The Cobra Connection

The Sousa Middle School Family Newsletter | October 2

"Many hands make light work" (Tanzanian proverb).

Jambo, Caregivers!

This week we are preparing scholars to lead student data conferences. We believe that when scholars set, monitor, and share their learning goals, they develop agency and ownership of their success. Sousa’s way of doing this is called Student Led Data Conferences (SLDC).

During classes this week, scholars will have one on one conferences with their teachers to review and collect their performance data to create a learning portfolio. Learning portfolios are scholar data trackers that provide important information to help scholars understand their academic and social-emotional progress. Scholars will complete their data trackers and practice presentations with the guidance of their Tribe leaders.

To support your scholar in this process, ask them if they know their beginning of year (BOY) assessment data. Scholars took a reading assessment called Reading Inventory (RI), a Math assessment called iReady, and a Science assessment in Stemscopes during the first few weeks of virtual learning. Scholars will present their data points to their caregivers and families on Friday, October 9.

We look forward to partnering with you to ensure our scholars have a supportive environment to celebrate their academic success and guide them along in their virtual learning journey.


Principal Wilkers

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Communication is very important in any partnership. Please make sure we have all of your up to date contact information. If you need to change it, please complete the form here. We will also continue to use our Instagram account to keep you informed about the great things going on at Sousa via @SousaSTEAMAcademy1954.

The Cobra Connection newsletter is our family newsletter. We will share important district-wide and school-specific information with you on a bi-weekly basis to make sure you are in-the-know. Until October, however, we will be reaching out on a weekly basis.

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  • DC Public Schools will be starting the 2020-21 School Year virtually. These videos (1) (2) explain what this means when we start school on August 31, 2020.

  • Make sure you complete the tech survey if you need technology for distance learning.

  • Make sure you enroll your child as soon as possible! You can receive on site support M-F from 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM!

  • To learn more about our acceptable technology usage policy, click here.

  • Classes are happening via Canvas, so please make sure you also download the "Canvas Parent" app on the app store! You will use your scholar's log in information to see what they are working on!

  • Check out DCPS' grading policy for virtual learning here.

  • To learn more about the attendance policy, click here.

  • You can check your child's grades and schedule via ASPEN. Click here to access the parent portal. Click here to get help on how to access ASPEN.

  • Click here to learn more about Canvas and what your scholars can see from their side!
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English & Social Studies

Sousa Family,

Students need to finish their RI testing located on Canvas. In class, students will take diagnostics writing in both English Language Arts and Social Studies. If you have any questions about ELA or Social Studies content please reach out to Assistant Principal White


Sousa Family, there have been some temporary shifts in our staffing due to unforeseen medical reasons. During this time we have assigned teachers to cover your child’s science classes. Live instruction will occur and assignments are updated weekly on Canvas. Listed below are the Sousa Team members who will be covering the class.

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If there are any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to Assistant Principal Green via email or phone (202) 595-6536

Virtual Schedule

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Scheduling & A Note From Our Counselor

I have received several phone calls in regards to student schedules, in particular, the times that classes meet. In ASPEN, when you see the student schedule, it is helpful to change the view to “today” to see the student’s schedule and times for classes. Below is a sample:

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As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at my email

Specialized Instruction

We will be starting IEP meetings very soon and your partnership is paramount to ensure your child receives the services they need and deserve. Please make sure your contact information is up-to-date so we are able to connect with you. Click here to update your contact information.

Please email Ms. Cobb with any concerns at!

Library & Media Services

  1. Banned Book Week starts next week, stay tuned to library IG page for a new author and book, daily, that’s on that list.
  2. Library programs at Sousa will continue to post Latinx authors throughout our Latin Heritage Month celebrations.
  3. The end of next week, Sousa Library Resource Hub will be published on Canvas.
  4. DCPL launched the virtual MLK Library today, check DC Public Library on IG for more details
  5. Staff look out for School Apps workshop that will focus on new technology that you can use for your virtual classes and once regular school opens
  6. October will begin our School Bookclub as well as Staff Bookclub. Look for Forms that will help us pick the most popular book for our school community.
  7. Stay on the lookout for Text Talk Tuesday's on IG Live. If any student is interested in joining Ms. Barber, please email.

