Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccination Eligibility and Transition to DC Health Portal
Mayor Bowser announced on March 4 that all teachers and staff who work for a school or licensed child care facility in DC and have not been vaccinated previously are eligible to be vaccinated through the DC Health citywide vaccination portal.
All staff who work at a District school or child care facility are eligible for vaccination, including staff working virtually, staff who do not work directly with students (e.g., operational staff), part-time staff and partner organization staff (e.g., before/after-care providers or therapists delivering in-person services to children while in the care of the facility). Staff who work at a District school or licensed child care provider but live outside the District are eligible.
Those who completed their first dose of vaccine through another provider, including One Medical, should complete their second dose via that provider.
School and child care staff will no longer register for vaccine appointments through One Medical. Instead, beginning next week, school and child care staff will have access to pre-register for a vaccine appointment through vaccinate.dc.gov or by calling the District’s call center.
As appointments are made available, individuals who have pre-registered will receive an email, phone call, and/or text message alerting them that they have an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment.
DC Health’s website and the Mayor’s situational update from March 4 describes this process in detail along with screenshots of the online registration system. Further instruction on the pre-registration process will be shared as detail becomes available.
School Health and Safety 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 COVID-19 recovery period. These Monday calls take place from 1-2 p.m. every other week. The next call is Monday, March 8 and will include a deep dive on student engagement with Dr. Benjamin Williams from Benjamin Banneker High School.Register for this and all upcoming calls.
Residency Verification, Updated Enrollment Handbook Now Available The 2021-22 school year residency verification forms are available on the OSSE website. Reminder, per DC Municipal Regulations, residency verification for the 2021-22 school year cannot begin until common lottery results are released – this year it is Friday, April 2. Residency verification completed prior to this date will not be accepted by auditors during the 2021-22 enrollment audit.
The updated Office of Enrollment and Residency (OER) Handbook is available on the OSSE website. The OER handbook contains detailed policies and guidance on residency verification and related processes. Please download and review the updated version in preparation for the residency verification trainings.
New Edition! WIDA English Language Development Standards, 2020 Edition
The newly released WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition: Kindergarten-Grade 12 brings a focus on instruction for English learners (ELs) that is assets-based, equitable, collaborative, functional and integrates language and content. With this focus in mind, these standards bring educators closer to their goals of guiding students towards meeting their academic and language goals. WIDA’s suite of screeners and assessments continue to be informed by this framework. Visit OSSE’s new WIDA ELD Standards Framework webpage for details.
Register for OSSE’s new four-part bi-monthly series of mini-PD workshops The WIDA English Language Development Standards, 2020 Edition: Approaching the Standards Together beginning Wednesday, March 17, 2021. For questions, please contact Anika Harris at Anika.Harris@dc.gov.
OSSE Launches the DC Social Studies Standards Technical Writing Committee (reminder)
OSSE is pleased to announce the launch of the DC Social Studies Standards Technical Writing Committee, which will review and update the existing DC Social Studies State Standards and submit a revised draft to the DC State Board of Education (SBOE) for approval later in 2021. The writing committee is comprised of K-12 social studies educators from DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools, as well as local and national technical experts in social studies.
The SBOE, in partnership with OSSE, began its review and update of the social studies standards in July 2020. The SBOE convened a Social Studies Standards Advisory Committee, which was responsible for drafting guiding principles and making recommendations to the SBOE and OSSE on how the state standards should be revised and updated to reflect the needs of students and teachers in the District. In December 2020, the Advisory Committee finalized and published the Social Studies Standards Guiding Principles, which document will guide the writing committee in their revision work.
Visit the SBOE website to learn more about the overall revision process for the District's Social Studies State Standards. For questions about the writing committee, please contact Annette Thacker-Bartlett at Annette.Thacker@dc.gov.
Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (reminder)
As LEAs plans for summer learning, schools have the opportunity to partner with the Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) this summer to support high school and young adult students in need of additional summer acceleration or credit recovery.
