Hearst Family Update

October 3, 2021

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Principal's Message

Dear Hearst Families,

As we continue to fall into the routines that will serve us throughout the school year, last week provided me with the opportunity to step back and truly enjoy spending time with our kids. If you have a chance to play or watch the kids play Sharks and Minnows during arrival, it's amazing how much you can learn about kids by the strategies they use to get from one side of the field to the other. It's also been truly heart-warming to actually play the game with the kids and hear their kind words and encouragement when I've only been able make it two steps before being tagged or trying but failing to tag a student :). From "you did really well today during Sharks and Minnows" to "you're getting faster each time you play and I know next time you'll do even better," our kids are so sweet and I hope everyone gets to experience their examples of great sportsmanship and kindness.

The other joy of my past week was the ongoing discussion with first graders at recess about Big Foot. You may have seen them collecting and storing acorns near the end of the soccer field and because those acorns are not in the same place they left them when they come out for recess the next day, the only explanation they could come up with was that Big Foot must be taking them. When asked directly whether or not Big Foot exists, I told our first graders early in the week that I couldn't confirm or deny Big Foot's existence. The next day they told me they decided Big Foot is real and then asked if I had given Big Foot permission to live in the trees around Hearst, which I again did not confirm or deny. If you parent any Hearst first graders, you have my apologies for waffling under the pressure of the hard-hitting questions from your kids!

I hope you've had a great weekend and I hope you have a joy-filled week ahead,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Friday, October 1 - Fire Drill
  • Thursday, October 7 - Parent Teacher Conference Day - no school for students
  • Friday, October 8 - Professional Development Day - no school for students
  • Monday, October 11 - Indigenous Peoples Day - no school for all
  • Thursday, October 14th - PK and K APTT meeting, 5:30-7:00 (see child's teacher for links)
  • Friday, October 15 - Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill

Playground & Field Use

DPR has given Hearst ES permits to have exclusive use of the upper soccer field from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday and exclusive use of the playgrounds and basketball court from 10:45am-1:45pm Monday through Friday. DPR is not able to put up signs indicating that times the play areas are permitted to the school but we will put up signs this week.

If staff bring students to the playgrounds and/or basketball court and concrete area between the playgrounds outside of the 10:45-1:45 window, there may be community members in these spaces and they will have to share the space with them. Please also note that DPR does not have a mask policy outside at their facilities, so please know that if our kids are also sharing the play spaces with community members before 10:45 or after 1:45, it is not guaranteed that the community members will be wearing masks.

Student Portraits

We are delighted to let you know that the Hearst Elementary School portraits are now online for viewing and purchasing. To view the galleries, go to www.freedpics.com

Enter the password: HEARST21STU

10/1/21 FAQs From Families

Q: Do you know when we can expect the permanent tent for outdoor lunch to arrive?

A: DCPS ordered the tents on behalf of Hearst and we do not have an anticipated date of deliver at this time.

Q: Some families have found an incorrect OSSE-provided link in the packet provided to families whose children have undergone asymptomatic testing at school. The incorrect link leads to a page that gives an error message saying the agency code is incorrect.
The second page in the packet provides a different web address that works:
Shieldt3k12portal.pointnclick.com. Is there a way to update the packets given out to families with the correct link?

A: We will look into this to see if we're able to update the letters as they are not Hearst-generated letters. We have also flagged this for DCPS and OSSE in hopes that they will update and resend the letters.

Q: Have you heard anything from DC Health/DCPS about the possibility of school-based clinics for vaccinations for kids 5-11 once that age group becomes eligible for the vaccine? Would you be open to parents looking into a non-DCPS/DC Health partner to do such a clinic if DCPS/DC Health is not doing it themselves?

A: No, I have not yet heard anything about this from DCPS or DC Health. In light of the ample vaccination resources across the District, I would welcome families' efforts to provide information about vaccination resources to other families available rather than creating additional processes. I would also encourage you to direct families to coronavirus.dc.gov for information about vaccination clinics.

Reminder: School Behavioral Health Program Expansion at Hearst

This year Hearst will be partnering with MBI Health Services (http://www.mbihs.com/what-we-offer/children%27s-program) to offer additional mental health supports to students. This partnership is through the DC Department of Behavioral Health and is fully funded by the city. As part of the partnership, we'll have an additional full-time clinician at Hearst and look forward to that person starting in the coming weeks. More information about this partnership is coming soon and in the interim, I hope you'll review the information provided by MBI below.

