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Watch: ‘180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School’

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The powerful new documentary "180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School," broadcast this week on public television, is now available for streaming online.

The two-part, four-hour film chronicles the ups and downs of an entire school year, 2011-12, for the staff and first graduating class at Washington Metropolitan High School in the D.C. school district.

DC Met is a tight-knit alternative school that is battling lots of obstacles to get its students through to graduation — and battling to meet the system’s demands to boost academic performance as measured by test scores. It was an intense year for all, and much of the drama is remarkably captured on camera. The story focuses on the school’s charismatic principal, Tanishia Williams Minor, and several of the school’s staff and students.

The documentary was produced and directed by Jacquie Jones of the National Black Programming Consortium, which develops media content about the Black experience for public media outlets.

There is conversation about the film on Facebook, on Twitter, and on the website for the documentary.

What did you think?

What parts of the story resonate for those of you who are in Philadelphia schools 180 days a year?

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