Ward 4 Education Alliance​​

Ward 4 in Washington DC

Our meetings are held once a month during the school year at a different Ward 4 DCPS school.  They are from 6pm to 8pm.  We often have a guest to answer the questions of our Ward 4 community. They are held on the 2nd Thursday of the month.  Our September meeting will be on September14th- from 6 to 8pm -at MacFarland MS.   Previous Ward 4 Ed Alliance Meeting Notes can be viewed at the bottom of this page.

Meeting Dates for School Year 2017-2018:
September 14, 2017- MacFarland MS
October 12, 2017- 
November 9, 2017- Powell ES
December 14, 2017- LaSalle EC
January 11, 2017 - Roosevelt High School- School Fair
February 8, 2017-
March 8, 2017-
April 121, 2017-
May 10, 2017-
June 14, 2017-

​  
Ward 4 Education Alliance Meeting
June 8, 2017
Brightwood Education Campus
 
Attending:  Coolidge, Roosevelt, LaSalle Backus, Truesdell, MacFarland, West, Takoma, Powell, 21CSF, DCPS, DGS
 
Coolidge – School Improvement Team: Plans are going forward with locating the school in demountable classrooms so that construction can take place in the building. 
 
The National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academy of Health will be in full operation next year.  Coolidge is also in the process of selecting a new principal for next year. 
 
MacFarland Architectural Concept
Joi Ruffin, DCPS SIT committee coordinator for the MacFarland project and Rachael Kenney, from Studios Architects, along with Darryl Sommerville, the project manager from DGS, gave an overview of the MacFarland Middle School project.  Links to the presentation with floor plans and other images can be found on the MacFarland page of the DCPS website https://www.dropbox.com/s/fbd3jzm9x301do6/170607_DGS_MCF_EDUCATION%20ALLIANCE%20PRESENTATION.pdf?dl=0
It is a tight site on a campus.  The architects need to work with the concerns of the Commission of Fine Arts as well as the Historic Commission.  With these considerations and the tightness of the site, we are limited to the current footprint of the building. 
 
Schedule
Marie Reed Elementary will move out of their MacFarland swing space and will be back in their new school this August.  MacFarland is still only two grades and they will fit into the south wing of the building.  They will be housed here for the 2017-18 school year.  MacFarland construction will continue in the rest of the building, starting next week when students leave.  They will modernize the south wing next summer.  MacFarland students are scheduled to start at their new school in August 2018. 
 
Ms. Kenney, the architect emphasized the importance of coordination of the MacFarland and Roosevelt sites because the buildings are very close, share the baseball field, parking, the service driveway and the Roosevelt back entrance courtyard. 
 
New main entrance – MacFarland’s main entrance along Iowa will have a new, larger porch canopy and the main doors will lead directly into a two-story atrium area flanked by the administrative offices.  The entire MacFarland building will be ADA accessible, with long ramps at the front lawn and three elevators one near the new library and one at each of the wings.   
 
New back entrance and media center - There will be a more formal back entrance to MacFarland that connects with the Roosevelt courtyard and rear entrance; an outdoor classroom is planned there as well.  This door will lead into the large old boiler room which is no longer needed for mechanical equipment, and will be transformed into a library space.  The rear entrance will also serve the city-wide Office of Bi-Lingual Education (formerly at Garrison and now at Emory) which will use a few rooms on the lower floor of the new library area.  
 
The cafeteria will be on the lower level of the north wing with locker rooms and a health classroom and athletic offices on the second floor.  The gymnasium will be on the third floor where it is now and seating will be limited - - it will not be a regulation gym so MacFarland will use the Roosevelt gym for exhibition games.  The old cafeteria and gym on the south wing will become academic classrooms.  
 
A Band/orchestra and a choral room are near the auditorium.  On the second floor, a “Forum” multipurpose space (for 135-190 students) will be carved out of the old auditorium balcony.  Even with this space carved out, the balcony and will still seat students. This relatively open “forum” area provides a focal point for the very long 2nd floor hallway in the same way that the two- story entrance on the first floor serves to anchor the long corridor on the first floor.
 
There will be flexible outdoor space on one side of each of the two science corridors.  This area has not been fully designed as yet.
 
Questions
1.Open, unprogrammed space where there is no staff assigned has proved difficult at some of the new high schools - flexible seating installed in space outside the library at Dunbar and at the nodes of the academic corridors has had to be removed.  A similar situation pertained at HD Woodson. 
 
How will the forum area be programmed?  What are expected activities there and how will they be staffed and scheduled. The principal has assured folks that the space will be staffed and scheduled.
Will it be possible to convert this space to one large or two smaller classrooms if that is needed in the future? There is not a barrier to that happening, but it is not part of this plan.
Is this designed for parent/community meetings after hours? The media center will probably be a better location for those meetings.  There are storage areas for tables and chairs.
Is there a sound system planned? Many outlets will be available
 
 Is there an acoustical consultant on the team?  Because we are going for a LEAD Gold certification, we do have acoustical consultants working with us. 
 
Is this large enough to serve as additional gym-type space?  A yoga class would be appropriate.
 
2.Having only one gym, and a non-regulation gym will be a problem. 
Roosevelt’s gym will be fully scheduled with both Roosevelt and the STAY program using the space.  Roosevelt has only one gym too.
Would it be possible to remove the trusses in the gym ceiling that are shown in the concept drawing? Possibly.  Other middle schools have gyms similar to what is planned for MacFarland.  The gym is a little short for regulation in each dimension. 
 
