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Message from Board Members

March 23, 2020

Dear Members of the Ellington Family,

We are reaching out on behalf of the boards of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the Ellington Fund to wish everyone in the Duke Ellington community safe passage through this unprecedented national emergency. Duke Ellington is following the guidance of D.C. Public Schools and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to operate in a safe manner, and we urge the entire Ellington family to take similar precautions. A hallmark of Duke Ellington is that we love and take care of each other. Mere physical separation does not change that fact. We will emerge from this crisis better, more caring of each other and more resilient.

The Boards would also like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all who have pulled together to meet this challenge. Thank you to the best teaching, administrative and custodial staff in DC. Thank you to Tia and Sandi for the day-to-day leadership and guidance as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances. Together, you have worked tirelessly to prepare for virtual/distance learning, which has now been extended to April 27. The Boards wholeheartedly support the efforts being made to ensure the success of our students.

Duke Ellington students, we know this is a particularly challenging time for you. We ask that you do your best to participate actively and enthusiastically in virtual/distant learning, knowing that we are all rooting for you to succeed. Duke Ellington parents, we fully appreciate the efforts required of you, and will do our best to provide the necessary support for your children.

We share in the commitment to protect our community and ensure the continuity of our rigorous academic and artistic programs. This is a time when our individual and collective actions can have a powerful impact in mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and reducing its negative impact on our community. The actions we are taking at Ellington are guided by DCPS directives, our common sense and recognition of the rapidly evolving situation. Please continue to use the communications protocols and channels established by the leadership team.

Lastly, as mentioned above, Ellington is about love. We are a family, bound by compassion and caring for each other. We hope you and your families are safe and protected and send our best wishes to each of you. Let us also continue to keep in our thoughts all of those affected by the virus.

Please continue to stay safe. And in the words of Duke Ellington, “a problem is a chance for you (us) to do your (our) best.” Together, we will!

Charles Barber
President, Board of Directors
Duke Ellington School of the Arts Project

Ari Fitzgerald
President, Board of Directors
The Ellington Fund