Hearst Family Update

September 20, 2020

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Hearst Families,

It was another great week of teaching, learning, and relationship building this past week at Hearst! Students continued to build connections with all classmates and feel part of the positive learning environments that staff have created in their sessions. They were practicing and polishing previously learned routines and also learned new routines around small groups, while discussing classroom rules/guidelines in their cohorts. In the midst of all of this great teaching and learning, we also had our annual Back to School Night. A huge thank you to everyone who was able to attend and know that if you couldn't make it, staff have sent/will be sending their presentations and recordings of the sessions.

In service of our instructional vision for the school year to build and maintain strong relationships, create accessible, joyful, and engaging learning environments, and teach in developmentally, culturally, and trauma responsive ways, our foci for the upcoming week of school are for students to:

  • Continue to build stamina in all content areas and take steps towards greater independence during academic and social times

  • Continue to practice routines so that they become automatic and enable engaging learning

  • Experience the rules coming to life in classrooms

  • Learn about logical consequences and start to take responsibility for their mistakes as they strengthen positive behavior skills

One final note before signing off - it's being reported in our local media outlets that the mayor and city administrator are talking about a return to learning in the building in November. I haven't yet heard anything from DCPS about this and know that when I do, I will let you know. While I look forward to the day when all of our students and staff are back in the building learning, my priority is to ensure that we welcome everyone back only when it is safe to do so.

Thank you for your partnership and support and I hope you're having a wonderful weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Wednesday, September 23 - Grades 2-5 complete Reading Inventory (RI) online (see below for more information)
  • Wednesday, September 23 - LSAT Meeting, 4:30-5:30
  • September 24 & 25 - Grades 3-5 complete iReady ELA online during asynchronous time (see below for more information)

Quick Updates

  • All parents/guardians must complete the Student Technology Responsible Use Agreement School Year 2020-21 found here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7kagKk6zM0qSt5md8rwKMrokwfOwIAhEmZryty8pQBJUN1NPTDkzNVAzQUo1NVhPNk5NUDQzMkVFNC4u. This new mandate from DCPS and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.
  • Starting the week of 9/21, during the hours of 7am-3:30pm, contractors will be repairing the roof and gutters on the historic building. There will be some demolition that occurs as part of the project and this includes removing broken slate from the roof. I’m told that tossing the slate into the dumpster may sound like lots of glass breaking. Also know that several parking lot spots and the walkway in front of the historic building will be inaccessible while this work is occurring.
  • Through Term 1, the school building will be open from 8:30-4:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for students and families to pick up learning materials. Please contact Ms. Johnson (kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov) with any questions.
  • We don't officially have a nurse assigned to Hearst yet and when we do, I'll share the name and contact information for that person. In the interim, if you have any questions about health forms, please direct them to Ms. Hinchey (manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov).
  • If you haven't yet had your welcome call with your child's teacher, please contact your child's teacher to schedule a time to do so in the next two weeks.


A reminder that attendance is being tracked during virtual learning through Canvas. Students must sign into Canvas at least once every day between 6:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If a student is already logged into Canvas (e.g., from the day before), their participation in any activity within Canvas will transfer to attendance. This means that a student should click on the link for the day’s activities, click on a Teams meeting link, open a course companion, or work on an assignment in ClassNotebook within Canvas so it can translate into attendance for that day.

If a student experiences a tech issue and cannot access Canvas that day, please email attendance@hearstes.org to have their attendance recorded for that day. Review the full attendance guidance on the #ReopenStrong website and watch a recap of this week’s Parent University on the topic.

2019-2020 Yearbook Pick Up

Due to the pandemic and the closure of the building in the spring, we were unable to distribute the yearbooks. We are so excited to finally be able to share these books with the Hearst community! Mrs. Boyle and Ms. Schiers will be holding yearbook pickup on Wednesday, September 30th, from 12:00-4:00 pm. We will be outside, on the rear plaza by the gym stairwell/outside entrance to the library/rear entrance to the school. Masks are required. Last year, we completely sold out our yearbooks. Please only come for pickup if you know you ordered a book! You can check your credit card and bank statements for a payment to “Freed” or contact Mrs. Boyle or Ms. Schiers for confirmation. If you are unable to come for pickup on this day, rest assured that we will hold your yearbook at the school until we are able to find another time to get it to you!

Hearst Hub on Canvas

Ms. Vandivier has created our Hearst Hub on Canvas and a quick video explaining what is on the Hub which can be accessed here. The Hearst Hub is designed for families and contains useful links and information. We'll continue to build it out in the coming weeks and if you have suggestions or ideas about other information to include, please contact Ms. Vandivier (elizabeth.vandivier@k12.dc.gov).

