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Via Charles Allen, news that is music to the ears of the parents who have been hoping for a reopening of Van Ness Elementary School at 5th and M, shuttered since 2006: on Thursday, the DC Council's Committee on Education approved the DC Public Schools budget, and it includes $9.8 million for modernization, which is "consistent" with a plan to reopen Van Ness for the 2015-16 school year.
In a letter shared with the "Parents on the Capitol Riverfront" mailing list, DCPS's COO Anthony deGuzman described what will come under this plan: "The Phase 1 modernization focuses capital funds on renovating academic spaces (classrooms) where we upgrade lighting, acoustics, technology, ergonomics/furnishings, and climate/air quality. Additionally front entrances, front offices, corridors, and student restrooms are targeted. Other building upgrades are evaluated on an as needed basis."
The letter goes on to say that the community will be asked to be involved in the planning process along with school administrators and staff, on a team called the School Improvement Team, which will be "formally convened just prior to when the funding will be available which is this case would be towards the end of the summer of 2014." deGuzman also says that the SIT has a "great deal of influence over priorities, aesthetics and whether the design is meeting the programmatic needs of the school."
Neighborhood parents have been working since 2010 to get the school reopened--you can read more about what's been going on during Van Ness's years in the wilderness in my previous blog posts.
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Bruce says: (5/11/13 11:19 AM)
This is wonderful news. I saw the Chancellor at Amidon-Bowen yesterday where Kareem Abdul Jabbar came and read to the students during a RIF event. I thanked her again for keeping her word since our 2010 meeting at the Courtyard Marriott.
She has been great along with our Ward 6 Council Member's office throughout this process.
Our neighborhood schools (Amidon and Jefferson) will aspire to greatness as will Van Ness when it opens for SY2015.


58Model says: (5/14/13 4:17 PM)
This could threaten the hood's status as a School Free Drug Zone...


Sophia Monster says: (5/15/13 12:02 PM)
Is this $9.8 for a group of schools? Any idea how much would go to VN?


JD says: (5/15/13 12:07 PM)
No, all $9.8 million is for Van Ness. If you follow the Charles Allen link above, you'll see the entire breakout of funds for all schools.




Sophia Monster says: (5/15/13 12:32 PM)
Der. Thanks. That's great!


Bruce says: (5/15/13 1:05 PM)
Yup, strictly for VN!

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Adding a bathroom on the first floor
   
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