Category Archives: Schools

How You Can Help Out Your Local Schools Without Actually Doing Much

 

Do you like to support your local schools without having to do much? Do you like to eat? Do you ever buy stuff on Amazon? If you answered yes to these questions, keep reading.

You can help out Hardy School, Georgetown’s local middle school, in two simple ways. The first way is to sign up your Safeway Club Card to Hardy’s eScript number (2479580). After you do this, 1% of all your purchases at Safeway will be donated to Hardy’s PTA. You won’t be charged more or lose any discounts, money will simply go from Safeway to the PTA. Just stop by the Safeway customer service desk on your next trip to Safeway and sign up. That’s it. Continue reading

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Hyde Produces Best English Gains in the City

A recent study by the American Institutes of Research found that students at Georgetown’s Hyde-Addison demonstrated the best gains in reading performance versus every other school in the DCPS system.

The study ranked the schools by “median growth percentile”, which quantifies the growth an average student at each school has against the average for the whole system. In other words, how much better or worse do students perform year-over-year versus other students at their grade level. Continue reading

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Georgetown Families Continue to Flock to Hyde-Addison

The DCPS annual lottery results were announced last week, and they show that the spike in interest of Georgetown families in Hyde continues. As discussed here, Georgetown children who are interested in attending Hyde for pre-K need to go through the lottery (for Kindergarten and above a spot if guaranteed for all neighborhood kids).

Last year, Hyde had 19 slots for pre-K (i.e. for the ’11-’12 school year). And 21 Georgetown kids applied for those slots. This year Hyde is again offering 19 slots for pre-K. And 33 kids applied for those slots. 33!

This is a huge testament to the great job Dana Nerenberg and her staff are doing for Hyde’s kids; the word is clearly out. This success may bring new challenges in terms of class size management but GM doesn’t doubt the school is up to the task.

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Out Of Boundary Lottery Begins for Hyde-Addison

Monday was the beginning of the out of boundary lottery process for DC public schools. This is the process by which students who don’t want to attend their designated local school can get a slot at another school.

As discussed here before, for several decades Hyde has been a school mostly filled with students from other neighborhoods. This started to change over the past decade as more Georgetowners decided to send their children to the local school. This has, in turn, reduced the number of slots available to students from other neighborhoods trying to attend Hyde.

One thing parents new to the system might not realize is that even children in the neighborhood have to apply through the lottery for a slot in the pre-Kindergarten program. They are not guaranteed a slot. They do, however, get priority in the lottery. And last year there was such a groundswell of interest from neighborhood parents for the pre-K program that all the slots went to neighborhood kids. Some neighborhood kids didn’t even get a slot in the lottery, but all neighborhood kids that wanted a pre-K slot eventually got one off the waitlist. Continue reading

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What Cheh’s Proposal Would Mean For Georgetown Families

Last week, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh publicly floated a proposal to create a new middle school for Ward 3.  This would dramatically affect Georgetown families, as discussed below.

Citing overcrowding, Cheh wrote in a letter to the Current this week that “the problem at the middle school level seems to be a lack of capacity.” She suggests as a solution the construction of a new school at the Palisades Recreation Center. She also mentioned the possibility of expanding the Mann School. It’s so early at this point, though, that Cheh doesn’t really have a “plan” so to speak and is open to other suggestions for locations.

The good news for Georgetown: the plan would lump them in with the Ward 3 elementary schools that currently feed in Hardy like Hyde-Addison does (Mann, Key, and Stoddert). So if this theoretical new middle school is constructed, Georgetown students would have a right to attend it, even though it would be in another ward (ward boundaries don’t really have much to do with school boundaries). This seems somewhat obvious, but there is always a remote possibility that DCPS would break Hyde off from the other schools and have Hyde students flow up to Francis-Stevens in the West End (which would be a much closer school than a Palisades-based school).

The story behind this story has already been well told by Mike Debonis:

While parents at Lafayette and Janney and Hearst have some comfort in knowing their kids are entitled to a spot at Deal, parents at Mann and Key and Stoddert have less certainty that Hardy is the right place for their kids…That was the subtext of Michelle Rhee’s effort to remake Hardy (which is actually in Ward 2) from an application-only [GM note: Hardy was never application only] arts-focused school attended mostly by out-of-boundary kids to a more traditional neighborhood middle school. At this point, after all the fury, some Ward 3 parents just don’t want to mess with Hardy any more.

Cheh puts a different spin on this dynamic. She states that what Hardy has become to out-of-boundary students is too precious to take away by making it more into a neighborhood-serving school:

[Hardy’s] arts-focused curriculum does not appeal to a sufficient number of Ward 3 parents. If the school’s structure were changed to attract Ward 3 families, then Hardy would no longer have room for many of the out-of-boundary students who thrive there and benefit from the school’s quality education.

In other words: “it looks good on you though“. Continue reading

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DCPS Releases Hyde and Hardy 2010-11 Budgets

UPDATE: GM is an idiot. He wrote this article looking at last year’s budgets. He’s now updated the article with the right numbers.

Late last week, DCPS released proposed budgets for each school, including Georgetown’s Hyde-Addison Elementary and Hardy Middle School.

For Hyde, DCPS proposes to set aside $2,615,100$3,092,942. The budget predicts an enrollment of 260315. If those numbers hold up, that would mean $10,058.07 $9,819 per student. The enrollment numbers, however, don’t seem quite right to GM. For instance, the budget projects a Pre-K enrollment of 40. But as of right now, next year Hyde is only offering one Pre-K class of 20. Additionally, Hyde’s current Kindergarten class is 58, but the budget only calls for a first grade class of 42.

Setting aside that confusion, Hyde’s per student budget compares well to other sought after NW elementary schools. Here’s their per student budget allocations (with last year’s numbers struck out):

  • Janney: $7,798.39$8,408
  • Key: $8,661.48$8,842
  • Stoddert: $9,762.66$9,649
  • Mann: $9,349.57$8,767
  • Murch: $8,936.39$8,985

Part of the reason Hyde has such a high per student budget compared with these other schools is that it’s smaller than all of those schools. Also note that the per pupil budget didn’t not move in a uniform direction from last year across these schools; some went up, some down, and Murch is almost exactly the same.

As for Hardy, DCPS is proposing $4,143,363$4,334,677 for the middle school. This is based upon a projected enrollment of 474516. This also seems like an overestimate. The pre-audited numbers for Hardy this year are 418. (Deal similarly has a disparity of 891945 budgeted with a 866 pre-audited ’10-’11 enrollment). Either way that works out as a $8,741.27$8,401 per student budget for Hardy (Deal’s will be $8,843.11$8,400).

The bigger news this week for Hardy is that Mayor Gray is keeping Kaya Henderson as school’s chancellor. After Jack Evans proposed a bill to bring Patrick Pope back as principal of Hardy, Henderson and Gray made it crystal clear that they were uninterested in Evans’ meddling and reiterated that Pope was not going to return to Hardy. With Gray making Henderson’s appointment permanent, it seems that the administration’s position on Pope is unlikely to change.

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As Expected: All Pre-K Slots at Hyde Go to Neighborhood Kids

Yesterday the DC Public Schools announced the results of the 2011-12 out-of-boundary school lottery. As expected, every open slot in the pre-K class went to kids from Georgetown.

Unlike for kindergarten and above, kids in the neighborhood need to go through the lottery to get a slot in pre-K. Last year, there were 35 slots open. There were 28 kids from Georgetown that applied for those spots (four of those kids actually ended up on the waitlist. GM believes that occurs when the children get into a different school they ranked higher in the lottery). Continue reading

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