BOY Assessment Information for the Week of 9/21 - Reading Inventory & iReady ELA

For Wednesday (9/23), we are asking 2nd -5th grade students to only take the RI so that they have only one assessment assigned to them for the day and will not feel rushed or fatigued. The iReady Reading assessment can be completed by 3rd-5th graders during independent learning time on Thursday and Friday.

Prior to starting the assessments, if you haven't done so already, we need all K-5 students/guardians to complete the DCPS Virtual Assessment Honor Pledge found here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7kagKk6zM0qSt5md8rwKMrokwfOwIAhEmZryty8pQBJUNEsxUkxYWUhURUIzUDI2RExJSFExVVIwTi4u.


What is the Reading Inventory Assessment?

The Reading Inventory is designed to evaluate students’ reading abilities, monitor student reading progress, set goals for reading growth, and match students to books at appropriate reading levels. The Reading Inventory is taken on a computer and lasts 20–30 minutes.

Leveraging the Lexile Framework, a scientifically proven tool for simultaneously measuring reading ability and text difficulty, the results of Reading Inventory tests are used in a number of ways. First, a student’s score on the test is used to determine the student’s reading ability compared to grade-level performance standards. These determinations will help inform reading instruction and set goals for your child. The results of subsequent Reading Inventory tests are used to monitor progress over time. In some cases, student results are also used to match students to texts at their reading level, which helps to make reading rewarding, constructive, and enjoyable. The types of questions a student receives and the results that are reported are based upon the student’s grade level and reading level.

How to Log In to the Assessment

  • Go to Clever and log in using DCPS student credentials​

  • Click on the blue Reading Inventory (RI) icon​

During the Assessment

The assessment is adaptive and increases text complexity as achievement is demonstrated, providing a reliable measure of proficiency and forecastable growth. Students will be presented with a sentence or sentences with one word missing. They need to select a word from the list that they think fits best with the big idea of the sentence(s).

More information about RI can be found here: https://www.hmhco.com/programs/reading-inventory/overview


What is the iReady Assessment?

i-Ready is an online program for reading (3-5) and mathematics (K-5) that will help us determine your child’s needs, personalize their learning, and monitor progress throughout the school year. i-Ready allows us to meet your child exactly where they are and provides data to increase your child’s learning gains. ​The i-Ready Diagnostic is an adaptive assessment that adjusts its questions to suit your student’s needs. Each item a student sees is individualized based on their answer to the previous question.​ The purpose of the Diagnostic is not to give your student a score or grade, but instead to determine how best to support your student’s learning. Students begin the first Diagnostic with an item one grade level below their actual grade​​. As students answer correctly or incorrectly, the Diagnostic adapts to more challenging or less challenging items​​. The Diagnostic continues to adapt based on the student’s responses ​​and kids will get about 50% of items correct and 50% incorrect​​. The information the Diagnostic gathers from this process allows i-Ready to pinpoint where and why students are struggling. ​​This helps your child’s teacher provide instruction that is just right for your child.

How to Log In to the Assessment

  • Go to Clever and log in using DCPS student credentials​

  • Click on the i-Ready icon​

Preparing for the Assessment

The assessment typically takes between 45–60 minutes and can be broken into smaller 15- to 20-minute sessions. Students should take the test in a private and quiet location ideally away from any distractions. Headphones or adequate audio access are recommended for help with focus. ​Though the test is online, students will need paper and pencil to work out problems/take notes.

During the Assessment

Your child may have questions about the assessment and ask for your help. We want to know what kids know so don’t help your student answer any questions! “Help” looks like: reading the passage to a student, giving students alternative strategies for solving a problem when they’re stuck, giving them an answer, etc.​ Below are common questions kids may ask about the assessment as well as answers you can give.

Why am I taking the assessment?

You are taking the Diagnostic so your teachers know what you can already do and what skills you need!

Why is it important to do my best?

We want to make sure you get lessons that keep YOU learning and growing. We want to make sure you get lessons that aren’t too hard or boring.

What is the test like?

The test adapts, or changes, as you take it. That means some questions might be hard and some may be easier. You’ll probably get about half of the questions right—that means the test is working perfectly! Remember, you won’t be graded or get a score. Once you’re finished, your teacher will know how to help you grow!

What if I don’t know the answer?

Try your best! Remember some questions are going to be hard and it’s okay if you don’t know the answer! Select the answer you think is best and keep on moving!

