MCIP was founded in 1979 to address the unmet needs of “at-promise” students, many of whom were low-income and language minority, who were falling through the cracks in the public school system or had already been “pushed out” of school all together.
MCIP’s founder, Maria Tukeva, realized that the issue of “school push out” was a confluence of inter-related constraints: lack of cultural and linguistic competence, systemic indifference, limited teacher training and support, low student expectations, inadequate curricula and interventions to meet individual or special education needs and an over reliance on punitive measures such as suspensions and expulsions to address inappropriate or unacceptable conduct.
The original program started over 35 years ago with 40 students who were pushouts / dropouts from DC public schools. By 1989 MCIP was serving 600 students daily as a full-fledged alternative school, when it merged its core instructional program with Bell Career Development Center to create Bell Multicultural High School (BMHS). MCIP forged on and scaled its work to accommodate the instructional needs of the new BMHS student body.
The 2008 merger of BMHS with Lincoln Multicultural Middle School created the Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), DC’s first grade 6-12 campus. This merger expanded MCIP’s reach to support the middle school as well. Today MCIP provides numerous evidence-based instructional services and support services designed to close the achievement gap for the 1,400 students and families at CHEC.