Sunday, November 18, 2012

Garrison Elementary Targeted to be Closed

On Tuesday, Chancellor Kaya Henderson proposed 20 school closings, including Garrison Elementary that serves our neighborhood,
the latest sign of a system facing budget pressures and increased competition from fast-growing charter schools.    “It’s like a kick in the teeth,” said Ann McLeod, president of the PTA at Garrison Elementary, which is slated to be closed under the plan and turned into a community arts center. Its students would be sent to nearby Seaton Elementary.  

McLeod said Garrison has been gathering momentum in recent years, drawing attention and buzz from the neighborhood’s growing number of young families. “I just don’t see that closing Garrison and moving us to Seaton is going to get any more students enrolled into DCPS,” McLeod said. “In fact, it might get fewer.”

The school system has planned four community meetings for late November and early December to hear community feedback, including on how vacant buildings should be used. In addition, the D.C. Council will hold public hearings on the plan Thursday and Monday.  Henderson said she will listen to public input before making final recommendations to Gray in mid-January.

Council member Jack Evans has stated publicly that he prefers that it not be closed and that Seaton students be reassigned to Garrison.  Please contact his office and voice your opinion!