Dorothy I Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools

CAPCS to represent at EdFest!

CAPCS will have a significant presence at EdFest, the big citywide public school fair that will be held at the DC Armory on Saturday, November 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The DC Armory is located at 2001 East Capitol Street, SE.  Sponsored by My School DC, EdFest provides parents with the opportunity to learn about the public and charter school options for the 2015-2016 school year.  Representatives from each CAPCS campus will be available to talk to parents and showcase what CAPCS has to offer.  Admission and parking are free and there will be recreational activities for children.  Applications for next year will be available through My School DC as of December 15.  To learn more about My School DC or EdFest go to


CAPCS Receives 7-year Re-accreditation

The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools has fully re-accredited CAPCS’ schools as a whole until 2021 under its new Excellence by Design system-wide accreditation process. That includes Amos 1, Amos 2, Amos 5 and CAPCS Online. CAPCS is the first system in Washington, DC to receive this accreditation. Previously, schools were accredited individually. The re-accreditation process includes an extensive and in-depth self-study requiring input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. A volunteer team of Middle States educators then conducts an on-site peer review in which they observe school operations and interview various stakeholders. The new protocol is designed to align with the improvement and strategic planning requirements of state and federal agencies. In announcing the schools re-accredited under this more holistic approach, Middle States commended those who had taken this extra step “towards ensuring high quality education for all of their students.”


Amos 5 Reaps a Literacy Harvest

The Amos 5 campus held its first Literacy Night of the year on November 19 and it was a big success. The theme was Harvest, and families and teachers explored the many aspects of harvest in books and literacy-related activities in the classrooms. The evening culminated in a harvest-themed meal which all enjoyed together. The Amos 5 staff worked hard to create a memorable event fit for the season that all enjoyed.



Join us at our Open Houses

Come learn about what a CAPCS education offers its students at our Open Houses which will be held at each CAPCS campus through the end of the year and beyond. The open house program will include an opportunity for parents to see our teachers and students in action as well as meet school leaders.  Open houses will be held from
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following dates:

Amos 1:          November 17,  December 15,   February 2
Amos 2:          November 18, December 16, February 3
Amos 5:          November 19, December 17, February 4  



Amos 5 Students “Think Pink”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and on October 29, Pre-K students from Amos 5 participated in a "Think Pink Walk". Teachers and students walked around the block chanting "Think Pink! Find A Cure!" Each class held a banner or individual signs showing their support for awareness and research to eliminate the disease. The Pre-K 4 team consists of Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Denise's Class, Mrs. Nesbitt and Mrs. Hart's class, Ms. Artis and Mr. Juan's class, Ms. Kruse and Ms. Michelle's class and Mr. Scott and Ms. Spradley's class.


Pink Power at Amos 5

Students in Ms. Artis’s and Mr. Juan’s class at Amos 5 held a Pink Party” on October 10 in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They also made a class donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the fight to cure this disease.

Butler Campus Renamed Amos 5

CAPCS strives to present itself as a unified and consistent organization with common goals and objectives. The Board of Trustees has therefore determined that all CAPCS campuses will carry the name Amos and a numerical designator. Accordingly, the Butler campus has been renamed Amos 5. The change takes effect immediately and you will begin to see references to Amos 5 in all CAPCS’ communications and and printed materials. It will also appear on the My School DC website as an enrollment choice. The instructional approach will continue to reflect Butler’s themes of global studies and STEM and, as always, the entire staff remains committed to excellence.

Amos 1 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. Amos 1 is celebrating by featuring someone from the campus who is of Hispanic origin. Concierge Aura Matias was recently interviewed during morning announcements. Ms. Matias is from Guatemala and says she likes spicy food and listening to Cumbia. Unlike Washington where you might fry or freeze, Ms. Matias says the weather in Guatemala never gets too hot or too cold but is always just right.

DC Charter Sector #1 in New Report

DC’s Public Charter School sector was named #1 among 26 other states evaluated by the National Alliance for Public Charters in its first annual Health of the Public Charter School Movement report. States were ranked according to how well their charter sectors performed, grew and innovated based on 11 weighted factors. DC charter schools, which account for 44 % of public school enrollment, serve a higher percentage of low-income students and from minority groups; and these students outperform traditional public school students academically. DC charter students also show higher year-to-year academic growth in reading and math. The District’s charter schools did well as innovators, with 29% offering one or more programs considered “innovative”. Read the full report at

It’s All About Being Healthy at Amos 2

Have you ever seen a singing carrot? Or a dancing banana? Students at Amos 2 have. It was all part of Healthy School Week from September 29 – October 3. Important messages about nutritious eating and staying physically fit were woven into lessons and activities throughout the week. Who was that banana asking students about their favorite healthy food? None other than Coach Cathey (who did double duty as a stalk of broccoli) while Ms. Gonzalez and Ms. McMullen took turns being a carrot.

Amos 2 Students Make Their Mark

Amos 2 students celebrated International Dot Day on September 15th by creating a community Dot mural. A canvas was set up in the hall with each child and staff member adding a dot to create the final result.. This creative project was inspired by the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds in which a young girl was challenged by her teacher to “make her mark” in the world. Schools and organizations around the world now find ways to celebrate the day and connect with others. The mural is a reflection of Amos 2’s Reggio-focused approach where children explore ideas and concepts through creative artistic projects.

Amos 1 Moving Closer to Reggio

A Reggio Committee has been established at Amos 1 as part of a planned transition to a Reggio-Emillia-inspired focus for its early childhood program. Reggio, already well-established at Amos 2, uses an art-infused, project-based approach to instruction. The Committee is collecting donations towards the annual North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) membership which will provide access to a wealth of fantastic ideas for the studio and classroom environments, discussion forums, upcoming conferences and professional development, project work ideas and communication with Reggio-inspired schools and educators worldwide. Some Committee members recently attended inspiring Reggio workshops and receptions hosted by Mrs. Tiziana Phillipi of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and educators from UDC.

CAPCS Welcomes Jennifer B. Smith, Ed.D. as New Head of Schools

Jennifer B. Smith, Ed.D. has been named the new Head of Schools for the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools (CAPCS), effective July 1, 2014. Most recently Dr. Smith served as Senior Director for Sustainability and Growth for the Flamboyan Foundation in Washington, D.C. Widely recognized for her expertise in educational leadership and its transformative power, she has worked in both the public and private educational arenas. Dr. Smith’s professional positions have included Chief Transformation Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education where she oversaw the development of systems to transform persistently low-performing schools, as well as the implementation of quality controls for Rhode Island’s charter schools. She brings experience and expertise in every area of education - middle school teacher, Principal of the Capitol Hill Cluster School (Washington, DC), adjunct professor at George Mason University, Executive Director of DC Public Schools’ Principal’s Leadership Institute and leadership coach for New Leaders for New Schools. Dr. Smith earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Education from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from The Catholic University of America in Elementary Education.

CAPCS is pleased to have such an accomplished educational leader who shares CAPCS’ vision and commitment to excellence serve as Head of Schools.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Do you believe that every child can learn? Will you commit to seeing that every child will achieve? If so, you are the type of educator CAPCS is seeking. We are still accepting applications for Elementary, Special Education and English Language Learners and Spanish teachers for the 2014-2015 school year. There also are a limited number of Teacher’s Assistant positions available. Candidates interested in substitute positions also are welcome.  Click here for more information on qualifications and how to submit an application.


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