WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Big changes may be coming to D.C. Public schools –- changes that could relocate thousands of students in an effort to better utilize the system’s resources.
The plan would consolidate eight elementary schools, four middles schools, one high school and five education campuses, starting in fall of 2013. D.C. Chancellor Kaya Henderson says the move will give all students a better experience.
The changes, which would relocate as many as 3,000 students from all but two of the District’s wards, are a result of too many under-enrolled schools, according to Henderson, adding that it’s easier to offer a wider range of opportunities in a smaller number of buildings.
Henderson’s “plan” is just a proposal that needs to pass various public hearings by the D.C. Council – the first scheduled for Thursday — with a final decision not coming until January 2013.
“If our city is going to be strong, it has to have a strong system of neighborhood schools,” Henderson says. “We’re not using our resources as appropriately as we need to.”
Average enrollments will increase — the majority of elementary schools will carry at least 350 students –- utilizing an average of 84 percent of each building; a twelve percent increase from before the changes.
Henderson said she fully understands how difficult this will be on parents, but reassures them it will be worth it. Parents are being informed of the changes through letters and robocalls throughout the week.
“We will reinvest the resources that we have into the areas of teaching and learning that we know we need.”
Consolidating the 20 schools in total is expected to help the school system bring a higher quality education to students, use resources more effectively and establish a flexible district that can account for future population growth and ensure the district’s long-term stability.
Students from the following schools will be reassigned:
Garrison Elementary School
MacFarland Middle School
Sharpe Health School
Mamie D. Lee School
CHOICE at Hamilton
Marshall Elementary School
Spingarn High School
Shaw at Garnet-Patterson
Davis Elementary School
Kenilworth Elementary School
Ron Brown Middle School
Smothers Elementary School
Ferebee-Hope Elementary School
Johnson Middle School
Malcom X Elementary School
MC Terrell-McGogney Elementary School