SHMS Family Newsletter

November 20, 2022

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,


As we kick-off the holiday season I want to thank our school community for everything you do to take care of every single community member. Our staff and teachers have been present and committed this Fall, our families find ways to connect and support those in need, and our students show up every day and give us that chance to be the best educators we can for them. Thank you all for trusting in our shared work and this SHMS family!


We have a short week ahead before the Thanksgiving recess, only two instructional days, and Tuesday will be a dress down day for everyone because it's Picture and Pep Assembly day! Also, report cards are in the mail and families should receive them soon - hopefully in time for a celebratory conversation at Thanksgiving dinner!


Because of the short week and the holiday recess, we will try to make this newsletter cover the next two weeks of school. We will resend on Sunday, November 27th but with minimal revisions and updates to what you see below.


I hope that everyone has a safe and joyful Thanksgiving recess and holiday and here's to a great week together!


Warm regards,


Eric Fraser

Principal

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Calendars

Upcoming Dates: November 21 - 25 & November 28 - December 2

Monday, November 21

  • A great instructional day!


Tuesday, November 22

  • Dress Down for Picture Day!
  • Pep Assembly! 2:30-3:30 PM
  • No after-school programming, including ASAS


Wednesday, November 23

  • No School for Students or Teachers


Thursday, November 24

  • Thanksgiving observed, schools closed


Friday, November 25

  • Schools closed


Monday, November 28

  • A great instructional day!
  • TBD grade dress down (Pep Assembly winners!)
  • East City Bookshop Book Fair begins


Tuesday, November 29


Wednesday, November 30

  • Grade level Town Halls


Thursday, December 1

  • A great instructional day!


Friday, December 2

  • A great instructional day!
  • No after-school programming, including ASAS


Upcoming Dates

  • December 4, East City Bookshop Book Fair ends
  • December 9-11, Winter Musical Performances, times TBD
  • December 10, EdFEST (virtual), 10:00-1:00 PM (revised time)
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Athletics Schedule

Participation Forms


All students must complete a participation packet every school year. Additionally, the medical forms must be completed within the prior 365 days. We encourage you to have your healthcare provider complete these forms before the school year and attach them to your participation packet.


1. MS/ES Participation Packet


Click on the link below to submit the athletic forms online.


https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/0cnnnbhmck7h


Congratulations to the Stuart-Hobson student-athletes and coaches for their success in the classroom and in athletic competition this fall season. Go Panthers!


Boys Cross-Country: DCIAA 2nd Place

Girls Soccer: Advanced to the DCIAA Semi-Finals

Volleyball: Advanced to the DCIAA Semi-Finals

Archery: Advanced to the DCIAA Semi-Finals


Indoor Track & Field

Monday: 3:45pm - 5:00pm (Practice)


Head Coach: Taurus McGhee

Email: Taurus.mcghee@dc.gov


Head Coach: Mark Smith

Email: Mark.smith@k12.dc.gov


Adaptive Bowling

Monday: 4:00pm @ Bolling AFB (Championship Match)


Head Coach: Tomicula Williams

Email: Tomicula.Williams@k12.dc.gov


Boys Basketball

Monday: 5:00pm - 6:30pm (Practice)

Tuesday: 5:00pm. -6:30pm (Practice)


Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson

Email: Sylvester.Robinson@dc.gov


Girls Basketball

Monday: 3:30pm - 5:00pm (Practice)

Tuesday: 3:30pm - 5:00pm (Practice)


Head Coach: Troy Henderson

Email: Troy.Henderson@k12.dc.gov


Cheerleading

Monday: 3:45pm - 5:45pm (Practice)

Tuesday: 3:45pm - 5:45pm (Practice)


Head Coach: Sheritha Dixon

Email: Sheritha.Dixon3@k12.dc.gov


Co-Ed Swimming

No practice this week


Head Coach: Stanley Stancil

Email: sstancil@gmail.com


Candidates interested in coaching or volunteering. Send your resume to Richard.Strong@k12.dc.gov

Coaching Vacancies: SY 2022-23

Head Coach: Wrestling (Winter Season )

Head Coach: Co-Ed Lacrosse (Spring Season)


Interested candidates or volunteers should send a resume to Athletic Director Strong, Richard.Strong@k12.dc.gov

DCPS Calendar

Updated calendars for DCPS are available at this link.


