D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced late last month a $10 million grant program for the District’s public charter schools to support and prioritize the return of students to classrooms and contribute to the equitable resourcing for reopening efforts across the city.

The Office of the State Superintendent for Education is administering the grant with support from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education.

“The District’s educators have done remarkable work with students through virtual instruction, but we know the best place for teachers to engage and nurture our students is in the classroom alongside their peers,” Bowser said. “These grants will support a much-needed return to in-person learning so that, together, we can begin the process of recovery and address the academic and social-emotional needs of every student.”

No Classes

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Jan. 18.: No School for Students and Teachers
No School for Students and Teachers on Jan. 19.
Inauguration Day is Jan. 20: No School for Students and Teachers

OSSE Proposal

At its Jan. 6 meeting, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education presented a video web conference proposal for an addendum and waiver to the D.C. State Accountability Plan that specifically requests flexibility to areas of the accountability system to which the United States Department of Education has identified as being directly affected by unavailable data from the 2019–20 school year due to the COVID-19 national emergency.

Through a waiver, OSSE will request flexibility to waive the administration of DC Science for the 2020–21 school year and waive the identification of Targeted Support 1 schools in school years 2020–21 and 2021–22 due to the absence of STAR Framework scores and limitations with growth calculations, which would utilize data from the 2020–21 school year.

Parents’ Survey Results

A District of Columbia Public Schools parents’ survey that was conducted in February shows how well virtual learning has been and how parents feel about continuing the method for school year 2021-22.

The survey, which gauges the response of more than 10,500 parents with students in pre-K through 5th grades, and 4,000 parents with students in 6th through 12th grades, credited Ward 7 with the highest percentage of parents preferring virtual learning at 70%.

Other survey results include:

• For pre-K through 5th grades, over half of families in Wards 5, 7, and 8 preferred virtual-only, while over half of families in Wards 3, 4, and 6 preferred in-person or the supervised CARE program.
• For 6th through 12th, more than half of families in Wards 5, 7, and 8 preferred all-virtual learning, while over half of families in Ward 3 preferred in-person learning.
Wards 5 and 7 tied for the highest percentage of parents preferring virtual learning at 71%.
• Ward 3 had the highest percentage of parents preferring in-person learning at 62%.
• Parents with students in 9th grade preferred in-person learning the most at 53%. The highest percent of parents wanting virtual learning was in 7th grade at 67%.
DCPS, which partnered with Trandency Research for the survey results, said it will continue to gather data and share reports through January.

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