Policies and Procedures

Please refer to the handbook for a complete description of policies and procedure.


Parent Student Handbook

Attendance Policy

It is the expectation that all students attend school on ALL school calendar days. School hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30AM-4:00 PM and Wednesday from 8:30AM to 2:30PM.

If a student is to be absent from school, the parent/guardian must call the school the morning of the absence before 9:00 AM. Upon the student’s return to school, he/she must bring a note signed by the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence. If a student is absent for three or more consecutive days he/she must return to school with a note from a doctor or other acceptable documentation explaining the absence. Center City PCS will determine, based upon the information provided, whether the absence will be excused or unexcused. The following are considered to be excused absences:

  • Illness or injury to the student
  • Quarantine or contagious illness
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Religious observances
  • Medical or doctor appointments (with a note from the doctor)
  • Court appearances
  • Pre-approved requests made in writing by the parent/guardian
  • Lawful suspension or exclusion from school by school authorities
  • Temporary closing of facilities or suspension of classes due to severe weather, official activities, holidays, unsafe conditions, or emergencies requiring school closings
  • Failure of the District of Columbia to provide transportation in cases where the District of Columbia has a legal responsibility for the transportation of the student
  • Absences to allow students of military to visit with their parent or legal guardian immediately before, during, and after deployment, as appropriate

In order to maintain a healthy school, parents/guardians must not send their children to school with any contagious diseases such as the flu, strep throat, chicken pox, measles, conjunctivitis (pink eye), ringworm, scabies, or lice.  Students with any of these conditions will be sent home from school until they are no longer contagious. Parents must pick up their child within two hours of being notified that their child is sick with a contagious illness.  Center City PCS may request that the parent/guardian provide a doctor’s note showing that their child is no longer contagious. Please notify the front office if you discover that your child may have been exposed to a contagious disease.

Parent/guardians should not send their children to school within 24 hours of vomiting or running a fever of 100 degrees or higher. Students should not return to school until 24 – 36 hours after beginning a course of antibiotics.

If a student is ill, he or she will not be permitted to attend school. Please do not send your child to school if the student:

  • Has a fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Is vomiting or has diarrhea
  • Has evidence of a severe head cold, persistent cough, or sore throat
  • Has a suspicious skin rash or is contagious (i.e. pink eye, head lice)

Students must be symptom free for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Contact the school if your child has a contagious disease (i.e. chickenpox, pink-eye, head lice) so that the school can respond appropriately.

If your child has lice, we ask that the child is treated thoroughly. Upon return, your child needs to be re-checked by our designated staff member BEFORE returning to the classroom. If additional nits/eggs are found, the child will need to return home for additional treatments. Please consult your child’s pediatrician regarding the most effective treatments for lice removal.

Medical Appointments
Parents/guardians are discouraged from making medical appointments during the school day. If a student must attend a medical appointment, the parent/guardian must pick the student up from school.

Students will not be allowed to leave the school grounds without the physical presence of a parent/guardian to sign them out of school in the main office.

Unexcused Absences
In order to ensure that Center City PCS is aware of the whereabouts of its students, the following steps will be taken in response to unexcused absences:

First Parent/guardian will be contacted.
Second Parent/guardian will be contacted and a letter will be sent home. If no parent/guardian can be reached, the school will contact the student’s emergency contact.
Third A family conference will be held.
Fourth An Attendance Verification form will be sent home to be signed and a copy will be placed in the student’s record.
Fifth The student will be placed on the “at-risk” list for truancy.
6th-9th Parent/guardian will be contacted by the school counselor, and documentation will be placed in the student’s school records. An action plan will be developed to address attendance concerns.

The police department will be contacted and the student’s parent will be sent a letter with the signature of the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, notifying the parent that he or she may be in violation of the school attendance requirements and subject to prosecution under DC laws.Child family services will also be contacted for students ages 5 – 13.

The parent will receive a copy of the Truancy Prevention Resource Guide published by OSSE.

20th The student of age 14 and over will be referred to the Court Social Services Division of the D.C. Superior Court and Office of Attorney general Juvenile Section.

If a student incurs 5 consecutive absences, a home visit may be warranted.

A student with 15 or more unexcused absences may repeat the current grade level regardless of grades earned. Excessive absences will be factored in retention decisions.

Students are expected to arrive at school before the school day starts at 8:30AM. Any student arriving after 8:30AM must report to the school office to receive a late slip before entering the morning meeting or going to class. Tardiness is noted on a student’s progress report and report card. Three unexcused tardies may be counted as one absence. Excessive tardiness will result in disciplinary action and/or intervention from school leadership.

