DCPS Announces 20 Proposed School Closings Across Six Wards | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

DCPS Announces 20 Proposed School Closings Across Six Wards

Play associated audio
Classrooms will remain empty next year for as many as 20 schools, according to a proposal from DCPS.
Karen Apricot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenapricot/292761884/
Classrooms will remain empty next year for as many as 20 schools, according to a proposal from DCPS.

Community members are being asked for their input on a D.C. Public School proposal to close 20 schools in six wards across the city. The move ss necessary to "right-size" the District, says Chancellor Kaya Henderson, which currently uses far more school buildings than it has students.

The proposed school closures will affect approximately 3,000 students, but Henderson says it's about "using resources wisely."

"If we reduce the number of facilities we'll be able to improve the programs we offer, to utilize our staff more efficiently so we can concentrate on the things we know move things for kids," says Henderson.

Because there are so many under-enrolled schools, says Henderson, DCPS spends disproportionately large amounts of money on non-teaching positions, such as office and cleaning staff, instead of teachers.

"At almost half of our schools, schools only have one teacher per grade level. So teachers don't have the opportunity to plan lessons or work collaboratively, which is one of the things we know improves teacher performance," says Henderson.

The schools slated for closure are concentrated in wards 5, 7 and 8. Henderson considered how many students were currently enrolled in each school, in addition to population changes, and also reviewed the availability of other schools to receive these students and whether a building had been completely renovated. Wards 1 and 3 are unaffected because the schools there face overcrowding rather thanĀ under-enrollment.

But Henderson has not forgotten a similar school closure process in 2008, when 23 D.C. schools were shuttered, sparking widespread community anger and protests. To avoid that, Henderson is asking for the community's input in making the transition as "not-traumatic" as possible, she says. She isn't sure how many staff members will be laid off or how much DCPS will save.

The mayor and chancellor are expected to make a final decision on the list of closures in January and most of the school consolidations will go into effect in time for the next academic year.

Correction: The original version of this article misstated who would make the final decision on the DCPS school closures. The mayor and chancellor, not the D.C. Council, have the final say.

DCPS Proposed Consolidations and Reorganization Plan
NPR

Making A Change To Keep A Constant Consonant

Given two words, change the first consonant sound in each word to the same new consonant sound and you'll phonetically name two things in the same category.
WAMU 88.5

Hops Coming Home: Loudoun County To Add Hop Production Facility

The first commercial-scale hop production and processing facility in the region is being planned out in Loudoun County, further adding to the region's burgeoning beer business.

NPR

Families Feel Sidelined As U.S. Reviews Hostage Policy

The White House is reviewing how it handles hostage crises following the brutal murders of Americans abroad, but families of hostages say they're often left out of the conversation.
NPR

Car Ride Service Puts Gender In The Driver's Seat

Car share programs are extremely popular, but so are concerns for safety. NPR's Tess Vigeland talks to Stella Mateo, founder of SheRides, which allows passengers to choose the gender of their driver.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.