English Learner Identification Documentation: Q&A Session
LEA data managers, LEA Assessment Coordinators and LEA English Learner (EL) Coordinators are invited to register for an office hour session with OSSE taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, 2-3 p.m. to address any questions related to documenting EL identification and provisional identification, which are outlined in the Provisional Pre-K-12 English Learner Identification Procedure During Distance Learning guidance document (released July 17, 2020). Register for the Q&A session. For questions, please contact Dr. Jennifer Norton at Jennifer.Norton@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 of 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, Oct. 19. Register for the upcoming calls.
Using survey findings from the interviews that the Deputy Mayor for Education’s office has conducted, the Monday Oct. 19 call will include a deep dive on lessons from schools offering in-person learning.
[New Resource]Return to School Criteria decision tree guide to provide an overview of standard criteria for students and staff to return to school after symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19.
OSSE Seeking Literacy Experts for State Literacy Plan Working Group
The District of Columbia has been awarded a $16 million grant to improve literacy – OSSE’s Division of Teaching and Learning (TAL) is seeking the participation of literacy experts to support the development of a Comprehensive Literacy Plan (CLP) for our state. Experts selected for this CLP working group will:
Collaboratively engage with peers across the District to align around a common definition of literacy and support the development of the plan;
Provide targeted feedback and input on the state literacy plan related to your area of expertise; and
Support the establishment of evidence-based strategies and guiding principles for literacy instruction.
DCPS and public charter school teachers, reading specialists, instructional coaches serving pre-K through grade 12, and other literacy experts are welcome to apply by completing this brief online interest form by Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. For questions, please contact Ashleigh Tillman at Ashleigh.Tillman@dc.gov.
October is Growing Healthy Schools Month (reminder)
Growing Healthy Schools Month celebrates the health of students in public schools throughout the District. During the annual celebration, public schools collaborate with local community-based organizations, District government agencies, farmers, athletes, and chefs to coordinate inspiring activities aimed at engaging students with topics concerning nutrition, the environment, and being active.
To celebrate Growing Healthy Schools Month this year, OSSE is celebrating and promoting a different theme of the Healthy Schools Act each week in October: Farm to School, School Gardens, Environmental Literacy, and Physical Activity. Visit OSSE's website to find activities and resources related to each weekly theme. We encourage you to share how you’re celebrating Growing Healthy Schools Month on social media with the hashtag #HealthySchoolsDC.
OSSE Seeks Outstanding Teachers! Apply to Join OSSE’s Teacher Advisory Council(reminder)
Teacher voice is critical for education in DC. OSSE is seeking DC teacher leaders for the next cohort of OSSE’s Teacher Advisory Council. This group will serve as a sounding board for the superintendent and OSSE leadership on key state-level policies affecting public education in the District of Columbia, providing insight and feedback from their important vantage point in the classroom. Selected teachers will serve a 12-month term, meeting with OSSE leadership on a quarterly basis beginning November 2020.
Help Families Locate Your Virtual OST Program (reminder)
The Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Office) in partnership with DC Action for Children and the District of Columbia Public Schools is compiling a list of virtual OST programs for youth in the District of Columbia. Families are actively searching for programs and opportunities to engage youth beyond the classroom. Assist these families in their search by completing this brief form that will be used to create a directory for families. Please complete no later than Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 to be included.
For additional information or questions, please contact Alex Brown at Alex.Brown@dc.gov.
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.
Important Immunization Reminder and Requirements for In-Person Learning (reminder)
As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, District physicians have recorded an extremely low rate of pediatric immunization administrations this year. According to DC Health, the rate of pediatric immunization administrations has dropped by 70 percent in the District as families have avoided or not had access to well-child care during the emergency period. Due to this, many children in the District are not fully immunized, creating a high risk for an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable infectious disease such as measles among our students. DC Health has advised that such an outbreak of another infectious disease could be as much, or even more, of a public health risk for school communities than COVID-19 itself, and would add another complex obstacle for school operations this year.
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. DC Health is prepared to support schools and families by providing more information on the importance of immunizations and details on where to access immunizations in the District. A list of health providers and locations offering pediatric immunizations is available on the DC Health website. Health providers are prepared to continue accepting appointments for administering immunizations throughout the duration of the health emergency and are taking protective measures to ensure safety of patients.
