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Messages from Ellington

April 19, 2020

Greetings Ellington community,

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee recently announced that Learning at Home will continue through the remainder of the school year, which is now Friday, May 29. (You can click here to read Chancellor Ferebee’s full statement.)

I recognize that many of you have several questions regarding grades, final exams, seniors, the summer schedule, the 2020-21 school year, and more. Much remains unknown at the moment, but I pledge to share information with the community as soon as DCPS provides it. In the meantime, feel free to send me your questions via email. Please note that Friday, April 24, is a records day for teachers, so there are no classes for students.

MOVING FORWARD
While we work on our plan to complete the school year, please work with us to keep students connected and engaged. Students currently receive one graded assignment per week from each class, and should make contact with each teacher in some fashion weekly. Be aware that teachers have official “office hours” for student support.

I also want to remind students/families of the value of AP exams, which provide an advantage on the path to higher education. Students who take the exams can earn college credit, demonstrate their commitment and perseverance, and familiarize themselves with college-level work. The exams will be given from May 11-15 and May 18-22. Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1-5. For additional information and resources, please click here.

Learning at Home schoolwork is available online, organized according to teacher’s name. Please click here to access Arts departments and click here to access Academic departments. For questions or concerns, contact our Director of Arts, Ms. Angela Jones (ajones@ellingtonarts.org), or our Director of Academics, Ms. Vanessa Snyder (vanessa.snyder@k12.dc.gov).

Thanks to everyone for pulling together through this period. Once again, if families are experiencing any challenges or concerns, please contact me directly (sandi.logan@k12.dc.gov).

V/r
Sandi M. Logan

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April 5, 2020

Important updates on Learning at Home

Greetings Ellington artists, scholars, and global citizens,

I truly hope this message finds you well! I want to let you all know that we miss you and are here for you! Please reach out to me directly at sandi.logan@k12.dc.gov if you need support with assignments, laptops, and/or any necessary materials during Learning at Home.

I also want to say a word about student accountability.

The current circumstances require major adjustments for teachers, students and families. We are modifying our approaches, procedures and workloads moving forward. However, the expectation that students will complete assigned work has not changed. Students should be responsive to teachers and stay abreast of assignments.

Commitment and work ethic are important considerations before and after we accept students at Ellington School. Research shows that ongoing practice is key in skill acquisition and retention. We all understand that a lack of reading during summer break can lead to “summer slide;” the same principle applies to Arts and Academic instruction.

Additionally, keep in mind that ALL assignments given are important to students’ development as artists and scholars. Please let me know right away if questions or concerns arise.

V/r
Sandi M. Logan, Principal

SHADE MEETING
There will be a virtual SHADE meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 6. For more information and instructions on joining, please send an email to shade@ellingtonarts.org.

LEARNING AT HOME ACCESS
Families may now access their student’s Learning at Home records for each Arts department. The records are organized according to teacher’s name. Please click here to access departmental guidelines for student success over the next two weeks.

If you have questions or concerns, send email to covid19info@ellingtonarts.org or contact Ms. Angela Jones. NOTE: Academic files will be provided no later than Friday, April 10. For concerns about academics, please contact Ms. Vanessa Snyder.

STUDENT ACCOUNTABILITY
The current circumstances require major adjustments for teachers, students and families. We are modifying our approach, procedures and workloads while moving forward. However, the expectation that students will complete assigned work has not changed.

Commitment and work ethic are important considerations before and after we accept students at Ellington School. Make sure that your student is responsive to teachers and staying abreast of assignments. Please let us know right away if concerns arise.

WISH LISTS
Teachers have requested several tools to aid their instruction during Learning at Home. Tripods for mobile devices, wall post-its, adapters, cables and white boards are among the desired items. Additionally, the Wellness Team is providing gift cards for families in need. For anyone who wishes to contribute, cash donations are preferred to maintain social distance. Please click here to donate.