School meal menus can be found here: dcps.dc.gov/menus

Shout Outs and Celebrations

Congratulations to the girls volleyball team on an incredible season! Our young ladies only lost one regular season game, made it to the semi-finals, and almost beat rival Deal MS twice in one season. We are so proud of our Panthers and Coach Hilliard and thank you to the families and students who were there to support them throughout the season!


Thank you to Dr. Dezen for organizing a Community Service Club for our students - and great timing with the holiday season upon us!


Shout out to Ms. Taylor and Counselor Williams for organizing the National Junior Honor Society and the NJHS Canned Food Drive (flyer below). Please note that you can drop off canned foods to support others in need through November 30th!


Thank you to Mr. Howard, Mr. Reed, Mr. Benson, Ms. Dixon, Ms. Hargrove, Counselor Williams, Ms. Molly Smith, Mr. Strong, and AP Turner for organizing a Thanksgiving basket giveaway for some families in our community on Saturday!


Thank you to the Cluster PTA for organizing another kickball tournament for families and students throughout the community on Saturday!

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

New Information and Important Updates

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Test to Return from Thanksgiving Recess

COVID-19 Testing Update:


To support a safe return from Thanksgiving break, all students and staff will be expected to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test on Monday, November 28. Families should test their students and upload their test results on Sunday, November 27.


Your student’s school will distribute testing kits from November 17 through November 22. In addition, schools will be open for extended hours (until 6:30 pm) on Monday, November 21, 2022, to provide test kits to families that need a test kit.


Additionally, families can pick up a test kit from any District COVID Center, located in all 8 wards. You can find the COVID Center locations and hours here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/covidcenters.


DC Public Schools will also have a test to return program following Winter break.

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East City Bookshop Book Fair Supports Cluster School!

The Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA is partnering with East City Bookshop for a hybrid book fair November 28-December 4. Families will be able to shop in-store and online with 20% of their pre-tax purchases going back to the PTA, and in turn back into our schools! In addition to their own personal shopping, families have the opportunity to donate books to specific classrooms via teacher wish lists that will be listed on the ECB website.


Thank you to the Cluster PTA and our friends at East City Bookshop for organizing this event to support our school community!

National History Day Information Session - November 29th!

The SHMS SS Dept. is hosting a virtual information session at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, 29 November for any students and families looking to learn more about this year's National History Day competition and our plans to support students with their projects!


NHD Link: https://tinyurl.com/5c32e79n

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Show Your Support in the Lion King Jr. Playbill

The Stuart Hobson Drama Players will welcome an audience of hundreds to Lion King Jr. Our Little Broadway on the Hill thrives due to generous support from local businesses and organizations. We gladly showcase community support for SHDP in our playbill. Full and half-page design options available. Please call or text Danielle Drissel at 202-262-5568 for additional information.

REMINDER: Stuart-Hobson Drama Players present “The Lion King, Jr.” Dec. 9-11

Friday, Dec. 9, 6:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 10, 1:00 PM & 6:00 PM
Sunday, Dec. 11, 3:00 PM

Save the date and purchase tickets here:
https://tinyurl.com/shmsdrama

Don't miss renditions of Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata, Can you Feel the Love Tonight, and more in the heartwarming story of Simba's journey to save his kingdom - with cameos from Peabody, Watkins & SWS students.
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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.

Student Clubs & Extra-Curriculars

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Join Stuart Hobson’s new Mock Trial Program!

This is a great program for any student - introverts, extroverts, wanna-be lawyers, actors, writers, free thinkers, good-at-arguing-with-siblings, and everyone in between.


When

Fridays 3:45-4:30

Mid-Nov –June.


Program Description

Over the course of the year, students will prepare to conduct a mock criminal trial, with students taking on roles as lawyers and witnesses. The program culminates in June 2023 with a full mock trial before a real judge in a real courtroom (and before an audience of family and friends).


During class, students will learn the nuts and bolts of trials and effective trial advocacy skills. We will also discuss the legal system, some current events that pertain to the law and careers in the law. The majority of class time will be spent preparing for the mock trial. Students will work in teams (the defense team or the prosecution team) to get their “case” ready for trial. Depending on their role, the students will write opening and closing arguments, as well as questions for direct and cross examinations of witnesses.


