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D.C. State Board Hears from Panel on Teacher Wellness

Friday, December 10, 2021
Recognizes D.C. Teacher of the Year Dominique Foster

Washington, D.C.—The D.C. State Board of Education (SBOE) will hold its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread globally, the State Board is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our members, staff, and public. The State Board had hoped to provide this public meeting in a hybrid form where members of the public could participate in-person or virtually. Unfortunately, the State Board was unable to identify a location that could provide the necessary technical equipment to achieve such a meeting. Therefore, in order to ensure that the meeting is accessible to the greatest number of residents this meeting will be held as a video web conference. Materials for the State Board meetings can be found on our meeting website. For the most up-to-date information on the District’s COVID-19 response, please visit Members of the public wishing to provide testimony during the public meeting should email the State Board a copy of their written testimony [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2021.

The pandemic has had major impacts on the nation’s teacher workforce. A recent RAND survey of 1,000 public school educators found that the most common reason educators left the classroom prior to retirement was stress. The State Board's March 2021 All-Teacher Survey found that on a scale from 1–9 (with 9 indicating "agree strongly"), teacher's on average responded with a rating of 6.73 to the statement, "I find teaching to be stressful.” System and school conditions contribute to or buffer against demoralization and burnout in ways that directly affect the lives of both teachers and students. 

Research has also highlighted best practices that increase educator satisfaction and retention, including building a culture of mutual trust, respect, open communication, a schoolwide commitment to social justice and to affirming educators’ identities, and engaging educators in the design and implementation of learning opportunities that effectively improve teacher morale and student achievement, among other practices. The State Board will host a panel discussion that includes educators and health specialists who will help better explain the dimensions of teacher wellness problems in the District, identify best practices being employed in schools, and how the State Board can support and expand these practices to promote greater educator wellness and retention.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has awarded the 2022 D.C. Teacher of the Year Award to Dominique Foster, a pre-K teacher at Friendship Public Charter School (PCS) - Blow Pierce Elementary in Ward 7. “Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, Ms. Foster provided a high level of instruction and robust educational experiences during distance learning. When field trips weren’t possible, she brought the community to her virtual classroom, inviting special guests to share their lives and experiences with her young learners,” said State Superintendent Christina Grant.

Support for special education is critical to ensure that all our students are provided with the best opportunities for success both in and out of the classroom. The D.C. State Board of Education recognizes December 2nd as National Special Education Day and firmly believes in the power of special education to create an ideal learning environment for all students, regardless of their background, and recognizes the vital importance of quality special education to ensuring equitable outcomes for all of our students. The State Board is committed to guaranteeing that all D.C. students with special education needs are given the proper resources, instruction, and care that will allow them to achieve their fullest potential. 

The D.C. State Board of Education recognizes the Metropolitan Capital City Group for its important contributions to promoting a love of reading and education in the District. The Birdhouse Library is designed to encourage the love of reading and make books readily accessible to youth in Ward 7. The Metropolitan Capital City Group gifted over 100 residents and their children with books and emphasized the importance of education at its grand opening. It plans to install more libraries across Wards 6, 7, and 8 in the coming months. The State Board thanks Phyllis Yates-Manigault, President of the Metropolitan Capital City Group and the Dream Team Committee members, which led and organized the creation of the Birdhouse Library.

Roosevelt High School’s Rough Riders have exemplified the qualities of excellent student-athletes and have brought praise to their community through their hard work and accomplishments. On November 25, 2021 the Rough Riders of Roosevelt High School football team claimed victory over H.D. Woodson High School’s Warriors, 37-22, at the 51st Annual Turkey Bowl. The State Board recognizes and and congratulates the dedication and hard work of the student-athletes and coaches of Roosevelt High School on the occasion of their 2021 DCIAA championship victory.

The State Board also recognizes and congratulates the dedication and hard work of the student-athletes and coaches of Archbishop Carroll High School on the occasion of their 2021 DCSAA championship victory. On December 4, 2021, the Archbishop Carroll Lions claimed victory over the Roosevelt High School Rough Riders, 35-27, at the DCSAA championship at Cooper Field on the campus of Georgetown University.

The State Board's Committee on Accountability and Assessment has released a set of twelve recommendations for discussion by the public and the State Board. We invite you to review the recommendations and provide your feedback at our December 15 Public Meeting or in written comments via email to [email protected]. The State Board will review the recommendations and public input at the January 5, 2022 Working Session before an anticipated vote at the January 19, 2022 Public Meeting.

The State Board will review and consider recommendations for its 2021 Annual Report, which summarizes and highlights the agency’s efforts throughout the year including, COVID-19 response efforts, public engagement sessions, and committee advocacy work.


Public Meeting Agenda

Please note that the agenda may be altered, modified, or updated without notice.

I. Call to Order

II. Announcement of a Quorum

III. Approval of the Agenda & Minutes

IV. Comments from the President of the D.C. State Board of Education

V.  Comments from the State Superintendent of Education

VI. Teacher Wellness

     i. Johanna Ulseth, Briya Public Charter School

     ii. Kennard Branch, Principal, Garfield Inquiry-Based Preparatory Academy

     iii. Jenna Fournel, Director of Teaching and Learning, Center for Inspired Teaching

VII. Public Comments 

     i. Written Testimony

     ii. Cathay Reilly

     iii. Yensy Cundumi-Zuniga

     iv. Scott Goldstein

     v. James Israel

     vi. Cody Norton

     vii. Armand Cuevas

     viii. Charles Boston

     ix. Amanda Hillware

     x. Scott Abbott

     xi. Markus Batchelor

     xii. Mark Simon    

VIII. Votes

     i. CR21-26 DC 2022 Teacher of the Year Dominique Foster

     ii. CR21-27 Special Education Day Recognition 

     iii. CR21-28 Computer Science Week Recognition 

     iv. CR21-29 Turkey Bowl Recognition 

     v. CR21-30 DC State Athletic Association Football Championship Recognition

     vi. CR21-31 Metropolitan Capital City Group Recognition

     vii. SBOE Annual Report 

     viii. 2022 SBOE Calendar of Meetings 

IX. New Business

X.  Adjournment 


About the SBOE

The D.C. State Board of Education is an independent agency within the Government of the District of Columbia that advises the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District’s state education agency. The State Board is made up of nine elected representatives, each representing their respective wards, with one member representing DC at large, and four appointed student representatives. The State Board approves statewide education policies and sets academic standards, while OSSE oversees education within the District and manages federal education funding. More information about the SBOE can be found at

The Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education serves as an external, impartial resource for current and prospective public-school students and their parents or guardians in the resolution of complaints and concerns regarding public education in a way that furthers the students’ best interest. The Ombudsman’s Office uses conflict resolution strategies, including coaching, facilitation, and mediation, to assist families and schools experiencing disagreement or conflict.

The Office of the Student Advocate supports students, parents, and families in their advocacy through parent education, one-on-one coaching, resource supports, and trainings in order to amplify the voices of families and communities in processes and decision-making; to provide avenues for access to resources and understanding systems; and to support power families and communities already possess. Contact the Office of the Student Advocate Monday through Friday at (202) 741-4692 for questions or support with charter and neighborhood schools.

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19, please visit

Contact: Milayo Olufemi


[email protected]