Dorothy I Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools              Amos 1: Open House, Monday, December 15, 9 am - 12 pm      


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Gladys and Benjamin
Amos Campus (Amos 1)

Campus Profile

Gladys and Benjamin Amos Campus

Amos 1 is CAPCS’ original campus and remains our flagship. The campus consists of two adjacent structures, the main building which houses the elementary grades and the Annex which is home to the early childhood classes. Amos 1 offers a curricular focus on the humanities with an emphasis on literacy, critical and imaginative thinking, reasoned inquiry, open discussion and an appreciation for the ideas of others. Children are reminded daily of the three school rules of Amos 1: always do your best; always respect yourself, others and the environment; and always exhibit pride, honor, and scholarship. Active parental involvement is promoted through monthly structured activities and informal opportunities.

In addition to the Kids House after-school program managed by Champions®, Amos 1 offers after-school activities that expand students' horizons. Current After-School Activities include Young Leaders Club, Basketball, CAPCS Chorus, Cheerleading, and Art Club.

Letter from the Academy Leader

Welcome to the webpage of the Gladys and Benjamin Amos 1 Humanities Campus of the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools (CAPCS).  It is with great pleasure that we invite you to learn more about our campus.  Here at Amos 1 we have a passion for Excellence! 

Our campus focus is humanities.  As a humanities school, we integrate the arts into the daily teaching of core subjects.  This fosters learning and achievement through multicultural and developmentally appropriate instructional programs for PreK-5th grade students.  Studies have shown there is a link between arts education and student achievement.  The process of making art—whether it is written, performed, sculpted, photographed, filmed, danced, or painted -- prepares children for success in the workforce not simply as artist, but all professions.  Brain research supports evidence of improved focus and attention in children that are motivated to practice a specific art form. 

Parents are our partners in the education of their children. We look to them not only to ensure that children attend school consistently and on time, which are vital to academic success, but also to emphasize the importance of education and the value of hard work.  Strong parental support combined with high quality instruction by our dedicated teachers and staff will help students become critical thinkers and effective readers, writers, and listeners.  Amos 1 is a place where students grow academically, emotionally, and socially.  We look forward to seeing the faces of our beautiful children each and every day as they strive for excellence! 

On behalf of the entire Amos 1 faculty and staff, we invite you to visit our campus and see us in action.    


Mrs. Masi Preston

Academy Leader

Gladys and Benjamin Amos 1 Humanites Campus
Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School

Leadership Team (left picture) and Office Staff (right picture)

Amos 1 Open House Schedule
January – June 2014

            Friday, Jan. 17th at 10:30 a.m.
            Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 6:00 p.m.CANCELED

            Friday, Feb. 14 at 10:30 a.m.
            Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m.

            Monday, Mar. 3 at 10:30 a.m.
            Monday, Mar. 24 at 5:00 p.m.

            Monday, Apr. 28 at 5:00 p.m.

            Tuesday, May 6 at 3:30 p.m.
            Tuesday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m.

            Tuesday, Jun. 5 at 5 p.m.

Art from Amos 1 Students in National Cherry Blossom Festival Exhibit

Artwork by several Amos 1 students is being showcased at the Pepco Edison Place Gallery as part of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival. The gallery is located at 702 8th Street, NW. The exhibition will run through Friday, April 17th. Stop by and admire the talent of our wonderful students.

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.

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.

“Aladdin” Coming to Amos 1

Students at the Amos 1 campus are busily rehearsing for their upcoming production of “Aladdin”, based on the 1992 Disney movie. CAPCS family, friends and the entire community are invited to attend this entertaining show. Show dates and times are June 10 at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., June 11 at 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., and June 12 at 6 p.m. “Aladdin” is the culmination of a year filled with creative projects in line with the humanities focus at Amos 1. Parking will be available for all flying carpets.


Amos 1 Soccer Teams Go Undefeated

It was a clean sweep for Amos 1’s c-2 soccer team as it posted a 3-1 victory in its final game of the season on May 17th to complete an unblemished 8-0 season in the Takoma Soccer League. Not to be outdone, the c-5 team won 7-2, giving it a 7-0 season. This was Amos 1’s fourth year of competition in the Takoma Park League and they have become the team to beat. In those four years, they have lost exactly one game between the two teams. Coaches Temitope Junaid and Selvin Bonilla-Rivera praised the energy and passion displayed by the players, as well as the excellence of their play. The coaches expressed their gratitude for the support of Amos 1 parents, teachers and staff throughout the season and are looking forward to next year.

