By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, mgreen@afro.com

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and her administration were busy throughout the city cutting ribbons and welcoming teachers and students to new facilities on the first day of school.

The mayor began the day leading a “Slow Down” campaign at Lincoln Park, encouraging motorists to take heed to speed limits, school zones and use caution as children and families are back on the road commuting to school.  

Mayor Bowser participates in ribbon cuttings and openings at fully modernized schools in Washington D.C.

“Every new school year is exciting because each school year brings new opportunities to make every day count,” Mayor Bowser said according to a press release.

As part of the new school year, the mayor participated in ribbon cuttings and openings at fully modernized schools such as Maury Elementary and Kimball Elementary, and shared plans for the future. 

“This year, we are proud and excited to once again be welcoming students and families across D.C. back to new and modernized buildings, but we are also proud of the new programs we are rolling out. From our early college academies to our Connected Schools, we are finding and funding new ways to support our families and set our young people up for success, both inside and outside the classroom.”

Maury Elementary, in Ward 6, underwent $59 million in renovations, which will now offer its 540 students new classrooms, a state-of-the-art media center and maker space, indoor and outdoor play areas and a green roof to support the District’s sustainability goals. 

Kimball Elementary in Ward 7, received $55 million worth of modernization to support the school’s STEM focus with a FoodPrints food prep lab, science workshop, and maker space. In addition, Kimball students will also have outdoor learning opportunities with an outside classroom and two rooftop terraces.

Students at Hyde-Addison Elementary School, the new Ida B. Wells Middle School and Calvin Coolidge High School all also kicked off their school years in fully renovated and modernized buildings.

“I am excited to welcome students, families, and educators back to DCPS with newly modernized school buildings, innovative programming and strategic investments,” said D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “This school year, DCPS will be focused on how we accelerate outcomes for our students furthest from opportunity, keeping equity and transparency at the heart of our work, and setting every student up for success in college and career.”