Hearst Family Update
January 9, 2020
Good afternoon, Owl Families!
Thank you for all of the positive feedback you've sent to our staff after the discussions on Thursday with students about the insurrection at the Capitol. It's never easy to have those 'day after' conversations with students, especially when they are so close to home and involve many complex issues like power, white supremacy, racism, and sedition, among many others. Over the coming weeks and particularly as we get closer to the inauguration, kids may continue to ask many questions and express a range of emotions. DCPS has published a variety of resources to support our staff in talking with students about current events and we will be utilizing them as necessary and appropriate for our kids. Also know that Ms. Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. DeWerd (email@example.com) are available as resources for you and your kids and welcome your outreach should you have questions on how to support your kids during this or any time.
As always, thanks for your partnership and please see below for important Term 3 updates from Hearst and DCPS,
News and Announcements from Hearst
Upcoming Key Dates
- January 11 - Term 3 seat offers to prioritized students begin; Term 3 Town Hall, 5:30-6:30 (https://jh.zoom.us/j/96281977552?pwd=d1Q0V0NGSGNIQVRDT3Fpa2FOd2tQZz09; Meeting ID: 962 8197 7552; Passcode: 063110)
- January 12 - Reading Inventory for 2nd – 5th grades (during asych time); Term 3 Town Hall, 7:00-8:00pm (https://jh.zoom.us/j/99144600893?pwd=VXJIOE93eWZqTzN4ZldxT0NGUHVKQT09; Meeting ID: 991 4460 0893; Passcode: 522226)
- January 13 - iReady Math MOY assessment for K-5th grades; PTA Meeting, 5:00-6:30pm
- January 18 - MLK Holiday (no school for all-building closed)
- January 19 - No school for students and teachers (building closed)
- January 20 - Inauguration Day (no school for all-building closed)
- January 21 - iReady Reading MOY assessment for 3rd-5th grades
- January 29 - Term 2 Ends (no school for students)
- March 31 - Hearst Spring Picture Day (more information coming soon)
- Ongoing during month of January, Janna Walker will be completing TRC/DIBELS MOY assessment for K-1 students and DIBELS for 2nd grade students
Reminder: Because our building is now open to students, any non-staff members who would like to come to the building to pick up materials, switch out a device, etc., must have an appointment in order to come into the building. Please email Ms. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (202-282-0106) to set up an appointment if you need to come into the building for any reason. Thanks!
Reminder: DC is publishing COVID data specific to DCPS and it can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/node/1506966. With both staff and students back in school buildings, please visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/response/ to learn more about DCPS' COVID-19 Response Protocol, including testing available for students and staff.
Term 3 Updates
The Hearst Reopen Community Corps had our final Term 3 meeting on Wednesday, January 6, and reviewed the updated Term 3 reopening plan. As previously shared, our plan allows up to gradually reopen our school building to more students and staff in Term 3, with the hopes of bringing back additional students and staff in Term 4. The plan is built upon three principles that we consistently heard prioritized by students, staff, and families in reopening conversations - safety, consistency, and socialization. The plan prioritizes in person seats for our students who are at-risk, have disabilities, and/or are English language learners (ELLs) and will allow us to meet the needs of our students furthest from opportunity in a meaningful way, while also minimizing disruption to the current virtual learning model, given that the majority of Hearst students will remain virtual in Term 3.
My approach to the plan was also based on a both/and approach to staffing as opposed to an either/or approach. With an either/or approach, if personal or family health or childcare needs meant that a staff member was unable to work in person in Term 3, they would be forced to take leave for the duration of the term and be unable to serve our community in any way. The both/and approach took a different view, allowing staff to both take care of their personal and family needs during the ongoing pandemic while also continuing to serve the Hearst community virtually in Term 3.
The approved plan, revised since I shared the initial plan in my 12/20 update, allows us to serve just under 20% our of students in person and includes the following in person learning options for students in Term 3:
- PK CARE classroom, maximum of 8 students, staffed by two contract teachers, one with several years of experience leading PK4 classrooms
- K-2 CARE classroom, maximum of 10 students, staffed by Hearst partner teacher
- 3-5 CARE classroom, maximum of 11 students, staffed by DCPS staff with education experience
- K in person classroom, maximum of 10 students, staffed by Hearst K teacher and Hearst K partner teacher
- CARE+ classroom for English Language Learners (ELLs), maximum of 11 students, the morning CARE classroom component will be staffed by a Hearst partner teacher and the afternoon in person instruction will be led by a Hearst ELL teacher.
- CARE+ classroom for students with disabilities (SWDs) in the general education program, maximum of 11 students, the morning CARE classroom component will be staffed by a Hearst partner teacher and the afternoon in person instruction will be led by a Hearst Special Education (SPED) teacher.