Virtual Learning Tips & Tricks

Virtual learning is new for a lot of us! The tips below should help ease some of your anxiety as you prepare your homes for a successful term of virtual learning:

  • Create a learning space for your child that is quiet and free of clutter.
  • Make sure their cameras on.
  • Make sure they have a strong routine and that they stick to that schedule to maximize their instructional time.
  • Feel free to reach out to your child's teachers if your child needs additional support.
  • Monitor your child's usage of social media regularly.
  • As they are in class, make sure you stay nearby to support them with any questions they make have. Click here to learn more about Canvas and what they see from their end!

Preparing for Virtual Learning

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Tech support

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Do you have mental health concerns? The Sousa Health and Wellness Team is here for you.

The Sousa Health and Wellness team is comprised of the School Counselor, School Social Workers, School Psychologist, School-Based Therapist, and others to help support the social-emotional and mental well-being of our students and families. The team provides supports through classroom lessons, group counseling, individual counseling, and wrap-around services.

Our team provides a wide variety of services to support the needs of our students, families, and staff, including behavior support services, case management, consultation, medical services, psychological evaluations, referral to resources, social-emotional learning implementation, crisis intervention, homelessness liaison support, 504 and IEP development and coordination, test monitoring, behavioral assessments, Response to Intervention (RTI), individual therapy sessions, group trauma sessions, family engagement coordination, chronic attendance support, and home visits. ​

If you have any mental wellness concerns or want more information, please reach out to Mrs. Batie,

Mindset in Middle School

As you aware, the Sousa Health and Wellness Team is here to help you with your mental health needs. You may be wondering how to refer your student to see someone. We have a referral process in place. If you desire to submit a referral for your student, please click this link: Here is the link to the form: DCPS Writable Adult Referral Form Student Mental Health (1).pdf. The link will take you to a writable pdf. Once you have completed the referral, please submit to Mrs. Batie, our school counselor, at

Mindset in Middle School

This week, we will continue the conversation surrounding the confusing times in middle school. Because we know that this is a confusing time for students, more than ever, it is important for you to talk to your scholar regularly regarding the world around them, especially about their school schedule. In an effort to support your scholar at home by talking to them, below are conversation starters to help focus the conversation:

  1. Tell me about the best part of your day.
  2. What is the hardest part of your day?
  3. Tell me about what you read in class.
  4. What is your favorite class? Why?
  5. Have you made any friends that are in your class?
  6. What do you look forward to each day?
  7. Besides being virtual, what are the differences this year?
  8. Can you show me something that you learned today?

Having regular conversations with your scholar can allow them to have less anxiety about the world around them, but can also lead to them being successful in school. If you need more assistance with helping your scholar to be successful, please reach out to the Health and Wellness team!

Student Success

This month, we are focused on developing scholars' self-control. At Sousa, having self control looks like:

  • Following instructions
  • Waiting for your turn to speak or contribute
  • Minimizing distractions
  • Utilizing chat features appropriately

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This year, all sports will be condensed into 8-week seasons. Below, you will find a list of sports we can offer based on interest:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Adaptive Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Track and Field
  • Cheerleading
  • Baseball
  • Wrestling
  • Bowling

If you are interested in playing any sports for the 20-21 SY please complete a sports packet ASAP.

Please contact Coach K for updated information (202)657-2814


Partner Spotlight

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The Black Swan Academy (BSA) is a nonprofit organization in the District of Columbia that concentrates its efforts on improving life outcomes among black youth through Civic Leadership and Engagement. We are creating a pipeline of black youth leaders that are committed to improving themselves, as well as the quality of life for their communities. BSA empowers black youth by restoring their PRIDE in self, identifying their PURPOSE through community service and helping them recognize their POWER to impact positive change through advocacy.
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OCTOBER 5TH- Intervention Period starts!

OCTOBER 5TH- Muevete Monday via IG Live @SousaSTEAMAcademy1954! (12:00 PM-12:30 PM)

OCTOBER 6TH- Text Talk Tuesday at noon via IG @Library.Sousa.MS!

OCTOBER 7TH- Wepa Wednesday! Learn to learn AfroLatinx dances and tag us using the hashtag #SiempreSousa

OCTOBER 8TH- If you are in need of a Smart Trip card, please come by on Wednesdays from 9:00-2:30 PM


OCTOBER 12TH- No school

OCTOBER 14TH- Caregiver Cafe #1 via zoom!

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Community Resources

Hola, Cobras!

My name is Mx. Tejada and I am your Manager, Connected Schools. My goal is to make sure you are informed, included, invested, and involved in all we do at Sousa. Below, you will find resources available to you in the community information on all the ways I can be of service. Contact me at or (202)657-9925 if you need help finding or accessing what you need! I look forward to our collaboration this school year.

