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State Board Hears Public Comment on Reopening

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Public Invited to Provide Testimony

Washington, DC—The D.C. The State Board of Education (SBOE) will hold its monthly public meeting on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread globally, the State Board is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our members, staff, and public. The State Board had hoped to provide this public meeting in a hybrid form where members of the public could participate in-person or virtually. Unfortunately, the State Board was unable to identify a location that could provide the necessary technical equipment to achieve such a meeting. Therefore, in order to ensure that the meeting is accessible to the greatest number of residents this meeting will be held as a video web conference. Materials for the State Board meetings can be found on our meeting website. For the most up-to-date information on the District’s COVID-19 response, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov. Members of the public wishing to provide testimony during the public meeting should sign up to testify and are encouraged to email the State Board a copy of their written testimony [email protected] by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 16, 2021. Please note in your correspondence if you will require language interpretation service. 

The State Board wants feedback from its constituents and will dedicate the majority of the August Public Meeting to hear public comment on reopening. This is an opportunity for members of the community to voice their concerns and questions about reopening in an open forum. Members of the public are encouraged to sign up here and submit testimony prior to attending the public meeting to engage with the State Board.  

After over a year of virtual or hybrid learning due to the global pandemic, Mayor Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools will fully reopen with in-person learning for all students, every day in the fall for the 2021-2022 School Year. According to the Executive Office of the Mayor, schools will continue to implement a system of layered protections to ensure the safe offering of in-person programming that ensures the District's facility space will be fully maximized.  

The mayor also announced Tuesday, that all District Government employees, contractors and interns would be required to be vaccinated by September 19, 2021. This requirement is binding on all employees of the DC Public Schools. Public charter schools are encouraged to require vaccination as well. With only around 25 percent of eligible D.C. youth having been fully vaccinated, LEAs are being encouraged to promote vaccination within their school community to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school buildings.  

According to the State Board Student Advisory Committee, many students’ anxieties upon re-entering their school buildings has been eased by the widespread teen access to vaccines, while others are very hesitant and less comfortable learning in an in-person setting. Students  want to ensure that the proper safety precautions will still be in-place in the fall, and that school leaders will not be lax about maintaining necessary safeguards that will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, simply because teachers and some students are vaccinated.  

With the first day of school scheduled for August 30, many students, parents, and members of the community have raised concerns about full time in-person learning. Some looming questions include logistics about transportation and safe passage to and from school, attendance, class period rotations, lunchtime safety, hybrid options, and extracurricular activities.  

We invite students, parents, teachers, and members of the community to sign up to testifyand attend live online.  

 

Public Meeting Agenda

Please note that the agenda may be altered, modified, or updated without notice.

I. Call to Order

II. Announcement of a Quorum

III. Approval of the Agenda & Minutes

IV. Comments from the President of the D.C. State Board of Education

V. Comments from the State Superintendent of Education

VI. Public Comments

VII. Administrative Items (VOTE)

VIII. New Business

IX. Adjournment

 

About the SBOE

The D.C. State Board of Education is an independent agency within the Government of the District of Columbia that advises the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the District’s state education agency. The State Board is made up of nine elected representatives, each representing their respective wards, with one member representing DC at large, and two appointed student representatives. The State Board approves statewide education policies and sets academic standards, while OSSE oversees education within the District and manages federal education funding. More information about the SBOE can be found at sboe.dc.gov.

The Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education serves as an external, impartial resource for current and prospective public-school students and their parents or guardians in the resolution of complaints and concerns regarding public education in a way that furthers the students’ best interest. The Ombudsman’s Office uses conflict resolution strategies, including coaching, facilitation, and mediation, to assist families and schools experiencing disagreement or conflict.  

The Office of the Student Advocate supports students, parents, and families in their advocacy through parent education, one-on-one coaching, resource supports, and trainings in order to amplify the voices of families and communities in processes and decision-making; to provide avenues for access to resources and understanding systems; and to support power families and communities already possess. Contact us Monday through Friday at (202) 741-4692 for questions or support with your charter and neighborhood schools.

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

Contact: Milayo Olufemi

202-710-4641

[email protected]