Amos 1 Cheerleaders Take 2nd Place in Competition

The Amos 1 cheerleading squad has plenty to cheer about after earning 2nd place in the Spirit Unlimited Cheer Competition held on April 27 at Six Flags in Bowie, MD. The competition drew teams from the surrounding DC Metro area and their supporters. The Amos 1 cheerleaders wowed the audience with their skill, creativity and enthusiasm.


Congratulations to these classes for having perfect attendance during the DC CAS testing this year.

Amos 1 As Featured on TV

The Amos 1 campus went all out to raise money for this year’s Pennies for Patients drive of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In three weeks’ time they raised $1,300 to benefit those who are battling these diseases. Their efforts drew the attention of ABC’s Good Morning Washington show which taped a message from Academy Leader Masi Preston and students Ezinne Anyanwu, Esther Nnaji, and Shaniya Freeman encouraging others to contribute. The message was broadcast on the mornings of March 24th and 25th. Congratulations to the entire Amos 1 campus for their outstanding success.

Acting Up At Amos 1

The Amos1 staff took center stage in the Amos 3 Eckstine and Ellington theater at the March 22 Saturday Academy, putting into practice theatrical concepts such as tableaux, milling, Smithsonian, home base, and mountain pose learned through a partnership with Arena Stage. The morning began with singing and dancing led by 1st grade teacher Yamina Pinnock. The partnership aims to help teachers integrate the arts into the classroom. Click here for more photos of the Amos 1 staff in action.



Amos 1’s Sana Kifafi Co-authors Article

Amos 1 PreK-3 teacher Sana Kifafi has co-authored an article entitled “A Deeper Look into Education from the USA to Amman, Jordan” which appeared in the International Journal of Organizational Innovation. Her co-author is Dr. Sergey Ivanov, Associate Professor of Management at the University of the District of Columbia. Ms. Kifafi, a long time member of the CAPCS teaching staff, obtained her Masters in Early Childhood Education from UDC and intends to enroll in a doctoral program in the near future.

Article (click)

Family Movie Night at Amos 1

Amos 1 families had a night of togetherness and fun at the first Family Movie Night on March 14. The event was organized by the Amos 1 PTO and featured “Despicable Me, Part 2”. In addition to laughter, the families enjoyed popcorn, hotdogs and other snacks. The PTO is planning for more exciting family nights in the months to come.



Amos 1 Offers Training Ground for Urban Teachers

Amos 1 has partnered with the Urban Teacher Center to offer a real-life setting for teachers-in-training. UTC is an organization founded to create a pipeline of talented teachers for urban schools. UTC teachers are placed in urban classrooms like those at Amos 1 where they act as co-teachers. Those who complete the program and demonstrate effectiveness in teaching practice and gains in student achievement receive a master’s degree and dual certification in special education and either elementary or secondary education. It’s a win-win for Amos 1 and for those who wish to teach in urban schools. The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) featured UTC’s work at Amos 1 in its blog. Read it at

Lessons from Pumpkins

Mr. Christopher's 5th grade class at Amos 1 learned there is a lot more you can do with pumpkins than carve them. The class used five different pumpkins to conduct experiments and compile data. They took measurements of the stem, rind, and circumference of each pumpkin and counted the number of seams as well as seeds in each. Seed data was graphed and the landmark data for seeds also was collected. The class examined he data and discussed what conclusions might be reached about each pumpkin and the five pumpkins collectively.

Flat Stanley on the Move

Students at Amos 1 are participating in fun-filled educational adventure exploring different places in the U.S. and around the world through the Flat Stanley Project. It's all part of Amos 1's interdisciplinary focus on the arts & humanities. Flat Stanley is a character in a book series of the same name by Jeff Brown. Stanley gets squished "flat as a pancake" when a bookcase falls on him. Aside from being very flat, Stanley is fine and soon discovers the advantages of being so flat as he embarks on adventures worldwide.

Each Amos 1 teacher received four Flat Stanley books to use as read-alouds and a Flat Stanley template used to design each class' Flat Stanley which they will send to host families around the world. Those hosting Flat Stanley are asked to send a photo of Flat Stanley showing where he is and a brief description of what he's done while there. Hosts are encouraged to dress up the paper doll in clothing appropriate for the setting and are asked to indicate how far from Washington DC, they are. Students will document Flat Stanley's travels on their Flat Stanley classroom map and calculate how far he's traveled. Any brochures or artifacts sent by the host about their location will be displayed along with the map.

The Flat Stanley Project is a wonderful way to seamlessly combine literacy, social studies, math and other subjects in a way that is engaging and imaginative for children. Flat Stanley certainly gets around. Check out some of the places he's been.

