April 17, 2020
For more information contact:
Joe Weedon, 202-277-9410
Statement on Distance Learning & Reopening Schools
Earlier today, Mayor Bowser and Chancellor Ferebee announced that DC Public Schools will continue Distance Learning through Friday, May 29 at which point the 2019-2020 school year will end. The Mayor also announced that more information will be provided on May 15th about plans for summer learning and the re-opening of schools for the 2020-21 school year.
The Washington Teachers’ Union continues to believe the decision to close our schools and move to Distance Learning is in the best interests of our students, teachers and communities. Decisions on how and when to re-open our schools should continue to be led by public health officials and ensure that the health and safety of our teachers and students is the top concern.
During the move to Distance Learning, the WTU has been in continued conversations with Chancellor Ferebee and other city leaders. We have offered insight into challenges teachers and students are facing and advocated to ensure computers were distributed to students in need and that all students had access to the internet. In response to a request from Chancellor Ferebee, the WTU surveyed its members about scenarios for returning to in-person learning. With over 2,200 responses, the results were universally against returning to school early.
Washington’s teachers are dedicated public servants who are committed to their students. We’ve seen this throughout this current crisis, teachers are stepping up to turn their homes into classrooms, engaging students through unfamiliar technology, and volunteering to teach lessons that are being broadcast on local TV stations. Our teachers have many unanswered questions about what an early return to school means to their students, themselves and their families. It is contingent upon the Chancellor to work in true partnership with the Washington Teachers’ Union to answer teachers’ questions and to protect teachers’ rights as our city develops a new calendar for the 2020-21 school year.
In the coming days, we will be working to collect and share information on what these changes mean for students and teachers across the District. I will continue my conversations with the Chancellor as well as the Mayor and members of the City Council. Rest assured that your Union will be working to protect your rights.
Elizabeth Davis, President
Washington Teachers’ Union
WTU Survey Responses
Please select one option.
Continue Distance Learning for the remainder of the School Year and restart school as scheduled on August 31, with pre-service beginning Aug 21.
Continue Distance Learning for the remainder of the School Year and restart school earlier than currently scheduled.
End Distance Learning prior to the scheduled end of the current School Year and restart school as scheduled on August 31, with pre-service beginning Aug 21.
End Distance Learning prior to the scheduled end of the current School Year and restart school earlier than currently scheduled.