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Brooke's Briefing: Back to School

Posted by
Genevieve Hulick
on
August 30, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

This is the third of a series of topic specific newsletters that I will be sharing with you over the next several weeks. You can read all my newsletters here. I know that together we can work to address the challenges in our communities and continue to make Ward 2 and DC the best place to learn, live, work, play, and do business.

Education and Back to the Classroom
Happy back-to-school week! Can you believe summer is over already? Whether you’re a student yourself, a teacher, a parent to a student, or a supportive neighbor, a new school year always brings excitement and a sense of possibility. I always remember the joy of the first day of school, reuniting with my classmates and teachers, and the importance of those relationships.

I know that many of our students and teachers are excited to get back into the classroom after more than a year of distance learning. But, I’ve also heard from members of our community who have concerns about health and safety as the Delta variant spreads and children under 12 years old are still not able to get vaccinated. In this week’s newsletter, I want to celebrate the return of students and teachers to school buildings, provide the latest updates on COVID safety measures, and share some highlights of investments in education in the budget. We know that in-person learning environments are important for children’s academic and social development, mental health, and recovery from learning loss experienced last year. To ensure our schools were ready to accept our students this week and that all appropriate safety precautions were in place, I spent the last two weeks visiting our Ward 2 schools.

School Readiness Tours
I attended school readiness tours across Ward 2 with school principals and spoke with many teachers, administrators, parents, and students. We spoke about social distancing, dining protocols, and how each school is going to keep our kids safe. We were also concerned to learn that some HVAC updates were still needed. We have followed up with the Department of General Services, DCPS, and the Mayor to ensure those systems were updated over the weekend. If there are other needs of your school, please let us know.

Back-to-School Guide:

Vaccination policy:

  • DCPS staff are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination by September 19th or must be tested weekly. I have asked DCPS to update their policy to require the vaccination of all teachers. I will continue to advocate that booster shots be available to teachers and students on site.

COVID-19 testing policy:

Social distancing policy:

  • Student desks have been placed in classrooms to allow for the maximum amount of distancing. Student cohort interactions will be limited. PK3-PK4 will not change classrooms throughout the day, and I was told that classes that do change rooms will have the same assigned seating in each classroom.

Quarantining policy:

  • If an unvaccinated person is in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine for 7 days. Close contact is defined by being within 3-6 of someone for 15 minutes or more.

You can find more information about DCPS’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines here.

Stevens Early Learning Center


Hyde-Addison Elementary School


School Without Walls at Francis Stevens


Garrison Elementary School


Thomson Elementary School


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