Buddy Up for Literacy

Amos 1 First grade teacher Nicholas Kesaris and Fifth Grade teacher Eric Christopher came up with a clever idea to promote reading fluency among their students. They created a “reading buddy” initiative that pairs first graders with fifth graders as reading buddies. The buddies meet weekly, read together and then create dramatic presentations based on what they read. What a great way to illustrate the Humanities focus of the Amos 1 campus.

Amos 1 Celebrates Healthy Eating

As part of the Growing Healthy Schools week celebrated at CAPCS and other DC schools from October 21-25, 5th grade students in Mr. Freeman’s class at Amos 1 worked with Chef Campbell Howe to prepare and eat roasted root and grain salad. The purpose of the Growing Healthy Schools initiative is not only to encourage healthier eating, but also to educate students about the sources of the foods they eat and how they make it to the table. It is sponsored by the DC Farm to School Network.
Amos 1 students also participated in the campus-wide Apple Crunch. That loud noise you heard was the sound of all students at every campus taking a bite of an apple at 2:30 p.m. on October 24th. The schools supplied the apples and the students and staff supplied the crunch.


Amos 1 joins Amos 2 as a Reggio-inspired campus

The success and popularity of the Reggio Emilia-inspired program at the Amos 2 campus over the past several years led to the decision to expand the Reggio focus to the Amos 1 campus this year.   Reggio  uses an art-infused, project-based approach to instruction. Children are encouraged to ask questions, solve problems and think creatively as they master basic concepts.  This approach promotes self-expression, curiosity, thought, and problem-solving.   It fosters a warm, supportive atmosphere that promotes a child’s growth academically, socially and emotionally.  Children enjoy exploring areas of interest in a variety of creative, artistic ways.  Students and teachers at Amos 1 have enthusiastically adopted this focus and are rapidly making it their own.

Back to School Night a Big Hit at Amos 1

After a greeting from CAPCS Founder Kent Amos, Board of Trustees Chairman Ernest Green, Jr., Head of Schools Brenda Bethea, and Academy Leader Masi Preston, parents eagerly headed off to their children’s classrooms to meet teachers and hear about the goals for the year for the class. It was all part of the annual Back to School Night, one of the most popular events of the year. For the parents of PreK3 parents, it meant learning about the beginning of their child’s academic career. Parents of 5th grade students heard how their child is being prepared for the next big step – moving on to middle school next year. All parents came away with a better understanding of CAPCS’ rich, well thought out academic program and the wide range of opportunities Amos 1 offers. Parents established connections with teachers that will promote communication and enable them to support the teachers’ efforts to improve student achievement. Everyone had a great time. Click here for more photos of the evening’s events.



Natasha Parrilla Named Outstanding Teacher by DCACPS

CAPCS is proud to announce that Natasha Parrilla, Instructional Coach for grades 1st – 5th at Amos 1, was named Most Outstanding Teacher/Leader at the Elementary level for 2013 by the DC Association of Chartered Public School at its annual DC STARS Tribute. The event, which honors the best of the best in DC charter schools, was held on May 9 at CAPCS' Amos 3 campus. It will be rebroadcast throughout the month of June on DCTV. Those selected to receive the awards are those who go beyond the expected excellence in their positions and add significantly to the life of the school in a variety of ways. As an instructional coach, Ms. Parrilla supports teachers in their efforts to improve their classroom performance and raise the achievement level of students. She works tirelessly to ensure that they are familiar with best practices and have the resources they need to succeed. Outside the classroom, there is hardly an event or program at Amos 1 that does not bear her fingerprints in some way. She actively encourages students to widen their horizons by participating in new activities and promotes recognition of students, staff and CAPCS itself. CAPCS is proud of Ms. Parrilla and appreciates all she does for our students and our school.

Amos 1 Has Plenty To Cheer About

Amos 1 cheerleaders scored a 3rd place finish at the 2013 Spirit Unlimited Cheer Competition sponsored by Epic Brand, Spirit Unlimited. This was the first cheerleading competition in CAPCS’ history and the team did not have a single deduction on their score sheets. CAPCS cheerleaders competed against teams from DCPS schools and other DC charter schools at the elementary level. They had great support from families and the whole community who did plenty of cheering of their own. Congratulations to the Amos 1 Cheerleaders for a terrific performance.

