2220 Branch Ave SE
Washington, DC 20020
Dear Dragonfly family,
Welcome to the I Dream community! We look forward to partnering with you this year and beyond. At I Dream, we believe that all children deserve a high quality education that allows them to imagine and fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Our philosophy is deeply rooted in our core values: Equity, Relationships, Purposeful Work, and Collaboration.
When it comes to education, we know there is not a one size fits all model. At I Dream, we are transforming education by using a blend of social emotional learning, customized learning, and culturally responsive curriculum that empowers learners to take ownership of their learning and to pursue their passions and dreams.
At I Dream, we value families. We believe that you know your learner best and that it takes collaboration and teamwork to build confidence and skills in our learners. We are committed to a meaningful collaboration between our school and you. This handbook outlines the key policies that will enable us all to best support your learner. These policies have been carefully researched to ensure the academic and social emotional well-being and overall safety of all our learners.
In addition, we welcome any ideas you may have on how to incorporate your unique skills and talents into our school community. Feel free to reach out to me anytime at email@example.com with these ideas or thoughts on how we might further support your learner.
Thank you for believing in our school and partnering with us to best support your learner this year and for years to come!
Erin Hudson, Principal
Table of contents
I Dream PCS is an intentionally transformative learning community that nurtures children in grades PK3-5 to imagine and fulfill their dreams and aspirations. We collaborate with communities to customize purposeful, self-directed learning opportunities for all children.
I Dream PCS
Everyone has voice and choice at I Dream PCS. We celebrate the unique differences and shared experiences of our community and actively seek opportunities to interrupt bias, prejudice, and stereotypes to ensure access to resources and success for all.
Strong relationships are the foundation of I Dream PCS. We believe that social emotional learning is just as important as academic learning. Being one’s best self and developing healthy relationships with others creates a positive environment for deep learning and collaboration. Intentional structures foster a sense of belonging, trust, and connectedness within the community.
Customized learning at I Dream PCS is driven by real-world connections to individual and collective interests, passions, curiosities, and dreams. Learners produce meaningful and relevant work for authentic audiences in the school and broader community.
Everyone is responsible for learning and problem-solving at I Dream PCS. We explore, play, and investigate together. We share ideas, challenge each other, and make compromises. We listen for understanding and step up or step back as needed.
Front Office- administration
Special Education Coach
(678) 453- 8794
Director of Inquiry and Learning
Director of Operations
Special Education Coach
My learner will be absent
Your coach or front office
My learner will be late
Your coach or front office
Enrollment forms- DC residency, immunizations
Kids Ride Free card
I have concerns about my learner’s social adjustment
Ms. Biawogei (Support Specialist)
Question about IEP
I have problems with my learner’s technology
I have problems with an instructional platform- Seesaw, Zoom, etc
Your coach, Mr. Whitnall, or Ms. Hudson
I have an issue with my learner’s school food
Mr. Whitnall or Mr. Henderson
I’m having trouble getting in touch with the office
I have overall concerns
Attendance is paramount for I Dream’s PK3-2nd grade learners to achieve their academic, social-emotional, and dreamer goals. This policy reflects how remote and in-person attendance will be documented during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We expect all learners to sign in to Seesaw at least once every day between 8:00am and 11:59 pm. Coaches take attendance during synchronous (group) learning. The learner’s participation in asynchronous (independent) learning is also documented each day. Confirmation of presence/absence can include:
A learner is marked “present” during the school day if:
A learner is marked “absent” if s/he:
Please call or email your child’s coach or the school’s office at (202) 922-7221 to notify us in advance of your child’s absence. Please provide the reason for the absence in writing via email.
If you did not provide a written explanation for your child’s absence on the day of that absence, you must provide the school a written explanation of the absence upon your child’s return to remote learning. A list of excused absences is highlighted below. If your child is absent for more than five (5) consecutive days, you must submit a note from a doctor or other acceptable documentation explaining the absence.
Any absence for which no excuse is provided within five (5) days of the child’s return to remote learning will be considered an unexcused absence. Unexcused absences will be changed to excused absences if the documentation of the reason for the absence is consistent with the laws of the District of Columbia.
If a learner will be absent from remote learning for an extended period due to an extraordinary circumstance, the family should contact the Principal to explain the reason for the absence and the amount of time away from learning. The Principal and the Executive Director will determine if the absence will be excused. The Principal will notify the family of the decision.
