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Are Washington Dc Schools Open

author
James Lee
• Tuesday, 17 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Mayor Muriel Bowser's announcement Thursday was widely expected as all surrounding school districts in northern Virginia and southern Maryland had already made the same decision. Bowler had initially planned to use a hybrid model with most students attending classes inside school buildings two days per week.

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Contents

But in the face of newly rising COVID-19 infection numbers, a scheduled mid-July announcement of the hybrid plan was abruptly delayed minutes before the press conference. Bowler said the decision was due to a combination of virus metrics, parental concerns and opposition from the teacher's union to opening up public school buildings.

When Term 2 begins next month, all in-person operations will be consistently monitored following D.C. Health's COVID-19 compliance. Under the District's guidance for Phase 2 of reopening, schools are allowed to include in-person instruction.

Fierce said all in-person models will limit the size of groups, require safe routines, maintain clean facilities, reduce class transitions, and will adjust arrival and dismissal procedures. COVID-19 screenings and reporting of symptoms in addition to adjusting meal routines will also be maintained.

Middle and high school students will have the option to return to in-person learning with the start of Term 3 beginning in January at the earliest, officials said. Washington Teachers’ Union (ITU) President Elizabeth Davis issued a statement following the Bowler and Fierce's decision to reopen schools to in-person learning on Nov. 9.

“While our teachers want to return to our classrooms and resume in-person learning, we can only do so when it is safe and when the Mayor and Chancellor have come to the table to work with us and other Union leaders to ensure the safety of our students, school-based staff, and communities,” Davis said in the statement. The program will provide tutoring, social-emotional support, physical education, and outdoor learning experiences.

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When Term 2 begins next month, all in-person operations will be consistently monitored following D.C. Health's COVID-19 compliance. School leaders said they will look at health data to determine whether they should go to a formal hybrid model, all in-person or all-virtual for the second quarter.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Fierce has vowed to provide a device and Internet access to every student in need. The school system says it will provide families in need hotspots or computers with built-in Internet connections.

The school system has established a minimum amount of real time instruction each student should receive based on grade-level and subject area. However, daily start and end times for the school day may vary by individual campuses.

A few charter schools have said they may allow students unable to work from home to participate in remote learning on campus. Teachers must undergo health screenings before they enter school campuses, and they must work from the same classroom each day.

D.C. Public Schools students at all grade levels will receive standard live instruction every weekday except Wednesday. Prekindergarten students will have about 30 to 60 minutes of real-time instruction, plus recorded lessons and independent activities.

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On Wednesdays, instead of the usual live instruction, students from kindergarten through high school will have virtual office hours with teachers, small-group learning and/or supplemental classes, which could include college- and career-exploration courses. Student must log on to the school system’s online platform, Canvas, at least once between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. each day to be marked present for class.

In prekindergarten classes, children will receive marks at the end of each grading period indicating whether they are below, meeting or exceeding developmental expectations. At the elementary level, teachers are expected to give students at least one grade a week, or two every 10 days.

In middle and high school, 20 percent of grades will be based on student engagement. Forty percent will be based on practice and application, which includes student assignments.

The school system says that teachers should be providing students various opportunities to earn points. Under federal rules, families in the fall must pick up meals at a campus within the school system their child is enrolled in.

The city is required to follow these rules to be reimbursed by the federal government for meals served. Chancellor Lewis D. Fierce said that such groups will not be available in school buildings at the start of the academic year.

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In April, the city launched a handful of emergency child-care sites for the families of essential workers. The Department of Behavioral Health operates the DC Access Hotline, 877-7WE-HELP, which families can call anytime.

The school system has made adjustments for the upcoming academic year to account for unfinished learning in the spring. But the chancellor said students will be learning new material in the first weeks of the school year and engaging in grade-level instruction.

Last school year, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos allowed states to apply to waive the requirement. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had planned to start the 2020 school year offering a hybrid model combining distance learning with two days a week of in-school instruction.

But the city was forced to abandon that plan in late summer amid strong safety objections from the teacher’s union. Bowler said Monday there was “a real urgency” to get students back to school buildings safely.

