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The River School’s Proposed New Campus: Feedback and Responses

The River School

Additional feedback can be submitted through our Community Input Form.
Question NumberCategoryFeedbackResponse
1Traffic and ParkingI am very excited for the River School to join my neighborhood. The new location will allow me to walk or bike my daughter to school instead of driving through the area to take her to Palisades. River’s plans appear to be very conscious of local traffic and designed to minimize disruption. Thank you for your thoughtful efforts, and for this portal for enhanced community engagement.Thank you very much for your comment. The site's accessibility by a variety of travel modes--including transit, biking, and walking--is a key attribute of the new campus location and is central to our planning. While our transportation study is still ongoing, we have developed a comprehensive and effective transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses.
2GeneralAs a new family to River this year, what has impressed me the most is the school's clear communication, genuine interest in feedback from the community, and thoughtful, evidence-based policies. I'm certain these same qualities will continue to guide its planning of a new campus and I think the location on Nebraska has so much potential. In particular, I am grateful to finally have a Metro stop nearby. We previously attended a school very close to a stop on the red line, and many families, including my own, used it. What a great way to reduce environmental impact and offer connectivity to families and staff all over the city who may not want or have the ability to drive across town twice a day. It truly expands the options of who can drop off or pick up a child when that person doesn't need to drive a car, and reduces the need for parking, especially for staff. The Metro could even be used for field trips, reducing the need for busses or other transportation and opening up the city to our students. I trust that the rest of the campus will be optimally designed for the mission it serves, which is a truly unique one in the region. River isn't "just another school," it's a wonderful, dynamic community that I'm sure is more than capable of handling this transition as it always does, with genuine care and creative solutions.Thank you very much for your comment. The proximity of the site to the Tenleytown Metro station is a critical benefit of our proposed relocation to 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW. We are committed to developing a wide range of policies and incentives that will actively and effectively encourage members of our community to take advantage of the multiple travel modes available besides driving to campus--including transit, biking, and walking. While our transportation study is still ongoing, we have developed a comprehensive and effective transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses.
3Enrollment and Program PlansWe love to see The River School expanding to a new campus to grow their program! The impact they have on children, from the youngest students (like my son), to the oldest students, is unbelievable. The more children and families they can influence, the better.Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills.
4GeneralThe addition of The River School to the neighborhood will be a significant benefit. I lived in the Palisades for many years and River was such a gift to the community. The children and families are community-oriented and the school has a significant neighborhood focus. Having River in the Palisades also drew families of kids with hearing loss to move into the area, enriching the diversity of the community. After moving to Bethesda, I missed living in the same community as River.Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of its demonstrated commitment to the communities of which it is a part, and we look forward to establishing strong and meaningful relationships with the residents of the Tenleytown neighborhood as an active contributor to the vitality of the community.
5GeneralAs a resident of AU Park, I would like to add my support for the new campus. AU Park/Tenleytown is not a suburb. It is located in a major city, accessed by three major commercial streets (Wisconsin Ave, Massachusetts Ave, River Road). The more people visit and enjoy our little enclave of DC, frequent our restaurants and shop at our local businesses, the better off we all are. An anti-growth mindset has hampered development throughout the neighborhood, leaving empty lots and storefronts where we might otherwise see businesses, schools or other attractions.

In my experience, schools rarely present parking issues for neighbors except during morning drop-off (when most local residents are already parked/leaving for the day) and afternoon pick-up (when most local residents are at work/ or are already parked). The timing of the parking demands posed by schools are not at all similar to restaurants or other establishments. Moreover, carpool and parking commitments can adequately deal with these time frames (as well as any evening events that may result in people parking in the neighborhood).

I have no affiliation with the River School, but know of its strong reputation as a unique place of learning for hearing-impaired youth. I think the River school's plan is well suited to the space and should be allowed to proceed. Thank you.
Thank you very much for your comment. We agree wholeheartedly that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities. We are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to being an active and engaged member of the Tenleytown community. We understand the concerns residents may have about traffic and transportation-related issues, and are working proactively and collaboratively to address them. While our transportation study is still ongoing so we can refine our plan, we have developed a comprehensive and effective core transportation demand management strategy to address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses.
6GeneralAs a local resident I could not be happier with this location. While technically residential, it's position on Nebraska alleviates any traffic concerns full stop. The architects have done a wonderful job respecting the residential neighbors to the north, building drop-off traffic capacity within the confines of the property, while designing facilities that are functional, practical, and true to Nebraska Avenue's design norms. What a wonderful balancing act. Kudos.Thank you very much for your comment. Our team has developed a plan for the campus, and continues to revise it based on feedback, that ensures the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. While our transportation study is still ongoing so we can refine our plan, we have developed a comprehensive and effective core transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses.
7GeneralThank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide my support for the new River plan! The River School is exceptional in many ways. Not only does it provide a top notch education to our daughter but has an exceptional (and thinly staffed) administration and phenomenal teachers. River school is not a private school who tells parents what they want to hear, they walk the walk and provide an inclusive community and a nurturing environment not only to our student but to the entire family. I was disappointed to see misinformation posted stating that the River School markets itself as being a school for children with hearing impairments. That is not true. An essential mission to the River School is to provide therapy and education to children with hearing impairments. They not only provide one on one therapy to River students but offer their services to the broader community starting at a young age and River's curriculum, which has been adopted by many others, revolves around this mission. Thank you River School for everything you have done for my family and congratulations to the AU community for getting such a wonderful school in your neighborhood!!!!!Thank you very much for your comment. We encourage you to refer to the project website at https://riverschool.net/proposed-new-campus/ for the most up-to-date and accurate information about the proposed new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills.
8Campus Development PlanI would like to submit this note of support for the River School's proposed new campus. My daughter began her educational journey at the River School in 2011 and they were already operating in cramped quarters. Though I loved how creative the teachers and administration were with their space, it was clear to me at the time that the lack of space would be a hindrance to a full range of activities; forget about considering growth, there was no room. As well, the existing location is less than ideal for play time or outside exercise as there is no green space at the property beyond the rooftop. As I recall, the closest park was a few blocks away and required crossing MacArthur Blvd - a scary proposition for the littlest ones. The grounds of the proposed location look lovely and eliminate the need to cross any street for outside activities. Unfortunately traffic is awful everywhere but a move from MacArthur Blvd would improve the pick up and drop off experience for parents and caregivers by eliminating the nightmare of navigating traffic (as it was pre-pandemic) to reach the very small space at the entrance of the school.

