DC Public Schools Family Guide to Summer Learning 2021

Every summer, DCPS provides extended summer learning opportunities such as literacy enrichment for elementary students and credit recovery for secondary students. This summer, we will expand these offerings to include learning supports for every grade, including Pre-K, with a variety of in-person and virtual learning opportunities for up to 19,000 students. 

Online registration for virtual enrichment programs will open on April 5, 2021. Schools will contact families of students who are eligible for the summer acceleration academies, credit recovery, the English Learners Summer Academic Program, and Extended School Year in the coming weeks.

There is no cost to attend a DCPS summer program and participation is optional. Most programs will start on July 6, 2021 and run through August 6, 2021.

What Summer Program is Best for your Student?

As we work to recover from the COVID-19 learning slide, DCPS is focused on enhancing the student experience and accelerating student learning. While most programs are designed to help eligible students have a strong start for the next year, we will also offer virtual enrichment courses that any student in grades K-8 can register online to attend. 

Program offerings by grade are listed below and see more about district-wide summer programs at https://dcps.dc.gov/summer.

How to Sign Up for DCPS Summer Programming?

Grades K-8 — Summer programming (in-person and virtual) is based on student need, except virtual enrichment courses for grades 3-8. Eligible families can expect to hear from their school about their summer program options starting the week of April 5. Families can register for virtual enrichment programming listed at dcps.dc.gov/summer also beginning the week of April 5.

Grades 9-12 — Academic summer programming (in-person and virtual) is designed to support students on their path to graduation, and Summer Bridge experiences will welcome students to their new school! Eligible students and families can expect to hear from their school about their summer program options this spring.

Pre-K — Families will hear more from their school and the Early Childhood Education Division later this spring about in-person acceleration academies, virtual programs, and other opportunities taking place in July and August, including teacher meetings before the first day of Pre-K.

Summer Programming by Incoming Grade for the 2021-2022 School Year

Opportunities for All Grades

Acceleration Academies (in person)

New in 2021! Schools are convening Recovery Community Corps to determine what their in-person summer acceleration academies will look like. These acceleration academies are designed to serve a targeted group of students at each school (approximately 10 to 35 percent) who require this more focused support that provide both social emotional development and academic acceleration ahead of next school year.

Each DCPS school will provide 1-4 weeks of programming for some of its incoming and returning students. Students will be notified by their school beginning the week of April 5 if they are eligible to participate and summer program dates will be determined by your school. These are forward-looking programs to prepare students for next school year, and schools will reach out to students based on their incoming grade for SY21-22.

Extended School Year (ESY) (in person and virtual options)

This four-week program is limited to students who have been identified by school Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams as being at risk of possible skill regression. Students with IEP’s with ESY written into their services will be contacted by their schools later this spring on how to register. ESY will run from July 12 to August 5.

Pre-K

Families with students starting PK3 or PK4 next year will hear more from their enrolled school later this spring about additional summer opportunities.

Ready for Pre-K! Parent Events (virtual) — We recognize that the transition of young children to preschool can be an exciting but stressful time for families. Join DCPS early childhood educators to learn about starting school and how to build on family strengths and resilience and to build a sense of community amongst other parents. Learn more about the series at dcps.dc.gov/page/ready-pre-k.

Family Toolkit (virtual) — Families will have access to a variety of online resources designed to build parents’ understanding of key early learning skills and objectives. This toolkit will include simple activities that parents can easily incorporate into their daily routines to promote learning for their youngest students.

School-Based Playdates (in person) — During the month of August, incoming Pre-K students will have the opportunity to join school-based playdates with their teachers. These playdates will provide children and families the opportunity to become familiar with the school environment in a way that is nurturing and supportive and that fosters a sense of trust and safety. Each playdate will also allow children to develop social-emotional skills in a group setting.

Elementary: Grades K-5

Elementary students interested in registering for a virtual summer program should select one that matches their current SY20-21 grade level.

K-2: Springboard Collaborative (virtual)

This offering will provide students who could use an extra boost of literacy-focused instruction. Students will work in small groups with a teacher to develop greater reading comprehension and fluency and will learn to develop a deeper love of reading while earning incentives along the way. This literacy intervention combines reading instruction and skill workshops for families to improve reading skills. Registration is available from a first-come, first-serve basis beginning April 5 at dcps.dc.gov/summer. The virtual program will run from July 6 to August 6.

3-5: Elementary Enrichment Programming (virtual)

This collection of individual courses focuses on high-interest, immersive topics such as theater, water-based projects, and unique events in history. All incoming students in these grades are eligible for this program and can register online beginning April 5 at dcps.dc.gov/summer. The virtual program will take place from July 6 to August 6.