This class is taught by Kate Weisburd, a Stuart Hobson parent. She has taught this class before, most recently for 5th graders at Ludlow Taylor. By day, Ms. Weisburd is a professor at George Washington Law School and previously worked as a trial attorney for many years. She has taught this class several times and is excited to bring it to Stuart Hobson. Some GW Law students may also provide additional coaching via zoom and/or join occasionally as guest speakers.


You can watch a video of the Ludlow Taylor mock trial here (on zoom because of COVID).

Questions? Feel free to reach out to Ms. Weisburd at kweisburd@law.gwu.edu


Ready to join?

Interested students (or their guardians) should complete this form so that Ms. Weisburd can communicate directly with you.


FAQs:


Does my child have to have an interest in the law?

Absolutely not. It's great if they do, but it's equally great if they don't. This program is designed to expose students to what it's like to be a lawyer, but it's also a great chance to practice written and oral advocacy. Mock trial is also a great fit for students who like to perform and who might enjoy playing a witness.


What happens during class time?

Each class will be structured with a set lesson plan that includes lots of opportunity to practice advocacy skills. Over the course of the year, the students will work towards preparing for a final mock trial.


What is required of the students?

The most important requirement is that students attend class each week between mid-November and the trial. Missing class every now and then is inevitable and fine. But this is a full year commitment. There will also be very short and low-key homework assignments. In the spring, students will work on writing witness questions, as well as opening and closing statements.


Is there a min or max number of students?

The ideal class size is 12-15 students but we may be able to accommodate more students.

REMINDER: Space Camp Returns!

It brings us great pride to announce that one of our school’s signature programs will be returning. Because of the hiatus that the pandemic put on this tradition, we are collaborating with the PTA to offer students in all grade levels the opportunity to participate in Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in 2023. Typically, we take our incoming 6th grade class, but we want to accommodate students who missed this great opportunity during the past two years. Below is some information for interested families so you can begin planning for your students participation:


Space Camp Dates:

  • April 10 to 12, 2023 6th Grade
  • May 22 to 24, 2023; 7th and 8th Grades


How can I participate?

  • All grade levels are invited for this year’s Space Camp Trip
  • The 6th grade trip has a capacity of 90 students
  • The 7th and 8th grade trip has a capacity of 90 students (45 per grade level)
  • Chaperones: Please reach out to Ms. Lovelock or Mr. Howard if you are interested in chaperoning this trip. All chaperones, must be DCPS employees and/or have passed the clearance process for school-based volunteers


Criteria for Attending Space Camp:

  • Students shall not have accrued 9 or more unexcused absences from start of school until November 2022
  • Students shall have not received 4 or more behavioral referrals
  • Students shall meet general criteria for field trip eligibility


Space Camp Payment Schedule and Process:

  • Payments must be made as money orders, payable to "Stuart-Hobson Middle School"
  • Families will receive a receipt after each payment.
  • Funding will go towards transportation, food, and admission to Space Camp
  • Our goal is to fundraise as much as possible to help offset costs for trip participants
  • Payments can be received by Ms. Lovelock before school from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and evenings 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday


1st Payment of $250 due Nov. 14th

2nd payment of 250 due Dec. 2nd

3rd and final payment $205 Jan 6th


Spots will be reserved on a first paid basis and failure to meet subsequent payment deadlines may result in the loss of a student's spot on the trip roster.


Scholarships Available:

  • 8 scholarships will be available for both trips
  • 4 scholarships for 6th grade
  • 4 scholarships for 7th and 8th grade (2 per grade level)
  • Scholarships are available to families that demonstrate an economic hardship/need and whose student qualifies otherwise


Questions can be directed to Ms. Lovelock (tamara.lovelock@k12.dc.gov) or Mr. Howard (devin.howard@k12.dc.gov)

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Craft and Chat Club Returns!


Join us to craft (or just doodle!), chat, and have community with each other! Crafts provided!


When: Wednesdays 3:30-4:30pm

Where: Office #117

Why: To have fun, relax, and craft!

Who: YOU! ALL students are welcome!


Questions? See Ms. Harrington (kimberly.harrington@dc.gov, office #221)

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We The Girls Club

Please use this link to register for the SHMS chapter of We The Girls!


Contact Ms. Rouse or Ms. Bonner with questions or requests for more information.

