Thursday, October 23, 2014

Will Arlington's Elementary Schools Become Country Day Schools?

Hey Yupette,

Latest about Abingdon Elementary School is the 'More Seats for Students' architects at APS and their good bud architects who design country day schools in upscale outer suburbs are going to make-over Abingdon, and many other Arlington schools, into Country Day Schools.

What's a 'Country Day School'? Origin of Country Day Schools was in the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th Century. So Country Day Schools are big on arts and crafts and other activities that don't directly relate to education (i.e., Sports). Most Country Day Schools are in the outer suburbs, or are in what were once the outer suburbs. So everyone drives to school, parents, staff, and teachers. That includes rituals like the daily drop-off and pick-up of students by parents in upscale SUVs.

Word about Abingdon is that a 1950-1970 vintage suburban elementary school that's needed a renovation for years is going to be massively made-over into an expensive boutique County Day School with lots of additional parking and a big parent drop-off and pick up area. All that will remain of the open space around the school will be a lighted multi-purpose athletic field. Most of the $28.75 million budgeted for Abingdon's renovation and expansion will go for expensive sports, recreation, and other activities.

But what else could you expect from a school system that has increasingly sacrificed trees and open space around schools to build parking lots and drop off areas for parents?

Karen, 22206