More Snow, Fewer Students
School attendance figures from Monday's storm-delayed opening indicate that D.C. students and parents voted with their feet -- electing not to stick them in the snow and ice, despite President Obama's suggestion, seconded by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, that District residents need to toughen up when it comes to winter weather.
Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's spokeswoman, Dena Iverson, said again that attendance data are not available. But reports on four schools made available to the D.C. Wire show big-time no shows, including an 88 percent absenteeism rate at Moten@Wilkinson Elementary in Ward 8, where 51 of 445 students turned up.
At Powell Educational Campus, a Pre-K-8 school in Ward 2, 42 of 321 enrolled students were recorded present, an 87 percent rate. Seven in 10 of Mamie D. Lee's 101 special education students stayed out, as did 61 percent of Banneker High's 393 kids.
Iverson repeated Monday's response, saying that DCPS's "first priority is to open schools to fulfill our obligation to educate students whenever possible," and that the District "will always remain sensitive to the needs of families who do not have the luxury to arrange child care or stay home with their children when schools must unexpectedly close."
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