In service and partnership,

Mx. Tejada

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Free Groceries

  • Church of the Atonement. ADDRESS: 5073 East Capital St SE. SATURDAYS: 9am-11am
  • Church of the Incarnation, St Vincent De Paul Society. ADDRESS: 880 Eastern Ave NE. DAILY: 8:30am-5pm
  • Dupont Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church. ADDRESS: 3942 Alabama Ave SE. WEDNESDAYS: Call for hours, 202-583-7416
  • Food & Clothing Center of Ward 7. ADDRESS: 4929 Ames St NE. Second TUESDAY of every month, 11:30am-2:30pm (May 12th will be next offering)
  • Good Success Christian Church. ADDRESS: 4401 Sheriff Rd NE. WEDNESDAYS: 12pm-2pm
  • Martha’s Table at EW Stokes Community Freedom PCS-East End Campus. ADDRESS: 5600 East Capitol St NE. FRIDAYS: 12:30pm-2pm
  • Martha’s Table at Kelly Miller Middle School. ADDRESS: 301 49th St NE. TUESDAYS: 12:30pm-2pm
  • Martha’s Table at Kimball Elementary School. ADDRESS: 3375 Minnesota Ave SE. THURSDAYS: 12:30pm-2pm
  • Martha’s Table HD Woodson High School. ADDRESS: 540 55th St NE. WEDNESDAYS: 12:30pm-2pm
  • RCCG New Wine Assembly. ADDRESS: 1515 Kenilworth Ave NE. FRIDAYS 10:30am-12:30pm, call for details 202-398-2211
  • Urban Outreach. ADDRESS: 5343 C St SE. THURSDAYS & SATURDAYS: 10am-2pm

Meals for DCPS Students

  • Bard High School: 4430 H Street SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • Burrville Elementary School: 801 Division Avenue NE, Monday- Friday, 10am-2pm
  • C.W. Harris Elementary School: 301 53rd Street SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • Kelly Miller Middle School: 301 49th Street NE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • ALSO a grocery distribution site on TUESDAYS between 12:30pm-2pm
  • Kimball Elementary School: 3375 Minnesota Avenue SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • ALSO a grocery distribution site on THURSDAYS between 12:30pm-2pm
  • Randle Highlands Elementary School: 1650 30th Street SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • Ron Brown High School: 4800 Meade Street NE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • Thomas Elementary: 650 Anacostia Avenue NE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • Woodson High School: 540 55th Street NE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • ALSO a grocery distribution site on WENDESDAYS, 12:30pm-2pm

Discounted Fresh Produce/Healthy Food Items:

  • DC Central Kitchen is delivering fresh produce and healthy snacks to these corner stores in Ward 7, offering produce to corner stores at wholesale prices and in smaller quantities than a conventional distributor. The stores then sell the produce at below-market prices, making it an affordable option for the community:
  • Z Mart: 1507 Kenilworth Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • A & S Grocery: 4748 Sheriff Road Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • A-1 Grocery: 615 Division Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Benning Heights Market 547 42nd Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Minnesota Food Mart: 3728 Minnesota Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Thomas & Sons Food Market: 3425 Benning Road Northeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Texas Avenue Convenience Store: 4350 Texas Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Dollar Plus Food Store (Benning Road): 4837 Benning Road Southeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Night N Day 24 Hour Store: 5026 Benning Road Southeast, Washington, DC 20019
  • Arcadia Center for Food and Sustainable Agriculture has a new, modified farmers market schedule for our area in SE DC. They accept federal food assistance benefits such as SNAP/EBT, WIC (Women, Infant, and Children), and Senior FMNP vouchers
  • Arcadia Mobile Market in Mayfair has been granted a waiver to operate on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 pm at Kenilworth Terrace and Burnham Place NE.
  • Dreaming Out Loud Kelly Miller Farmers Market has been granted a waiver to operate on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 6 pm at 301 49th St NE
  • Arcadia Mobile Market in Edgewood has been granted a waiver to operate on Fridays from 3 pm to 6 pm at Edgewood St and Evarts St NE.
  • Arcadia Mobile Market at Oxon Run has been granted a waiver to operate on Fridays from 3 pm to 6 pm at Wheeler Rd SE and Valley Ave SE
  • Arcadia Mobile Market at Anacostia has been granted a waiver to operate on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm at 13th St SE and W St SE.
  • Arcadia Mobile Market at Deanwood Rec Center has been granted a waiver to operate on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm at 48th St SE and Minnesota Ave NE
  • Eastern Market Farmers Market has been granted a waiver to operate on Sundays from 9 am to 3 pm at 225 7th St SE, the 200 Block of 7th St SE, and the 300 Block of 7th St SE.
  • Produce Plus Direct, funded by DC Health and Administered by DC Greens. Provides locally grown, fresh produce to DC residents in the Ward 7 community who have limited access to fresh, healthy food
  • Produce Plus Direct begins July 14, 2020 and will run through September 30, 2020
  • Registration opens June 23, 2020, and residents can enroll in the program by calling (202) 888-4834 |Learn more about DC Greens by visiting
  • RFK Stadium Farmers Market has been granted a waiver to operate on Thursdays from 8 am to 3 pm at the RFK Stadium (Benning Rd and Oklahoma Ave).
  • Ward 8 Farmers Market has been granted a waiver to operate on Saturdays (starting on July 4) from 10 am to 1 pm at the Congress Heights Recreation Center (3200 6th St SE)
  • FRESHFARM Minnesota Ave has been granted a waiver to operate on Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm at 3924 Minnesota Ave NE
  • FRESHFARM Kenilworth Recreation Center has been granted a waiver to operate on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 pm at 4321 Ord St NE