Through this partnership, students can have their summer school site serve as their MBSYEP placement and be paid through MBSYEP for their participation in a school-coordinated workforce component.
What steps do interested LEAs need to take?
Encourage all students that you would like to have participate in summer school to apply to SYEP by Saturday, March 6. Ensure that students have certified their application by Saturday, March 13.
Consider hosting office hours to support your students with the application or certification process.
Submit an application for your school to serve as a MBSYEP host site.
Plan your summer learning experience to include academic and workforce development components.
You Can Hear the Crunch, Too (reminder)
In celebration of National School Breakfast Week, OSSE is partnering with DC Hunger Solutions to promote Hear the DC Crunch throughout schools in the District on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. If you’re stocked up with apples at home, grab one, and take a bite at 10 a.m. to show support for the School Breakfast Program and recognize all the benefits it has to offer. Show us your School Breakfast Program pride by sharing a picture of your apple crunch with #HearTheCrunch and tag OSSE on Twitter @OSSEDC.
FY20 National Public Financial Education Survey (reminder)
The National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) is the US Department of Education’s Annual Survey of School System Finances.
LEA Chief Financial Officers and LEA fiscal staff are encouraged to attend one of the webinars.
The data from NPEFS are used to calculate a state per pupil expenditure amount that is used in the formula for allocating a number of federal program funds to states and school districts.
The data collection is for fiscal year 2020 (Oct. 1, 2019 - Sept. 30, 2020)
The data collection is required for all local education agencies servicing elementary and secondary students.
Two webinar sessions will be held on the following dates:
For more information or questions, please contact Ometta Riggins at (202) 262-1677.
Nominate an Outstanding Teacher Today! 2022 DC Teacher of the Year (reminder)
OSSE is searching for the 2022 DC Teacher of the Year. We are seeking nominations for outstanding teachers who:
Inspire and accelerate growth for all students
Build strong partnerships with families and communities
Champion the teaching profession
Administrators, colleagues, LEA and school staff, parents, students, and community members can all submit nominations. Self-nominations are also acceptable. Please complete the 2022 DC TOY Nomination Formby Friday, April 30, 2021.
To be eligible for this award, a candidate must be a current teacher in a DC public school or public charter school, have five years’ teaching experience, and must plan to continue as a teacher in DC for the 2021-22 school year. The 2022 DC Teacher of the Year will receive a $7,500 award, professional development and leadership opportunities, and will represent DC in the 2022 National Teacher of the Year competition.
Stay on Track with Routine Childhood Immunization Requirements for In-Person Learning (reminder)
With students returning to school for in-person learning, school health teams should be checking immunization compliance status before students return to the building. All students must be up-to-date with their childhood immunizations in order to attend any in-person activities. Enforcement of routine childhood immunization requirements is critical in order to prevent an epidemic in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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 Attendancefor the 2020-21 school year. This is due to the public health risks of in-person congregation without up-to-date routine childhood immunizations. As part of the return to in-person schooling process, parents/guardians should be notified immediately by the school if their student is not up-to-date on their routine childhood immunizations. Students who have been in the distance learning posture this school year must be up-to-date on their childhood 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.
Upcoming Virtual Professional Learning for DC Educators
OSSE's Division of Teaching and Learning (TAL) has a robust offering of professional learning opportunities that are now open for registration, including live virtual sessions, multi-session series, and asynchronous modules. Upcoming sessions include:
Creating Your Local Literacy Plan: Four-Part Technical Assistance Series
Join OSSE for a four-part webinar series on creating your own Local Literacy Plan (LLP) for your school or LEA that is grounded in evidence-based strategies, infuses literacy across all content areas, and accelerates student achievement. This series is for all LEA and school leadership team members, grades K-12, who inform literacy instruction, such as principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, literacy specialists, directors of academics and curricula, and lead teachers for general and special education.
Session 1: Introduction to Creating Your Local Literacy Plan, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 9-10 a.m.
