CARE Classrooms

CARE stands for “Canvas Academics and Real Engagement.”

CARE Classrooms serving students in grades PK-5th will open in phases during Term 2: November 18, December 2, December 9, and in January. Number of classrooms and grades offered vary by school.

Schools with CARE Classrooms opening on November 18

Bancroft ES
Beers ES
Brent ES
Brightwood EC
Excel Academy
Garrison ES
J.O. Wilson ES
Key ES
Kimball ES

LaSalle-Backus EC
Miner ES
Moten ES
Murch ES
Nalle ES
Noyes ES
Payne ES
Ross ES 
Savoy ES

School-Within-School @ Goding
Smothers ES
Stanton ES
Thomson ES
Truesdell ES
Turner ES
Walker-Jones EC

Student Day

CARE Classrooms will meet five days a week and Wednesdays will be a half day. Classroom facilitators will be DCPS elementary school staff or an employee of a trusted school partner. CARE staff will receive professional development based on their role and experience. We will also have three Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) at schools to support school-based health protocols, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and staffing of the health isolation room. 

Since students will learn online in CARE Classrooms, each student will have their own technology device and headset. Socially distanced classrooms will also have surge protector power strips, and cord covers.

All students will receive breakfast and lunch at the school, which they will eat in their classroom. Recess will also be offered each day. Playground usage will be limited to CARE Classroom students only during the school day.

CARE classrooms will open at more schools in the coming weeks on a set schedule and additional classrooms may be phased in depending on family demand. ​Upcoming supplementary staffing for CARE Classrooms may include a limited number of additional DCPS staff, city volunteers through Partners in Education, and qualified temporary hires.

Student Selection and Staffing

Learning Model

  • Students learn virtually with their teacher and class online.
  • Students spend their day at school with a group of their peers.
  • Students will have the opportunity to safely socialize with their peers during breaks, recess, and lunch.
  • Supervision and support is provided by a caring adult.
  • Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Staff Role

  • Maintain a positive learning environment for students.
  • Support students with accessing learning materials online.
  • Provide additional support for students who need individualized attention.
  • Ensure health and safety protocols are followed.
  • Facilitate safe arrival, transitions, and dismissal.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with families.

Staffing

  • DCPS instructional and support staff
  • Partner staff (e.g. DC Gov and community-based organizations)

Qualifications

  • Active background check, including fingerprinting and TB screen
  • High School diploma and 24 hours college credit (minimum)
  • Preferred: Experience working with children (particularly for grades PK-2).

DCPS is committed to prioritizing in-person learning seats for students furthest from opportunity. With the delay in opening of In-Person Learning (IPL) classrooms, students enrolled by October 5 (excluding self-contained special education students) who fall within the following categories will get a preference for the available CARE classroom seats: ​

  • Students who already accepted an In-Person Learning seat
  • Students experiencing homelessness 
  • English Learners and Students with Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) ​
  • Students identified as at-risk (This includes students in the foster care system, and students who qualify for TANF or SNAP.) ​

As schools open CARE classrooms, they will reach out to families in that grade in the order above and give them the opportunity to accept or decline their seat, should that option be available to them. In other words, families do not need to complete an application or take any action to be considered. (Accepting or declining a CARE seat has no impact on a student’s status for IPL.)

DCPS will ramp-up CARE classrooms in November through January. ​Additional classrooms may be phased in depending on family demand.​

An up-to-date immunization record is required for in-person attendance and must be submitted no later the first day of in-person attendance. Students without immunization documentation will not be permitted to attend school in person and will continue to participate in virtual learning. A list of immunization clinics across the city is available here. If your family is experiencing homelessness and needs assistance in accessing health care services, please contact your school or the DCPS Homeless Children and Youth Program for additional support.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding CARE in Term 2

If I accept a seat, can I change my mind later?

Yes, if at any time you want to move your student(s) from in-person programming to learning at home you can make that shift by notifying your school. If a student does move from CARE to learning at home, they will not be able to return to or CARE classrooms during the current term.

What happens if I miss the deadline to accept my child’s seat?

If you receive a seat offer, and you do not accept your seat within the time frame allotted, you may lose your space for CARE. If you think you are unable to meet the deadline for accepting a seat, immediately contact your school.

If I decline my seat for a CARE Classroom, can my student still participate in an In-Person Learning classroom when these open?

Declining or losing your seat in a CARE classroom does not remove you from the selection process or a wait list for an in-person learning classroom seat.

What are the classroom sizes for the CARE classrooms?

We will continue to prioritize student and staff safety during in-person learning. We have determined the number of students who can safely be in each learning space according to CDC Health guidelines that allow for social distancing. Each classroom may enroll up to:

  • 8 students in PK3
  • 9 students in mixed age PK3/PK4
  • 10 students in PK4
  • 10 students in K
  • 11 students in grades 1–5

Will students who return to CARE Classrooms need to transport virtual learning devices to and from school?

We recognize the challenges to safety and security that transporting technology devices to and from school each day poses for students. As such, students will not need to transport devices to and from school. Students who have a DCPS device they are utilizing for virtual learning in a CARE Classroom will bring devices back to school where it will remain.

How will attendance requirements change for my student if they are in a CARE classroom?

Daily attendance for students in CARE classrooms will continue to be based on Canvas log-ins and activity. Students will log in for virtual instruction while in their classroom, and attendance will be captured there. Staff members leading each class will also take attendance, but this in-person attendance is not used for legal daily attendance requirements.

What if my student misses CARE but still attends virtually at home?

Since daily attendance for CARE students will be based on virtual attendance, they will not be considered absent for the day. The staff member leading your child’s CARE class will indicate that they were physically absent from their CARE class. Based on this, a school staff member will reach out to check in and offer support.

Will my student lose their CARE seat if they are missing CARE attending virtually at home?

If a student does not physically attend their assigned CARE class at least once within the first 5 days, the student will lose their seat. Students will also lose seats if they accumulate 15 cumulative unexcused physical absences. Additionally, CARE students will be withdrawn from their school according to the attendance policy after 20 consecutive unexcused daily absences.

Is attendance still mandatory for students this year?

DC law indicates that students ages 5-17 are required to attend school. In Term 2, depending on the age of your students, there may be several options for the type of instruction DCPS offers. It is expected that all students will continue to attend regularly. Parents should submit excuse notes in instances in which their child is unable to attend virtually (if in a CARE classroom or a virtual learning posture) or in-person (if assigned to an in-person learning classroom).

What are the attendance expectations for my student during a class quarantine?

During quarantine period(s), students are expected to log into Canvas for distance learning unless they are ill. Attendance for students during this time, whether in-person or CARE, will be based on Canvas log-ins and activity. In cases where students are ill and not able to log in, parents must submit an excuse note so absences can be properly noted.

What happens if my child needs to quarantine due to an activity or possible exposure that occurred outside of school?

If your child is too ill to participate in school, parents must submit an excuse note to your schools’ attendance POC within 5 days so absences can be properly noted.


In-Person Learning Attendance Questions

How will attendance requirements change for my student if they are in a full in-person learning classroom?

Daily attendance for students in full in-person learning classrooms will be based on the attendance that your child’s teacher takes each day. If your student is not physically present at school, they will be considered absent for the day.

Will my student lose their in-person learning seat if they are absent from school?

If a student does not attend their assigned in-person learning class at least once within the first 5 days, the student will lose their seat. Additionally, in-person learning students will be withdrawn according to the attendance policy after 20 consecutive unexcused daily absences.

page updated: November 18, 2020