In order to ensure that I Dream PCS is aware of the whereabouts of its learners, and to ensure that the school is in compliance with local laws, policies, and procedures of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and the Public Charter School Board the following steps will be taken in response to unexcused absences:
I Dream’s Reponse
Each unexcused absence
Family/Guardian is contacted by the school’s office.
At 5 unexcused
Support Specialist contacts family/guardian to collaborate on an effective intervention.
At 10 unexcused
Learners in grades K-2 will be referred to the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) in accordance with D.C. Law.
If your learner is going to miss school, call the main office line at (202) 922-7221 as soon as possible.
Coaches take attendance by 10 a.m. each day. The Operations staff confirms or changes the attendance code by the end of the day.
Present vs Absent:
If a learner is ill, he or she will not be permitted to attend school. Please do not send your child to school in the morning if s/he/they:
Parents will be called to pick up learners who show signs of illness. Learners are expected to be picked up within one hour of parent contact. At the discretion of the school Principal, learners who are not picked up in a timely fashion may be transported to a local medical facility to receive appropriate care. Learners must be symptom-free for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Please contact the school immediately if your child has a contagious disease or condition (i.e. chickenpox, pink-eye, head lice) so that the school can respond appropriately.
I Dream PCS will utilize the Community Code of Conduct as a guide for determining appropriate responses to missteps and relationship repair. As a matter of equity, each misstep, conflict, or violation of a classroom or school agreement will be resolved as an individual matter with the support of peers, tribes, staff, families, and the Restorative Justice Council. Please see Appendix 1 for the complete list of missteps and responses.
I Dream Glossary
Logical response or response = disciplinary action
Misstep = behavior
Family = parent/guardian
Learner = student
Temporary removal from school community = suspension
Permanent removal from school community = expulsion
It should be clear that missteps may occur, which alone or by repetition may require that the learner committing them leave the school community, temporarily or permanently. These decisions will be made in accordance with the Student Fair Access to School Amendment Act 2018. This Act states that learners cannot be removed from the school community temporarily or permanently unless the learner willfully caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause bodily injury or emotional distress to another person or to himself/herself, including incidents that occur off school grounds. Such logical responses are expected to support the school community’s goals of self-awareness, social-awareness, and responsible decision-making by helping learners understand that in order to participate in the school community they must conduct themselves appropriately.
A learner’s attendance at I Dream PCS assumes the family accepts and supports these expectations. The school will create a plan for providing instructional resources to any learner who is temporarily removed from the school community and will share the plan with the learner’s family. The school and the family will co-create a learning plan, if possible. Such a plan will include a staff member who is the point of contact for the learner and/or the family to be able to communicate about assignments and the learner will have an opportunity to make up any assignments missed during the removal upon his/her return to the school community.
It should also be clear that:
According to DC Bullying Prevention Act, bullying is defined as any severe, pervasive, or persistent act or conduct whether physical, electronic, or verbal that:
Any form of bullying is explicitly prohibited and will be regulated in all school-sponsored events, on school grounds and immediately adjacent property, on transportation to and from school or school-sponsored events, through the use of electronic devices that are the property of the school, and at any location/function not school-related and through personal electronic devices if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim of witnesses or that materially and substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.
Other forms of bullying:
Cyber Bullying – Bullying through the use of technology or electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, and the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, email, instant messaging, text messages, and Internet postings.
Electronic communication – The use of the Internet and mobile technology such as web pages, discussion groups such as instant messaging, SMS text, Instagram, or Facebook with the intent of intimidating, harassing, or harming another person.
To report an incident of bullying, please complete the incident form here. I Dream PCS will work with learners to understand the definitions and consequences of bullying. I Dream encourages learners to report any behaviors they feel enter the realm of bullying with their Coaches and parents. Any bullying will be immediately referred to the Principal or designated school leader. The school will investigate and determine appropriate steps as detailed in Category C Missteps of Appendix I. The appeals process is also listed in the subsequent sections.
Immediate steps will be taken to end bullying, prevent it from recurring, and to remedy
its effects may include the following. A complete list is detailed in Appendix I Category C.
Steps will be taken to minimize the burden on the target (for example, change
harasser’s schedule, not the target’s).
Retaliation against any person who has filed a complaint, or has testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy is prohibited, and therefore a party engaged in retaliatory behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action. Retaliation may include, but is not limited to, harassment, threats, taunting, spreading rumors, unauthorized disclosure of the details of an investigation, ostracism, assault, destruction of property, or any negative conduct toward participants in response to an investigation and the events causing it. Anyone found to have engaged in retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action. Participants in an investigation, including victims, respondents, and witnesses, should report to the Title IX Coordinator any conduct that might reasonably constitute retaliation.
