Building Strong Relationships with Schools and Families

From the Chancellor

This message was sent to DCPS families from Chancellor Ferebee on September 30, 2022.

Dear DCPS Families:

DC Public Schools prioritizes building strong relationships between families and their child’s teachers and schools. In recognition of National Parent Teacher Home Visit Week that took place last week, I wanted to share some information about DCPS’ Home Visit program that started in 2011 in partnership with the Flamboyan Foundation.

It’s also been a busy week across the DCPS community, so read on to learn about the exciting things happening at our schools.

Here are three things to know about how relationships are built through home visits between students, families, and teachers:

Home visits are voluntary for both educators and families. They are scheduled in advance and are focused solely on relationship building. Home visits are for every student – regardless of one’s academic performance!

Studies have shown that home visits help improve student attendance, academic performance, and overall well-being.

Since the start of this school year, more than 2,800 DCPS students and families have received a home visit from their teacher.

Thank you to all our students, families, and educators participating in this transformative work.

In partnership,  

Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.

“Home visits have been critical in laying a strong and positive foundation for the year…I love when students come along on the home visit because it helps give them voice! I learn about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The earlier I’m able to conduct a home visit, the more time I get to see the payoffs.” 
—Jenelle Bryant, Reading Interventionist at Seaton Elementary School and Milken Educator Award Winner

A Look Back at the First Day of School

The new school year is underway. Here’s what the DCPS has to say about starting a new year of learning!

This Week at DCPS 

Chef José Andrés, humanitarian and founder of World Central Kitchen, met with students at Watkins Elementary School for an event about food education. Hosted by Freshfarm’s FoodPrints program and their national partner FoodCorps, the organizations work with schools to ensure children are connected to healthy food in the kitchen and in the classroom.

Kelly Miller Middle School welcomed national and local leaders for a day of service around food access for DC residents and families. The event was in partnership with Hunger Free America, the DC Food Project (DCFP), and other partners. Students took home food and toiletry bags from our partners, and DCFP launched their new pantry program to provide students with meals throughout the school year.

Ballou High School hosted Amazon leadersfor a discussion about their personal and professional journeys. Amazon’s Community Access Program partnered with DCPS Connected Schools to bring several Amazon Black Leaders and Executives (ABLE) to the school. 
Opportunities to Visit Your Child’s School 

Throughout this month, schools are opening their doors and welcoming families at their annual Back to School Night or Open House celebrations. The next important opportunity to meet your teachers is on Thursday, October 6 for Parent Teacher Conference Day. Your school will share more detailed information on how you can meet with your child’s teacher(s) and have a one-on-one discussion about their learning.

If you are unable to attend a Parent Teacher Conference Day meeting, please work with your student’s teacher on a better time to meet. Our schools are open for parents to visit, so long as it’s not disruptive to student learning. All visitors must follow established security protocols such as signing in upon arrival and showing a valid ID to be allowed in a school building.   
Immunization Enforcement for Elementary Students Starts on October 11 

It’s critical that all DC students are up to date on their required immunizations. School health staff are reaching out to families if they are missing DC’s Universal Health Certificate for SY22-23.  

If your student is missing required immunizations, DC Health is partnering with Children National to offer childhood immunizations at five clinics. Locations are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and the Anacostia and Shepherd Park locations have evening and weekend hours. Call 1-800-884-BEAR (2327) to make an appointment.