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Emery Elementary Presentation to the school board


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This was emailed to me by RT




Emery was selected as a "Beating the Odds", school by Superintendent Janney. Only two schools in DCPS received this honor. As part of this selection we had to prepare a presentation speak before the board last evening.


The reception was overwhelming. The planned presentation was suppose to be only 10mins it ended up lasting more than a half-hour. We had teachers, students, parents and leadership staff speaking on our success. Be sure to watch for it on channel 99 in the District next week!


Here is a presentation by Ted McGinn, Emery LSRT Chairperson and Proud Parent of an Emery Student




Mr Taylor feels very strongly that the manner in which the school is run must be transparent. Teachers, Parents and the Community must be "in the loop" and share ownership of our school. One person can't run a school on their own, Mr Taylor has built an incredible team at Emery.


Mr.Abubakar Senghor our Dean of Student handles behavior issues at the school. He deals with the students and their families to ensure that we have an environment where Teachers can teach and Students can learn. We had 160 suspensions in 2004, last year we had 28 and so far this year only 3 and none of them were for fighting. Since Mr.Taylor and Mr. Senghor came to Emery there has only been one complaint that couldn't be resolved at the local school level and went to DCPS.


We follow the mandated rules of conduct set down by the School Board but we are not a school "ruled by the stick" as much as "ruled by the carrot". Mr Taylor tells the kids all the time "if you make my job easy I'll make your school fun" and to that end at Emery you can be written up by any staff member for being good, then be sent to see the Principal (for rewards). Each day we announce the classes that have perfect attendance or 100% school uniforms. At the end of the week the classes with the best records may get pizza or ice cream (bet you wish you went to school here).


Mr Senghor and Mr Taylor greet every student at our front doors each morning then lead the entire student body in our school pledge. " My heritage is one of greatness. I know that I can do more, but I must never do less then those that came before" What my mind can conceive and my heart can believe I can achieve". I still get goose bumps whenever I hear our kids shout out these words to start their day! We try every day to reduce distractions to learning by having same sex classrooms grades 4 through 6 and 100% school uniforms.


Mr. Senghor has done his job so well that he has undertaken the role of Chief Officer of Heritage sharing stories of the past instilling pride in our young people empowering them to believe that there is no limits to what they can achieve in school and life.


Mr Taylor brought Senghor to the Board Meeting together with Ms Gwendlyn Robinson our Standards Specialist, Mr. Brown 3rd grade teacher for last years young men, Ms Barthelus 6th grade teacher for our young women, and three emery Students.


Ms Robinson helps to train our teachers to teach to the new DC standards for each subject, she runs our writers workshop program, holds a weekly Club for student to Explore creating science based projects. Ms. Robinson also helps to run our after school program that is learning based and not just a tax dollar paid for babysitting service. Mr Brown's young men blew away the new DC Standards test (DC-CAS) that replaced the Stanford 9 with 91% of his class ranked as Proficient! Ms Barrthelus and her 6th grade young ladies beat the mean scores for the city by 10 points in both reading and math helping us beat the odds and surpass AYP under No Child Left Behind for the Second year in a row!


Please remember that Emery is only one of 25 schools public to make AYP and Hyde Leadership school didn't make the grade. Our last and most important presenters to the Board were the two 6th grader and one 4th grader. They wrote their own speachs and yes handwriting is still an art form we teach. The kids spoke from the heart and I couldn't have been more proud of them or their teachers. Our teachers don't just punch the clock; no one at Emery does. We are a family and you can feel it every time you walk into school.


Our presentation was only ten minutes long but the Board kept us there 20 minutes longer with questions. Tommy Wells wanted to know about our community partnerships so I got to share a little about City Year and the Young Heroes program. Mr Taylor had talked about the role Eckington and Edgewood have had in supporting us. Board member Carrie Thornhill asked about our staffing patterns and how could we "clone" Emery as a model for other schools.


Towards the end the questioning Superintendent Jenney shared a conversation he had with Ron Taylor at a Principals Train Session the day before during a lunch break. The Superintendent asked what plans Mr Taylor and his team had for Emery's future. Mr Taylor shared our desires to add 7th and 8th grade over the next two years to create a PreK-8 program. Dr. Jenney loved the idea suggesting that we might look into a IB program grades 6-8 and become a true feeder school to McKinley Technical High School which is currently a 800 student magnet school. Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz voiced strong support for the ideal sighting the failure of Hype Public Charter School to fill that role. Every Board member at the meeting likewise voiced support.


The LSRT and PTA will be working with Mr Taylor and the Staff of Emery to make this dream come true. We need the active support of our Civic Associations, the ANC, City Council members and all of you to make this happen.

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