As another round of First Friday tours began at Center City Brightwood Public Charter School I was immediately surprised by the number of students in the school in correlation to the number of grade levels offered. The Brightwood campus is one of six Center City Public Charter Schools located in DC and serves 251 students between Pre-K and 8th grade. I thought at first this low number of students would come as a disadvantage to the school because they’ve seen almost stagnant growth since their opening in 2008. Once I was able to actively see the student to teacher ratio in the classrooms and the high level of interaction, I changed my opinion.
Center City Brightwood campus could increase the number of students in the future but for now, I see how the students can benefit from the little gap between teacher and student figures. More teachers allow for higher individual focus on students in the classroom, something that I always agree with. The school is focused on advancing students in Math and ELA curriculum. One Pre-K class I saw in particular was relying on a school approach called Total Physical Reading, or TPR. The kids were acting out the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, learning about the different elements of a story along with the teacher encouraging participation from the entire class.
I was lucky enough to have my tour guided by the Principal of Center City Brightwood, Shavonne Gibson, who has been with the school since 2011. She spoke of the school’s gains since she has been principal, such as recently working with the Flamboyan Foundation, which allows teachers to directly engage families by holding three Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) meetings across the year and by conducting home visits. I have personally never experienced home