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State Board Welcomes Panel on Student Attendance

Friday, May 13, 2022
OSSE to Propose Regulatory Changes

Washington, D.C.—The D.C. State Board of Education (State Board) will hold its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the public meeting will be streamed live on the State Board’s YouTube page for members of the public to attend 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  

The State Board will host a panel discussion on the current state of school attendance and suggestions for changes to state attendance regulations in the District at its May Public Meeting. The panel will consist of representatives from local education agencies (LEAs) and community groups focused on this issue. 

  • Katherine Bohrs, Skirnik Fellow, Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE)
  • Laura Harding, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME)
  • Patricia Brantley, Chief Executive Officer, Friendship Public Charter School 
  • Cathy Reilly, Executive Director, S.H.A.P.P.E.

We expect the discussion to provide context for the State Board to consider the correct balance between attendance as an accountability tool, needed to ensure students are present every school day, and the regulatory burden placed on schools. The State Board expects to receive draft regulations in June from the State Superintendent to replace the definition of present (also known as the “80/20” rule) as well as new regulations related to the way attendance is measured in a distance learning environment. 

The State Board is committed to encouraging, promoting, and amplifying the voice of all students in DC. The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) is one of the ways the State Board engages with students on education policy. The State Board is currently seeking sophomore, junior, and senior high school public and charter school applicants to serve as Student Representatives for SY 2022–23. Interested candidates should apply here by the June 1 deadline. Visit our website to learn more about the work of the SAC.

School Principals Day recognizes and honors principals of all schools, from elementary to high schools, for their roles as educational leaders in their school communities and educational spaces. During the COVID-19 pandemic, principals have adapted to systemic challenges to ensure that their school communities continue to thrive, grow, and excel in supporting the needs of all students, teachers, and school-based staff. The State Board of Education celebrates and uplifts the nearly 500 principals and assistant principals across the District’s public schools—who are seen and recognized as visionaries dedicated to achieving student success.

National Teacher Appreciation Week recognizes teachers as the cornerstone of building our nation’s future by helping students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to realize their potential. The State Board honors and celebrates all teachers in the District of Columbia for their invaluable work educating our young people, developing their character, and serving all students, parents, and families. 

Mental Health Awareness Month helps raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and reduces the stigma many individuals experience. The stereotypes associated with mental illnesses often prevent people from seeking treatment that could improve their quality of life. The State Board recognizes National Mental Health Awareness Month and values the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, reducing stigma and discrimination of people living with mental illnesses, promoting overall mental health for all, and ensuring that anyone living with a mental illness has access to appropriate services.

National School Nurse Day was established to foster a better understanding of the role school nurses play in educational settings. School nurses act as a liaison to the school community, families, and healthcare providers on behalf of children’s health by promoting wellness and improving health outcomes for our nation’s youth. The State Board emphatically advocates that every school in the District of Columbia has access to a full-time nurse who can care for students and offer resources to families and acknowledges the accomplishments of school nurses in the District for their efforts to help students stay healthy, in school, and ready to learn.

National Bike Month celebrates the benefits of cycling, raises awareness of the importance of safe transportation infrastructure, safe routes to school, and traffic calming measures in our neighborhoods and around our schools. The State Board celebrates National Bike Month, and recognizes that improving the safety of students traveling to and from school will make streets safer for all users.

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPI) recognizes and honors the contributions of the inherently diverse and multi-faceted AA and NHPI communities who have paved the way for AA and NHPI visibility. The State Board celebrates the contributions and livelihoods of the more than 30,000 residents in the District who self-identify as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. 


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. The State of Student Attendance

       i. Katharine Bohrs, Skirnik Fellow, Advocates for Justice

       ii. Laura Harding, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education

       iii. Patricia Brantley, Chief Executive Officer, Friendship Public Charter School

       iv. Cathy Reilly, Executive Director, S.H.A.P.P.E.

VII. Public Comments

VIII. Administrative Items (VOTE)

      i. CR22-16, Honoring School Principals' Day

     ii. CR22-17, Honoring Teacher Appreciation Week

    iii. CR22-18, Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

    iv. CR22-19, National School Nurse Day

     x. CR22-20, Bike-to-School Day/ Bike-to-Work Week

    xi. CR22-21, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

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]