River Terrace Elementary gets one-year reprieve
Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson has backed away from a plan to close River Terrace Elementary in June because of under-enrollment, citing the unique importance of the school to the isolated Northeast D.C. community. Henderson said she had been swayed by passionate testimony from school community members about the role of the school in the Ward 7 neighborhood, Benning Road NE, East Capitol Street SE, I-295 and the Anacostia River.
River Terrace has only 148 students and its enrollment has dropped 42 percent over the last year -- a decline facilitated in part by DCPS' decision to remove the school's sixth grade in in 2007-08. DCPS had proposed busing River Terrace children to Nevel Thomas Elementary. Parents and staff argued that River Terrace has not been given a fair chance to thrive as a school. They also asserted that its value as the neighbohood's virtually-sole civic institution makes it more than just a school.
In a letter to River Terrace families Friday, Henderson said that Mayor Vincent C. Gray had accepted her recommendation that the school remain open for another year: "I recognize the extraordinary importance of River Terrace Elementary to the community, especially given the unique geographic isolation of the River Terrace neighborhood. I am therefore willing to provide the school and community additional time to build enrollment and demonstrate the long-term viability of the school. I hope that the same passion and energy I witnessed in the numerous meetings about the closure proposal can continue to be channeled into supporting the school."
Henderson is pressing ahead with plans to close Shaed Education Campus, a PS-8 school in Ward 5, and send students to Emery Education Campus, which will be re-located to the old Langley School next to McKinley Technology High.
Follow D.C. Schools Insider every day at washingtonpost.com/dc- schools. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our new Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed. Bookmark it!
Posted by: dccounselor72 | February 7, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: star5 | February 7, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nosh1 | February 8, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: thebandit | February 8, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: efavorite | February 8, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: asilerod | February 8, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse