Greetings Paul Students, Parents and Family Members,
It is my hope that this message finds you well and enjoying the summer months. I write to share several updates regarding our operating status for the 2020-2021 school year. Last month, in response to a significant decline in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the District, and with the support and guidance of both the DC Department of Health and the CDC, we announced that we would be implementing a “hybrid” schooling model for the upcoming year. This model would allow families to choose to send their child(ren) to school two days a week and engage in three days of virtual, live-streamed instruction or to select a full virtual model where the student(s) would engage in live-streamed instruction for the entire week. Our selection and subsequent preparation to implement this model was strategic in that it would allow for the seamless transition to a full virtual environment should COVID-19 cases increase and it become unsafe for our students and our staff to attend school in-person for any period of time.
Recently, there has been a rise in the number of positive COVID cases in Washington, DC. This increase is cause for concern. Providing a high quality education that ensures your child is ready for the challenge of college and career is a top priority for the leadership and staff of Paul PCS. Doing this in an environment that ensures the physical health and well-being of our students is paramount. As such, we believe it is safest for our students and staff that we begin school year 2020-2021 in a full virtual environment. This means that all students will engage in teacher-directed instruction via Google Meet and Google Classroom, five days a week. We will assess whether conditions have improved enough for students to return (in accordance with CDC guidelines) in mid-October. If conditions improve, we will plan to again offer the option of a hybrid model after Thanksgiving Break.
To ensure every Paul student is equipped to fully engage in virtual instruction, we will ensure that each child has a device that will meet the needs of our instructional model. Returning students have been allowed to keep devices distributed last year to support with summer learning and engagement. Furthermore, within the first days of the new school year, we will support families with ensuring consistent internet connectivity in their homes.
We are confident and excited to finalize our preparations for welcoming you and your scholar to SY20-21! To hear more information about our virtual model and next steps to ready for the school year, please join us for one of two Town Hall Meetings next week:
Thursday, July 23, 2020 5:30-6:30pm
Friday, July 24, 2020 5:00-6:00pm
If you have specific questions that you would like addressed, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday, July 20th. Because the chat function will not be enabled as we anticipate several hundred families, we want to ensure we are able to respond to any requests or questions raised. As such, we ask that inquiries be submitted in advance. In closing, I want to thank you for choosing Paul. We know that these are uncertain times in many ways. Please take heart and comfort in knowing that we are vigilantly paying attention to the state of the world and ensuring that we are ready and able to provide the best education for your child in the safest environment possible.
With deep gratitude and appreciation,
Dr. Tracy L. Wright
Chief Executive Officer