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.
On Friday, August 31, join neighbors at Local 16 (1602 U Street NW) to sample Blue Moon’s new brew, Caramel Apple Spiced Ale. And the best part? Proceeds will benefit arts programs at Shaw Middle School at 10th and U Streets NW.
Due to drastic budget cuts, many of the arts programs schools once had are now gone, and friends of Shaw Middle School are working to bring them back. The event runs from 6 until 9 pm; there is a $5 suggested donation.
What is a “Blue Moon,” you ask? It’s the second appearance of a full month in a calendar month — and tomorrow night is the last Blue Moon until 2015.
Local 16 is holding a staff auction to benefit the Shaw Middle School Music Fund, which recently suffered budget cuts. Located at 10th and U Streets, NW Shaw Middle School serves students grades 6 through 8.
“Occupy Valentine’s Day Happy Hour” (at 1602 U Street, NW) will start at 5:00 p.m. It will end with “Local 16’s Finest being auctioned off at 8:00 p.m. for your pleasure. Local 16 will host a dinner for you and your newly purchased arm candy!”
DJ Migg-L will be playing music at 9:00 p.m. after the auction’s conclusion.
Concluding the second season of the U Street Movie Series, the U Street Neighborhood Association‘s Education Committee is hosting a free screening of Waiting for “Superman” followed by a panel discussion on education policy. The event is Saturday, October 22 from noon to 3 pm at Shaw at Garnet-Patterson Jr. High School at 2001 10th Street NW.
Waiting for “Superman” is a 2010 documentary film by director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott, which analyzes the failures of American public education by following several students though the educational system, hoping to be selected in a lottery for acceptance in charter schools.
Admission is free and open to the public. However, advanced registration is required to attend, as seating is limited. Please register at Eventbrite.
The panel following the movie consists of a variety of local education leaders, including:
- Jackie Gran (Moderator) – Chief Policy & Partnerships Officer at New Leaders for New Schools
- Kelly Young – DCPS Interim Chief, Office of Family and Public Engagement
- Evelyn Boyd Simmons – ANC 2F Education Committee Chair, parent of Garrison Elem. students
- Reuben Jacobson – Senior Associate for Research/Strategy for Coalition for Community Schools
- Patrick Mara – Ward 1 DC State Board of Education Representative
- Robinette Breedlove: Principal, Meridian Public Charter School
- Kerry Sylvia: Teacher, Cardozo High School
- Ann McLeod: Garrison Elementary PTA President, and parent
Donation proceeds from this screening of Waiting for Superman and panel discussion will support the HandsOn Greater DC Cares 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January 2012, and will directly benefit our neighborhood schools. For over six years, HandsOn Greater DC Cares has used this day as a vehicle to recognize Dr. King’s leadership, legacy, and life through acts of service focusing on school and education based non-profit organizations and engaging youth in service.