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River Terrace Students Testify Against Plans to Close Their School

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Published on Jan 19, 2011

On January 12, 2011 over 200 members of the River Terrace Community attended a public hearing regarding the proposed closing of their elementary school. Over 40 parents, teachers, students and members of the community testified. DCPS Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander were in attendance. Kaya Henderson was so impressed with the crowd that she said, "I'm impressed with you as a community. It's very clear that you support this school and that you're committed to this community. Everything you said resonates with me. I can't make any promises but I can promise you that what you said really spoke to my heart. If every community had this level of engagement DCPS would be the best District in the country. We're going to work towards that." The community was heartened when they were told that a decision to close the school or not would be put off for at least a year. In the interim, the school community worked to increase enrollment at River Terrace Elementary school, as this was the reason stated for the proposed closure, but they were thwarted at every turn by DCPS. Given Henderson and Alexander's pledges of support, the school community felt nothing short of betrayed when on December 16, 2011 Kaya Henderson announced that they had decided to close River Terrace after all. This video is just a small portion of the original hearing in which Henderson pledged to work with the community. Watch it and you'll understand why she would make such a pledge. Why she went back on her word (as I have no evidence that she was at all helpful with regards to community efforts to increase enrollment) is beyond me. If you're as curious as I am, give her a call at (202) 442-5885 or email her at Kaya.Henderson@dc.gov and ask her what's up. Or you could just tell her to reconsider, do the right thing, and leave this award winning school open. Yeah, that's right, award winning. Ask Michelle Obama about their healthy foods program.

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