DCPS plans to consolidate Sharpe Health School and Mamie D. Lee School into one school at the River Terrace Elementary School site. This site will open in the fall of 2015 and serve as a model school for students with profound intellectual disabilities. This includes students who have multiple diagnoses, Which could include intellectual disability, as well as one or more of the following: medical complexity, visual or hearing impairment, and autism. The former River Terrace Elementary site will receive a full modernization, and DCPS is working with each school and the River Terrace community through the School Improvement Team (SIT) process to develop the site. This new site will allow opportunities for the community to volunteer, hold community meetings and vote, while also providing an excellent educational space to our students with disabilities in a self-contained, special education setting.
The new school at River Terrace was originally slated to open in the fall of 2014. However, the Department of General Services has recently made adjustments to the construction timeline. These changes will result in the delay of the opening of the new facility until the fall of 2015. For more background on these changes, please review the parent and community update letters recently distributed by DC Public Schools.
The School Improvement Team process for the River Terrace Special Education Center formally launched in March of 2013. The SIT meetings are ongoing and include representatives from the Mamie D. Lee and Sharpe Health school communities as well as the River Terrace Civic Organization. The architectural and engineering firm selected to lead the design process is Bryant Mitchell & Fanning Howey. GCS|INC. who, since 1986, has managed several major construction efforts here in the District of Columbia will serve as the construction team. Most recently, GCS|INC supported the full modernization of Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus located in Columbia Heights.
To learn more about the project, please review the Frequently Asked Questions document prepared by the DCPS Office of Specialized Instruction.