Coronavirus News & Resources

On March 20, Mayor Bowser ordered DC Public Schools to extend the closure of school buildings through April 24, with a projected reopening of April 27. We are following this directive, and our building will remain closed through April 24.

As of March 20, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Creative Minds community or on the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus. We ask CMI staff, teachers, and families to email Heather Hesslink at if they or someone in their household is diagnosed with COVID-19.

See our recent emails to the Creative Minds community:

Continuity of Operations

Our staff will be working remotely, and available by email, during regular school hours while school is closed. Our central phone line, at (202) 588-0370, will be answered Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

The front-desk team will review and forward to the appropriate staff members all voicemail messages left after hours. Please email us with any questions at

Learning at Home

Families, visit our home-learning website to find resources for students in every grade.

  • No log-in is required to access resources for students in preschool and prekindergarten.
  • Students in kindergarten through 4th grade will use their Clever badges to log in.
  • Students in 5th through 8th grades will sign in with their Google log-in credentials.

On March 13, we sent home hard copies of schoolwork for families that don’t have access to the internet. Students should plan to turn in any completed hard-copy work when they return to school.

Completing schoolwork at home is encouraged but not mandatory. We acknowledge that not every parent and caregiver will be available to monitor children’s work or do lessons with children and that some students may be engaged in other activities.

If you have questions about the home-learning site or about logging in, please email

Rights of Students Experiencing Homelessness

Families experiencing homelessness or housing instability are protected by a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This law remains in full effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the rights of students experiencing homelessness. If you have questions or need assistance, please fill out and submit this form or contact the Creative Minds homeless liaison, Miriam Kahn, at Note that we respect each family’s right to privacy and will keep shared information confidential.


DC Public Schools: On April 1, DC Public Schools will add 10 locations to its meal-distribution sites, bringing the number of sites to 29. Lunch and a shelf-stable breakfast are served to ALL students 18 and younger, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Find more information here.

DC Food Project is gathering information about free meals for students on its Emergency Food Access page. Included are DCPS sites and restaurants that are allowing children to eat for free.

EmpowerK12 has created a Student Meal Finder that lists meal sites from DCPS and public charter schools.

The FoodFinder web and mobile apps show organizations that offer food assistance throughout the country.

Martha’s Table is increasing its distribution of groceries to families in need. Learn more at this webpage.

The Creative Families Association has established a food-ambassador program to assist families in the CMI community. Please email Heather Hesslink at if you’d like to receive this assistance for your family.

The CFA welcomes family volunteers to the food-ambassador program. Email for more information.

Protections for DC Residents

The Council of the District of Columbia has passed an emergency bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the benefits for DC residents are the following:

Evictions and utility cut-offs are temporarily prohibited. To report a violation contact the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection:

Unemployment benefits are expanded. If your job has been affected in some way by this public-health emergency, you may be able to claim unemployment insurance with no waiting period and no requirement to be actively searching for work.

Resources for Immigrants & Undocumented Individuals

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has instituted exceptions to the public charge rule in order to encourage immigrants to get tested and treated for COVID-19 without fear of negative impacts on their visa extensions or green-card processes. Please see this webpage for more information.

Many undocumented individuals cannot access public benefits or health insurance. See this map from DC Health for locations of free, low-cost, or community healthcare centers.

Visit the United We Dream website to learn more about accessing healthcare as an undocumented individual.

Los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de EE. UU. Han instituido excepciones a la regla de penar al publcio para alentar a los inmigrantes a hacerse la prueba y recibir tratamiento para COVID-19 sin temor a impactos negativos en sus extensiones de visa o procesos de tarjeta de recidencia (verde). Por favor, consulte esta página web para más información.

Muchas personas emigrantes no pueden acceder a beneficios públicos o seguro de salud. Vea este mapa de DC Health para conocer las ubicaciones de los centros de salud gratuitos, de bajo costo o comunitarios.

Visite el sitio web de United We Dream para obtener más información sobre cómo acceder a la atención médica como una persona emigrante.

Events & the School Year

Field Trips: All field trips have been cancelled through the end of March.

Spring Break: Our spring break will continue, as planned, from April 13 through April 17.

Last Day of School: We don’t yet know whether this unexpected school closure means moving the last day of school from June 19 to a date later in the month. We’ll share more information as soon as possible.

Online Activities & Read-Alouds

These authors and illustrators are posting read-alouds and activities online:

  • Carson Ellis is sharing daily prompts for drawing, on Instagram. Share your children’s drawings by using the hashtag #quarantineartclub.
  • Oliver Jeffers is reading one of his books every day at 1:00 p.m., live on Instagram.
  • Jarrett J. Krosoczka is posting “Draw Every Day with JJK” videos to YouTube.
  • Debbie Ridpath Ohi is sharing read-alouds and art activities on her YouTube channel.
  • Mo Willems and the Kennedy Center are hosting daily “LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!” episodes.

These organizations are sharing free resources for learning or physical activity:

Other Links & Resources


While school is closed, we’ll email our community once a week with updates and send news by phone and email if an urgent matter arises. We’ll also post information to this page and share public updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have any questions about the school closure or our COVID-19 response, please email Heather Hesslink at