I'm sorry the River School community is facing opposition from the community surrounding this proposed location but that seems to be the norm in DC no matter where a school hopes to relocate. I hope the River School's proposal for the Nebraska Avenue location will be approved.
Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is very excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW would provide our community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. The additional space would allow us to extend our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to students through Grade 6--enabling River to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education at a critical stage in the development of children's writing and critical thinking skills. In addition, as you noted, the campus would provide ample open and green spaces, creating opportunities for River students to explore, create, and learn in a natural environment. With respect to traffic-related issues issues, while our transportation study is still ongoing so we can refine our plan, we have developed a comprehensive and effective core transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the communities of which we are a part, and we look forward to being an active and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
9GeneralWhen I was starting out as a teacher, working at a new school for young children, we took a tour of the River School. We learned about different and effective ways to teach children and especially about the importance of inclusive environments where children learn through play. It was a great visit and helped our school a lot in its first year!Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills.
10GeneralI think the new River School campus will be a beautiful addition to the area. It is an amazing opportunity for River School to expand its model of learning for children with and without hearing loss. I look forward to seeing a the new building on that corner of Nebraska Ave.Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. Our team continues to strive to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood, and we look forward to being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community.
11Neighbor RelationsPersonally, I feel like The River School will fit nicely within the Tenleytown neighborhood. There are already a number of schools here and honestly, it's nice walking my kids to school every morning along with other neighborhood families. I never knew how much I would enjoy this until COVID hit. Most schools went virtual but my kids' school opened up full-time after Labor Day last year. I'm extremely grateful for this but it also highlighted how much I missed all the smiling faces on our morning walks. I missed seeing children scootering and parents taking their dogs for walks while dropping their kids off at school. After the new year, I noticed more schools started opening up and I'm again seeing that strong sense of community. At 8:20 am, I see crowds walking through the neighborhood. Cars slow and they also are more aware of pedestrians because most of these cars are transporting their own children to school. I live on a main street so I'm always nervous about cars speeding and not paying attention, but having lived here several years, I feel safe walking my kids to/from school each day.

In the same theme of community, will The River School playground be open to the neighborhood after school hours and on weekends? Several schools do this already and it's nice having a variety of play options.
We agree wholeheartedly that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities. We are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to being a contributing and engaged member of the Tenleytown community. Community use of campus open spaces is something The River School is interested in exploring as we work through the regulatory approval process over the coming months.
12Neighbor RelationsWill any facilities (i.e. gymnasium) be available to rent for private events when school is not in session?The potential for private use of campus facilities will be addressed as we work through the regulatory approval process over the coming months.
13GeneralAs a River School grateful grandparent for 9 years and a resident of ANC 3D, I am saddened at the virulent, inflammatory signs that dot our wonderful, welcoming neighborhood. The River School and its respectful families will not be a problem for this neighborhood and the River School planners are extremely well aware of the need for responsible traffic planning. I surely hope reason and accommodation will prevail.We agree wholeheartedly that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities. We are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to being an active and contributing member of the Tenleytown community. We understand the concerns residents may have about traffic and transportation-related issues, and are working proactively and collaboratively to address them. While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) study is still ongoing, we have already outlined an aggressive transportation demand management strategy to address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses.
14Campus Development PlanI attended the ANC meeting last night. I am so excited that the school is trying to, and hopefully will, move to to my neighborhood. I would love to join a tour of the proposed site next time there is one. Also, I am in favor of preserving the historic mansion on the site. The apartment building I live in was built in the same year, and I love it. This is an historic neighborhood of DC, and it’s a culturally richer place when significant original buildings from throughout the years can remain. I didn't realize that the mansion is there, and when I heard it mentioned at the meeting I realized that that is what’s in that mystery space. I think I heard a reference to the preservation of it. Do you plan to preserve it?

I drove on that piece of Warren St. the other day because of the temporary closure of Yuma St., and realized there is not much there. It seems to me it’s an ideal place for the school because the quiet street can accommodate new traffic. I imagine I will not be impacted by the traffic because I live around 43rd and Chesapeake, but it sounds like the traffic will be spread out over some hours in the morning and some hours in the evening, but the middle of the day will be quiet as it is now. To the extent I am affected, I love seeing kids walking to school and biking to school and walking with their parents to school. It makes this neighborhood alive!

How cool for your students to be across the street from a law school, near other schools and a university, near an embassy, near a metro and several churches, have lots of green space, be in a safe neighborhood, be near Fort Reno, be at a top school at “the top of the town.”

