SHMS Family Newsletter

April 10, 2022

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

We were busy celebrating and wrapping up the third term this past week. We started the week by lifting up our assistant principals and librarian for their contributions to our school community. On Thursday afternoon our students cleaned up at the DC National History Day competition, taking home more than a dozen awards across many categories. Later that night we had our first in-person event with students and parents in our auditorium when we inducted students into the Stuart-Hobson Middle School chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS).

Congratulations to the 8th Grade for winning our first in-person Pep Assembly in two years and earning a dress down day on Tuesday, April 19th! Although the 6th and 7th grade teams were nipping at their heels for much of the competition neither could close the lead that the 8th graders entered the gym with on Friday. It was an invigorating and extremely positive way for us to end the term and enter the Spring break, let's carry that momentum into the fourth quarter!

If you are having a staycation, killing time while traveling, or otherwise looking for something to do during Spring Break, please take a few moments to re-enroll for next school year. The office will be open from 9:00-3:00, Monday-Thursday next week for anyone who would like to drop off enrollment forms or receive help from a staff member.

Lastly, do not forget to follow the test-to-return protocol before returning to school on Tuesday, April 19th. Also, please note that the newsletter will resume on Sunday, April 24.

Have a safe, restful, and rejuvenating Spring Break everyone!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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Upcoming Dates: April 19-22

This Week:

'The 3-week DCPS meals menu can always be found here.

***April 9-17, Spring Break!***

Monday, April 18

  • Last day of Term 3, Records & PD Day for Staff, No School for Students

Tuesday, April 19

  • First day of Term 4 - A great instructional day!
  • 8th Grade Dress Down Day!

Wednesday, April 20

  • A great instructional day!

Thursday, April 21

  • A great instructional day!

Friday, April 22

  • A great instructional day!
  • Capitol Hill Cluster PTA Annual Auction

Saturday, April 23

  • Enrollment Saturday, 9:00AM-1:00PM, SHMS
  • Cluster Basketball Clinic Girls Grades 4-7 10:00-11:30am (See Enrollment Info for details)
  • Cluster Basketball Clinic Boys Grades 4-7 11:30 am-1 pm (See Enrollment Info for details)

Upcoming Dates

  • April 26-May 13, PARCC Testing (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays)

  • April 27, SHMS Mission & Vision Building Family Focus Groups, 6:00-7:30

  • May 18, SHMS Mission & Vision Building Family Focus Groups, 6:00-7:30

Athletics Schedule

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated or submit medical or religious exemption forms to be eligible to participate. If exemption is approved, a weekly negative COVID test must be submitted to remain eligible.

Outdoor Track & Field

See 2022 Meet Schedule below

Boys Head Coach- Taurus McGhee -

Girls Head Coach- Mark Smith-


See 2022 Game Schedule below

Head Coach: Scott Campbell -




Head Coach - Richard Strong -


Head Coach- Coach Stancil -

Intramural Soccer


Cluster Basketball Skill Developmental Sessions (Grades 4-7)

*Students interested must sign up with Mr. Henderson (email:

If you have any questions regarding student eligibility, medical clearance, or interested in supporting Stuart- Hobson athletics. Please contact Richard Strong (Health/PE Teacher / Athletic Director ) at

Click on the link below to submit athletic forms online.

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DCPS Calendar

***March 25, 2022 UPDATE***

After further consultation with the OSSE, we have determined that we have met the full threshold of required instructional days and can end the school year for our students on that Friday, June 24 barring any unplanned school closures. The last day of school for staff will be the Monday, June 27 Records/PD Day. Updated calendars are available at this link.

Shout Outs and Celebrations

One more shout out to Ms. Jennie Tomlinson who we celebrated on National School LIbrarians Day this past Monday!

Thank you APs Turner and Taylor for all that you do behind the scenes to support our families and students!

Thank you to Mr. Strong and Ms. Rumph for organizing our first in-person Pep Assembly in two years!

Thank you to Ms. Taylor and Counselor Williams for advising and sponsoring our NJHS inductees throughout this year and on Thursday night during their induction ceremony!

Thank you to our Social Studies team - Ms. Doherty, Ms. Trueblood, Mr. Thrift, Ms. Rizzo, and Mr. Frail - for supporting our students in making championship-caliber NHD projects!

Use this form to shout out a staff member or team. Shout-outs will find their way into staff meetings, newsletters, and mailboxes. Thank you!