While we were hoping to open in person learning classrooms for our students in our CES classrooms in Term 3, DCPS staffing requirements for CES programs in combination with our staff availability in combination unfortunately will not allow for us to open in person CES classrooms in Term 3. We will revisit this in Term 4, in hopes that we can offer in person options for our CES students as part of our plan to open additional in person classrooms during the final term of the school year.
I'll be hosting two town hall conversations for those who would like to know more about the Term 3 plan and log in information for the meetings is above in the Key Dates section as well as on Bloomz.
Finally, the CDC has published a document called "Making Decisions about Children Attending In-person School During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Information for Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers," and the link for it can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/decision-tool.html. In addition to helping families make decisions about returning to in-person instruction if offered a seat, it can be a helpful resource for talking with kids about why some kids are learning in-person while others will continue learning virtually.
Yearbook Photos Needed
News and Announcements from DCPS
Term 3 Reopening FAQs from DCPS
Why do schools have different reopening plans?
We remain grounded in the firm belief that a safe and healthy in-person learning opportunity is the best way to teach and reach students who are facing significant barriers to success with virtual learning. We also know individual school context, student needs, and family preferences vary.
In Term 3, every school will offer a range of in-person learning options and services for students. This includes In-Person Learning (IPL) Classrooms with teachers, CARE Classrooms or tutoring services with staff facilitators, and self-contained classrooms for special education students. School reopening plans were shaped by planning and engagement with their Reopen Community Corps. They reviewed feedback from elementary and secondary learning preference surveys, led with equity to prioritize their highest need students, and helped school leaders design a tailored reopening plan for their school in Term 3.
Each school accounted for demand data in their reopening plans and, on average, will be able to serve approximately 30 percent of their students in person depending on staffing and classroom space. We look forward to welcoming back in-person up to 15,000 students, and schools will begin to notify families with seat offers next week. You can explore the different variations of in-person learning models being offered at each school at dcpsreopenstrong.com/schedule/term3.
Who is returning to in-person work in Term 3?
About 40 percent of WTU members will support in-person learning programs and services as outlined in their schools’ reopening plans, as well as approximately 60 percent of support staff.
How were in-person staffing assignments made?
As we prepare for reopening, DCPS remains sensitive to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on our community. The staff assignment process varied by union group. For all staff, we continue to ensure that federal and local job and leave protections are made available. At no time will a teacher or staff member who is approved for such a protection be expected to report in-person. To support the transition to in-person work, tailored professional development is being offered for all staff.
What health and safety measures are in place?
The safety of students and staff is paramount, and all DCPS health and safety protocols are adhered to in schools’ reopening plans. In-person learning programs and services are limited to small group cohorts and follow DC Health guidelines. Daily PPE supplies, socially distanced classrooms, and enhance cleaning regimes are in place.
The COVID-19 vaccination process for the DCPS workforce is expected to start before Term 3. We are working urgently with DC Health to prioritize administering the COVID-19 vaccine to staff working in person and more details are forthcoming.
Where can I get more information?
Free Internet Service
Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to make sure your student has internet at home for virtual learning. Through a new program called Internet for All, DC Government will be paying for a year of residential internet service for eligible households provided by Comcast and RCN.
How it Works: DC Government will reach out directly by text, phone call and email to SNAP and TANF eligible households with PK3- 12th grade students enrolled at DC traditional and charter public schools.
Once you agree to participate in the program and allow Comcast or RCN to contact you, they will reach out to initiate the internet installation process. Please be sure to answer their call! Please contact your student’s school to check your eligibility and program status. Internet for All is part of the Tech Together DC Partnership. Find more information online at techtogether.dc.gov and see the flyer below.
Cancellation of Science and Health/Physical Education Assessments for Spring 2021
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has cancelled the following assessments for the 2020-21 school year:
- DC Science Assessment: Grades 5 and 8 and high school biology;
- Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Science Assessment: Grades 5 and 8 and high school biology;
- Health and Physical Education Assessment (HPEA): Grades 5 and 8 and high school (only high school students enrolled in a health class during the school year)
The following assessments are expected to take place in spring 2021. The Assessments Team is working with OSSE to obtain more details regarding assessments administration and will promptly share updates with schools.
- ACCESS for ELLs 2.0/ Alternate ACCESS; Window for testing: February 15 –April 9, 2021; Testing Format: In-person (if students are reporting to schools for instruction)
- Multi-state Alternate Assessment (MSAA); Window for testing: March 15 –April 30, 2021; Testing Format: In-person (if students are reporting to schools for instruction)
- Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC); Window for testing: April 5 – May 28, 2021, April 5 – May 21, 2021 (Paper accommodation tests); Testing Format: Remote testing or in-person (if students are reporting to schools for instruction)
(Note from Jen: DCPS is required to administer PARCC by the US Department of Education and doing so is tied to federal funding. The new administration may waive the requirement for PARCC and we should know more in the next month.)
