July 19, 2020
Dear DCPS Community,
DC Public Schools (DCPS) is committed to a safe return to learning for every student, and the health and safety of students, staff, families, and the community remains our top priority.
Anchored in the firm belief the best place to enrich a student is in the classroom, on Thursday Mayor Bowser outlined the different learning options we are considering for the 2020-2021 School Year. Read the Mayor’s July 16 presentation and watch the Mayor’s press conference for more details.
We expect DC Health will make a public health determination on the feasibility of the hybrid option on July 31.
Here is what we do know:
1. #ReopenStrong at DCPS means a safe return to learning for every student.
While engaging our community throughout the summer, we heard a resounding desire to focus on prioritizing safety, maximizing learning – whether in school or at home – and providing equitable access to resources and supports. We are committed to delivering on these expectations. Through continued collaboration, transparency, and flexibility, we will successfully meet student needs during these unprecedented times.
You can read the results of our recent surveys to families, students, and staff at this link.
2. The Summer Bridge program for students in 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades will now be virtual.
Summer Bridge begins on August 10 and more information will be shared with families who registered for the program in the coming days. DCPS will work with families to ensure students in Summer Bridge have the technology necessary to participate while learning online.
We are excited to connect with our students entering 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade in just a few weeks!
3. In-person hybrid schedules are to be determined.
We value in-person instruction for students whenever possible because it is critical for both academic learning and social-emotional well-being. Should health conditions allow, we hope to offer families a choice on the learning model that best accommodates the health and safety considerations for their household due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are planning for two scenarios: Students may have the option to participate in hybrid instruction (learning will take place in school some days and at home for others) or all-virtual instruction (learning will only take place at home and students will be taught online).
You can see sample schedules for these instructional options on pages 8-10 in the July 16 Situational Awareness update from Mayor Bowser.
Students participating in hybrid instruction will attend school one or two days a week (depending on the grade) in small group cohorts and will continue learning at home the remainder of the week. Students participating in all-virtual instruction will learn exclusively at home with the same teachers and peers of their enrolled school.
4. Join us for a Family Town Hall on Wednesday, July 22 or Thursday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m.
We recognize that you may have questions about what this means for you and your family. I invite you to attend a DCPS Family Town Hall next week to learn more about our current thinking around planning for a safe and strong reopening for next year. You can RSVP for this virtual event at this link.
Our talented staff, engaged families, and incredible students are ready to return to learning in a safe environment this fall! I look forward to providing you regular updates on our planning underway on a weekly basis.
Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.