Gladys and Benjamin
Amos Campus (Amos 1)
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
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.
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 http://youtu.be/XxHRoq20UXo.
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.
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.
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.