Students at DC Public Schools (DCPS) will be able to attend in-person classes from November 9, according to an announcement made by DCPS Chancellor Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee at a press conference on Monday.
As part of the District’s phased reopening plan, students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade will begin returning to their classrooms during DCPS’ second term, which will start next month.
Middle and high school students will continue learning at home. Grades sixth through 12th will be back at school when Term 3 kicks off.
“During learning at home, our educators are making their virtual classrooms places of creativity and enrichment, curiosity and encouragement. At the same time, we know learning at home is not working for every student and family,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser in her COVID-19 situational update.
In-person classes will be monitored as per DC Health’s COVID-19 guidelines.
The DC government promises to prioritize providing a safe and supportive learning space for students where there are more challenges with virtual learning, offering in-person instruction for students with known opportunity gaps to mitigate learning loss, and maximizing learning time and maintaining the integrity of the instructional program for all students.
“Learning at home has been positive for many of our students … However, we also know at this time that learning at home is not working for every students, and we particularly know that our youngest learners have been the most challenged,” said Ferebee.
He added that families will still have the option to continue their children’s learning virtually.
DCPS says it can serve approximately 75 percent of pre-kindergarten students enrolled and it cannot guarantee a seat for all students. Around 20-25 percent of families reported a preference for all virtual learning in a survey conducted by the school system in summer 2020.
DCPS closed schools in March and the school year started with online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.