I think it would be good for Tenleytown Main Street businesses, too, to have your families in the neighborhood every week.
The River School is committed to preserving and renovating the historic mansion house (as well as several other existing structures and features) and developing new academic facilities that are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. Over the past several weeks, our team has been working to address feedback from the community, as well as comments received from the DC Historic Preservation Review Board. As a result, our design and landscape concepts have evolved significantly since our February BZA filing and we are excited to share them with members of The River School and Tenleytown communities. We anticipate holding an information and listening session to present our revised concept plans in late June 2021 (Please check back to our Proposed New Campus website in the coming weeks for the meeting date and time). While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) study is still ongoing, we have outlined an aggressive transportation demand management strategy to address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and to encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses and to being a contributing and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
15Traffic and ParkingIt appears that the traffic study was done on a day when Janney Elementary is not in session and numbers are also affected by diminished travel during Covid. To get an accurate sense of how the new school may impact neighborhood traffic, it seems these factors need to be taken into account.The River School is committed to preserving and renovating the historic mansion house (as well as several other existing structures and features) and developing new academic facilities that are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. Over the past several weeks, our team has been working to address feedback from the community, as well as comments received from the DC Historic Preservation Review Board. As a result, our design and landscape concepts have evolved significantly since our February BZA filing and we are excited to share them with members of The River School and Tenleytown communities. We anticipate holding an information and listening session to present our revised concept plans in late June 2021 (Please check back to our Proposed New Campus website in the coming weeks for the meeting date and time). While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) study is still ongoing, we have outlined an aggressive transportation demand management strategy to address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and to encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses and to being a contributing and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
16Traffic and ParkingI appreciate that you are doing a traffic study via Wells and Associates. The impact on traffic in the area is a big concern and getting an accurate assessment of normal patterns and a prediction of potential post-new campus patterns is key. Unfortunately, you chose a date that will give you a hugely underreported and unrepresentative assessment of the traffic in this area. You chose a Wednesday in May (the 19th I believe). First of all, May 2021 is radically different than we hope the future school year will be. May 2021 has most families in the area still working from home and many area children still learning remotely (or only rarely in the building). The baseline traffic pattern will be dramatically low. Second, Wednesdays in 2021 are days when NO DCPS students go to school at all. Again lowering the traffic pattern levels. Please inform the community when you will be redoing this study or how Wells and Associates will incorporate this into the study. Additionally, as a resident of Warren Street, I am very concerned about the traffic coming from Mass ave across the city towards Van Ness. I believe it is the one of the only places on Mass where you can turn into AU Park directly with a light. I'm worried it will be come a massive thoroughfare if there are hundreds of families trying to get too and from school each day.
Wells + Associates, the transportation consultant for The River School, conducted traffic counts in the vicinity of 4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW on Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20, 2021. These traffic counts are in addition to traffic counts taken in February 2020 prior to the beginning of the pandemic. Traffic counts conducted prior to the pandemic in February 2020 covered AM and PM commuter peak periods but not the PM school peak period. The counts conducted on May 19 and May 20, 2021 included counts for the PM school peak period, as well as repeating the counts during the AM peak period. The AM peak period counts taken on May 19 and May 20, 2021 will be compared to the counts conducted in February 2020 and adjustment factors will be developed and applied to the PM school peak period counts to "grow" the data collected on May 19 and May 20, 2021 such that it is comparable to non-pandemic conditions. Additionally, traffic associated with GDS and Sidwell’s consolidated campuses will be explicitly accounted for in our traffic forecasts along with projected traffic from 5 other approved, but as yet, unbuilt projects in the area. This methodology is consistent with industry-wide standards and DDOT requirements. With respect to the concerns raised about traffic coming from Massachusetts Avenue toward Van Ness, these traffic volumes and patterns will be studied as part of our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR), which is now underway.
17Traffic and ParkingToday before 8AM we witnessed your contractor from Wells and Associates setting up a traffic tracker on the corner of Warren and 42nd Streets, NW. When approached he told us that the traffic counter would be up for one day from 8AM-7PM. The public schools in the area are at limited to no in-person school on Wednesdays so there are no cars or buses (metro buses that take kids to and from Deal and Wilson) related to Janney, Deal, Wilson, Horace Mann, Hearst, Key, Eaton, Murch or Stoddert on the local roads. In addition, GDS and NPS have limited in-person school on Wednesday's. Several of the private schools along River are also on limited to no in-person school on Wednesdays. And, American University and their Law School do not have any students on campus.

At the ANC led meeting with the River School on on April 22, 2021, and the ANC monthly meeting on May 13, 2021, ANC representatives and community members clearly communicated to you and your representatives that any transportation studies performed by Wells and Associates, on behalf of the River School, now or during COVID-restricted-time would be inaccurate and invalid. Not only did Wells and Associates choose to begin the data collection during a COVID-impacted period of time, but also on a Wednesday, which is the day that the AU Park/Tenleytown neighborhood, that is normally filled with students and the families from the public schools on weekdays, has immensely reduced people and car traffic because they are all virtual so not only are they not at school in person BUT they are not even out and about because they have classes at home.

Given that a huge portion of the neighborhood is not currently supportive of your plan to purchase the estate and build a new private school in the area, the fact that you set up data collection today the way you did, and word got out fast, simply leads the community to believe that you do not have any interest in the community you wish to join and potentially significantly negatively impact for years to come.
Wells + Associates, the transportation consultant for The River School, conducted traffic counts in the vicinity of 4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW on Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20, 2021. These traffic counts are in addition to traffic counts taken in February 2020 prior to the beginning of the pandemic. Traffic counts conducted prior to the pandemic in February 2020 covered AM and PM commuter peak periods but not the PM school peak period. The counts conducted on May 19 and May 20, 2021 included counts for the PM school peak period, as well as repeating the counts during the AM peak period. The AM peak period counts taken on May 19 and May 20, 2021 will be compared to the counts conducted in February 2020 and adjustment factors will be developed and applied to the PM school peak period counts to "grow" the data collected on May 19 and May 20, 2021 such that it is comparable to non-pandemic conditions. Additionally, traffic associated with GDS and Sidwell’s consolidated campuses will be explicitly accounted for in our traffic forecasts along with projected traffic from 5 other approved, but as yet, unbuilt projects in the area. This methodology is consistent with industry-wide standards and DDOT requirements. With respect to the concerns raised about traffic coming from Massachusetts Avenue toward Van Ness, these traffic volumes and patterns will be studied as part of our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR), which is now underway.
18Neighbor RelationsThe neighbors do not support the size and scope of your plan. The community directly surrounding the residential property that you would like to purchase already has many schools including numerous public schools. In addition, there is a large community of people aging in place. The corner you have chosen is not the right place for your school. Your school simply does not fit.Our public schools in the neighborhood are overcrowded and DCPS has plans to consider moving neighborhood children who walk or bike to school each day out of the neighborhood each day potentially to new neighborhoods where they would have to drive to as there is no metro. Public school families chose to move to Au Park/Tenleytown because of the community schools. You are not nor will you be a community school.

Currently the neighborhood has:
1. Janney (public) 739 students
2. Deal (public) 1,475 students
3. Wilson (public) 1,829 students
4. St. Columba’s nursery school (private)
5. Georgetown day school (private) 1,075 students
6. National Presbyterian school (private) 293 students
7. National Presbyterian school child care center (NPSCCC) (private)
8. AU Law (private) 1,406 students
9. Broadcasters child development center (private)
10. Communikids (private)
11. American University (private) 12,912 students (does not include law campus)
12. Wesley theological seminary (private)
14. American University child care center (private)
15. Methodist Church School (private)
16. Washington School of Ballet Tenley campus (mostly afternoons/nights and weekends) (private)
17. Horace Mann (public) 397 students
18. St. Albans child care center at st. Ann’s (private)

Other:
1.Tenley public library (daytime and evening events for children and seniors)(public)
2. Iona senior center
3. Friendship terrace assisted living
4. Tenley Friendship park (turtle park)- daytime children under school age, after school, evenings, camps

