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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."

Bill Turque

By Marcia Davis  |  March 6, 2009; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Education  
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Comments

Ahem.

Show us some Ward 3 numbers.

I was seeing attendance of 200-300 kids on Monday.

Ahem.

Posted by: bbcrock | March 6, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Ahem, what school in Ward 3? My own Ward 3 had over 50% out. My class had 40% and that was high for the day.

Posted by: adcteacher1 | March 8, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

My kid made it to school, but the bus that runs to the school wasn't running because of snow. So, if you're in a ward where people aren't as likely to have their own cars, like Ward 8, it's no surprise that fewer kids made it school.

DCPS blew it.

Posted by: emrj | March 9, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Stop treating teachers as babysitters! Teachers are professionals many with graduate degrees and should not be utilized as babysitters. Parents have a responsiblity for their children, period!

"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."

Posted by: kingcjfam@aol.com | March 9, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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