Homeless Awareness Month 2020 – Homeless Liaison Spotlights
November is Homeless Awareness Month and OSSE’s Homeless Education Program would like to spotlight the amazing homeless liaisons who support families and students experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia. Check out a few on OSSE's website.
For more information, please contact Tasheen Stallings, homeless education program analyst, at Tasheen.Stallings@dc.gov.
School Health and Safety Reopening Guidance Technical Assistance
OSSE's Health and Wellness Division is offering the following technical assistance:
Biweekly technical assistance calls led by OSSE and in partnership with DC Health, PCSB, DCPS, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. The online calls provide support regarding the implementation of health and safety guidance during the reopening period. These Monday calls take place from 1-2 p.m. every other week. The next call is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 30 and will include a deep dive on the Mayor's new travel order. Register
Question submission form for schools and LEAs to submit questions to OSSE regarding health and safety reopening guidance. Submit a question via this Google Form.
School Health Compliance Reminders
To ensure we are collectively supporting the health and well-being of all District students during the 2020-21 school year, OSSE is issuing school health reminders for 1) health and physical education and physical activity, 2) student and school safety, and 3) allergy management and administration of medication. Even when students are in a distance learning posture, schools must continue to ensure these local school health requirements are met throughout the school year.
Health and physical education and physical activity:It is critical schools continue to offer health and physical education and physical activity to students during distance and hybrid learning postures, per the Healthy Schools Act of 2010 (DC Official Code § 38–821.01 et seq.). The current requirements for health education, physical education and physical activity can be found in the Healthy Schools Act informational Guide.
Student and school safety: Schools are reminded of their obligations under the School Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 (SSOAA) to provide academic instruction on consent, setting and respecting boundaries, and developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Visit the SSOAA webpage for more information and resources, including a curricula guide for meeting the requirements.
Allergy management and administration of medication: Additionally, schools must continue to ensure all requirements are met under theAccess to Emergency Epinephrine in Schools Amendment Act of 2015. This Act and subsequent regulations mandate all public and public charter schools to have a minimum of two pediatric and two adult dose epinephrine injectors accessible at all times, and a minimum of two staff members available on campus to serve as Certified Epinephrine Administrators in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction. For more information or questions about these requirements, please contact the OSSE Allergy Management Team at OSSE.Epi@dc.gov.
Finally, it is the goal for all public and public charter schools to have a minimum of three staff trained in the administration of medication. For more information about administration of medication, DCPS school leaders may contact Sophie Murphy at Healthservices.email@example.com and charter school leaders may contact Jiselle O'Neal at Joneal@dcpcsb.org.
While we recognize that many or most schools began the year in a distance learning posture, we hope that these reminders will help ensure that schools are prepared for any in-person activities, and to support our students' overall health and well-being. Thank you for your partnership! For any other questions, please contact OSSE.SchoolHealth@dc.gov.
LEA CARES-ESSER Federal Annual Reporting Requirements
LEAs that received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds will be required to submit federal reporting data to OSSE. The US Department of Education (USED) has not yet finalized reporting requirements. However, to ensure that LEAs can begin planning, OSSE is sharing anticipated reporting elements based on the ESSER Data Collection questions draft that USED has released for public comment.
LEAs can access information on anticipated reporting requirements on OSSE’s CARES webpage. Based on federal deadlines, LEAs should plan to submit their ESSER data collection reports to OSSE by Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.
You and your staff are invited to an optional CARES Annual Reporting Requirements webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, 10-11 a.m., which will include instructions on how to complete the required reporting. [Register] The webinar will also be available on OSSE's CARES webpage shortly after Dec. 8. OSSE will provide updates on the final reporting elements and timeline once USED confirms the data collection. For more information or questions, please contact Erin Given at Erin.Given@dc.gov.
On-site Learning Consultancies
The National Charter Schools Institute and its partner organizations Leading Educators, Diverse Learners Cooperative, and StartOps, are pleased to offer one-on-one consultancies to any school considering offering on-site learning options at no cost to the school. Sign up for a consultancy. We are also excited to offer a series of group consultancies on topics ranging from special education to student engagement and instruction to facilities preparation. Sign up for one or more of our group consultancies. For more information or questions, please contact Wendy Lavrick, director of policy and partnerships, at Wlarvick@charterinstitute.org.
State Literacy Needs Assessment Survey for K-12 Educators (reminder)
OSSE is requesting information from all K-12 educators across the District as it pertains to literacy instruction, professional learning, and literacy interventions. The information gathered through this landscape survey is critical as OSSE is in the process of developing a statewide comprehensive literacy plan (CLP)to support LEAs, schools and community-based organizations as they work to improve teacher practice and student achievement outcomes. Please share this survey link with the educators in your schools and organizations. The survey will close on today, Nov. 20, 2020, 5 p.m. For questions, please contact Ashleigh Tillman at Ashleigh.Tillman@dc.gov.
Important Immunization Reminder and Requirements for In-Person Learning (reminder)
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of protecting children against contagious diseases. Now, more than ever, families should make appointments and receive their necessary immunizations and flu shots. A list of health providers and locations offering pediatric immunizations is available on the DC Health website.
