Hearst Family Update

January 30, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Owl Families,

What a whirlwind the last week has been as we continue to finalize preparations for Term 3! Thank you for all of your patience and flexibility as we iron out all the details that will support our students in being successful in Term 3. There is a lot of information below, including an update for those families with students returning to the building in Term 3, as well as inclement weather information, and several other updates.

Thanks for your partnership and have a great weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • February 1 - Term 3 Begins
  • February 10-11 - Term 2 Report Cards Published in Aspen
  • February 12 - Term 2 Report Cards and MOY Data Reports Mailed Home
  • March 31 - Hearst Spring Picture Day (see below for more information)

Quick Updates

  • Jane Hayashi-Kim will be out on maternity leave for the next few months and in her place, Jamease McDonald (Jamease.Mcdonald@k12.dc.gov) will be providing speech language services to the students previously on Jane's caseload. Please join me in welcoming Jamease to Hearst!
  • Reminder: Because our building is open to students, any non-staff members who would like to come to the building to pick up materials, switch out a device, etc., must have an appointment in order to come into the building. Please email Ms. Johnson (kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov) or call (202-282-0106) to set up an appointment if you need to come into the building for any reason. Thanks!

  • Reminder: DC is publishing COVID data specific to DCPS and it can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/node/1506966. With both staff and students back in school buildings, please visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/response/ to learn more about DCPS' COVID-19 Response Protocol, including testing available for students and staff.

Inclement Weather Guidance

The forecast predicts an inclement weather event for the greater Washington DC area Sunday, January 31 into Monday, February 1. In preparation for a potential delay or closure next week, all CARE students were sent home with devices on Thursday. Please see below for additional information about attendance and closure notifications:


  • If buildings are closed, all students are to pivot to virtual learning at home. Students in the CARE and CARE+ classrooms will join their regularly scheduled live sessions. Students in the K IPL class will receive details about their schedule from Ms. Gray and Ms. Cole. Student attendance will be captured by students logging into Canvas.
  • In the event of a two-hour delayed opening of our school, arrival will begin at 10:15am for K-2 CARE, 3-5 CARE, and our 2-5 CARE+ classrooms and 10:45am for our PK CARE and K IPL class. Students in CARE and CARE+ classes with live lessons in the morning should start those lessons at home and will continue them once in the building.

Inclement Weather Closure Updates

  • For the most up to date information on school delays or closures please visit:
    • @dcpublicschools social media accounts and dcps.dc.gov website
  • When a school delay or closure has been determined, the Executive Office of the Mayor Communications will send out a press release, which will be shared out through press media.

Information for Families with Students Returning In Person in Term 3

We are excited for the start of Term 3 on Monday and to welcome back our students who are participating in in-person learning.Please take time to review the In-Person Learning family guide for resources to help you prepare for the first day back to the classroom. It includes important forms that parents or guardians need to sign:

We will send home these documents with students on their first day of school and ask that you return them as soon as possible. If you'd like to print, sign, and send them in with your students, we welcome that particularly because we are slated for asymptomatic student COVID testing on Tuesday, February 2, and want to ensure we test as many students as possible who have signed permission slips on file.

As you know, school will look a little different this year. There may be instances where class is cancelled for the day due to staff availability, quarantines, or building operations. In those instances, we will notify you via Bloomz as soon as possible. In cases of school delay or closure due to inclement weather, please follow the DCPS Twitter account (@dcpublicschools), DCPS website (dcps.dc.gov), DCPS social media accounts, and local TV and radio stations for the most up-to-date information.

DPR Updates

For schools that have shared playgrounds with DPR, DCPS will reserve playgrounds for exclusive use by our schools from 11am - 1pm on Mondays through Fridays, beginning in Term 3 on

February 1. This means that starting in Term 3, the Hearst playground is open to the public prior to 11am and after 1pm on weekdays.

Additionally, DC Parks and Rec is holding feedback sessions with school communities. It’s an opportunity for folks to give feedback on which sites should be prioritized for improvements, new programming, and possible new facilities. The Wards 1 and 2 sessions have already passed.Please see below for upcoming dates and times:

  • Ward 3: Tuesday, February 2, 630-8pm RSVP
  • Ward 4: Thursday, February 4, 630-8pm RSVP
  • Ward 5: Monday, February 8, 630-8pm RSVP
  • Ward 6: Tuesday, February 16, 630-8pm RSVP
  • Ward 7: Wednesday, February 10, 630-8pm RSVP
  • Ward 8: Thursday, February 18, 630-8pm RSVP

Reminder: Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action

From February 1-5, 2021, Hearst will be participating in Teaching for Change's D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice D.C. Area Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. This week of action will be built on the momentum of past local weeks of action and the National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action campaign taking place in cities across the U.S. to promote a set of national demands based in the Black Lives Matter guiding principles that focus on improving the school experience for students of color.