Manifestation Determination Review
When a learner with a disability makes a misstep and the school is considering temporary or permanent removal of the learner from the school community, the school will hold a Manifestation Determination Review to examine the relationship between the learner’s disability and the misstep.
Learners with disabilities includes learners with Individualized Education Plans, 504 Plans and learners who are in the process of being evaluated for Special Education. If a learners has been temporarily removed from the school community for more than 10 school days in a school year, a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that includes the learner’s family, will review all relevant educational records contained in the learner’s file or in possession of the school to determine whether the learner’s violation of the Community Code of Conduct was a manifestation of the learner’s disability. The MDT will meet within 10 days of the date the consideration to remove the learner from the school community was made.
Temporary removal from the school community is a logical response to a misstep during which the learner has willfully caused bodily injury or emotional distress to another person or persons.
Appeals Process for Temporary Removal from School Community
If a learner is temporarily removed from the school community (in-school or out of school), the family will be contacted immediately and receive details of the removal in writing within 24 hours. The family will be given the contact information of the designated school community member to discuss and/or appeal the removal with the Principal or Executive Director.
The learner will receive class assignments and appropriate support from school staff, in-person, virtually, or by phone, to ensure that the learner does not fall behind academically while temporarily removed from the school community. Learners with disabilities or English learners may receive individualized education plan or individualized learning plan services while temporarily removed from the school community. The learner can make up any assignments missed during the temporary removal upon his/her return to the school community.
A family may appeal the temporary removal through an appeals process that includes a hearing before an appeals committee consisting of the Executive Director, the Principal, and other members of the school’s team as deemed appropriate. The appeal must be made in writing within 24 hours of notification of temporary removal from the school community and be delivered by email, or by hand to the Executive Director or designee. A hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible after the Executive Director receives notice of the appeal from the family.
The learner will receive class assignments and appropriate support from school staff, in the home, virtually, or by phone, to ensure that the learner does not fall behind academically while the appeal is in process and until it is complete. Learners with disabilities or English learners may receive individualized education plan or individualized learning plan services while the appeal is in process.
At the appeals hearing,
Manifestation meetings, as required by law, will proceed regardless of whether a family appeals a temporary removal decision.
Permanent removal from the school community is an action taken only as a last resort, and only in accordance with the Student Fair Access to School Amendment Act of 2018. It is a logical response to a misstep during which the learner has willfully caused bodily injury or emotional distress to another person or persons, and it is the school’s reasonable belief that the learner’s presence poses an immediate and continuing danger to other learners or school staff.
Appeals Process for Permanent Removal from School Community
Families may appeal the decision of permanent removal of a learner from the school community through a formal appeals process that includes a hearing before an appeals committee consisting of the Executive Director, the Principal, and other members of the school’s team as deemed appropriate. The appeal must be made in writing within 48 hours of notification of the permanent removal and be delivered by email, or by hand to the Executive Director. Once the appeal is received, a hearing is scheduled no more than three (3) business days after the Executive Director receives notice of the appeal from the family.
The learner will receive class assignments and appropriate support from school staff, in the home, virtually, or by phone, to ensure that the learner does not fall behind academically while the appeal is in process and until it is complete. Learners with disabilities or English learners may receive individualized education plan or individualized learning plan services while temporarily removed from the school community and until the decision for permanent removal is final.
At the appeals hearing,
Manifestation meetings, as required by law, will proceed regardless of whether a family appeals a permanent removal decision.
See Appendix I for Misstep Categories & Logical Responses
While we are conducting a remote schedule, we will try to handle all inquiries over the phone or email. However, there are circumstances in which parents, families, and learners may need to come to the school building. The safety of our coaches, staff, learners, and families is our number one priority. Individuals in the facility will maintain a distance of six feet of separation between each other. We will also not permit more than the maximum number of individuals in a single room as prescribed by the Phase Guidance provided by DC Health and the Mayor’s office. During all phases, the school will limit non-essential visitors.
Upon entering the building, every single person will be screened according to the questions below:
All school staff will wear cloth (non-medical) face coverings at all times when in the building and when outside of the building when in close proximity to learners and families.
Learners and families are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during arrival, dismissal, and at all times while moving around the school building. I Dream PCS has an inventory of face masks should a parent, learner, or anyone from the community need one. Learners under the age of 6 will not be required to wear a face covering. Older children, adolescents and adult learners will be required to wear face covering when in the classroom, hallways, bathrooms, or other communal spaces within the facility.