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COVID - Ellington Donation

April 5, 2020

Ellington School family, and friends of family, heed call, quickly come through with assistance

SHADE president Howard Wilson recently sent an SOS to the parents group. Ellington School needed about 30 additional computers as students transitioned to learning at home. Not long after Wilson hit “send,” more than twice as many computers were on the way.

“We were about to start looking for schools to donate a bunch of computers that we weren’t using anymore,” says Brett Bobley, Director of Information at the National Endowment for the Humanities and father of Jack Bobley, a junior at Ellington. “I immediately got back in touch with Howard.”

The NEH has given away computers for years under the “Computers for Learning” program, in which federal agencies can donate used technology to schools and nonprofits. Turner Elementary School was the recipient of 80 NEH computers last year.

This year, thanks to Bobley and NEH’s Director of Administrative Services, Robert Straughter (pictured, far left), Ellington School gained possession of 60 desktop computers – with delivery help from NEH’s magazine editor, David Skinner (second from right). But there’s more good news!

Paula Lytle, mother of Ellington junior Paul Lytle, also responded to Wilson’s plea. She reached out to her neighbor Jake Cross, who repairs computers for a hobby. Cross personally refurbished a few laptops and then persuaded his friends to donate more. Their joint efforts resulted in an additional 10 laptops for students in need.

“These computers will be a tremendous aid for our students and faculty as we navigate these unprecedented times,” says Principal Sandi M. Logan.

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COVID - Ellington Arts Block

April 5, 2020

Social distance no match for DESA social media

Ellington School social media coordinator Kelli Anderson is working hard to keep our channels active and interesting. One effort involves the #EllingtonArtsBlock campaign.

Prior to online instruction, our students gathered daily during Arts Block to learn, practice, and develop in their discipline. In that spirit, community members are invited to share what they’ve been inspired to create and produce lately. Participants are encouraged to share their art on social media, using the hashtag #EllingtonArtsBlock, and tagging us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Lemon Study (pictured) was submitted by Instagram user @izzy_r.r as part of the campaign.

Remember to stay connected with Ellington School on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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March 29, 2020

Dear Ellington Community,

As the world adjusts to a challenging and rapidly changing reality, providing in-depth, comprehensive content/ learning experiences to our students and clear direction and support to our employees continue to be our top priorities.

To that end, we wanted to share with you some of the things we are doing in response to the current environment.

Below you will find detailed information regarding instruction, enrollment, admissions, productions/events, administration, office hours and development.

Among the highlights is a new email address – covid19info@ellingtonarts.org – devoted to the crisis. Replies will be sent within 24 hours. Also note that the main office telephone – 202-282-0123 – is monitored from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Return calls will be made within 24 hours.

With school closures extended to April 24 by DCPS, our community will become more familiar – and more comfortable – with distance learning over the upcoming weeks. We get through this together and come out stronger on the other side!

Sincerely,

TIa Harris Powell, CEO

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Making transition to distance learning

Since the crisis began, we created and distributed distance learning packets (arts and academics) to over 400 students in one week. The roughly 150 remaining families are receiving their packets through the mail as we ensure that all students have the information they need.

Having verified that students now have computers and WiFi access, we are moving future assignments online. Thanks to the time and talent of all of our teachers and administrators, there is no need for packet pickup; all assignments will be available online! We have devoted large amounts of time to distance learning and we are confident that the transition to virtual instruction can be managed relatively smoothly.

For families/students who still need support in accessing computers/WiFi, please contact Ms. Donna Hollis (dhollis@ellingtonarts.org), Director of Student Affairs; also note that Xfinity is offering free WiFi hotspots that can be found by clicking here.

For learning resources and graduation requirements, please visit the DCPS Distance Learning portal – bit.ly/DCPS_ICP – a mobile-friendly website. You also can watch this brief video on how distance learning works.

If there are any questions or concerns related to student online learning, please email the teacher and Principal Sandi Logan (sandi.logan@k12.dc.gov) directly.

