November 13, 2012
Letter to Parents - Consolidation and Reorganization Proposal
DCPS requesting public feedback on a proposal to consolidate 20 schools in six wards across the city
Dear DCPS Parents and Families:
Earlier this year, I shared with you five big goals from our strategic plan, A Capital Commitment. To achieve these goals, we must dramatically improve student achievement for all students. We must make big investments in our struggling schools. We must increase graduation rates, and we must make sure that our students enjoy going to school in our growing school district. While we have accomplished a great deal, we have a ways to go to create a system that best positions us to offer the highest quality programs to all of our students in every neighborhood in the city.
To achieve these goals, we also must use all our resources well – every dollar, every building, and every minute of instructional time. As our schools are currently organized, we can’t achieve our goals.
The District of Columbia Public School system has too many buildings with too few students and rising costs that make it difficult to offer students the comprehensive academic programming and robust learning environment that is required in a great school. Too many of our elementary schools are too small to support robust programming and quality instruction, our middle schools cannot offer the array of opportunities that our students deserve, and we do not have enough quality high school seats to provide students with college preparatory classes and career development.
Working together, we can change this.
We have proposed a number of schools to consolidate and reorganize within the District. The decision to propose certain schools was based on: the number of students enrolled, the growth in the school-age population in coming years, how full the building is, how recently the building was modernized, and what opportunities we could offer students at a new school.
While your child’s school has not been proposed for consolidation, your school may receive students from schools who are impacted by consolidation. We know that any change of school composition within the District will bring challenges, and we will need to make adjustments to ensure the needs of all of our students are met.
As we developed this proposal, we considered the feedback we have already received from your community, and it is very important to me that I continue to hear from you. We have two city council hearings scheduled as well as four ward-based meetings (dates below). We have also established an online forum at EngageDCPS.org where you can provide feedback. On our web site, dcps.dc.gov, you can also find more information about our district-wide plan for our school facilities. Additionally, my Office of Family and Public Engagement will hold office hours in December to get your individual input. Let me assure you, we will listen to and strongly consider all of the feedback we receive
After we receive and consider your feedback, Mayor Gray and I will finalize our consolidation and reorganization plan. The final plan will be announced in January, well before the Out of Boundary registration process begins.
As difficult as this is, by making these changes now, we will be able to give your child the best opportunity for a brighter educational future. I want to thank you for the confidence you have placed in DC Public Schools by enrolling your child in a neighborhood school and assure you again, that your child’s success and well-being is my priority
For additional information, visit DCPS Proposed Consolidations and Reorganization.