Dear Stoddert Families,
Recently I have been receiving inquiries about the creation of “safe learning pods” of students, along with requests to place children in the same class so that families can form those “safe learning pods.”
I certainly understand the ongoing challenges of balancing virtual work and virtual schooling that may make these PODs a desirable option for many families. However, I want to be very clear that we will not consider any such requests. Instead, we will abide by the following DCPS guidance on pods:
DCPS leaders and teachers remain unwavering in our dedication to equity and closing opportunity gaps. Therefore, students will be scheduled in ways that promote equity including some grouping based on current academic needs as well as whole group academic opportunities. Due to the complexity of scheduling, DCPS school leaders and staff members will not be able to account for pandemic pods during the scheduling process, including in group arrangements or schedule times.
In accordance with that DCPS policy, Stoddert staff will not be involved in coordinating, scheduling, facilitating or planning for PODs; nor will we coordinate with privately hired tutors who may be supporting a POD. If we were to begin to accommodate requests focused on placing specific children together in order to facilitate outside learning pods, certain families and children in our community would inevitably be left out, further dividing us during a time when we need to focus on supporting each other. I know that our Stoddert community will work hard to make this year the best it can possibly be, and I trust that as families come together to support one another, it will be done in an inclusive and equitable way.