She has repeatedly cited the schools issue as a fundamental step in the District's return from a pandemic-fueled shutdown. Those students offered the chance to return to school buildings would be classified in two primary groupings.

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Fierce said the program would begin on Nov. 9 and there would be one such class per grade level at every elementary school. Priority here would be given to the children of DIPS teachers and staff, and to students whose siblings have already been accepted.

Fierce said the school administration would select students for both programs and offer seats to parents. The “in-person classroom” model appears to resemble that pursued by a handful of local charter schools.

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On May 29, we shared with families that term 4 report cards will be mailed home in June to all students. July 16 update : Summer Bridge registration is now closed, and all programming will fully take place online in a virtual learning setting.

Summer Bridge is an opportunity for students entering 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades to support relationship building through academic and social-emotional learning activities. Participation in Summer Bridge will support students as they transition to a new grade level or school building.

Students may visit a neighborhood meal site to receive a free lunch during the day. DIPS will work with families to ensure students in Summer Bridge have the technology necessary to participate while learning online.

Learning at home has concluded for the 2019-2020 school year, but instructional materials remain available at bit.ly/DCPS_ICP. We know that this situation has caused uncertainty and anxiety in our community and want to support your student and family during this challenging time.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that a recent pause during Phase Two has ended, which allows for indoor dining at restaurants to resume at 25% capacity (or no more than 250 people) and museums to reopen with no more than 250 people allowed per floor and no guided tours. The coronavirus pandemic has affected events, attractions and other businesses throughout the Washington, DC area.

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Make sure to check out our list of reopened businesses and read below for more details on restaurants, attractions and museums, including helpful safety information. Current Travel Requirements The DC government currently requires visitors to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of traveling (and to show results if asked by a business, hotel or restaurant); to avoid visiting if you are a close contact of a confirmed positive case; and to get tested within 3-5 days of arrival if you are visiting for more than three days.

The city already requires individuals to socially distance and wear face coverings. Read more up-to-date information about traveling to the city to ensure the health and safety of visitors.

While many in-person gatherings have been impacted, local businesses, museums and festivals are hosting virtual events, which we're tracking on weekdays and weekends. Employees and patrons should socially distance and wear face coverings at all times.

Food service cafés and retail are allowed to open in line with industry standards. Recreation centers, bowling alleys, climbing gyms, squash or racquetball clubs, skating rinks and skateboard parks may open with a 50-person capacity or at 50 percent capacity in Phase Two.

You can also learn more about DC's parks and gardens and read details of currently reopened sites below. The outdoor campus at THE REACH is accessible, including pop-up wine garden and café Victory Park, which will take a short break from Dec. 25 through Jan. 9, 2021.

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Access includes the playground, fitness area and tables, but note occupancy is limited, visitors are asked to sanitize hands upon entry of the playground and all organized activities require a permit. These venues can open if granted a waiver to ensure social distance measures, contact tracing and other safety protocols by Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HS EMA) to hold an arts, entertainment or cultural event.

Phase Two allows for personal services to open including hair and nail salons, massage and spas by appointment only and with strong safeguards and physical distancing in place. Barbershops and hair salons opened in Phase One with select services, Phase Two allows the reopening of tanning, tattoo, waxing, threading, electrolysis, cryotherapy, facial and other skin services and nail salons, requiring one client per employee, face coverings at all times and social distancing.

Read more about the city's requirements for retailers and check out ways that you can support some of these local businesses in the District. WHAT's enhanced cleaning measures include daily disinfecting of trains, buses and stations with mopping, wiping down high-touch surfaces or using electrostatic loggers.

Virtual, live, interactive and on-demand distance-learning programs continue at Ford's Theater's website. The museum grounds, including Temper Fidel is Memorial Park and the playground, will remain open.

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Sources
1 www.washington.edu - http://www.washington.edu/
2 www.washington.edu - https://www.washington.edu/admissions/
3 admit.washington.edu - https://admit.washington.edu/
4 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Washington