Summer Updates

July 15, 2021

Back to Learning at School—for All Students!

The first day of the 2021–22 school year is Monday, August 30. This year, all classes will be held in person, in the school building, five days a week. We’re excited about our full return to being at school and know that many students are too!

Note that we’ll continue monitoring the public-health situation, and relying on guidance from local agencies, and be ready to adjust our plans, if needed.

Waiver for Remote Learning

In 2021–22, remote learning will be available only to students with a documented physical or mental-health need, which aligns with the protocol set forth by the DC Deputy Mayor for Education.

Read more from Deputy Mayor Paul Kihn and find links to his message in additional languages, including Spanish and Amharic, on this page.

Request remote learning for your child by filling out this form; a physician or nurse practitioner must complete page 2 of the form.

Submit the form to Heather Hesslink at by August 11. If a medical professional certifies that remote learning is necessary for your child, we will grant the request.

Read frequently asked questions and answers from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to learn more about the district-wide approach to remote learning in 2021–22.

Health & Safety in 2021–22

Some of the health and safety protocols that were in place in spring 2021 will also be in effect when we start the new school year. All protocols will be based in science and follow requirements from the CDC, DC Health, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

We’ll share details with our community in August. If you have questions about health and safety at school, please email Heather Hesslink, our director of operations and compliance, at

Wednesday Afternoons: Free Enrichment Program

As we wrote about in messages on May 4 and May 5, students will be dismissed early each Wednesday—at 12:30 p.m. for lower school and 12:45 p.m. for middle school—and teachers will have an afternoon of professional development. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education has approved this schedule.

We’re offering a program of enrichment activities to all students on Wednesday afternoons—at no cost to families. The program will run from dismissal until 3:30 p.m.

Here’s a sample of the schedule we intend to offer on Wednesday afternoons.

  • 1:00 p.m. Homework or centers (for preschoolers)
  • 1:30 p.m. Choice time (blocks, board games, puzzles, art activities)
  • 2:00 p.m. ST Math
  • 2:30 p.m. Recess outdoors or indoor movement break
  • 3:00 p.m. Read-aloud
  • 3:30 p.m. Dismissal or transition to our paid after-school program

Help us to get ready by answering a few questions about whether you plan to participate in this enrichment program or our other after-school activities.

In August, we’ll share sign-up information for the Wednesday enrichment program, as well as for our paid program of after-school activities.

If you have questions about the 2021–22 schedule, please email Nayamka Long at

Vaccinations: Compliance Required!

Students must be up to date on all required vaccinations, and have a Universal Health Certificate from within the last year on file with Creative Minds, to attend classes at school.

COVID-19 vaccination is not required by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, but we encourage vaccination for all eligible community members, including students ages 12 and older. A healthcare provider can help you determine whether the COVID vaccine is right for you and your family.

Learn more about the vaccine, and where to get immunized, from DC Health.

COVID-19 Testing at School: Free (and Gentle)

Our free program of COVID-19 sentinel-surveillance testing is open to students and to everyone in their families; the testing takes place every other week at school.

Participation for students and families is optional. Staff members are required to participate, which helps us to monitor the health of our community.

Medical professionals from Elaine Ellis Center of Health administer the COVID-19 tests, and we can confirm that the testing process is quick and gentle.

The next testing date for students and families is Thursday, August 26. Learn more about the program in this document and email Heather Hesslink at to sign up.

Save the Date!

Friday, October 29
Free Clinic at School: COVID-19 and Flu Vaccinations

Resources for the New School Year

View our Academic Calendar for 2021–22 and sync with the Google Calendar on our website for additional dates of note.

The Whom to Contact guide is arranged by topic and includes email addresses and phone numbers for many of our administrative staff members.

In August, we’ll share the latest “Student & Family Handbook” and our “Welcome Packet” for the new school year.