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, a six-week program, was created to provide incoming 9th grade students as well as 10th grade transfer students with an introduction to the academic and behavioral demands of succeeding at a college preparatory high school. Computer classes and cultural and athletic enrichment activities are also offered to broaden their experiences and skills. This year, approximately 87% of Summer Prep students tested improved or maintained math skills, and 85% improved or maintained their reading skills, demonstrating improved readiness for high school.

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Fall

Research that suggests students learn more and are better prepared for college after completing an Advanced Placement course. In 2015-16, 42% of students in the Class of 2016 enrolled in at least one AP course in the following subjects: Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature, Statistics, US Government & Politics, and US History. All of our AP classes are approved by the College Board.

 

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Winter

The Class of 2016 SAT test takers scored an average of 848 (math and verbal combined). For purposes of comparison, the DC city-wide average in 2015 (the most recent data available) was 765. We prepare students for the SAT in the 11th grade — All juniors are required to enroll in a half-year intensive SAT preparation course, receiving free access to Kaplan courses and supplementary materials. This year, we also partnered with the Transcend Academy and the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to provide additional SAT support to all juniors.

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Spring

Our students’ average test scores on the 2016 PARCC exam (the state standardized test for the District of Columbia) were twice the city average in English Language Arts and two-and-a-half-times higher than the city average in Geometry. What is impressive is that the city averages include magnet schools that—unlike Thurgood Marshall Academy—have admissions exams.

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Achievements

Thurgood Marshall Academy recorded many unique school-wide and student-related accomplishments this year. Considering our two-fold mission, we are constantly recognizing our students for achieving success both academically and within the democratic society.

Summer

Thurgood Marshall Academy was listed in “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” published in The Washington Post, recognizing the school for fostering rigor among all students through college-level courses and tests. The ranking was determined by a formula that divides the number of Advanced Placement and other competitive tests given in a year by the number of seniors who graduated that year.

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Fall

Our students participated in an “Hour of Code,” a nationwide event created by Code.org, during which students and educators from across the country learned the basics of coding. The event was attended by business and government leaders, including representatives from Code.org, Accenture and AT&T, and Megan Smith, the U.S. Chief of Technology Officer.

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Winter

In January 2015, the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB) unanimously voted to renew Thurgood Marshall Academy’s charter for the next 15 years. The PCSB noted that the school met all nine of its goals and “performed particularly well on goals related to reading and math proficiency and growth.” Also during the 2015-16 school year, the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools renewed our accreditation for an additional standard seven-year term.

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Spring

The New York Times spotlighted two Thurgood Marshall Academy students who participated in the Mikva Challenge, a national nonprofit that encourages students to make their political voices heard. Students traveled to the Iowa Caucuses, where they were tasked to represent a republican or democratic presidential candidate.

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Enrichment

The education students receive at Thurgood Marshall Academy extends far beyond the classroom. Enrichment opportunities include recreational and educational activities with adult mentors; a variety of Clubs and Athletics teams; engaging afterschool programs; and service projects to improve our local community.

Summer

Thurgood Marshall Academy students participated in international study-abroad experiences in the summer of 2016, including six students who traveled to Tanzania to participate in a global service learning project.

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Fall

Seven students participated in Press Pass Mentors, a two-year program created by a group of journalists at The Washington Post. Students were paired with professional writers who provided one-on-one mentoring with a focus on college preparation, and who leveraged their unique access as journalists. All students participating in the program also received a $2,000 college scholarship.

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Winter

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s Athletics Department offered 13 after-school sports including Boys’ Varsity Basketball, which appeared for the first time in 2015-16 on The Washington Post top 20 list, and co-ed Outdoor Track and Field, which won first place in the regional tournament.

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Spring

Thurgood Marshall Academy officially launched a National Honor Society (NHS) chapter on campus. Twelve members from the Class of 2016 were inducted into the NHS, and nine rising seniors will be inducted in the fall of 2016.

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Law

Thurgood Marshall Academy students participate in different law-related activities in every grade. They are required to complete a law-related project through their core history course, in which they show that they have employed at least one of five legal skills (Advocacy, Argumentation, Critical Thinking, Negotiation, and Research).

Summer

Law Days give our 9th graders their first formal exposure to the world of law. In 2015-16, Latham & Watkins LLP, Foley Lardner LLP, and Hogan Lovells LLP (and Wiley Rein LLP during Summer Prep) hosted and taught six workshops to all freshmen in their downtown law firms. Law Day introduces students to specific cases or legal issues and explores the history and underlying legal principles involved.

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Fall

Our Law Firm Tutoring program acquaints students with both a professional work environment and individuals who have succeeded personally and professionally by completing higher education. On Tuesdays during the school year, 11th graders travel from the school to one of six downtown law firms, where legal professionals provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. The firms donate their time, meals, and transportation.

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Winter

Four seniors participated in a campaign trip to the Iowa Caucuses with local peers and students from Chicago and Los Angeles as part of the Mikva Challenge, a national nonprofit that encourages students to make their political voices heard. Each student had to represent either a Republican or Democratic presidential candidate and set out on a campaign trail to encourage Iowa residents to vote by sharing information about the candidate’s stance on hot-topic issues.

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Spring

Students participated in law-related field trips as part of their coursework, which allowed them to see the practical applications of the material they learned in class. In the 2015-16 school year, these included trips to the White House for a guided tour and a meet-and-greet with the Domestic Policy Council Staff; the US Capitol to meet with Senator Tim Scott; the Supreme Court to participate in a networking event to promote diversity within legal professions with Justice Sonia Sotomayor; and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights where students heard a case that addressed restrictions on freedom of expression in Mexico.

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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

Among the Class of 2016, 85% of seniors were accepted to two or more colleges – a total of 95 different schools, including The George Washington University, the University of Rochester, Temple University, Pennsylvania State University, and Hofstra University.

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Fall

A Thurgood Marshall Academy student was honored at the Children’s Defense Fund’s 25th annual “Beat the Odds” celebration. The program rewards exceptional young people who have overcome adversity with a $10,000 scholarship. Only five students from Washington, DC, were recognized at the event.

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Winter

Twenty-eight senior students participated in the DC Achievers Scholarship program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides scholarships of $65,000 for each year of college education.

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Spring

Scholarship awards to students in the Class of 2016 totaled more than $5.9 million, with scholarships from local and national organizations including the Children’s Defense Fund, the Motley Fool, Comcast Achievement Award Scholarship, The Economic Club of DC, and the Washington Post Press Pass Mentors Scholarship.

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