Parents with Chairperson of the Committee on Education and At-Large Councilmember, David Grosso.
National School Choice Week (NSCW) is an annual, week-long event that spotlights the quality options available to meet the needs of every child - public traditional, public charter, magnet, private, and parochial.

On Wednesday, January 25 and Monday, January 30, PAVE celebrated NSCW by hosting breakfasts and luncheons at the John A. Wilson Building. These breakfasts and luncheons welcomed more than 60 parents of DC public charter school students from 20 LEAs to share their powerful stories about the positive impacts of school choice, and to engage directly with their elected officials: Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1), Brandon Todd (Ward 4), Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5), Charles Allen (Ward 6)Vincent Gray (Ward 7), and Trayon White (Ward 8); At-Large Councilmember David GrossoChairman Phil Mendelson; and Deputy Mayor for Education, Jennifer Niles.

View and download photos from the event HERE!
"...each child requires something different, and when parents can realize that, they can use this process to find the right school to meet their needs, and they do better for their child."

- Troy Wray, Center City PCS - Shaw parent
(Above) Ward 1 parent Ino Okoawa shares her story as (Pictured) State Board of Education Member Laura Wilson Phelan moderates the Ward 1 Luncheon with Councilmember Nadeau.
(Left) Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd and State Board of Education Member Lannette Woodruff. (Right) Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen.
"My work is made easier if everyone in Ward 5 has a strong education foundation. Education is the foundation for everything we're working on."

- Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
(Above) Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray. (Below) Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles and the PAVE Board of Directors.
"The more organized parents are, the more power we have to do things."

- Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White
Cecily Miles Slater,
Fifth-Generation Washingtonian
PAVE Board Member Cecily Miles Slater Reflects on her Journey from Los Angeles to DC to Find Stronger School Options for her Children

"We decided to move back to Washington for a number of reasons, and the changing educational landscape was definitely one of them. The charter school movement in DC was, and still is, leading the nation."

I am a fifth-generation Washingtonian and I come from a long line of educators, so education has been highly valued in my family for generations. We were taught that a fine education could take you anywhere you wanted to go in life, and that no one could ever take it away. So when our son was born, giving him a quality education was high on our priority list. We were living in Los Angeles, where there was very limited school choice, and the neighborhood schools were spotty. From a distance, we observed and admired the charter school movement that was thriving in Washington. I spoke to friends whose children were attending DC charter schools. Each school had its own dynamic curriculum, philosophy, educational values and goals for its students. I was intrigued. We decided to move back to Washington for a number of reasons, and the changing educational landscape was definitely one of them. The charter school movement in DC was, and still is, leading the nation.

When it was time for our son to go to school, we knew that we wanted him to attend a charter school. We did our research, comparing test scores, curricula, governance, philosophies, and school cultures. We put his name in the lottery and got a spot at Capital City. He spent six terrific years there, followed by his younger sister (thanks to sibling preference), who is currently in the 3rd grade. Because he loves the sciences, we moved our son to BASIS DC for 5th grade. He is now in 7th grade, and still loves what he is learning. School choice has made it possible for us to give our children the quality education that we sought.
When we parents talk, we talk about our children. And when we talk about our children, we inevitably talk about their education. These sideline conversations are very meaningful to me and I look forward to catching up with the other parents and hearing about the educational development of their children, the paths they take and the choices they are making.
We are the third side of the triangle of education – the child, the school, and the parents. Our voice is so important to the triangle’s success. However, there was no one place for parents to go to talk about their issues, gather information, and advocate for their children. PAVE now fills this void. When I heard about PAVE, I was so thrilled to learn that someone was starting an organization for charter school parents. My fellow PAVE Board members are charismatic, strong, smart and dedicated parents. Serving with them has been wonderful. I hope that PAVE will serve as a model for parent organizations in other charter school cities, and keep shedding light on our important role in education."

Our new wesbite is here for you! Visit us at to find out what it sounds like to hear YOUR voice amplified!
Reach out to us at for more information about any of the events below!

Ward 8 Parent Operator Selection Team (Ward 8 POST):

The Ward 8 POST (Parent Operator Selection Team) is a collective of parents working together to develop an RFP for a new school operator that will be located adjacent to Joint Base Anacostia Bolling. Ward 8 POST is being supported by PAVE and FOCUS DC, along with other community members, to ensure the success of a first-of-its-kind community RFP and selection process for the operator. PAVE strongly encourages parents to share their opinions in our Ward 8 POST Community Survey

If you have any questions, please contact PAVE’s Director of Community Engagement and Organizing at

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Community-Based Meetings:

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) with the State Board of Education (SBOE) are co-hosting a series of community meetings to provide information and receive feedback on what changes parents, school leaders, and students can expect with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Beginning on February 7th, ward specific meetings will be held to outline the District's plan to accelerate student learning, support educators, and provide clear information about ESSA.

To find your ward's meeting time and location, please follow the link here.

DC Council Committee on Education Hearings:

In a continued effort to engage the community and stakeholders in the policymaking process, Councilmember Grosso, Chair of the Committee on Education, is holding a series of hearings throughout the year. You can find the schedule for these hearings, or sign up to testify, by following this link.

If you would like support writing your testimony, please email our Director of Community Engagement and Organizing, Raven Willoughby, at

The Office of the Student Advocate:

The Office of the Student Advocate was established by the Council of the District of Columbia to provide outreach to students, parents, families, and communities regarding public education in the District of Columbia. The Office of the Student Advocate operates a Request for Assistance line Monday through Friday from 9am-5:30pm. Contact them at 202-741-4692 for coaching, resources, and info, and visit their website here.

Girls Global Academy Focus Groups:

Girls Global Academy is hosting two focus groups in February to hear from the community. They will be discussing student engagement, teaching & learning, and what families would like in an all-girls school. The focus groups will be held Saturday, Feb. 25 (Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library), and Sunday, Feb. 26 (Benning Neighborhood Library) from 3:30-4:30pm. Light snacks will be provided.

Please contact Shayne Swift, Founder, at or 202-930-5113 for more information.

Additional Upcoming Hearings and Events:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5:30pm State Board of Education Public Meeting (One Judiciary Square, 441 4th Street, NW): Students, parents, educators, and community members are invited to provide testimony at public meetings. Please contact us at for support with writing your testimony. You can find more information and archived transcripts here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 8am to 5pm DC Charter School Conference
(FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Ave NW): FOCUS DC will be hosting a series of panel discussions geared towards school and education leaders, as well as facilitating breakout sessions to cover a range of topics including: advocacy, communications, data, facilities funding, and operations. You can find more information about this event and other FOCUS initiatives here.

Tuesday, February 21,
2017 at 2pm Education Committee Meeting (Room 500, Wilson Building)

Monday, February 27, 2017 6:30 to 8:30pm PCSB Board Meeting (3333 14th Street, NW Suite 210)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 from 6 - 8pm DC Cross-Sector Collaboration Task Force Meeting (Department of For-Hire Vehicles Hearing Room, 2235 Shannon Place SE)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 My School DC Application Deadline for Grades PK3-8 

Keep in touch! Sign up to join the PAVE listserv here.

Do you have events and opportunities to share with the PAVE network? Email us at to add events to our March newsletter.
PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects, trains, and empowers charter parent leaders to give families in DC a voice and a choice in the vision for education in our city. The goal of PAVE is to create an education system in DC where parents are partners and leaders in developing a diversity of safe, nurturing, and great school options for every child in every ward and community.
Copyright © 2017 Parents Amplifying Voices in Education, All rights reserved.