August 24, 2011
UPDATE: All DC Public Schools to close AUG. 24
Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson Put Safety of Children First
All District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, to allow for a thorough assessment of school buildings following Tuesday’s earthquake. School staff, except for custodians, should not report to work today. Custodians should remain on stand-by. DCPS administrative offices will open and staff should report to work on time, said Chancellor Kaya Henderson.
"Understanding the impact to working parents and families, we made every effort to keep schools open,” Chancellor Henderson said. “However, we felt it would be best to have qualified structural engineers thoroughly inspect all 126 school buildings so our parents and community members could feel confident we've placed the highest priority around ensuring the safety and well-being of their children."
The Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) on Tuesday deployed structural engineers who worked through the night to inspect each school, advise the Chancellor and Mayor Vincent C. Gray on any recommended closures, and prioritize repairs. Mayor Gray and Chancellor Henderson determined the most prudent course of action was to close schools to allow for a thorough inspection of DCPS buildings district-wide.
OPEFM and Chancellor Henderson will discuss the condition of DC Public School buildings today at Mayor Gray’s weekly press briefing. Parents and families should continue to monitor the DCPS website, www.dcps.dc.gov, as well as DCPS social media (@DCPublicSchools on Twitter and facebook.com/dcpublicschools).
The majority of DC Public Schools were evacuated Tuesday as a result of the earthquake that struck the Washington, D.C., area at about 1:50 p.m. Most schools reported minor damage and two students, one at Kelly Miller Middle School in Ward 7 and another at Deal Middle School in Ward 3, received minor injuries. No serious injuries were reported.
DCPS took immediate action to notify parents and families of the steps taken to ensure the safety of their children. DCPS Chancellor Henderson remained in constant contact with the Mayor’s Office, OPEFM and DC emergency response officials to determine the scope of the emergency and appropriate district-wide measures to ensure public safety.
For more information, parents should call the CRT at 202-478-5738.