Instances when face coverings need to be worn:
I Dream PCS will regularly clean, disinfect, and sanitize surfaces, toys, and materials per District guidance on cleaning and disinfecting and the CDC’s Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces. Through contracted custodial services, the school building is assured to be cleaned and disinfected when and where appropriate and based on usage of the facility. The contracted custodial company, Smart Cleaning Inc, has experience with COVID-19-specific cleaning practices and has replaced its supply inventory with accepted disinfectant cleaners and relevant equipment.
When we return to use the building, Wednesday will be our disinfecting day. The whole building will be cleaned and disinfected. During the week, our custodial team will work diligently to disinfect highly used or touched surfaces, including handrails, door knobs, sink handles, desks, countertops, classroom stations, and all fixtures within the bathrooms.
On top of making sure our facilities are a clean space, I Dream is committed to ensuring a physically safe space as well. Upon our return to in-person scheduling, we will have an unarmed security guard throughout the school day. The security guard will be responsible for signing in all visitors and performing identification checks. Visitors will will be directed to the Welcome Center. If a visitor cannot provide proper identification and is not visibly identifiable by school staff, they will not be allowed to enter the building. The security guard will have a list of emergency contacts and adults authorized to pick up each learner. Learners will only be dismissed to those listed on the authorized pick up list.
If you need to update adults who are or are not authorized to pick up your learner, please contact our welcome center at (202) 922-7221.
I Dream PCS will generally follow the decision of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in opening late, dismissing early, and/or closing entirely on account of inclement weather and/or emergencies. However, because we make decisions separately from DCPS and because we are currently 100% virtual while DCPS is in a hybrid model, our decisions may differ. We will send communication to families the night before any potential inclement weather as well as the morning of with an update on our school status.
Because we are 100% virtual, we will always have class as normally scheduled unless otherwise informed by the school.
When I Dream PCS is in person:
When in doubt, call us at (202) 922-7221 and listen for school closing information, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram and look for updates there. I Dream will also send voice and text alerts related to inclement weather directly to your mobile phone.
I Dream PCS is excited to partner with Preferred Meals as its school food vendor for this school year. And even though we are starting the year off remotely, families do not have to worry about access to food. We have developed a program that provides 5-day meal kits to every family. Each meal contains both breakfast and lunch. Meals come frozen and will be distributed to families as such. We will distribute meals on Wednesday afternoons between 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM when we do not have scheduled instruction. Families can use the meals as they wish. Meals can be stored in the freezer and heated up.
We understand that in some cases a family may not be available to pick up their meal during the set time or at all. If this is the case, please contact our Operations Manager, Mark Henderson at (202) 441-8560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When we return to in-person scheduling, we anticipate a phased schedule that includes AM/PM scheduling for learners. Under this scenario, I Dream PCS will maintain distribution of 5-day meal kits for families on Wednesday afternoons between 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM.
Upon our return to full-day programming, we anticipate breakfast and lunch eaten in the classroom to maximize safe practices and minimize cross contamination of space. Meals will be delivered to the classrooms where learners will eat with each other.
The curriculum at I Dream PCS is flexible and customized. Primary curriculum resources have been selected that are aligned to the mission, vision, and values of I Dream PCS. These curriculum tools and resources are provided to instructional staff to develop adaptable roadmaps that guide learning and meet the diverse needs of learners.
The Teddy Bear work is presented in context of Emotionally Responsive Practice as a whole, since it is a technique that works best with a deep conceptual understanding supporting it.
Strategies for integrating Teddy Bears into classroom life help coaches address unresolved emotional issues that hinder children’s socialization and learning processes. They can help children connect to their feelings and express them in constructive ways as well as establish a safe and supportive learning environment for each child.
*modified for PK
The Tribes methods are based on brain-compatible learning, multiple intelligences, cooperative learning, and social development research.
The Tribes process includes four community strategies:
Key program structures and educational practices supported by the program include:
*modified for PK
A lesson-based curriculum developing Emotional Intelligence across age bands: early childhood, upper and lower elementary, as well as middle and high school bands; supported by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
Early Childhood Integrated Curriculum
A comprehensive, research-based curriculum that features hands-on, project-based investigations as a pathway to learning. The interest-based, customized approach cultivates confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills.
