D.C. Public Schools can resume in-person instruction this week, ruled an arbiter chosen to mediate a conflict between the school system’s leadership and the Washington Teachers’ Union.
The arbiter ruled that most city schools were safe to reopen following hours of testimony, despite the union’s charge that DCPS has failed to adequately inform employees about the safety and status of buildings, WTOP reported.
Roughly 8,000 students of all grade levels are now set to return to in-person classes, with about 1,800 teachers and 2,000 staffers told to report for duty, according to WTOP.
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee hailed the decision, saying the school system had done its due diligence in making sure in-person instruction was safe.
“The arbiter found no evidence of any health or safety violations across any D.C. public school facilities, which affirms DCPS has followed local and national reopening guidance and has been transparent with the community through the reopening planning process,” Ferebee said, WTOP reported. “We were ready to reopen before the Washington Teachers’ Union made this last-minute failed attempt to delay expansion of in-person learning. The science is clear. Schools are safe, and we know the best place for students to learn is in the classroom.”
The union hasn’t ruled out filing an injunction to prevent the reopening, WTOP reported.