While DCPS has more buildings than students to fill them, its Northwest schools continue to pack ‘em in like “Avengers” screenings. Janney Elementary, which reopened last summer after a $29 million modernization and expansion, has already run out of space for next year’s third grade class.
The current second grade, which has 88 students spread across four classrooms, is projected to grow to 95, according to the school’s initial FY13 budget allocation. The problem is that there are only three available third grade rooms. And despite a 40,800 square-foot-addition, there is apparently no space that can be properly reconfigured for another one.
In an e-mail to fellow second grade parents, Alisa Gogarty said nothing has been decided yet, but that principal Nora Lycknell is leaning against adding a “demountable” (a trailer-like portable classroom) and is inclined to make one of the existing third grade classrooms larger, staffing it with two co-teachers.
Janney, which is currently just under its capacity of 550, is projecting 596 students for 2012-13. That’s roomy compared to the other Northwest schools, which are (except for Hardy Middle School) all operating over capacity this year. Murch Elementary, already at 116 percent is projected to grow from 556 to 577 this fall. Deal Middle School (101 percent) will go from 1,014 to 1,124. Wilson High School (109 percent) will rise from 1,633 to an estimated 1,650. It appears that only Mann Elementary (138 percent) won’t be shoehorning in more kids. Its initial budget has enrollment dipping to 279 from 290.
Gogarty, who didn’t respond to an e-mail request for comment (nor did Lycknell didn’t return a message), said the outlook for Janney’s fourth grade in 2013-14 is pretty much the same: three classrooms for four rooms’ worth of students.
“Norah is in touch with the DCPS chief operating officer [Anthony deGuzman],” she wrote. “They are considering attaching a type of pre-fabricated classroom to the current building or building an addition. Stay tuned.”