K-5: Elementary English Learner Summer Academic Program (ELSAP) (in person and virtual options)

We are proud to once again offer unique summer programming specifically targeted for newcomers, as well as those English Learners who are still developing basic proficiency in English in a joyful and enriching instructional format. Language development will be integrated with hands-on content and literacy development. This is a program for students who are learning English as a second/additional language. Students will be notified by their school if they are eligible to participate, and the program will run from July 12 to 30.

Secondary: Grades 6-9

These are forward-looking programs to prepare students for next school year, and schools will reach out to students based on their incoming grade for SY21-22.

6-8 Middle School English Learner Summer Academic Program (in person and virtual options)

We are proud to once again offer unique summer programming specifically targeted for newcomers, as well as those English Learners who are still developing basic proficiency in English in a joyful and enriching instructional format. Language development will be integrated with hands-on content and literacy development. This is a program for students who are learning English as a second/additional language. Students will be notified by their school if they are eligible to participate and the program will run from July 12 to 30.

7-8: Middle School Enrichment Programming (virtual)

Students will be eligible to attend a selection of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses including: Engineering, Digital and Mass Media, as well as Computer Science. All incoming students in these grades can register online beginning April 5 at dcps.dc.gov/summer. The virtual program will take place from July 6 to August 6.

7-9: Algebra Accelerator I and II (virtual)

This program is designed for students who are preparing to take Algebra. Incoming 7th graders can get a boost in an intensive pre-algebra readiness experience (Algebra Accelerator I) so that they can gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to take Algebra I when they are in 8th Grade, while the Algebra II Accelerator is for incoming 8th and 9th graders who are already scheduled to take Algebra I in Fall 2021. Eligible incoming students in these grades can register online beginning April 5 at dcps.dc.gov/summer. The program will take place from July 6 to August 6.

8-9: Original Credit Accelerator (in person and virtual options)

Middle school students can get a start on earning high school credit through this summer programming. Eligible middle grades students will have the opportunity to enroll in one of several different 0.5 high school credit courses including Financial Literacy, Computer Science, Digital Art, and Health that can count towards high school elective requirements. In addition, eligible middle grade students could earn a 1.0 original credit by successfully completing either Algebra I or a World Language course. Students will be notified by their school if they are eligible to participate, and the program will run from July 6 to August 6.

Secondary: Grades 9-12

These are forward-looking programs to prepare students for next school year, and schools will reach out to students based on their incoming grade for SY21-22.

9-12: Dual Enrollment and Original Credit Accelerators (in person and virtual options)

Opportunities will exist for students at the high school level to earn original credits through dual enrollment coursework (earn high school and college credit). Additionally, high school students, particularly those who may be summer 2021 graduates, will have an opportunity to earn original high school credit. These opportunities will be limited, and schools will share more how students can take advantage. The program will run from July 6 to August 6.

9-12: Credit Recovery (in person and virtual options)

Students who need an opportunity to re-take courses required for graduation can take advantage of these summer course offerings by working with their school counselor to sign up for classes to receive up to 2 credits to get back on track for a timely graduation. Credit recovery is available for most required core classes. Please note, credit recovery can only be taken if the student has previously attempted and failed the course. Students will be notified by their school if they are eligible to participate, and the program will run from July 6 to August 6.

9-12: English Learner Summer Academic Program (in person and virtual options)

Continue your English learning experience with HS ELSAP! This program provides English Learner students with the opportunity to continue their language development, pursue original credit in select courses, or recover credit for any failed courses. ELSAP programming will largely be virtual, but specific school sites may offer some in-person support as well. Students must follow all summer school expectations including attendance, norms for virtual learning, and work completion. Students will work with their school and bilingual counselors to register, and the program will run from July 6 to August 6.

Our Commitment to Health and Safety for In-Person Learning

Maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment for our students and staff remains our top priority and will continue this summer. DCPS’ layered mitigation strategy includes mandatory face masks for anyone in a school building, more frequent cleaning, and HVAC enhancements to increase fresh air infiltration, as well as the availability of COVID-19 vaccine for all staff and asymptomatic testing.

Transportation Safety

Our partners at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) offer helpful tips to help your child stay healthy and safe as you travel to school for any summer programming. This includes wearing a face covering/mask, using hand sanitizer, and staying 6 feet away from other passengers when possible. Review a school commute visual guide for students and families prepared by DDOT available in English and Spanish. For students that travel by school bus, you can download OSSE’s bus safety kit at this link.

Students riding Metrobus, Metrorail, or DC Circulator should always have their 2020-2021 School Year Kids Ride Free SmarTrip card available from their school. More information about Metro’s rider safety and public health guidance and service hours are available at this link.

Student Immunizations

An up-to-date immunization record is required for in-person attendance and must be submitted no later than the first day of summer programming. Students without immunization documentation will not be permitted to attend in-person this summer. A comprehensive list of immunization clinics across the city, organized by each Ward, is available at bit.ly/dcimmunizationlocations. If your family is experiencing homelessness and needs assistance in accessing health care services, please contact your school for additional support.

