(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee announced the renaming of New North Middle School, a new school located on the Coolidge Education Campus in Ward 4, as “Ida B. Wells Middle School,” to honor Ida B. Wells, an iconic investigative journalist, civil rights activist, educator, and researcher. Today marks the 88th anniversary of Ida B. Wells’ passing. The renaming will require DC Council approval.
“The perfect way to open DC’s newest middle school in Ward 4 is to name it after Ida B. Wells, a teacher and path breaking civil rights icon,” said Mayor Bowser. “The community chose Ida B. Wells because they knew her namesake would inspire students to make their own dreams possible through education. We’re excited about the possibilities this new campus will provide our students.”
The Ida B. Wells Middle School opens next school year with a sixth grade class and will add a grade each year until it is a full sixth through eighth grade middle school in School Year 2021-2022. The school will serve the Brightwood Education Campus, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Takoma Education Campus, and Whittier Education Campus school committees. Families who live in the boundaries of these four education campuses, or who currently have children attending them, will be able to enroll their child at any time starting in April 2019 for the 2019-2020 School Year.
After spending the summer of 2018 collecting ideas and nominations from the public, DCPS worked with the Coolidge High School and the Ward 4 community to help evaluate and narrow down the nominations to 10 finalists. Most of the nominations came from parents, families, and community members in Ward 4, and a final survey was taken to select a winner.
“With the opening of our newest middle school, I am proud to be honoring a pioneering African-American woman who represents everything that we want our students to become,” said Chancellor Ferebee. “I thank the community members who have participated in the planning process for Ida B. Wells Middle School and look forward to welcoming our newest cohort of students in the Fall.”
In February, DCPS announced that Megan Vroman would serve as the Principal for the new Ida B. Wells Middle School. For almost four years, Principal Vroman has served as the principal at West Education Campus in Ward 4. In School Year 2016-2017, West EC doubled the citywide average in growth on PARCC scores in both ELA and math, and increased student satisfaction from 78 percent to 93 percent. Principal Vroman believes deeply that the role of educators is not only to prepare scholars for the academic rigor of college and beyond but also to develop citizenship and social skills that empower change agents for the community and the world.
For more information on the planning process for Ida B. Wells Middle School, please visit the DCPS School Planning website.