Academics

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s curriculum and instruction prepare students for a college education. The school offers a college-preparatory curriculum rich in electives and advanced courses. However, since the majority of incoming students enter 9th grade with reading and math skills below grade level, this coursework must also be coupled with intense remediation. By the time they graduate, 100% of TMA’s seniors are accepted into college, and their academic growth rate is among the highest in the District.

Summer

Summer Prep program is an intensive six-week program for incoming 9th and 10th graders. More than 80% of regularly attending students who were tested showed improvement or maintained math skills during Summer Prep, and 75% of regular attendees showed improvement or maintained their reading skills, demonstrating improved readiness for high school.

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Fall

In November 2014, after analyzing the first quarter assessment data of student performance, Thurgood Marshall Academy implemented a Saturday math class to provide an additional 16 hours of instruction to 20 students. The class focuses on individual student deficits with an emphasis on pre-teaching upcoming content to further improve students’ access to math content.

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Winter

Portfolio, a year-long, cross-curricular program, is one of Thurgood Marshall Academy’s signature programs. It is, additionally, a graduation requirement for all students that develops interpersonal and public speaking skills. Each year, Thurgood Marshall Academy creates better ways to engage parents throughout the process. In December, parents were invited to a workshop that shared strategies that parents could use to assist students in the process for preparing Portfolio projects and presentations.

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Spring

Thurgood Marshall Academy administered 95 Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Students could elect to take AP courses in Calculus AB, Computer Science, English Literature, US Government & Politics, and US History. Of the 69 students in the Class of 2015, 54% enrolled in at least one AP course and one out of three seniors earned college credit through AP courses.

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Achievements

Thurgood Marshall Academy recorded many unique school-wide and student-related accomplishments this year. Considering Thurgood Marshall Academy’s two-fold mission, we are constantly recognizing our students for achieving success both academically and within the democratic society. In 2014-15, Thurgood Marshall Academy faculty and staff conducted nationwide presentations, accomplishments that showcased their leadership in the field.

Summer

Fifteen students participated in international study-abroad experiences in the Summer of 2015. Six juniors traveled to Tanzania for a global service learning project; six students who were rising juniors and seniors explored Spain and Morocco during a rare cultural exchange program; and three students put their Spanish language skills to the test during a week-long trip to Costa Rica.

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Fall

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Director of College & Alumni Programs led the school’s first College Counseling Institute, an initiative that brings together neighborhood public and charter schools to share best practices for improving college and alumni support in Washington, DC.

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Winter

US News & World Report ranked Thurgood Marshall Academy as the 3rd highest performing high school in the District of Columbia based on academic indicators including college readiness, reading and math proficiency, and student-teacher ratio. TMA was the only charter school in the District to be included on the national ranking list.

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Spring

Continuing Thurgood Marshall Academy’s 11-year tradition, 100% of seniors in the Class of 2015 were accepted to college. Among these students, 61% were accepted to two or more colleges. Students were accepted into a total of 77 different locally and nationally. The Class of 2015 received numerous noteworthy scholarships that totaled over $4.4 million that include last-dollar funding from the Milken Foundation, Posse Foundation, and Gates Millennium Scholars Programs, among many others.

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Enrichment

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s after-school enrichment activities serve as an extension of the classroom, offering a unique learning environment in which students discover their hidden talents and interests. By the end of the school year, 100% of students participated in at least one enrichment activity, which gave them hands-on exposure to leadership, work, and community service experience. Participating in enrichment programs enable students to learn how to manage time, prioritize their work-load, and create systems of success. We partner with a network of over 50 partnering organizations that provides financial and in-kind support.

Summer

Thurgood Marshall Academy launched a new health club for a year-long partnership with Brainfood, a DC-based youth development organization, that uses food as a tool to build life skills and promote healthy living. By participating in Brainfood’s “Kitchen All-Stars Initiative,” students learned life and leadership skills through cooking and food.

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Fall

The Student Government Association (SGA) plays a role in voicing what students need. Last winter, SGA worked with the Programs Department to plan a series of events for the school’s first-ever Anti-bullying Week, which celebrates student differences and fights against bullying in schools. School-wide events included a screening and open-discussion of the movie ‘Bully’ and a crafts event where students designed T-shirts to wear during the week’s ‘Difference Day,’ the finale event that allowed students to respectfully showcase their differences.