Literacy Night at Amos 1

It’s not often that you find Superman in the same room with Curious George, but that’s just what happened at Amos 1 on March 21 as the school celebrated Literacy Night. Participants were asked to come as their favorite book character and it was obvious that a lot of different books are being read. Amos 1 teachers manned read-aloud stations featuring specific stories. There were games, technology stations and art activities. Representatives from Costco, Girl Scouts, and an author joined students, parents and staff for this fun and educational evening. The evening ended with dinner which was enjoyed by all. To see a slide show of Literacy Night, go to

Amos 1 Celebrates Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat
Now who could beat that
In honoring famed Dr. Seuss.

Ms. Gill’s young greeters
Wowed celebrity readers
Before they were all turned loose.

To the classrooms they went
And ears they were lent
As the stories they made come alive.

They discussed what they heard
And the power of the word
To give meaning on which we all thrive.

Dr. Seuss would be proud
Of this literate crowd
As they eagerly read his books.

When all’s said and done
They had lots of fun
As you saw by their happy looks.*

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss. 

Amos 1’s Read Across America celebration of Dr. Seuss on March 8 featured a line-up of celebrity readers that included representatives from a wide variety of fields – law, the arts, law enforcement, business, community groups, health and wellness, sports and education.  A CAPCS Board member and other CAPCS staff joined with others in reading to the students.  A master’s degree student from Full Sail University in Orlando participated via Skype.  It was hard to say who had more fun, the students or the readers. 

CAPCS Campus Enrollment Lottery Information

The high number of enrollment applications for the 2013-2014 school year means that it will be necessary to hold lotteries for available spaces in certain grades at several CAPCS campuses. The lottery will be held this Friday, March 22nd, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Amos 4 campus located at 1351 Nicholson Street, NW. Families are being notified if their names have been placed in the lottery. Anyone is welcome to attend the lottery, but it is not required. Office Managers at each campus will notify parents of the results of the lottery by April 1st. Parents will be able to claim their lottery seats between April 8th and April 12th using our new online registration system. Directions on using the system will be provided when a seat is claimed. No seats can be guaranteed after April 12. Beginning April 13, spaces will be filled with applicants on the waiting list. Parents may also want to consider another CAPCS campus where space is available.

Lotteries will be held at the following campuses for the grades indicated:

Amos 1: PK 3, PK 4, K, 1st, 5th

Amos 3: K, 1st, 5th

Butler: PK 3, PK 4, K, 3rd

Winter Gardening at Amos 1

Who says gardening is just for spring and summer? The students and staff at Amos 1 have been busy gardeners all winter long. Their earth box gardens are yielding healthy crops of spices such as basil grown in the main office and cilantro grown in the 2nd grade and the art room. PreK students are growing radishes, while the school psychologist talks to her cherry tomato plant. Excitement is growing as students watch the plants grow and anticipate the harvest. The gardening project is funded by a grant from The Institute of American Health and is designed to promote healthy initiatives in the school.

A Winter Wonderland Extravaganza at Amos 1

There was a packed house for both performances of Amos 1’s Winter Wonderland Extravaganza on December 13th. The lively show featured presentations by PreK -5th grade students representing the after-school clubs. Drama Club students offered a short excerpt from a play they are writing called, "The Adventures of Greg and Ginger", which is combination of “The Gingerbread Man” and three other children's stories. Teachers and students from the Step Club and Dance Club performed to "Jingle Bells" and "Jingle Rock" in high stepping style. Music Club leader Mr. Bermudez led the Amos 1 Chorus in singing holiday songs. Early childhood students brought smiles with their performances of "Let it Snow" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". The event was captured in a video partially shot by Media Club students for those who were not able to attend or those who just want to relive the fun. (Click Humanities Media Tab to view) The Winter Wonderland Extravaganza put one and all in a holiday mood.

Its lettuce!

Students in Ms. Bartley’s 5th grade class had their first harvest in November. They planted romaine lettuce just two months ago. Today they had fresh lettuce in their classroom. The students discussed the advantages of having fresh lettuce in their classroom. One student stated, “It’s great to eat something we grew ourselves”. The students liked watching the lettuce grow and learning about healthy alternatives as their lettuce grew in an earth box under a full spectrum light kit.

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Amos 1 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

The name Hispanic includes a wide number of different countries and cultures, each contributing a unique element to a broad tapestry. Amos 1 held an Hispanic Heritage Celebration on October 17 that recognized the these different cultures through songs, dances, food and festivities. Some popular English songs were translated into Spanish to capture the nuances of language and make the fiesta more authentic. Students, parents and staff joined together in this multicultural event. Among the highlights were the songs and mariachi music performed by students and teachers for an appreciative audience.

