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Green Charter School Guide Case Study - Thurgood Marshall Academy


Founded by lawyers and law students in 2001, Thurgood Marshal Academy is the first and only law-themed charter school in Washington D.C. The school’s mission statement is founded on the beliefs of US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It states that “all children have the right to a first-class education.” By integration of curriculum and community programming support, the school is succeeding in its mission to prepare students in participating as an active member of a democratic society.
Currently there are 390 enrolled students from grades 9-12. Students are mainly residents of Ward 8, which has the highest poverty rate of 47% for children, 36% overall. These poverty rates result in education deficits which the Charter is hoping to overcome. In general, students at the 9th grade level, enter the school with a 5th-6th grade reading and math level, which does not serve as a good basis for entering college in the future. Recently, the school has highlighted that one hundred percent of students in all graduating classes were accepted to college! In fact, Thurgood Marshal has been named “Most Improved School in Washington D.C.” by GreatSchools/Business Week, and has been the spotlight in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
The surrounding community, consisting of over 50 organizations, have partnered with the school to integrate a youth development program for the students. This program involves after-school events, tutoring, mentoring, college guidance, enrichment activities, and summer programs. In addition to financial help from these organizations, support is also found by more than 250 volunteers.
Law related topics of learning are not the only emphasis at this emerging school. The students of Thurgood Academy are thinking ‘green’. The schools ‘Green Club’, led by the students, have drastically changed the building operations in all aspects. The club has worked to reduce waste by use of compost bins, and monitoring of recycling. In addition, the students regularly perform trash ‘audits’ by weight of bags to enforce the club’s initiative. The school also has provided four raised vegetable beds, and will be installing solar roof panels in the fall. These simple operational changes have helped to reduce waste and related costs, and reduce energy costs for the life of the Charter School.
In 2009, Thurgood Marshall Academy opened a new sustainable gymnasium facility intended to be a shared resource with the neighboring A. Kiger Savoy Elementary.

Project posted by sumitamukherjee


Project Details

NAME: Green Charter School Guide Case Study - Thurgood Marshall Academy
LOCATION: Unspecified location
START DATE: February 02, 2010
CURRENT PHASE: Design development
CONTRACTOR(S): Siegal - Savoy Elementary Gymansium
, Hitt Construction - Thurgood Marshal Academy
ARCHITECT: Bowie Gridley - Savoy Elementary Gymnasium


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