Dear Lafayette Families –
March has definitely come in like a lion! This week I am writing to share important updates about our budget for next school year, important technology updates, and reminders about the family survey administered by DCPS. Please also mark your calendars to join us this Thursday at the HSA General meeting. We need a quorum to vote on the Technology Committee ask and the proposed HSA budget for next year.
Over the past week, we have been working with DCPS and our LSAT to finalize our budget for the upcoming school year. Because of the delay of the release of the final budgets, we had only one week to finalize our budget after our initial allocation. The big takeaways from the budget for next year are:
* Increase to 2 social workers
* Increase to 3 ELL (English Language Learners) teachers
* There will be 2 ELA coaches and 1 math coach next year
* Increase to 2 floating special education aides
* Reduction to 4 sections of PK4
* Projected for 6 sections of KDG
* Our budget this year did not have enough funding to support the technology teacher position and it will be reduced. Instead, we will have a library/tech aide who will be responsible for the device tracking/maintenance, logins and passwords, and helping with administrative tasks in the library and lab. Meanwhile, key lessons in digital citizenry and safety will be wrapped into the library class curriculum. Please see more details in the technology update below.
This year the Mayor’s office and DCPS have partnered to invest in technology centrally across the district. This means that beginning next year, we will receive laptops in a 1:1 ratio for all of our 3rd grade students for 3 subsequent years. These will be laptops purchased from the Central office budget, rather than our local school budget. This is a huge step forward in the funding support for technology.
How does this relate to our Technology Committee ask for laptops this year?
DCPS’ investment completes our plan for refresh for year 2 and year 3 of the committee’s plan. This year, the Technology Committee ask is to replace the current laptops that we have for 4th and 5th grade students in a ratio of 3:1. Currently, only about 1/3 of our laptops work in our upper grades. This creates a huge burden on our teachers in their daily instruction.
How does cutting our technology teacher position for next year change our students’ daily experience with technology?
For next school year, our students will no longer go to technology class for 45 minutes every other week. They will continue to use technology daily in their classrooms. Currently, technology instruction is integrated into what teachers do daily (Google Docs, learning applications such as Prodigy and ST Math, making presentations, typing essays, etc). While we will miss the 45 minute class dedicated to technology applications, we also recognize that students come with far more knowledge than they did 5 years ago. Our students will continue to learn about internet safety, digital citizenry, and internet research through the library curriculum.
How will we maintain our investment in laptops?
Next year, there will be a library/tech aide who will be solely responsible for the maintenance, tracking, and upkeep of our technology.
Family Satisfaction Survey
On March 4th, Lafayette families with email addresses on file with the district received a confidential Panorama Survey to complete. If you do not have an email on file, you can complete the survey at either of the following links: surveys.panoramaed.com/dcps/family or bit.ly/dcpsfamily . If a paper-based version of the survey is preferred, they are available in the Main Office and should be returned to school when complete. Families with multiple children in DCPS schools should only fill out one survey per school, not one survey per student. The survey is completely anonymous, includes 30 questions total, and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. It measures student perseverance, rigorous expectations, parent satisfaction, parent communication, and demographic information. Last year we only had 183 families participate and we encourage and ask that ALL families voice their opinions about their experience here at Lafayette, as we appreciate honest feedback in order to best meet the needs of all students/families. If you should have any questions, concerns, or technical difficulties, please reach out to
I look forward to seeing all of you Thursday night at the HSA general meeting!