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Obama girls visit schools, White House

Malia and Sasha Obama are in Washington with their mother checking out prospective new schools.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Malia and Sasha Obama get to see their new rooms at the White House on Tuesday, capping a busy few days looking into their new life in the nation's capital that also involved visits to potential new schools.

At the invitation of first lady Laura Bush, the daughters of President-elect Barack Obama were touring the White House with their mother and grandmother.

Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, along with their mother, Michelle, were expected to spend a short time touring the First Family's residential rooms at the White House, said Mrs. Obama's spokeswoman, Katie McCormick Lelyveld. Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, was also with the group.

"The first lady graciously invited Mrs. Obama, her mother and the girls to visit what will be their new home," Lelyveld said. "Of course, Mrs. Obama greatly appreciated this invitation to provide an opportunity for the girls to feel at home and become comfortable in this transition process."

The visit was strictly private, with no media coverage or photos.

Earlier in the day, the family visited their top choices for schools "to make sure we find the right fit," Lelyveld said. She would not name the schools. "Their move to Washington is her top priority," she said.

A small motorcade was parked outside the Sidwell Friends school on Tuesday for about 40 minutes, and a similar motorcade was at the back entrance of Georgetown Day School on Monday. The Georgetown Day motorcade left after a group of people emerged, but Michelle Obama was not seen among them.

Ellis Turner, associate head of school at Sidwell Friends, would not say whether the Obamas had been there.

"We don't provide information on admissions inquiries," he said.

When asked whether Michelle Obama had visited Georgetown Day, some parents and students said they did not know. Other students who appeared to be in middle school said that they were not allowed to answer reporters' questions.

The soon-to-be first lady visited both elite schools last week, without her daughters, when she also toured the White House with Laura Bush.

Georgetown Day, founded in 1945, was an early pioneer in integration and prides itself on its diversity. A report posted on the school's Web site says about 35 percent of its estimated 1,000 students are of color.

Sidwell Friends is a private, Quaker school that Chelsea Clinton attended.

The president-elect's family also has discussed public school options for the two girls, Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said last week.