Start of School Update for Students and Families
July 21, 2020
  
Dear Friendship Families,
 
Over the past few months, we have grappled with the best way to safely reopen Friendship while providing our families a high-quality academic experience. Much of our planning and problem solving has been informed by you and feedback from our team members across campuses. Ensuring we are prepared to reopen is one part of the challenge. Just as critical are health statistics, the decisions of surrounding school jurisdictions, and the readiness of families, students and staff to re-enter our buildings. To date, we are hearing from more and more of you the preference for a strong all virtual start to the school year.  
 
It is with all of these critical factors in mind that I announce today that Friendship will start the 2020-21 school year virtually and remain virtual for at least the first four weeks of school through October 2. We will frequently assess the District's health metrics and other conditions to inform our planning and eventual return to school buildings.
 
Understanding the needs expressed by some families, we will provide an in-person option each week to families who specifically request it. Please contact us at WeCare@friendshipschools.org or 202.281.1777 by Tuesday, July 28 should you need an in-person school option. Campus staff will follow up with families who express the need for an in-person school option.
  
It is important you know how deeply we appreciate your continued feedback as our team plans for the start of the school year. Our conversations through surveys, webinars and individual discussions have not only raised important questions, they affirm what we know all too well – the commitment of our students, families and staff is the tie that binds our learning community. Your contribution to our planning is not over. It is critical that you continue to share your observations, concerns, ideas and input.
 
Since the spring, we have been working tirelessly to prepare our buildings and academic programming in order to resume in-person instruction. We share your desire to return to school in-person. We have incorporated your input on the development of instructional options ranging from school fulltime online to hybrid to in-person models. However, given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases across our city, region and nation, we believe that starting the school year fully virtual is the best option at this time. Friendship will always adhere to the highest standards of public safety and prioritize the well-being of students and staff. Our team will continue to monitor health conditions and recommendations from city officials and agencies every two weeks during this time period, and share updates with our school community on when we can offer more in-person support to students.
 
As we move forward with an abundance of caution, please take note of the following start of school dates.
 
Important Start of School Dates: 

All activities are virtual.
 
  • August 10-21: Orientation for grades kindergarten, 3, 6, 9 and open house events for all students and families
  • August 10-28: Instructional supplies and technology distribution by appointment
  • August 31: First day of virtual school for all grades 
 
In the days ahead, look for updates on our virtual operations for the start of school to include academic schedules, distribution of virtual- and distance-learning tools and resources, technology, staff training, meals for students, and campus safety preparedness activities. We are grateful for your flexibility and dedication during this unprecedented time. The uncertainty and anxiety of our new normal is challenging for everyone. Yet, know this with absolute certainty – your Friendship family is here to support you every step of the way.
 
We are One Community. We are One Family. We are Friendship.
 
 
Yours in service,
Pat Brantley
CEO
Friendship Public Charter School
Friendship Public
Charter School
 1400 1st Street NW,
Washington, D.C. 20001
202-281-1700