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Snow Attendance in Deep Freeze at Some D.C. Schools

While D.C. school officials said attendance figures from yesterday's snowy late-start would not be available for a week or so, fragmentary numbers suggest that students and teachers stayed home in significant numbers. At Cardozo High School, 52 students out of 370 showed up, according to teacher Crystal Sylvia.

"There really seems to be a disconnect at the top," Sylvia wrote late last night on the concerned4dcps listserv. "I am not saying this because I wanted to take the day off. I also think the decision [to open schools] resulted from Rhee and Fenty's need to appear as if nothing is going to stop them from their quest to fix the schools. As we have seen time and time again, image and appearance are the priority with this administration."

Mark Simon, a former Montgomery County teacher who consults with teacher unions, said his daughter Ruby reported a productive day at School Without Walls, despite high student absenteesm. All of her teachers were there, Simon said.

"When she got out at the end of the day, she had to admit that a lot of snow had melted and that Rhee was probably right on the decision not to close."

Bill Turque

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Education  
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We had 27 students out of just under 180 at my elementary school.

I'm a product of public school in NJ, where if a certain percentage of your student body is absent, the day does not count as a real school day. I can see why DC does not have this policy!

Posted by: deedoesdc | March 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

When I dropped my son off on Monday I noticed about 300 children at his school.

These numbers quoted above are clearly wrong and shame on Bill Turque for reporting such bogus gossip as factual. I expect to see a retraction.

Fear of Snow is a curable mental illness.

Posted by: bbcrock | March 5, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I am an adminstrator at a DCPS. I can confirm for a fact that I am aware of approximately 6 schools in NW DC that had less than 50 students present. Our school enrollments average around 300 each. Thus the figures have been accurate to my knowledge.

Posted by: schooladministrator | March 9, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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