DC Public Schools (DCPS) are set to reopen next month with two days of physical attendance in class and three days of remote education.
Classes are scheduled to start on August 31, according to NBC Washington, which also reported that teachers with health conditions will have to ask for medical leave.
Local politicians, including Zachary Parker, the Ward 5 representative on the DC State Board of Education, criticized the decision before its announcement. He wrote a letter to the Deputy Mayor for Education, Paul Kihn, DCist reported.
“Even with the complexities of our present moment, we must prioritize safety, health, and life,” Parker said in his letter. “I know student learning has been greatly impacted during distance learning, and not all students have access to necessary equipment or support to excel academically outside of school, but how many teachers’ and students’ lives are worth the risk of resuming in-person instruction?”
10,000 devices distributed in the spring.
36,000 more devices at the start of the new school year.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) July 16, 2020
The outlet also obtained an email by the Washington Teachers Union addressing teachers. The union encourages its members to sign a petition asking DCPS to offer detailed health guidance before the reopening of schools.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a tweet on Thursday that 10,000 digital devices and needed technology were provided for students without a device or internet access at home in the spring, and 36,000 more devices will be given out at the start of the new school year.
DC schools closed their doors on March 16, soon after the reports of first confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in the District.