Due to the dangerously low pediatric immunization compliance and in an effort to protect the health and safety of all students, DC Health and OSSE have advised that all schools are to adopt the Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance beginning in 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. We request your assistance with communicating immunization requirements to all families now to give them as much time as possible to make appointments with their health care providers before the start of school.
OSSE's website has resources, training and information available for schools and families to support meeting immunization requirements. For questions about the Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance, please contact OSSE.SchoolHealth@dc.gov. For questions about immunization information, data, and locations where families can receive immunizations, schools can contact DC Health at SHS.Program@dc.gov or visit the DC Health Immunization Program webpage.
REAL Family Engagement: High-Quality Academic Partnering Meetings
Flamboyan champions academic partnering meetings between educators and families as a critical component of REAL Family Engagement. Academic partnering meetings can take many forms: parent-teacher conferences (PTCs), Academic Parent-Teacher Team (APTT) meetings, or student-led conferences (SLCs). Regardless of the format, the time families and educators spend discussing and collaborating with their students is an opportunity that should be maximized. During this session, hosted by OSSE in partnership with Flamboyan, teachers and school leaders will learn about practices, tips, and tools to make the most out of academic partnering with families, even from a distance.
Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from a parent regarding their testimony and experience being academic partners with their child’s teacher. By the end of our presentation, educators will understand the foundational components of academic partnering meetings through the planning stages, high-quality delivery, and follow-up communication. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, 3:30-4:30 p.m. [Register] For questions, please contact Jessica Dulay at Jessica.Dulay@dc.gov.
OSSE Annual School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement Webinar
OSSE is offering its annual Medicaid Reimbursement training on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The webinar training session is for existing LEA Medicaid providers, LEAs that are interested in becoming a Medicaid provider, and for anyone interested in learning more about school-based Medicaid. The session will reinforce understanding of Medicaid rules and data requirements to foster successful and compliant claim submissions. This year, we will also offer four breakout sessions. Please feel free to invite others from your LEA if you would like to participate in more than one of the breakout sessions. (Note: Each person attending must register.)
The registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The registration form will list the topics for the breakout sessions and allow submission of questions for the session panelists in advance of the webinar. You will receive the webinar login information after registration has closed.
WIDA eSummit for ALL Teachers of English Learners (reminder)
With one in 12 students in DC learning English as a new language, it is critical that all teachers embrace English learners as their students and gain skills in teaching both language and content knowledge. As a WIDA Consortium state, DC uses the ACCESS annual English proficiency assessment and the WIDA English language development standards. With this membership comes access to the national WIDA eSummit, a free virtual learning opportunity open to all DC educators. The event will be held Oct. 12-30, 2020. Each week of the eSummit has a theme with three sessions (45- or 60-minute webinars) relating to the weekly theme. Recordings and downloadable resources will be available after the event. View the full schedule. For questions, please contact Dr. Jennifer Norton at Jennifer.Norton@dc.gov.
October 2020 LEA Special Education Points of Contact Webinar (reminder)
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, from 10-11 a.m., OSSE will host its next monthly webinar training for all LEA Special Education Points of Contact (LEA SE POCs). During this training, OSSE will provide important information relevant to your role as the LEA SE POC, according to the following agenda:
All LEA SE POCs are expected to participate in each month’s webinar, and share any relevant content, updates, or announcements with LEA staff following the broadcast. Register
Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners (reminder)
This interactive series aims to familiarize participants with select components of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) English Learner Program Model so they can design and deliver content and English language development instruction in a manner that is accessible to English learners (ELs). The series is appropriate for K-12 general education teachers, in addition to EL and special education teachers, instructional coaches, and instructional leaders. Participants will engage in activities that simultaneously replicate virtual learning activities for the classroom and deepen their knowledge of SIOP. The series is ideal for those who are new to SIOP as well as those with a basic working knowledge of the SIOP Model.
Sessions are held virtually, once a month on Wednesdays from 12-1:45 p.m.Register for the next session happening Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, 12-1:45 p.m. For questions, please contact Anika Harris at Anika.Harris@dc.gov.
Faculty and Staff Head of School Certification Training (reminder)
OSSE’s Office of the Chief Information Officer will host two trainings for LEA heads of school on how to certify the faculty and staff data in the Faculty and Staff Application. Heads of Schools must certify the data by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.
The training will cover how to navigate within the application and certify the data. The same content will be covered in both trainings. Two virtual trainings will be held on: