In the news!

At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, The Hechinger Report spent a full day at Capital City to see firsthand how our whole-child approach embeds social and emotional learning into the academic curriculum to ensure all students have the opportunities to pursue successful and fulfilling lives. 

“Without the social-emotional part I would have dropped out,” Kimberly Herndandez, Class of 2019, told the reporter. Kimberly is now attending Trinity Washington University to pursue a career in nursing.

The article highlights various structures at Capital City that ensure students are becoming experts in academic content while at the same time growing their social-emotional skills such as problem solving, collaboration, perseverance, and compassion.

Nia presenting her 8th grade portfolio. Photo credit: Amadou Diallo
Photo credit: Amadou Diallo for The Hechinger Report

In-depth portfolios at the end of 8th, 10th and 12th grades, for example, require students to present their academic and character growth to a panel of judges to demonstrate their readiness for the next grade or graduate from high school. After her 8th grade portfolio presentation, Nia told The Hechinger Report that “she felt relieved to have the experience behind her but added that the months of preparation reminded her just how much she’s grown since arriving as a fifth grader...Her experiences at Capital City would help carry her to high school and beyond.

Delivering this model relies on dedicated teachers who are equipped to create culturally responsive classrooms that embed character learning into the curriculum. This begins with the hiring process. “Teachers are also hired based in part on their understanding of, and commitment to, the school’s approach to social and emotional learning,” Middle School Principal and 2018 EL Education Silverberg Leadership Awardee, Laina Cox explained.

Lapeta Solomon, a Middle School English teacher who just finished her third year at Capital City, remarked, “When I interviewed here, I came in the door and I saw people laughing; I saw people talking to little kids; I saw people smiling; I saw people giving hugs. I knew this was for me. I called my partner and I was like ‘I’m home.’”

Student in garden. Photo credit: Amadou Diallo
Photo credit: Amadou Diallo for The Hechinger Report

The 2019-2020 school year marks Capital City’s 20th servings students in the nation’s capital. Our school’s focus on social-emotional learning will continue to be a priority for our students. As the article notes, “While Capital City takes pride in preparing students academically for that next step, teachers and staff place an emphasis on ensuring that these young people are emotionally ready as well — with the social skills, like strength of character, resilience and integrity, needed to succeed.”

“I got a bunch of friends who go to schools around the neighborhood and it’s like you go to school, you get your grades, alright we’re done for the day. Capital City finds a way to make sure everyone feels safe, emotionally and also academically, emphasized Daniel Escobar, Class of 2019.