Photo by Daniel Lobo.
Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:
As discussed yesterday, the city is currently conducting a comprehensive evaluation of school boundaries and assignment policies. And GM specifically discussed how the initial proposals called for an expansion of the boundary for Georgetown’s elementary school, Hyde-Addison.
Today GM discusses the far more radical portions of the initial proposals. As announced by the Deputy Mayor of Education, Abigail Smith, the proposal is organized into three potential policies. GM will discuss each separately and how it would impact Georgetown below:
Policy Example A
This first proposal is by far the most radical and would, frankly, by far be the worse outcome for Georgetown. First of all, Georgetown kids would lose the guaranteed right to attend Hyde-Addison. That’s because under this scenarios, no one in the city would have the right to attend their local elementary school. Every elementary school would be grouped into a “choice set” of 3-4 schools. All children would enter a lottery that would assign them to one of the schools in the choice set.
Hyde would be placed in a choice set with Ross Elementary in Dupont and Francis-Stevens in the West End. Thus when a Georgetown family decides to send their child to elementary school they would enter a lottery and be assigned one of the three schools, even if you live across the street from Hyde.
Yesterday GM reported on the continued interest Georgetown families are showing in Hyde-Addison elementary school. But on Saturday, the Deputy Mayor of Education, Abigail Smith, announced preliminary proposals that could radically impact where Georgetowners are able to send their children.Today, GM will discuss the project’s background and the proposed changes to boundary map that may impact Georgetown.
The District has kept the same school boundary map for decades, despite the significant population changes that directly affect how many children are enrolled in public school and where. To address this, the mayor created a task force to analyze school boundaries, as well as the whole system of how children are assigned schools. This committee has worked for months and months, and now is floating some preliminary proposals.
The first recommendation from the committee relates to the traditional rezoning battleground: boundary maps. The committee recognized the need for updated maps, although there’s just about nothing more controversial than telling a resident that they’re no longer in the great school zone they were yesterday. Probably reflecting this controversy, the recommended map changes are mostly limited.
And the changes wouldn’t directly impact Georgetown. No Georgetown families are being “zoned out” of Hyde. In fact, the proposal calls for the Hyde boundary to extend to capture Burleith and Foxhall Village. This small change is nonetheless controversial because it would move families out of the Stoddert and Key zones. These are both highly sought after schools. While GM personally thinks that Hyde is just as good, being zoned out of such successful schools is bound to cause anxiety. Not to mention the fact that for some the trip to school will be longer. Continue reading