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The DC State Board of Education’s Office of Ombudsman for Public Education and Office of the Student Advocate Ready to Assist Families with Back-to-School Questions and Concerns

Monday, August 24, 2015

Washington, DC – The State Board of Education’s Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate are prepared to assist families with any questions or concerns they may have as the new school year approaches. Both offices serve parents and students in both DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the DC Public Charter Schools. 

“As the new school year approaches, our office is already receiving an increased number of calls about enrollment and school placement. We also continue to receive calls about special education, bullying, grades, and many other topics that affect student learning,” said Joyanna Smith, the Ombudsman for Public Education. “We will gladly assist families with any questions or complaints they may have.” 

The Ombudsman’s office provides independent and impartial problem solving. Ombudsman staff listens to all parties involved and makes recommendations based on the student’s best interests. In School Year 2014-2015, the office addressed over 450 complaints and was able to reach resolution in 90% of them. 

The Office of the Student Advocate is a newly established, independent office whose mission is to empower students, parents, families, and community members to achieve equal access to public education through advocacy, outreach, and information assistance to navigate the DC public education landscape. The office will offer trainings, one-on-one coaching, and consultations targeted at equipping parents and students with the information and skills they need to be effective advocates for their needs.  

“I look forward to working to empower and inform parents and students,” said Faith Gibson Hubbard, Chief Student Advocate. “My role includes both working with individual parents and helping community groups develop their voice and strengthen their advocacy.” 

Both the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education and the Office of the Student Advocate are housed within the DC State Board of Education. To contact the Office of the Ombudsman, call 202-741-0886 or visit http://www.sboe.dc.gov/ombudsman. To contact the Office of the Student Advocate, call 202-741-4692 or visit http://www.sboe.dc.gov/studentadvocate.  

The State Board of Education provides policy leadership, support, advocacy, and oversight of public education to ensure that every student is valued and learns the skills and knowledge necessary to become informed, competent, and contributing global citizens. More information about the SBOE can be found at http://sboe.dc.gov.