Looking back to last September, it is extraordinary to recognize how far we have come. Our scholars have grown academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to strengthening our core competencies in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, we have enriched our community and expanded our scholars’ view of the world in a variety of ways. Together we have learned about international diplomacy through Model United Nations; exemplified service through the National Honor Society; learned about urban agriculture, cooking, and nutrition by growing fresh produce; cultivated honey by creating a rooftop beehive; honed carpentry skills while building birdhouses, sheds, bookcases, picnic tables, and doghouses; and so much more!
Today we especially celebrate the class of 2019, as its hardworking and dedicated members receive their diplomas and prepare for the next stage of their journeys. All of our graduates have received college acceptances, and several have military commissions and professional opportunities awaiting them. We are confident that their time at IDEA will help them wherever the future may take them.
This June also marks another goodbye at IDEA. After 20 years of instilling the values and skills of leadership, discipline, and teamwork, our US Army JROTC unit will be disestablished because of decreasing enrollment and limited availability of qualified, committed instructors. Battalion leaders and cadets from IDEA’s JROTC unit have gained confidence, commitment to the community, and a greater understanding of what it means to serve others. Our cadets have supported the Deanwood and Ward 7 communities as well as the entire District of Columbia through community service and ceremonial events. Our Color Guard has won several awards and our unit received a 94% in our 2018 Accreditation inspection. Many of our cadets have gone on to have successful military careers and some have returned to IDEA to inspire current cadets. JROTC was foundational to the growth and development of our school, and we will always honor this history and our connection to the United States military. We will continue to support scholars who are interested in JROTC through partnerships with other DC schools.
In recent years, IDEA has created outstanding avenues to career and technical education, including our popular Academy of Construction and Design, our growing Child Development Associate program, and our new computer programming courses in partnership with TAG Labs. We are committed to meeting the needs of our scholars to encourage their aspirations and help them prepare for a variety of professions.
In the meantime, IDEA will continue to refine our practices over the summer. We look forward to engaging our teachers and staff in targeted workshops geared toward improving teaching techniques and strengthening our school’s systems and processes. We will be holding summer school for credit recovery and we will welcome incoming ninth graders for a week in August for our summer bridge program to help them acclimate to the culture and demands of high school. At IDEA as scholars and staff we are constantly learning, growing, and improving together.
We are grateful for the support of our families, neighbors, volunteers, and community members whose time and energy are vital to our success. While we are already planning another amazing school year, we hope everyone will have a chance to relax and recharge and enjoy the summer.
Thank you again for your support of IDEA.