3.How will parking be shared with Roosevelt and Roosevelt STAY? How many parking spaces are there?  We have not finalized that yet but will get the number of spaces required.
 
4.The area between the two schools is very tight.  Roosevelt has a new and much enjoyed outdoor classroom for the autism program.  It would be a real problem for their use of that space if there are MacFarland dumpsters right next to it.  It is a tight site, it may be hard to resolve this issue. 
 
5.Roosevelt was designed without a school garden even though the biology teacher asked for this (there is a greenhouse).  This happened at Cardozo as well and now there is an unplanned garden at Cardozo in the front lawn where it does not function as well as it should.  Please plan a space for a school garden at MacFarland so that there is enough space for garden boxes, accessible water nearby and space for garden hoses and a lockable equipment box.  The front lawn might be an ideal space. Please make sure water is available there.
 
6.There is concern about swinging on site.  With such a short construction time line why are these 150 students staying on site?  Why can’t they be located in demountable classrooms or in an appropriate swing space?  What about lead and asbestos?  The lead and asbestos treatments will take place this summer so the students will not be exposed to this.  Consulting with the principal this has been determined to be the best course. 
 
7.In looking at pictures of the library media center, it is not clear how this space will work – It is 43 feet high and 20 feet below ground and 20 above.  The dimensions are 70 by 70.  Right now we are looking at a gallery walk around with steps up to gain access to that.  Because there would be no light we cannot make different levels.  It has presented both an opportunity and a challenge.  It will house a maker space and the Language Acquisition Division. 
 
8.How many students does the cafeteria seat?  How many lunch periods?  Right now it seats about 150; there will be 4 lunch periods for a three grade school. The ed spec requires a full kitchen.  ( Some of this question may have been discussed after the meeting.)
 
The next SIT meeting is not planned until September, so please send comments to Joi Ruffin: joi.ruffin@dc.gov.
 
Announcements from Council Member Todd’s Office:
· Ward Family Fun Day will be at Kingsbury Center from 3:30 to 5:30 pm Sunday, June 25th. 

Accelerated Modernization of West Education Campus
$1 million has been allocated in FY 2018 and $7.5 million in FY 2019 for planning and design of a fully-modernized West Education Campus. $78 million in total has been allocated for a comprehensive modernization.  
  Full Modernization of Coolidge Middle & High school
$150 million has been allocated between Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 for the full modernization of Coolidge Middle & High School. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, with completion planned for August, 2019. 
 
  Full Modernization of MacFarland Middle School
$16.9 million will be allocated in Fiscal Year 2018 to complete the full modernization of MacFarland Middle School.
 
  Two Ward 4 schools were placed on the Capital Improvement Plan:
- Dorothy Height Elementary School: $35 million in FY 2022 and FY 2023
- Raymond Education Campus: Advances to FY 2022 Capital Improvement Plan, with $66 million allocated
 
  Improvements to Shepherd Elementary School 
$9.3 million has been allocated to Shepherd Elementary School starting in FY 2018 and another $2.8 million in FY 2019 to make a much-needed investment to its gymnasium.
 
  Improvements to Petworth Recreation Center
$2 million has been allocated to install a new playground, basketball court, and splash pad at the Petworth Recreation Center. 
 
  Improvements to Upshur Recreation Center
$12 million is planned for FY 2023 to make significant improvements to Upshur Recreation Center. 
 
Additional Concerns on Capital Needs:
Expanded capacity for early childhood appropriate spaces needed at most elementary campuses especially those EC’s who will lose the middle grades students. 
Truesdell:  Is not ADA compliant and had only a limited modernization. It’s enrollment is 720 students.
LaSalle Backus – modernization was not completed. Large areas like the gym remain in original condition. With a large housing project going up right at South Dakota and Riggs its enrollment is already climbing.  They need additional pre K 3 and 4 classrooms especially as the middle school students will be leaving.  
 
The city’s Comprehensive Plan determines what we do for the next 20 years.  The final date for submitting comments in June 24th – please look at this and think about giving your feedback to the Office of Planning.  Plandc@dc.gov
 
Update on Cell Tower at Roosevelt:
The Department of General Services has provided this history of the contacts to the community on the cell tower installation over the last 4 years. 
 
ANC Meeting – December 14, 2011 – AT&T attended and presented at an ANC meeting.
ANC Meeting – January 2012 – AT&T attended the ANC regularly scheduled January meeting.  At this meeting ANC voted to support the application.
Public Hearing Date – October 23, 2012
-        Notice was provided of the public hearing by publication in the D.C. Register, by mail to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C, and by mail to surrounding properties. No parties appeared at the public hearing in opposition.   
Building Permit Issued – March 27, 2013
Lease - September 14, 2014
December 8, 2015 – Present – AT&T has been trying to construct
September 8, 2016 – Roosevelt Staff including Aqueelha James
December 7, 2016 – Follow up from AT&T to Roosevelt staff
December 22, 2016 – Roosevelt Athletic Director followed up with AT&T
 
School Nursing Program : This is the plan going forward from the Dept. of Health.  Look at your school’s allocation.  There will be a meeting next Wednesday night at Deal from 6 to 7pm.  Hope you can make it.
https://dmhhs.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dmhhs/publication/attachments/District%20School%20Health%20Services%20Program.pdf
 
No July Meeting.