Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Chancellor Kaya Henderson sketched out their new five-year plan Wednesday for a higher-achieving DCPS that graduates more students, shores up low-performing schools and boosts enrollment.
But the glossy brochure announcing the system’s new “Capital Commitment” left out a major objective of Henderson and Gray: dramatically shrinking the footprint of the 123-school system.
Under questioning, Gray and Henderson discussed plans for “right-sizing” the traditional school system for the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year. Gray made plain what has been widely acknowledged by Henderson and other city officials, which is that DCPS has too many buildings for its 45,000 students.
“We now have 220 buildings,” Gray said, apparently counting both public and public charter school campuses. “We are going to have to consolidate the number of schools in the District of Columbia.”
Henderson said she would begin a round of community discussions about possible closures to take place at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Only one school is scheduled to be shuttered at the end of the current year, River Terrace Elementary in Ward 7.
More to come on this and the new strategic plan.