WASHINGTON—As the start of school begins today, The Children’s Guild District of Columbia Public Charter School, which serves 450 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, named Andrea St. John elementary assistant principal. St. John brings more than 17 years of experience in education and school leadership.
“We’re excited to welcome someone as knowledgeable, experienced and capable as Andrea,” said Principal Bryan Daniels. “Her extensive background in elementary education as a school teacher, curriculum developer and school administrator will bring a great deal to The Children’s Guild.”
Prior to joining The Children’s Guild, St. John was elementary school coordinator with Baltimore City Public Schools, where she coordinated academic programming and supported 21 priority schools. She also served as internship coordinator for Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Previously, she worked for 11 years as a classroom teacher and elementary assistant principal for Montgomery County Public Schools before accepting an international teaching position as an English teacher for the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates. She has additional experience as a lead tutor, program instructor and an elementary team leader in education.
Among her distinctions, St. John volunteered with AmeriCorps as a fellow with the New York City Teaching Fellows program, developed an instructional unit for the National Endowment for the Humanities and presented her thesis research to the New York State Association of Teacher Educators.
St. John is studying for a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She holds an advanced certificate in school-based administration from Towson University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Long Island University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from Central Connecticut State University.
TranZed Alliance is a nonprofit organization serving children, families and child-serving organizations and is dedicated to transforming how America educates and cares for its children through education, behavioral health and national training and consultation services. Affiliates of TranZed Alliance include The Children’s Guild, Monarch Academy Public Charter Schools, TranZed Academy for Working Students, TranZed Apprenticeships Services, The Children’s Guild D.C. Public Charter School, TranZed Institute, the National At-Risk Education Network, the TranZed Alliance Conference Center and The National Children’s Guild Fund. (www.childrensguild.org)
TranZed Alliance / The Children’s Guild President and CEO Dr. Andrew Ross responded to an announcement from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) regarding the state’s plan for measuring school success in an editorial for The Baltimore Sun.
MSDE’s announcement comes in the months before states are due to submit a plan for assessing the academic standards outlined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law by President Obama in 2015. ESSA effectively replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), shifting responsibility from the federal government to the states in an effort to increase flexibility in academic assessment.
The MSDE’s proposed plan measures the quality of a school by its academic performance, attendance rate and parent surveys.
Click here to read why Dr. Ross believes a “good school” should measure the well-being of the whole child, not just his or her academic performance.
The Maryland State Board of Education will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, July 18 at the Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore. Conversation regarding the ESSA proposal will begin at 9:45. According to MSDE’s website, the “Maryland State Department of Education staff will review with the Board some of the early feedback it has received on the State’s plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Board members last month sent the plan on to the Governor and General Assembly for further review and launched a new public survey. The State Board is expected to take a final vote on the plan in August.”
If you would like to take the MSDE’s public survey, click here.
The programs under The Children’s Guild/ TranZed Alliance umbrella employ “Transformation Education,” an organizational philosophy that employs a flexible culture as a catalyst for transformation. The Children’s Guild and its public charter schools were recently featured in an article from SparkVision. (Culture Keeper Feature: The Children’s Guild)
“We started our day at The Monarch Academy, a public charter school in Glen Burnie, where I had the pleasure of seeing some of Dr. Ross’ vision in action. At first glance, it’s clear this is not like most schools. The walls are vibrant and engaging, the teachers are introspective and the classrooms are alive – literally with animals across the species spectrum. It was the type of place any child would easily become memorized. I fell in love with the place in minutes, simply from the artistic joy that was being translated through my eyes.
As Dr. Ross states, ‘When our students come into a space, they see right away what we think of them. That’s why we put so much thought into making our environment vibrant and engaging. We want this place to be somewhere that they’re proud to be. You can’t feel that way when your desks are falling apart and the walls are bare. The space itself is a message that tells our kids that we care about them and they deserve it.'”
Click here to read the full feature.