Francis-Stevens school avoids closure

A handful of D.C. public schools escaped shutdown Thursday when the city’s chief of schools announced she would close 15 schools instead of 20 for low enrollment, the Washington Post reported.

Francis-Stevens Education Campus, about two blocks off campus, will remain open after more than 100 parents, students and neighbors made their case to D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. She proposed to shutter the 233-student school in November.

Parents said the school – which merged into an elementary and middle school in 2008 – was still on the rise with enrollment and academic quality.

Henderson said she was “humbled and inspired” by the input from parents and activists, the Post reported.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, whose constituency includes Foggy Bottom and the school on 24th and N Streets, said in November that shuttering Francis-Stevens would be a mistake.

Still, Francis-Stevens will soon see changes in the classroom. It will make room for School Without Walls, housed at 2130 G Street, to teach more students in building, the Post reported.

The plans to shut down other schools around D.C. drew fire from other communities throughout December, five years after the District’s most recent round of closures under former schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. Thousands of students left the public schools system then and the consolidation cost the city millions of dollars more than expected.

Francis-Stevens Education Campus at 24th and N streets will not be part of the city’s latest round of school closings. Hatchet File Photo.

Henderson estimated that the consolidations will save the city $19.5 million, but $11 million will be needed for transition costs, the Post reported.

Thirteen of the schools will close by the end of this year and the other two will shut down in 2014.

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