Photo pre-construction by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC
Any word on how much longer the construction at Cardozo High School (1200 Clifton St, NW) is going to take? The neighbors have had to put up with a lot–lost parking and sidewalks, traffic changes, road closures on Clifton, and noise, not to mention the constantly changing rules around “emergency” no-parking signs. For the most part, I think the neighborhood has been tolerant of these annoyances that come with urban living. I just wish I knew when to expect to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Have you heard anything?
Council Member Graham says the construction will be completed in August in time for the new school year.
Photo by PoPville flickr user llahood
Two years ago I asked readers where they planned to send their children to school in DC. It was roughly evenly split (sorta) between public, private and charter schools. To oversimplify, back in the day, lots of folks I knew either moved when they had kids or moved when their kids finished elementary school. Today, I’m seeing more and more of my friends staying in the district after they have kids.
However, last week reports came out that DC’s charter school waitlists had hit 22,000. And talking to friends who have gone through the process, it sounds brutal. So I thought (especially since I have a kid now) I’d see what folks are doing now and what folks plan to do in the future. For those who have kids that have reached school age – where did you end up sending them? How did the process work for you? For those who have kids not yet of age – what are your plans?
Photo by Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com via wikipedia
From a press release:
The legendary athlete and children’s author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will read and speak with children at Reading Is Fundamental’s oldest program in the nation at a WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Celebration May 10 at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Tracy Hutson of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” will also lead the festivities, which include crafts and WILD THINGS costumed characters. All of the children at the school will be given their very own copy of Maurice Sendak’s iconic and award-winning WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE to keep, thanks to a generous donation from HarperCollins Children’s Books. District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson will also attend the event.
Photos courtesy of Ann McLeod
From an email by the Department of General Services:
It’s our, the Department of General Services’ (DGS), understanding that the sinkholes on the Garrison Elementary School field site are located in the area of the old Garrison School, and we believe that they are caused by the settling of sub grade material due to the improper compaction/excavation during the razing of the old Garrison School approximately 50 years ago.
In order to determine the exact cause of the sinkholes and develop a remediation plan, we are procuring a geotechnical engineer to study the site, identify the extent of the issue and provide recommendations on a remediation solution. The geotechnical investigation will include ground penetrating radar [GPR] or a similar surveying technique combined with soil borings.
We expect the geotechnical investigation to start by the end of this month (March 2013). Our current expectation, based on our understanding of the issue, is that the initial geotechnical work will take approximately 4 weeks (end of April 2013). After we receive the results of the geotechnical work we can develop a preliminary action plan. This plan may directly involve remediation or, depending on the initial geotechnical results, may include additional investigation.
We will report back to stakeholders in early May and update our plan based on the initial geotechnical results.
In the meantime, a construction fence will be installed around the area where the sinkholes have occurred and we will monitor the remainder of the site for any unusual conditions.
Photo via EL Haynes
From a press release:
On Thursday, March 7, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School celebrates a tremendous milestone for our city: The Grand Opening of E.L. Haynes High School. Taking place at the newly-completed campus located at 4501 Kansas Avenue, NW, the event includes welcoming remarks from DC Mayor Vincent Gray, words from Councilmember Muriel Bowser, the perspectives of one of our E.L. Haynes High School students, and a keynote address from Maria Gomez, Founder and President of Mary’s Center and a recent winner of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal.
Washington, DC faces an education crisis. In our city, fewer than half of high school students graduate within five years. Fewer than one third of our students attend college within 18 months of graduation, and fewer than ten percent graduate from college within five years. E.L. Haynes High School presents an exciting opportunity to change this trajectory and create a brighter educational future for our students.
Founded in 2004 and designated a Tier One High-Performing School by the DC Public Charter School Board, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School currently serves 950 students from grades pre-school through ten and is recognized locally and nationally for advancing student achievement.
E.L. Haynes High School fulfills the school’s college preparation promise and meets a critical need for Washington, DC – a non-selective public high school designed so that every student will successfully complete a rigorous program that is typically provided to an elite few in the US. The 33,000-square-foot addition adjoins 12,000 existing square feet of space, enabling E.L. Haynes High School to grow to serve 400 students. The facility includes science labs, a high school regulation size gymnasium, specialized spaces for the arts, a technology lab for video game design and programming courses, and an indoor/outdoor cafeteria.
The project team included architects Shinberg Levinas and general contractor Forrester Construction. Grants from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB), and support from The Campaign for E.L. Haynes Public Charter School funded the project.
Photo via EL Haynes
1350 Upshur Street, NW
The following PoP-Ed. was written by Jonathan O’Connell, a Petworth dad.
PoP-Ed. posts may be submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.
Since it’s time for D.C. parents to make their school lottery and charter choices I wanted to point out that one of the most underrated DCPS elementary schools, particularly for preschoolers, is in Petworth — Powell Elementary.
Obviously I am biased because my three-year-old goes there, but having toured 10-15 DCPS, charter and private schools (and having used nanny shares and private day cares) I seriously believe believe Powell is one of the best preschool options around. The principal, Janeece Docal, is an absolute force of nature. The preschool and pre-K teaching team has been together a few years and was one of the earliest in the city to adopt the Tools of the Mind curriculum (sort of Montessori light) that is now spreading all over the place. They are incredibly responsive, thoughtful and thorough. I would be happy having my kids literally in any of the classrooms.
Here’s what preschool and pre-K students at Powell get: Instruction from two teachers, in English and Spanish. Recess every day. Separate art, music, library and gym classes. And field trips: In five months at the school my daughter’s class has made pizza at Pete’s Apizza, visited the Botanical Gardens and talked food and shopping at Yes Organic Market. They bring in a yoga instructor some days.
I think a lot of middle class parents are turned off by Powell for two reasons: 1) data and 2) the look of the building. I love data so have been through it and the test scores are bad compared to a lot of suburban schools. I understand. But Docal is a turnaround agent and the students that have had her the entire time aren’t even out of first grade yet. There’s a reason the private foundation Fight for Children made Powell its only DCPS awardee last year.
The building needs upgrades but is on the list for school modernization and expansion for which there is now a petition. Powell already has one of the most important things I wanted, which was a bathroom for each PS/PK room with its own toddler-sized toilet so the kids don’t have to go in the hallways with the big kids. It’s not dated open classroom format. Plus, it’s across the street from Upshur Park — tons of green space.
Why I am writing this? First, I just can’t believe the disconnect between what I’ve experienced at Powell and what people say about schools east of the park (and what is in the School Chooser). Annoying. Am I certain my kids will go all the way through Powell? No. There is a lot of improvement to be made in the upper grades. And Principal Docal could leave, which would be the worst. But I really couldn’t ask much more from my neighborhood preschool program.
From Georgetown University’s website:
Scheduled to open in late 2013, the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies will move to a new, principal space located at the intersection of 7th St. and Massachusetts Ave., NW in downtown Washington, D.C. The new Georgetown Downtown campus will help the School fulfill its mission of educating students to become more reflective, active, purposeful citizens who strive to make a difference to their own lives and to the world around them.
Located in one of the city’s most vibrant and accessible neighborhoods, this expansion from the Hilltop will further position the University as an anchor of Washington, D.C., expanding educational opportunity and fomenting community engagement through learning and service. The location was carefully selected to be accessible to our community of students and professionals and features comprehensive transportation options. The School is working with architects to design a space that reimagines the educational experience for the 21st century. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, professionals and community leaders will be able to connect with each other in new ways and in a neighborhood that offers hundreds of amenities and services.
Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel
The following PoP-Ed. was written by Josh Freed, Jennifer Leonard, Cindy Balmuth, and Dina Dajani, parents of students at of Hearst Elementary School. PoP-Ed. posts may be submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.
Why the Wait to Modernize DC’s Aging Schools?
By Josh Freed, Jennifer Leonard, Cindy Balmuth, and Dina Dajani
Last week, the parents of Hearst Elementary, a public school in Ward 3 that serves children from across every ward in the city, invited Mayor Gray to visit our school on Friday, December 21st. We hope to show the Mayor, first-hand, how insufficient funding for our long-overdue renovation and expansion is sentencing our students to facilities that fail to meet basic educational standards. This has been a problem the City has identified in its own internal planning documents dating back to 2008.
Hearst was built in 1930 and essentially remains a Depression-era schoolhouse today. It is the educational home to 280 kids, ages 4 to 10. Half of these students are housed in trailers, most without running water or bathrooms. Hearst has no cafeteria, gym or central meeting space. Students as young as six must carry trays of food up stairs to their classroom and have no choice but sit on the floor to eat their lunch. And despite having an excellent autism program, there is no space to provide therapies for students in need.
According to the DC government, it will require only $22 million to bring Hearst up to minimum 21st century standards. Yet, the city has only allocated $9 million.
Without an additional $13 million, our students will remain spread out across an antiquated main building and several sets of trailers, continue to eat at their desks and on hallway floors, and receive therapies in hallways. They’ll miss out on the critical benefits that common instructional and physical spaces provide and modern educational specifications demand. It also means that children and cars will continue to co-exist in a dangerous driveway; and that access will remain difficult to manage.
This is not about geography – Hearst represents families from every City ward. It is not about an underperforming or under-enrolled school — Hearst is a high achiever and 100% over capacity. This cannot be about priorities – Mayor Gray has championed special needs and early education throughout his career. It should not be about poor planning – the City developed Master Plans in 2008 and 2010 and updated Education Specifications in December 2011, when District officials launched their consultative planning process with the community.