Readyrosie: A Teaching Strategies GOLD product aligned to Creative Curriculum that promotes family engagement and home learning. (Free sampling offered during school closures: https://healthyathome.readyrosie.com/en/
Elementary Language Arts
+integration/alignment in Kindergarten
A comprehensive, standards-based, core curriculum that builds important content knowledge based on a compelling topic related to science, social studies, or literature in four modules across a year.
FREE virtual resources:
+integration/alignment in Kindergarten
Structured phonics instruction promotes a joyful, active learning environment by incorporating music, movement, stories, and use of multiple modalities for focused attention on Common Core Foundational Reading and Language standards as well as the Phases of Reading and Spelling Development and Word Acquisition. Dedicated time is provided for customized support and extension, with flexible grouping as learners develop across microphases.
Elementary Math & Science
alignment in Kindergarten
A flexible scope and sequence is provided for new units aligned to CCSS in Math can be used in multi-age classrooms. An intentional focus on culturally relevant contexts and anchor texts encourage learners to construct their own understanding of mathematical concepts. Progression of landmark strategies, big ideas, and models are provided across landscapes for: Addition & Subtraction; Multiplication & Division; Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; Place Value; and Algebra.
alignment in Kindergarten
Aligned to Contexts for Learning Mathematics core curriculum, the Intelligent Adaptive Learning™ technology adapts to learners’ actions to meet them where they are, with personalized instruction that promotes their independent decision-making and strategy development. Used to support blending and provide targeted, small group instruction.
alignment in Kindergarten
FOSS is designed around active investigations that provide engagement with phenomena as well as science and engineering practices.
Investigations include science notebooks, science-centered language development, reading informational texts, integrated technology, real-world application, and formative assessment.
At I Dream PCS, we believe every child is brilliant with talents and strengths. Our mission is to guide each learner to not only build on those strengths to face the joyfully rigorous learning that comes with pursuing her/his dreams, but we also use this strengths based approach to guide learners to use their assets to tackle identified academic, cognitive, and/or social emotional challenges. I Dream PCS’s focus on a learner centered, customized instruction is the first step in the support of all learners in the classroom. Our school model is designed to account for the many ways individuals learn and the impact of adversity and trauma on learning. Where many schools see that variability in learning from a deficit perspective, we view learning differences as a source of strength.
Given the intentional structures of our classroom learning environments, including flexible multi age cohorts and close monitoring of customized learning plans, IEPs, and 504 plans to provide necessary interventions and services throughout the year, a learner’s progression through a cohort is fluid and based on how and when s/he masters grade level content in a given school year. Some learners may need more than one school year’s time to master grade level content, and they have that time to develop within the age band cohort. Advancement to the next age band cohort is based on a learner’s mastery of the academic and SEL benchmarks that have been determined as the requirements for a successful transition. We will only consider retaining learners who are in the last year of their age band cohort and after a Multi Disciplinary Team of coaches (general educators and special educators), school leaders, the learner and his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s) have exhausted all other interventions and services to support the learner in meeting the benchmarks required to successfully transition to the next cohort. The I Dream MDT must be consensus that retention is the best option for the learner’s development.
An exceptional learner may master grade level content or the benchmarks for the age band cohort in less than a school year. The MultiDisciplinary Team would consider advancing the learner to the next age band cohort after exhausting all other enrichment support to challenge the learner. The MDT must be in unanimous agreement that advancement is the best option for the learner’s development.
If advancement or retention is considered, the MultiDisciplinary Team will focus on the
following data points: Academic Performance will initiate a retention conversation for learners in the last year of their multi age cohort who have mastered less than 50% of the academic benchmarks for the end of that cohort. Concerns are often raised about a learner’s capacity to access the learning if there are many areas where he or she is falling behind.
A learner who masters 100% of the academic benchmarks for the end of that cohort by
mid school year will be considered for advancement. NOTE: Learners who advance to the next cohort before the end of the school year will take the PARCC tests for the grade they were originally assigned.
Developmental Readiness is most typically considered for younger learners who may benefit from additional time to grow and mature at the current grade level. However, each 3 year multi age cohort is additionally grouped by overlapping two year ages bands to allow greater flexibility and continuity of experience when regarding placement of learners. Some learners can take more time to grow, while others can advance to higher levels when they are ready.
Absenteeism is not an automatic cause for retention, but it is an important data point in which we will attend. Learners who are chronically absent miss significant content that may greatly impact their capacity to meet learning expectations. Any learner who has missed 10 or more days will be flagged for a discussion in bimonthly consults that includes data showing how the absences are impacting the learner’s academic or developmental progress. Any supports for the learner and/or his/her family to improve attendance will be determined and provided. Any supports for the learner to improve academic progress will also be determined and provided until no longer necessary, or if there is evidence that more intensive support is needed. Retention will be considered if, as in all other cases, I Dream staff have exhausted all supports and interventions without evidence of academic, developmental, or attendance improvement.
