Select DC schools welcoming some students back this week

Select schools in the District are welcoming some students back this week for limited in-person learning as D.C. Public Schools looks ahead to reopening.

Ballou STAY opens Monday to those in cosmetology and barbering. More schools are expected to follow in the coming weeks and days. They include:

  • Bancroft ES
  • Cardozo EC
  • Eastern HS
  • Kimball ES
  • Kramer MS
  • Ludlow-Taylor ES
  • Mann ES
  • Noyes ES
  • Tyler ES
  • Phelps ACE HS
  • Roosevelt HS
  • Roosevelt STAY

The schools are opening for what D.C. called Student Support Center and Career and
Technical Education (CTE) programming.

Schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said at a news conference Monday that the centers will “serve about anywhere from 20 to 50 students a day. And the overall program could be anywhere between 20 to 100 students.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Ferebee added that the number of staff will vary by school, and that they’re all volunteers.

“We have worked with the Washington Teachers’ Union on the status of our student support centers as it relates to staff volunteering,” he said. “This is a volunteer opportunity for students, and the staff that are participating have volunteered to provide in-person services to students.”

“This will be an ongoing effort,” Ferebee said. He added that principals have expressed “great interest.”

“So I anticipate, as time goes on, there’ll be more schools that will take on this effort, as we plan towards term two, and then we’ll provide updates in the future … as it relates to the overall DCPS plans for the future.”

Ferebee said that early learners are being prioritized — as well as upgrades to schools’ HVAC systems to make sure the air is clean.

Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn said D.C. has interviewed 18 independent, parochial and public charter schools that have reopened for varying levels of in-person learning.

“We did talk extensively about the work with teachers, in terms of ensuring that teachers felt confident being back in the buildings and the buildings were safe,” Kihn said.

“And what we learned from these schools was that the visible transformations of the schools went a long way, in terms of signage, and the way in which classrooms were set up.”

He said teachers reported feeling safer when the leadership of the schools responded to feedback that they had to offer, as well as being able to take their students outdoors for breaks.

In addition, Kihn said that, over time, teachers’ anxiety lessened once they were back in the buildings with students, following the protocols, and “seeing that everything worked.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she expects to make a more comprehensive update on DCPS next week.

At least one union has expressed concern over possible plans to reopen D.C. schools.

Read Bowser’s full situation report online.

DC Parks and Recreation to offer some fall activities

The District’s Department of Parks and Recreation will open registration for some programs starting Thursday at 9 a.m.

D.C. plans to open 29 rec centers and seven indoor aquatic centers. It will also start issuing a limited number of outdoor athletic permits for moderate-contact sports practices and low-contact sports games.

“After providing a great summer camp experience, we are excited to build upon that success to offer programs, which will include outdoor fitness classes like yoga, Zumba and gardening, sports like tennis and pickleball, as well as activities for our seniors,” DPR Director Delano Hunter said at the Monday news conference.

He said DPR partnered with the Department of General Services to ensure enhanced cleaning at recreation centers and pools.

“This means that high-touch surfaces such as gym equipment will be cleaned after every use and to facilitate elevated cleaning regimen,” Hunter said.

Those programs start Oct. 13, on a rolling basis. Registration information is available online.

DC coronavirus numbers

The District reported 14 new coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 15,264. No new deaths were reported. The death toll stands at 624.

Track the District’s data online.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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