New Information and Important Updates

You can find the latest edition of our student paper, The Panther Gazette, online for easy access anytime and on-the-go!

Enroll for The 2022-23 School Year Now!

Thank you for helping us move to 15% of our enrollment goal in the first days of enrollment season!

The Stuart-Hobson Middle School team looks forward to welcoming your rising 6th, 7th and/or 8th grade student into our diverse and dynamic Capitol Hill Cluster School community. You can also learn more about our school by viewing our school's recorded Open House webinar.

Enrolling can be quick and easy for families, and we encourage you to enroll as soon as possible. For your convenience, visit this website to complete your enrollment online: dcpsenrollment. Families are also invited to complete enrollment by visiting our SHMS main office between 8:00am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. See above for extended Friday night hours.

Our signature enrollment events will be our Special Saturdays. We are excited to invite interested Watkins, JO Wilson Ludlow-Taylor and in-boundary students with a completed DCIAA medical waiver to join us for our Cluster Basketball Clinics on Saturdays. Bring your children for engaging athletic practice and skill building while family members are invited to complete enrollment in our school main office. See the graphic below for details. Contact Athletic Director Mr. Strong or Basketball Coach Troy Henderson for more information

We welcome all parents to make the school choice that best suits their child and family needs. If your student will not be joining our SHMS community, please contact the main office informing our team of your student's new school. We will provide you with appropriate documentation to be removed from our school roster and mailing list.

We look forward to supporting our families through this enrollment season and welcome you to contact AP Turner with questions.

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National History Day DC Awards!

Congratulations to our Stuart-Hobson students who placed in the finals of the National History Day DC event on Thursday, April 7th! SHMS students, supported by our Social Studies teachers, competed with DC public, private and charter schools across the city. Second and First Place finishers now advance to the National competition!

To Ms. Doherty, Mr. Frail, Mr. Thrift, Ms. Trueblood (Gaskill) and Ms. Rizzo - thank you for all the time you have dedicated to our students and the NHD projects!

Junior Division

Individual Exhibit

Second Place

Title of Project: Pinball: Between the Flippers

Student: Sadie Davidson

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: The Room Where It Happened

Student: Jacob Scott

Teacher: Alexander Frail

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Exhibit

Third Place

Title of Project: What Impact Did the Seneca Falls Convention Have on the Women’s Rights Movement?

Students: Sophie Curry and Anna Sullivan

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Individual Documentary

Third Place

Title of Project: Billie Jean King-Fight for Equal Rights in Sports through Debate and Diplomacy

Student: Andrew Leavitt

Teacher: Alexander Frail

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Second Place

Title of Project: The Role of Debate and Diplomacy in the Partition of India

Student: Siddharth Kravetz

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Documentary

Third Place

Title of Project: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement

Students: Colette Gregg and Sadie Feldman

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: Plessy V. Ferguson: A Stain on American History

Students: Mossi Tull and Leo Smock

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Individual Website

Second Place

Title of Project: Abraham Lincoln and His Few Words that Impacted the Future

Student: Lincoln Celestino

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: Censorship in Black and White: The History of the Parental Advisory Label

Student: Jack Laws

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Website

Third Place

Title of Project: Nuclear Nascency

Students: William Neuroth and Percival Kyd-Bruneau

Teacher: Monica Rizzo

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School


First Place

Title of Project: Of Missiles and Meetings

Student: Ruth Pournelle

Teacher: Monica Rizzo

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

The White House History Prize: Sponsored by The White House Historical Association

Junior Division

Category: Individual Website

Title of Project: Abraham Lincoln and His Few Words that Impacted the Future

Student: Lincoln Celestino

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

National Maritime Historical Society Award

Junior Division

Second Place

Category: Group Website

Title of Project: Bombs Bursting in Air: The Story of the Battle of Fort McHenry

Students: Maya Smith and Tyne McNamara

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Previous Announcements & Resources

**The information below is new or an updated version of something announced previously! **

All Newsletters

You can find previously released newsletters and information here.

The most current version of the Student & Family Handbook is linked on our website.

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The Panther Gazette is Now Online!

In an effort to be more sustainable and responsive to breaking news, Stuart-Hobson's student newspaper has switched to a digital format. Check out the Journalism Club's website at! Interested students are welcome to join meetings of the Journalism Club on Mondays at 3:30 pm.

PTA Updates: Cluster Auction

Hi Cluster families!

