Thursday, November 30, 2006

Taking a page out of the Charter / Private playbook

The Post takes a look at the effort that DCPS's Thomson Elementary's administration and parents have gone to to boost the schools profile and enrollment.
The school's principal and parents formed a marketing committee to aggressively recruit students. The team worked feverishly this spring, sending out fliers to Chinese nonprofit and business organizations, posting glowing messages on e-mail discussion groups and holding several open houses. All the promotion was done in three languages: English, Spanish and Chinese.

"We really made a conscious effort," said Principal Gladys Camp, who saw enrollment grow from 287 students to about 345 this year. "We wanted to make sure that our enrollment didn't drop."
I find this to be some of the best news to come out of DCPS in quite a while. Kudos to the staff and parents of Thomson Elementary, and kudos to DCPS for giving the school the autonomy to try new things. When supporters of school choice say that school choice not only helps private and charter schools, but can also improve public schools this is what they mean.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn, I was going to try to get my kid into Thomson. Now it will be harder. Thanks, WaPo and Nathan!

T. McAllister said...

We have been in the Thomson family for 4 years now and without an inch of reluctance I can truly say that I am proud of Thomson Elementary School! Both my daughters, Melanie(6th grade) and Mariah (3rd grade) have received an enriched education in a very diverse environment exposing them to all cultures.

Dr. Camp has ensured that tutors are available when needed, provided teaching of the Chinese language, and has also gone out of her way to offer other extra curricular activities such as personally teaching the children how to play the acoustic guitar.

Well done, Dr. Camp & Thomson!