PAVE Post January 2018
PAVE Spotlight: #WeNeed25
This month, PAVE parent leaders are joining DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) to advocate for greater access to high-quality Out of School Time (OST) Programs, including afterschool and summer enrichment programs. To PAVE parents, this issue is critical. At the PAVE Parent Policy Summit in May 2017, PAVE parents voted “Improving Access to Educational Enrichment Programs” as one of the two most important issues facing our education system in 2018.
Check out our video to learn more about why #WeNeed25 million for Out of School Time (OST) Programs in FY19!
Together this advocacy coalition has already surveyed 33 parents from across DC to hear what greater access to OST Programs would mean to them. Across the city, families are voicing their concern that DC is not adequately funding opportunities for children to participate in afterschool or summer enrichment programs.

Since Fiscal Year 2010, the citywide budget for OST Programs has been slashed by 63%, leading to an enormous step back
 in the number of programs being offered citywide. We know that all kids deserve access to high-quality OST Programs, but with funding cuts like this, our most vulnerable students are being left behind.
The time to change the way DC prioritizes OST programs is now! #WeNeed25 is a grassroots, parent-led advocacy campaign to call on Mayor Bowser to dedicate $25 million to OST programming in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. We know that the call for Mayor Bowser to allocate $25 million is doable, and more importantly, it is necessary!
Join the #WeNeed25 movement and fight for greater access to OST Programs in our city! Call, email, and tweet Mayor Bowser and your councilmember, and tell them that our students deserve access to high-quality OST Programs. Record yourself telling our elected officials why #WeNeed25. Tag @dcpave, @DCFPI, and @DCAYA and we'll share your video!
PAVE Spotlight: DC Parent Voice and Choice Week
DC Parent Voice and Choice Week
This month, PAVE continues its annual tradition of bringing awareness to the critical role families play in DC’s education system by launching our own, DC-focused event series, DC Parent Voice and Choice Week! Every day, parents make important decisions to set their children up for success. DC Parent Voice and Choice Week recognizes the power of parents as decision-makers and spotlights the importance of a partnership between policymakers and parents to shape our education system - in every ward and every community.
Between Sunday, January 21 and Saturday, January 27, PAVE Parent Leaders in Education (PLE) Board members will lead breakfast and luncheon meetings with their Ward-based Councilmembers and citywide elected officials at the Wilson Building. Over 80 parent leaders from across the city have been invited to exchange ideas with Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles (Wednesday 1/24: 12 - 1 pm) and DC Councilmembers:
and At-Large Councilmembers:
Parents, spots are still available to join PAVE during DC Parent Voice and Choice Week! If you are a parent of a DC public school student and interested in attending PAVE's luncheon with Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles or with Chairperson of the Committee on Education David Grosso, please email for more information! We also encourage schools and partner organizations to nominate parents who might like to attend these meetings by emailing us at
Parents from NSCW 17 holding white boards with what #SchoolChoice means to to them
We invite everyone to join the conversation and deliver a message to our elected officials about what school choice means for families in DC by sharing your story on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #DCParentVoiceandChoice and tagging @dcpave!
PAVE-ing the Way: Who We Are, Why We Do This Work

Two years ago, my wife Hannah and I made the decision to relocate from Capitol Hill, where we were comfortably rooted to Glover Park, a quiet neighborhood known for having good schools. It was a hard decision, but with our first child Savannah growing up, we wanted her to be enrolled in the best school possible. As new parents, we also wanted to be closely involved in her first school experience. We saw so many of our friends struggle to juggle their careers and parenthood. Many had no choice but to use hired hands - nannies or daycare - in raising their children during the hours they worked. Hannah and I did not want this for ourselves.

We asked: What kind of lives do we want to lead as parents? Should one of us make a big career sacrifice so that we can give the maximum attention our child needs? These were some of the hard questions we wrestled with. Each time we discussed it, the answer was always the same: Time is our most valuable asset. Let's use as much of it with our child during her most formative years as we can.

And so, here we are. Hannah and I have been fortunate to be in careers that enable us to have work flexibility. That isn’t to say that making things work is easy, but we’ve certainly crafted our lives around Savannah’s life, instead of Savannah around ours. In doing so, we can regularly attend Savannah’s preschool events, speak to her teachers frequently, be involved in the PTA, take her to afterschool dance class, and most importantly, be present.

Getting Savannah into a great preschool helps, of course. At Breakthrough Montessori PCS, school administrators actively seek parental involvement and this leads to a strong sense of community. Parents are vested in the lives of their children at school, where strong parental commitment creates a virtuous circle that sustains itself. I hope this is true in other schools across the district, but I fear that it is not always. In DC, getting into a good traditional or public charter school is not a guarantee. Get a good number in the school lottery and you’re golden. If not, well, try again next year.

For Hannah and I, things could have been very different. We may not have been matched with any school in the lottery. What we would have done if that were the case, we do not know. Hannah and I could have been career driven at all costs. The temptation to do so is certainly strong in a city like DC. Yet, somehow, in some way, here we are with the choices we’ve made. We make it work. Yes, some of what we have is due to luck. Indeed, we a grateful to have Savannah in a preschool in which she thrives. However, some of it is due to our conscious decision to be involved in our child’s life. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Trying to figure out the balancing act of parenthood is never easy. At least for us, we’ve found a stride.

Upcoming PAVE and Partner Events
Public Roundtable on Graduation Rate Accountability 
DC Council
This month, the DC Council Committee on Education will discuss proposed amendments to school discipline policy and the Student Fair Access to School Act of 2017. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 30, at 2 pm at the Wilson Building. If you would like to testify, PAVE can help you prepare and deliver your testimony. Please reach out to us at or call (202) 677-9412.
Monthly Community Forums with Chancellor Wilson 
DC Public Schools
Chancellor Wilson and DCPS Leadership are hosting Monthly Community Forums around the district to ensure our families and the broader community have an opportunity to provide feedback and help make critical decisions on the District’s strategic priorities and initiatives. For more information about these forums, please visit
My School DC Office Hours 
My School DC
The deadline for the My School DC school lottery for grades 9-12 is February 1, 2018. In preparation, every Wednesday, My School DC holds office hours at CentroNia (1420 Columbia Rd NW) in Columbia Heights from 3 – 6 pm. Before you hit submit, drop in with questions about your application or the lottery process. For more information, visit or call (202) 888-6336
View all upcoming PAVE events here!
Keep in touch! Sign up to join the PAVE listserv.

Do you have events and opportunities to share with PAVE?
Email us at
PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects, informs, and empowers parent leaders to have a voice and a choice in the vision for education in Washington, DC. PAVE's goal is to create an education system in which parents are partners in developing a diversity of safe, nurturing, and great schools for every child in every ward and community.
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