Wed, April 1, 9:44 AM
"As a parent of ward 7/8 kids it bothers me that we have to fight so hard for what’s right for our kids! Our children in ward 7/8 doesn’t get the fairness as the other wards. I have children that attend schools uptown and you’ll never bother them with anything but poor Ward 7/8 can not catch a break! We’re not a testing site to try things with. We aren’t uneducated people either! We want to be respected and valued! #ISTANDWITHJK she have been a Pillar of our community! She is home! She is our family! We trust her with our kids and grandkids and I will forever support her! They got her all wrong! She is the Head of our school Lawrence E. Boone!"
Sat, Apr 4, 9:53 PM
"Please Don’t take our Principal away!"
Sun. April 5, 8:45PM
"Leaving DCPS. Where is the OUTRAGE! I've trusted my three childrens education with DCPS. It's time to look outside of DCPS. If JK and her leadership team is not at Boone, my family will leave DCPS. Yes, that's how serious it is. I believe my principal more than the so called chancellor or mayor."
Tue, April 7, 11:37AM
"I am deeply disturbed by the actions taken to remove Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King from her leadership role as Principal of Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School in Southeast Washington, D.C. I have witnessed the many improvements that Dr Jackson-King’s leadership at Boone has made over the past six years. The strength, compassion and seasoned leadership that she embodies exceeds the complex needs of the Boone-Family-School-Community. I have witnessed this daily during my own tenure at Boone. Dr. Jackson-King has led our School Family Community from total chaos to success!
Dr. Jackson-King’s departure from Lawrence E. Boone Elementary would be devastating to the hopes, dreams, and safety of the most vulnerable in our community…our children.
I am a parent of a child enrolled at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary and am also a School Based Clinical Social Worker. I am appalled by the acts of retaliation against Dr. Jackson-King and DCPS should be as well. I stand with Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King. I respectfully and vehemently challenge DCPS’s decision to tear apart the Lawrence E. Boone School, Family, and Community with the removal of our leader…Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King. Please reconsider this decision."
Sunday, April 12,1:41PM
To Whom It May Concern:
"I am writing this letter on behalf of Dr. Jackson-King the principal at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School, located at 2200 Minnesota Avenue, SE 20020.
Perfecting my observation skills was a key role of my job as a federal worker for 39 years and 9 months that allow me to interact with other people by actively listening to them and responding appropriately.
From my observation Dr. Jackson-King has these following crucial leadership skills and characteristics:
1. She is an excellent communicator. She has established the vision of the school and its goals to be met. I am informed through written and oral communication throughout the year, pertaining to my grandchildren’s progress whether positive or unfavorably.
2. She values her teachers and staff as well as her students. She sees the potential of greatness in others and empowers them to think outside of the box. For example my grandchildren teacher’s have explained to me different strategies to help them improve at home with reading and math.
3. She implements and emphasizes her mission in an easy understood way captured in the Boone Elementary Newsletter each week. Receiving the newsletter keeps me informed of all the District of Columbia Public Schools requirements and the school’s program.
4. Dr. Jackson-King motivates her staff. I have observed the growth of the teaching staff. She inspires her teachers to communicate effectively to teach the children and they are committed to their well-being as students.
5. Dr. Jackson-King has the ability to act decisively. She takes time to listen actively and demonstrates how she resolves a conflict between two students. In February 2020, there was fight between my grandson and another young boy. Both children were wrong. When I arrived at the school to pick-up him up the Principal although she was involved in a matter took the time to explain why he was going to have detention. She listened to my grandson’s concern for why the problem resulted. She shared her wisdom with him. Sharing her wisdom will help him navigate in the next issue.
6. Dr. Jackson-King is relentlessly working to promote the success of her students, parents, and community. I recently joined the PTO and attend two meetings to date. She attended and was prepared to report out and share those critical reports.
Dr. Jackson-King management style demonstrates her dedication toward motivating her staff to be transparent, innovative and productive.
