Prinicipal’s Message: February 25, 2024

Greetings Jackson-Reed Community,

I want to begin this week by thanking members of our PTSO, Forward Committee (which supports our Multilingual families), Dr. Perrete Arrington (DBH Psychologist), and the DCPS Language Acquisition Division for creating an engaging and interactive space for Jackson-Reed families to come together during yesterday’s Principal’s Coffee.

The morning opened with breakfast, and then our multilingual families received information on courses and academic programs from our School Counselors, Ms. Navarette and Ms. Amaya. This academic overview was followed up by Dr. Arrington, who facilitated a Parent Cafe’ driven by questions focused on building stronger relationships with our children. Several families shared tips and strategies they use to help navigate their child/ren’s teenage years and address the many complexities they are facing.

While sharing ideas was powerful, what stood out to me the most was that the first part of the event was entirely in Spanish. As someone who only speaks English, I struggled to understand what was being said. I had to focus on images, expressions, and familiar phrases to understand what was being shared. I couldn’t help but think about our students who don’t speak English or have limited English proficiency and the hurdles they must overcome to feel and experience success in our school. I want to thank our bilingual staff members and those who go the extra mile in planning to reach all learners.

At the event’s end, I shared information on our FY25 initial budget allocation and reviewed the three main drivers for any reductions that may occur. These drivers are the expiration of pandemic recovery funds, the opening of another Ward 3 high school to ease our overcrowding, and well-deserved compensation increases for faculty and staff. In-depth budget discussions have been ongoing with our Local School Advisory Team (LSAT), and they have been thoughtful in their recommendations. The FY25 budget that has been proposed and submitted reflects aspects of their feedback and feedback received through our various budget engagement channels. Based on the collaboration during this process, I’m confident we can create a balanced budget to continue moving Jackson-Reed forward despite these financial constraints.