“Test to return” to DC Public Schools: On December 20th, DCPS extended the school system’s winter break by two days “to ensure appropriate time for testing.” Instead of holding classes, schools would be open on Monday, January 3rd and Tuesday, January 4th for the distribution of rapid antigen tests to students and staff. But covid testing wasn’t required for the January 5th return date – until yesterday.
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced during her December 29th situational update that students and staff will be required to provide proof of a negative test before they can return. DCPS is instructing families to test their students on Tuesday and upload the results at dcps.dc.gov/safereturn by 4 p.m. that day.
Essential student journalism: Before winter break, Covid-19 case numbers at Wilson High School were outpacing official notifications by several days, if not longer. And we know this because the student journalists at The Beacon told us so. On December 20th, they wrote that more than 50 students had tested positive over the previous week, but the school community had been notified of only 18 cases. The Beacon’s reporting was cited by The Washington Post – and for the third time this month.
Previously, the Post referenced Beacon stories on racist graffiti found scrawled in a men’s bathroom, and on the renaming of Wilson High School. Which brings us to our next item…
Wilson High will be Jackson-Reed High: In case you missed it, the DC Council held its final vote on December 21st on renaming Wilson. And Jackson-Reed it is, after Edna B. Jackson, the schools first Black teacher, and Vincent Reed, Wilson’s the first Black principal. Here’s what WAMU/DCist wrote about it. And The Beacon’s take.
$2.3 million for UDC: The University of the District of Columbia announced on December 17th that it had received its largest-ever private donation, and from a single anonymous donor. UDC President Ronald Mason tells the Post that even he does not know the benefactor’s identity. The $2.3 million donation will be spent over the next three years on student scholarships, which Mason says will “allow more students — especially those from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups — to pursue their educational goals while reducing their financial burdens.”