On Wednesday, Mayor Bowser announced that Bard High School Early College DC (Bard DC) will be located at Davis Elementary School (4430 H Street, SE) in Ward 7 in school year 2019-2020.
The new partnership between DC Public Schools (DCPS) and Bard College will provide students the opportunity to earn college credit and an associate degree while earning their high school diploma, tuition-free.
“With Bard DC opening in Ward 7, we’re finding new ways to provide our young people with engaging academic experiences that set them up for long-term success,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are grateful for all the members of our community who worked with us to pick a location for the school’s first year, and we look forward to continuing that engagement as we choose a permanent location.”
After Mayor Bowser announced that Bard DC for would open next school year with a commitment to locate the school in either Ward 7 or Ward 8, DCPS conducted a community survey to help determine the school’s location. Of the 300 responses, the majority preferred a stand-alone location for the school, rather than sharing a location with another school. This feedback aligned with what DCPS heard at various community meetings, and led to the selection of Davis Elementary School as the temporary location for its first year of operation.
“We are thrilled that this citywide early college option will open in Ward 7 for its first year,” said Interim Chancellor Amanda Alexander. “We welcome Bard DC to the DCPS family, and look forward to partnering with them to ensure that our students not only have access to early college, but that they graduate high school prepared for college, career, and life.”
Bard DC is an application high school. These high schools, among the highest performing schools in the system, are open to residents city-wide, but do not disperse seats randomly through the My School DC lottery system. Rather, they select students to attend through a rigorous application process.
There are currently six application high schools in the District: Benjamin Banneker High School, Columbia Heights Education Campus (CEHC), Duke Ellington School of the Arts, McKinley Technology High School, Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School and School Without Walls (SWS, or Walls).
The admissions process at Bard will be unique; students will be admitted based on an essay and an interview, rather than test scores or grades.
Bard DC will open with a ninth-grade cohort and an eleventh-grade cohort, comprised of more than 150 students. Students can submit an application through My School DC. The Bard curriculum includes a two-year pre-college sequence in the ninth and tenth grades and a college curriculum in the eleventh and twelfth grades.
DCPS will continue to engage the community, families, and school leaders to plan Bard DC’s school opening and determine the permanent location. Safe passage, metro accessibility, and the school’s facility and amenities were the top three traits ranked most important to respondents of the community survey. A full summary of the survey responses was shared at the November Anacostia Community Working Group meeting and published on the DCPS School Planning blog: https://dcpsplanning.wordpress.com/.
All of Bard DC’s My School DC lottery applicants will be notified of this location decision and public-facing resources will be updated. DCPS’ priority is to ensure Bard DC has a strong school opening next year, and a smooth transition with Kimball Elementary School, the current occupants of Davis Elementary School. After a two-year modernization, Kimball staff and students will return to their home location for school year 2019-2020.