**This post was UPDATED to reflect the Monument Academy Board of Trustees vote to keep Monument Academy open for the 2019/2020 school year, under operation by Friendship PCS.**
AJE’s mission is to increase parents’ knowledge of their children’s rights within the District of Columbia educational system and to increase school accountability. With this post we hope to provide you with information you will need should you find yourself in one of two positions:
1) your child’s LEA has issued a notice of closure or
2) if you have a child with a disability who attends a non-public school who has reached the maximum age served by the LEA, or whose LEA closing.
The following LEAs are closing this year – Democracy Prep Congress Heights (now known as Congress Height PCS), and City Arts and Prep.
The following LEA is closing at the end of next school year (the 2019/2020 school year) – National Collegiate Preparatory PCS.
Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy is closing two campuses this year, their high school on Capitol Hill and their Columbia Heights middle school. Next year, the 2019/2020 school year, all students will attend their Parkside campus and it will also be the last year that Cesar Chavez operates a middle school.
Remember, LEA, or local educational agency, is the legal term for your school district. In DC we have one traditional public school LEA, which is DCPS, and we have over 60 charter LEAs which are authorized by the Public Charter School Board. Those 60 charter LEAs operate over 100 schools. DCPS, which is DC’s largest LEA, operates 115 schools. OSSE is DC’s SEA, or state educational agency, and provides regulation, oversight, and guidance to LEAs.
Here are some quick facts about your rights and responsibilities as a parent when you student’s LEA closes or when your student ages out of their LEA. Remember, parents need to act when their student’s LEA is closing, or when their student is aging out of their LEA even if they attend a non-public school!
Your rights and responsibilities when your child’s LEA closes –
- You have the right to be notified by the school.
- You are responsible for enrolling you child in a new LEA within the timeframe outlined by the closure notice (either in DCPS or in a DC Public Charter School).
Your rights and responsibilities when your child ages out of an LEA
- You have the right to be involved in every aspect of your child’s educational journey.
- You have the right to be notified of maximum age status by the LEA within 120 days of the end of the school year. You can see a sample letter here.
- You are responsible for enrolling your child in a new LEA as soon as possible (DCPS or DC Public Charter School).
All District of Columbia students also have a right to enroll in any public charter school with open slots in the grade for which they seek admission. This includes students who are currently attending a nonpublic school whose LEA is closing or who are aging out of their LEA. To identify a charter school that serves your child’s grade level please visit the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board’s website at https://www.dcpcsb.org/ or call (202) 328-2660. Families can also visit www.myschooldc.org to seek admission via the lottery process for participating public charter schools, DCPS out-of-boundary schools, and DCPS selective citywide high schools.
All District of Columbia students have a right to choose DCPS be their LEA. If your child attends a nonpublic school and needs to find a new LEA, and you have already decided that you want DCPS to be your LEA for next year, then after SY 18-19 concludes, you should go to DCPS’ central office to verify residency and complete the required enrollment paperwork. The point of contact for that is Ms. Kachinah Bossett: Kachinah.Bossett@k12.dc.gov or 202-442-5089. All students in the District of Columbia have a right to select DCPS as their LEA. If your student does not currently attend a nonpublic school and needs to find a new LEA and you want to select DCPS you can enroll them at their neighborhood DCPS school. To find your neighborhood DCPS school, enter your home address here. If you want DCPS to be your LEA and you do not want to attend your neighborhood school, you will need to enter the lottery at My School DC.
If you have general questions about the importance of choosing an LEA and enrolling your student, you may contact Ms. Katie Reda at OSSE at Katie.Reda@dc.gov or 202-481-3926.
Please see the attached documents and link for more details and information.
Sample letter created by OSSE for nonpublic students who need a new LEA – Charter School Closure for Nonpublic Students Sample Letter to Parents_0…
FAQs from OSSE about thier role when a charter school closes – What OSSE does when a charter school closes
Complete OSSE tool kits for nonpublic Schools – Nonpublic School Toolkit v10.07.2013
OSSE’s Parent Brochure about the nonpublic placement process – PPPR Brochure_12111_FINAL (1)
PCSB’s statement on charter closures – https://www.dcpcsb.org/why-do-some-public-charter-schools-close