School Year 2021-2022

DC Public Schools will fully reopen with in-person learning for all students, every day in the fall for the 2021-2022 School Year! The first day of school for students is August 30 and enrollment is now open at enrolldcps.dc.gov.

DCPS is committed to creating supportive learning environments where all students are able to thrive academically and socially. We also commit to listen and engage with families about what they need for next school year and chart a path for COVID-19 recovery.

In the fall, all DCPS teachers will be back in schools teaching in their classrooms. Our schools will continue to implement a system of layered protections to ensure we are able to safely offer in-person programming and all our district’s facility space will be fully maximized. 

Weekly Updates from Chancellor Ferebee

#RecoverStrong Town Halls

In May, we held the first of our #RecoverStrong town halls and provided an update on DCPS’ road to recovery ahead of next school year. You can rewatch the discussions below or download the presentation slides, available in both English and Spanish.

May 12, 2021 (English)

DCPS is ready to open our doors this fall for all students and families!

  • Lewis D. Ferebee
    Chancellor, DC Public Schools
  • Patrick Davis
    Operations, DC Public Schools
  • Theresa Impastato
    Chief Safety Officer, WMATA
  • Dr. Heidi Schumacher
    DC Health

19 de mayo de 2021 (español)

¡Las DCPS están listas para abrir las puertas este otoño para todos los estudiantes y para las familias! 

  • Lewis D. Ferebee
    Canciller, DC Public Schools 
  • Patrick Davis   
    Operaciones, DC Public Schools 
  • Jackie Reyes-Yañes
    Directora ejecutiva, Oficina de Asuntos Latinos de la Alcaldía
  • María Márquez, MD
    Directora médica administrativa, Mary’s Center

Health & Safety for In-Person Learning

DCPS has been recognized as a national leader for the robust health and safety measures that allowed us to reopen all buildings this past winter. We continue to lean on the expertise of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DC Health for guidance on COVID-19 school operations. We also highly encourage all students age 12 and older and all staff to get vaccinated as an additional layer of protection.

For SY21-22, here’s what families can expect at school to maintain a safe environment for in-person learning:  

  • HVAC enhancements allow for well-ventilated spaces at every school, including state-of-the-art HEPA filters in classrooms and air quality sensors throughout the building.
  • Practice safe routines: All staff, students, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering, and daily PPE and hygiene supplies will be provided.​
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols for high touch surfaces, and a deep cleaning completed after a suspected or reported COVID-19 case.​
  • Space arrangements: Students should be separated as far as possible, and individual desks and tables are to be facing the same direction to the extent feasible.
  • Student meals: Pre-K and Kindergarten students will eat in the classroom and all other grades will eat in the cafeteria. Social distancing should be followed while eating and drinking, to the extent feasible.
  • Student cohort interactions will be limited to the extent feasible, but there will be no cap for student or staff cohort interactions in any grade.​ 
  • Screen for illness: Students and staff will complete a daily “Ask, Ask, Look” screening, but temperatures will not be taken upon arrival at school.
     
  • COVID-19 reporting protocols: Schools will report positive cases with a school community if a person has been in the building during their infectious period, along with a quarantine protocol. ​Additional information about asymptomatic testing will be shared over the summer.

These layered mitigation strategies will ensure that our schools are physically safe and healthy learning environments. We will regularly update our community about health and safety protocols throughout the summer, including opportunities to join safety walkthroughs at your school ahead of the start of classes to see these measures for yourself.

Virtual Learning for Students

We hope and expect the overwhelming majority of DCPS students will return to full-time in-person learning in the fall. However, we know there are students who have a documented medical condition who need to continue virtual learning. To support these students, DCPS will offer virtual instruction for a limited number of students who meet medical eligibility requirements. Virtual instruction based on medical need will be available across all grades from PK-12.

You can begin the registration process online, review the medical eligibility form, and read a FAQ for families.

Student Immunizations & COVID-19 Vaccine

Click here to learn more about childhood immunization requirements for the upcoming school year, as well as availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for students 12 and older.

Prioritizing Federal Funds for School Reopening

DCPS is receiving $191 million in our latest round of federal recovery funds to support the safe reopening of schools and learning acceleration strategies for students. To help prioritize how to best use these funds at schools, we asked for your feedback and heard from 3,738 people across all eight wards. Our community’s insight is critical to our recovery planning and will help DCPS reimagine what is possible for all students.

You can review responses to the May 2021 American Recovery Fund Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) survey at this link.

Overall, survey respondents indicated their top three priorities for this funding are:

  1. Academic interventions for learning recovery (i.e., tutoring)
  2. Social emotional learning and mental health supports (i.e., mentoring and counseling)
  3. COVID-19 health and safety support (i.e., cleaning supplies and PPE)

Additional feedback encouraged these funds to go towards ensuring DCPS keep its commitment to offer in-person learning for every student, every day; the hiring of more school staff to meet students’ needs; and providing enriching before- and afterschool programming to help working parents.

We also asked families to share what is most important to them as schools prepare for the return to in-person learning for all students. Frequent updates from their school on how to get ready for the fall, as well as information on health safety measures that will be in place, are on top of mind for all respondents.

DCPS commits to applying what we heard in this survey, we already allocated $20.8 million to schools to ensure they can start SY21-22 with the staff and resources they need to support student success. Schools are using recovery funds to plan for joyful learning experiences through in-person Summer Acceleration Academies, and they are determining programming to support more individualized instruction and tutoring during the school year. These funds will also make sure our buildings are ready for a safe physical learning environment every day and that students have the emotional space to build connections with their teachers and classmates as they adjust to being back in the classroom.

Registration for afterschool programming is now open

We are excited that 56 schools will offer afterschool programming at no cost for enrolled students attending in-person learning next school year. For more information, visit https://dcps.dc.gov/afterschool, call the Out of School Time Programs office at (202) 442-5002 or email afterschool.dcps@k12.dc.gov with questions.

DCPS afterschool programs allow students to participate in academic and extracurricular enrichment activities and to develop new hobbies and skills. DCPS teachers, paraprofessionals, and community-based organizations provide a variety of unique programming options to students.

Participation in high-quality afterschool programming has been proven to improve school attendance, academic achievement, graduation rates, and attitudes toward learning. Students attending two and a half hours of afterschool programs each day gain the equivalent of nearly two months of learning time.