“Garrison is Saved!”

I just received an email from the co-chair of our Education Committee, Evelyn Boyd Simmons, stating only the three words in that headline.

Garrison Elementary School has apparently been spared closure, as had been proposed by D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. (UPDATE: Here is the announcement.)

Any way you sliced it, there was no way Garrison deserved to be on the closure list. Within moments of Henderson’s proposal, a groundswell began that was propelled by the same people who had been fighting to improve Garrison long beforehand. ANC 2F was proud to partner with them to make our case, repeatedly and in detail.

I attended a meeting with Henderson a few weeks ago and asked her point-blank: She had been taking pains to note that the public input she was seeking was not just a kabuki dance (my term, not hers). She had been asking for solutions, not just rallies.  We offered compelling arguments, statistics and–yes–solutions.  In the final analysis, if she followed through on the closure of Garrison, would she be able to look us in the eye and tell us that she was truly listening?

At the time, she assured me she would be able to say exactly that.  While I await details, it turns out that she was true to her word, and I applaud her for that.

UPDATE: More details from WaPo. The list of 20 was ultimately pared down to 15. Ward 2’s Francis-Stevens was also spared.

From the article:

“Garrison will stay open in part because of parents’ commitment to help recruit new students and in part because of demographic information showing that the school’s Logan Circle neighborhood is growing faster than officials previously understood, Henderson said.

“Francis-Stevens Education Campus will remain open, the chancellor said, because its extra space will be filled by an expansion of the city’s selective School Without Walls. And Johnson Middle School will stay open because of safety concerns.”

Yep. She listeneed.

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