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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: OSSE Grant

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.”

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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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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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