PCSB Officials Visit Amos 1

Amos 1 was delighted to welcome Scott Pearson, Executive Director of the DC Public Charter School Board (PCBS) and PCSB member Sara Mead on Thursday, November 8. Among the stops on their tour of the school was Ms. Frye’s and Ms. Gunn’s PreK-4 class. Students demonstrated how they were working on various letter patterns using snap cubes. The PCSB officials met with Academy Leader Masi Preston, Chief Academic Officer Brenda Bethea, and Assistant Academy Leader Michelle Calhoun who were glad to share all the good things happening at the Amos 1 campus.

Amos 1 Receives DC Healthy Schools Hero Award

Citing its excellent efforts to implement the Healthy Schools Act and encourage healthy eating and active living, Amos 1 received an Honorable Mention award in the 2nd Annual Healthy Schools Hero Competition sponsored by DC Hunger Solutions. Amos 1 has been an active participant in the DC Healthy Schools Program, organizing creative activities for parents, students and staff. Among the activities that earned Amos 1 the Hero award were its “Earth Box” gardens that helped students learn about vegetables, science and math and the Family Fit Night where participants engaged in healthy eating and active living activities, including Wii Fit. Amos 1 is looking forward to another year of Healthy Schools Act projects that will engage even more students and families.

Amos 1 parents were excited to find out who their child's teacher would be for the 2013-2014 school year! Pk3 students in Ms. Sadik's class were enthusiastic about reading books!



February (click to view)

November (click to view)

October (click to view)

Our first parent meeting had an excellent outcome! We had over 40
parents and we look forward to even more on November 13th! We look
forward to seeing you!


Come out to get healthy and fit at our Tuesday Zumba classes for parents and staff only. This is a good time to exercise and get healthy!! It's from 5 to 6 on Tuesdays.

SY 2012/2013 Calendar Activities (click)

Amos 1 Campus celebrated Dr. Seuss –Read Across America on Friday, March 8, 2013 with celebrity readers.

Walter Maxfield Jones, Kent Amos-Founder of CAPCS and Milt Newton, Vice President of the Washington Wizards showing off their CAPCS Certificates.
Director of Early Childhood, Toosdhi Tucker reading to a Pre K Class.
Wendell Butler and Kyle Williams the beginners of CAPCS are enjoying their time at Amos 1.
Lynne Cowan, CAPCS Board Member and Toosdhi Tucker, Director of Early Childhood are enjoying their time at Amos 1.
Kandis Gibson. D.C. lawyer reads to a first grade class.
Ramona Edelin, D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools
Walter Maxfield Jones, an actor and IT Owner reads gingerly to First graders.
Victor Rodgers, also known as Poet Slangston Hughes gets ready to entertain third graders for his reading.
Ronald Fitzgerald from Leaders of Tomorrow’s Youth Center reads to Fifth graders.
Jessica Friedman . Institute of American Health is enjoying her Dr. Seuss Day. discussed Dr. Seuss Day via Skype with fourth and fifth graders.
Rolando Paige reads to our fourth graders.
Molly Zwelling, Institute of American Health is happy to be reading to CAPCS students on Dr. Seuss Day.
Lynne Cowan CAPCS Board Member displays her certificate.
Director of Technology, Kyle Williams shows some Dr. Seuss Spirit.
Mr. Harvey Ball from the Office of Minority Health uses a Document Camera to read to students.
Director of Communications, Cecelia Blalock reads to students .
Ms. Bethea –Head of Schools shows her certificate to students.
Michele Calhoun Asst. Academy Leader, Ramona Edelin and Elizabeth Weiner showing off their Dr. Seuss attire.
Academy Leader , Masi Preston , Academy Leader for the Day, David N'naji and Kent Amos
Cody Canty, Masters Student from Full Sail University who sent a video and discussed Dr. Seuss Day via Skype with fourth and fifth graders.

Check out the Amos 1 Club Scene


The “Winter Wonderland “program on December 13 was an extravaganza that delighted all who were there


Amos 1 Fall 2012 Humanities Activities

Chef Demonstration -Amos 1


The FlagShip

Amos1 had a very exciting Hispanic Heritage Program on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The program consisted of grades pk-5. The acts included singing, dancing, and skits. Our Amos 1 chorus was a smash hit!! They sang Whitney Houston's song "I look to You." They warmed the hearts of all that were present.


Ms. Pinnock's first grade class incorporates humanities during social studies lesson by singing the Continents song.


Children are learning about the Spanish culture in Prek4.

Part I

Ms. Frye and Mrs. Gunn's PK4 class integrated humanities during their writing lesson by creating letters and words using paint bags.

Part II

Something to Cheer About

Members of the Amos 1 cheerleading squad do their best in supporting CAPCS.

Spanish Cooking Club

Homework club

Chess club