Stuart Hobson Debate Team Tournament Schedule 2022-2023

Stuart Hobson Debate Team Tournament Schedule 2022-2023

Tournaments start at 8:30 am and end (roughly) by 5:30 pm
Breakfast and lunch are provided
Participants are responsible for transportation to and from host sites. Should a last-minute change in location occur, every effort will be made to spread the information.


Questions? Contact Mr. Plaisted, kip.plaisted@k12.dc.gov

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Policies & Daily Operations

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REMINDER: End of Term Reminders

We hope that all students finish the term strong and pass all of their classes with high levels of success. As the term wraps up we want to remind everyone of some key policies and deadlines.


November 4: This was the last instructional day of the term for students.

November 7: This is the last day of the term and all work must be turned in by 11:59:59 PM to count towards their Term 1 marks.

November 7 - 16: Teachers will grade all Term 1 work and finalize student marks in Aspen.

November 16 - 23: Term 1 report cards will be prepared and mailed home. They will also become visible in Aspen during this timer period.


"WS" Marks - Any assignment with a grade of "WS" (Waiting for Submission) has not yet been turned in and graded. Students have through the end of the term to hand in any late or missing work and the highest grade that late assignments will receive is a "B".


Aspen - Aspen is the official record of student academic performance. While other platforms (Canvas, Reading Plus, Zearn, etc.) may include information about student performance and growth, Aspen houses their attendance, lists of assignments, and grades. Please remember that teachers have up 10 days from when an assignment is turned in until a grade must be posted for that assignment in Aspen.


Grade Appeals - Families and students may appeal student marks AFTER receiving their student's report card. If you believe that a term/final mark was is inaccurate because of a miscalculation or unfairly calculated you can appeal to a counselor or administrator within two weeks of receiving the report card.

Lost & Found

This is a reminder that the school's Lost and Found is located in the main lobby. Currently, there are quite a few unclaimed items, including many jackets and other warm weather gear, that we have located since August 29th. Per our school policy, we collaborate with the PTA to donate any unclaimed clothing at the end of each term. On the first day of Term 2, Wednesday, November 9th, all remaining clothing and belongings in the Lost and Found will be moved and prepared for the Term 1 donation. Any items lost and found after November 9th will be placed in the Lost & Found in the main lobby throughout Term 2.


If your student is missing anything, or you recognize any clothing in the recent photos below, please stop by or encourage your student to check the lost and found and retrieve their belongings.

Immunization Compliance Reminder

Thank you to the 80%+ of families who have kept up with their student's mandatory immunizations! If you are among the 20% who are still completing annual immunizations and paperwork, please be on the lookout for communications in the coming weeks. As a reminder, DCPS has a "No Shots, No School" policy with upcoming deadlines for students still needing to complete immunizations or share documentation.


If you have any questions you can reach out to our school nurse or AP Turner.

DCPS Impact Aid Survey Opens November 1st

This SY22-23 Impact Aid Survey is available starting November 1, 2022. Each year, DCPS asks all families to complete the Impact Aid survey to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. This year, the surveys will be fully electronic using the Seamless platform. All eligible applications received by December 22 will be submitted as part of the initial application due on January 31, 2023. Using the surveys linked below, all DCPS families should complete one survey per child, not household, in their preferred language. While December 22 is our initial deadline, families will have until April 30, 2023 to complete the survey. All additional eligible surveys will be included in our application amendment due June 30, 2023. Please refer to this FAQ document for additional guidance.



If you have questions, please contact us at DCPSImpactAid@k12.dc.gov.

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School Mental Health Supports

We encourage everyone to use the referral QR codes above to connect students with our school mental health team at any time throughout the year. Also, attached to the newsletter is a document outlining DCPS' approach to school mental health programs and support. If you have any questions please reach out to a school counselor, social worker, psychologist, or administrator.

REMINDER: Student Schedule Changes & Staffing Update

We are excited we have been able to fill or otherwise account for teaching positions that were vacant this summer. We are very excited to welcome a new science teacher, Ms. Tyler "Tye" Smith, aboard! As you should be aware, we have been waiting for teachers like Ms. Tye to onboard during the first weeks of the school year. With some of them cleared and reporting for work, we are now able to make some adjustments to the master schedule to balance class sizes, minimize the number of unique class preparations that teachers have, and ensure that classes are taught by teachers with the corresponding license and/or competencies. Thank you again to the teachers who have been filling in for these vacant positions or covering for colleagues on leave!