There are many other locations in 20016 and other communities that would welcome your school. This Au Park/Tenleytown neighborhood does not need another school.
The River School team has been working directly with a wide range of stakeholders--including nearby and adjacent neighbors, many of whom have expressed support, as well as the DC Historic Presevation Review Board--to ensure our renovation of the historic mansion and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and the surrounding neighborhood context. As a result of this collaborative effort, our design and landscape concepts have evolved significantly since our February BZA filing, and we look forward to sharing them with members of the Tenleytown community. We anticipate holding a community information and listening session to present our revised concept plans in late June 2021 (Please check back to our Proposed New Campus website in the coming weeks for the meeting date and time). We, along with many residents of the Tenleytown neighborhood, firmly believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses and to being an active and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
19Traffic and ParkingI live in Tenleytown, close to Georgetown Day School, and I have watched the traffic impact as GDS consolidated. Although there has been an effect, it is not nearly what I had feared when the project was first proposed. I think the net result is good for the neighborhood. I should point out I have no connection to the River School, and I have been a resident of Tenleytown for over fifteen years. I took a walk today past the proposed River School campus. It strikes me as a perfect place for a school. First, I noticed that most of the property faces Nebraska Ave, which already has traffic from AU, the DHS complex, National Presbyterian and its school, other churches, AU Law School and connections to points beyond. Nebraska is a large road that can handle this traffic, especially because these sites have different times for peak traffic. Second, I noted the two traffic circles DC has built along 42nd St. These circles act as good neighborhood traffic-calming devices. I cannot imagine drivers using that part of 42nd St to cut through Tenleytown. And if a handful of neighbors should use 42nd St to deliver children to the River School, the flow will be insignificant. Van Ness St also adjoins the property. Here too, the relative narrowness of Van Ness and its frequent stop signs mean drivers will prefer the flow of Nebraska Ave instead of Van Ness to access the school, again, save for a handful of parents who might live in Tenleytown. Third, the immediate Nebraska Ave neighbors of the River School property seem to be two or three houses to the east and one house to the west, although the houses are set so far back from Nebraska that it is difficult to see them. These houses are on large properties with landscaping that will be a buffer from the school space. Fourth, although I understand the potential River School property is currently zoned residential, probably because there is a house on the property now, it is not as if the River School plot is in the middle of a dense residential area. In fact, as I noted, except for three or four neighboring houses, the AU Law School, National Presbyterian site, DHS complex and AU itself all make this property part of an education and office corridor. The plot would be absurd for a used car lot or drive-through liquor store, but a school is completely consistent with the other properties in the immediate vicinity. Finally, I want to give some credit to the DC traffic planners. They listen to neighborhood concerns and try different approaches to balance traffic patterns and users. They have many tools at their disposal, from speed bumps and stop signs to one-way patterns, street closures and intersection realignments. As the neighborhood has evolved over time, they have been most willing to adjust traffic usage. And they are willing to change to adapt to shifting usage. I think we need to give them some opportunity to develop alternative traffic designs. Having lived in this neighborhood for years, I know some people react immediately to any potential change with concern for the impact on traffic and a concomitant fear of safety. But numerous construction projects have succeeded without serious harm. Perhaps my tenure in the neighborhood has given me perspective. This neighborhood is not what it was in 1820, nor 1920; I think it is much better now. (I am a long-time resident but not quite that long.) Although John Tenally might have resisted having the Middle C Music store built on the spot where his tavern originally stood, I think the vibrant mix of homes, stores, schools, offices, churches, parks and restaurants is great. But every neighborhood changes. We have to recognize that as a neighborhood evolves it will be different. We can wish for a return to some bygone era, but that simply won't happen. So we need to help change makers contribute to positive growth in our area. In my mind, the River School would be a fantastic addition, another bright flower that marks this part of the city as a garden of many, varied educational opportunities. We should work with them to ensure that the change is gentle on the neighborhood. And we should thank them for the contribution they will make.Thank you very much for your comment. We believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities, and are very excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW would provide our community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. We understand the concerns residents may have about traffic and transportation-related issues, and are working proactively and collaboratively to address them. While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) study is still ongoing, we have already outlined an aggressive transportation demand management strategy to address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. Finally, we are proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses, and to being a contributing and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
20General FeedbackAs a current River School parent of two children I am thrilled about the plans for the River School to expand and be closer to where we live. We have been at River for three years and our children and our family have been able to thrive during that time. It is an amazing community of excellent teachers and families that are engaged and kind. Giving more children the opportunity to attend River for a longer period of time will help families but also the new neighboring community. River will be an exceptional addition.Thank you for your comment. The River School is very excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW would provide our community as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. The additional space would allow us to extend our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to students through Grade 6--enabling River to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education at a critical stage in the development of children's writing and critical thinking skills. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses, and to being a contributing and engaged member of the Tenleytown community.
21Traffic and ParkingIf Rock Creek Park stays closed, there will be even more traffic on Nebraska Avenue from families that need to cross the park using Military to Nebraska to get their kids to public and private schools in Ward 3 such as Sidwell, Duke Ellington, Burke, Deal MS, Wilson HS, St Albans, NCS, etc. I drove that direction today around 7:45am and we had to wait through three lights to cross Connecticut Avenue. Public schools aren't even in session yet on a full-time basis!Thank you very much for your comment. This input will inform our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR), which is now underway. Additional information about the CTR will be discussed at a transportation-focused information and listening session on 4:00pm on Thursday, July 1. You can register to attend this session here. We encourage you to check back on our Proposed New Campus Portal to remain informed of the latest project updates and additional community information and engagement opportunities over the coming months.
22Traffic and ParkingPlease keep me informed about next community meetings. I listened to the Transportation presentation a few months ago and haven't heard anything since. I believe the transportation plan is seriously flawed. You need to do an assessment of traffic flow based on your current enrollment to better understand how this will work. You have the data in your student records and your transportation consultant can model the scenario. The concept that many student come from 2016 and therefore might be people who walk to school was actually laughable.

I was walking along Nebraska in front of NPS yesterday at 3PM and there was constant flow of traffic. NPS parking lot was jammed at a stand-still with parents picking up. I don't see how you think the carpool pick up line will be a flow of moving cars.

Look forward to participating in the next community meeting. Thank you.
Thank you for your comment. We encourage you to check back on our project webpage at https://riverschool.net/proposed-new-campus/ to remain informed of the latest project updates and community information and engagement opportunities. With respect to your comments regarding transportation issues, as discussed at the April 22, 2021 information and listening session, Wells + Associates (The River School's transportation consultant) is in the process of conducting a detailed and thorough traffic study consistent with the requirements of DDOT and is specifically working to evaluate concerns raised by members of the surrounding community. In addition, The River School has agreed to expand the number of intersections included in the study area significantly beyond what DDOT requires, in response to a request from ANC3E Commissioner McHugh. Such a comprehensive study takes time. We believe all stakeholders, including members of the community, deserve a thoughtful, well-prepared transportation study – not something that is haphazardly put together in a hurry. As such, we have scheduled a follow-up transportation-focused information and listening session to discuss the results of the traffic study – before it is finalized and submitted to DDOT – for 4:00pm on Thursday, July 1. To attend this session, register here.