Reminder: Travel Guidance for In-Person Students and Staff
We recognize that some staff working in person and families attending in-person programming may be traveling over the upcoming long weekend in January.
Per the Mayor’s Order 2020-110, individuals who have traveled to any place other than Maryland or Virginia are required to either (1) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for 14 days after returning to the District (or coming to work for a District agency), or (2) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for three to five days and then receive a negative COVID-19 PCR COVID-19 test.
All DCPS staff members who are working in person, whether they are a District resident or not, can show their school ID to be prioritized at any District public testing sites.
See DC Health’s Guidance for Travel for more information and the flyer below for easy-to-follow dos and don’ts on this topic.
DCPS continues to follow the CDC’s and DC Health’s Holiday Travel Guidance released November 9th, remember the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home. Gatherings with family and friends who are not a part of your household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.
Reminder: Standing Ovation Nominations
Reminder: DCPS Immunization Compliance Updates and Immunization Requirements for CARE and In Person Classroom Participants
News and Announcements from Other Organizations
Mayor Bowser at the next W3EdNet Meeting on 1/11 at 7pm
Happy New Year!
We are extremely happy to co-host Mayor Muriel Bowser at our next Ward 3 Education Network meeting on Monday, January 11th at 7pm. This meeting is co-hosted with the Ward 3 Democrats and streamed on the Ward 3 Dems Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/Ward3Democrats We are very grateful to the Ward 3 Democrats for this opportunity to work with them. A flyer of the event is attached.
Mayor Bowser will address the group for 10-15 minutes and then take questions for almost another hour. While the first half of the Q&A session will be general interest questions, the last 25 minutes will be devoted to education issues and will be moderated by our own Melody Molinoff. This is a great opportunity to hear from and ask the Mayor about school reopening, the budget, and overcrowding in school in the feeder pattern.
Melody, Karin, and Brian
The Ward 3 - Wilson High School Feeder Pattern Education Network (W3EdNet) is a group made up of PTO Board and LSAT members as well as other interested community members. We aim to work together to support schools in the Wilson feeder pattern, host community events of common interest, and advocate for better schools across the city.
Cupids Kid's - Community Edition
The DC Department of Aging and Community Living would like to invite your school to participate in our Annual Cupid’s Kids campaign and help lift the spirits of homebound seniors during Valentine’s Day. This year, we are doing things a little different! In partnership with DC Public Library, we are inviting everyone in the community to help make handmade Valentine’s Day cards for isolated and homebound District seniors. Isolation during the pandemic has made it harder for seniors to stay connected and the winter months are a peak time for social isolation and loneliness for many in the District. Your school’s contribution would spread kindness to seniors, many of whom live alone, and teach students how they can make a positive impact in the community—one individual at a time.
This year’s goal is to send handmade Valentine’s Day cards to over 6,000 recipients of DACL’s home-delivered meals program. The cards will be included in the February meal delivery. We are hoping schools will pass along the toolkit to families and encourage them to make cards from home. Handmade Valentine’s Day cards will be collected at select DCPL sites. Locations are listed in the toolkit, which also includes instructions on how to make a card. You may also visit our website https://dacl.dc.gov/page/cupidskids for more information.
Looking forward to receiving your cards!
Sadia Siddiq Ferguson | Community Relations Specialist
External Affairs and Communications
Department of Aging and Community Living
202-727-0374 (Office) | 202-304-2390 (Mobile)
Washington, DC Chapters of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 2021 Talent Hunt Competition for Grades 9-12
The Washington, DC Chapters of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. are pleased to announce our 2021 Talent Hunt Competition. Due to the pandemic, this years' Talent Hunt Competition will be virtual. The competition, which has been one of our Fraternity's national programs since 1946, is open to all District of Columbia charter, public, private, and parochial high school students grades 9-12. The program intends to identify and support our youth in their pursuit of excellence in the performing arts.
The first-place prize in each category (vocal, instrumental, dance, and speech) is $500, and the second-place prize is $250. There will be over $3,000 in Awards. The local competition's overall winner will compete with other winners in our Fraternity's 3rd District competition in Fredericksburg, Virginia, from March 26th-28th, 2021. This competition includes chapters in the state of Virginia and Washington, DC.
Applications and information sheets are provided for your convenience.
We will have live virtual auditions from January 30th to February 6th, 2021, between 5:00 pm and 6: 00 pm. There will be four time slots available on each audition day. Students must be willing to commit to participating via Zoom and submit an application and MUST have a signature for parental/guardianship consent.
Competition – Saturday, February 20th, 2021, at 6:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom
Please have applications returned to: Raoul J Daggett, WDC Talent Hunt Chairperson
Fax to: Larry Brown at 202-544-0852
For additional information, please contact me at 240-604-5805. Thank you for assisting our Fraternity and supporting your students. We look forward to seeing you and your students at the audition and competition.
Raoul J. Daggett,
2021 Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc. - Talent Hunt Chairman