I respectfully request that Dr. Jackson-King remain in her position to continue the great work that she is doing to prepare our children to become the future leaders. She inspires the staff to pursue their educational aspirations. She is prepared for challenges and has ingenuity to create success in the 21th century. "
Mon.,April 20, 2020 10:05:41 AM
"Good morning Dr. JK
I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that you are wholeheartedly supported. It is a privilege to work for you and with you! You possess distinctive features which lend themselves to a unitary leader who stands to cater to the academic needs of the academically viable, and rise to see the importance of taking care of our vulnerable students and their families. You work continuously to alleviate the gaps of inequalities for our children. Your words and actions prove that you recognize the humanity in every person with whom you make contact. As an empathetic leader, you have created a school environment which reflects fundamental human needs. Our students, parents and my colleagues through your leadership have internalized that we matter, and now it is incumbent on us to pass the message—you matter too, Dr. JK.
The hidden agenda of those removing you from our school’s family just further reinforces the self-serving rhetoric that plagues such individuals who are far removed and not on the front line. Their self-interest reveals how a system continues to work to benefit the privileged as the underprivileged are left to scramble to make sense of their stagnation in society.
Your strong leadership skills, along with the support and dedication you show to your team, our children and their families, has earned you much deserved respect and admiration. I feel lucky to be a member of your staff."
Mon., April 27, 2020 2:50PM
Dr. Lewis Ferebee
D.C Public Schools
1200 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002
Dear Chancellor Ferebee,
It is imperative to illuminate the salience of high-quality school-based leaders in our district. Our knowledge, personal experiences, as well as research-based evidence demonstrates that Principals Matter! Our principal, Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King, serves as the educational leader at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School. The legacy of success established by Dr. Jackson-King’s efforts in student achievement gains, building relationships amongst parents, students, and staff and overall commitment to academic excellence reflect the necessary competencies needed for an effective principal. Over the past 6 years, in an environment where African American students seldom experience innovative and transformational learning opportunities, Dr. Jackson-King has led the initiative in cultivating pride, establishing a loving rapport, and setting high expectations for every scholar. Reinstating Dr. Jackson-King matters now, more than ever. It is because of her visionary leadership that we, the educators of Lawrence E. Boone Elementary, request Dr. Jackson-King be reappointed as principal.
In 2014, Dr. Jackson-King made a decision to serve as the educational leader at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School. She chose our community, the kind of community that is often marginalized and mislabeled. Dr. Jackson-King shifted our school culture from one of disjointedness and uncertainty to one characterized by distributed leadership, rooted in the enhancement and professional development of all staff members, and one equipped with people who are dedicated to providing a nourishing and responsive environment for all students. In 2015, Dr. Jackson-King partnered with the CityBridge foundation to cultivate a group of teachers who, with her recommendation, were given the opportunity to become Education Innovation Fellows. These fellows traveled to over 20 schools around the country in order to learn innovative ideas and practices to be used with the students at Lawrence E. Boone Elementary. The fellows learned that there is a spectrum of education that is based on race and class. On one end of the spectrum 21st century skills such as problem solving, time management, research, and analysis are incorporated into the curriculum, and on the other end of the spectrum schools are highly structured and control oriented to the extent that creativity and critical thinking are stifled. Boone falls in the center of this spectrum. We value reasonable structure and the cultivation of 21st century skills in our students. We strive to prepare our students to be productive citizens in the future economy.
The fellows worked with Dr. Jackson-King to completely restructure Lawrence E. Boone Elementary. We focused on instruction as well as how students learn. The school’s restructuring was recognized by the CityBridge foundation as a Breakthrough school and was awarded $250,000 in order to aid in the innovating process. With the allocation of these funds, Dr. Jackson-King's vision of a 21st century school became tangible. The math classrooms in grades 3- 5 restructured the math block to focus on small group instruction through a four - station rotation model. The classrooms in grades 3-5 were able to have a 1:1 ratio of students to devices. All of this was prior to DCPS acknowledging this as a useful investment. At Lawrence E. Boone, scholars are now able to travel internationally and develop skills in entrepreneurship, set academic goals, and learn in small, homogeneous groups. Teachers are able to administer more frequent short cycle assessments to drive instruction and maximize instructional time.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Wards 7 and 8, marked by socio-economic disparities, were categorized as Clusters I and II. This school year, schools in Wards 7 and 8 were mandated to implement RELAY- a controversial program that is not researched based and is affiliated with several corporate charter networks. There is no evidence that surveys and focus groups were used by district leaders to seek the input of teachers or administrators prior to accepting and implementing RELAY. This felt like the all too common paternalistic attitude that “the outsider knows best”.
