We’re Making Enrollment History—Thank You for Choosing DCPS!


This message was shared with DCPS families and staff on November 13, 2023.

Dear DC Public Schools Community,

School Year 2023-2024 is already proving to be quite a comeback year for DC Public Schools (DCPS). From cultivating the next generation of math champions to celebrating our beloved educators, we are uniting as a District to ensure our students have the resources they need to reach their full potential. 

I am excited that we have carried this #DCPSStrong momentum forward to reach another critical milestone—historic gains in enrollment. As a new point of pride, DCPS now educates and serves over 51,000 students! This is the highest enrollment number ever recorded since this datapoint began being tracked in 2007. 

More students enrolled in our district means more opportunities for joyful learning experiences and is symbolic of the educational champions who make up our village. As DC Mayor Muriel Bowser noted, “When families enroll and re-enroll in our public schools, it’s a reflection of their confidence in our teachers, principals, and school communities.” 

Thank you for your confidence and working with us to ensure our district’s excellence. Read further to see how DCPS is leading the nation in high-impact tutoring, extending joy beyond the school day, and connecting scholars to unique experiences that make innovative learning memorable and fun across DCPS. 

Today’s word count – 1,508 words, a 12-minute read. 

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

Students Talk Banned Books and Representation with Award-Winning Author 📚

Dunbar High SchoolCardozo Education Campus, and Columbia Heights Education Campus students joined the Washington Teachers’ Union and award-winning author and former middle school teacher Elizabeth Acevedo on the last stop of the nationwide Banned Books Tour. When asked why she began writing, Acevedo reflected on a conversation with a former Latina student who was struggling to read: “She asked me, ‘Where are the books about us?’ And that’s when I started.” 

High-Impact Tutoring is a HIT 💡

Lafayette Elementary School teacher Ms. Keisha Harris represented DCPS well at the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS) Summit as the Department of Education (ED) recognized the district’s success in implementing High-Impact Tutoring (HIT). On a panel comprising speakers from higher education and other local education agencies, Dr. Ferebee discussed how investments in high quality tutoring are driving positive outcomes for students across the district. 

Explore the Anacostia in Poetry and Prose 🍃

In partnership with the University of the District of Columbia, 12 Anacostia High School students recently became published authors with the release of their new anthology titled, Through My Anacostia Eyes. This collection of poems, essays, and images beautifully captures students’ lived experiences as young adults in Anacostia while navigating the District’s natural wonders, going on outdoor excursions, and connecting with environmental professionals and activists. 

Keeping the Lights on Afterschool 🎨

In celebration of a national effort to ensure access to quality, affordable afterschool programs, long-time DCPS partner Life Pieces to Masterpieces hosted a showcase at Drew Elementary School to highlight the importance of Out of School Time Programs. DCPS provides students with enriching experiences to extend the school day at 55 schools, with many more schools offering additional programming through robust community partnerships.  

“Afterschool programs are some of the best opportunities for self-discovery.”

—Chancellor Ferebee

Join the FY25 DCPS Public Budget Hearing 💰

DCPS invites all families to join the FY25 Public Budget Hearing tomorrow, November 14, at 6:00 p.m. Watch via livestream to learn about the budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2025 (School Year 2024-2025). Watch in English (bit.ly/dcpsbudgethearing25) or in Spanish (bit.ly/dcpsbudgetrsvp25spanish). 

Immunization Exclusion Begins December 4 ⚕️

Immunizations help to keep students and school communities healthy and safe. DC law mandates that students show proof of required childhood immunizations to attend school. Beginning December 4, PK3, kindergarten, 7th, and 11th grade students who are not up to date with their vaccinations will be excluded from school. Click here to learn more.  

Help Improve Equity in School Funding ✅

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education needs your input as it develops recommendations for how to make school funding more equitable so that every student can thrive. Fill out this short survey about your student’s school to share what matters most to you, what is working well, and where we can improve. The survey will close on November 15. 