Nevertheless, Hearst students are poised to be victims of City bureaucracy twice. First, due to a defective budget and planning system that failed to accurately account for dramatic increases in student population and classes. Then, and despite administration assurances and a paper trail, due to a funding roadblock that risks more delay.
We hope Mayor Gray comes to see for himself the dichotomy between the quality of students and the compromising circumstances imposed upon them by the District. And we hope that other residents of the District, who want to see their children or their friends and neighbors’ children succeed and the City remain a vibrant place for residents of all ages, will urge the Mayor to fund modernization so that all schools are built for the 21st century.
Thelma Jarrett, the principal of Coolidge High School who is accused of ordering and participating in an assault on a former staff member, has turned herself in to police.
The former staffer was allegedly assaulted after a homecoming football game at Coolidge High School in Northwest D.C. on November 2.
Read the full craziness here.
CM Muriel Bowser also issued a press release:
“The arrest of three Coolidge staff for assault, including its Principal is a highly disturbing set of events. If proved true, the allegations are outrageous and completely unacceptable in any school,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser.
“Chancellor Henderson has assured me that a swift investigation is underway and that she has ensured stable leadership during this time. I am confident in her interim plan for students and families. My office will be in constant communication with DCPS. We will be closely monitoring this investigation as it develops.”
Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80
Recently I’ve had the urge to continue my education pursue a Ph.D in economics. I am a nine-year resident of DC and have no desire to leave the District for my education. At the same time I work full-time and need to remain employed to sustain my mortgage payments, bills etc. For this reason I will not be eligible for research or teaching assistantships. There are a few programs I am interested in, but I can’t afford private schools in DC nor out-of-state tuition.
Has anyone in the community been successful in receiving in-state tuition rates at one of the areas public universities (UMD, GMU)? I have started to investigate this, but have learned that DC residents don’t have reciprocity in public universities in the metro area.
I have learned about the DCTAG grant funded by the DC gov, but this is only available for undergraduate studies.
Any collective information from POPville on this subject would be helpful.
This is the addition that caused a bit of a stir when we looked at the rendering back in Oct. 2011. Do you like the way it turned out?
Meridian Public Charter School is located in the old Harrison School building at the corner o 13th and V St, NW. The addition is in the alley behind 13th Street. The front looks like this:
The view from the alley:
Photo by PoPville flickr user rockcreek
From a press release:
The District of Columbia Public School System (DCPS) announced August 14, 2012 that parents that wish to enroll their children into afterschool programs must provide proof of citizenship for the 2012 academic school year. DCPS informed the public that the notice was initiated from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (OLA) met with DCPS superintendent Hosanna Mahaley to discuss DCPS initiatives that must provide educational and after school programs to every child in the District.
“These requirements possess a president danger for public offices. It discriminates against children and families that are undocumented, destroying the trust between teachers, and families. It discourages participation of many programs and educational rights. It also creates a level of hesitance to obtain services from many other agencies that do not have the same requirement. Education is a human right that should be offered to everyone without reservation” Said Roxana Olivas director for the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs
“Effective immediately, I have told our folks (after school team and coordinators) to suspend/not enforce the citizenship requirement. If counsel concludes we need to, we can go back and communicate that” Said Kaya Henderson Chancellor for Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
On August 15, 2012 DCPS notified all afterschool coordinators informing them that they must suspend the order to request citizenship requirements for enrollment of children into afterschool programs. OLA will continue to work with DCPS and OSSE until an agreement is reached and ensure that students in the district receive education and afterschool programs.
1328 Florida Ave, NW
Thanks to a reader for sending an update:
“In recent years, there’s been speculation about what would happen to the historic modernist Manhattan Laundry building at 1328 Florida Avenue once Meridian Charter School, the current occupant, announced plans to move to 1301 V Street.
Last week the Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School, which opened this fall in temporary Northeast digs, announced it had signed a lease on the Manhattan Laundry space. ITS will knock down existing walls in the building to create more library space and common areas, and has plans to create a roof deck playground. Leaders of the school, which enrolls children from every ward in the City, are happy about the move to a central, metro- and bus-accessible location, which is also close to the nonprofit Center for Inspired Teaching.
No official word yet on what organizations might share space with ITS, which next year will serves children through 4th grade and at capacity go through 8th grade.”
The reader later adds in an email:
“The office space on the top floor of the building will continue to be used by start-ups, etc. also, the Annex space is slated for a Montessori?”
A reader sends the photo above at 11:44am.
“2020 19th street NW (Adams Elem School) A Perimeter has been set up around Adams Elem no pedestrian or vehicular traffic allowed in the area”
IAFF 36 tweets:
“*U/D – Adams Elementary – school evac’d, using meters to determine white powder from mail letter, 3 exposed, no symptoms”
Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator
Yikes! From Fox 5:
Howard University says 40 students have been treated for norovirus symptoms in the last 24 hours.
Last week George Washington University reported 85similar cases of the highly contagious stomach illness.
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