I am laying out my cards right here: I have a three year old at Francis-Stevens. I am pregnant, due early next year. My husband and I both work in downtown DC. We live in Ward 2.
My daughter grew up playing on the Francis-Stevens playground on the weekends, admiring the community garden, walking to the local West End library, flirting with the dogs at the park, and swimming at the pool. Francis-Stevens feels like home!
And I know I am not the only one! I’ve spoken with moms in the parks in the area (Stroller Brigade!) about how they would like to send their kids (and future kids!) to Francis-Stevens when they get old enough. The older grades may be under-enrolled now, but wait and see what the next 2-3 years brings—the rug rats will be ready for school very soon!
I think DCPS should engage the PTA and active FSEC parent community in a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan to build Francis Stevens into a robust public school option for young families. There is a very real need in Ward 2, and in the West End/ Foggy Bottom area specifically, for an elementary school. Our program is packed, and had a huge wait list last year. Condense the grades if you must, but please don’t rob a community of our neighborhood school!