Selection Process for Term 2 Learning Models for Elementary Students

This page is now archived because it relates to information for a previous school year.

11/12 update: CARE Classrooms will open at select schools on November 18. Read more on this update.

11/2 update: While we planned to offer in-person learning at the start of Term 2 for select elementary school students, this timeline will need to be adjusted. This means all students in grades PK-12 will now begin Term 2 on Monday, November 9 with learning at home. Read more on this update.

As DCPS returns to in-person learning for elementary students in grades PK – 5th, seats will be limited to ensure student and staff safety. Since DCPS cannot guarantee a seat for all interested students and families, we will use a randomized selection process to equitably distribute seats.

In-Person Learning and CARE Classrooms

DCPS will assume all families are interested in a seat and will then allow families the opportunity to accept or decline their seat, should that option be available to them. In other words, families do not need to complete an application or take any action to be considered.

All students who were enrolled as of October 5, 2020 will be eligible for a seat in an in-person learning classroom or CARE classroom. DCPS is committed to prioritizing in-person learning seats for students furthest from opportunity. As such, students who fall within the following categories will get a preference for the available seats:

  1. Students experiencing homelessness
  2. English Learners and Students with Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)
  3. Students identified as at-risk (This includes students in the foster care system, and students who qualify for TANF or SNAP.)

The process will also give a preference to siblings in the same school. Siblings who are members of the groups listed above will be prioritized over siblings who are not members of these groups. However, DCPS cannot guarantee that all siblings in a family will receive a seat in in-person learning or a CARE classroom.

Self-Contained Classrooms

Students in self-contained classes are all eligible for a seat in in-person learning. Seats will be offered based on staff availability. Self-contained students experiencing homelessness would be given a preference for a seat above all other self-contained students in that class. River Terrace Education Campus is a special education program that only offers self-contained classrooms; therefore, this applies to all classrooms at River Terrace.

All families have the option to remain all-virtual with the learning at home model. You do not need to take any action to keep your student in an all-virtual instruction. You may get a classroom seat, and, in this case, you should respond and notify your school that you want to decline the seat so that it can be offered to someone else, or email

DCPS Staff Guarantee

DCPS understands the challenge many of our staff have in finding childcare in order to be available to report in-person. For this reason, for all DCPS staff who will be both working in-person in our elementary schools and education campuses in Term 2, and have a DCPS student enrolled in PK through 5th grade by October 5, 2020, their PK-5th grade DCPS student(s) will be guaranteed a seat in a CARE classroom.


  • In-Person Learning Classrooms: Families will receive notification by email by October 23 followed by a call from the school if they received a seat.
  • CARE Classroom Seats: Families will receive notification by email by October 30 followed by a call from the school if they received a seat.

Families can also call their school (or email after results are released to confirm their status. Schools will call all matched families within the first two days of releasing matches. Once communication is made with the family, a family has two school days to confirm their seat. If a family does not respond within that time frame, they will lose their offer and their student will continue with all-virtual learning. If a school cannot reach a family, their seat will expire after 5 school days for non-response.  

For general questions, please email us at


PAGE ARCHIVED: August 11, 2021.