Virtual Town Hall Wrap-Up

Town Hall

On August 26th, we hosted a Virtual Town Hall to discuss the District's coordination of care across the age continuum in the midst of a virtual learning environment.  More than 100 attendees participated, making it clear this is of critical importance for families and the programs that serve them.  

We heard remarks from parents Andrea Tucker, Maxine Robinson, Darnise Diop, and Judith Sifontes about the challenges families face navigating childcare, out-of-school-time support, and technology for virtual learning. 

Then, three DC government agencies responded and shared their virtual learning plans, thus far, for the first semester: Mila Yochum, Executive Director, Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (OST Slide Deck);  Thomasin Franken, Manager, Partner Engagement at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS reopening plans); and Sara Mead, Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. 

Key Highlights:

  • Families need clear and consistent information about activities available at their local schools or elsewhere while school is being conducted virtually.
  • Out-of-school time programs need guidance about where, when, and how they can operate and whether they will receive additional funding to provide custodial care during the pandemic.
  • Families of young children need clear and well-advertised information about how to access safe and affordable child care, as the child care sector continues to operate at lower capacity.
  • Early childhood providers need support promoting early learning and the social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and financial support to remain in business and meet District health and safety guidelines.
While many decisions have been made to accommodate students and families, there is still more coordination that will be happening over the next month. DC Action will continue collecting questions, concerns and even best practices from child care and out-of-school programs to share with DC government agencies.