Friday, February 6, 2009

School closure/consolidation proposal

According to the notice in the DC Register, the Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) announces a proposed action to close and/or consolidate school programs and buildings.    The proposed action involves (1) closing one elementary school, Draper Elementary, which has fewer than 90 students, and consolidating the Draper program with Ferebee-Hope Elementary School; (2) relocating Webb/Wheatley Elementary School from the current Webb Elementary School building to the modernized Wheatley Elementary School building , and maintaining the Webb building in DCPS inventory pending assessment of needs for DCPS administrative or special programs space; and (3) relocating the Birney Elementary School program and the Savoy Elementary School program from the current Birney building to the modernized Savoy building, consolidating both programs in the Savoy building, and maintaining the Birney building in DCPS inventory pending assessment of needs for DCPS administrative or special programs space.   These proposed actions are intended to reduce inefficiencies in managing the administration, staffing and facilities of the affected schools and programs, and to accommodate the Webb/Wheatley and Birney/Savoy programs in improved, updated facilities that are superior to the current buildings those programs occupy.

The primary criteria for DCPS’s assessment of whether to close Draper Elementary School are the same primary criteria used to identify schools for closing in December of 2007, namely (1) an enrollment decline greater than the median change for DCPS elementary schools and (2) total enrollment less than the median for DCPS elementary schools. See the Mayor's Education Reform Center. Supporting criteria, findings, and recommendations for all of the proposed actions are explained in the proposed rules.

Special community meetings on each of these proposed actions will be held prior to the taking of any final action on these proposals.