Visit a School Open House 🏫

Is your student preparing to transition to middle or high school? Are you looking for additional DCPS school options for the next step in their educational journey? Schools across DCPS are now hosting open houses to help families learn about all that DCPS has to offer. If you cannot make an open house, attend EdFEST in December to meet all your prospective schools at once! Click here to register

DC School Buildings Switch from Cooling to Heating 🌡️

As the weather begins to cool, the Department of General Services (DGS) is switching DCPS’ HVAC systems to heating. This 30 to 45- day process started last month and occurs on a rolling basis throughout the District. If temperatures are unseasonably warm or cold before the switchover is complete, temporary solutions will be provided wherever possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout the process.

DCPS Forever Spotlight 📅

School Year 2023-2024 calendars are available for pickup at your school. The calendar includes stories from students, staff, parents, families, and alumni who embody this year’s theme: DCPS Forever.

Dr. Gladys Creppy Hetherington, Assistant Principal and former DCPS parent with her daughter, Ms. Tatiana Hetherington, teacher assistant at Barnard Elementary School.

This month, we’re spotlighting Barnard Elementary School’s mother-daughter duo—Dr. Gladys Creppy Hetherington and Ms. Tatiana Hetherington. “When we get to school, she’s not ‘Mom,’ she is Dr. H. She’s running around doing her work, and I’m doing mine,” says Ms. Tatiana, a Brookland Middle School alumna and teacher assistant at Barnard, where her mother serves as the Assistant Principal. 

DCPS Happenings 📰

  • Students Eat What They Grow and Harvest 🥬: FoodPrints integrates gardening, nutrition, and cooking for students at 21 schools across DCPS. Read at DCist
  • DCPS and The George Washington University Join Forces 💼: Chancellor Ferebee announces a partnership with his alma mater to develop aspiring school leaders. Watch on ABC7
  • Students Become Published Authors 🖊️: Anacostia High School students publish poetry as part of a new book highlighting the experiences of DC youth. Read at Washington Post.  
  • DC+XQ Redesign Director Talks Sneakers and School 👟: Cardozo High School’s Dr. William Blake discusses how changing his shoes helped change his perspective. Read at The74
  • Making College More Real for Middle Schoolers 🎓: With a new federal grant, select middle schools in Wards 7 and 8 will have greater access to college exploration and exposure. Read at WTOP
  • Students Meet Award-Winning Author 📚: DCPS high school students discuss representation in literature and the process of getting published with Elizabeth Acevedo. Read at Washington Post

Top Social Posts ❤️

Coolidge High School Alumni Association donates new track and football field signage in honor of long-time coaches.

John Lewis Elementary School students celebrate all things fall with Chancellor Ferebee and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

FIRST Robotics team at Walker-Jones Education Campus builds and codes robots.

NBC Washington’s Chief Meteorologist, Doug Kammerer, meets with students at Murch Elementary School.

Hardy Middle School students learn about financial literacy through an interactive podcast gameshow about money for kids. 

Chancellor Ferebee hosts celebratory lunch for some of DCPS’ longest-serving principals:

Barnard Elementary School Principal Dr. Grace Reid

Benjamin Banneker High School Principal Anita Berger

Columbia Heights Education Campus Principal Maria Tukeva

Raymond Elementary School Principal Natalie Hubbard

Ross Elementary School Principal Holly Searl

School-Within-School Elementary School Principal John Burst

Thomson Elementary School Principal Carmen Shepherd

Important Upcoming Dates 📆

  • November 14: DCPS Public Budget Hearing 
  • November 22 – 24: Thanksgiving Break (No school for students and teachers) 
  • November 23: Thanksgiving (DCPS closed) 
  • Early December: Report cards are mailed home 
  • December 1: 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application opens 
  • December 2: EdFEST (Grades PK3 – 8*), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • December 4: Immunization Exclusion begins for grades PK3, kindergarten, 7, 11 
  • December 9: EdFEST (Grades 9 – 12*), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

*Please note the change in dates and grade bands from the printed and digital versions of the DCPS Calendar.

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