On July 12th, Kevin Clinton, Chief Program Officer, delivered the following testimony:
Good afternoon Chair White, Chair McDuffie, and Councilmembers. My name is Kevin Clinton and I am the Chief Operating Officer of the Federal City Council. I am here to testify in support of the disposition of the Wilkinson School to allow DC Prep to locate its Ward 8 middle school at the site so that it can open for the 2022-23 school year.
At the Federal City Council, we believe that high-quality schools should be given the opportunity to grow. DC Prep has a great track record for student success. Its other middle schools have been the highest performing in the city and all of DC Prep’s schools were rated Tier 1 by the PCSB. DC Prep is uniquely committed to the long-term success of its students, including all of the way through completing college.
As you’ve heard today in testimonies, the local community is on board. The Wilkinson site was identified as a good place for DC Prep after consultation with the Fort Stanton community after joining or hosting more than 20 community meetings. Last fall, the Fort Stanton Civic Association 2 and ANC 8B both authored letters of support. Parents and students that attend the nearby DC Prep elementary want their kids to continue on through middle school with DC Prep.
We urge the Council to act swiftly on this disposition. DC Prep’s Anacostia Elementary Campus opened in 2015, and its first cohort is aging up quickly into middle school. DC Prep explored another option which was opposed by the local community, and up until the summer of 2020, the school thought that it could stay in the Birney Building long term. Fortunately this opportunity at Wilkinson arose because the DC Infrastructure Academy will be moving to Spingarn.
DC Prep is already doing the background work to have the school up and ready by 2022-23 school year. It’s already working with DGS on the terms of a long-term lease, as well as hired an architect and general contractor to start the design work.
The Wilkinson campus is an underutilized city asset that would work perfectly as a new middle school. It’s what families and students want. It’s what the local community wants. DC Prep has proven it can elevate student achievement. They need the facility space to grow and continue to elevate achievement.