December 6, 2012
A Notice from the Walls HSA
On Nov. 13 DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson released a proposal to consolidate and close schools in the District of Columbia. As you may know, that plan called for the closure of Francis Stevens Campus at 2425 N St. NW and the campus “used to expand the number of 9-12 grade seats available at School Without Walls.”
This proposal came without advance discussion or notice. Since then, little information has been forthcoming about DCPS plans. Public hearings have been held since the release of the plan, with major discussion centered on closures. Last evening the School Without Walls Local School Advisory Team met to discuss the matter and issued the following statement, which was subsequently endorsed by the SWW Home & School Association Executive Board:
SWW’s LSAT appreciates the implicit recognition of our institution’s success by DCPS’ proposed expansion of our program to Francis Stevens. Given the lack of information we have at this time, the LSAT unanimously opposes the proposed expansion. The LSAT believes that a rapid expansion does not serve the interests of SWW’s current or future students, the school system as a whole, or the city that we serve. Any expansion plan must maintain the integrity of our school community by supporting its mission and vision. We urge a process that is deliberative, inclusive of all stakeholders, and transparent. The current proposal does not meet any of the above conditions. Further, we believe that no plan should be pursued until a determination regarding the status of the Francis Stevens Campus is made.
The LSAT, HSA, administration and faculty of Walls are working cooperatively and commit to keeping the school community informed on this matter. We do know that the Francis Stevens community is fighting for the survival of its school and hard at work on a proposal to increase enrollment and ensure their school stays open. Chancellor Henderson has said publicly that final decisions on closures will be made in January. The parent community there is appreciative of the posture we have adopted.
There will be a regular HSA general membership meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the common room at Walls. We will have this matter on the agenda and will share what more – if anything – that we learn. We will also take up other business important to the parent community. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.