WASHINGTON — D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Public Schools' leaders shared some information on what parents need to know before their children begin the school year virtually on Monday.
City leaders are asking parents to make sure their children are up to date with their immunizations despite the fact that there isn't in-person learning at this time. D.C. Health data shows a significant decrease in child vaccinations due to COVID-19, and it is concerning, officials said.
Following the data analysis, officials want families to stay on track with their health and vaccinations.
To learn more about where you can get vaccinated, click here to schedule an appointment with the school-based health centers in the city.
And for parents who may feel stressed balancing work and distance learning for their children, D.C. Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) will provide a free 24-hour mental health hotline that is confidential. The hotline will be staffed with licensed social workers and counselors to aid parents with their mental health, officials said.
Parents can also participate in "Wellness Wednesdays," it is an online group session that will provide support to parents virtually, officials said. The program begins on Sept. 2. Click here for more information.
"We're facing unusual times. We have reached out and are working with the pastoral community. Stigma cannot be a barrier to getting the support you need," said Dr. Barbara Bazron, Director of D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. "Healthy parents support health and wellbeing among family members "
The school system is urging parents to remember to enroll their children for the 2020-2021 school year before Monday. Part of the enrollment process includes the distribution of devices and hotspots to students to conduct their distance learning. To enroll your student click here.
Parents will also be notified about the telecommunication network DCPS plans to use during virtual instruction. Officials said the school system will be utilizing Canvas and Microsoft Teams.
Students eligible for the school system's free lunch and reduced lunch program will be given free food through their LEA's, officials said. Parents should contact their child's school to know where to pick up meals. Kids Ride Free cards will also be available until Sept. 29. New cards will be distributed to students through their respective schools.
DCPS leaders said their vision is for students to feel loved, challenged, and prepared.
There will be a Telephone Town Hall meeting Wednesday night for parents to ask their questions to DCPS leaders ahead of the school year. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. and parents can dial in at 1-844-881-1314.