Editor's note: A school in your area is noted in the following release as part of Teacher Appreciation Week events organized by the U.S. Department of Education.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan surprised teachers and staff of D.C.’s Luke C. Moore High School with an unexpected visit this morning during their Teacher Appreciation Week breakfast celebration.
Principal Azalia H. Speight, Assistant Principal Carlos Perkins, and Assistant Principal Rinaldo Murray gathered dozens of teachers and school support staff for the morning event to recognize their everyday hard work.
“I was honored to join Principal Speight in thanking Luke C. Moore staff for their commitment to education,” said Duncan. “The entire staff demonstrate a shared responsibility for helping children feel supported and have made significant accomplishments that improve students' chances of being successful in school and beyond. Their hard work is inspiring.”
Luke C. Moore High School is a local School Improvement Grant recipient that serves over 300 students, ages 17 to 21, who have dropped out or who have had difficulties in traditional school settings. Nearly 80 percent of the students served qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
As part of its school turnaround effort, Luke C. Moore has adopted an accelerated academic program with a focus on building critical thinking skills and project-based learning. Staff also support students through intervention teams that provide services both inside and outside of school. Support staff have conducted over 300 home visits in addition to holding several community gatherings to reinforce the value of education with students and parents. Since putting into place intervention efforts, Principal Speight has led the school toward significant improvements. Students have shown proficiency gains in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. Graduation and student attendance rates have increased while disciplinary referrals and suspensions have dropped.
The Wednesday morning stop-by marks Duncan’s second visit to Luke C. Moore. In November 2009, Duncan held a discussion at the school as part of a series of listening and learning events to gather input on education reform and the reauthorization of ESEA. More recently, Luke C. Moore teacher Rose Smith and senior Daquan Burley joined Duncan on a panel during America’s Promise Alliance 2012 “Building a Grad Nation” Summit.
In addition to Duncan’s surprise visit, dozens of Education Department staff are visiting schools today throughout the D.C. area and across the country as part of “ED Goes Back to School,” an organized effort of federal staff shadowing teachers. The shadowing visits will offer Department officials an inside look at teachers’ day-to-day work while also giving teachers the opportunity to discuss how federal policy, programs, and resources play a role in their classrooms. On Wednesday evening, teachers and Department staff participating in “ED Goes Back to School” will join Duncan for a debrief discussion to reflect on the experience.
From Wednesday through Friday, shadowing visits will take place in nearly 50 schools across 11 states and D.C. A list of participating schools follows.
Anacostia Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
Ballou Senior High School in Washington, D.C.
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.
Brightwood Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Brookwood Elementary School in Leawood, Kan.
Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Center City PCS - Trinidad in Washington, D.C.
Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C.
Chester Community Charter School in Chester, Pa.
Collegiate Academy Charter School in Littleton, Colo.
Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, Mass.
DC Bilingual Charter School in Washington, D.C.
DC Scholars Stanton Elementary in Washington, D.C.
DePriest Elementary School in Chicago, Ill.
Drew Model School in Arlington, Va.
Everett Middle School in San Francisco, Cailf.
Glebe Elementary School in Arlington. Va.
Hearst Elementary in Washington, D.C.
Howard University Public Charter Middle School of Mathematics and Science in Washington, D.C.
Jackson Elementary School in Clayton County, Ga.
Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in Washington, D.C.
Kent Meredian Middle School in Kent, Wash.
Key Peninsula Middle School in Lakebay, Wash.
KIPP DC: Discover Academy in Washington, D.C.
KIPP DC: Key Academy in Washington, D.C.
Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
McKinley Elementary School in Arlington, Va.
McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C.
Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C.
Monticello Middle School in Shawnee, Kan.