D.C. approves new charter schools, including two middle schools

According to Alejandra Matos of the Washington Post, D.C. Public Charter School Board approved three new charter schools this week, including an all-boys middle school and an adult education campus.

The new schools will add hundreds of charter-school seats to the city, the majority of them for middle school students.

The charter sector enrolls about 46 percent of D.C.’s public education students, but enrollment in charters surpasses traditional public schools in most middle school grades.

The board on Monday approved the opening of Digital Pioneers Academy, a computer-science-focused middle school that will be in Ward 7 or Ward 8. The school is slated to open in the 2018-2019 school year.

“We’re excited to bring a new, innovative model to the District and play a part in making Wards 7 and 8 a model of quality education,” said Mashea Ashton, the school’s founder.

North Star College Preparatory Academy for Boys, a college-preparatory middle school, will also open in Ward 7 or 8 in 2018.

Charter schools have benefited from growing demand for middle school seats. About 54 percent of the city’s public-school sixth-graders enrolled in charters this year. A decade ago, 30 percent of D.C. sixth-graders were in charters. Read more here.