Letter from the Principal

Letter from the PrincipalComments Off on Letter from the Principal

Dear Janney Community,

Please be reminded that DCPS will be hosting a family-facing information session on school reopening tonight at 5:30pm. You can register for the event on Teams by clicking here.  Please know that Janney administration plans to attend this virtual event as we all learn more about the plans to re-open elementary schools on November 9.

I am going to spend the opening section of this letter sharing more about the re-opening plans that were announced yesterday.  It is important to note that I learned the details of the plans alongside our families and staff and I have not been given much additional information.  You likely have many questions (as do I!) and I promise that I will learn as much as possible in the coming days so that future Janney-specific community events are as helpful and informative as possible.

Each family situation is unique, and we all know that many factors will play into your decision to send your child to Janney, in-person, if the opportunity presents itself.  While I do not know all of the details right now, I am going to offer three points for consideration that should help you frame your family discussions based on the plan that was announced yesterday.

  1. You do not need to take any action to be considered for in-person learning or for the CARE classroom opportunities.  All enrolled students are automatically entered into the “lottery” for a spot and families will have the opportunity to accept or decline the spot if selected.  For more information on how DCPS is the structuring the selection of students for in-person learning classroom seats, please see slide 15 of the Mayor’s slide deck.  For an explanation on the difference between in-person learning seats and CARE classrooms, please see slides 12-13.  It is important to note that Monday, October 5 was “Count Day” for DCPS – this is the day that DCPS “counts” all students for enrollment verification purposes.  DCPS will be pulling all student data from yesterday’s enrollment count for lottery selection purposes, including Special Education or English Language Learner status.
  2. There is a small chance that your child’s homeroom assignment will change.  The composition of students in your child’s class will change.  As the current plan is to host one class of live, in-person instruction per grade level, we are assuming that one teacher per grade level will need to teach in-person.  The students from that teacher’s class who will not be receiving in-person, live instruction will be reassigned to another class.
  3. There is the most ambiguity around the CARE classrooms.  The Chancellor stated that roughly 70% of DCPS elementary school students will be provided an opportunity for either in-person learning or a CARE classroom.  We cannot accommodate 70% of enrolled Janney students at Janney if we are expected to follow CDC and DC Health safety regulations.  While I do not have an exact number of students that we can accommodate at this time, please know that it will be less than 70% of enrolled students.  We also will most likely not be able to staff the CARE classrooms with any DCPS-hired Janney-based staff.

You likely have many more questions about each of these items in addition to questions about on-site health screenings and protocols, continuity of virtual instruction, staffing, facility readiness, and countless other items.  I intend to host grade-level meetings on Zoom the week of October 19th – this will hopefully give the admin team enough time to learn more and will provide information for families before a family decision needs to be made about a possible return to the building.  I will also send community blasts as information becomes available.

There is not an easy answer or a quick solution or a choice that is risk-free as we look towards the second advisory.  School administrators will be faced with many tough decisions in the coming days and our families will be asked to continue to make sacrifices and hard choices.  Thank you for all that you have done so far and all that we will ask of you in the coming days.  I look forward to the day when we are all back at the building in-person.

The remainder of this email includes: an overview of Friday’s Parent/Teacher Conferences and sign-ups for optional conferences with Specials teachers; and, links to resources from our admin chat last week focused on student assessments and teacher feedback.

Parent Teacher Conferences
On Friday, October 9 we will host Parent Teacher Conferences.  Please note that DCPS has designated this as a No School day for students, so we will not be offering live instruction on Friday.  It is hard to remember what we do in a “normal” year right now, but our first family conference of the year is typically a chance to get to you know your child’s teacher, to ask questions about classroom routines or procedures, and to hear about what your child’s teacher has observed thus far with a lens on social and emotional development.  We usually don’t share much student data at this conference, even though we will have administered most of our beginning of year assessments by mid-October.

You can expect a similar agenda for your conference time on Friday – teachers will make sure that all of your lingering questions about our learning platforms are answered and will share observations about your child as a virtual learner thus far.  Teachers will have data available to discuss but our hope is that this is not the primary focus of the conference.  It is important to note that teachers will not have additional information on school re-opening plans so thank you in advance for staying away from that topic.

If you would like to sign-up for a conference time with any of our Specials teachers, please see the links below.

Specials teachers conference links:
1st-3rd Science teacher, Fran McCrackin

PK/K Science teacher, Jordan Simon

PK-2nd grade Spanish teacher, Leidy Arredondo

K-2 PE teacher, Shana Zallman

3rd-5th grade PE teacher, Luke Kovacs

K-5 Performing Arts teacher, Gillian Ramsey

K-5 Music teacher, Kristen Gentile

K-5 Art teacher, Robin English

School Librarian, Lyndsey Epperson 

Admin Chat: Student Assessments and Teacher Feedback
Thank you to those families who attended last Thursday’s Admin Chat focused on student assessments and teacher feedback.  We have uploaded a few resources to our Janney SharePoint site, including a brief, FAQ document on submitting assignments via Canvas; the recording of last Thursday’s session; and, the slide deck from Thursday’s session.  Please check out these resources and reach out with any questions!


Alysia Lutz, Principal

  • Janney Calendar

    April 2021

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    • End of Term / Half-Day PD & Half-Day Records Day / No School for Students
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • No School
    • Janney Meeting re New Ward 3 Schools
    • Dining Out at Potomac Pizza
    • DCPS Office of School Planning Meeting with Janney re New Ward 3 Schools

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