Greater Greater Education

DC wants charters in 4 closed schools, and KIPP is interested

Charter schools could soon occupy 4 campuses which housed DC public schools until the latest round of school closings. KIPP DC, part of the highly successful national chain of charter schools, plans to make a bid for one of them, the Hamilton school in Ivy City near Ivy City and Gallaudet.


The 4 campuses. Map by the author from Google Maps base layer.

DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the DC Department of General Services (DGS) announced a request for offers (RFO) for the campuses: Hamilton, Shead Shaed Education Campus in Edgewood, Young Elementary School in Carver-Langston, and Winston Education Campus, in Hillcrest.

Existing public charter schools, or groups who have gotten conditional approval to create a public charter school, are eligible to bid. DC's goal is to locate high-performing charter schools in these communities. Of the 4 properties, only the Young campus is in an area with several existing, high-performing schools.

KIPP DC met with residents at Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Peta-Gay Lewis's Single-Member District 5D01 meeting Tuesday evening to discuss its plans. A new KIPP school, the Webb campus in Trinidad, will open this summer and serve 300 students, but there are 3,000 students citywide on KIPP's waiting list.


Location of current KIPP campuses in DC. Image from KIPP DC.

The Hamilton site would become a high school that could serve students coming from middle school at the Shaw, Webb, and Benning campuses. Any slots not filled by KIPP 8th graders would accept enrollment from students citywide.

The location is close to many of KIPP's existing middle schools, allowing it to feel more like a neighborhood school, officials said.

Parents of students at the nearby Two Rivers public charter school also said they have heard it may vie for the Hamilton site as well. Schools have to apply by August 14.

Corrections: The original version of this article misspelled the name of the Shaed school, and also said Hamilton is in Ivy City, when it is actually in the Florida Market or Union Market area near but (by most people's conception of the neighborhood) not strictly in Ivy City.

Martin Moulton is an education advocate who lives in the Shaw neighborhood. He is originally from California where he attended public, private and parochial schools. He works in the tech sector. A life long cyclist/non-driver, he serves on the board of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Moulton has served as a consultant to KIPP DC in its community outreach. 

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"More like a neighborhood school" is a bit disingenuous, considering that the school is on one of the most isolated parcels of land in NE, bounded in by Gallaudet's literally-walled-off campus on one side, the busy Brentwood Parkway (and DC Water's reservoir) on the other, and NY Ave forming a huge wall to the north.

Realistically, the school is not a part of any neighborhood. Definitely not Ivy City.

by andrew on Jul 18, 2013 1:46 pm • linkreport

Not a big deal, but it's spelled Shaed.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jul 18, 2013 2:33 pm • linkreport

@andrew: I think he means more like a neighborhood school in that there is a feeder pattern of middle schools into a high school.

This high school expansion is a big deal. KIPP made its name building middle schools.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jul 18, 2013 2:36 pm • linkreport

It's not in Ivy City, it's in the neighborhood that should now be known as Union Market. That said, they should be coming to ANC6C06 because those folks live closer to the Hamilton school than most.

by Sam Wang on Jul 18, 2013 3:09 pm • linkreport

@andrew: Actually, over 14,000 people live in the Ivy City/Trinidad neighborhood. I'm not sure what your definition of a neighborhood is, but people in the vicinity is a start.

by Jessica Christy on Jul 18, 2013 3:19 pm • linkreport

Before we get too far off track, let me just point out that the map Jessica linked to (thanks for the hard data, Jessica!) includes not only Ivy City and Trinidad, but also the Arboretum and Carver-Langston neighborhoods as well.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jul 18, 2013 3:24 pm • linkreport

Does this replace their earlier unsolicited proposal for the Randall Recreation Center on South Capitol Street?

by Payton C. on Jul 18, 2013 3:40 pm • linkreport

I don't understand why Stevens Elementary in the heart of downtown hasn't been reopened by DCPS or offered to charters. What's the deal with that?

And I maintain that it would be awesome to have a high school (KIPP or otherwise) on the United Medical Center property. They have too much space for the number of patients they serve and are desperate for money, since they attract almost no patients with private insurance or the money for discretionary services like midwives or cosmetic surgery. They've just approved a $200 million renovation plan, so now's the time to incorporate a school, which could pay rent and serve as a training program for future employees. They could even turn some of the giant parking lot into playing fields. It's not a long walk from the Southern Ave. metro and with a few sidewalk/crosswalk improvements it would be even better. I mentioned this to BB Otero (deputy mayor for health and human services) once but doubt this is tops on her agenda.

by sbc on Jul 18, 2013 8:04 pm • linkreport

@Payton C: The Hamilton campus is just one site KIPP DC is looking at. KIPP DC will keep all of its options open when looking for opportunities to serve the families represented on its growing waiting list, the students in the communities surrounding its schools, and helping to give more District students the support they need to get to and through college. The Randall site will be part of a small area plan study before it is redeveloped according to Mayor Gray.

by Martin Moulton on Jul 18, 2013 9:44 pm • linkreport

@Ward 1 Guy: while KIPP's model started with (and is still majority) middle schools, this would be their second high school in DC--and around their 20th overall.

by Jacques on Jul 20, 2013 7:28 am • linkreport

When Hamilton was a thriving junior high school they depended on everything on the east side H St from 3rd through 11th Street...the majority of the students came from trinidad and ivy city, montello avenue.

by Mr. Remember on Jul 20, 2013 1:01 pm • linkreport

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