Mayor Bowser Launches 2019-2020 School Year with School Modernizations, New School Openings
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser celebrated the beginning of the 2019-2020 traditional school year at the ribbon-cutting for the fully modernized Maury Elementary School in Ward 6. Prior to kickoff events, the Mayor led a Slow Down Campaign at Lincoln Park, where she was joined by residents and Administration officials in reminding motorists to slow down and use caution while school is in session. Later today, Mayor Bowser will visit with students at the new Bard High School Early College DC and celebrate the modernization of Kimball Elementary School with a community celebration.
“Every new school year is exciting because each school year brings new opportunities to make every day count,” said Mayor Bowser. “This year, we are proud and excited to once again be welcoming students and families across DC back to new and modernized buildings, but we are also proud of the new programs we are rolling out. From our early college academies to our Connected Schools, we are finding and funding new ways to support our families and set our young people up for success, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Maury’s $59 million modernization includes new classrooms that will serve up to 540 students, a state of the art media center and maker space, indoor and outdoor play and community spaces, and a green roof that supports the District’s sustainability goals. Kimball’s $55 million modernization supports the school’s STEM focus with a FoodPrints food prep lab, science workshop, and maker space. Kimball students will also have access to an outdoor classroom and two rooftop terraces for outdoor learning opportunities. Both schools have various art installations, including many by DC resident artists.
In addition to Maury and Kimball, students at Hyde-Addison Elementary School, the new Ida B. Wells Middle School, and Calvin Coolidge High School also started the school year in fully modernized buildings.
“I am excited to welcome students, families, and educators back to DCPS with newly modernized school buildings, innovative programming, and strategic investments,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “This school year, DCPS will be focused on how we accelerate outcomes for our students furthest from opportunity, keeping equity and transparency at the heart of our work, and setting every student up for success in college and career.”
This school year, the Bowser Administration is also expanding student access to college and career opportunities. At Coolidge High School, students will have access to the Mass Media and Health Sciences NAF career academies, as well as a brand new Early College Academy, where students will graduate with a high school diploma and two years of college-level courses. More DCPS students will also have access to real-world experiences through career academies in hospitality, engineering, health sciences, and more.
Mayor Bowser also launched Bard High School Early College DC (Bard DC) in Ward 7 this school year – the first early college program East of the Anacostia River. At Bard DC, students will also be able to graduate with their high school diploma and enough credits for an associate degree, free of charge. Bard DC students began their summer bridge program two weeks ago, and at 11:30 a.m. today, the Mayor will sit down with 9th and 11th grade students to discuss their experience so far, their hopes and dreams for their time at Bard, and what the city can do to support them.
With the new school year, DCPS continues to focus on equity in education. Ten DCPS schools in Wards 1, 6, 7, and 8 will launch the Connected Schools Model this school year, taking the District’s current community schools model to the next level. Connected Schools will dramatically shift the way schools partner with District agencies and communities to integrate academics, social services, and student and family engagement. Additionally, this school year, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, DCPS’ first all-boys school, will graduate their first senior class and Excel Academy, DCPS’ first all-girls school, will begin their second year.
Later today, at 2:30 p.m., community members and Administration officials will be at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Minnesota Avenue Southeast near Boone and Randle Highlands Elementary Schools as part of the Safe Passage and Slow Down campaign. Last week, Mayor Bowser announced new initiatives to strengthen safe passage efforts in the new school year. One new initiative, “Safe Spots for Students,” engages businesses, government, and faith-based organizations to serve as places of safety and support along corridors frequently used by students to get to and from school. The Safe Spots for Students initiative and other new initiatives and investments were built out of ideas that came directly from students.