Additional Food Info

  • DC’s Department of Aging and Community Living’s hotline is operational, and seniors who need information on food delivery /assistance should call (202) 724-5626
  • ALL SAFEWAY Grocery Stores, which include the 322 40th ST NE and 2845 Alabama Ave SE stores, have special hours for seniors, expecting mothers, and immune-compromised individuals: 7am-9am Tuesdays and Thursdays (Accepts SNAP + WIC)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program

§ Effective Wednesday, May 13, 2020, the District of Columbia (District) launched the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Program:

  • Food For All DC - Serving those who are homebound, including elderly citizens, disabled, or single mothers with young children. Social Worker referral preferred. Deliveries every Saturday, 9:00am - 2:00pm. Contact: (240) 505-4607
  • Food and Friends DC - Free meal and grocery delivery available to people living with life-challenging illnesses. Clients must be referred by a healthcare provider. Here is the link:
  • The US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service division has come out with a meal locator link for sites to free Summer Meals for kids. It was updated yesterday, July 9th. This resource maps out all free meal sides for kids in the greater metropolitan area. Follow this link and type in 20019 as the zip code in the search bar:
  • United Communities Against Poverty: Their food pantry is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursdays, 10 AM-1 PM. Call 301-322-5700 (ext 101) to make an appointment. 1400 Doewood Ln, Capitol Heights, MD 20743 (Just north of Deanwood recreation Center)

DC kids and teens have access to free meals served Monday-Frday 2pm-4pm at these select locations. No ID or application required. Masks/face coverings REQUIRED.

§ Barry Farm Recreation Center | 1230 Sumner Rd SE (Ward 8)

§ Deanwood Community Center | 1350 49th St NE (Ward 7)

§ Fort Stanton Recreation Center | 1812 Erie St SE (Ward 8)

§ Ridge Road Community Center | 830 Ridge Rd SE (Ward 7)

§ Therapeutic Recreation Center | 3030 G St SE (Ward 7)


Public Testing Sites for COVID-19 Include:

  • MedStar Health For an appointment, visit
  • Anacostia: Walk up and Drive-Thru Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am-2pm: 2241 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
  • Howard University announced they will offer Coronavirus testing at their Benning Road Clinic (4414 Benning Road NE) for an appointment call (202) 865-2119
  • Unity Health Care. Address: 4414 Benning Rd NE. For an appointment, call 202-469-4699
  • Whitman-Walker Health. Address: 2301 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE. For an appointment, call 202-745-7000
  • Elaine Ellis Center for Health: 1605 Kenilworth Ave NE 20019, Call to schedule an appointment: 202- 803-2340
  • FREE Test Site: Anacostia: 1310 Southern Avenue, SE Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 am – 2 pm. Drive-thru: Appointment Required. Vehicles enter via 13th Street, SE and be prepared to wait between 45-75 minutes (please plan accordingly, bathrooms will not be provided on-site). Walk-up: No appointment needed
  • o FREE Test Site: UDC-CC Bertie Backus Campus 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE, Tuesday, Thursday, 10 am – 2 pm. Drive-thru: Appointment Required. Vehicles enter on Hamilton St NE, turn onto 7th St NE and enter the parking long on Galloway St NE. Be prepared to wait between 45-75 minutes (please plan accordingly, bathrooms will not be provided on-site). Walk-up: No appointment needed
  • FREE walk-up COVID-19 testing sites are available including fire stations near Fort Dupont: 1) Engine 30, 50 49th St. NE open for testing WEDNESDAYS from 4-8pm; AND 2) Engine 8, 1520 C St. SE open for testing TUESDAYS from 4-8pm.

