Health

Our DCPS Safety Commitment

Due to the evolving nature of this pandemic, we understand that families and staff may be cautious about the unknowns that surround in-person learning. While the 2020-2021 School Year started with an all-virtual instructional model through learning at home, DCPS reopened every school for in-person programming in February 2021.

To ensure the safety of every student, we will maintain 10 health and safety commitments as a community this year.

1. Limit the size of groups (UPDATED) — During Term 4, DCPS will continue to limit the size of student learning cohorts. Unlike in Terms 2 and 3, classroom cohort size is no longer set to a specific number. Rather, capacity is limited to the maximum number of full-time occupants per instructional space that can be present while following social distancing guidelines.

2. Require students and staff to practice safe routines — Anyone who comes to school in-person will be provided with a supply of disposable face masks, including smaller masks for our youngest students, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

3. Maintain clean and safe facilities — Enhanced cleaning practices will be a part of our school routines. Frequently touched surfaces (e.g., sink handles, door handles) will be cleaned and disinfected daily and a deep cleaning will happen weekly.

4. Reduce class transitions and time in hallways — Students will be scheduled with a small group of students that will stay in their classroom and educators will come to them.

5. Reorganize classroom spaces (UPDATED) — Social distancing guidelines have been modified for Term 4 to reflect the latest CDC guidance. Beginning in Term 4, social distancing between students is 3 feet in the classroom. A distance of 6 feet should still be maintained between students and the teacher(s) as well as between student cohorts while entering/exiting the building, in hallways, and other shared spaces. Communal spaces will have occupancy caps and staggered usage. Signage and floor markers will be displayed to promote social distancing.

6. Adjust arrival and dismissal procedures (UPDATED)— Our schools will continue with procedures that incorporate social distancing, include health screenings, and provide hand sanitizer and masks for students. Family members will be able to help their students check in at their school entry point, but they will not be permitted to enter the building. Visitor access will be limited, while still allowing for provision of essential services and supports.

7. Screen for illness and report symptoms — Staff and students will be required to participate in a daily health screening. If a student or staff member develops any COVID-19 symptoms while at school, there will be a designated physical location and a process in place that allows the individual to isolate until it is safe to go home and seek medical care. DC Health reporting protocols will be initiated.

8. Adjust meal and snack routines — Each student’s small group will eat meals together. Meal distribution procedures will prioritize safety and hygiene, through individualized “grab and go” meals and the use of hand sanitizer and/or hand washing before and after meals.

9. Train staff — Staff are receiving training on our new safety protocols, contact tracing, maximizing learning opportunities, maintaining safety, and ways to support adults and students with trauma.

10. Provide virtual learning opportunities — We will offer an all-virtual instructional option for families who prefer the learning at home model. Read more below on how to select this option for your student.

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

Page updated: April 23, 2021