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15 D.C. Public Schools to Close; Others Expanding

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Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The number of public schools closing in the District is fewer than originally thought.

In all 15 schools will be closing their doors as part of D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s consolidation and reorganization plan. Other schools will be expanded to accommodate the more than 2,000 students and programs from the schools that will close.

Under Henderson’s original proposal, 20 schools would have closed.

School officials say they expect to save $8.5 million per year with Henderson’s “Better for All Schools” plan.

The final determination of schools shutting their doors for good comes after more than two months of sometimes heated meetings between school officials and parents of students upset with the proposal.

“We’ve spent the last two months combing over every single comment, data point and proposal,” Henderson said Thursday. “Now it’s time for us to look to the future, for us to plan for the best ways that we can support our students.”

In addition to multiple meetings with the City and Education Councils, school officials also met with State Board of Education members, union leaders, parent groups, and the U.S. Department of Education staff.

“Although school consolidations are wrenching, I am confident that the decisions the Chancellor announced today will ultimately help strengthen D.C. Public Schools, speed education reform and — most importantly — guarantee our children are getting the resources they need for the world-class education they deserve,” D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said.

The largest number of displaced students will come from Spingarn High School in Northeast D.C. More than 400 students attend the historic school right now and parents, including Tonja Hannah, were disappointed to hear the news.

“Overall I think it’s a pretty good school, I do,” Hannah said. “As far as the teaching and keeping up with the students, and the staff keeping up with the parents, they’ve been great.”

The District plans to convert Spingarn into a vocational school.

School Closings

Schools closing at the end of the 2012-2013 school year:

Ward 4 – MacFarland MS
Ward 5 – Marshall ES
Ward 5 – CHOICE at Hamilton
Ward 5 – Spingarn SHS
Ward 5 – Spingarn STAY
Ward 6 – Shaw MS @ Garnet-Patterson
Ward 6 – Prospect LC
Ward 7 – Davis ES
Ward 7 – Kenilworth ES
Ward 7 – Winston EC
Ward 7 – Ron Brown
Ward 8 – Ferebee-Hope ES
Ward 8 – MC Terrell-McGogney ES

Schools closing at the end of the 2013-2014 school year:

Ward 4 – Sharpe Health
Ward 5 – Mamie D Lee

Changes to Existing Schools

Wards 1 and 2

School Without Walls and Banneker will expand their ninth-grade classes.

Ward 2

Francis-Stevens Education Campus is being merged with School Without Walls and expanding to a pre-K to grade 12 school.

Garrison Elementary Schoo. will begin offering new early childhood and special education classes.

Ward 4

Powell Elementary School students will advance to Columbia Heights Education Campus for middle school.

Barnard Elementary School students will advance to West Education Campus or Truesdell Education Campus for middle school.

Ward 5

Sixth through eighth grade students at Langley Education Campus will advance to the new McKinley Education Campus for high school.

Ward 6

The School-Within-A-School is expanding to become a pre-K to grade 5 school and will relocate to Prospect Learning Center. The school currently serves pre-K to first grade students.

The Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (Ward 6) is being converted to a pre-K to grade 8 school and will add more early childhood education seats. It currently serves pre-K to fifth grade students.

Ward 8

Malcolm X Elementary School well enter into a partnership with a high performing charter school.

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