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Parent Sign On Letter Raising Questions about Learning in a Pandemic – to the Mayor and Committee on Education and Child Care

Note: we could not find a publicly available list of all of the Committee members’ emails. We found as many as we could. Please share with the full Committee. Thank you.

Dear Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Reopen DC Committee: Education and Child Care,

On behalf of the 203 parents and community members who signed, please accept the attached letter. It contains over 30 questions across topic areas including safe and healthy learning, facilities, and more, all with a focus on equity. We hope that you will consider and share feedback on these issues as you develop your report and plans.

Parents, educators, and students are all critically important partners in this work. We must listen and learn from one another in order to succeed – especially in a time of crisis. Families know this and are ready, as always, to help and share our thoughts.

As parents signed the letter, they also raised the additional ideas and questions below. This important ongoing feedback underscored why it is so critical that the stakeholders that are most impacted by these decisions be at the table. We believe these should be considered too:

  • Work Security. How will we ensure that security guards, janitorial staff, kitchen workers who are essential staff and vital elements to school operations are able to maintain employment even if they or a close relative are affected by COVID-19?
  • Nurses. How will we ensure that if schools are open for in-person learning there is a nurse on site in every school?
  • Special Education. How will we ensure that the specific needs of students with disabilities are met? How will districts address IEP requirements during remote and hybrid arrangements? How will we address social distancing for students who require hands-on assistance or aides? How will we ensure the compatibility of online platforms with assistive technology?

Importantly, this work is not yet done. We must continue to reach out to those parents not yet heard from. We hope that as you develop your report, you recommend that dialogue and feedback continue through the Pandemic and that the full spectrum of stakeholders be included. Only then will we be sure that all issues and perspectives are being heard and addressed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Danica Petroshius on behalf of all of the signees