With respect to your assertion that parents walking their children to school is “laughable,” we respectfully disagree. Our team has heard from a number of parents who have, in fact, indicated that they are looking forward to being able to walk their children to school. Additionally, parents select schools for their children, in part, based on the location of the school. We anticipate that the geographical distribution of our student body will shift with the location of the school. Further, approximately 10% of the current student body arrives by non-auto modes of transportation. Given the walkability and bike-friendly nature of the Tenleytown neighborhood and proximity to transit, we expect the percentage of our school community utilizing non-auto mode options to travel to campus will increase. The River School has committed to implementing a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan that includes specific strategies aimed at encouraging and incentivizing these non-auto modes of transportation. The TDM Plan also requires all students in grades kindergarten and above who are dropped-off or picked-up by car to be in a carpool with at least two children.

In response to your observations at NPS, we would note that COVID restrictions have resulted in many schools experiencing longer than typical lines at dismissal. For instance, most schools currently have no after school classes or aftercare programs that would ordinarily stagger dismissal times and reduce the queuing of vehicles. In terms of The River School’s plan, a portion of the students are half-day students and will dismiss at noon, some will dismiss between 2:45 and 3:45 PM, some will dismiss between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, and some will dismiss between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. The staggering of dismissals is an effective strategy in minimizing queuing. Additionally, COVID-related protocols at many schools currently prohibit carpooling except for siblings. Therefore, the vast majority of cars currently traveling to school campuses are picking up only one student. As indicated previously, The River School will have a mandatory carpool program for all students in grades kindergarten and above.

All of the foregoing observations and considerations will inform our ongoing CTR analysis which will be discussed in more detail at the July 1 information and listening session for which you can register here.
23Campus Development PlanI live in ANC-3E (44th and Fessenden Street) and absolutely support the River School. As a resident who lives 3 blocks from the 3 times larger Georgetown Day School, I can say that campus has brought a lot to our neighborhood and has done nothing to traffic or parking concerns at all (their playground is indeed a community fixture now, enjoyed by all!). At 1/3 the size, River is likely to bring similar benefits with less costs. Allow me to elaborate:

1. The numbers of cars being discussed is wrong; I don't know why it is being circulated. There are 201 kids in the school now, many with siblings in the school as it's 18 months - grade 3. It'll increase gradually to 350 over the slow period of 10 years

2. A fifth of the school is anticipated to bike/ walk/ metro (me included, as are many of our neighbors). Win for the environment compared to the current, non-metro-accessible location!

3. DDOT says there are 30,000 cars per day on Nebraska Avenue. So this is only a 0.6% increase.

4. River School is unlikely to back up traffic; they are staggering pickups and run their car line with an arsenal of 10+ teachers with walkie talkies checking names on cars and lining kids up in the order to ship outside. The line never takes me more than 3 min for me.

5. The school is building green walls and roofs, has scaled down their building size to no more than 50 feet, & is preserving existing gardens & buildings (despite no historic building designation, they are treating it as one). The neighborhood asked and they responded!

6. The River School has already made concessions as mentioned; they've even increased the # cars that can fit ON school property to ensure no back-ups onto Nebraska Ave. occur.

7. This is a school full of multi-cultural children, including a large population of deaf children, and this location is their best shot to have sprawling outdoor space and to continue past the 3rd grade (where it stops at present) when key writing skills are developed.

8. The outdoor space will be amazing, and hopefully something beautiful for the community to enjoy on the weekends.

9. If this property is NOT used by River, the likelihood it could be used for taller buildings that replace the historic ones is there, simply because they they can check the 'residential' box. This would be far worse for the neighborhood.

10. I can personally attest, living 3 blocks from Georgetown Day School, which is 3x larger than the eventual planned size of the River school, that I've experienced no increased traffic or other problems--only a beautiful playground where I meet w/ neighbors on weekends.

11. River school is full of incredibly passionate parents, many of them in ANC 3E, who want to give back to their community and will. We can make Tenleytown the site of an amazing school.

12. Increased education investment and school choice is typically capitalized into property values; this is a win for the whole neighborhood.

13. This is not even close to an outlier for the surroundings; it's a 6 min walk from the metro, next to a law school, across the street from a larger school. This is not going to stand out, but rather blend in to the surroundings already there.

14. There's literally no school like the River School in the entire country, where deaf children learn alongside hearing children, and kindness and understanding learning differences and cultural differences is at the center of the curriculum. We want them as neighbors!
Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is very excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue, NW would provide our community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. The additional space would allow us to extend our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to students through Grade 6--enabling River to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education at a critical stage in the development of children's writing and critical thinking skills. In addition, as you noted, the campus would provide ample open and green spaces, creating opportunities for River students to explore, create and learn in a natural environment. With respect to traffic-related issues issues, while our transportation study is still ongoing—we are refining our plan with additional community input—we have developed a comprehensive and effective transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and to encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the communities of which we are a part. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses and to being an active and contributing member of the Tenleytown community.
24Campus Development PlanI understand you are planning in moving to AU park. I welcome you to our neighborhood! I appreciate the educational service and community you provide. I am embarrassed by the vigor that a minority of my neighbors (and not-so-neighbors) have fixated on rejecting any change in their lives, such as you coming to AU P.Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. Our team continues to strive to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood, and we look forward to being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community.
25Campus Development PlanAs a resident of AU Park, a low-density residential neighborhood, I do not want the River School relocating to the neighborhood. There are so many other neighborhoods in DC that would welcome a private school and the economic benefits it may offer. For example, the DC waterfront is becoming a new hub for schools with wonderful resources as are some of the other wards. River could find a large parcel of land with ample green space per your early discussions of what your school wanted and needed.

The location you are choosing is too small and it is a single family residence NOT an industrial location. Please find a new location for your school where people and the community will welcome you. Please listen more to the AU Park/Tenleytown residents who may respect your mission but do not want your school and all of the safety, parking and traffic issues not to mention the years of construction you and your school will bring.