Students must have signed transportation forms on file stating how they are to be dismissed. Written documentation must be provided by a parent/guardian if a student needs to leave in a different manner. If a student needs to leave early for the day, advanced notification is appreciated. Students should not leave school before dismissal on a regular basis. If a parent comes to pick up a child after 3pm but before dismissal, they may be asked to wait. If a student is not picked up by 4:15PM, the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and/or the police will be contacted. If the parent/guardian or other approved dismissal party will be late because of an emergency, please contact the school office as soon as possible. Traffic is an ongoing challenge in our communities – please exercise caution, civility, and patience.

Excessive early dismissals impact students’ required instructional time and will be addressed in the same manner as absences and tardiness.

Students are not permitted to leave the country or travel for more than one week during the school year. If this takes place for a time period of more than one week, the absences will be unexcused. 


Uniform Policy

Center City PCS takes pride in the appearance of its students as ambassadors of their schools. Students are expected to demonstrate pride and self-respect by wearing the appropriate school uniform properly at all times. It is expected that:

  • Students will arrive at school dressed properly in full uniform
  • All outerwear will be labeled with the student’s name
  • Uniforms will be clean, pressed, and free from stains
  • Students will keep shirttails/blouses tucked into the waists of slacks and skirts
  • Ties will be worn neatly under a buttoned shirt collar at all times

The following uniform items are acceptable:

  • White or navy polo-style shirt with Center City PCS logo (Pre-K through 5th grade)
  • Red polo-style shirt with Center City PCS logo (6th through 8th grade)
  • White Oxford-style (button down) shirt (must be worn with Center City logo sweater or vest)
  • White Oxford-style button down shirt with Center City PCS logo
  • Red crossbow or red tie
  • Navy pants or shorts or plaid culottes
  • Plain black or brown belt
  • Navy or white socks

Students may wear solid black athletic or black dress shoes.

Physical Education Uniform:
Students will wear the following on days when they have physical education class.

  • Ash grey tee shirt with Center City PCS logo
  • Navy mesh shorts with Center City PCS logo
  • Ash grey sweat shirt with Center City PCS logo
  • Navy sweat pants with Center City PCS logo
  • Solid black athletic shoe

In order to participate in physical education, students are required to wear their PE uniform. The stated uniform and dress code expectations and policies apply to thePE uniform as well.

Dress Code
On occasion, students are allowed to wear non-uniform clothing. These non-uniform days will be announced. The following articles of clothing are prohibited at all times regardless of uniform or dress-down designation:

Prohibited clothing includes: mini-skirts, halter tops, low cut tops, spaghetti straps, oversized pants, low-rise pants, hip huggers, cropped tops, short-shorts, bandanas, and shirts with offensive messages. Tight clothing or stretch pants are also prohibited; the student must be able to pinch an inch of loose fabric throughout the pants.

If a student feels the need to ask about a piece of clothing, he/she should not wear it.

Appearance and Accessories

  • Hair is to be worn in a neat, tidy style. No extremes in hairstyle or color.
  • Students are allowed to wear ONLY stud earrings no more than ¼ inch in diameter
  • ONLY silent wristwatches.
  • One ring may be worn on each hand. All other jewelry and adornments are unacceptable.
  • Keys on cords, chains, and wrist bands are unacceptable.
  • The following items are prohibited: bandanas, nail extensions, gang related attire, makeup, finger nail polish, non-prescription contact lenses or glasses, exposed tattoos, and any additional items the school feels are distracting to students.


Applying to Center City PCS is easy! We do not have admission criteria and welcome all families who are interested in our programs. We invite students for grades PreKindergarten (4 years old) to 8th grade to apply at MySchoolDC.org.


Center City's teachers are dedicated to developing the whole child through a rigorous, character-infused academic program. Find out if you are ready to become a Center City teacher.


Every child deserves a quality education and we strive to provide small, safe family environments that are conducive to learning. Your donation helps to ensure we are nurturing and developing the next generation of leaders.

Helpful list of all DC Public Charter Schools that are offering learning opportunities this summer https://t.co/xd2yQpTwdk #CharterSummers #DCcharterPROUD #KeepKidsLearning #NationalSummerLearningDay

At @CenterCityShaw, EK12 Bold Improvement school winner, Principal Tyson strategically loops teachers w/ students when student growth & family engagement data is amazing. Love the data-driven decision-making! Find more interesting #BoldImprovement ideas: https://t.co/HBKtJt9xho

Thank you to @empowerk12 for the opportunity! #CenterCityPCS #Excellence #BoldImprovement

Highlights from #DCDataSummit session titled "Boldly Using Data to Improve Student Success" - @CenterCityPCS Shaw held student-led conferences w parents and teachers. Students owned their own data, which empowered them to take their learning to the next level.

Congratulations to Brandy Tyson, our bold performance principal!

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