Whittier Elementary – Urgent message on virtual learning for all students


This message was sent to the Whittier Elementary community on December 15, 2021.

Dear Whittier Elementary Families,

This is an important follow-up message to the one shared with you yesterday regarding the increase in reported positive cases of COVID-19 within our school community.

Due to the impact of these several reported cases on school operations, we will transition to virtual instruction for all Whittier students from December 16 through December 22. We plan to re-open school for in-person learning following the DCPS winter break on January 3, 2022, as scheduled.

The decision to shift the entire school to virtual instruction for the next week did not come lightly. However, with many students required to quarantine and limited staffing availability, virtual learning will allow all students to end the calendar year strong.

To date, we have notified the Whittier community of 14 reported cases at school since December 9 (see attached the ones for today). As we previously shared, unless you received instructions to quarantine directly, your student has not been identified as a close contact of a positive individual concerning one of these cases

Here are three important things to know as your student transitions to a temporary virtual learning plan:

  • If your student needs a technology device to learn at home, please call the school at (202) 576-6156. Devices will be available for pickup tomorrow, December 16. Visit https://dcpsstrong.com/resources/technology/ for any troubleshooting assistance.
  • To allow teachers to prepare for virtual instruction, students who will just be starting virtual learning will be asynchronous on Thursday, December 16. This means that those students should log into Canvas and access their self-guided lessons for the day. Your teacher will provide additional information about this period of virtual instruction.
  • Students who have already been learning virtually this week due to quarantine protocols will follow their normal school schedule tomorrow. Please log into Canvas to access your classes.

Getting yourself and your child vaccinated is the best way to protect your family against COVID-19, and I urge our families to take this important step for all students 5 years or older. Visit vaccinate.dc.gov for free vaccine clinics across the city, including walk-up sites this week at schools.

If you need a COVID-19 test and your health care provider is unable to give one, you should utilize one of the free testing sites in DC, including a home testing kit option. Visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing for more information.

I know that this is disappointing news as we approach winter break and the holiday season, but the well-being of our community is our top priority. I will continue to provide updates as they are available in the coming days. If you have any question in the meantime, please reach out to me via email at Tiffany.Johnson3@k12.dc.gov or the school office at (202) 576-6156. We will have our scheduled PTO meeting on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. Follow this link to join: tinyurl.com/whittierpto2021.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work with our public health partners to swiftly address this situation and have a safe and restful holiday season.

Tiffany Johnson
Principal, Whittier Elementary School