Virtual Grief and Trauma Health Services:

  • The Wendt Center offers their expertise in grief, trauma and mental health; they provide an array of holistic services for children, teens, adults, families, and our local communities. Here is the list of services: Call an intake coordinator here: 202-624-0010 Also, please see this “Tip Sheet” link for tips around caring for yourself and others:
  • DC Health, Mental Health Hotline. Clinicians are available 24/7. Residents can call the District’s Mental Health Hotline at 1-888-793-4357 if experiencing stress and anxiety related to Covid-19
  • FREE walk-up testing site: Pennsylvania Baptist Church, 3000 Pennsylvania SE. Fridays and Saturdays 10am-4pm.

Covid-19 Antibody Test Sites:

  • Hillcrest Recreation Center, 3100 Denver Street, SE. Monday – Friday, 9am-3pm. Call for appointment: 1-855-363-0333
  • Navy Yard, Canal Park, 200 L Street SE. Monday – Friday, 9am-3pm. Call for appointment: 1-855-363-0333


  • Get tested in the comfort of your home in the District or at a lab in the DMV: GetCheckedDC is Washington, DC’s new, free program that provides residents with confidential, convenient testing for both HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Folks can use this link to get tested:


  • Monday through Friday (through October 2) 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Walgreens at Judiciary Square is administering flu shots. No pre-registration required. Bring your government issued ID and insurance card. Recommended that you wear short sleeves. Residents without insurance can find flu vaccine locations at


· Baby Supplies:

o Through the DC Diaper Bank, Martha’s Table is distributing diapers to families. ADDRESS: 2375 Elvans Rd. SE Washington, DC 20020

  • Families in need of diapers should bring proof of child’s date of birth (DOB)
  • Diapers available Mondays and Fridays 11am – 3pm
  • Food is also available at this site

o EDUCARE, ADDRESS: 640 Anacostia Ave NE, Washington, DC 20019. Phone: (202) 727-5604

  • Distribution days & times: Tuesday and Thursdays: 10AM – 2PM
  • Families in need of diapers should bring proof of child’s date of birth (DOB)
  • Food is being served at Thomas Elementary (next door at 650 Anacostia Ave. NE) during this time


  • On August 11, Mayor Bowser announced the relaunch of the DC Mortgage Assistance Program ( DC MAP ) to provide financial relief to District homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19. Qualified borrowers can receive a loan to support mortgage payments for up to six months. DC homeowners seeking assistance should call 1-833-429-0537 to begin the process. Questions can be emailed to
  • The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has created the COVID-19 Assistance Program (CHAP), a program to provide rental assistance to low-income renters who are in areas impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. To determine eligibility and apply, folks must visit this site:

· Unemployment Resources:


  • September is National Library Card Signup Month. Access ebooks, audiobooks, virtual classes, movies, music and more for free with your library card. Encourage friends and family to signup online at
  • Distance Learning Resources: This school year looks very different for many families. The Library has compiled a comprehensive list of resources to help families navigate distance learning
  • Back to School Guide: The DC Public Library’s back to school guide is a great refresher on the different tools the Library has available for your student as they kick off the school year. This guide is organized by age range so you can pinpoint the best resources for your child

Meals for DCPS Students

  • Kimball Elementary School: 3375 Minnesota Avenue SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
  • ALSO a grocery distribution site on THURSDAYS between 12:30pm-2pm
  • Randle Highlands Elementary School: 1650 30th Street SE, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm
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Please do not hesitate to reach out! We are in this together!

To contact our administrators use the following information:

Principal Wilkerson


phone:(202) 578-1269

AP White


phone: (202)480-3206

AP Green


phone: (202)595-6536

Dean Clavis, Dean of Students


phone: (202)738-0074

Ms. Scott, Director, STEAM Academy


phone: (240)721-0310

Ms. Coan, Manager, Strategy & Logistics


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If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or celebrations, please share those here.