Education Forward DC has supported leaders opening schools since our founding in 2016. In March, we launched our formal New Start Grant process as part of our broader effort to expand our network of grantees and ensure that our funding process is transparent and equitable. As part of this process, we outlined a clear application process and invited all teams seeking approval by the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) to be considered for a New Start Grant. Grant recipients will receive funding and advisory support from us during the year leading up to the opening of their new school and the early years of the school’s launch.
This year, the PCSB received 11 charter applications. Three of the five approved applicants – Social Justice School, I Dream Academy, and Girls Global Academy – are receiving New Start Grants from Ed Forward DC. (Capital Village Academy’s charter was also approved and is an existing grantee). Congratulations to these three New Start Grant recipients, Capital Village Academy, and their fellow applicants on being approved by the PCSB in May to open public charter schools in DC.
In service of our five-year goal to double the number of underserved students in DC who are college and career ready, Education Forward DC is committed to supporting visionary leaders who are passionate about creating high-quality, equitable public schools for students. We aim to support high-impact leaders, particularly leaders of color, who have designed innovative, quality school models that will serve at-risk and special education students well and disrupt patterns of racial inequity. You can read more about our three New Start Grant recipients and Capital Village Academy below:
Social Justice School is a proposed EL Education middle school with a focus on social justice and places equity at the center of its school design approach. Led by Executive Director Myron Long, the school plans to open in fall 2020 with 150 fifth and sixth graders, adding 75 students each year to serve 300 students at capacity by its third year.
I Dream Academy combines elements of Montessori education, project-based learning, and EL Education. Led by founder Janine Gomez, the school plans to open in fall 2020 in Ward 7 or 8 with 120 students in Pre-K3 through second grade, adding a grade each year through fifth grade to serve 240 students at scale in its sixth year.
Girls Global Academy is an all-girls high school that focuses on empowering women and preparing them to succeed in the real world, at a local and global scale. Led by Executive Director Karen Venable-Croft and Principal Shayne Swift, the school plans to locate in Ward 2 and will open its doors to 90 freshmen girls in its first year and will serve 450 girls in ninth through twelfth grade at capacity in its fourth year.
Capital Village Academy is a micro middle school that emphasizes project-based learning, personalized and blended learning, and social-emotional learning. Led by Monica Green, a former middle school teacher in DC and Maryland, the school will serve 150 students in grades sixth through eighth.
We are excited to partner with our future school leaders and their teams and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have for DC students and families.