I Dream PCS is open and free to all children who are residents of the District of Columbia. I Dream PCS does not ever limit enrollment on the basis of a student’s race, color, religion, national origin, language spoken, intellectual or athletic ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, status as a student with special needs, sexual orientation, or gender identification.
I Dream PCS participates in the MySchool DC lottery process. All learners admitted or offered a seat at I Dream PCS must first apply through MySchool DC. If the school receives more applicants than the number of seats available, I Dream will create a waitlist for those applicants.
The school does implement a preference for admission based on the criteria below. These preferences are taken into account within the MySchool DC lottery process.
In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the DC Human Rights Act of 1977, I Dream Public Charter School does not discriminate (including employment therein or admission thereto) on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an interfamily offense, or place of residence. Sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender identity are all forms of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above-protected categories is prohibited.
Discrimination in a violation of the aforementioned laws will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.
Meetings of the I Dream PCS Board of Trustees are open to the public under the District of Columbia's Open Meetings Act ("OMA"). Under OMA, the I Dream PCS Board must notify the public when it will hold a meeting where a quorum of the board will be present. Members of the public or press must be allowed to attend or view the meeting and the public must be able to access the meeting agenda, minutes, and recording. The I Dream Board can close meetings or parts of meetings for several specific reasons, although notice must be provided to the public when it will do so. For an overview of the OMA, click here. For more information about open meetings at I Dream PCS, please contact the Board Secretary, email@example.com. To view Board member profiles, previous meeting minutes, and a calendar of Board meetings, please visit our website here.
Communication to our community is extremely important. I Dream wants to ensure we are doing so consistently and transparently. We will email out a newsletter every Monday afternoon. This newsletter provides important information about school programming, events, and resources. Please make sure to read this newsletter each week. We also use a text messaging and phone call platform that allows us to send bulk communications. We will use this for important or immediate information, updates, or emergencies as they arise.
I Dream PCS staff aim to be as accessible as possible to families. We are available through phone, text, or email to make sure we can address any questions and maintain open lines of communication. Unless for an emergency, we ask that families refrain from calling I Dream staff after 8:00 PM.
In collaboration with our families, I Dream PCS has decided that uniforms will be optional this year. We will take this year to determine the best policy going into next year and beyond. With that said, we do have a t-shirt that our learners may wear as you like. The uniform is a white t-shirt with the I Dream logo on the front and our motto, “I dream. I learn. I become” on the back. We will provide each learner with two t-shirts, one of which will be donated from The Backpack Project.
As we transition back to an in-person schedule, I Dream will develop a plan for learner drop off and pick up
We were excited to partner with a great team to provide after care programming for our learners. Our plans are on hold until we can return to in-person scheduling.
Fieldwork is an integral part of the learning program at I Dream PCS to ensure real-world and cultural relevance. Trips outside of the school building have a clear purpose, providing an extension to learning in the classroom. In some cases, fieldwork may take place over an extended period of time with several visits to the same site. Coaches will send home permission slips for fieldwork that are required for participation. Financial assistance will be available as needed. In most cases, guardians will be invited to participate in fieldwork, though there may be a limit to the number of total chaperones for a given trip. In some cases, guardians may be requested to attend fieldwork in order to support the specialized needs of their children.
Relationships and Equity are two of I Dream Public Charter School’s Core Values. Healthy relationships are built on trust, with each person giving something of themselves to grow that bond. Honoring the cultures and values of each person deepens that bond and promotes acceptance and empathy. I Dream has incorporated Partner Visits into our school model because we believe that spending time with families in their homes and communities builds trust and healthy relationships between home and school. Schools often ask families to come to the school building for meetings and events. The onus is on families to arrange their schedules and transportation to come to us. This creates a power dynamic that values schools’ needs over the families’. By expecting our staff and school leaders to have some of our meetings and events in community spaces or in families’ homes, we are transforming the home-school relationship in a way that develops empathy, creates cultural understanding and acceptance, and builds trust between the most important adults in a child’s education. We believe that this collaborative effort is integral in preparing to nurture and support the unique interests, gifts, and needs of every child.
