Alexandra Simbana – DC Council – Public Roundtable on DCPS Return to In-Person Instruction – Dec 2, 2020

Alexandra Simbana
for the
Committee of the Whole and Committee on Education Joint Public Roundtable on DCPS Return to In-Person Instruction

December 2, 2020

Good afternoon my name is Alexandra Simbana, a Cleveland Elementary parent and LSAT member. As a DCPS parent I want to stress the health risks front and center for many of our DCPS families. Remaining with distance learning is the safest option and offers the most stability to our students, teachers and staff. Maintaining the routine for students is the option which will help our children be most confident and secure in their learning during these strange and scary times. 

Unfortunately DCPS has once again developed a plan without community engagement and presented it as a fait accompli and then surprised when families, teachers and staff speak out against it. This practice MUST stop.  Parents MUST be front and center of any planning. 

There are many issues with continued distance learning but all of those can be mitigated by actually engaging with families and asking what they need instead of making assumptions. 

I would encourage any future plans include input directly from LSATs, the education councils, PTAs/PTOs and open forums where all families can provide feedback. The risks and consequences are life and death choices and those should not be minimized. While no one anticipated a pandemic, we can and should plan for how to best manage the current situation with health, safety, and transparency at the forefront. 

Increasing and improving citywide internet is a whole government issue which can be implemented if it is made a priority. Improving the OCTO helpline service can also be done with real input from users. 

Time and again, the DCPS families and community has made itself available to find long term solutions to the issues that hold back our system from being great. Today you will hear from us again as we continue to offer ourselves and our assistance. Please work together WITH us so we can all move forward for the benefit of all our DCPS schools. 


Thank you. 

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