Reminder: Asymptomatic Student Testing on Tuesday

As a reminder, our asymptomatic testing window will be every Tuesday from 2:15-3:00pm. During a typical week, we will test a random sample of 35 students each week and attempt to test at least one student from each homeroom each week. Here are a few things to know about asymptomatic testing :

  • Teachers will be provided with names of students to be tested and those students will be escorted by staff to our testing location.
  • Because the test is a saliva test, students identified for testing cannot eat or drink an hour before their testing window.

Families of kids who are tested will receive notification that their child was tested and information on how to access the online portal where they will be able to view results. Your child may indicate that they were pulled for testing but they were not given a letter with online portal log in information. If this is the case, this means that your child did not produce enough saliva to fill the test tube. Please reach out to Ms. Johnson (kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov) with any questions and/or if you would like to opt your child out of asymptomatic testing. If you wish to opt-out your student from receiving any COVID-19 test at school, you must complete the available at osse.dc.gov/page/school-based-covid-19-testing and email it to the school at kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov.


Here are the directions for accessing results asymptomatic testing. https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/page_content/attachments/Patient%20portal%20login_k12_dc_parent_FINAL.9.29.pdf. Our Agency Code is: HearstES and the website to access results is: https://shieldt3k12.pointnclick.com/. We learned this week that as a parent, you should be able to enable notifications be sent to you if a testing result is available for your child.

We believe that the email you use to register on site has to be the primary contact's email used to enroll your child. You will also have to wait at least 12 hours until after the student was tested for the agency code to work. We've also heard from families that some of the challenges that they were experiencing were sometimes, but not always, resolved by switching internet browsers. If none of these solutions work, please call technical support for the website at (833) 762-0762.

News and Announcements from DCPS

Reminder: DCPS Parent University

Servicio de interpretación en español disponible para todas las sesiones.

We are beyond excited to launch our Parent University fall calendar! We’ll kick off the season with a session on how to make the most of parent-teacher conferences on September 28 at 5:30pm. Register for each session below or at bit.ly/dcpsparentursvp.

Social Emotional Development & Learning During Challenging Times

October 6th

Join us to learn more about supporting very young children's social emotional development and learning !


Prepare Your Child for College: College Prep Resources and How to Get them!

October 19th

Join families across the District and DCPS Central Office teams to learn how we can can collaborate to enrich your child's education.


The DCPS Journey to Become a Whole-Child Centered, Anti-Racist District

October 26th

Join families across the District and DCPS Central Office teams to learn how we can can collaborate to enrich your child's education.


Building Children's Language Skills One Conversation at A Time

November 3rd

Join us to learn more about simple strategies for supporting your young child's language development at home!


Check-in on Our Social Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

November 16th

Join families across the District and DCPS Central Office teams to learn how we can can collaborate to enrich your child's education.


Choosing the Right Program: Your Questions about Pre-K at DCPS Answered!

December 1st

Thinking about the Pre-K Lottery? Join us to learn more about what makes the DCPS Pre-K program unique!


Elegir el mejor programa para su familia: Pre-Kinder en las DCPS

December 8th

¡Únase a nosotros para obtener más información sobre lo que hace que el programa de prekínder de DCPS sea único!


Reminder: SY21-22 Food and Nutrition Services Updates

  • All meals are free to all DCPS Students in SY 21/22. We still encourage students who attend SOP (paid) schools like Hearst to complete a Free and Reduced Meal (FARM) application to ensure student eligibility for other benefits and school funding.
  • Close-contact quarantine students, through their parent or guardian, are eligible to receive meal kits from one of the following locations, every Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM:
· Columbia Heights Education Campus
· Dunbar High School
· Ron Brown High School
· Ballou High School

  • Here is the link to the SY21-22 Dietary Accommodation Forms. Any student that requires a different meal than what is being served (due to medical, food allergy, or philosophical reason) must complete this attached form and submit it to dietary.forms@k12.dc.gov or to the cafeteria lead. This allows us to create menus and prepare meals that reflect the unique needs of each student. Effective immediately, new forms are required only when the student requires a new accommodation or a change to their accommodation.
  • Follow us on social media to stay tuned with our latest events on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using @DCPSEats.

  • More Helpful Links:
  • SY21-22 FARM Application(SOP sites only)
  • DCPS Website | Food and Nutrition Services

Reminder: Student Immunization Requirements for In-person Attendance

Schools are reminded to alert families about the importance of submitting health forms, including updated immunization records and Universal Health Certificates. All students must have updated immunization records on file with the school. Students who are not compliant with their immunizations are not to attend past 20 school days, until appropriate records are submitted. View OSSE’s Immunization Attendance policy here. Please email health forms to manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov or send them in with your students.