Can I take a break?

If your student seems tired or is getting frustrated, let them take a break! The test will remember where they left off.

Additional Resources




Recording Live Sessions

Please be advised that beginning this week, staff may record their live sessions with kids. There are many reasons this may occur, for example if we know that there are several students absent and want to ensure they can still receive the instruction on a particular day or because staff would like feedback on a specific lesson from a peer or administrator who was unable to participate in the session live. Any recording can only be used internally by DCPS or posted for review of instruction by students enrolled in the teacher's class.

We know that a recording of a live class may contain visuals and audio that reveals students’ private home lives, names, images or contain other sensitive content. These are considered personally identifiable and subject to protections under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Source: EdSource). Therefore before recording live content, staff will announce to students that they are going to begin recording, giving students the opportunity to turn off their cameras if they are uncomfortable being recorded. Staff will also take extra care to not disclose any private information about students while recording. Please reach out to Principal Geoffroy (jennifer.geoffroy@k12.dc.gov) with any questions.

Kids Ride Free Cards

Hearst students are eligible to receive a Kids Ride Free card, for use on the Metro and on Metro buses. We will be distributing them on Wednesdays only from September 23-October 21 between the hours of 10-2. In order for Hearst to maintain appropriate social-distancing guidelines, you must request a card for your student in advance, and sign up below to pick it up; cards cannot be issued on a given Wednesday to anyone who hasn't signed up prior to coming to Hearst. Please sign up for ONE pickup slot per family, even if you are picking up for more than one student. The sign up can be found here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4da5ab2ba6f4c07-kids

Reminder: Hearst PTA Family Survey

Dear Hearst Community,

We hope you are all finding ways to stay healthy and help your family cope as we dive into the 2020-21 school year--a year unlike any other!

The PTA is trying to figure out how to pivot and best support families, students, teachers, and staff. We would benefit from better understanding families’ needs and capacities. This short survey will help us to organize communication channels, allocate resources to teachers and families, and continue building our community as we start the year virtually.

The survey should require less than five minutes to complete. One response per household.

Click here to answer the questions.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Hearst PTA Executive Board

Kerry Schwed and Julia Krahe, co-presidents

Romesh Ratnesar, vice president

Kristine Inchausti and Adam Frost, co-treasurers

Christina Burnett, secretary

Eulynn Shiu, room parent coordinator

Vaccination Reminder

Help your kids #StayOnTrack and ready for school-entry with on-time vaccinations.

School has started, remember to send your child's immunization records to manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov.Make appointments with your health care providers and provide the proper documentation before the start of in-person school (tentatively beginning on November 6, 2020). See here for a list of required immunizations. Even though classes are virtual, we will be reaching out to all students who are missing immunizations certification over the coming weeks.

Por favor ayuden a sus hijos a mantenerse vacunados y listos para el regreso a la escuela.
La escuela ha comenzado, recuerde enviar los registros de vacunación de su hijo/a a manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov. Haga citas con sus proveedores de atención médica y proporcione la documentación adecuada antes del inicio de clases en persona (tentativamente a partir del 6 de noviembre de 2020). Consulte aquí para obtener una lista de las vacunas requeridas. A pesar de que estamos comenzando en forma remota, nos comunicaremos con todos los alumnos a los que les falta el certificado de vacunas.

News and Announcements from Other Organizations

Reminder: First W3EdNet Meeting of Year: Sept 21 at 7pm on Zoom

Welcome back to a new and very unusual school year! We hope that everyone is healthy and surviving the challenging conditions of remote schooling.

The first meeting of the Ward 3 - Wilson Feeder Education Network (W3EdNet) will be Monday, September 21 at 7pm on Zoom. The meeting will focus on Challenges with School in the Remote Environment. What technology challenges are your family or school facing? How is your school organizing for remote learning? What is working well, and we could learn from? What is proving a challenge? Is your school experiencing enrollment problems?

We will moderate an open forum for everyone to share their experiences and to learn from one another.

Topic: W3EdNet Meeting -- September 2020
Time: Sep 21, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 919 2360 1534
Passcode: 113969
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We hope to see you there.

Brian Doyle

Melody Molinoff

Karin Perkins

W3EdNet Co-Chairs

Get our future meetings on your calendar:

Monday, October 5 at 7pm

Monday, November 9

Monday, December 14

Monday, January 11

Monday, February 8

Monday, March 8

Monday, April 5

Monday, May 10

Monday, June 7 (tentative)

All meetings through the end of the year will be Zoom. We will reassess at that time.


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.