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DC School Reform Now is educating, organizing and advocating to build support for public education strategies that prepare kids to become college and career ready.

Meet Jana Lemons, DCSRN Parent


The quality rating of the school Chase will now attend because of DCSRN’s intervention.


Jana Lemons is a Washington native and a Ward 8 resident, having moved back recently to the District after serving in the Navy for several years. Her son, Chase, is a bright and curious rising 3rd grader who loves playing outside and exploring the world around him. With strong skills in math, Jana wanted Chase to attend a school that had a strong STEM program. She hopes that by getting into a STEM field, Chase will be provided with many job options and financial stability in the future.

Jana had already begun to conduct her own research into possible schools online, but when she came across a flyer for DCSRN’s services in her apartment building, she called the office right away and became connected with her parent advocate. Jana wanted to tap into DCSRN’s in-depth knowledge about quality public schools in DC, and felt that conversations with her advocate gave her more insight regarding school culture, teacher quality, and the school’s academic performance.

Because Jana had already begun researching schools on her own, her first conversation with her advocate concerned schools she was considering at the time. She shared her list of schools, and after gathering information about Chase’s interests and Jana’s expectations, her advocate was able to provide guidance regarding which schools were or were not a good fit for her family. Over the course of a few conversations, Jana made some adjustments to her school lottery application, changing her rankings and adding a few more schools, which increased her chances of finding Chase a space in a quality school.

“DCSRN is a great resource. I had schools in mind, but speaking with my advocate, I learned much more and it really made a difference in how I made my choices.”

After receiving lottery results, Chase was matched with Watkins Elementary, and Jana completed his enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year with the support of her advocate. Jana states that she feels positive about Chase attending Watkins and excited for him to experience a new school. Currently in the process of being renovated, she is happy for Chase to attend a school with a beautiful new building. Jana is also enthusiastic about Watkins’ diverse student body and its strong PTA, which she hopes will allow her to advocate strongly for her son. 

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