You may be a good private school but the AU Park neighborhood needs bigger PUBLIC schools NOT another private school and all of its entitled parents, large cars, and hundreds of non-residents going in and out each day all year long.
The River School team has been working directly with a wide range of stakeholders--including nearby and adjacent neighbors, many of whom have expressed support for the project, as well as the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)--to ensure our renovation of the historic mansion and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and the surrounding neighborhood context. As a result of this collaborative effort, our design and landscape concepts have evolved significantly since our February BZA filing. We held a design-focused community information and listening session to present our revised concept plans to members of the Tenleytown community on June 29, 2021. (You may view the presentation materials and the video recording of the information and listening session here to learn more about the innovative and thoughtful design adaptations that are being pursued by the project team in response to community and HPRB comments). Many residents of the Tenleytown community realize that a single family is unlikely to purchase the historic mansion, with the preservation that entails, and consider schools, particularly one with our mission, to be integral and contributing members of the community. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses, and to being an active and engaged member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
26General FeedbackI live in the ANC-3D area, and want to give my full support to the River School. This extraordinary institution is a huge benefit to our community. I live near the area where the school currently is located, and have seen for the last 10 years, the wonderful management of traffic for drop-off and pick-up of students. I have never seen or encountered any issues with the River School, and it’s traffic logistics (i drive on MacArthur Blvd, everyday during the drop-off and pick-up times). We are blessed to have such a wonderfully diverse and inclusive academic institution in our community. It is a needed benefit to our community, and the proof is obviously, in its need to expand. The River School is an integral part of who we are, and we need for it to remain in our community.Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. Our team has worked to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood (additional information about the innovative and thoughtful design adaptations that are being pursued by the project team in response to community comments and historic preservation considerations is available here). While our transportation study is still ongoing as part of our collaborative planning process, we have developed a comprehensive and effective Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
27Traffic and ParkingWe live in ANC 3E and are very supportive of The River School’s new campus. The new location will be a wonderful asset and resource for the entire community. We are a current River School family and live close to the Friendship Heights metro and would love to be able to again use public transportation to take our sons to school. Since our sons were born, we have been commuting with our sons via walking, metro, and the bus. We enrolled in The River School following our youngest son’s diagnosis of profound and severe hearing loss. Prior to going to River’s audiology office (Chattering Children), our son had repeatedly received incorrect audiological reports from other doctors that he had typical or mild hearing loss. Given the Palisades location, we had to change our schedule to drive to school. While the school’s efficient drop off and pick up system (no line in the morning; two kids out of the car in less than a minute; organized pickup in the afternoon with a short wait), we would much prefer to hop on a 30 bus on Wisconsin and walk the 6 mins to school with our sons.

The school and audiological services through Chattering Children are unmatched. I feel so fortunate to have found the school and the wonderful doctors in the audiology department that took the time to assess and correctly diagnose my son. We need to have the school and that audiology office accessible to more DC families and the new location offers a mix of options given the proximity to public transportation. We look forward to welcoming the school to our neighborhood!
Thank you very much for your comment. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. We are very excited about this opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. The site's accessibility by a variety of travel modes--including transit, biking and walking--is a key attribute of the new campus location and is central to our planning. And while work on our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) is still ongoing as part of our collaborative planning effort, we have developed a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. In addition, our team has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders and members of the preservation community to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. We look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
28General FeedbackI write in strong support of the River School’s new campus plan at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW (BZA Application No. 20472: The River School). The River School is a responsible and cherished pillar of our community. The school has a wonderful track record of nurturing our neighborhood’s children. At its current campus on MacArthur Boulevard, the River School has always been a conscientious and respectful member of the neighborhood. I am confident it will continue in that respect at the new campus. I have considered the impacts of the new campus on the neighborhood, including on traffic flows. I believe the impacts are manageable and in no way should they block this important new education project for the benefit of our neighborhood’s children. It is vital that our neighborhood have strong and vibrant schools. The River School’s plan is in furtherance of this critical objective for the community. I strongly support the plan and believe all regulatory approvals should be granted promptly.Thank you very much for your comment. We believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities, and are excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW would provide The River School community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. We are proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. The additional space at the new campus would allow us to extend our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to students through Grade 6--enabling River to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education at a critical stage in the development of children's writing and critical thinking skills. Our team has worked has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders and members of the preservation community to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) analysis is still ongoing as part of our collaborative planning process, we have developed a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
29Traffic and ParkingWe have very fond memories of River School and are grateful for the early academic and social foundation our daughters received there. We believe in the school’s mission. I do however implore the city and your traffic consultants to consider the impact of traffic holistically in the context of other developments in the neighborhood. Nebraska and Van Ness will become conduits to access the new City Ridge development housing the Wegman’s. As well, I would urge the stakeholders to consider the River School’s traffic impact in tandem with that of Sidwell Friends School’s, as it consolidates its lower school campus with the main campus. Van Ness is a critical artery for accessing 37th St, which is the site for pick up and drop off for Sidwell Friends Middle School currently (and going forward along with Upton will become accessed for the new Upper School as well). Already both for morning and afternoon carpool, oftentimes several lights cycle through before traffic can turn onto Van Ness from Nebraska (mornings) and left onto Nebraska from Van Ness (afternoons). This will be further aggravated going forward with City Ridge and consolidated Sidwell Friends School. My request is that the traffic study be comprehensive, and factor in not only what our post- pandemic reality will be in the near term, but what the holistic traffic impact will be given these additional growth projects on the horizon. Thank you.Thank you for your comment. With respect to your concerns regarding transportation issues, Wells + Associates (The River School's transportation consultant) is in the process of preparing the Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) for the project consistent with the requirements of DDOT, including working to evaluate not only immediate but also long-term concerns raised by members of the surrounding community. As discussed at our July 1, 2021 transportation information session, Wells is specifically evaluating the impact that many proposed or in-progress projects may have on the surrounding neighborhood transportation network, including those projects that you have noted, as well as the relocation of GDS's Lower/Middle School to their Davenport Campus; the Ladybird mixed-use development at the former Super Fresh site at 4330 48th Street NW; Upton Place, located adjacent to City Ridge at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Upton Street; the Broadcast office to residential conversion at 4620 Wisconsin Avenue; and the Dancing Crab project which includes 41 condominium units at 4615 Wisconsin Avenue. We agree wholeheartedly that a holistic approach to evaluating and mitigating transportation impacts is critical. Accordingly, The River School has committed to implementing a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan that includes specific strategies aimed at encouraging and incentivizing non-auto modes of transportation, and at the same time will be proposing significant transportation improvements that will serve to not only mitigate the potential impact of the operations of The River School, but also improve already existing conditions at key neighborhood intersections. More information about these important transportation-related issues is available on the project website, and the team will also be providing additional updates to the community as the CTR is finalized and reviewed with DDOT over the coming months
30Traffic and ParkingRiver School is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Compared to many other schools they dedicate a high % of staff to carpool drop off duty that moves kids quickly out of cars and they have alert, effective traffic directors that interact with drivers and walkers to keep things safe and fast flowing. As a commuter, I never need to avoid driving by River School during drop off times because the directors of traffic keep River cars out of the flow of traffic without issue. They also seem like kind people. Unlike other schools I have never seen a traffic safety director yelling at anyone or expressing themselves with negative energy. They always look me in the eye with a friendly face as they direct my car through. It is the only school I drive by that I trust will be an easy experience and I drive by 5 schools/day.Thank you very much for your comment. We take special note of your comment about the positive energy communicated by our car pool staff and will endeavor to replicate it at the new location. The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. With respect to traffic-related issues issues, while our transportation study is still ongoing, we have developed a comprehensive and effective core transportation demand management strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the communities of which we are a part, and we look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
31Traffic and ParkingI think the location of the school near a metro station is beneficial for Ward 3. The people who are complaining mainly seem to be people who live very close to the location, which is also close to some very large public schools. There should be more, not less, density near metro stations. People who are not in favor of density near metro stations are prioritizing themselves above the good of the neighborhood, ward, city and region and I am very against NIMBYism, especially near excellent transit.