We know many families are still feeling “new” to the Cluster after the past two years, so here’s some 101 on the upcoming Auction/Party on Friday, April 22nd outside at The Brig.

(If you’re already jazzed and know you want to attend, buy tickets here now and ignore the rest of this email!)

What’s up for auction?

We have the usual silent auction items (gift cards, tours, booze, tickets) in addition to great classroom specific gift baskets and teacher experiences, so your kid can spend bonus time hanging out with their favorite teachers. All bidding is done online.

What are Cluster Parties?

Cluster parties are popular and fun ways to get to know other families! They are themed parties hosted by different Cluster families and you can purchase tickets to the parties on the bidding website – past years have included dinner parties, trivia nights, wine tastings and more.

Who will be there?

Families with students at Peabody, Watkins and Stuart Hobson will all be there along with some Cluster teachers and other community members.

I just had an amazing idea of something to donate to the auction! Who should I tell?

Email auction co-chairs Kristi Lowe or Laura Odato!

Thanks for reading this far! The website is here and email us with any questions – we can’t wait to see you!

Advisory Lesson Content

As we are all aware, middle school is a period of incredible development. Students are busy exploring and making sense of the world and much of that learning is influenced by the diverse communities they belong to in and outside of school. We also aspire to maintain a safe school environment that is free from any discriminatory, biased, or hateful language or interactions with and among students. Thus, it is important for us to teach students about acceptable and appropriate language, especially as they begin to explore and make sense of new aspects of their own and classmates' identities.

We have been incorporating opportunities for students to learn about appropriate language into our daily advisory lessons. We expect that these lessons will help students learn about ways that their communication and exploration of new subjects can be done safely. We encourage all adults in our school community to support students in learning and using language that is free from any harmful -isms, e.g. racism, sexism, ableism, genderism, etc. Attached to this newsletter you should find two brochures that outline DCPS' approaches and policies for supporting our LGBTQ+ community. We will continue this work throughout our time with students and thank everyone for supporting us outside of the school day too!

As a reminder, Mr. Thrift facilitates our Panther PRIDE group and is our school point of contact for LGBTQ+ programming and questions. You can reach him at

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Summer CTE Programs w/DCPS

This summer, DCPS CTE is offering a new and exciting summer enrichment program for middle school students. Students will have a chance to explore four types of tech including Apple coding, Raspberry Pi, Robotics, and graphic arts at three different middle schools across the district. We look forward to hosting your young scholars this summer and are excited to give them this opportunity! Please see the flyer below for more information as well as course descriptions.

There are only a limited number of slots available, so encourage your students to sign up soon using this link, or they can visit

Summer Acceleration w/SHMS Teachers

We are excited to share some emerging plans for summer learning and support at SHMS. Please see below for some in-person offerings that we have planned for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in Math. Please note that these are not mandatory and are aimed at supporting students in getting a jump start with content that they will encounter during SY 2022-23. We are currently planning for each day to allow students to attend one of two 90 minute workshops that will begin in the early or mid-morning.

Session 1 (w/Mr. Broome): 2 weeks, 7/11-7/22

  • Math 7 Readiness (for rising 7th graders and rising 6th graders interested in taking Math 7)
  • Math 6 Readiness (for rising 6th graders)

Session 2 (w/Ms. Rosera): 2 weeks, 7/25-8/5

  • Math 8 Readiness (for rising 8th graders and rising 7th graders interested in taking Math 8)
  • Equations Boot Camp (pre-Algebra 1 or rising Math 8)

Please note that students must be enrolled for SY 2022-23 to participate in these opportunities. Please complete this interest survey so our team can begin planning for these sessions. Lastly, should we have any capacity challenges we will use date of enrollment / re-enrollment to prioritize students for participation.

Updated English Learner (EL) Exit Criteria

As OSSE announced in on Jan. 28, 2022, the English Learner (EL) exit criteria will change from a proficiency level of 5.0 on ACCESS to a proficiency level of 4.5 for students in grades 1-12, beginning with the 2021-22 ACCESS assessment (to affect EL statuses beginning in the 2022-23 school year). The exit criteria for students in kindergarten remains the same at 5.0, as the kindergarten assessment did not significantly change. This policy change will not be retroactive.

The full announcement can be found on our English Learner Exit Criteria page.

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Impact Aid Survey - due April 30th

DCPS submitted the initial Impact Aid application in January for all surveys received to date. Everyone is encouraged to complete one survey per child in their preferred language. Surveys collected through April 30, 2022 will be included in our application amendment. Eligible students and families will be able to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. Surveys can be found on our Impact Aid Webpage.

