WASHINGTON, DC – DC Public Schools has seen its first enrollment increase in 39 years, announced Mayor Adrian Fenty and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Michelle Rhee today at a press conference.

“We are extremely excited about the changes occurring in our classrooms and families across the district are sharing that enthusiasm by enrolling their children in DC public schools,” Mayor Fenty said. “This historic reversal in enrollment proves that our hard work over the past three years has created quality schools that appeal to families and set a foundation for future growth.”

* 73 schools saw their enrollments rise this school year.

* Enrollment increased at schools in all 8 wards.

* Powell Elementary, Hardy Middle, Turner Elementary at Green, and Coolidge High are among those schools that saw significant increases, 32 percent, 24 percent, 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

* Early Childhood Education continues to be an area of growth: 481 more preschool and pre-kindergarten students enrolled this year versus last.

* Older students are choosing to remain in DCPS: there was no decrease in K-12 enrollment.

“Our neighborhood public schools are becoming an increasingly attractive option for families throughout the city seeking a quality education,” said Chancellor Rhee. “Inside and out, our schools are getting better and our test scores are improving. We still have a long way to go, but the stabilization we saw last year and the gains we’re seeing this fall illustrate that we are indeed moving in the right direction.”

As part of a more robust enrollment and recruitment push, every DCPS school held at least one open house during the 2009-10 school year. In addition, DCPS chose its second Recruitment Schools cohort, an initiative geared at ramping up enrollment at traditionally under-enrolled schools throughout the city through targeted media and community events.

DCPS will submit final enrollment numbers to the Office of State Secretary of Education (OSSE) today, to be released in detail at a later date.

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