In many ways RELAY does not align with Boone’s culture and values. There are rigid expectations for teaching and learning that are routinely monitored and limit the dynamics in the classroom. These structures ignore Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. It does not support students in realizing their strengths in learning nor teachers in introducing materials in dynamic ways. Rigor, innovation, and creativity are some of Boone’s principal values. Yet all aspects of RELAY are scripted. Classroom management strategies perpetuate the “school to prison pipeline.” Students must sit up, sit still, nod when spoken to, and must not take their eyes off the speaker. Teachers must assume a “strong voice” in order to “maintain order in the classroom” and to promote the authority and dominance of the teacher. Directions to students must be short and quick. Students drill repeatedly until they assume the expected role-- quiet, docile, and obedient. Boone values a flex educational environment where students tend to lay across bean bags or lean back in gaming chairs when completing real world projects or their essays. They have the freedom to select a space in the classroom to sort vocabulary terms with their teammates and are allowed to move across the class freely in order to adjust the data wall to reflect progress in i -Ready Math and other blended programs. We value a culture of possibility and we value the space to create. Dr. Jackson-King stood up for our school community which appreciates some aspects of the RELAY model, such as weekly data meetings--we conducted data meetings before RELAY. Our principal merely requested that Boone be allowed to avoid conflicting aspects of the program.
DCPS is committed to recruiting, developing, and retaining talented, committed, caring, and diverse leaders. Under Dr. Jackson-King’s leadership, the educational choices that were made enhanced multiple pathways for student achievement. ANET and Affirm are interim assessments used to measure students’ proficiency in reading, writing and Math. From cycle 1 to cycle 3 scholars at Boone have made progressive gains on both ANET and Affirm. Here’s a snapshot.
ANET Cycle 1 (October 2019)
3rd Grade: 29%
4th Grade: 31%
5th Grade: 40%
ANET Cycle 3 ( February 2020
3rd Grade: 54%
4th Grade: 51%
5th Grade: 54%
Affirm Cycle 1 October 2019
3rd Grade: 60%
4th Grade: 40%
5th Grade: 50%
Affirm Cycle 3 ( February 2020)
3rd Grade: 78%
4th Grade: 40%
5th Grade: 57 %
Given our principal’s success, as evidenced by student data, and parent, teacher, and student feedback on the Insight Survey, we wonder whether RELAY was the sole framework used to measure Dr. Jackson-King's effectiveness?
Unfortunately, under the supervision of Cluster II Instructional Superintendent, the room to grow in a relevant and engaging direction was not supported. In January of this year, Dr. Jackson-King noticed that Boone was slated to have three Communication and Education Support (CES) classrooms instead of two classrooms as originally discussed. Instructional Superintendent Stinson informed Dr. Jackson-King via email that the computer lab and media center were viable options for classrooms. Dr. Jackson-King opposed the computer lab and media center being the location of two of the CES classes. The parent representative for our Local School Advisory Team petitioned this suggestion by Instructional Superintendent Stinson. Access to books and educational technology empowers schools to provide multimodal studentcentered learning experiences. Both you and Councilman Trayon White were not proponents of Cluster II Instructional Superintendent recommendations for building use and supported us in maintaining our facilities. We need your support again.
On the district’s website DCPS states, “We are looking for dynamic school leaders to ensure outstanding student performance at every school.” Yet Dr. Jackson-King’s termination does not reflect the district’s commitment to the retention of talented and committed leaders as identified in upward school data trends. This is an opportunity to educate the DCPS community on what it looks like to retain trusted educators. Trusted educators like Dr. Jackson-King, who transformed Lawrence E. Boone from a Two Star school to a Three Star school in just a year. We implore you and all those who value an unwavering commitment to the education of our children to hear our plea for the reinstatement of Dr. Carolyn Jackson-King as the principal of Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School. Sincerely, Staff Members of Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School
Staff Members of Lawrence E. Boone Elementary School