Clerc Center Community –

First – our sincere apologies for sending this email in English only.  We had a series of technical difficulties this evening as we are working out the kinks in getting our remote home studios up and running.  We will re-send this message with the ASL tomorrow morning.

This has been an extraordinary time for all of us as we watch the ever-changing news related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the country and the world.  At the Clerc Center, we are planning for both the short term and the long term to ensure we can continue to provide resources and learning opportunities for students and families.

Today, we want to share some updates about our plans and our progress:

Clerc Center Learning Portal
We want to take a moment to thank all of our families who have been supporting student learning this week while they are away from school.  Next week, we will be sharing our online Learning Portal which will provide opportunities for student learning at home.  We will have online resources and events the week of March 30 through April 3 for students at all age/grade levels hosted by our school leadership teams and lead teachers.  You will see a variety of options so students and families have flexibility – please join us at whatever time best fits your family’s schedule and needs.  All online learning opportunities are designed to keep students intellectually active – they are optional and will not be graded, but we encourage participation to stay connected with each other.  This week we will focus on academic content area activities, as well as a few social emotional learning, physical exercise, and fun online group activities, as well as links to various community offerings like VL2’s storybook videos and eSports tournaments.  We will continue to expand our library on the Learning Portal and you can expect to see more content from our teachers and staff in the coming weeks.

This has been, and will continue to be, a learning experience for all of us.  We will adapt and modify our offerings over time.  We want to thank the leadership teams at both schools, our Director of Instruction, as well as the communications team, the creative team, and all of the teachers and staff who have been engaged in discussions about this effort.  We will seek additional input over time as we learn and evolve.  Please watch for more details about the Learning Portal, how to access it, and the learning opportunities available early next week.

Academic Calendar (AY 19-20)
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser recently issued an executive order closing non-essential businesses through April 24.  PK-12 schools are an exception but only to provide remote learning opportunities.  We will therefore need to extend our break through April 24.  We will revisit this decision as new information is available.   We are closely monitoring the local and national school closures, as well as trends in COVID-19 cases as this pandemic evolves.  We will be making decisions about the remainder of this academic year later in April.  We know there are many questions related to IEP meetings, Extended School Year services, and end of year events.   We will be communicating more about these decisions as they are made.

Academic Calendar (AY 20-21)
At this time, we are planning to open on schedule with the first day for students on August 24, 2020.  We will release the full academic calendar for AY 20-21 no later than the week of April 6.  If there is any need to make adjustments at a later date due to changes in the COVID-19 guidance, we will aim to communicate those changes by July 1.

Live Town Hall
We have received requests to host an on-line town hall for families.  We are exploring how we can do this effectively while all working remotely, but we are committed to setting up something in the near future.  More information will be shared once the details are ironed out.

KDES Honoree Ceremony and MSSD Graduation
With the many unknowns of this pandemic, we are planning for a variety of scenarios.  We will be setting up committees to explore options for a modified ceremony on-site if we are able to return to campus, as well as virtual celebrations of these important milestones.  To our KDES 8th graders and MSSD seniors – we know how important these events are for you  and we are committed to honoring you and celebrating all of your success.

We also wanted to share a couple quick logistical items.  Going forward, these announcements and updates will be shared by the school leadership teams.

We know that the last two weeks have been a period of incredible adjustment for all of us.  We miss having our halls full of students at MSSD, seeing the energy of Hands on Deck time every morning at KDES, and watching our student athletes compete.  Until we can return to these activities, we look forward to staying connected as a community virtually.

Take care, be safe, stay healthy,

Marianne Belsky, Chief Academic Officer

Nicole Sutliffe, Chief Administrative Officer