SHMS Mission & Vision Building Family Series

We will be reviewing our school's mission and vision statements this Spring and summer and are planning opportunities for all members of our school community to participate in that work. Students will do this work during the school day and staff will have opportunities during our professional learning time.

Because of the generous donation of an anonymous member of our school community, we will be able to engage with parents and families with a specific focus on how race and equity show up and influence our work with students. Using the affinity group format, we will have three facilitated discussions where we will discuss how our mission and vision building, with race and equity in mind, can improve all students' sense of belonging and well-being at SHMS. We are so excited to begin this work and hope you will save these dates so you can join us:

March 30, 6:00-7:30

April 27, 6:00-7:30

May 18, 6:00-7:30

We are so excited to begin this work and are grateful to the PTA, our anonymous donor, and the Race & Equity Committee for supporting us here. We will share more details in upcoming newsletters.

PTA Spring Updates

Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson Families,

Two of our biggest and most amazing PTA community events are coming back this spring and we need your help!

Our 2022 Spring Auction will be in April! The auction planning team is actively planning the event, including a final date and outdoor location. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey we sent out last week -- the feedback was amazing! If you are interested in volunteering, please email our 2022 Auction Chairs, Kristi Lowe and Laura Odato. There is a place for everyone on the team! (,

The Capitol Hill Classic is BACK -- please mark your calendars for Sunday, May 15th! The CHC is truly one of the best community events on Capitol Hill but it takes a huge amount of work to put together. If you would like to join the Capitol Hill Classic Team, please email Race Director Jason Levine or Lona Valmoro. (,

PTA Dates This Spring:

Monday, March 7th -- PTA March General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

Sunday, March 20th -- Kickball Tournament on the field at Stuart-Hobson (Price of admission -- canned/non-perishable item for our Cluster Food Drive!)

April Tbd -- 2022 Spring Auction!

Sunday, May 15th -- 41st Annual Capitol Hill Classic!

Monday, May 23rd -- PTA May General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

Updated DCPS Meal Sites

Starting Monday, February 7, 2022, DC youth 18 years and younger or parents or guardians on their behalf, are eligible to receive multiple-day meal kits from one of 10 DCPS open meal site locations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

DCPS Assessments Guide for Families!

Launching the New Assessment Guide for Families!

The DCPS Assessment Guide for Families is a resource to assist families with understanding their student’s assessment results. This guide provides an overview of the uses of diagnostic and curriculum-based assessments.

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Check Grades in the Aspen Family Portal

Aspen Family Portal accounts have been available since the week of August 23rd. Returning families should be able to access their account using their username and password from last school year. New families will receive an email from Aspen Family Portal when their family portal account is available to use (check your junk and spam folders for the invitation).

The Portal allows you to keep up with progress in school - including grades, assignments, attendance, and more. The goal of DCPS' new digital portal is to create an open line of communication between home and school.

To Access the Portal:
1. Visit
2. Make sure pop-up blocking is disabled for your browser
3. Your user name will be provided via email
4. Your temporary password will be provided via email
NOTE: Both user name and password are case sensitive
5. Click Log On to access the system. You will be prompted to fill out some information to change your password so that in the future you can click "I forgot my password" to receive a new password.

How to Navigate the Portal:
This flyer gives you the Parent Portal basics:

Also, we recommend that families download the Grade Corner app to their smartphones or other devices. This app was created by an SHMS parent, requires an Aspen login, and allows you to see all of your student's grades in one place. In addition to seeing report cards, it is a quick and easy tool for keeping tabs on your student's progress.

Staffing Support

As most of you are aware, we have been challenged by some staffing situations throughout the school year. While some of these are short-term or isolated challenges, we do have some needs that are more long-term. While we have plans in place to address these challenges and fill gaps with our staff, there are ways that we could bolster the staffing situation. If you know of anyone who would be interested in any of the following positions, or regular substitute work, please encourage them to reach out to Principal Fraser directly. Here's where we could make use of hep in the mid to long-term with what remains of this school year:

1. Teacher, Science

2. Teacher, Special Education (CES)

3. Aide, Special Education

4. Teacher, Substitute - Apply here!

Thank you all again for your help, feedback, and patience while we have navigated the different staffing challenges this school year!

Panther Pride School Store: Additional SHMS Clothing & Gear!