On Tuesday, October 11th we will launch some revised student schedules that reflect our goals outline above. Most of these changes will impact 7th and 8th grade schedules. In most cases, students will maintain the same teachers, though the period that their class meets may change. Where students are assigned a new teacher, please know that it was to help us balance class sizes and leverage our new teachers. All grades and attendance records will transfer with students through any class change. As always, you can reach out to a guidance counselor or grade-level administrator with any questions or for clarity about your student's schedule.


Lastly, we expect these revisions to start being visible in Aspen later this week and will expect students and teachers to follow new schedules on Tuesday, October 11 when we will also hand out revised schedules to any impacted students.

Field Trip Eligibility

We are excited for the return to frequent academic and incentive field trips and excursions with students! As communicated to students during our most recent Town Halls, field trips are a privilege and opportunity to deepen learning and community connections. As such, we expect students to meet certain criteria to maintain eligibility for trips. Please note that students may not participate in a trip if they do not meet all of the following criteria:


  • Passing ALL classes
  • In-seat Attendance (ISA) is 90%+
  • Fewer than 5 tardies (late arrival) to class per month
  • Zero Tier 3-5 behavior infractions
  • Fewer than 3 behavior referrals in term (or previous month)
  • Mandatory testing (e.g. iReady, RI, etc.) complete


Administrators and teacher teams will review student eligibility prior to any scheduled trips. Please reach out to a grade-level administrator or field trip organizer with any questions about your student's participation or eligibility.

Reminder: Uniform Policy Updates

1. Crewneck / V-Neck sweaters and sweatshirts: Students may wear crewneck / V-neck sweaters or sweatshirts that are solid RED, BLACK, or WHITE. Sweaters and sweatshirts in those colors with a logo smaller than a dollar bill are also acceptable.


2. School gear: Students may wear sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts (long / short sleeved), and polos that display the school logo. The dollar-bill size logo is waived for clothing showing school / Cluster pride.


3. Not Allowed: There is no change to the policy on other colors, outerwear, or hoodies. Outerwear, hoodies, and shirts that are not red/black/white are NOT ALLOWED during the school day.

Title I Scholar-Family-School Compact Feedback

As mentioned in Title I family meeting sessions, the draft of our annual Scholar-Family-School Compact is up for review. If you have any recommendations for revisions or additions to this document we encourage you to share them here. We will review any recommendations and publish a final version of these year's compact by the first parent-teacher conference event on October 6. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Student Device Updates

Lost/Stolen DCPS Technology


If your student's DCPS laptop is lost or stolen, email Ms. Tomlinson at jennie.tomlinson@k12.dc.gov immediately. Notification of lost or stolen technology must be provided to the school in writing. Phone calls or a conversation with a teacher or other staff member does not count as official notification of a lost or stolen item.


For stolen devices, you must file a police report and send a copy to jennie.tomlinson@k12.dc.gov. After the police report is received, DCPS will activate location tracking on the stolen device.


For lost devices, there is a waiting period before the school issue a replacement. Starting from the date the school receives written notification that a device is missing, the waiting period is 10 business days for a replacement laptop and 5 business days for a replacement charger or keyboard. During the waiting period, the student must diligently search the school each day, including in classrooms and common spaces like the gym and cafeteria. Most missing laptops turn up after a proper search. If the missing items have not been located after the waiting period, the student's parent or guardian must out to Ms. Tomlinson to schedule an appointment to sign the paperwork for a replacement.


Damaged Devices


Most accidental damage is covered under warranty. If a student's laptop is damaged, they should see Ms. Tomlinson in the library during first period or after school.


Technology Support at School


Ms. Tomlinson is available for technology support during first period (9:00 am - 10:10 am) and after school from 3:30 - 3:45 pm. Students must obtain a pass from their teacher in order to visit the library for tech support.


Technology Support at Home


Students and parents may call the DCPS Help Desk at 202-442-5715 for assistance outside school hours.

