Monday, April 03, 2006

Dozen schools already talking about mergers

According to Superintendent Janey there are already twelve schools within DCPS who have begun exploring merging with other schools. Janey, whose facility plans call for the closure or consolidation of schools with low enrollments, claims that principals from the following schools have begun talks about possibly merging their schools:
  • Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School and the Hamilton Center
  • Webb Elementary and Wheatley Elementary
  • Drew Elementary and Shadd Elementary
  • Ferebee-Hope and Draper elementary schools
  • Adams and Oyster elementary schools
  • Montgomery Elementary and a new KIPP public charter school for middle grades
While the list of schools to be consolidated has not announced, each of the public schools are vulnerable as they don't meet the criteria of "viable" as defined by the Superintendent's office. I suspect that most of the principals figure it is better to merge under your own terms than have it dictated to you by the head office. Some teachers and parents, however, are not too happy.
"Our principal has done this completely behind our back," said Pamella Shaw, a fifth-grade teacher at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School in Northeast Washington. Under the proposal, the 264-student school would share its building with the Hamilton Center, which enrolls 100 emotionally disturbed students.

Shaw said teachers and parents had their own plans to boost enrollment by expanding preschool programs. Teachers would find it difficult to work "with so many students with special needs," she said.

Sabrina Hill, president of the PTA at Webb Elementary in Northeast, said she opposes a proposal to move Wheatley Elementary's 110 students into Webb's building.

"The principal didn't ask us; she told us it was a done deal," Hill said. "I don't think it's a good idea. Our building needs major work, and the school staff isn't prepared to take on another school."
The Post has more in a second article.

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