Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Expects Schools Will Alternate To ‘Situational Virtual Learning’ Amid COVID Outbreaks

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that she expects public schools will alternate to “situational virtual learning” after winter break, according to a Dec. 29 tweet thread.

Bowser said that public health officials and school districts are “working together to keep classrooms open” as they “know that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom.” The mayor followed up by saying that students and parents should expect to switch to remote or virtual learning after winter break.

“We expect that schools and classrooms will need to transition to situational virtual learning throughout the semester, especially in the coming weeks,” Bowser said. “Our goal is to be flexible, responsive, and guided by our students’ needs.”

Bowser tweeted a list of health and safety protocols as well. The list called on students and staff to “practice safe routines,” which included an icon of a face mask, advised adjusting “meal routines” at schools and called on students and staff to get vaccinated.

Students and staff in all District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before schools reopen on Jan. 5, according to the Mayor. DCPS families can pick up “iHealth rapid antigen tests” from DCPS schools on Jan. 3 and 4.

“Tests administered before Jan. 4 will not be accepted,” Bowser tweeted.

The tweet thread noted that DCPS staff will now have access to KN95 masks when returning to school property. (RELATED: D.C. Public School Staff Member Reportedly Told Third-Graders To Reenact The Holocaust Because ‘Jews Ruined Christmas’)

Other major school districts are considering a return to virtual learning amid an uptick in Omicron variant cases. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) polled its members to determine how many would be willing to strike if the Chicago Public School District did not offer remote learning. Approximately 90% of members said they would be willing to strike.

Director of Research for the American Federation for Children Corey DeAngelis called for schools to give money to parents to allow students to attend campuses that remain open.

“D.C. public schools spend over $30,000 per student per year,” DeAngelis said. “Give that money directly to families so they can find alternatives.”