To protect the health and safety of all students, DC Health and OSSE have advised that all schools adopt the Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance for the 2020-21 school year. This includes notifying and potentially removing non-compliant students from in-person instruction after a 20-school day period due to the public health risks of in-person congregation without up-to-date immunizations. Parents/guardians should be notified immediately by the school if their student is not up-to-date on their immunizations, regardless of whether the student is participating in distance or in-person instruction. Students who have been in the distance learning posture this school year must be up-to-date on their immunizations before returning for in-person instruction.
Special Education Transportation Reminders in Preparation for Return to Service(reminder)
OSSE's Division of Student Transportation (OSSE DOT) is providing transportation services for the 2020-21 school year, for schools offering “hybrid” (combination of distance and in-person) or “in-person” learning. While we recognize and appreciate the updates we have received for school calendars to reflect a model that includes in-person services, we wanted to remind you of our timeline for submitting your school calendars, to include the day you will begin in-person learning and the associated Transportation Request Forms (TRFs) for your eligible students who will use transportation services.
According to our Special Education Transportation Policy, OSSE DOT has 10 business days to process transportation requests. However, given the higher volume of requests at the start of the school year along with the need for data verification, staff notifications, and various other preparation activities, DOT requests that all calendar updates and TRFs be submitted no less than 20 business days (four weeks) prior to your first day of in-person learning for the applicable student group to ensure transportation services are provided. Once services begin, requests will be processed on a rolling basis according to our policy.
OSSE DOT has made several changes based on federal and local health guidance to ensure the protection, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and the school communities we serve. As a part of our reopening plan, we will provide families with information regarding the internal measures OSSE DOT will be taking to create a safe transportation environment with student-specific routing information prior to the first day of service. LEAs and schools can access this information on OSSE's website and are welcome to share it with families as well. Additionally, all school buses are now named, “District of Columbia Student Transportation,” to be more inclusive of all educational programs supported by transportation services.
It is our goal to make the transition to school-based learning as safe and seamless as possible for the families and schools we serve. For additional questions or concerns, please contact our TOTE Support Line at (202) 576-5520 or DOT.Data@dc.gov.
Homeless Awareness Month 2020 – Homeless Awareness Webinar(reminder)
In honor of National Homeless Awareness Month this November, OSSE’s Homeless Education Program hosted trainings on Nov. 17-19, featuring subject matter experts on the impacts of homelessness and related resources to support families and students experiencing homelessness in the District of Columbia.
The next training will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 24. 2020, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., English Learner and Special Education Rights and Resources. During this training, Advocates for Justice and Education will seek to empower families, youth, and the community to be effective advocates to ensure that children and youth, particularly those who have special needs, receive access to appropriate education and health services. [Register] After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Experience a Free Virtual Field Trip with the National Children's Museum (reminder)
Adapted from an on-site education program, the National Children's Museum developed "Head in the Clouds," a 20-minute, standards-aligned virtual field trip video targeted for grades 1 through 4, with options for pre-K through kindergarten learners also available. Students will have access to a 20-minute independent video and then extend their learning together in a live, one-hour virtual session with a Museum Educator. Through the experience, students will:
Sneak a peek of the Museum's environmental science and climate exhibit "Weather Worlds"
Become budding scientists and meteorologists, observing and identifying clouds
Engage in hands-on activities, like creating a weather journal
Explore Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards
The museum is now scheduling free live, one-hour sessions to extend learning through activities and tailored Q&As around "Head in the Clouds." Sessions are designed to accommodate classrooms that are entirely virtual (with multiple screens) or those where students are in-person (at least one screen). While all educators in the District are encouraged to respond, priority will be given to classrooms in wards 5-8. Sign up for the "Head in the Clouds" virtual field trip experience. For more information, questions, or ready to book your live field trip extension, please contact Fieldtrips@nationalchildrensmuseum.org.
OSSE Grants Reminder: Reimbursement Requests Due Dec. 1 (reminder)
Reimbursement requests for OSSE grants from the 2020 fiscal year are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Reimbursement requests must be submitted online in the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS). Unfortunately, any reimbursements submitted for the first time after Dec. 1 are not eligible to be processed. For question, please contact the OSSE grant manager for your grant.
SOAR FFY20 Academic Quality / Facilities/ Early Childhood / CARES Equivalent Application (reminder)
The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Academic Quality/Facilities, Early Childhood, and CARES Equivalent formula grants applications is available for eligible charter LEAs to complete in the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS). Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. OSSE has extended this deadline a week from what was previously communicated given the Thanksgiving holiday. Funds allocated to LEAs that do not submit an application in EGMS by the due date will be reallocated to eligible LEAs that meet the deadline. OSSE will begin its review of applications as they are received and anticipates completing all reviews by the end of the calendar year.
Final federal fiscal year 2020 (FFY20) SOAR allocations are available in EGMS and on OSSE’s website. There have been no changes since they were shared initially on Aug. 10. This SOAR application reflects amendments to the SOAR grant to address the current needs of LEAs. This includes funding to provide CARES Equivalent allocations for LEAs not eligible for Title I funding, including adult and early childhood charter LEAs, and additional flexible formula funding for facilities, including virtual school infrastructure.
Slides and a recording of the recently presented a SOAR Formula Grants Pre-Application Conference, hosted on Nov. 3, have been posted to OSSE’s website, along with a document outlining allowable uses for grant funds. Please use these resources to support the completion of your application. For questions or need support on SOAR grants, please contact Jessie Harteis at Jessie.Harteis@dc.gov.