DC Schools Chancellor Visits


Chair Amber Gove (6A04) called the meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A to order at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE, with Commissioners Mike Soderman (6A03), Brian Alcorn (6A08), Ruth Ann Hudson (6A05), Sondra Phillips-Gilbert (6A07), Phil Toomajian (6A02), Stephanie Zimny (6A06) and Marie Claire Brown (6A01) in attendance.

Chancellor’s Presentation
Lewis Ferebee, chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), began his presentation to ANC 6A with a recitation of figures related to the recent growth in enrollment and improved performances across DCPS. He shared that DC Public schools are the fastest improving urban schools in the county, based on the fourth- and eighth-grade assessment exams. Between the 2018-19 and current school years, DCPS saw a 4% increase in enrollment, a trend that is predicted to continue into next school year. This growth, said Ferebee, is in schools across the entire District.

Ferebee touted the soon-to-open early childhood campus at Thaddeus Stevens School in Northwest DC that will offer programming for three to-four-year-olds and eventually have facilities for infants and toddlers.

DCPS, according to Ferebee, is in the initial phase of establishing a budget for the next school year. He advertised the use of Mayor Bowser’s recently introduced Pocket Budget Guide for fiscal year 2021. The guide, along with an explanation of its purpose, can be found by visiting www.dcps.dc.gov/release/mayor-bowser-launches-mobile-dcps-pocket-budget-guide-school-communities.

Ferebee announced a swing space to be located in Ward 5 between what was Spingarn Senior High School and Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. He apologized for any confusion felt by the community during the decision-making process, citing the complexities in choosing an appropriate site owing to factors such as ADA compliance, budgeting, suitability for future use and transportation of students, to name only a few.

Committee on Facilities and Procurement
The DC Council’s Committee on Facilities and Procurement, chaired by Councilmember Robert White, addresses a number of areas including contracting and procurement for all of the DC government, the Department of General Services (DGS), the council’s relationship with Metro and helping citizens return to life after incarceration, as well as the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Last fall, reported Shawn Hilgendorf, the committee’s director, the committee invited ANC commissioners and city agencies to a roundtable to discuss needs and challenges in performing their duties. Commissioners noted a need for IT support to maintain ANC websites as well as administrative support. They also noted that commissioners are not receiving adequate notice from government agencies regarding work happening within their respective ANCs, and often are not given an avenue to provide feedback.

In addition to hearing feedback, the Committee on Facilities and Procurement was able to increase allotments for the ANCs, for the first time since 2008, and expand funding for sign-language interpretation as well as foreign language interpretation and other communication access needs. The committee also invested in new technologies to support community outreach such as remote viewing of meetings for residents with limited mobility.

Questions and comments can be e-mailed to Hilgendorf at s.hilgendorf@dccouncil.us.

Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee
The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter to the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Management Agency in support of the 2020 Capitol Hill Classic.

The commissioners tabled adding the comments of the TPS Committee to those of the Economic Development and Zoning Committee (EDZ) regarding the DC Comprehensive Plan and submitting the comments.

The commissioners voted to send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in opposition to the application (#343819) for a driveway through public space at the rear of 1518 North Carolina Ave. NE. The commissioners voted, in a 5-2 decision, to table sending a letter to DDOT asking for enforcement of District of Columbia Municipal Regulation (DCMR) 24-102 with respect to an overgrown hedge at 100 14th St. NE for safety reasons. The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter to DDOT requesting the online 311 number be modified to facilitate reporting of public space violations.

The TPS Committee meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G St. NE (photo ID required).

Economic Development and Zoning (EDZ) Committee
The commissioners voted, unanimously, to table altering or amending a letter of opposition to DDOT for an application, pursuant to 11 DCMR Subtitle X, for special exceptions under the residential conversion requirements of Subtitle U §320.2, under Subtitle C §1504 from the penthouse setback requirements of Subtitle C §1502.1, and under Subtitle C §703.2 from the minimum parking requirements of Subtitle C §701.5, to permit the construction of a fourth apartment and the installation of new rooftop mechanical equipment, in an existing three-unit apartment house at 653 Eighth St. NE/807 G St. NE (BZA #20190) in the RF-1 Zone, based on the fact that there would be fewer than 250 square feet on the lot per unit.

The commissioners voted, unanimously, to submit changes to the DC Comprehensive Plan to create a development zone around the Arboretum, to update the plan to address all micro-mobility technologies, including scooters, and asked that the plan be updated to maximize the use of the RFK Stadium site to benefit the community as a whole, including changes which were submitted by Capitol Hill Village.

The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter to real estate agents active on Capitol Hill informing them of the residential parking permit restrictions in place for any address on H Street.

The EDZ Committee meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G streets NE.

Other Business
The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter of support to Clifford Dixon, permit expeditor, regarding permits for excavation, foundation and building for:

  • An after-hours permit application that would allow work by the Eliot-Hine Middle School construction team to start at 6 a.m., Monday through Saturday.
  • Authorization to work on the following holidays in 2020 to ensure the ability to meet the construction schedule: Washington’s Birthday, 02/17; DC Emancipation Day, 04/16; Memorial Day, 5/25; Independence Day, 7/3; Labor Day, 9/7; Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 10/12; Veterans Day, 11/11.

The commissioners voted, six in favor, with Commissioner Toomajian abstaining, to send a letter to DDOT urging the Public Space Committee to temporarily halt all scheduled deployments of small cells within ANC 6A until DDOT and the carriers provide a detailed method of procedures to the community clearly outlining the carriers’ initial and annual testing and validation plans.

The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter to DDOT objecting to insufficient notice with respect to Permit Tracking# 346179 Review# 641311, 1387 North Carolina Ave. NE, and asking that the due date be extended to March 16, 2020, so that the ANC can discuss with applicant and present an informed opinion at a publicly noticed ANC meeting.

Visit www.anc6a.org for calendar of events, changes of date/venue, agendas and other information.