Updated January 5, 2021
Plans to Return to In-person Instruction
Ingenuity Prep Families,
Happy New Year! We hope that this finds you and your family doing well and in good health.
We’re writing today to provide an update on our plans for reopening for in-person instruction. Since sharing our last update in mid-October, we gathered input from families and staff via surveys and listening sessions to inform our planning process and determine whether there was a need and desire for us to reopen in-person instruction.
After reviewing that information, it was clear to us that there were very different perspectives and levels of comfort across our community — many families indicated they would not be comfortable having their student return for in-person instruction, while others indicated they would. This was also true of our staff community.
In addition, we also reviewed student data — reading levels, attendance, etc. — to get a better understanding of the impact of virtual learning for our students. While we’re proud of our program and know that for many students virtual learning is working well, the fact is for some of our students and families it is not. And those students are falling behind.
As a school, we are entrusted with a responsibility to ensure all of our students are growing and learning. As such, our team has been planning towards how we can safely reopen for in-person instruction. At this time, we are planning for reopening for in-person instruction in our Early Childhood Academy (ECA) and Elementary School Academy (ESA) beginning on Tuesday, February 16. While we are seeking to make this available to as many students as possible, we believe that we will have capacity for up to 30% of students at each grade level to return to in-person instruction (more details below). At this time, we do not have a timeline for reopening in-person instruction in our Middle School Academy (MSA).
And while our focus and desire is to be able to reopen on February 16, health and safety remains our top priority. Our team has been working hard on developing the appropriate health and safety protocols to ensure that we can, in fact, reopen for in-person instruction. And we’re proud and optimistic that we’ll be able to do so. However, it is important to note that we will continue to monitor citywide health metrics and if those metrics are not met (see more below), we will need to delay our opening timeline.
We know that there are likely to be many, many questions about our plan. Below you will find additional details about our plan and we would strongly encourage you to read that in full. Additionally, we will be hosting two family information sessions: Monday, January 11 at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday, January 13 at 6:00 p.m. During these sessions we will share even more detailed information and address any questions on your mind. Please use the links above to join the session of your choice.
Lastly and importantly, we need you to take action. We recognize that many families will not be comfortable sending their students to school in-person this year — and we understand and respect that. That’s why we’ve committed to maintaining a virtual learning option throughout this school year. If that is the case, there is no further action need on your part. However, if you are interested in your students returning for in-person instruction, we are asking that you complete this survey by January 14 to indicate your interest.
In closing, we want to again thank you for the continued trust you place in Ingenuity Prep as the school community for your students. Especially during this difficult time, we are honored to be a part of your community and we stand ready to support you and your family in any way we can. We look forward to sharing more with you about our plan for reopening for in-person instruction and, eventually, having students back in the school building.
Be safe and well.
Will and Jennifer
Return to In-person Instruction FAQs
Unfortunately not. At this time, only Early Childhood and Elementary students (grades Prek-3 through 4th) will be eligible to return for in-person instruction. Additionally, due to health and safety requirements, we will only have capacity in the building for up to 30% of students. So if we have more than 30% of students interested in returning, we will not have space to accommodate all students.
In the event that more than 30% of students at a grade level are interested in returning for in-person instruction, we will allocate in-person spaces based on the following criteria:
- We will prioritize students who are in the bottom ⅓ of each grade in reading and/or math.
(Tier 1 – both, Tier 2 – reading only and Tier 3 – math only)
- Within these tiers students will be further prioritized as follows:
- Students who are experiencing homelessness
- Students with IEPs
- Disengaged Students (<70% attendance)
- If there is availability after we have prioritized the groups above, we will include siblings (unless siblings fit the criteria above). If there is not availability, siblings will get preference on each grades waiting list (1st in line after students that want to return and fit the academic criteria)
Students who do not meet any of the academic criteria and do not have siblings to meet the criteria will then be considered if space is available.
At this time we’ve chosen not to include Middle School Academy for two reasons. First, due to the age of our Middle School students, students are more able to engage and complete their work using computers, etc. that are required in a virtual setting. Second, because of the way our Middle School program is structured, having some students in-person and other virtual would not allow for us to sufficiently provide the instructional support needed and we will have had to substantially reduce the time of instruction for students. We do not believe that is the right decision and would not result in stronger learning outcomes for our students.
