on NBC4.  

Top Social Posts ❤️

Students across DCPS run the community 5K with Girls on the Run.

Sousa Middle School’s social worker, Ayisha Keith, named DC School Social Worker of the Year.

Teatro de la Luna performs for Cleveland Elementary School ECE through 1st graders.

Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School scholars attend Meet the Future luncheon.

Walker-Jones Education Campus 6th grade robotics team build machines and write code.

Important Upcoming Dates 📆 

  • June 4: DC Primary Election Day (No school for students or teachers) 
  • June 7: Last day for seniors  
  • June 17: Last day of school for students 
  • June 23: End of Term 4 Records Day / Professional Development Day  
  • June 19: Juneteenth (DCPS closed)  

***Please note that the last day of school for students will remain Monday, June 17, and the Professional Development/Records Day on Tuesday, June 18 will remain the last day for teachers. 

View the full DCPS School Year 2023-2024 Calendar online.