School Resources & Distance Learning -- email from Emily Hedin
Mon, Mar 16 1:02pm
Dear Families,

While our school is closed for the next two weeks, we remain committed to supporting our students and families. Please stop by the Takoma campus on Tuesday, March 17 anytime between 7:30am-6:00pm so you can pick up your child's work packet. Families can also borrow a laptop and charger, sign up for free internet, and obtain grocery support.

Please read on for more information about the services available for families as well as our distance learning plan. 

School Lunch Available for all Students

Free lunch is available for any child ages 0-18 years every weekday from 10am to 2pm at certain DC Public SchoolsYou do not need to be enrolled in the schools listed below in order to receive free lunch. Meals are "grab and go" to limit exposure to germs.

The lunch site closest to our Takoma campus is Coolidge High School (6315 5th St. NW). The lunch sites closest to our Petworth campus are Columbia Heights Education Campus (3101 16th St. NW) or Cardozo Education Campus (1200 Clifton St. NW).

School Name Address    Ward
Anacostia High School 1601 16th Street SE 8
Ballou High School 3401 4th Street SE 8
Banneker High School 800 Euclid Street NW 1
Brookland Middle School 1150 Michigan Avenue NE 5
Cardozo Education Campus 1200 Clifton Street NW 1
Columbia Heights Education Campus 3101 16th Street NW 1
Coolidge High School 6315 5th Street NW 4
Eastern High School 1700 East Capitol Street NE 6
Jefferson Middle School 801 7th Street SW 6
McKinley Education Campus 151 T Street NE 5
Woodson High School 540 55th Street NE 7

Grocery Assistance

Breakthrough will provide all families that qualify for free or reduced price meals (FARM) with gift certificates to Giant. Please come to our Takoma campus on Tuesday, March 17 from 7:30am-6:00pm to pick up a gift certificate.

If you would like to apply for FARM, please complete this application and return to Ms. Kat

This public health emergency is impacting families in many different ways. If you do not qualify for FARM but could benefit from grocery assistance, please contact Ms. Emily.  

Borrow a Laptop

Each Breakthrough student needs access to a computer, laptop, tablet or ipad in order to participate in distance learning during the week of March 24-March 31. If you need to borrow a laptop, Breakthrough will provide you with a Chromebook and charger. Please come to our Takoma campus on Tuesday, March 17 from 7:30am-6:00pm to pick up a Chromebook. 

Free Internet

Each Breakthrough student needs access to high-speed internet in order to participate in distance learning during the week of March 24-March 31. 

Comcast is offering free internet for 60 days to families that qualify through its Internet Essentials program. Breakthrough staff are available to help you apply for this program. We are happy to assist you while our Takoma campus is open on Tuesday, March 17 from 7:30am-6:00pm.

The Internet Essentials application may require that applicants scan and upload one of the following:

  • MEDICAID: card or most recent eligibility letter for an adult in your household.
  • Public housing assistance documentation such as your lease, housing assistance payment (HAP) contract, or eligibility documentation from HUD.
  • SNAP: letter indicating you are approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
  • TANF: eligibility letter for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • SSI: eligibility letter for Supplemental Security Income.
  • NSLP/Head Start: copy of a letter indicating current participation in the National School Lunch Program or Head Start, with your child's name, the school name, and the address of where you are requesting service.
  • LIHEAP: letter confirming your eligibility for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • WIC: eligibility letter for the Women, Infants, and Children program.
  • VA PENSION: veterans pension eligibility determination letter from the Veterans Administration.
  • Tribal assistance eligibility letter, including TTANF, FDPIR, etc.

Distance Learning

Breakthrough's distance learning program has 3 main components:

  1. A personalized work packet of Montessori lessons and materials that the child can use independently or with the help of a family member.
  2. A daily gathering of students with their guide and assistant for 30-40 minutes via Google Hangout
  3. Regular conferences for guides, students and their parents  

Personalized Work Packets: Each student will receive a personalized work packet with activities, materials and extensions. Your guide selected the activities based on your child's current work and progress in the classroom. Many of the materials come from the Montessori Print Shop, a website that designs paper versions of the materials children use in the classrooms. Students will recognize many of these materials, which will aid in the transition to distance learning. Please note that the work packet contains many materials that must be cut out by a parent. The work packet will include instructions from your child's guide about the sequence, timing and frequency of different activities. Elementary and kindergarten students will also receive a composition book for journaling. 

Online Class Gatherings: Community is a very important part of your child's Montessori education! It is crucial that they stay connected with their guide and classmates. Each day, guides will host "circle time" via Google Hangouts. Guides will use the parent's e-mail address to convene the hangout (gmail not required). Circle time includes stories, songs and discussions. The schedule for daily circle time is as follows:

  • Maple & Ginkgo: 8:30-8:55am
  • Willow & Magnolia: 9:00-9:25am
  • Tulip Poplar & Baobab: 9:30-9:55am
  • Sequoia & Cherry Blossom: 10:00-10:35am
  • Palm: 10:40-11:15am  
In addition, elementary guides will host reading groups via Google Hangout (schedule to be determined by the guide). 

Family-Guide Conferences via Google Hangouts: Communication between guides and families is more important than ever. Elementary guides will host conferences with students and their parents once every other week. Primary guides will host conferences with kindergarten students and their parents every week. During these conferences, guides and families can discuss the child's work, ask questions and plan next steps. You will also receive weekly newsletters from your guide and the administration. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out! We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, March 17 at the Takoma campus.