We continue to see the strength of our community as we come together during this public health crisis and support the needs of our students. Since learning at home began, our online learning hub on Canvas received nearly 2 million page views from more than 80,000 visitors. We also distributed learning at home packets, comprised of more than 3.5 million printed pages, across our district, so that all students have access to learning materials.
These numbers represent parents downloading elementary math lessons, high school students earning credits on the path to graduation, and educators who continue to make their students feel loved, challenged, and prepared as they connect with them virtually across our city. Thank you to all the families, teachers, and community members who are working together to make sure that our students are engaged, supported, and safe.
April 7 DCPS Updates
- Technology Access for Students
- #DCPSatHome on Your TV
- Online Workshops for DCPS Families
- Suspension of Student Travel
Technology Access for Students
DCPS is working hard to ensure that families have the resources they need in this unprecedented moment, and we recognize that technology is a critical need for our students to continue their education. I am proud to announce that we are expanding our efforts to support students in need of technology for learning at home.
We will loan devices to families in need as part of our Empowered Learners Initiative (ELi). Distribution of these devices to high school students is already underway. Distribution to middle school students starts this week, and elementary school families will receive devices beginning next week. Your school will send you information on how to pick up a device.
DCPS will loan up to 16,000 technology devices to students to support learning at home. We are also purchasing 10,000 personal mobile hotspots to provide families who need access to high-speed internet while school buildings are closed.
As technology becomes a critical component of our new way of learning, we are also expanding resources available for our youngest students, as well as parents who are adjusting to the pace of learning at home.
#DCPSatHome on Your TV!
For our elementary families, DCPS “Fun with Phonics” lessons are now available on TV every weekday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and then again from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. These videos are a great way for your student to continue to develop early literacy skills and are available on Comcast (Channel 99), RCN (Channel 18), Verizon (Channel 12), or on the DCPS YouTube channel. I hope that your family tunes in to join our teachers for these exciting lessons.
Online Workshops for DCPS Families
DCPS is launching virtual Parent University workshops to provide information and start conversations on topics that we know are top of mind for families. I invite you to join me at the first session on “Managing Stress as Adults” on Wednesday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. You can RSVP for this and all upcoming workshops at dcpsparentu2020.eventbrite.com.
Date and Time / Topic
Wednesday, April 8, 2:30 p.m. / Managing Stress as Adults
Thursday, April 9, 4:00 p.m. / Understanding Microsoft Teams
Tuesday, April 14, 3:00 p.m./ Using the Guide to Graduation, Career, and College
Wednesday, April 15, 2:30 p.m. / Using the Guide to Graduation, Career, and College (in Spanish)
Wednesday, April 22, 2:30 p.m. / Helping Your Child Manage Stress
Suspension of Student Travel
Due to the unprecedented situation the district is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come to the difficult decision to cancel all school trips through the summer. All DCPS-sponsored student travel outside the District of Columbia, including DCPS Study Abroad summer 2020 trips, is suspended through July 2020. (This is an update to the previously issued restriction through May 1.)
We know that students were looking forward to these memorable opportunities and travel experiences, but student safety is our top priority. DCPS Study Abroad participants were contacted by the program with more details and your school will communicate with you around other planned trips. For more information, read our Family FAQ.
Reminder: Stay at Home Order
On Monday, March 30, Mayor Bowser issued a Stay at Home Order except in cases of essential healthcare, food, supplies, or employment. Visiting schools to receive meals or learning at home materials is considered an essential activity.
All District residents are encouraged to do their part and stay at home. As a reminder, all DC Public Schools playgrounds, athletic fields, and other outdoor spaces on school premises are closed during the District’s Public Health Emergency. Learn more about the District of Columbia Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19) by visiting coronavirus.dc.gov.
You can also check out answers to Frequently Asked Questions and other DCPS updates at dcps.dc.gov/coronavirus. Visit coronavirus.dc.gov/food for information on meal sites across the city, including how to get there via Metrorail or Metrobus.
We will continue to provide updates on information and resources as our district responds to COVID-19. We appreciate your continued support.
Lewis D. Ferebee
Chancellor, DC Public Schools