Our goal is for every student at Hearst to engage in an activity related to BLM during the week of action. This may be a lesson directly connected to their grade level curriculum, a continuation of the conversations had with students in the aftermath of the events on 1/6, or a discussion incorporated into morning & afternoon meetings. Please look for more information from your child's teacher and reach out to Dr. Chen if you have any questions.

Reminder: Access to Reading Materials/Books

There are many different ways that you can access physical and digital books for your child to read at home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Vandivier or your child's homeroom teacher if you are having difficulty getting access to a wide variety of books and/or books at an appropriate reading level for your child. We are here to help!

  • Option 1: Check out books from the Hearst library!

  • Option 2: Check out books from the DCPS library!

    • As a Hearst student, your child can get a library card for DC public libraries! Please head over to the DCPS libraries website for more information on how to sign up and how book checkout/pickup works: https://www.dclibrary.org/

  • Option 3: Purchase books from Scholastic!

    • Each class has a Scholastic account. Due to the pandemic, you can currently purchase books and ship them directly to your home! It is very convenient. Website https://clubs.scholastic.com/home Please reach out to your homeroom teacher directly for a class code.

  • Option 4: Sora

    • You can access Sora for free via the Clever Portal. Sora offers a wide variety of books to read and to listen to!

  • Option 5: Epic

    • Epic is an extra website that you may have access to! Some classes have a class account. Epic provides TONS of books at all different levels. https://www.getepic.com/sign-in Please reach out to your homeroom teacher or Ms. Vandivier directly for a class code.

Reminder: Spring Portrait Day

We'll be holding our Spring Portrait Day on Wednesday, March 24, from 9am to 3pm. Portraits will be outdoors and socially distanced and you can sign up for an appointment at https://tuab0xbvaa.timetap.com/#/. Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

Reminder: Yearbook Photos Needed

Ms. Schiers and Ms. Boyle are getting started on the SY 20-21 Hearst Yearbook, and need your help collecting photographs! Please upload any candid or posed photos that you have of your child and Hearst children from THIS school year! Please know that by uploading a photo into this album, you are giving consent for that photo to be used in our yearbook. More information is forthcoming regarding how to order your yearbook, and about a socially distanced and outdoor portrait day with Freed Photography.

News and Announcements from DCPS

Spring 2021 Assessment Updates

The Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) has released updated assessment participation and performance Statewide Assessments Participation and Performance Policy for the 2020-21 School Year. OSSE announced in November that ACCESS for ELLs and MSAA would be administered only to students attending school in-person. They have provided additional guidance in their new policy:

  • Students attending full-time, in-person instruction are required to participate in testing. Students receiving full-time, live, in-person instruction from a teacher of record in their school setting are to be designated as “in-person” for the purposes of statewide testing and are required to test. Students participating in virtual instruction while at school are not considered in-person.
  • Students attending in-person less than full-time (including students participating in any virtual instruction while at school) are not required to test. Students participating in a hybrid model (e.g., are receiving live, in-person instruction in a school setting less than every day) are not required to participate in testing.

Based upon our updated understanding of OSSE’s definition of students required to participate, coupled with the fact that we are not offering any full time in person programming at this time, we have determined that DCPS will not be administering ACCESS and MSAA assessments this spring.

A detailed Statewide Assessments Participation and Performance Policy will be released soon. PARCC will be administered as scheduled, in person or remotely.

Reminder: Free Internet Service

Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to make sure your student has internet at home for virtual learning. Through a new program called Internet for All, DC Government will be paying for a year of residential internet service for eligible households provided by Comcast and RCN.

How it Works: DC Government will reach out directly by text, phone call and email to SNAP and TANF eligible households with PK3- 12th grade students enrolled at DC traditional and charter public schools.

Once you agree to participate in the program and allow Comcast or RCN to contact you, they will reach out to initiate the internet installation process. Please be sure to answer their call! Please contact your student’s school to check your eligibility and program status. Internet for All is part of the Tech Together DC Partnership. Find more information online at techtogether.dc.gov and see the flyer below.

Reminder: Travel Guidance for In-Person Students and Staff

We recognize that some staff working in person and families attending in-person programming may be traveling over the upcoming long weekend in January.

Per the Mayor’s Order 2020-110, individuals who have traveled to any place other than Maryland or Virginia are required to either (1) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for 14 days after returning to the District (or coming to work for a District agency), or (2) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for three to five days and then receive a negative COVID-19 PCR COVID-19 test.

