Briya Public Charter School educates adults and young children in Washington, DC. Families enroll in Briya’s Two-Generation Program together: parents study English, digital literacy, and parenting while their children receive a high-quality early education. Briya also offers a high school diploma and training for medical assistant and child development associate credentials. The school believes, and research validates, that educating parents and children together promotes strong families and success in school and in life.
Students and staff at Briya come from over 40 countries around the world, embodying Briya’s values of multiculturalism and diversity. The map at right depicts the countries of origin of students and staff during the 2016-2017 school year.
Briya is accredited by the Middle States Association’s Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
Briya was founded as Even Start in 1989 as part of a US Department of Education demonstration project. Approximately 40 students attended the school during its first year.
Even Start originally served the influx of immigrant families from Central America and Vietnam who sought a better future for their families in DC. Even Start was named a model site by the state agency.
The program followed the Kenan family literacy model (endorsed by the US Department of Education and the National Center for Families Learning) by offering education for both parents and their young children.
Adults learned English, computer and parenting skills while their young children learned in their own classrooms. Parents and children came together for joint learning time each week.
In 1999, Even Start and Mary’s Center formed a partnership around a shared model of social change: improving family outcomes through access to education, health care, and social services.
As the two-generation education program thrived and expanded, Even Start saw an opportunity to restructure itself for long-term growth by applying to become a DC Public Charter School.
Even Start became Education Strengthens Families Public Charter School in the fall of 2006. Shortly thereafter, the school renamed itself Briya Public Charter School.
To provide families with an opportunity for career training, Briya began a Child Development Associate Program in 2007. In addition, the school began offering a Medical Assistant Program in 2012.
Briya continued to gain local and national recognition for its innovative model. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics named Briya a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education in 2015.
Today, Briya maintains a Tier One ranking for its consistent high academic performance and has expanded to serve over 600 families in four locations across the District.