Please complete this survey by January 14. As noted above, we are not able to guarantee in-person spaces for all students at this time. However, we hope to be able to have as many students as possible.
We will send communication to all families no later than January 29 indicating whether their student has an in-person seat available or is on the waiting list.
Students will come to school Monday through Friday. We believe that stability and consistency are important. As such, we are prioritizing having students at school every day of the week.
The school day will start at 9:00 a.m. Arrival and breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. School will run until 2:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, given health and safety requirements that prohibit us from mixing student groups, we will not be able to run our before and after school program during this time.
Yes, all students will have a daily health screen survey that they must complete. This daily survey can be completed at home prior to coming to the school building or at the school building when your student arrives. The survey will be checked upon your student’s arrival to school. Regardless of whether you completed the survey at home or at school, we will be taking temperatures of all students prior to entering the building.
If a student does not pass the daily health screen, they will not be permitted into the school building that day and may need to follow additional health guidance.
We have implemented many new health and safety procedures for students and staff. See below for some of the policies and procedures in place:
- Daily health screening for students and staff with temperature requirement via SchoolPass App
- Weekly COVID-19 testing of staff by medical professionals
- Social distanced arrival, recess and dismissal procedures
- PPE requirements by academy:
- Surgical Masks (all-day except when eating)
- Face shields
- Long sleeve scrub jackets
- Non-medical grade masks (all-day except when eating)
- Face shields (optional)
- Student mask requirement ( all-day except when eating & napping)
- Socially distanced arrival, dismissal, recess and bathroom Procedures
- Individual student materials kits to be used daily
- Single cohort breakfast and lunch procedures
- On-site access to COVID-19 rapid testing for symptomatic students
- COVID-19 isolation room
- Designated bathrooms by grade and academy
- Socially distanced seating to accommodate the max. occupancy of 11 students
- PPE kits in each classroom containing masks, hand sanitizer, gloves tissues, wipes, etc.
- Individual materials kits for each student
- Daily cleaning of desks and Chromebooks using provided PPE materials
- Classroom air purifiers
- High touch surfaces such as knobs cleaned frequently by custodians
- Social distance floor markers
- Building sanitizing stations
- Building access restricted for visitors and non-in-person instructional staff
Yes, all students will be required to be fully up to date on their immunizations. If a student is not fully up to date on immunizations, they will not be able to return to in-person instruction.
As a result of re-opening for in-person instruction, It is almost certain that your student’s teacher will change — whether your student comes in-person or remains virtual. Due to some staff returning to teach in-person while others remaining virtual to teach, we’ll have to rotate class rosters in all ECA and ESA grades. While there is a chance your student may retain their current teacher, it is unlikely.
While the school calendar will remain largely unchanged, there have been a few changes. See here for the full, updated calendar. See below for a summary of those changes:
- Removed February 3rd professional development (PD) day. This will now be a regular school day for students.
- The week of February 8th will now be professional development for our staff in ECA and ESA. As such, school will be asynchronous for those students that week.
- MSA students will also have asynchronous days on February 11th and 12th to allow for Family Teacher Conferences and staff professional development.
- End of Quarter 2 Family Teacher Conferences have been moved from February 16th to February 11th.
- March 15th is now a day off for students and staff.
Please note that given the changing situation related to re-opening for in-person instruction, the academic calendar may again need to change if we are unable to reopen as planned on February 16. We will communicate any additional changes as soon as possible, if they occur.
Ingenuity Prep is using the CDC indicators and thresholds to inform our ability to re-open safely on February 16. The key indicators we are monitoring indicate risk of transmission in schools and community spread, which impact a safe in-person instruction environment. We will reopen (and remain open) unless both of these thresholds are true:
- The test positivity rate for D.C. is > 5% (7 day average) for 7 consecutive days
- There are > 20 new cases per 100,000 people (7 day average) for 7 consecutive days
We will be using data shared by the D.C. Department of Health that can be found at: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/page/reopening-metrics.
Week of January 18th
School will not be in session on January 18th – 20th as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Presidential Inauguration. We will resume virtual learning on Thursday, January 21st.
Make Sure Your Student’s Immunizations Are Up To Date
As we look to the new year and begin to plan for in-person instruction, your student must be up to date on immunizations in order to attend school. If you are interested in an in-person learning option when it is available, you can start preparing now by calling your student’s doctor to ensure their immunizations are up to date with DC school requirements.