The Cardinal Connection

Week of August 31st

At J.O. Wilson Elementary School, we are SOARing to success every day in every way by creating an environment in which joy, pride, positive interactions, and growth mindsets lead students to comfort in taking risks, self-advocating, and facing adversity

Important Dates:

Sept. 2nd: First Day of School for students in PK3-PK4

Sept. 5th: Labor Day Holiday (No School for Staff or Students)

Sept. 7th: First Day of After School Programming for Students

Sept. 15th: Parent Sip and Go

Sept: 17th: PTA Family Movie Night on the Field (tentative)

Sept. 22nd: Virtual Principal Chit Chat 6 PM

Sept. 30th: Back to School Night 6 PM-8 PM(More details forthcoming)

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Attendance Matters!

September is Attendance Awareness Month! This month will be dedicated to showing how attendance is essential to school success for our Cardinals!

Did you know?

  • Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year?
  • More Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.
  • 80% of success in school is showing up!
  • By 6th grade, chronic absences are the leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
  • Students fall behind significantly by missing one or two days every few weeks

No Double Parking During Arrival and Dismissal

As we continue to navigate our return to school we want to thank our families for their flexibility and understanding. Many of the processes that we are implementing are new and will require lots of trial and error. We are learning as go and will make needed adjustments accordingly. With this in mind, we are asking families to please not double park in the street during arrival and dismissal. Double parking to let kids out and to pick them up creates a major safety concern by placing our students, families, and community in harm's way. K Street is an extremely busy thoroughfare with lots of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and we need to ensure and keep a smooth, orderly, and safe flow of traffic as best as possible. As you know, the safety of students, staff, and families is always a priority so we kindly ask you to help us by not double parking in the streets or alley during arrival or dismissal.

Early Dismissal Policy for School 21-22

Effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021, for early dismissals, students should be picked up prior to 2:30 pm as the office gets extremely busy after this time. We ask that you please schedule appointments so that they do not conflict with your child's instructional day. Every instructional minute counts towards your cardinal's academic success.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 Testing (Updated as of 8/27/21) PLEASE READ!

All students will now be automatically enrolled in the testing program which supports asymptomatic testing, symptomatic testing, and testing for close contacts. Please disregard the COVID-19 testing consent forms previously shared in messages from DCPS.

Asymptomatic Testing: Consistent with CDC and DC Health guidance, DCPS will test 10 percent of students each week to screen for COVID-19 as part of our health and safety protocols, targeting unvaccinated students. The test will be a non-invasive, saliva-based PCR test. Instead of a nasal swab, students will hold a small vial with a funnel attached and produce a saliva sample.

Asymptomatic testing will begin on a rolling basis at schools starting September 2, 2021. All unvaccinated staff will also receive a weekly COVID-19 test. Results will be available to families and staff via a secure portal in an average of 6-8 hours. School leaders will also be notified of any positive cases to facilitate communication with family, close contacts, and DC Health.

**To opt-out of COVID-19 testing, parents/guardians or students over the age of 18 will now need to email or provide their schools with a signed opt-out form available at We will also send a hard copy of the opt form to families this week as well. **

The Power of Team Work & Collaboration by the JOW Staff!

Our Cardinal staff had an amazing time at Go Adventures participating in a plethora of team-building activities last week as we prepared for the opening of the school year.

Updated DCPS Travel Guidance

Unvaccinated individuals who travel outside of the DC-Maryland-Virginia area are recommended to self-quarantine upon return. Three to five days after returning, individuals should get a COVID-19 test. If the test is negative, the self-quarantine can end after the seventh day. If no test is performed, unvaccinated individuals should self-quarantine for 10 days.

We will continue to evaluate COVID-19 case levels and vaccination rates and determine whether DCPS will modify operations around the Thanksgiving and Winter holidays. We will provide an update in October on these considerations.

No Shots! No School!

DC Law requires each student attending DCPS to present valid immunization certification, documenting that he or she has been immunized in accordance with current DC Health immunization requirements, to their school prior to the first day of classes. Families have 20 school days from the first day of school to submit immunization documentation. After 20 school days, the student will be removed from in-person attendance until updated immunization documentation is submitted. More information about the District Immunization Enforcement Policy is found on OSSE’s website: If a student is non-compliant, they are not placed in virtual learning and cannot attend school in person.

How will the 20-school day rule be enforced?

Once a family has been notified that their student is non-compliant for their immunizations and 20 days have passed, a final letter will be sent home to the family stating that the student will not be allowed to return to school in-person or virtually until they are compliant.