Resolution Regarding Overcrowding In Schools
In The Wilson High School Feeder Pattern
Whereas, nearly all of the schools in the Wilson High School feeder pattern are currently at or above capacity, with eight of fifteen schools at or well above 100 percent of their capacities;
Whereas, this overcrowding affects the educational experience of its students, with common spaces such as gyms, outdoor playspace, hallways, and exits stressed by overcrowding, specials and pre-kindergarten classrooms converted to other uses, and the most vulnerable students acutely affected because of a lack of space to address their needs;
Whereas, maintaining and supporting diversity within the feeder pattern is important, and limited capacity constrains the ability of a diverse group of students to attend Wilson feeder schools;
Whereas, according to a variety of projections of future enrollment, overcrowding will get much worse in coming years, with the DC Office of Planning predicting a rise of a roughly 20 percent increase in elementary and middle school-aged children and a nearly 10 percent increase in high school-aged children over 2015-2025;
Whereas, the DC Auditor has confirmed a sizable enrollment rise in an independent report;
Whereas, DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the Deputy Mayor for Education’s (DME) office have agreed both that overcrowding is a problem and acknowledged that adding capacity is a necessary part of relieving the issue, including in both the recently released Community Working Group on Overcrowding (CWG) and the 2018 Master Facilities Plan;
Whereas, The old Hardy School is the only DCPS-owned property west of Rock Creek which is not currently being used for public education;
Whereas, increased capacity in the Wilson feeder pattern must be coupled with strengthening and improving schools across the city;
Whereas, the Community Working Group on Overcrowding also called for the need for both short-term solutions and policy changes to try to relieve overcrowding pressures;
Now, Therefore, in recognition of these considerations, ANC 3E adopts the following resolution.
Resolved, ANC 3E endorses the recommendations outlined in the CWG Report, especially the need for new schools to be open in the Wilson High School feeder pattern;
Be It Further Resolved That,ANC 3E supports DCPS, the DME and the DC Council engaging with the school communities affected to begin taking concrete steps to implement the recommendations in the CWG Report as soon as is feasible,
Be It Further Resolved That,ANC 3E supports the return of the old Hardy School to use as a DCPS school when its current lease with the Lab School ends and recommends to the DC Council and the Mayor of the District of Columbia that no action be taken to dispose or otherwise encumber the old Hardy School.
The Commission approved this resolution at its meeting on March 14th, 2019, which was properly noticed and at which a quorum was present. The resolution was approved by a vote of 0-0-0 Commissioners Bender, McHugh, Ehrhardt, Quinn and Hall were present.
By Jonathan McHugh