Our Ellington School team has completed 40 family interviews for prospective students and completed admissions decision for the 580 students who applied in the first round of the MySchoolDC Lottery. Here are some other things we’re doing:

  • Providing temporary Chrome Books to more than 16 students.
  • Providing Google Classroom subscriptions for all academic and arts departments.
  • Providing expanded Google Drive storage for all departments.
  • Providing Zoom access to all departments.
  • Providing Remind Alerts that are delivered to faculty mobile phones via text or through the Remind app.
  • Providing regular monitoring of main office telephone (202-282-0123) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with 24-hour response time.
  • Providing 24-hour response time to inquiries received through new covid-19 email address: covid19info@ellingtonarts.org
  • Providing Social Emotional Learning support to students and families in need, through a dedicated phone line to counselors and the wellness team. Weekly wellness meetings are scheduled to share updates on all students who might be experiencing anxieties during this time. Additionally, financial assistance has been offered to families in need.
  • Providing all employees with instruction on altered online time and attendance reporting for PayCom and disbursement procedures. The Finance Department continues to hold weekly meetings to ensure that purchase orders and disbursements are processed timely. Arts fees reports continue to be updated weekly. In lieu of checks, online donations are encouraged so staffers can lessen their need to enter the building.
  • Providing review for chairpersons on how to access department voicemails remotely.
  • Providing access to digital copies of transcripts and school records through the registrar and producing an enrollment webinar for incoming and returning students.
  • Providing remote IT support to faculty and students from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Addressing extended school closure by DCPS

The ASPEN system used by DCPS allows faculty members to contact students, relaying assignments, feedback and grades. Parents can monitor student progress, too, through their access to ASPEN.

On Friday, March 27, all DESA faculty were surveyed to assess areas of success and areas of concern regarding our distance learning rollout. The Administrative Leadership Team will begin addressing concerns immediately.

We have worked diligently with our IT Department, arts/academic directors and department chairs to provide online access. For as long as the building is closed, our students will learn through content created and directed by Ellington School faculty.

Google Classroom and Zoom subscriptions will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Our students will have access to their instructors, in real time and large-group settings, through these subscriptions.

Once the original period of DCPS-mandated distance learning ends (March 31), faculty will extend original lessons and create new, subject-specific lessons through Canvas, Google Classroom and Zoom.

All assignments will be available online and managed by department chairs. Parents will have access to the folders. To simplify access to student assignments, all online folders within arts and academic departments will be organized according to instructors’ names.

INSTRUCTION
Ms. Angela Jones, Director of Arts, and Ms. Vanessa Snyder, Director of Academics, will continue to hold bi-weekly online meetings with Department Chairs. Teachers are required to check in with students at least once per week and to copy Ms. Jones or Ms. Snyder on communication. Some teachers are adding their directors to Zoom and Google Classrooms, Remind App and emails.

DRESS CODE
During distance learning hours, the primary obligation of Ellington community members is to be engaged in educational pursuits. Therefore, students are expected to dress in an appropriate manner while engaging teachers electronically during scheduled meeting times. “Dress” refers to the type, fit, and slogan content of clothing. The following clothing and/or personal items are not permitted in Ellington’s professional educational environment:

  • No visible midriff, halters or one-shoulder/backless/strapless tops or dresses
  • No pajamas or other sleepwear
  • No see-through or low-cut blouses, shirts or dresses
  • No exceptionally tight or revealing clothing, micro miniskirts or shorts
  • No inappropriate shorts.
  • No do-rags or baseball caps
  • No combs in hair
  • No clothing or personal items displaying slogans or logos referencing violence, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc

In addition, please minimize any additional distractions during class time.

GRADES
Please note that although distance learning requires class modifications, grading rubrics are still consistent with our Ellington School programming. We encourage students to do their very best to catch up where necessary and be proactive in their academic and artistic rigor.Term 3 grades will be mailed on April 24.

PRODUCTIONS/EVENTS
Patrons will receive postponement correspondence regarding through Vendini. Furthermore, we are devising strategies to provide virtual performance experiences, when possible, and post them on our website.

