Wilson Feeder Working Group on Overcrowding: No Clear Solution

Earlier this year, a working group was formed to address school overcrowding in the Wilson Feeder network. The group met again last Tuesday to continue discussions with representatives from DC Public Schools. DCPS representatives discussed the projected growth in enrollment at schools that feed into Wilson High School, as well as Wilson itself, and how they might accommodate that growth in coming years, as DCPS works toward developing a Master Facilities plan.

Lafayette was one of two elementary schools that DCPS suggested might not have sufficient space to expand to meet projected growth by 2025. As a partial solution, DCPS said that Lafayette could add 65-75 additional seats by modifying internal spaces. However, future growth could exceed those numbers. According to DCPS, Janney faces a similar challenge, and Key and Mann require further study.

At the middle school level, DCPS representatives said they are considering trailers to accommodate expected growth at Deal, at least in the short term. DCPS officials also reported that Wilson High School cannot be expanded and might not be able to handle expected growth by 2025, although they did not discuss how they plan to address that problem.

The working group continued to discuss options for adding space, and various ideas have been floated and discussed with DCPS. DCPS also reported they are considering programmatic enhancements at other schools to potentially accommodate some of the growth that is projected to hit Deal and Wilson in coming years. For example, Coolidge High School is being renovated to include a selective academy that would start in the 9th grade when it reopens in 2019. The program would be expected to reduce OOB demand and attract students who might go to Wilson. DCPS also is considering a middle school selective academy at Coolidge.