With classes slated to resume Aug. 23, District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee welcomed 400 new instructors during three days of orientation activities this week.

In comments made at the Columbia Heights Education Center, Rhee promised her latest corps of recruits that if they performed their jobs well, students would exceed their expectations. She added however, that any success would depend on the teachers’ ability to listen to their young charges, who will be spread out among 4,000 teachers at 120 buildings across the city. While final tallies will not be available until several weeks after classes start, DCPS reported that about 47,000 students enrolled its facilities during the school term 2009-10.

Also, in keeping with first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to curb childhood obesity, DCPS has committed to improving the quality of school meals by making nutrition a priority.

In accordance with Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative which has become a nationwide endeavor, the in May the District of Columbia City Council passed the Healthy Schools Act – which in addition to mandating strict nutrition standards for school meals – provides schools with an extra 15 cents per meal to increase students’ intake of fruits and vegetables.