Meet our 24 DC Bold Performance Schools for 2018!

2018 DC Bold Performance Schools

Students are Exceeding Expectations at EmpowerK12 “Bold Performance” Schools


When DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in August the results from the 2018 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) student assessments, another year of improvement was tempered by another year of low proficiency overall. Only three in ten DC students meet or exceed expectations in math and English language arts. The outcomes for students who meet the DC definition of “at-risk” were even lower, with just 17 percent of those students meeting the proficiency standard citywide.

While this trend holds true for some DC schools, there are DCPS and public charter schools at all grade levels demonstrating that socio-economic hardships do not predetermine how proficient their students can be. EmpowerK12 is proud to honor them with 2018 Bold Performance School awards.

Bold Performance award-winning schools are open enrollment schools that serve a high at-risk student population and have combined math and English language arts proficiency rates dramatically higher than similar schools. Notable among this year’s 17 winners and 7 honorable mentions are six schools that have been Bold Performers each of the last three years, since the awards began: DC Prep Benning Elementary, DC Prep Edgewood Middle, Ketcham Elementary, KIPP Lead, KIPP Heights, and KIPP Promise.

This year’s 17 Bold Performance award winners are, in alphabetical order: DC Prep Benning ES (Ward 7), DC Prep Benning MS (Ward 7), DC Prep Edgewood MS (Ward 5), Friendship Blow-Pierce MS (Ward 5), Friendship Chamberlain MS (Ward 6), H.D. Cooke ES (Ward 1), Ketcham ES (Ward 8), KIPP Heights ES (Ward 8), KIPP KEY MS (Ward 7), KIPP LEAD ES (Ward 6), KIPP Promise ES (Ward 7), KIPP Quest ES (Ward 7), Marie Reed ES (Ward 1), Rocketship Rise ES (Ward 8), Thurgood Marshall Academy (Ward 8), Truesdell EC (Ward 4) and Washington Leadership Academy (Ward 5). 

Honorable mention goes to seven additional schools that nearly made the Bold Performance cut, including Barnard ES (Ward 4), Friendship Tech Prep HS (Ward 8), Ingenuity Prep (Ward 8), KIPP Spring ES (Ward 5), Noyes EC (Ward 5), Stanton ES (Ward 8), and Walker-Jones EC (Ward 6). 

Learn More

Check out our full press release detailing these 24 amazing schools and how they were able to get an additional 2,100 students to the college and career-readiness benchmark on PARCC last school year!

Report: Lessons from DC's Bold Improvement Schools

In June 2018, we released our latest report on the amazing things happening at 10 DC schools closing the achievement gap. Our report highlights the commonalities among the schools and our website features additional unique things that make them special. Click below to find out more.

Bold Improvement Schools are Closing the Gap

Each of the Bold Improvement schools demonstrates annual student academic growth that meets or exceeds the growth at DC's higher-income schools. Altogether, the Bold Improvement schools are on pace to close the achievement gap in a little over 3 years.

Common Bold Improvement Practices

All 10 schools have a relentless commitment to high expectations for staff and students, are deeply invested in teacher quality, ensure support for the whole child, engage their students' families in unique ways, and are driven to find the additional resources their school needs to be successful.

Unique Ideas from Bold Leaders

We also learned several unique practices at Bold Schools when we toured the schools and interviewed staff. Each of their ideas was driven by data and part of a cycle of continuous improvement.

Our Approach


We are passionate about closing the achievement gap so we partner with organizations that serve a broad spectrum of student populations 

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Our approach is to coach teachers, leaders and analysts to grow and sustain data practices

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We believe in a unique and customized consulting experience for each and every client

Our Services to Schools, CMOs, and School Support Organizations

Since 2014, EmpowerK12 has supported schools and school support organizations to become more data-driven. What does that mean? Start by checking out our Rubric for Data-Driven Culture for School Systems. We provide multi-tiered support covering data infrastructure, data reporting, coaching, and evaluation services.

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