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“This is the real problem with the DCPS reopening”

Photo by Erin

“Dear PoPville,

As a DCPS teacher (who would prefer to stay anonymous) I wanted to send this because, while most of the DCPS reopening focus has been on the health and safety factors of reopening (understandably so), very little discussion has been had on how logistically terrible the plan is for students, families, and teachers.

As an example, I am a fifth grade math teacher in a school with 50 5th graders. 10 of our Students will be back in school, and will be taught by either myself or the 5th grade ELA teacher. This means that the remaining 40 students would no longer have access to the teacher they have spent the last two months learning routines, skills and structures from. DCPS has offered no further clarity on who would take on that teaching role, but I don’t think it’s out of turn to say that they wouldn’t not be as effective working with the group as I would be.

Moving onto the CARES system. The CARES classrooms that they are hoping to have would hold an additional ten students, often being monitored by a non DCPS teacher. While in this room they would continue their virtual learning, from whoever is left to teach them. Does DC really think non qualified teachers can monitor ten students, who have been out of the classroom for 9 months, so that they are able to successfully learn without distractions and disruptions.

Finally, DCPS spent the end of last year and the beginning of this year emphasizing the importance of building meaningful relationships, and supporting Trauma impacted students. 100% of research would suggest that students and teachers should not be separated and routines broken after 2 months of school have past. Many teachers at my school, and others, looped with students to build in that comfort and routine as we entered an unfamiliar year. With one misguided and hasty decision DCPS is undoing all of that and putting students in unfamiliar hands.

As we prepare for this disgrace of a transition, I hope this at least sheds some light for your readers why we as teachers are so against this. It is not a laziness issue; it’s not an equity issue; it’s hardly even a health issue. It’s simply this: we want our students to succeed, and through this plan it’s quite clear that Mayor Bowser and Chancellor Ferebee do not.”

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