ENROLLMENT
DCPS has rolled out online enrollment forms. Ms. Savannah Overton will work with the Registrar’s Office to make sure that our enrollment benchmarks and projections are met.

ADMISSIONS
The MySchoolDC post-lottery round begins Monday, March 30. Based on previous years and the current number of incoming students, we estimate that 40 students will need to be auditioned.

ADMINISTRATION
CEO Harris and Principal Logan will continue to hold weekly online meetings with the Administrative Leadership Team, Finance/HR Department, Development Office and Operations Office. The Ellington Express will continue to serve as the weekly newsletter to parents and students, while The Weekly Bulletin continues as the informational communication for faculty and staff. Additional communication (messages from the Board Chairs, fundraising campaigns, etc.) will be sent through Constant Contact as necessary.

OFFICE HOURS
We acknowledge that our work will extend beyond posted hours. However, we hope to gradually reduce the community’s 24/7 access so our leadership can tend to their family and personal needs during this stressful time.

Standard hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ms. Hollis, Director of Student Affairs, has online office hours from 7 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. If the Administrative Leadership Team requires additional strategy meetings, they will be held at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

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Supporting our students and families during crisis

The Ellington School’s Wellness Team is also available to help parents/guardians and students throughout this time:

Additional information and resources are available below and by clicking here.

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March 22, 2020

Dear Ellington Community,

I want to thank the Ellington School leadership, faculty and staff for their tireless efforts this past week to prepare our students and families for “school at home.”

All of us are challenged by the unprecedented measures that have disrupted our lives. None of us knows exactly when things will return to “normal” or what normalcy will look like by then.

However, everyone can take proper precautions to stay healthy. Also, use this opportunity to connect with family, friends and neighbors. Share words of encouragement and comfort. Tackle some tasks you’ve put off, some books you haven’t read, or some hobbies you’ve neglected.

Ellington School has always called upon our humanity, our intellect, and the fortifying power of the arts to overcome adversity. As always, by keeping those assets at the forefront – ahead of any fear or anxiety – we will persevere.

Sincerely,

Tia Harris Powell, CEO

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March 22, 2020

Dear Ellington Family,

Thank you for your tremendous response as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. I appreciate the outstanding manner in which our faculty, parents and students have stepped up during this challenging situation.

Many families picked up their students’ packets Thursday and Friday. Others can pick up their work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 23. All work packets are pre-arranged for every student should you want to come and pick up. We also are working on a system in which students can received their work electronically.

Please click here for a Monday appointment if you plan to come. Remember, NO STUDENTS OR PARENTS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE OF THE BUILDING. The packets will be available in the building garage at the rear of the building, 36th and Reservoir Rd., NW

PICK-UP INSTRUCTIONS

1. BY CAR:

  • Please enter through the garage located on 36th and Reservoir Road (the line will go down 36th Street towards R Street). We will take your student’s name and deliver your packet curbside, there will be no need to get out of the car.
  • Once you receive your student’s packet, please leave the campus immediately.
  • We will do our best to gather each student’s work, if your student is missing critical items, please contact your department head.

2. BY FOOT/METRO:

  • If you are unable to drive to Ellington and will be coming via Metro and walking, please stand in the line along 36th street at the garage entrance, going down toward R Street. We will have runners gathering student packets as quickly as possible. Please be patient as we want to ensure both health and safety.

Remember patience is a virtue! Thank you for your flexibility.

v/r,

Sandi Logan, Principal

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March 17, 2020

Distance Learning Packet Pick-up Strategic Plan

To combat the challenges of COVID-19 and to decrease the number of individuals onsite at any given time, as well as our team of administrators that will need to interface with the entire Ellington Community, we are streamlining the process of picking up your student’s distance learning instruction work-packet.

All work packets are pre-arranged for every student should you want to come and pick up.

NO STUDENTS OR PARENTS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE OF THE BUILDING.

