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D.C. EDUCATION BRIEFS: Required Immunizations

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser encourages all families with children ages 3-18 to get back on track with required immunizations in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year on Aug. 30.

The city is making it easier for families to get children their required pediatric immunizations before the start of the school year at 37 sites across the District with an added option to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We want our children to be equipped with all that they need for a healthy, safe, and successful 2021-2022 academic school year,” Bowser said in a press statement. “And that includes receiving their required immunizations and making sure that their health and wellness remain a priority for all families.”

Appointments will be available at participating DCPS, public, charter school locations, hospitals, primary care facilities, community health centers, and school-based health centers in all eight wards.

Vaccine Promotions

With the first day back to school just weeks away, all DCPS students and personnel, as well as public charter schools students and staff, are encouraged to get vaccinated.

The promotion of vaccines will help to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in school buildings. While others have been hesitant and less comfortable in an in-person setting, according to the State Board Student Advisory Committee, many students’ anxieties about returning to their schools have been eased by widespread teen access to vaccines.

Free SmarTrip Cards

New “Kids Ride Free SmarTrip” cards for the 2021-22 school year will be available for pickup by the first week of classes.

New students will be given first priority at their schools to pick up new cards.

The free SmarTrip blue cards will remain valid through Sept. 30. Students who have lost or misplaced their 2020-21 cards can request a replacement card from their school ID administrator.

“With the 2021-22 school year right around the corner, we are incredibly excited to welcome back our students full time to the classroom,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “It is more important than ever that we support our students with free and safe transportation options to and from school.”

Limited Virtual Programming

After hearing from families opting for virtual learning, the D.C. Public Charter School Board will allow KIPP DC Public Charter School and Maya Angelou PCS to offer permanent virtual programming to a limited number of students.

The allowance for the 2021-22 school year and beyond, will enable Maya Angelou to continue the credit recovery courses it has offered for the past five years.

Meanwhile, with the board declining Howard University PCS’ request, AppleTree PCS has withdrawn a similar request previously submitted to the board.

Lots of Innovation

Despite tough times, there has been a lot of innovation this past school year among public charter schools, according to DC PCSB Executive Director Michelle Walker Davis.

Charter school leaders, teachers and staff got computers, Internet, food, school supplies, and much more for their students while remaining focused on student learning.

“That helped us all adjust quickly and serve the educational needs of our students,” Walker Davis said in a statement.

First Day Back to School

While some public charter schools will open their doors earlier for the upcoming academic year, other buildings have opted to wait until the end of August to welcome students back.

Here’s a partial list of 2021-22 AppleTree Early Learning Center “First Day Back to School” confirmations:

 

Achievement Preparatory Academy PCS – Wahler Place Elementary School

8/23/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Columbia Heights

8/30/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Douglas Knoll

8/30/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Lincoln Park

8/30/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Oklahoma Avenue

8/30/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Parklands at THEARC

8/30/2021

AppleTree Early Learning Center PCS – Southwest

8/30/2021

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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