Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Parkside celebrated its “Tier 1” status this week during an assembly with a drum line, a panel discussion that touched on teen motivation, and rows of cheering students.
It’s the first time that the school has achieved the high-performing designation by the D.C. Public Charter School Board.
“We are working to make D.C. the fastest-improving urban school district in the country,” said new chief executive Joan Massey. “You are all a part of that.”
The school was rated according to a framework that takes into account graduation rates, academic growth in reading and math, attendance and parent satisfaction. It is one of six charter high schools in the District to achieve Tier 1 status, thanks in part to a significant boost in math scores. Schools are classified according to three tiers, and those in the lowest tiers risk having their charters revoked.
Principal Dwan Jordon credited the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative with helping the school improve over the past few years.
The Kenilworth-Parkside community won a $25 million federal grant in 2012 to end intergenerational poverty through supports and services from birth through adulthood. Chavez founder Irasema Salcido was instrumental in securing the grant.
Wednesday’s assembly was also organized to announce a $300,000 grant from AT&T Aspire that will fund a partnership with the College Success Foundation to provide tutoring, mentoring and college counseling for Chavez students at risk of dropping out.