The word is out — officially. The reconstruction of Georgetown’s only public elementary school is scheduled for completion on Monday, July 1. The new Hyde-Addison is expected to open in August, on time (we’ll find out later if the project ended up on budget). A tour of the building is supposed to take place before July 4.
DC Public Schools made the much-anticipated announcement at the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting on Feb. 4. Officials also confirmed that elementary-school children now residing in Burleith would be assigned to attend Hyde-Addison — unless they are already at Stoddert Elementary in Glover Park, where they can stay for a year.
This marks a significant boundary change and the switch will be emotional for some.
“I am very concerned. I just got word that DCPS will NOT be making efforts to notify all the families whose boundaries will be shifted to Hyde,” wrote ANC 2E Commissioner Kishan Putta, who has a seat on the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Board.
“Burleith families have sent their children to Stoddert since the 1970s — about 45 years! In fact, after the local school here was closed and after an experiment with a five-school complex, Burleith chose to be exclusively in Stoddert’s boundary in the 1980s,” wrote Eric Langenbacher, Burleith Citizens Association president, to Lisa McCluskey, president of Stoddert’s Parent Teachers Organization. “A large majority of Burleith neighbors wanted to stay in the Stoddert boundary — and we also advocated for this in front of DCPS as much as we could.”
Stoddert has been facing an overcrowded situation, however, that the opening of Hyde-Addison to Burleith students is expected to ease. “I want to assure residents that if they currently attend Stoddert that they can stay but after this year all new students need to register for Hyde. Unless they lottery into Stoddert,” wrote McCluskey on Feb. 4.
“That said,” Langenbucher concluded, “we are now looking to the future and the state-of-the-art facilities that we will have at Hyde-Addison. I think we in Burleith are really excited about the new Hyde-Addison and forging a community school with our great neighbors in Georgetown.”
Meanwhile, a Bricks-4-Hyde fundraising campaign has been initiated by the school’s PTO to pave a walkway connecting the entire new campus from O to P Streets with personalized bricks. Bricks engraved with up to three-line honorariums can be purchased for $150 each (or three bricks for $350). The last day to order is March 1. For details, visit hydeaddisondc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school construction began in the summer of 2017 after some controversy. Parents had expected the “swing school” for displaced Hyde-Addison students to be nearby Hardy Middle School. But that was changed to Meyer Elementary across town, requiring the children to be bused.
A contentious meeting between parents and school officials in early 2017 also pointed out that some changes had been made to the school’s interior plans by the deputy mayor without consulting parent committees, who for years had been involved in the planning and approval process.