There should be more, not less, schools near metro stations. This is best for quality of life in our region and for the environment, and NIMBYism to benefit a few people at the expanse of the greater good is not OK. I support the River School Plan.
Thank you very much for your comment. The accessibility of the new campus site by a variety of travel modes--including transit, biking and walking--is a key attribute of 4220 Nebraska Avenue location and is central to our planning. While our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) effort is still ongoing, we have developed a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. In addition, our team has worked collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders and members of the preservation community to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. We look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
32Traffic and ParkingThis school should NEVER be allowed at this location. We already have 3 schools within 1/2 mile from each other and the traffic from those schools is already horrendous. NPS causes major backups on Van Ness and Janney on 42nd St. and Albermarle. The fact that this site is even considered to be an option is ridiculous and shows some serious lack of judgment and consideration. Not mention ANY traffic study done during the pandemic is totally and 100% pointless! You might as well see what impact it has on traffic at 3am. Any data collected between 3/20/2020 and now needs to be thrown out. I fully empathize with the River School’s needs as well as their students, but this option is absolutely absurd.As discussed at our April 22, 2021 and July 1, 2021 information and listening sessions, Wells + Associates (The River School's transportation consultant) is in the process of preparing the Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) consistent with the requirements of DDOT, including working to evaluate issues raised by members of the surrounding community, and we are confident in our data collection and analysis. Specifically, the CTR is required to include analysis of three peak hours: the AM peak hour, the PM School peak hour, and the PM Commuter peak hour. Historical traffic counts taken before the pandemic (in February 2020) were available for the AM peak hour and PM Commuter peak hour. Unfortunately, historical traffic counts were not available for the PM School peak hour. Therefore, Wells + Associates did conduct traffic counts on Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20, 2021. The counts conducted in May 2021 included counts for the PM School peak period as well as repeating the counts during the AM peak period. The AM peak period counts taken in May 2021 were then compared to the AM counts conducted in February 2020 and adjustment factors were developed and applied to the PM School peak period counts to grow the data collected in May 2021 to non-pandemic conditions. While we would have preferred to conduct PM school peak hour traffic counts under non-pandemic conditions, that simply was not feasible. However, the adjustment factors developed and applied to the May 2021 traffic counts result in a conservative estimation of non-pandemic conditions that may result in River taking additional remediation actions than would be necessary if actual counts were available. As part of the CTR process, our team will continue to work with interested stakeholders to address transportation improvements that will not only mitigate the potential impact of The River School's operations, but also improve existing conditions at key intersections. At the same time, The River School has committed to implementing a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan that includes specific strategies aimed at encouraging and incentivizing non-auto modes of transportation. Further, The River School has committed to conducting transportation monitoring studies after the relocation of the school to ensure that pre-established trip counts are not exceeded and pick-up/drop-off queues do not extend onto neighborhood streets. Neither NPS nor Janney has such a monitoring requirement. Additional information about these important transportation-related issues is available on the project website, and the team will be providing ongoing updates to the community as the CTR is finalized and reviewed with DDOT over the coming months.
33General FeedbackFirst of all, I admit I don't live in ANC 3D or 3E. However, I step out my door and cross the street and am in ANC 3D. I walk past the proposed site for The River School pretty frequently, and presumably eat lunch and dinner next to some of the people who post the nastier comments on here and elsewhere about the River School's new site. Maybe we've shared an ice cream at Millie's in Spring Valley, or maybe we've now both tried the food at Surfside's new location in Tenleytown. Those two places have quickly become, or are quickly becoming, neighborhood standards.
I bring these examples up, of course, because they are relatively new places, because neighborhoods change. Neighborhoods grow vibrant or die based on the willingness of new neighbors and old neighbors to figure things out and make the neighborhood better. I am shocked by some of the arguments I've read on here. In the same paragraph, people bemoan how crowded the public schools (and schools in general) are becoming and how DC is moving kids out to other areas, and without skipping a beat they mention that there are already too many schools in the neighborhood. Which one is it? Of course, trying to refute these arguments won't help, those opposed to change at any cost often prefer not to look at the rationale.

Instead, I think it helps to realize that the kinks will be worked out, and that the school seems willing to work through them. That is obvious though, kinks are always worked out. What is not obvious is that folks may want to look at who the school serves and what their mission is, and then also look at their own lawn signs extolling inclusion, the "Hate has no home here" signs or the "In this house we believe..." This school's student body is made up of close to 15-20% children with hearing loss. These are kids who are not served well elsewhere. Yes, it is a fancy schmancy school, like so many others in DC, but this school is also the nexus of support for children with hearing loss all throughout the DMV. This is an extraordinary school with an extraordinary mission, with a faculty, staff, and parent body that is fantastically loyal to the school and the community it supports. This is a special bunch, the type any community should be dying to acquire, not keep out.

