WASHINGTON — Despite months of protest from students, faculty, and parents, the Chancellor for DC Public Schools announced Thursday that Washington Met will close at the end of the school year.
The news prompted a group of students to walk out of class Thursday morning in protest, chanting "Save Washington Met!" and carrying signs that read "School closures disproportionately happen to black and brown communities."
Chancellor Lewis Ferebee originally announced a proposal to close the school on Nov. 26, 2019, which was met with outrage from some stakeholders. He cited low enrollment and achievement compared to DCPS's three other opportunity academies.
The district hosted two community forums to gather feedback and gave the public a chance to provide input until Dec. 20, 2019 -- which critics said was not nearly enough time.
In the letter released Thursday, Chancellor Ferebee said, in part:
"The closure of a school is never taken lightly...We are confident that this closure is in the best interest of students and families and will yield positive results. Throughout this transition, we will continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure students remain first."
According to the district, 157 students will now have to be transferred to other schools. Chancellor Ferebee said some will be moved to other Opportunity Academies, others to application schools, and the rest will be sent to neighborhood schools "with more programmatic offerings and student supports."
The Chancellor promised "individualized student support" during the transition.
In a previous interview, the State Board of Education representative for Ward 1, Emily Gasoi said she disagreed with the closure.
"It's a different population of students," Gasoi said. "Some of them have already tried the STAY academies, they tried their neighborhood schools, and they’re at Washington Met because that didn’t work for them."
Some students and staff said the fight is not over.