Social distancing doesn't mean fashion gets thrown to the wind. Show your Panther pride during your next class, meeting, or virtual friend meet-up. Check out the clothing and gear that are available at our new school store!

Families, staff, and students will be able to buy custom Stuart-Hobson Panther gear. You can find the latest name brands on your custom SHMS gear.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Howard,

Policies & Daily Operations

DCPS Attendance Policy Updates

This is a reminder about updates to DC Public Schools’ policy regarding unexcused absences related to COVID-19 and Virtual Learning Program for school year 2021-22. If your student has unexcused absences related to COVID-19 or Virtual Learning Program this school year, please review the information below to determine whether your student's absences are eligible to be excused. If you believe your student to be eligible, you must submit a note to your school’s Attendance Point of Contact (Ms. Hargrove) for absences to be excused.

COVID-19 Close Contact: You may now submit a note for an excused absence if your student was absent from school because the student, or a member of the student’s household, was determined to be a close contact of a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Students whose absences were not previously eligible for excusal for this reason can now have those absences excused.

Virtual Learning Program Expansion: If your student is approved for virtual learning under new requirements set by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), their previous absences related to COVID-19 can also be excused.

Please complete and submit the excuse note provided below if your child has been absent from school this school year due to one of the following reasons:

1. Your child or a member of your household was determined to be a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19; or

2. Your child has recently been approved for the Virtual Learning Program and has had COVID-related absences between the start of school and November 30, 2021.

Notes must be submitted via email, text, or hand-delivery to your child’s school on or before December 17, 2021, so that your child’s absence can be recorded as excused. For the rest of this school year, please submit excuse notes to your school within five days of your child’s return to school from an absence.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your school’s attendance Point of Contact, Ms. Hargrove.

Attendance Corner

Attendance Corner:

Welcome to the Attendance Information Corner for Stuart-Hobson Middle School. My name is Ms. Hargrove and I will be providing attendance updates to families in this corner. Parents, it is crucial that you get your child to school on-time and attending all classes. Please take a moment and read the 80/20 rule below. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me and I will be able to discuss it with you.

80/20 Attendance Rule:

This rule states that a student must not miss more than 20% of their day to be marked present. If a student misses 2 classes in a day, that student has missed 20% of the day and will be marked absent without a valid excuse. Please do your best to have your student present and on-time for school. If your student has a valid excuse for being late, please provide documentation to Ms. Hargrove by email:Clara.Hargrove@k12.DC.Gov, by text: 202-494-9747 or by calling the main office at 202-671-6010. If you need additional information on DCPS Attendance Policies, please go to the see the attached website:

Attendance Celebration:

At Stuart-Hobson Middle School, we like to celebrate our students’ achievements for attendance. We will host a monthly attendance celebration for perfect and improved attendance by our students. Perfect attendance is described as no tardies or absences from classes for the month. I want to thank the students that had perfect attendance and participated in the Jeans & Jersey Day on November 1, 2021. Our next attendance incentive will be our Annual Perfect Attendance Pancake Celebration on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Supports for Students & Families

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Mental Health Supports

While some students regularly receive scheduled counseling and support from the many members of our mental health team, we want to remind everyone that all students are eligible to check-in with a social worker or counselor on an as needed basis too. If at any point in the school year you think that your student would benefit from the opportunity to meet or speak with a member of our team, please reach out to them directly or connect with a grade level administrator. We often help students navigate hardships like loss, grief, and change individually and in groups. Please reach out to a member of the team at any time if you would like to learn more!

Molly Smith, Social Worker,

Jessica Thompkins, Social Worker,

Kimberly Harrington, DBH Social Worker,

Montrice Williams, CIS Social Worker,

Jessica Schimmerling, Guidance Counselor,

Tomicula Willams, Guidance Counselor,

Kristin Dezen,

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Craft & Chat Club!

Craft and Chat started in Spring 2020 during distance learning and continued strong last school year. We are ready to start in-person and are excited for any and all students to join us! No art or craft experience necessary! Students are welcome to bring their own project but we will have art supplies available. This is an opportunity to slow down after the school day, be creative, and have community with others at Stuart-Hobson MS.

Craft and Chat will meet on Tuesdays from 3:45-4:30pm in classroom #G03 (Ms. Kensey’s room) starting Tuesday, 9/21/2021.

Any questions? Contact DBH Social Worker Kimberly Harrington ( See flyer above for more information.

Students can drop in as they can and we look forward to growing a joyful and creative community of students as the school year continues.

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