December 30, 2010

Meyer ES chosen as temporary relocation site for Takoma EC  

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Contact: Fred Lewis | (202) 442-5919

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District of Columbia Public Schools Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced today that Meyer Elementary School will reopen Jan. 3 to house students from Takoma Education Campus, which sustained significant damage last week as the result of a structure fire.

Other options were considered but Meyer ES was chosen because it was best aligned with the school system’s priorities, such as:

  • It could immediately accommodate all of the more than 300 Takoma EC preschool through eighth-grade students (Meyer has a capacity of about 430 – other schools could take some students but not the entire Takoma EC student body);
  • It remains in relatively good condition and requires work that can be completed in time for classes to resume on Jan. 3;
  • It would pose no disruptions to other schools; and
  • It presents an opportunity to maximize resources and reduce costs.

Meyer ES also features dedicated classrooms as opposed to the open-space design at Takoma EC; it is located close to the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro station; it has a dedicated parking lot and playground; and it has the requisite number of appropriate pre-K classrooms.

Takoma EC Principal Rikki Taylor and key staff members toured Meyer ES, located at 2501 11th St. NW, last week and recommended the school as the best option available to house her students and staff when school resumes next week.

DCPS officials met with parents Tuesday night to announce the decision and logistics involved in the temporary move, including preparing the building for occupancy, transporting all students to and from the school and furnishing the building with equipment and materials.

“While the devastating fire that destroyed Takoma Education Campus has posed some logistical challenges, we are committed to making the transition to Meyer Elementary School as seamless as possible so that teachers can teach and students can learn,” said Interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “I applaud DCPS and OPEFM staff for their tireless work over winter break to prepare Meyer ES for occupancy, and I wish to thank the parents, students and teachers at Takoma EC for their flexibility and patience in this difficult time.”

Meyer ES was among 23 school building that were closed in 2008 for under-enrollment (it had lost more than half of its students in five years) and poor performance.

While the school remains in good condition, crews with the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) have been working to paint and prepare the building for students and teachers. Crews also installed a new water boiler to heat the building.

DCPS officials anticipate teachers can move into Meyer at least in shifts starting on Thursday and continuing through the New Year’s holiday weekend.

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