Staffing Updates

As shared previously, we are excited to have started the year with staff in place to cover all classes for the long-term. Because of some recent updates about staff leave, delays with onboarding, and a teacher not returning unexpectedly, we do have some short-term plans to cover different teacher vacancies. Below are some updates and a list of positions where we are actively recruiting qualified candidates.


Teacher Updates


Spanish - We have selected a candidate and expect them to begin reporting in the next 1.5-3 weeks after finishing the onboarding process.


CES (self-contained Special Education) - We have selected a candidate for hire and are waiting for them to complete the onboarding process.


6th & 8th grade Social Studies - We are still seeking a candidate for this position.


Substitutes - We are seeking substitute teachers to report and cover teachers on leave and/or to assist with daily coverage needs.


Please connect any interested candidates directly with Principal Fraser (eric.fraser@k12.dc.gov) or an assistant principal.

Free Meals for Students at SHMS!

We are delighted to remind everyone that school meals are free for all students at SHMS again this year! School menus can be found here: dcps.dc.gov/menus.


If your student needs any dietary accommodations, please complete the 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 the appropriate form and submit it to dietary.forms@k12.dc.gov or to the cafeteria lead. Please note that a new form is no longer required each year; only when the student requires a new accommodation or a change to their accommodation. Dietary accommodations from SY 19-20 and later will carry forward.


Adults, including teachers, school staff, and parents can purchase meals by creating an Adult Meal Account.


Follow us on social media to stay tuned with our latest events on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using @DCPSEats.



More Helpful Links:

SY22-23 FARM Application

Join the School Food Collaborative!

Dietary Accommodation Forms

DCPS Local Wellness Policy
DCPS Website | Food and Nutrition Services

SY 2022-23 Uniform & Dress Code Policy

School uniforms are required while on school property, field trips (before or after school day hours), while attending After School All Stars and school-approved activities after 3:30 PM, unless athletic, dance or other specific apparel is required by the coach/leader.


Uniforms include:

o Long or short-sleeved solid red polo shirt/t-shirt. SHMS logo optional. Any non-SHMS logo on uniform shirts or sweatshirts must be the size of a $1 bill (1 dollar) or smaller

o Plain black cotton sweatshirts (front zip or pullover) and knit vests. No hoods.

o Khaki pants, skirts/shorts, worn at waist level.

o Comfortable closed-toed shoes or sneakers covering the entire foot. No sandals, slippers, or Crocs.

o Tops like crewneck t-shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts (no hoods) that show school pride (e.g. SHMS or CHCS logos).


While students may wear some of the following to and from school, they are expected to avoid wearing all of the following during the school day, on trips, and in after-school activities:

• Hoods over student's heads while inside school,

• Outerwear like jackets, fleeces, parkas, windbreakers, etc.,

• Metal studs on headbands and other accessories

• Khaki-colored leggings/ tights (worn in place of Khaki pants).

• Small purses or fanny packs


An SHMS logo is NOT required for any uniform attire. School uniforms may be purchased via Lands End, Target, Old Navy and other retailers. More information regarding our school uniform policy will be shared via our school handbook.


Uniform Non-Compliance Policy

Students should comply with the uniform policy daily. Uniform policy violations can be documented in Live School. Some uniform deficiencies can be remedied by the support team but the loss of instructional time should be avoided when supporting students in complying with the policy. If for some reason a student is out of compliance in your classroom you may reach out to a grade-level administrator or dean for support or remedy. Patterns of infractions should be handled like other Tier 1 and 2 infractions outlined above in the “Disciplinary Policy” section.

Student Schedules Live This Week!

Student schedules have been posted in Aspen and should be visible to anyone with an Aspen account. Students or families without an account should soon receive an invitation to set one up by email. We will provide students with copies of their schedule during the first week of school as well.


Aspen Family Portal


Aspen Family Portal accounts will be available the week of August 22nd. 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.


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 https://aspen.dcps.dc.gov
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:


We strongly recommend that families using iOS devices also download the "Grade Corner" app, which allows you to login to Aspen and monitor your student's grades and attendance in a streamlined app. The app was actually developed by an SHMS parent a few years ago.


Additionally, we will discuss student schedules during the family information sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and hope you can join us for one of those virtual meetings!

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IEPs, 504 Plans, and Language Acquisition

If your student is an English language learner (ELL), has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, or you are interested in learning about these different supports, please know that our team is ready to connect with you to answer questions and connect you with supports.


