Revised List of Schools
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said he is moving ahead with plans to close 17 schools, and two centers housing special education and alternative programs. He has granted a reprieve to six other schools that he had said last November were in danger of being shut down. Fenty said today that he is also considering closing four schools that were not on the November list, and will hold a community hearing Feb. 27 on that proposal. Here is a description of the 17 schools that will be shut down, and the four schools newly being considered for closure, in alphabetical order:
Bertie Backus Middle
The spacious building atop a hill in Northeast can accommodate 620 students, but its enrollment dropped 67 percent between 2002 and 2006, and it now has 141.
Last year, 15 percent of the students were proficient in reading, 8 percent in math. Students would go to LaSalle Elementary, 501 Riggs Rd. NE, which will be reconfigured for children in grades pre-K through 8.
Benning Elementary School
Benning was not on the original closure list. It currently enrolls 178 students, with a building capacity of 289. Students from Benning would go to Smothers Elementary, 4400 Brooks St. NE.
The school, built in 1931, is not as underenrolled as many of the others on the closure list, with 221 students, 60 below capacity. Still, the school's enrollment fell 21 percent between 2002 and 2006. Last year, 36 percent of students were proficient in reading and 25 percent were proficient in math.
Students would transfer to Amidon Elementary, 401 I St. SW, where a high-tech program would be established.
Bunker Hill Elementary (to close in 2010)
Bunker Hill's enrollment has dropped by 42 percent in recent years, but Principal Amanda Alexander has tried to reverse that trend with heavy recruiting. Last year, 44 percent of the students were proficient in reading, 39 percent in math.
Students from Brookland Elementary, 1150 Michigan Ave. NE, would temporarily relocate to Bunker Hill, which can accommodate up to 507 students, beginning in the 2008-09 school year so that nearby Brookland can be rebuilt. Starting in August, the combined schools would also have an early childhood program. After construction is complete, all students would move into the new Brookland, and Bunker Hill would close.
Built in 1968 for a capacity of 352 students, the school has about 200. Between 2002 and 2006, the school lost 29 percent of its enrollment.
Last year, 47 percent of students were proficient in math and reading.
Under the proposal, Clark students would enroll at Powell Elementary, 1350 Upshur St. NW, or Raymond Elementary, 915 Spring Rd. NW. Some teachers said they oppose the closing, saying Clark's small enrollment benefits students. "It's a small school. We would like to stay there," said Deloris Braxton, who teaches English as a second language. "Sometimes when the situation gets huge, children get lost."