.... WVSA ARTs connection
Educating young minds through the ARTs.
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SAIL works to address the needs of students with learning differences by providing creative learning environments. We have developed a specialized curriculum using the arts to help children learn in ways that match their learning styles, paying special attention to individual learning styles and specific need. Our focus is on developing the whole child, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially.

Studies demonstrate that children provided with a creative, flexible, and dynamic learning atmosphere engage more readily with the learning process and develop stronger problem-solving, comprehension, and life skills. Our students demonstrate the validity of this philosophy on a daily basis. Through the regular and comprehensive developmental assessments used to track student progress, we constantly refine each student's individual education profile and track the progress of our students.

At SAIL we not only address the needs of the child, we also make a special effort to reach out and support the parents by encouraging them to join in the learning process. Because we share a home with WVSA arts connection, our umbrella organization serving DC children and youth with special needs for over 25 years, we have access to a wealth of youth and family resources within our own buildings.

May 18, 2007 - UPDATE ON CLOSING

Dear SAIL Upper and High School Parents:

Thursday, May 17, the Washington Post reported that the DC Board of Education decided Wednesday evening to lease space to SAIL Upper and High School (and two other charter schools) at the Fletcher-Johnson Education Center for next school year only.

SAIL’s Board of Directors met in emergency session last evening, after staff visited Fletcher Johnson, to review this new development, and decided to uphold its decision to close the Upper and High School on June 21, 2007 because Fletcher Johnson does not meet the needs of your child and the program.

As background to the continued decision to close, the following is presented. We received no official notice from DCPS about the space. We don’t know how long it would take to get a lease or a plan to renovate the space to make it compatible with SAIL’s Learning model. We don’t know how the space would be divided among 3 schools. Also who would ensure the safety of all in such a large building, or if anyone can afford the rent/heat/lights, security, etc for the building. Additionally,

The building is predominately open space and would require partitions/walls to be installed, re-routing heating/air conditioning ducts and a security plan since the space is enormous— 300,000 sq ft (bigger than old Hecht’s building downtown) - our space at H street is 8,400 sq ft.

Sharing the building with two other schools could compromise your child’s safety, as it will be difficult to control whom is authorized to come in and/or move about in the building.

There are a very few windows in the building and almost none on the first level. Those on level two/three are small and @5 feet above floor level and are clouded and not transparent— minimal light comes in and you can’t see through them.

There is insufficient exterior lighting, and numerous safety related to the size of the building and the size of open space on the grounds of the building.

Lastly, it could take two months to get a lease and there is no guarantee that we could make any changes to the physical environment before school would start.

The above factors are a significant deterrent to taking the space. The Board based its decision on all the available information and closing SAIL is still the only choice.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any other questions. Thank you.


Esteban H. Morales, Principal
SAIL Upper & High School

Dear WVSA & SAIL supporter,

We have determined that to continue pursuing development of the 9th Street property presents a considerable financial strain that challenges the standards of excellence in the existing WVSA & SAIL programs. Therefore we have decided to focus on the quality of our Programs at our 16th Street property and indefinitely postpone the development of the 9th Street Property.

This difficult decision also results in closing the Upper and High School at the end of this school year. We understand that this is going to be a difficult time for our students and staff; therefore it is our desire to assist each individual student and staff with transitioning into a new suitable program and setting.

As we change our focus WVSA & SAIL will proudly be continuing to educate young minds through the arts and is looking forward to many new partnerships and programs in the upcoming year.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.

L. Lawrence Riccio, EdD

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