The first day of school is less than a week away.
Enrollment is down in public schools, and only half of DC Public Schools families have completed a technology-needs survey, according to the Post. For families who did complete the DCPS survey, more than half said they lacked the technology needed for students to learn remotely.
Teachers and parents voiced concerns over the summer about DCPS’ means-tested approach. Community members even started raising money for computers in July out of fear that schools wouldn’t reach every family in need this upcoming school year like last year. Groups like Digital Equity in DC Education hoped the pandemic would prompt the Bowseradministration to provide every student a device regardless of need so families are on equal footing. But the administration does not plan to meet that target for three years.
As school leaders and families get ready for distance learning, some are already preparing for the day when students can return to the classroom, at least for a few days a week.
The union representing school nurses just provided a list of recommendations to the city’s health department, as they were not invited to be part of the city’s reopen task force. Nurses’ experiences in health facilities are leaving school nurses apprehensive that similar missteps will occur when DC Health gives the mayor the OK to partially reopen schools.
“The District has not provided school nurses with a plan that includes policies procedures or even a decision on the proper equipment that will ensure that both students and staff are properly protected in the reopening of the schools,” school nurses with District of Columbia Nurses Association wrote in an Aug. 21 letter to DC Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.
Nurses provided Nesbitt with a list of personal protective equipment they need to return to work, along with a list of screening and isolation guidelines they want the schools to follow. The union also requested that a school nurse be a part of any “inspection team” that will assess facilities for space and ventilation. The union ended by saying that they are “in solidarity” with the teachers’ union, which has been calling for the continuation of remote learning until schools are set up to be safer.
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
- As of Aug. 25, D.C. reported no additional deaths related to COVID-19, but 45 new positive cases. The total number of infections is 13,684. [EOM]
- Protests continue. Hundreds of residents took to the streets for Jacob Blake. [DCist]
- Trains are running every eight minutes, and other Metro tidbits riders should know. [GGW]
- One in five D.C. homes sold for $1 million or more this year. In Georgetown, 65 percent of sales came in over $1 million. [Urban Turf]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- At-Large SBOE Rep. Ashley MacLeay joins other local Republicans in a virtual RNC cameo. [Washingtonian,
- Twitter, WCP]
- You can vote at Nats Park in November. [DCist, Post]
- A map to help you vote in D.C. [Google]
- Many unemployed D.C. residents STILL haven’t gotten unemployment benefits. [DCist]
- D.C.’s acting ethics director sees no reason to delay a vote on the Howard University hospital deal worth hundreds of millions in tax breaks. [WBJ, Twitter]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
Young & Hungry is away from her desk and will be back next week.
ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mark L. Power, 1937–2020. [WCP]
- The National Building Museum is opening Murals That Matter, an exhibition that will showcase the public protest art made this summer. [DCist]
- Kojo For Kids welcomes NASA astrophysicist Michelle Thaller. [Kojo For Kids]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
- ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt debuted his D.C.-based SportsCenter show last night. [The Big Lead]
- The Nats will play the rest of the season without pitcher Stephen Strasburg who will have season-ending surgery on his pitching hand. The news comes at a time when the defending World Series champs are underachieving and struggling with consistency. [DCist, FanGraphs]
- For some reason, Dan Snyder is now on Twitter. [NBC Sports Washington]
- The Library of Congress maintains an extensive digital catalog of films and concerts available to anyone—no account required.
- Got a free hour on Saturday morning? You could transcribe the diary of a 1920s farmer or official records from 18th-century bureaucracies for the Smithsonian.