Session 2: Leveraging Self-Assessments and Data Dives to Create Your Local Literacy Plan, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 9-10 a.m.
Session 3: The Role of Evidence-Based Practices & High-Quality Instructional Materials in Your Local Literacy Plan, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 9-10 a.m.
Session 4: Literacy-Centered Professional Development Planning, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 9-10 a.m.
Participants will receive targeted support with identifying the needs of their own organizations with and by the end of this series, participants will be equipped to create and begin implementation of their own LLP. The creation of an LLP is tied to OSSE's upcoming literacy subgrant opportunity, as part of OSSE’s new Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grant award. For questions about this series, please contact OSSE's CLSD team at OSSE.CLSD@dc.gov.
2021-22 School Year Residency Verification Training (reminder)
The residency of each student enrolled in a District public school must be verified by the current LEA of enrollment and LEAs do not receive Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) funds for unverified residents. This training will cover residency verification requirements and related topics for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. Participants will be informed of their responsibility to complete residency verification as well as guidance on how to enroll District residents and non-residents. Additionally, participants will receive information on updated residency policies as well as the 2021-22 residency verification forms. Partners will also provide guidance on the home language survey and enrolling students who are experiencing homelessness.
This training is mandatory, and each LEA must have at least one designee in attendance:
Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund Updates
OSSE is on track to release the application for Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER II) on Friday, May 7, 2021 in the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS). Information on this program, including allowable uses and preliminary allocations were provided to LEA leaders and grants managers/fiscal points of contact on Feb. 5 and can be accessed here. Registration information for an optional ESSER II application overview webinar will be provided in the next month.
Given the ESSER II program allows for reimbursement back to March 13, 2020, LEAs may be making commitments against ESSER II funds now. If your LEA, needs a preliminary grant award notification (GAN) earlier than May (e.g., for your budget planning or board of directors), please review and sign these assurances and submit to OSSE.CARES@dc.gov. You will still be required to complete an application in the EGMS, once released, prior to submitting reimbursement requests. Requesting this preliminary GAN is optional and does not impact your allocation or the grant’s period of availability.
Request for Applications: Healthy Schools Grant (reminder)
OSSE’s Division of Health and Wellness is soliciting applications for the District of Columbia Healthy Schools Grant. The purpose of this grant is to increase OSSE’s capacity to support District schools with implementing high-quality 1) health education and physical education; and 2) place-based education programs.
OSSE will accept applications from entities in the District of Columbia having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Eligible entities may apply for an award up to $120,000. The deadline for application submission is Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at 3 p.m. OSSE anticipates announcing award decisions on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
2021-22 School Year Grant Forecast (reminder)
OSSE is pleased to share a new tool to help LEAs plan their budgets for the next school year: the 2021-22 School Year Grant Forecast. This tool lists most of the formula and competitive grants that OSSE expects to release in the coming months. LEAs can use this tool to anticipate what grant opportunities will be available for the upcoming school year and inform budget development and strategic planning.
The forecast tool lists upcoming grant opportunities and includes anticipated application release and award dates, as well as anticipated funding amounts. It is important to note, however, that the information included in the forecast is subject to change. This forecast tool is not an official notice of availability and is only for planning purposes. Grant releases and awards are subject to funding availability and could change based on the fiscal year 2022 budget and any applicable legislation. LEAs will need to apply for grants in order to be considered for an award.
OSSE will provide regular updates to the grant forecast tool to provide LEAs with the most current grant information. For questions or feedback regarding this new forecast tool, please contact OSSE.Grants@dc.gov.
Help Your Students Get Up to $10,000 in DCTAG Funds (reminder)
Did you know that OSSE's DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG) provides up to $10,000 in tuition assistance to eligible DC residents attending out-of-state public institutions of higher education? Eligible students attending private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and select private local institutions are eligible for up to $2,500. The DCTAG application is now open! Apply today at dconeapp.dc.gov. Don’t miss this funding opportunity that is available to only residents of the District of Columbia! Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.