August 25, 2011

UPDATE: School Without Walls to Relocate to Eastern High School Monday 

School Without Walls to Remain Closed on Friday, Aug. 26

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School Without Walls in Ward 2 will remain closed on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011, and will relocate Monday to Eastern High School as crews work to make repairs to School Without Walls’ chimney and Bell Tower, said District of Columbia Public School Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

“We sincerely appreciate the patience of the School Without Walls community and the support of the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization as we work to make repairs to the school,” said Chancellor Henderson. “While we considered other options for School Without Walls’ temporary relocation, opening unused space at Eastern High School will get our students back in classrooms quickly and provide continuity of instruction for the duration of repairs.”

DCPS’ first priority is to fix and stabilize the chimney and Bell Tower at School Without Walls, which sustained damage in Tuesday’s earthquake. The timeline for those repairs is 3-4 days.

Repairs to the chimney, which has not been functional and serves as a design element, should be easy to accomplish. Plywood could cover nearby skylights as a safety measure to accommodate work while school is in session. Work to the Bell Tower requires a crane and more significant work. If all goes well with repairs, the school could open on Monday.

However, severe weather associated with Hurricane Irene this weekend could extend that timeline.

If the repairs are not complete by Monday, School Without Walls will relocate Monday to Eastern High School at 1700 East Capitol St. NE in Ward 6. Eastern, which was recently modernized and houses a freshman class only this year, provides the best solution for the following reasons:

  • Eastern High has the space to accommodate School Without Walls’ 520 students;
  • The school is easily accessible by Metro (at Stadium-Armory on the Orange or Blue line);
  • The school has all the necessary equipment, furniture and technology for instruction to resume immediately;
  • Eastern is a DCPS food production site that can easily prepare food for School Without Walls students and staff; and
  • It can be used for as long it takes to repair School Without Walls.

DCPS will work with School Without Walls Principal Richard Trogisch and Eastern High School Principal Rachel Skerritt to arrange schedules to accommodate the relocation.

Parents and families should monitor the DCPS website, www.dcps.dc.gov, as well as DCPS social media (@DCPublicSchools on Twitter and facebook.com/dcpublicschools). Parents also can call the DCPS Critical Response Team at 202-478-5738.

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