August 24, 2011
UPDATE: DC Public Schools to Open On-Time Aug. 25
School Without Walls in Ward 2 will Remain Closed
Almost all District of Columbia Public Schools will open on time Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, after structural engineers conducted inspections at schools throughout the district and determined the buildings to be safe, said Chancellor Kaya Henderson.
School Without Walls High School in Ward 2 will not open tomorrow. Engineers are reviewing the building to determine the repairs necessary to reopen the building. School Without Walls staff is not expected to report to work Thursday.
Engineers will continue inspecting schools throughout the evening. Families should monitor the DCPS website, www.dcps.dc.gov, as well as DCPS social media (@DCPublicSchools on Twitter and facebook.com/dcpublicschools) for updates throughout the evening in the event that other schools are not ready to open.
“As Chancellor of DC Public Schools, I am responsible for the safety of all children and adults who enter our buildings. I take this responsibility extremely seriously,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “The decision to close schools Wednesday was made after careful deliberation and consultation with engineering experts. I believed then and I believe now that this was the right decision to ensure the safety of DCPS community following a serious earthquake that damaged buildings and closed schools throughout the Washington, D.C., area.”
DCPS school-based and custodial staff conducted preliminary inspections of all 126 school buildings Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) then deployed structural engineers to inspect each school, advise the Mayor and Chancellor on any recommended closures and prioritize repairs. Nearly all schools required only minor repairs to reopen.
Thirteen schools were identified by engineers for further inspection, but have since been cleared and will reopen Thursday. Engineers expect to complete inspections this evening.
Families with questions should call the CRT at 202-478-5738.