Partner Feature – DC Public Schools

DCPS Chief of Teaching and Learning Brian Pick (center) joins a discussion at the Inspired Teaching Institute with teachers and Inspired Teaching’s Executive Director Jane Dimyan Ehrenfeld (far right). Photo credit: Sammy Magnuson/ Inspired Teaching.

March 29, 2017

Center for Inspired Teaching has been based in Washington, DC, since its founding in 1995, and we have been proud to work with teachers, administrators, and leaders from DC Public Schools for over twenty years. Most recently, Inspired Teaching and DCPS ran a formal partnership to develop Teacher Leaders who could lead their peers across the district in implementing rigorous, inquiry-based, standards-aligned instruction.

One of the Teacher Leaders from this partnership, Jan Schuettpelz, was just named DC’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. Jan, a science teacher at Alice Deal Middle School, participated in the Inspired Teaching Institute the year prior to earning the highest honor for a DC public school teacher. She said, “My summer with Inspired Teaching surrounded me with amazing, inspired, passionate educators and rekindled the fire in me. Spending the next school year brainstorming, planning, and collaborating with Inspired Teachers improved my practice more than ever before.”

Due to the partnership with DC Public Schools, Jan’s experience not only had an impact on her and her students – it also influenced instruction across the entire district. She and her fellow cohort members developed a number of Cornerstone lessons in social studies and science, which were then taught in every DC public school. The Cornerstones initiative was designed to elevate instruction and improve equity citywide by creating shared, world-class learning experiences for all students in the District.

Brian Pick, Chief of Teaching and Learning for DC Public Schools, demonstrated his true dedication to supporting outstanding teachers throughout this partnership. During the summer intensive, he spoke to teachers about how authentically engaging, inquiry-based instruction aligned with the IMPACT evaluation system. At Inspired Teaching’s end of school year celebration, he honored teachers for their work with their students and their peers, noting how their work contributed to DCPS’s goals of building teacher capacity, supporting authentic teacher leadership, infusing literacy into all subject areas, and generating excellent curricula that brings joy and rigor into student learning.

DC Public Schools still works tirelessly on behalf of its students and teachers. Brian Pick notes, “As the fastest improving urban school system, DC Public Schools continues to invest in recruiting, developing, and retaining amazing educators, and we are ensuring that all students have access to a world-class, student-centered curriculum.”

Inspired Teaching is proud to train and support teachers working in DC Public Schools. Our partnership with DCPS shows what is possible when districts invest in teachers as the leverage point for change. As we extend our work into the surrounding region and regions across the country, we will maintain our commitment to deepening our impact in DC public and public charter schools. Learn more about how districts and schools can partner with Inspired Teaching. For more about DC Public Schools, including information about their student-centered curriculum — “developed by, for, and with DCPS teachers” — go to

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