Pre-K at DC Public Schools is all virtual


This post is an email sent to Pre-K families on August 13, 2020.

Dear DCPS Pre-K Families,

In just a few weeks, DC Public Schools (DCPS) will begin the 2020-2021 School Year (SY20-21). You are invited to join a Parent University session on Thursday, August 13 at 5:30 pm on the topic, “Supporting My Early Childhood Education Student This Fall,” to learn more about how to have a successful start to the school year.

We also wanted to share some information specifically for Pre-K families around the new school year.

DCPS will begin SY20-21 with all-virtual instruction for all students in grades Pre-K through 12.

It is DCPS’ mission to provide rigorous and joyful learning experiences for every student, every day. Together, with educators and families, we will maximize learning opportunities for the start of this school year and beyond.

The first day of learning at home for Pre-K students will be Thursday, September 3. However, teachers will be in touch with families to schedule virtual meetings to introduce themselves and get to know your student between August 31 and September 2. 

Pre-K students will learn at home through both live instruction with teachers and independent enrichment activities.

Throughout the summer, our Early Childhood Education Division (ECED) engaged with teachers and parents to gather feedback on the successes and challenges encountered during learning at home last spring. Your input informed what learning at home will look like in the fall.

Daily schedules for PK3 and PK4 students are being developed with our youngest learners in mind. We understand the unique needs of this age group and recognize that young children learn best through active engagement and cannot be expected to thrive in a digital-only environment. Your child’s learning at home schedule will include short bursts of live, virtual instruction with teachers every day (30-60 minutes daily). It will also include ample opportunities for child-directed play and off-line learning with adult support.

Families can expect to receive their student’s individual schedule during the week of August 24, and a sample snapshot is available at

Families can request a technology device for learning at home.

We will ensure that Pre-K students have the technology necessary to fully engage in learning at home. By completing the Tech Access Survey at, you will help us identify and fill the gaps to technology access and make sure your school has a device ready for any student that needs one.

Schools are using the information from the technology survey to prepare devices for every student who needs one so it is critical families in need of a device complete the form at by August 21. If you are unable to complete the survey, please contact your school directly for assistance. Families may also call DCPS at (202) 442-5885 for further assistance.

Pre-K students who need a device will receive the preferred device, an iPad, to support learning at home, as well as access to high-speed internet.

Please note that Kindle Fire tablets do not support DCPS learning at home tools such as Canvas and Microsoft Teams. We recommend families have a device that has a dual-core processor and 4GB RAM (or higher) or an iOS or Android mobile phone running the current release.

Pre-K students must enroll in their school and participate in learning.

As we plan for the school year ahead, we are asking families to enroll their student for SY20-21. This will also help ensure your child receives a schedule that meets their needs before the first day of school and support technology distribution and other learning resources.

Remember: Every Day Counts! Student connections with teachers and peers is vital to learning at home, and attendance will be taken daily. Pre-K seats will not be held for families who do not enroll. If a student is un-enrolled from their Pre-K class, either due to parent choice or zero attendance, they will need to reapply in the school lottery for the following school year (unless entering Kindergarten at their neighborhood school).

We know families may also have childcare arrangements in place for the fall, and you can still enroll in DCPS Pre-K if that is the case. The online platforms and access to daily lessons for Pre-K students will be flexible as we look to accommodate participation with varying daily schedules.

Please visit to complete your enrollment forms and submit them online or contact your school if you need help with this process. DCPS understands the unique factors at play with virtually engaging our youngest learners.

If you are unable to join this week’s Parent University session for Pre-K families, the event will be archived on the DCPS YouTube channel. For timely updates and information about SY20-21 and learning at home, visit us at


Dr. Jeffrey O. Holmes

Chief, Elementary Schools

Cheryl Ohlson, Ed.D.

Deputy Chief, Early Childhood Education Division