DCPS Announces School Reorganization Final List

Some Schools Close while Others Expand

Source: DCPS

Two months after releasing a proposal to close 20 schools, DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced today that just 15 schools will be closed. This final decision comes after widespread concern over various issues including: child safety; distribution of resources; reinvestment; and neighborhood impact. The anticipated savings of closing 15 schools will be approximately $8.5 million, Henderson stated.

Of the 15 schools proposed for closure, nine schools are in Wards 5 and Ward 7. DCPS will close two schools each in Wards 4, 6 and 8.

Most importantly, five schools originally on the closure list will remain open: Francis Stevens; Garrison; Smothers; Johnson; and Malcolm X.

These school closures are “not a step to a downward spiral” of the DC public education system, Henderson said. “We’ve learned a lot since the closings in 2008.” DCPS “can save at least half of what was spent in 2008 (on school closures),” Henderson stated.

Given that the previous round of school consolidations cost over four times the projected cost, the actual financial and community benefits of the proposed school closures remain to be seen.

Expanding Existing Programs

High quality programs will expand at several schools:

  • School-Within-A-School (Ward 6), which currently serves students from pre-K to First Grade, will expand over time to a pre-K to grade 5 school and relocate to Prospect Learning Center;

  • Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (Ward 6) will convert from a pre-K to grade 5 school to a pre-K to grade 8 school and add more early childhood education seats;

  • School Without Walls (Ward 2) and Banneker (Ward 1) will expand their ninth-grade classes;

  • Francis-Stevens Education Campus (Ward 2) will merge with School Without Walls to serve students from pre-K to grade 12. Merging these schools allows the high-performing School Without Walls to expand its grades and manage a neighborhood/boundary education campus at the Francis-Stevens building.

Other changes:

  • Garrison Elementary School (Ward 2) will offer new early childhood and special education classrooms.

  • Malcolm X Elementary School (Ward 8) will be a part of an innovative partnership with a high-performing charter school serving Ward 8 students;

  • Powell Elementary School (Ward 4) students will now feed into Columbia Heights Education Campus for middle school;

  • Barnard Elementary School (Ward 4) students will now feed into West Education Campus or Truesdell Education Campus;

  • Students in grades six through eight grades at Langley Education Campus (Ward 5) will transition to the new McKinley Education Campus.

More detailed information about school closures is available here.