Coronavirus News & Resources

On April 17, 2020, Mayor Bowser announced that public schools in Washington, DC, will continue with remote learning through the end of the school year and that the last day of school has been moved to May 29. Creative Minds is following this directive.

Our last day of school for 2019–20 will be Friday, May 29. Until then, we will continue with online learning. Find more information in our email from April 17.

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

Remote learning will continue for the rest of the 2019–20 school year. 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.


Creative Minds: We are offering touchless deliveries of free meals to Creative Minds students and other children, such as siblings or cousins, in their households. Children do not need to be students at CMI. Meals can be delivered to addresses in Washington, DC, but not to locations outside the city. Learn more and discover how you can sign up.

Creative Minds: Estamos ofreciendo entregas sin contacto de comidas gratuitas a los estudiantes de Creative Minds y otros niños, como hermanos o primos, en sus hogares. Los niños no necesitan ser estudiantes en CMI. Las comidas se pueden entregar a direcciones en Washington, DC, pero no a ubicaciones fuera de la ciudad. Obtenga más información y enterece cómo puede registrarse.

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 & 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 are 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:

Events & the School Year

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Our last parent-teacher conferences, scheduled for March 27, were cancelled. We’d like to host online or phone conferences before the end of the year, if possible. More information will be shared soon.

Last Day of School: After an April 17 announcement from Mayor Bowser, we decided to move the last of the 2019–20 school year to May 29 and continue remote learning for the rest of the year, in line with DC public schools.

Eighth-grade Graduation: We’re proud of our second class of 8th-grade scholars, and though we won’t be able to honor their achievements in person, we will celebrate them, with much festivity, online. Stay tuned for details on virtual graduation.

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