Important Documents

Families should review and complete the following documents provided to you by your school for students before starting any in-person summer programming.

Parent / Guardian Signature Required

Select links to view and download documents.

1. Family-School Agreement | Español  | 中文አማርኛ | updated January 2021

This agreement shares DCPS’s and your commitment to take steps for minimizing exposure to COVID-19 and prioritizes the safety of students and staff at school. Please review in full, sign, and return to your school by or before the 1st day your child attends in-person learning.

2. Daily Screening Tracker | Español  | Français  | 中文  | Tiếng Việt | አማርኛ

To minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at school, parents are expected to do a daily student health screening called Ask Ask Look. Please ensure you complete the first two steps of the Ask Ask Look protocol at home. Upon arrival, students will use hand sanitizer, receive a mask (if not already wearing one), and complete the “look” step of the screening (including temperature check). You are expected to sign a screening tracker each day that notes these steps were taken each day your child attends in-person learning at school. Please share the signed tracker each day when you arrive.

3. School COVID-19 Testing Consent Forms
RAPID TESTING | Español  |  Français  | 中文  | Tiếng Việt  |  አማርኛ
ASYMPTOMATIC TESTING | Español Français  | 中文  | Tiếng Việt  |  አማርኛ

Testing will be provided to students that have a completed consent form and display symptoms. If this consent is not provided by the family, a COVID-19 test will not be administered even if showing symptoms and will be asked to see a doctor before returning to your child’s classroom.

For Parent / Guardian to Review

Select links to view and download documents.

1. Student Behavior Information | Español  | 中文  |  አማርኛ

Information on behavior expectations for all students in in person learning at school. Includes example consequences for students who do not adhere to behavior expectations.

2. In-Person Attendance FAQ | Español  |  Français  | 中文  | Tiếng Việt  |  አማርኛ

Understand how attendance will be taken as students may move from learning at home to a classroom.

3. DCPS COVID-19 Testing Explainer | Español  |  Français  | 中文  | Tiếng Việt  |  አማርኛ

DCPS follows DC Health Student Testing Guidance that outlines two testing options for students in schools.

Summer 2021: Frequently Asked Questions

Can my student attend multiple opportunities, such as Summer Acceleration Academies and DCPS Virtual Enrichment?

Under certain circumstances a student may be able to attend more than one summer program:

— K-2 Literacy Support through Springboard and 3-8 Enrichment Programming are virtual-only programs, and students cannot simultaneously enroll with any other programs.
— For all other offerings (ELSAP, ESY, Summer Acceleration Academies, and Courses for Credits), eligible students may enroll in multiple programs, if timelines and capacity allow.

Is there any cost to these programs?

All DCPS-run programs are free of charge to families. Some schools may offer afternoon care through a partner organization following a half-day DCPS-run summer program, and there may be a sliding fee associated with some of these afternoon care programs.

Is aftercare provided for half-day in-person programming?

In some cases, yes. DCPS is working on identifying partners and aligning offerings with the latest health guidance. Please look for more information in the coming weeks.

Are technology devices available for students?

Contact your school if you need a computer or internet access for any summer learning. Devices are available. Students who have a device for the current school year may keep it for any summer program participation.

Will the Kids Ride Free program be active during in-person programming?

Yes, SY20-21 cards are active until the end of September. Please reach out to your card administrator if you have a lost/stolen card.

Will my student receive transportation for in-person programming?

Yes, if your student is eligible for transportation as a related service please indicate when you register with your school.

Will meals be provided to my student during in-person programs?

Yes, free breakfast and lunch will be provided for all students.

What schools will host in-person programming?

Every school will host an in-person acceleration academy for eligible students, and the in-person school site for the High School Course for Credit program will be at Coolidge High School.

The English Learners Summer Academic Program (ELSAP) will take place at the following schools and invited students will be assigned to sites according to school feeder patterns.

ES ELSAP
Marie Reed (Ward 1)
Tubman ES (Ward 1)
Thomson ES (Ward 2)
Barnard ES (Ward 4)
Brightwood EC (Ward 4)
Roosevelt HS (hosting ES programming) (Ward 4)

MS ELSAP
Columbia Heights Education Campus (Ward 1)
MacFarland MS (Ward 4)

What schools will host in-person programming for Extended School Year (ESY)?

Pending ESY sites include:
HD Cooke ES (Ward 1)
Janney ES (Ward 3)
Barnard ES (Ward 4)
Dunbar HS (Ward 5)
Langdon ES (Ward 5)
Brent ES (Ward 6)
Miner ES (Ward 6)
Burrville ES (Ward 7)
Randle Highlands ES (Ward 7)
River Terrace EC (Ward 7)
King ES (Ward 8)
Turner ES (Ward 8)

Page updated: April 2, 2021