Knocking on doors to welcome new parents
If you have a child entering a DCPS preschool or pre-K classroom this month, don't be surprised to see someone at your door this weekend with information about the school year that begins on Aug. 23. The school system is launching a two-day canvass of the 5,600 families enrolled in early childhood programs to provide basic information, including forms for required health screening and immunizations.
Individual public and public charter schools routinely canvass neighborhoods to build bridges to families. But it's unusual to see an entire school district mobilize. DCPS plans to have 85 central office staff and volunteers fan out across all eight wards.
"We're going the extra mile this weekend. We want to make sure our youngest students get the strongest possible start," said Miriam Calderon, director of early childhood education.
Early childhood has been a priority for DCPS, and one of the few growth areas in systemwide enrollment. The District has added 40 new preschool and pre-K classrooms across 31 schools to serve an additional 686 students.
Part of the objective this weekend will be to make sure that early childhood parents know the plan for the first week of school, which officials are calling "transition week." Children whose last names begin with letters A through K are asked to come on Monday and Tuesday; those with last names L through Z should come Wednesday and Thursday. Everyone is due on Friday. The staggered start is supposed to allow extra time for a more careful assessment of the children's needs and to allow teachers, kids and parents a better opportunity to connect.
For more information on the beginning of school, check the DCPS website here.
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