(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee, and Principal Kim Adutwum cut the ribbon on the newly renovated Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan in Ward 6. The Mayor also visited an outdoor classroom and joined students as they engaged in a science-focused lesson. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Mayor highlighted a $9 million investment in outdoor learning resources and other tools to support innovative in-person learning at DCPS. So far this school year, $4 million of those funds have been allocated to purchase outdoor furniture for schools.
“The teachers at Capitol Hill Montessori are making fantastic use of their indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and we also know that all of our DCPS schools are being intentional this school year about how we support students in spending more time outside,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’ve been back at school for over a week now, and I continue to be incredibly thankful and proud of how our school communities are handling the transition back. One thing I’ve seen at every school I’ve visited is happy children – children who are excited to be back with their teachers and friends.”
Capitol Hill Montessori, which enrolls students from all eights wards and serves primary, elementary, and middle school students, is the only dedicated DCPS Montessori school. The $61 million renovation will allow the school to grow from 400 students to 500 students by school year 2025. The renovation also significantly increased outdoor classroom space. All primary and lower elementary classrooms have dedicated outdoor spaces that act as extensions of the indoor classrooms. The dedicated spaces are designed to accommodate free play, exploration, experimentation and learning and provide a variety of natural elements, sensory experiences, plants and materials.
“I’m thrilled to welcome back Capitol Hill Montessori students to their modernized new facility that will further enhance the unique learning experience offered here to District students,” said Chancellor Ferebee. “During this first week back, we’ve been delighted to witness the joy on our students’ faces as they reunite with their friends and classmates. Here at Capitol Hill Montessori and at schools across the city, we can’t wait to see all that our students accomplish this year.”
In addition to adding outdoor space, the modernized Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan integrates storm water management into the outdoor classrooms, rain gardens, and play spaces using natural materials. This approach includes a rooftop turf play space on the western addition, which includes high semi-permeable screen walls to provide an enclosed play area. Construction on Capitol Hill Montessori began in September 2019 and ended just before the start of the 2021-22 school year.
“Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan’s design is intentional, to ensure that this historic building can best meet the current and future learning needs of District students,” said Department of General Services Director Keith A. Anderson. “I am pleased the energy-saving measures will further enhance the opportunity for future cost savings.”
Capitol Hill Montessori is one of 11 newly modernized or reopened schools that DCPS celebrated this school year. Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2022 approved budget invests nearly $1.6 billion over six years for school modernizations, small capital projects, and school expansions to address overcrowding.
Mayor Bowser was joined today by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, Director Anderson, members of the community, and representatives from R McGhee & Associates/Studio MB and MCN Build.