Hearst Weekly Update

October 14, 2019

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon Owls and Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day,

In case you missed it, this past week the city council passed emergency legislation to change the name of today's holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. The legislation says that Columbus Day is "in reverence to a divisive figure whose actions against Indigenous People run counter to the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion..." As this example shows, names are important and carry a lot of weight and meaning. To that end, below I've pasted an article from Responsive Classroom about names. The article is written by a teacher for school staff but does a great job in explaining why we do our very best at Hearst to address classes by the names they've chosen for themselves.

What’s in a Name? (from: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/whats-in-a-name/)

How do you refer to the students in your class when addressing them? At first glance, this may seem like a trivial issue; but consider how many times throughout the day we speak to students to get their attention. The patterns we establish for naming our class will be repeated over and over all year long, so getting ourselves into the right habits—naming our class in ways that shape positive identity—can have a profound impact on how students see themselves, which will in turn impact how they work, learn, and respond to us and to each other. Here’s a summary of names commonly used along with a few you might like to try instead.

Avoid: Why?

"Boys and girls" - Is gender the most important characteristic of our students? Do we want to emphasize gender?

"Ms. Petersen's Class - "This emphasizes the teacher as the defining feature of the class. It also sounds as if the students belong to the teacher.

"Little Duckies," "Kiddies," "Peanuts," etc. - Any name that sounds cutesy or makes students sound like pets may be off-putting and feel disrespectful.

Instead, Try: Why?

"First graders" - Straightforward and descriptive, this is an easy substitute for "boys and girls."

"Scientists," "Readers," "Mathematicians," etc. - Used when teaching a particular content area, these names all imply that students are engaged in meaningful work.

"Magicians," "Team Thinkers" - Consider having your class brainstorm and choose a class name that can be used throughout the year.

When should you make the switch to a more positive name? Any time’s a good time, but now—several weeks into the new school year—is ideal. Academic routines are probably pretty well established, the class is coming together as a learning community, and students are ready for more complexity, responsibility, and independence. A new name is a great way to recognize what they’ve already accomplished and to convey your confidence in all that they’ll learn in the year ahead.

When we call a class by one teacher's name, it is not inclusive, nor does it recognize the community of the class. Addressing a class by a teacher's name fails to acknowledge or recognize the many other staff members who work day in and out with the kids in the class and are an integral part of the class community.

So, without further ado, here is the list of class names as determined by the kids in those classes. My goal is that this is the last time this year you'll see or hear me refer to a class by a teacher's name and I hope that moving forward we will all try our very best to use these names all year long.

19-20 Class Names

  • CES-ECE: Shea/Forbes/Schenck - Cheeky Chipmunks
  • PK: Dawkins/Fraser - Groovy Grapes
  • PK: Haith/Morales - Dynomite Ducks
  • CES-P: Marber/Hicks/Rusten - Rock 'n Roll Dinosaurs
  • K: Clark/Singh - Go-Go Ninjas
  • K: Prince/Inge - Cool Cats
  • 1: Boyle/Henry - Leading Lions
  • 1: Schiers/Hinkclin - Fantastic Foxes
  • 2: Burleigh - Salty Seals
  • 2: Moss - Lounging Leopards
  • CES-I: Diaz/Dorsey/Hargrove - Wonderful Wise Whales
  • 3: Dilley - Intelligent Sushis
  • 3: Stacey - DJ Ducklings
  • 4: Duvall - Loyal Llamas
  • 4: Levin - Simpson Squad
  • 5: Brown - Epic Owls
  • 5: Loughead - Unique Explorers

Thanks for your continued support and I hope you're having a wonderful weekend,


Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, October 16 - PK and CES APTT Meetings, 6:00-7:30
  • Thursday, October 17- K-2 APTT Meetings, 6:00-7:30

What I'm reading this week: The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry, Sharon Rallis and Gretchen Rossman

News and Announcements from Hearst


We have heard your feedback about the time and expense that goes into creating/buying costumes for kids to participate in the literacy parade at school. This year, in lieu of a costume parade on October 31, we are going to hold our first Fall Festival on Friday, November 1, to celebrate the bounty of learning that occurs during the fall season. More information about the event will be shared soon so watch this space!

Emergency Drills

Hearst is required to hold a series of emergency drills over the course of the year in order to prepare our students and staff in the event of a real emergency situation. These drills include fire drills, emergency evacuations, severe weather drills, and lockdown drills. With the exception of the first fire drill and this week's earthquake drill, the Great Shakeout Earthquake drill that occurs annually on October 17 at 10:17am, the specific days and times for the drills are unannounced. However, so that you and our staff can prepare students for these drills, we will notify our school community prior to the first severe weather drill and lockdown drill because we know that these drills can be upsetting for some students. Staff will also practice these drills with students prior to the official drill so that they can become familiar with the procedures and understand that these drills are to keep them safe and protected in the event of an emergency. If you have any questions about the drills, please reach out to Kestaganer Johnson or your child's teacher.

Healthy Snack Options for Kids

Our Owls are working really hard throughout the day and need nutritious food to keep their energy levels up and their brains growing. When choosing snacks for your kids to eat at school, we hope that you will choose items that provide them a boost of energy to last them through to their next meal and, because it's a snack, be quick for them to eat and clean up. We've had several families reach out about good snack options and below is a list of ideas:

  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn (non-GMO and not microwave)
  • Graham crackers (plain)
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Animal crackers
  • English muffin (whole wheat)
  • Rice cakes, mini rice cakes or rice crackers
  • Baked tortilla chips with mild salsa
  • Fruit or grain muffin (low fat)
  • Veggie Chips/straws
  • Bagel and cream cheese
  • Cereal (whole grain- Cherrios, Chex)
  • Any fresh seasonal fruit (grapes, apples, oranges, clementines, bananas, blueberries etc. - pre-washed and cut please)
  • Raisins, dried cranberries/apricots/prunes
  • Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, steamed green beans, cucumber slices, sliced red peppers (w/ low fat dip or salad dressing)
  • Fruit chips (apple, pear, banana, etc.)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (peeled please)
  • Hummus with veggies
  • Mini meatballs
  • Cheese (sticks, Babybel, cubes, string)

Article of Interest (Written by Ward 3 SBOE Representative, Ruth Wattenberg)

PARCC results don’t give us an accurate picture of educational improvement

The Washington Post/Ruth Wattenberg

The recently released 2019 PARCC results tell the percentage of students who reached “proficiency” in different schools, grades, subgroups, sectors, etc. — and by how much that percentage rose or fell. (The percentage of students reaching other score thresholds is deeper down.) Based on these data, individual schools (or sectors, or the whole city) are publicly applauded as effective — or as especially effective with, say, special-education students.

News and Announcements from DCPS