Hearst Summer Update

July 24, 2020

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Principal's Message

Dear Hearst Families,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! As we look toward the start of the new school year in August, it's safe to say that it's going to be a school year unlike any other. Our staff is planning for all learning scenarios as we await the expected July 31 public health determination from DC Health and Mayor Bowser on the feasibility of a hybrid learning option for the new school year.

We know all students will engage in learning at home in some capacity, and we want to ensure that families have the technology resources necessary for a strong reopening in the fall. To help inform planning, please complete this 5-minute technology access survey to share your family’s device and internet access needs.The survey will remain open through August, but we encourage families to complete the questionnaire by 6:00 p.m. on July 31. If your 3rd, 6th or 9th grade student is registered for the virtual Summer Bridge program, this survey applies to tech needs for that, too. Please complete a survey for each DCPS student in your household.

Additionally, to learn more about DCPS’ current thinking around planning for a safe and strong reopening for the 2020-2021 school year, you can watch a recording last week’s Virtual Family Town Hall. DCPS will also hold additional town halls next week in Spanish on July 27 at 5:30 p.m. (RSVP at this link) and in Amharic on July 28 at 5:30 p.m. (RSVP at this link). Both online forums will take place on Microsoft Teams.

We will also hold two Hearst town hall meetings about the new school year in the afternoon of July 31st. These meetings will give me a time to share our school level planning to date and answer questions specific to our Hearst community. Links for these meetings are below in the Upcoming Key Dates section.

As a reminder, #ReopenStrong at DCPS means a safe return to learning for every student. Students, families, and staff remain our top priority, and we will collaborate with DCPS leadership and operate under 10 health and safety commitments for school operations outlined during the Virtual Family Town Hall should health conditions allow for learning at school.

Thank you for your partnership and I hope you're all having a safe summer,

Jen

News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

News and Announcements from DCPS

Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance

As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, District health care providers have recorded an extremely low rate of pediatric immunization administrations. According to DC Health, the rate of pediatric immunization administrations has dropped by 70 percent in the District as families have avoided or not had access to well child care during the emergency period. Due to this, many children in the District are not fully immunized, creating a high risk for an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable infectious disease such as measles among our students. DC Health has advised that such an outbreak of another infectious disease could be as much, or even more, of a public health risk for school communities than COVID-19 itself, and would add another complex obstacle for school operations this year.

District law and regulations require schools to verify immunization certification for all students as part of attendance (DC Official Code § 38–501 et seq. and DCMR 5-E § 5300 et seq.). Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all schools will be required to enforce this District immunization law by requiring immunization certification as part of school attendance, including notifying and potentially removing non-compliant students from in-person instruction after a 20-school day period until they obtain the necessary immunizations (DC Official Code § 38–505).

Please carefully review the attached Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance which provides guidance on the implementation of this law beginning next school year. To prepare schools and families for this policy, OSSE is encouraging school leaders to review this policy and ensure immunization compliance is part of planning for the start of school. We request your assistance with communicating immunization requirements to families now to ensure their children are protected from vaccine-preventable infection, and to give them as much time as possible to make appointments with their health care providers and receive necessary immunizations before the start of school. DC Health will continue to encourage District health care providers to notify patients of missing immunizations and prioritize immunization appointments.

DCSAA Announces Plans for 2020-21 Interscholastic Athletics

The District of Columbia State Athletic Association today announced it has postponed interscholastic athletics in the 2020-21 school year until January 2021, due to the ongoing public health crisis.

Subject to final approval by the Mayor and the DC Department of Health, the DCSAA will implement a Condensed Interscholastic Plan for the 2020-21 school year. While sports will not be played in the fall, this model allows for all sports to have seasons during the 2020-21 school year.
“Given the current environment, it just is not feasible to begin practice August 1 and competition later that month,” DCSAA Executive Director Clark Ray said. “The safety of student-athletes and coaches remains our top priority. We have consulted with DC Health, our member public, public charter and private schools to discuss the options for having athletics this school year. Given the current science and data, this is the best solution to allow our student-athletes to compete in 2020-21.”

The Condensed Interscholastic Plan has three playing seasons, beginning with the winter season, followed by fall and then spring. Each season will have a three-week preseason and a six-week regular season, followed by league playoffs and DCSAA state championships.
• Winter season: basketball, indoor track and field, cheerleading.
o First practice date: December 14
o Game dates: January 4 to February 28
• Fall season: cross-country, football, soccer and volleyball
o First practice date: February 1
o Game dates: February 22 to April 16
• Spring season: baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, ultimate disc, chess
o First practice date: March 29
o Game dates: April 19 to June 13

Kids Ride Free SmarTrip Replacement Cards

Students who have misplaced their current school year SY19-20 KRF cards can get replacement cards at one of two upcoming events: Columbia Heights Recreation Center on Tuesday, July 21 (10am-12pm) or Deanwood Recreation Center on Wednesday, July 22 (10am-12pm). Current KRF cards are valid through Tuesday, September 29. Additional events maybe scheduled later this summer. For more information, please contact Lisa Richardson or School Transit or call (202) 673-1740.

FREE Student Tutoring Services Available

A team of seniors from School Without Walls High School has started a free online tutoring service called, “Washingtutors,” to help DCPS families support their students with learning at home, and they have also partnered with GWU to add service capacity. Tutoring is available for all grade levels and subjects include Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Computer Science, as well as Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindi.

News and Announcements from Other Organizations

Grocery and Meal Sites

Grocery sites and meal sites continue to operate across the District. At dozens of sites, anyone under the age of 18 can walk up for a free meal, Monday through Friday. Additionally, families can continue to access free bags of fresh groceries at schools across DC.

Find a full list of meal and grocery sites HERE.

ESOL Owls (Volunteer Tutoring Program)

ESOL Owls is offering FREE online tutoring to K-12 ESOL students. Students are paired with tutors and they meet once a week over video chat through the end of the summer. We have tutors who speak over 30 languages, including Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and more. For more information or to sign up, go to ESOL Owls.