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Winter

In March 2015, students in the Computer Applications class submitted a broadcast news segment to the BBC that shed light on a number of healthy eating solutions available to the Anacostia community. The investigative piece was featured in BBC’s School Report and showcased Thurgood Marshall Academy students, who served as “Field Reporters.” The students were the first Americans to submit content to BBC, a well-known national public service broadcaster located in the UK.

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Spring

In April, students competed in The Aspen Challenge, a national competition for high school students to share solution-oriented projects for the world’s most pressing issues. Students worked alongside five neighborhood charter schools to address ongoing poverty issues in Washington, DC. The Aspen Challenge, launched in a new city each year, provides an opportunity for students to engage with leading global visionaries. Our students designed and implemented a business using fresh vegetables from TMA’s garden to increase access to healthy food and recipes for the community.

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Law

As a law-themed school, Thurgood Marshall Academy continues to develop and refine the integration of law in the curriculum and in after-school programming. At the core of academic lessons and projects are five Legal Skills (Research, Argumentations, Critical Thinking, Advocacy, and Negotiation). These concepts help to connect the curriculum to the school’s mission. Students participate in different law-related activities in every grade.

Summer

Law firm Tutoring is supported by six participating firms during the academic year, in addition to a partnership with Wiley Rein LLP to offer Law Firm Tutoring during the summer. An after-school program built into Thurgood Marshall Academy’s law-themed curriculum, Law Firm Tutoring is designed to help students succeed in college and actively engage in our democratic society. During Summer Prep and on Tuesdays throughout the academic year, 11th graders travel from the school to downtown law firms where legal professionals provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.

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Fall

Law Days give freshmen their first formal exposure to the world of law. In 2014-15, three elite law firms hosted and taught six workshops that introduced new students to specific cases or legal issues and explored the history and underlying legal principles involved. The real-life exposure to a day-in-a-life of law gives students a powerful example of the daily application of enduring legal principles.

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Winter

In October of 2014, the Just the Beginning Foundation invited 25 students for a meet-and-greet with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who led students in a dynamic question-and-answer segment. The Foundation is committed to developing and nurturing interest in the law among young people from various background who are often underrepresented in the legal profession. Over lunch, students networked with lawyers, judges, educators, and others and expressed their passion for law and politics.

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Spring

Four seniors participated in the DC Ethics Bowl at American University in January of 2015. The competition encouraged students to think critically about ethical and political modern-day issues. Participating for the first time, Thurgood Marshall Academy students won two out of three rounds while examining a variety of cases that presented an ethical dilemma.

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College

Thurgood Marshall Academy believes that every student can attend, succeed in, and graduate from college. Every member of our school’s graduating classes since 2005 – more than 500 students – have been accepted to college. Due in part to the full-time College Counseling and Alumni Programs department, we are fulfilling our mission as a college preparatory institution.

Summer

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s alumni college enrollment, retention, and graduation rates continue to exceed those of their peers in Washington, DC. One hundred percent have been accepted to college; over 90% attend college within the first year of high school graduation, and 94% of alumni persist into their sophomore year of college.

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Fall

In October 2014, 100% of seniors took the SAT exam. The school’s average SAT score for the members of the Class of 2015, 99% of whom are African American, was 874 (432 Math; 442 Critical Reading). Nearly 75% of the senior class earned a combined average score of 800 or higher, the national marker for college readiness in math and reading. As in prior years, the average SAT score at Thurgood Marshall Academy surpassed the average score for all public school students and African-American test takers.

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Winter

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s dual-enrollment partnership with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and the Hi-Scip program through The George Washington University offers students an opportunity to enroll in college courses to receive dual high school and college credit. Thus, sixteen students enrolled in and passed college classes including English Composition I and II, Urban Poverty, Criminal Justice System I, US History to 1865, Business Math I, and Introduction to Sociology.

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Spring

Continuing Thurgood Marshall Academy’s 11-year tradition, 100% of the Class of 2015 were accepted to college – 77 in total, including The George Washington University, the University of Rochester, Smith College, American University and University of California, Los Angeles.

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