Partner visits are blended into the engagement and the interactions that we are asking coaches and school leaders to already have with the families. Throughout the school year, coaches and school leaders will coordinate with families to come to their homes or to a meeting place in their communities on at least three occasions to conduct school meetings, conferences, or events (see calendar of options below). The partner visit in the summer is the only visit that occurs for all learners, families, and staff.
In the summer every staff member is conducting partner visits during summer professional development. The summer partner visit sets the tone for the year that school begins at home, and families are valued team members in their children’s learning experience. Coaches in cohort teams and school leaders travel to the homes of the learners in their cohort to begin building learner profiles as part of our Customized Learning Plans (CLPs). Coaches have conversations with families to collect data about how each family views the learner’s academic strengths and areas for growth, along with social-emotional strengths and areas for growth.
Coaches also give the learner and the family an opportunity to interview them. During partner visits, coaches pay attention to the cultures and values of each learner’s family and community. This helps coaches plan lessons and projects that matter to the learners and include images and text about people who look like them and events important to learners’ cultures across content learning.
If the coach teams are visiting families already part of the I Dream community, the conversation includes a recap of the learners’ accomplishments and areas for growth from the previous year along with new learning or developments that happened since the end of the school year.
A partner visit can also take place in the home to conduct the scheduled Goal Setting and Learner-led Conferences during the school year. As part of I Dream’s Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS), partner visits can take place in a learner’s home to discuss the results of academic, language acquisition or social-emotional progress monitoring. Families of learners with disabilities or English learners may engage with school staff in partner visits for their scheduled IEP or ILP meetings.
Some families may not want to invite I Dream staff into their homes, for a number of reasons. We respect this reality by giving families the option and to have partner visits with coaches and school leaders in community centers, libraries, restaurants, or other common spaces near the families’ homes or work.
Potential Partner Visits (option determined by staff and families)
*Coaching teams = 2 classroom coaches, 1 special education coach, 1 assistant coach
Type of Partner Visit
Times During School Year
School Year Kickoff - Who Are We?
Coaches and school leaders meet new families, reconnect with returning families. Begin to build learner profile (who we are, what we value, dreams & goals)
The month of August
(Specify that coaches go in pairs) Coaching teams*, specials coaches, building staff, school leaders
Learner Support Meetings
Meeting with families to initiate or monitor learner progress: Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, Individualized Language Plan (ILP) Meetings, results of MAP or Language screening for newly enrolled learners
Special education coaches, Special Education Coordinator, Principal, Director of Inquiry and Learning,
Related Service Providers
Goal Setting Conference
Each learner, coaches, and family review the learners’ academic, social-emotional, and dreamer goals
End of September (Thurs. afternoon, Friday)
Learners, Families, Coaching teams*, school leaders
Learners share their reflections on progress of academic, social-emotional, and dreamer goals with families, coaches, and school leaders. They celebrate the goals they achieved, and share their plans for personal and academic growth for the next quarter.
Mid-November & Mid-February (Thurs. afternoon, Friday)
Learners, Families, Coaching teams*, school leaders
Celebration Conference (PK3-4)
Learners remaining in the same cohort next year will share their reflections on the year with families, coaches, and school leaders. They celebrate the goals they achieved, and share their plans for personal and academic growth next year.
Learners moving to the next cohort will share their reflections on their mastery of end-of-cohort benchmarks and how they know they are ready for the next cohort.
Last week of school (June)
Learners, Families, Coaching teams*, school leaders
Celebrations of Learning
Showcase of the learning process and finished products. This is oftentimes an opportunity for families, coaches, and community members to discuss learners’ progress.
December & June
Learners, Families, I Dream PCS Staff, Community Members
Passage Conference (5th grade)
I Dream graduates summarize their growth and body of work for their entire school career in a presentation to family, community members, and I Dream staff to demonstrate their readiness for middle school and the pursuit of their dreams.
The month of May
Learners, Families, Coaching teams*, school leaders, Community members
All employees of I Dream are mandated reporters and must report all incidents of child abuse and neglect in accordance with applicable state and local law, whether it occurs within the School or outside of the School. You will be provided training in identifying child abuse and/or neglect through the school’s HR platform
D.C. Code §16-2301(23) defines the term “abused child” to mean “a child whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker (academic and residential staff) inflicts or fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the infliction of physical or mental injury upon the child, including excessive corporal punishment, an act of sexual abuse, molestation or exploitation, physical abuse, or an injury that results from exposure to a drug-related activity in the child’s environment.”
