Francis-Stevens parents fight against school closure

This could be the last academic year for Northwest Washington’s Francis-Stevens Education Campus. It’s one of 20 schools slated for possible closure in the District, but parents aren’t giving up yet. They say closing the facility would be a mistake.

“The school is on the rise,” says one parent. “There’s been a baby boom in Ward 2. There’s lots of construction. We feel that there’s more than ample opportunity for this school to grow.”

The school is tucked away in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. It’s where Amy Carter went to school when her father was president in the 1970’s.

As an out-of-bounds parent, Chris Sondreal chose to send his son to Francis-Stevens.

“They’ve pulled such a great program together,” he says. “Now they want to dismantle it. It makes you wonder if you want to stay in public schools. It makes you wonder who you can really trust to give your kids a good education.”

The school system says the school is under-enrolled with 225 students in 11 grades. Just 55-percent of the building is being used.

When the list of schools slated for closure was released, the chancellor knew the move would not be without controversy.

“These decisions are difficult,” says Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “They mean transition for about 3,000 of our students and families and we are going to do everything possible to ensure that transition goes smoothly.”