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DC Public Schools Announces 20 Closings, 2 in Borderstan

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Garrison Elementary School. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a proposal to close 20 schools in six wards across the city.

Among the schools on the list—which includes eight elementary schools, two education campuses, four middle schools, one high school, one STAY program, the CHOICE program and three special education campuses—are two schools in the Borderstan area. Both Garrison Elementary School (1200 S Street NW) and Shaw at Garnet-Patterson Middle School (2001 10th Street NW) are expected to close for the 2013-2014 school year.

“The challenge we face in DCPS is clear — our buildings are wildly under-enrolled, our resources are stretched too thin and we’re not providing the complement of academic supports that our students and families deserve,” said Henderson.

“Consolidating schools is our best option to better utilize our facilities and work more efficiently for our schools, our teachers, our students and our city.”

Community members took to area listservs after the announcement was made, and the Garrison PTA sent an email to local residents urging them to testify at the School Closures Hearings. The hearings are scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15 from 4 pm to 8pm and Monday, Nov. 19 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

According to DC Public Schools, the consolidation plan considered student enrollment and demographic trends in the community, building utilization rates, building condition and modernization status and the availability of receiving schools to offer students an improved education experience.

Once the plan is in place, the average school enrollment will increase to 432 students, up from 376, the building utilization rate will be 84 percent, up from 72 percent and more than 1,000 additional students will have the opportunity to attend school in a modernized building.

For more information on the plan and the upcoming hearings, visit the DC Public Schools website.

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