January 25, 2023
Dear Maya Community of Students, Alumni, Families, Faculty and Staff:
In an effort to remain as transparent as possible, we are informing you of two separate incidents that occurred on and near the Maya Angelou Learning Campus on Monday, January 23, 2022. You may have already heard via local news outlets or from unsubstantiated social media accounts, but we at the See Forever Foundation and Maya Angelou Schools want to ensure that you have accurate information directly from our organization.
Monday morning during our regular screening process at the entrance of the Young Adult Learning Center, one of our staff detected and confiscated a firearm from a student. The Metropolitan Police were called onsite, which is our safety protocol for all weapons. MPD officers arrived, interviewed and subsequently detained the student without incident. At no time were our staff or students in any danger.
Separately, at approximately 1:30pm that day, a non-related shooting occurred along the 57th Place NE block near the school. An undetermined number of shots were fired. The entire Maya Angelou Learning Center was immediately put on lockdown until further investigation and clearance by MPD. Additionally, MPD remained in the area to assist with safe departure and passage from the area during dismissal. Parents and guardians received information and updates about these incidents via our Alert Now system and will be kept abreast of any new pertinent information. The wellbeing of our students and staff at the Maya Angelou Learning Center are of utmost importance. We will continue to work with MPD and other city agencies to ensure the safety of every student, staff and faculty member under the charge of Maya Angelou Schools.
We are proud of the diligence, professionalism and strict adherence to protocol exhibited by our staff and school administrators. Because of them, our students, staff and community members remained safe and there was minimal interruption to campus operations. As a school, we were able to maintain our teaching and learning and focus on the core of our mission. It is, therefore, crucial to remind the entire DC community that Maya Angelou PCS and the YALC provide a safe, caring, and supportive environment to all. We will continue to do our utmost to create a space where learning and community building can take place daily.
In addition to the above, and based on our scholar-centric and holistic approach, we are doing the following:
- Providing classroom, group, and individual counseling through our Clinical Counseling Team to those students who may be experiencing anxiety, having difficulty concentrating or acting indifferent because of Monday’s incidents.
- Working with MPD Student Resource Officers to ensure safety during the arrival and dismissal times of the school day.
- Continuing to keep an open and honest dialogue going between the school and parents/guardians toward a strong partnership of supporting our scholars.
- Conducting a school-wide Town Hall Meeting to address concerns, answer questions and determine additional ways in which supports are needed for our students and staff.
This update is meant to communicate factual information to our Maya Family. While the events of Monday were addressed and our campus remained safe, the ongoing violence significantly impacts our young people, Ward 7, , and the broader ecosystem of charter, DCPS and independent schools here in the District. It is imperative that we all continue to work together to address the ongoing challenge of violence in our community. Please know that Maya remains committed to doing so.
– See Forever Foundation & Maya Angelou Public Schools