Dear Ross Community,
I hope you are all safe and healthy during this ongoing challenging time as we prepare for an unprecedented school re-opening. Summer certainly looked and felt different and our virtual school re-opening will require flexibility and patience as it will be different as well.
It is my hope that we remember this is a new situation for everyone and we are trying our best to make the best out of it. Our community has been impacted by the double traumas of COVID and continued acts of racial violence and we must commit to coming together as a caring and inclusive community when school resumes, extending grace to one another.
We launched our Grade 3 Summer Bridge program today and it was wonderful to see our students back on Teams, eager to connect with our teachers and each other. Our teachers are committed to offering a high quality, virtual experience for all of our learners during this historic time and we continue to be grateful for your partnership. In the meantime, please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Warm Regards, Principal Searl
School Re-Opening Timeline
Week of August 3: Initial School Re-Opening Parent Meeting (PPT is posted on Ross website)
Week of August 10: Summer Bridge for Grade 3 begins; schools submit Master Schedules to Central Office for approval; Parent University classes begin
Week of August 17: Kindergarten class lists will be shared; Parent University classes continue
Week of August 24: Materials and Device Distribution will be scheduled; Grade Level Teacher Meetings will be offered, Master Schedules will be shared; Parent University classes continue
Monday, August 31: First Day of School, 8:30am start
DCPS Parent University
DCPS Parent University begins this week! Please check out the free course offerings and enroll.
This week’s content addresses what to expect from DCPS during Distance Learning and How to Support your Early Childhood Student during Distance Learning.
As a public school, Ross is committed to ensuring that every child has the necessary supplies and materials for success during distance learning thanks to PTA funding. Families can expect to come to Ross the week of August 24 to pick up supplies, such as:
- School box with basics (pencils, erasers, glue stick, etc)
- Mindfulness tools (fidget, stress ball, timer, etc.)
- Art supplies
- White board and dry erase pen
- Workbooks (grade level dependent)
- Student agenda book/planner (Grades 4/5)
- Laptop and/or hotspot (if family completed tech survey and identified a need)
- We recommend children have headphones. We will distribute as requested and as our inventory permits.
- If you still have Ross library books or other materials, you can return them at the same time as the supply pick-up.
- You do not need to purchase Microsoft Office, your child’s DCPS account comes with a copy!
Room Parents serve as communication liaisons between Teachers, Principal and PTA. With a virtual re-opening the role will need to evolve to focus more on community building with families in the class since we will not be taking field trips or hosting other in person class events due to COVID. Thank you to the following parent leaders for volunteering. We will share further guidance closer to school opening.
20.21 Room Parents
PK4: Lauren Marks Laurenmarks@yahoo.com
Kindergarten: Yacy Zand firstname.lastname@example.org (We need one more K Room Parent)
Grade 1: Charles and Marie De Vilmorin email@example.com
Grade 2: Jenny and John McAllister firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Grade 3: Allison Rapp firstname.lastname@example.org
Grade 4: OPEN
Grade 5: OPEN
Parent Working Group: Race and Equity
Before the school closure last March, we hosted a launch meeting to create a parent working group on Race and Equity. The Working Group will consist of parents who wish to organize and lead work with families to promote a deeper understanding of race and equity with the goal of building a positive and inclusive school culture for all students, families, and staff members while continuing to work on their own personal racial identity journeys. As communicated at the launch meeting, this will be an independent parent-led group. It is not a group managed or coordinated by the PTA or LSAT. There are currently two parent volunteers from last Spring who have started researching different parent-led Race and Equity groups in DCPS. They have also been exploring resources that may be helpful to families and are seeking other Ross parents to join them as fellow thought partners to help launch this important work in our community. Please take 2-3 minutes to complete a quick survey to support the Race and Equity work at Ross.
Additional POD Guidance from DCPS
Q: Can DCPS principals or staff help interested families find each other and form pandemic pods?
A: No. The focus of school leaders and staff is on ensuring all students have access to outstanding virtual instruction in large groups, small groups, and for independent work. We are also constantly considering other ideas that would address systemic inequities and work within the laws we have in place to ensure we are supporting all families and doing so equitably, legally, and ethically. In addition, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) prohibits DCPS from sharing personally identifiable student information with non-employees for the purposes of forming groups of students outside of schools, including play groups or learning cohorts formed outside of schools.
Q: Can a family hire DCPS teachers and staff to tutor or supervise a student outside of their tours of duty?
A: DCPS teachers or staff may not be employed by a family whose child attends the school where the teacher or staff member works. DCPS employees, including teachers, are bound by strict DC ethics regulations regarding outside employment and conflicts of interest. These prohibit DCPS staff members from tutoring students who attend the school where that staff member is employed. Additionally, teachers providing tutoring services to any students, regardless of whether the students attend DCPS, may not tutor students during their tour of duty, may not use government resources or non-public DCPS information while tutoring, and may not advertise their services (or allow the family to advertise their services) by describing their DCPS employment.
Q: Can pandemic pod tutors join DCPS classes?
A: No. Private tutors may not join a school lesson due to privacy, safety, and licensure concerns.