Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear K-5 Families,

It was WONDERFUL to see you and your children at Shepherd today. Even with a downpour, your children brightened our day. Everyone is excited for school to resume on Monday.

Today was also a rehearsal for opening day, and we learned from the experience. It would be challenging to screen every child in K-3 verbally on Monday so I have attached the new Look Look Ask protocol and log to this message. We also want to obtain your student’s dismissal information before they start their day.

Here is how we will handle screening and collecting dismissal information at  opening day arrival for K-5 students who start school on Monday:

Grades K-3

If you are able, please print out the Look Look Ask Log and fill it out Monday morning before you come to school to ease your child’s entry to the building. We will have a table for each grade where you can either return the completed log or receive one to fill out so that your child has it in hand at the entry. At the table we will also have dismissal forms to complete so we can efficiently and safely dismiss your child on Monday, August 27th. If you would like to complete the dismissal form in advance, you can do so here. Thank you for your help!

Grades 4-5

Tables for students in grades 4 and 5 will be at their entrance, which is the playground behind the school through the gate at the end of the faculty parking lot. If your child is in grades 4 and 5, they will acknowledge that they have completed the Look Look Ask protocol at home. You do not have to fill out the daily log — just complete the protocol at home (see attached protocol).We will have dismissal forms available, but feel free to fill it out in advance here.

Update on Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Testing at DCPS  

Students will now be automatically enrolled in the testing program that supports asymptomatic testing, symptomatic testing, and testing for close contacts. The test will be a non-invasive, saliva-based PCR test. Instead of a nasal swab, students will hold a small vial with a funnel attached and produce a saliva sample.  

Consistent with health guidance, we will test 10 percent of students each week to screen for COVID-19 as part of our health and safety protocols, targeting unvaccinated students. Weekly asymptomatic testing will begin on a rolling basis across DCPS starting September 2. 

Testing programs that screen for COVID-19, alongside other prevention strategies, can detect new positive cases of COVID-19 and work to prevent potential outbreaks. This not only protects the health and wellness of our school communities but supports schools in remaining open for in-person instruction safely. 

If you wish to opt-out your student from receiving any COVID-19 test at school, you must complete the available at osse.dc.gov/page/school-based-covid-19-testing and return it back to the school signed. You can email it to the school at [email protected]. 

This transition from an opt-in COVID-19 testing model to an opt-out model does not affect a parent’s rights concerning their student’s participation. On the form, the District is providing detailed information on the testing program so that parents can make an informed decision whether to affirmatively opt out of the program. 

Please disregard any COVID-19 testing consent forms previously shared in messages from us and DCPS prior to August 27.  

You will most likely hear from me again over the weekend, but I wanted to share this as soon as I could given its urgency and importance. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

Phyllis/Dr. H/Principal Hedlund