All DCPS staff members who are working in person, whether they are a District resident or not, can show their school ID to be prioritized at any District public testing sites.

See DC Health’s Guidance for Travel for more information and the flyer below for easy-to-follow dos and don’ts on this topic.

DCPS continues to follow the CDC’s and DC Health’s Holiday Travel Guidance released November 9th, remember the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home. Gatherings with family and friends who are not a part of your household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Reminder: DCPS Immunization Compliance Updates and Immunization Requirements for CARE and In Person Classroom Participants

As a reminder, all public and public charter schools in DC are required to verify student compliance with school immunization requirements before students may participate in any in-person learning opportunities. Students must be up to date with all required immunizations in order to accept a seat in a DCPS CARE or in person classroom. Our school nurse can confirm students’ current immunization status and whether they have been cleared to participate in in-person learning. She can be reached at SyFisher@childrensnational.org.

News and Announcements from Other Organizations

Calling all young filmmakers! Bethesda Film Fest 2021

The Bethesda Film Fest is seeking young documentary filmmakers to apply for the 2021 virtual festival. There is no application fee for filmmakers under 18 years old and selected young filmmakers will receive a $250 honorarium.

The Bethesda Film Fest is for short documentaries, 5-30 minutes in length, that were completed in the last two years and all topics are eligible. This year’s festival will be completely virtual, there will not be an in-person screening. Selected films will be available ahead of the April 16 virtual filmmaker discussion.

The application deadline is Friday, January 29, all submissions are through Film Freeway: https://filmfreeway.com/BethesdaFilmFest

If you have any questions about the festival, please reach out to Brenna O’Malley at BOMalley@bethesda.org.

Kennedy Center Youth Council Application Open!

The Kennedy Center’s Youth Council is now accepting new applicants!

Founded in the Spring of 2016, the Kennedy Center Youth Council is comprised of 25 DC metropolitan area teens involved and engaged in the arts, aged 14-18, who are presently enrolled in high school. This year, we are opening the program to students who are enrolled in college as well. The Youth Council was formed to empower and activate youth engagement at the Kennedy Center and to create a youth-developed strategy to strengthen youth participation and representation in existing Kennedy Center programs and to develop new programs for youth. As a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Youth Council explores exploring the role of citizen artistry, defined as using the arts for positive social impact, in their own lives. The Council has regular bi-weekly meetings from October through June, as well as opportunities to attend performances and events, develop special performances and projects, and receive mentorship opportunities from Kennedy Center staff.

Due to COVID-19, we are planning our program virtually until further notice. Meetings are typically two Thursdays from 6:00-7:30PM of every month.

TO APPLY, go to https://thekennedycenter.smapply.io/prog/2020-2021_kc_youth_council_application_/.

Contact Liz Mungaray (Lrmungaray@kennedy-center.org) with any questions or if you have any technical issues.

Next W3EdNet Meeting Feb 8 at 7pm: Deputy Chancellors Melissa Kim and Amy Maisterra

The next meeting of the Ward 3 - Wilson Feeder Education Network (W3EdNet) is on Monday, February 8 at 7pm via Zoom (link below). We are very happy to host Deputy Chancellors of DC Public Schools, Dr. Melissa Kim (https://dcps.dc.gov/biography/melissa-kim) and Dr. Amy Maisterra (https://dcps.dc.gov/biography/dr-amy-maisterra). They will be on hand to update us about reopening, resourcing of schools (such as technology), and future planning (such as how to handle overcrowding).

At our next meeting on Monday March 8 (also at 7pm via Zoom), we will host the Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Melody, Karin, and Brian


The Ward 3 - Wilson High School Feeder Pattern Education Network (W3EdNet) is a group made up of PTO Board and LSAT members as well as other interested community members. We aim to work together to support schools in the Wilson feeder pattern, host community events of common interest, and advocate for better schools across the city.

Website: https://www.w3ednet.com/

Twitter: @W3EdNet

Email: w3ednet@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.co

Zoom link:

Join Zoom Meeting<https://interactivestrategies.zoom.us/j/89989782346?from=addon> Phone one-tap: US: +16465588656,,89989782346#<tel:+16465588656,,89989782346> or +13017158592,,89989782346#<tel:+13017158592,,89989782346> Meeting URL: https://interactivestrategies.zoom.us/j/89989782346?from=addon Meeting ID: 899 8978 2346 Join by Telephone For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location. Dial: US: +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 Meeting ID: 899 8978 2346 International numbers<https://interactivestrategies.zoom.us/u/kcW9pLvq0y>

Future W3EdNet Dates:

Monday, March 8

Monday, April 5

Monday, May 10

Monday, June 7