If only ANC 3D and 3E can be so lucky to have them.
Thank you for your comment. We strongly believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods. At the same time, we understand that some members of the community may have questions and concerns about our proposal, and our team is working proactively and collaboratively to address them. Specifically, with respect to transportation issues, we are in process of preparing our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) consistent with the requirements of DDOT, and, as detailed in our July 1, 2021 community information session, we are actively seeking input from interested stakeholders with respect to transportation improvements that will not only mitigate the potential impact of The River School's operations, but also improve existing conditions at key intersections throughout the neighborhood. At the same time, our design team has worked collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders and members of the preservation community to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively to make this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality, and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
34General FeedbackAs a proud alumni family of The River School, we are thrilled to support the proposed campus. River's educational model combined with its clinical program, provides critical services to families and children with hearing loss throughout the region. It continues to be a leading research center for cochlear implant rehabilitation and innovation. This new campus will allow River to continue to provide its world class services in an enhanced and more accessible campus.Thank you very much for your comment. We believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities, and are excited about the myriad benefits that the new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW would provide The River School community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. We are proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. The additional space at the new campus would allow us to extend our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to students through Grade 6--enabling River to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education at a critical stage in the development of children's writing and critical thinking skills. The site's accessibility by a variety of travel modes--including transit, biking and walking--is a key attribute of the new campus location and is central to our planning. While work on our Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) is still ongoing as part of our collaborative planning effort, we have developed a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. In addition, our team has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders and members of the preservation community to develop a plan for the campus that ensures that the renovation of the historic mansion house and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and enhance the surrounding neighborhood. We look forward to working to make this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
35General FeedbackMy daughter, Leah, is Deaf and uses cochlear implants to hear. For two years, she struggled socially and emotionally, but then we discovered the River School, with its vibrant and warm community of faculty and families and its phenomenal program that is structured to help Deaf and hard-of-hearing children to integrate socially, emotionally, and academically with their typically hearing peers. Leah graduated from the school at the end of 3rd-grade with terrific academic skills, but just as importantly, a feeling of belonging and a surge of self-confidence that has carried her to the present day.Thank you for sharing Leah's experience at The River School. We are proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. The proposed new campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW will allow us to grow our program at a measured and controlled pace, and provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. We look forward to making this exceptional opportunity a reality for generations of new River School students and their families, while also serving as an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community.
36Neighbor RelationsI am a resident of AU Park and my children go to the River School. I know that some in the neighborhood have many concerns about River School moving to Nebraska Avenue.

The River School is a school that incorporates emotional development in children in its lessons throughout the day every day by teaching empathy, community, societal justice and kindness. This is the reason we have kept our children at the River School for so many years. The school administration practices what it teaches to the young children and is extremely respectful of its neighbors and passes that message onto its parents.

As for traffic, there is a traffic cop and many staff on hand to ensure the smooth flow during drop off and pick up. Dropping children off on MacArthur Blvd is not ideal but the school and the community made it work in a way that is efficient with minimal disruption to traffic flow.

Additionally, I also work at NBC News and I know that 90 percent of the people who worked at its office on Nebraska and Van Ness are now working in its new bureau on Capitol Hill (or will be once people return to work around Labor Day). The move of the NBC News bureau is sure to be a reduction of hundreds of cars, taxis, Ubers, black cars that move employees and television guests to and from Nebraska and Van Ness at all hours of the day and night. So there should be an offset of traffic from NBC moving.
The River School is proud of our inclusive program that challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. The proposed new campus at Nebraska Avenue is an outstanding opportunity to grow our program, at a measured and controlled pace, to provide our innovative approach to language and literacy education to students through Grade 6. Extending our program in this manner would greatly benefit children with and without hearing loss at a critical stage for the development of their writing and critical thinking skills. As you noted, our entire school community is already cognizant of the impacts that school pick up and drop off operations can have on District neighborhoods, and we work diligently and collaboratively to ensure that these activities at our current school location minimize disruption to the heavy traffic flow on MacArthur Boulevard. Our school community is firmly committed to continuing to work together to effectively manage our transportation-related impacts at the new campus location on Nebraska Avenue. While our transportation study is still ongoing, as part of our collaborative planning process, we have developed a comprehensive and effective Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategy to proactively address the impact of our operations on the surrounding transportation network and encourage sustainable transportation options for members of our school community. We look forward to working to make this this exceptional opportunity for The River School a reality and being an engaged and contributing member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
37Traffic and ParkingThe River School seems like an extraordinary school and it's great to see that they're expanding. However, I am concerned that locating on Nebraska is a net negative for the surrounding community and it's unclear to me why they can't choose a less dense area. I am worried that the community will get a lot of traffic and not a lot more business compared to other uses of the land. For my own family, I am worried about my rising 5th grader walking to and from Murch elementary school and needing to cross Nebraska at Reno Rd. It's already a dangerous intersection with drivers frequently trying to make a left onto Reno from Nebraska without realizing that pedestrians cross. There's usually a traffic guard but for some reason they are not always there when the Murch, Deal, and Wilson students are going to and from school. We can potentially walk our 5th grader to school but we moved to this area in part because we wanted to be able to let our children walk independently in the neighborhood. I realize that any development is likely to come with traffic that increases risks and inconvenience for local people but the benefits of having a school at the Nebraska site don't seem to outweigh the risks and inconvenience.With respect to your concerns regarding transportation issues, Wells + Associates (The River School's transportation consultant) is in the process of preparing the Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR) for the project consistent with the requirements of DDOT, including working to evaluate not only immediate but also long-term concerns raised by members of the surrounding community. As discussed at our July 1, 2021 transportation information session, we firmly believe that a holistic approach to evaluating and mitigating transportation impacts is critical. Accordingly, The River School has committed to implementing a robust Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan that includes specific strategies aimed at encouraging and incentivizing non-auto modes of transportation, and at the same time will be proposing significant transportation improvements that will serve to not only mitigate the potential impact of the operations of The River School, but also improve already existing conditions at key neighborhood intersections. More information about these important transportation-related issues is available on the project website, and the team will also be providing additional updates to the community as the CTR is finalized and reviewed with DDOT over the coming months. We believe that schools are integral components of and key contributors to strong and sustainable communities, and are excited about the myriad benefits that a new River School campus at 4220 Nebraska Avenue NW would provide for our school community, as well as the surrounding Tenleytown neighborhood. Our team has been working directly with a wide range of stakeholders--including nearby and adjacent neighbors, many of whom have expressed support for the project, as well as the DC Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)--to ensure our renovation of the historic mansion and development of new academic facilities are compatible with the character of the estate and the surrounding neighborhood context. The River School is proud of our demonstrated commitment to the neighborhoods of which we are a part, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with members of the community as our planning progresses, and to being an active and engaged member of the Tenleytown community for years to come.
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