In addition, negligence which leads, or could lead, to physical injuring including non-provision of food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, or reasonable supervision is considered to be abusive. Therefore, it is mandatory that any personnel who are aware of matters concerning this type of negligence are to report such information to: the proper authorities and appropriate staff.
Pursuant to D.C. Code § 2-1352, “any person…who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child known to him/her in his/her professional or official capacity has been or is in immediate danger of being a mentally or physically abused or neglected child,…shall immediately report or have a report made of such knowledge or suspicion to either the Metropolitan Police Department…or the Child Protective Services Division of the Department of Human Services.”
Persons required to report such abuse or neglect shall include every physician, psychologist, medical examiner, dentist, person involved in the care and treatment, school official, teacher, social services worker, daycare worker, mental health professional, and residential childcare worker.
In addition to those persons who are required to make a report, any other person may make a report to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, or the Child and Family Services Division of the Department of Human Services located at 400 6th Street, SW.
When injuries or behaviors are observed that leads anyone to believe abuse may have occurred, or if a child voluntarily discloses the nature of abuse, the teacher or other employees should report such suspicion and/or allegation immediately to the counselor and the Head of School or Assistant Principal, who will assist the employee in contacting the Metropolitan Police Department or Child Protective Services. It is not the duty of School employees to validate the abuse, but to report it.
All School employees should be mindful of the importance of minimizing the number of interviews which a child is subjected to regarding the incident or abuse. Therefore, the person who first obtains the disclosure is the only person at the School who should speak to the child, unless otherwise authorized by an administrator. The adult to whom the disclosure was made, or who observed the injuries, should thereafter communicate with other adults, including the Executive Director, Director of Operations, or Social Worker as necessary to report the known or suspected physical or sexual abuse to school authorities and to the Metropolitan Police Department.
TO REPORT ABUSE/NEGLECT: 202-671-7233
FOR 24 HOUR CRISIS COUNSELING: 888-793-4357
Parents and families with complaints or concerns should first bring it directly to the attention of the child’s coach or our Support Specialist depending on the situation. In the event that this does not yield a solution, families should then bring the issue to the attention of the Principal. Your concern will be responded to within a reasonable period of time, usually 5 business days. If you are unsatisfied with the response, you may make a formal complaint in writing following the procedures below.
If you wish to make a formal complaint, you must do so in writing to the Executive Director. All complaints will be adequately, reliably, and objectively investigated, and any evidence or witnesses presented by the person(s) making the complaint will be considered. Your concern will be responded to in writing within a reasonable period of time, usually 10 business days. The response will summarize the concern(s) raised and the course and outcome of the investigation, and will identify an appropriate resolution. If your concern is still not resolved, you must contact the Chair of the Board of Directors (firstname.lastname@example.org) in writing within 5 business days. The Chair of the Board of Directors, or his/her designee, will consider all information presented and respond in writing to your grievance, summarizing the outcome of the appeal, within 30 calendar days of receiving your written grievance. These grievance procedures apply to any concerns that may arise, including but not limited to concerns about discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or otherwise. All information presented and discovered during the course of an investigation will remain confidential. I Dream will not retaliate against any person who raises a concern using the procedures outlined above or otherwise participates in the investigation of such concerns. If, during the course of the investigation, it is determined that corrective or remedial action is necessary, such action will be taken in a prompt and reasonable manner.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents/guardians and learners over 18 years of age ("eligible learners") certain rights with respect to the student's education records.
These rights are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
I Dream Public Charter School
Parents/guardians of all children who attend Title I Schools have the right to request information about the qualifications of their child's teachers and paraprofessionals, including:
Notification of Rights under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents/
guardians and learners who are 18 or emancipated minors (“eligible learners”) certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.
These include the right to:
Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:
Inspect, upon request and before administration or use:
The school will directly notify parents/guardians and eligible learners of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. The school will also directly notify parents/guardians and eligible learners through U.S. mail, email, or parent meetings of the specific or approximate dates (if such events are planned and/or scheduled) of the following activities and provide an opportunity to opt a student out of participating in:
Parents/guardians or eligible learners who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Appendix I: Misstep Categories & Logical Responses
Category A Missteps:
Logical Responses for Category A Missteps
(One or more of the following)
Category B Missteps:
Logical Responses for Category B Missteps
(One or more of the following)
Category C Missteps
Logical Responses for Category C Missteps
(One or more of the following)
 Adopted from DCPS Bullying Prevention Policy, https://dcps.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dcps/publication/attachments/DCPS%20Bullying%20Prevention%20Policy.pdf