Coronavirus News & Resources

This page was last updated on August 22, 2020.

The first day of the 2020–21 school year is Monday, August 31. We’ll be starting the year on a virtual schedule, with all students learning remotely. Learn more about our plans, and find links to important information, in these letters:

Continuity of Operations

Our staff are working remotely and available by email, during regular school hours while the school building is closed. Our central phone line, at (202) 588-0370, is 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 frontdesk@creativemindspcs.org.

Read our Continuous Learning and School Recovery Plan.

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 miriam.kahn@creativemindspcs.org. Note that we respect each family’s right to privacy and will keep shared information confidential.

Meals

Creative Minds: Creative Minds is starting the 2020–21 school year on all-virtual schedule. While classes are being held remotely full time, we’re offering weekly deliveries of five breakfasts and five lunches to students enrolled in our meal-delivery program; registration is required to receive meals. Deliveries begin on Wednesday, September 2. Find more information and registration links at our Nutrition & Wellness page.

DC Public Schools: 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 heather.hesslink@creativemindspcs.org if you’d like to receive this assistance for your family.

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

Protections & Benefits 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:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are expanded. SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of families in need.

  • SNAP certification periods were extended through April 2020.
  • SNAP interviews may be done over the phone.
  • Time limits for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) are temporarily and partially suspended.
  • Apply for SNAP benefits here.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). DC WIC has received temporary waivers that will allow it to quickly and safely get benefits to participants:

  • The requirement for a mother or a mother and child to be physically present for certification, recertification, and check-ups has been waived.
  • WIC is able to distribute benefits by mail
  • Learn more at the DC WIC COVID-19 page.

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.

Wellness Resources

Our Student Wellness Team has compiled resources that will help parents and caregivers practice self-care and address the challenges of parenting in this unusual time:

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


If you have any questions about our COVID-19 response, please email Heather Hesslink and her team at frontdesk@creativemindspcs.org.

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