After Betts, Shaw kids moving on
Last year a group of eighth-graders made a request that Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee took as dramatic evidence of the cultural change Principal Brian Betts was bringing to Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson. They told Rhee that they liked the school so much they wanted to stay on for ninth grade. Rhee granted the unusual wish of about 100 students, and then extended their stay through 10th grade beginning this fall.
But Betts's April 15 murder has apparently brought Shaw's experimental expansion to an end. Rhee spokeswoman Jennifer Calloway said in a statement Tuesday that the school system has decided not to offer ninth and 10th grades at Shaw next year. Although Calloway didn't specifically mention Betts, his dynamic personality clearly set the tone that made Shaw what it was for the kids.
Calloway said Rhee has personally informed students and staff, and officials are meeting with parents this evening.
"This decision was not made lightly and DCPS heavily consulted with the school community," Calloway said in a statement. "We believe this is the right decision for the students, and we will work one-on-one with each impacted family to guide them through process of selecting another school with the best fit for next year."
Shaw officially "feeds" into Cardozo High School, but Calloway said the District will offer individual placement counseling and reopen the application process for the city's selective high schools to accommodate the students.
"We understand that Shaw students have had the toughest of all years," Calloway said.
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