HOURS: 9:00am – 2:10pm

DATES: Please strictly adhere to the following schedule outlined below:

Thursday, March 19, 2020
9th grade students: 9:00am – 11:30am
10th grade students: 11:40am – 2:10pm

Friday, March 20, 2020
11th grade students: 9:00am – 11:30am
12th grade students: 11:40am – 2:10pm

LOCATION: Building Garage, rear of building, 36th and Reservoir Rd., NW

PICK-UP INSTRUCTIONS:
BY CAR:

  • Similar to health and community services that are incorporating drive-through lines to decrease human interaction, we encourage all families who are able to, please drive to Ellington to pick up your packet. Please enter through the garage located on 36th and Reservoir Road (the line will go down 36th Street towards R Street). We will take your student’s name and deliver your packet curbside, there will be no need to get out of the car.
  • Once you receive your student’s packet, please leave the campus immediately.
  • We will do our best to gather each student’s work, if your student is missing critical items, please contact your department head. We will work to address all issues by Monday, March 23.

BY FOOT/METRO:

  • If you are unable to drive to Ellington and will be coming via metro and walking up to the campus, please stand in the line along 36th street at the Garage entrance, going down towards R Street. We will have runners gathering student packets as quickly as possible. Please be patient as we want to ensure both health and safety.

REMEMBER, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!
If you cannot attend at the above times, we are making ourselves available Monday, March 23 as well but by appointment only. Please sign up for a Monday appointment here: https://forms.gle/z8E6q2FK74X7L7vN6

Thank you for your flexibility.

v/r,

Sandi Logan, Principal

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COMMUNITY MESSAGE FROM ELLINGTON ADMINISTRATION

March 15, 2020

Support is available for students, parents as schools move to distance learning

All schools will be closed for students from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31.

Students will participate in distance learning from March 24 to March 31. Meals will be available for students every weekday at sites across the district. Click here for more information.

As we continue to support our community during this period, please review the resources below and share with your families:

ACCESS TO FREE WIFI FROM COMCAST: Click here to sign up for two months of free WiFi service.

DCPS FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS: Meals will be available for all students every weekday from March 16 through March 31, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at the following sites:

  • Anacostia High School, 1601 16th Street SE (Ward 8)
  • Ballou High School, 3401 4th Street SE, (Ward 8)
  • Banneker High School, 800 Euclid Street NW, (Ward 1)
  • Brookland Middle School, 1150 Michigan Avenue NE (Ward 5)
  • Cardozo Education Campus, 1200 Clifton Street NW (Ward 1)
  • Columbia Heights Education Campus, 3101 16th Street NW (Ward 1)
  • Coolidge High School, 6315 5th Street NW (Ward 4)
  • Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street NE (Ward 6)
  • Jefferson Middle School, 801 7th Street SW (Ward 6)
  • Kelly Miller Middle School, 301 49th Street NE (Ward 7)
  • Kimball Elementary School, 3375 Minnesota Avenue SE (Ward 7)
  • LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, 501 Riggs Road NE (Ward 4)
  • McKinley Education Campus, 151 T Street NE (Ward 5)
  • Stanton Elementary School, 2701 Naylor Road SE (Ward 8)
  • Walker-Jones Education Campus, 1125 New Jersey Avenue NW (Ward 6)
  • Woodson High School, 540 55th Street NE (Ward 7)

DC PUBLIC LIBRARY ACCESS: All DC Public Libraries will close on Monday, March 16 and reopen on Wednesday, April 1. All book drops will be locked so please keep borrowed items until the Library reopens. Late fees will be waived and expiration dates on holds will be extended. Digital offerings can be explored by visiting GoDigital. Updates on the Library’s operating schedule can be found on its website and social media accounts.

WELLNESS TEAM OUTREACH: The Ellington School’s Wellness Team will continue their support and reach out to families. Look for more information in coming days.

BEST PRACTICES FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING: Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. Check on your family and friends via phone or video. For more information about social distancing, click here for a PBS article.