DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

High Quality Schools Campaign (HQSC)

The Need

Families in Washington, DC have a high degree of choice when selecting a school for their children. Currently, 45 percent of public school students attend charter schools with the remaining 55 percent in traditional district schools. Of those in traditional district schools, almost half attend out-of-boundary schools. Families frequently want and need support determining which schools are of quality and are a good fit for their child.
 
The process for applying to a different public school in DC can be complicated and confusing, and some families struggle with completing the application processes. This puts the children of those families at a disadvantage in accessing a quality school. Moreover, the District has restructured the school application process three times in the last four years, exacerbating the confusion.

The Response

DCSRN developed the High Quality Schools Campaign (HQSC) as a direct response to fill this gap of needed support in DC. The HQSC supports families applying to, enrolling and persisting in quality schools, and DCSRN is the only organization in DC executing this targeted work. DCSRN has developed and refined the HQSC program model and has enough of a successful track record to grow and support the demand that exists in the city.

How We Do It

HQSC informs parents about the characteristics of high quality schools and helps parents identify and pursue quality education options for their children. The type of support provided varies for each family. DCSRN’s services include parent-focused materials, workshops, virtual school tours, out-of-boundary and public charter application support, school enrollment support and persistence support (maintaining enrollment). DCSRN encourages parents of students who are transitioning to a new school to apply to schools that are of the highest quality and/or that are higher quality than their current school option.

Campaign Goals

The 2014-15 High Quality Schools Campaign goals are:
  1. Recruit families representing at least 750 students to participate.
  2. At least 75 percent of participating students apply to quality public schools.
  3. At least 50 percent of participating students complete a pre-survey.
  4. At least 75 percent of students enroll in quality public schools from which offers are received.
  5. At least 50 percent of students who apply to quality schools complete a post-survey.
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