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WCM October

On academic improvements DPSCD: What has changed at the District level, in terms of support that Mann has received that can be attributed to the growth you're seeing? Tait: The largest support from the District has been the implementation of a new ELA and Mathematics curriculum. We actually have something that is tangible and applicable to the ways we are being assessed. In addition to that, we've been very supported with Master Teachers. It is a great initiative and I've found that my teachers are much more receptive to that support because they see the Master Teachers as their peers. On increasing parental involvement DPSCD: Mann is a neighborhood school. How do you all work to boost enrollment given outside forces and how do you keep the neighborhood committed to your school? Tait: We are very much a neighborhood school! I like to call us a "diamond in the rough." When I arrived we worked hard to improve our growth mindset and to set higher expectations. Parent participation was extremely low, so I'm proud today that we have 370 students and had 177 parents attend this year's open house. It was so packed, you couldn't move. There are teachers who have been here for 20 years who say they've never seen anything like it. DPSCD: How did you do it? Tait: We are strategic in what we required the parents to be at the school for. Our students love all of the clubs we offer, so we hold the club sign-up during open house. Parents must attend to sign students up. They show up the same way for conferences to the point that we had 70% of our parents take our parent survey last year. Also, making parents feel a part of the school makes a difference. Many people have biases about African-American parents in our community, but like anyone else, they need to know that we care about their children