WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The DC Council is considering a resolution to ensure students rezoned for the new Foxhall Elementary School do not have to travel further than their current commute to school.

It’s a way to specifically address the concerns of parents at Stoddert Elementary School, who fear the new school is not accessible to Glover Park residents.

Councilmember Mary Cheh introduced the “Sense of the Council on the Stoddert Elementary Addition Resolution of 2022.” Tuesday, Chairman Phil Mendelson held a public hearing on the resolution.

The resolution states three things, including the council’s opinion that the new Foxhall Village school, “cannot accommodate Glover Park families or other families within Stoddert’s catchment areas, as the new school is not reasonably accessible.” And, that DCPS should ensure “no family assigned to the new elementary school in Foxhall Village has a longer commuter to school than in their current catchment area.”

If passed, the resolution is not binding but a statement DC Public Schools is encouraged to follow.

“I was very grateful,” said Stoddert parent Lauren Welsh, who spoke at Tuesday’s hearing.

DC Public Schools is planning to build two new schools to address overcrowding, including Foxhall Elementary School. The school will be built at 1500 Foxhall Road NW.

According to current plans, some students from Stoddert, Mann and Key Elementary Schools will be rezoned to attend the school.

But, parents like Welsh believe this is bad for the Glover Park neighborhood where Stoddert is.

“It would have a whole cascading series of consequences for the residents of this neighborhood from dramatically increasing the morning commute to requiring a significant revision to the Stoddert boundaries,” said Welsh.

“It’s not going to make sense to leapfrog Stoddert families over blocks of families assigned to another school to assign them to the new Foxhall school,” she continued.

Parent Marie O’Hara agreed.

“As the crow flies, it doesn’t seem that far but we’ve really got two major parks that families would have to traverse through that are not designed for walking through,” said O’Hara.  “And then we’ve got busy corridors that are not well serviced by public transportation at this point. We’ve got lots of one and no car families in this community.”

Still, there is an overcrowding issue that needs to be addressed at Stoddert.

According to the resolution, 505 students were enrolled at Stoddert in February of 2020. Yet, the capacity is 339.

Council did approve funding to put an addition on to the school, but the addition does not fully address the overcrowding problem. The council resolution addresses this by stating, “the Stoddert addition must be built such that an additional story can be added when future enrollment requires it.”

“I’ve never seen an issue that’s made our community more worried and more afraid,” said Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Brian Turmail. “It almost feels like the DCPS plans are an existential threat to our sense of community. That splitting up the school will split up our community, or neighborhood.”

Turmail is hopeful the resolution, if passed, will make a difference.

“We just want to make sure the Stoddert community remains intact and that the district is making sensible investments in expanding capacity that work for the immediate future and also the long term future,” he said.