Please see the points of contact for each type of inquiry below:


Tamara Lovelock (tamara.lovelock@k12.dc.gov): Special Education and IEPs

Molly Smith (molly.smith@k12.dc.gov): 504 Plans

AP Rennie Taylor (rennie.taylor@k12.dc.gov): English language learners, IEPs, or 504s

Back-To-School Vaccination Checklist

DC Public Schools works closely with DC Health to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. District law and regulations require all schools to ensure students are fully immunized to attend school, and we know that childhood immunizations are critical to keeping our community safe. Now is the time for families to schedule an annual wellness visit with your child’s doctor or attend a neighborhood or school-based vaccine clinic.


New for the 2022-2023 School Year, all students ages 12 and older are required to have the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school. If you need a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, visit your local COVID Center.


Where to Obtain a Vaccine

The best place for DC families to access childhood immunizations is at their primary medical provider. If a family does not have a health care provider for their child or has difficulty securing an appointment before the first day of school, they can select one from a list of pediatric locations, located in every ward. There are DCPS School Based Health Centers to consider on that list, and mobile units that will visit schools through August and September.



For more information on obtaining immunizations by the first day of school, visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/vaccines.


MORE INFORMATION

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SY 2022-23 Kids Ride Free Program

The Kids Ride Free (KRF) program allows students to ride for free on Metrobus, Metrorail, and the DC Circulator while traveling within the District. The SY22-23 KRF cards will be delivered to schools starting 8/9 through 8/16 and will be activated as soon as they are assigned to a student. Please note that:


  • SY22-23 KRF cards will be assigned to students without KRF cards first
  • SY21-22 KRF cards will remain valid through September 30th
  • Always tap the KRF card before rides
  • Don’t leave home without the KRF card
  • There is no fee for replacement cards
  • For more information, visit KidsRideFree.dc.gov or call (202) 673-1740.


Please reach out to our Attendance Counselor, Ms. Clara Hargrove, with any questions or requests for support.

Stay Connected At Stuart-Hobson!

There are many ways that you can stay connected with the PTA and other families at SHMS. Here are a few popular spaces in our community:


CAMPUS LISTSERVE

Families can sign up for individual campus listservs (Peabody, Watkins and/or Stuart-Hobson) through our school website. Our listservs are designed to be open forums for Cluster parents to connect with other Cluster families and stay updated on school-related issues.

https://www.capitolhillclusterschool.org/listservs


CAPITOL HILL CLUSTER SCHOOL WEBSITE

www.capitolhillclusterschool.org

The Cluster School website has general school information, school news including weekly newsletters and the school calendar with events for all three campuses.


SOCIAL MEDIA

INSTAGRAM: @capitolhillclusterschoolpta
Follow us on Instagram! Photos of our Cluster community including Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson events.

TWITTER: @CHCSPTA

Follow us on Twitter! The best way to see frequent posts and reminders of upcoming school events at all three campuses.

FACEBOOK: Capitol Hill Cluster School

Follow us on Facebook! General information and photos of recent and upcoming school events.

LINKEDIN: Capitol Hill Cluster School Parents Group

Join us on Linkedin! Network with other Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson parents. Lend your professional expertise to help the Cluster!

Supports for Students & Families

LGBTQ+ Resources & Supports

DCPS is an inclusive school community and makes every effort to support all students. Below and attached are resources for LGBTQ+ youth, their families, and allies. We are grateful that Mr. Thrift is our liaison for this work at SHMS. Our Panther Pride club will soon start meeting again and you should expect more information in upcoming newsletters.


Please feel free to reach out to Mr. Thrift to begin building a relationship with this support network in the mean time. He works out of room 111 and can be reached at john.thrift2@k12.dc.gov

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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, molly.smith@k12.dc.gov

Jessica Thompkins, Social Worker, jessica.thompkins@k12.dc.gov

Kimberly Harrington, DBH Social Worker, kimberly.harrington@dc.gov

Montrice Williams, CIS Social Worker, mwilliams@cisnationscapital.org

Jessica Schimmerling, Guidance Counselor, jessica.schimmerling@k12.dc.gov

Tomicula Willams, Guidance Counselor, tomicula.williams@k12.dc.gov

Kristin Dezen, kristin.dezen@k12.dc.gov

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