SHMS Family Newsletter
August 22, 2021
Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,
It was great to welcome everyone in our professional community back to the building on Friday for our first day of pre-service before the upcoming school year. Now that they have returned, our teachers, staff, and partners will accelerate our final preparations for the first day of school through next week and we are excited to open our doors to students on Monday, August 30th!
We invite students, families, and educators in our school community to join us this Tuesday night at 6:00 or Wednesday at noon for an info session with school leaders about the upcoming school year and the first days and weeks of school. In addition to the information that has been shared previously, we aim for these sessions to prepare everyone for a safe, smooth, and joyful first day of school. If you cannot join us, please know that we will share a recording of one of the meetings late next week. Lastly, whether you attend live or watch a recording, we still invite you to share any questions ahead of time to help frame our presentation.
While we have spent the summer preparing our school building and learning opportunities for a safe and supportive student experience, we received additional guidance last week. This past Wednesday's "Situational Update" from Mayor Bowser provided final guidance and expectations for schools if you are curious about some of the health and safety policies and procedures that will frame our final plans at SHMS. Attached to the newsletter you will find asymptomatic COVID-19 testing waivers that you can return to opt your student into testing this year and a document that outlines the health and safety commitments and plans across DCPS.
We hope our students fully enjoy their last week of summer vacation, have a great week everyone!
Subscribe/Unsubscribe from Newsletter
If you are moving on from the SHMS community and would like to stop receiving these newsletters and other school updates, you can click the "Unsubscribe" button at the bottom of any newsletter.
If you are new to the SHMS or would like to update your preferred email address(es), please complete this form so we can update our distribution list. Thank you!
- Summer vacation - enjoy your break!
- School Tour for Students & Families, 12:30-1:30 PM (sign-up below)
- School Opening Info Session w/Families, 6:00-7:00 PM (virtual)
- School Opening Info Session w/Families, 12:00-1:00 PM (virtual)
- SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 1:00-7:00 PM
- Summer vacation - enjoy your break!
- August 30, Term 1 Begins - First Day of School for Students!
- September 2, SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 4:00-8:00 PM
- September 6, Labor Day Observed, no school for staff or students
- September 9, SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 4:00-8:00 PM
- September 16, SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 4:00-8:00 PM
- September 22, SHMS Back To School Night, 6:00-8:00 (in-person & virtual options)
- September 23, SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 4:00-8:00 PM
- September 30, SHMS hosts a Vaccination Clinic, 4:00-8:00 PM
- October 7, Parent-Teacher Conferences (tentative), no school for students
- October 8, Professional Learning Day for staff, no school for students
- October 11, Indigenous Peoples' Day observed, no school for staff or students
- November 2, Election Day, no school for students
- November 5, Last day of Term 1, Professional Development and Records-Keeping Day for staff, no school for students
Shout Outs and Celebrations
Among the many creative and fun summer activities that we hosted at SHMS, one student workshop was about podcasting and journalism. Here you will find a link to two podcasts that our students produced with Ms. Tomlinson, school librarian, and a link to their page. The intended audience for Stuart-Hobson Life is new students, while The Panther Talk is for everyone. We are excited to launch this site and hope to continue sharing content throughout the school year. Thanks Ms. Tomlinson and students for your efforts here!
Enjoy the rest of your summer break!
Get Ready for The First Day of School!
***The information and action items below should help everyone prepare for a successful first day of school on August 30th! ***
Virtual Family Information Sessions This Week!
1. The daily schedule for students (building open at 8:15 AM, classes from 9:00-3:30, and after-school programs from 3:30-6:00),
2. Entrance, transition, and dismissal routines and locations,
3. Breakfast and lunch options and routines (outdoors, classrooms, and cafeteria),
4. Student schedules (student cohorting, electives options, enrichment block, and acceleration),
5. School partners and programs
6. Health and safety routines (COVID protocols, social distancing, masking, PPE, hygiene, air quality, etc.),
7. Key teachers, staff, and points of contact, and,
8. Technology and virtual learning plans.
Student Schedules Go Live This Week!
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!
Mayor Bowser Announces New Incentives for DC Youth Who Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The incentives are only for youth who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is highly recommended but not currently considered a required vaccine. Currently, approximately about 25% of all eligible DC youth, or about 8,100 young people, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The District is also making it easier for families to get children their required pediatric immunizations before the start of the school year. Beginning Monday, August 2, families will be able to use vaccinate.dc.gov to make an appointment to get their child’s required immunizations at 37 sites across DC. Families will be able to schedule their children ages 3-18 years-old for their routine childhood vaccinations that are needed to go back to school. Additionally, families will have the option to add on a COVID-19 vaccine at the time of scheduling.
On-Site Youth COVID-19 Vaccine Prizes
Beginning Saturday, August 7, on-site prizes will be available to youth and their parents at three DC Public Schools: Brookland Middle School, Sousa Middle School, and Johnson Middle School*. All DC youth can claim their free COVID-19 vaccine at these sites regardless of which school they attend. At these three schools, youth who receive their first dose can receive a $51 VISA gift card. Additionally, the first 400 youth to get vaccinated at each site will have the option to forgo their gift card and instead receive a pair of AirPods. The AirPods will be available to District youth ages 12 to 17 as well as students ages 18 to 21 and currently enrolled in a DC school seeking a high school diploma.
Parents or guardians who bring their children to one of these three sites are also eligible to receive one $51 VISA gift card per child who gets vaccinated. These sites will operate four days a week from August 7 to September 30.
*When these three sites are open, families can walk-up, no appointment needed to claim their child’s free COVID-19 vaccine. If a family would also like their child to get their required pediatric immunizations at these sites, they will be able to make an appointment through vaccinate.dc.gov. Appointments are needed for required immunizations so that providers have time to access a child’s immunization history.
Youth COVID-19 Vaccine Raffle
All students in DC who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will also be eligible to win an iPad or a $25,000 college scholarship. Each week, for four weeks, 10 names will be drawn from a database of students between the ages of 12 and 17. Eight names will be drawn to win an iPad and two names will be drawn for a $25,000 college scholarship that can be used at any college.
New resources for student immunization appointments!
Starting this week, DCPS is partnering with DC Health to offer vaccination clinics. We are excited to host a clinic here at SHMS on Thursdays from 1:00-7:00 PM through the beginning of school, when the schedule will shift. You can make an appointment at vaccinate.dc.gov to get your student their required vaccinations. Immunization forms must be submitted within 20 days of the start of school. You can find the required forms in the 2021-2022 School Year enrollment packet.
To make an appointment, follow these steps or call the Vaccination Call Center at 1-855-363-0333 to make an appointment:
1. Visit vaccinate.dc.gov and click the "Pediatric Vaccination Pre-Registration” button.
2. Complete the form provided with information about your child, including if they have health insurance.
3. View the map of immunization clinics and select the school where you would like to make an appointment.
Sign Up for Building Tours
Register for After-School All-Stars (ASAS)
We are excited to continue partnering with After-School All-Stars (ASAS) for the 2021-22 school year! ASAS will provide enrichment and learning opportunities for about 25 students per grade level starting in mid-September. The program will run from 3:30-6:00 PM, Monday-Friday for students who register. Please find ASAS' welcome letter attached to the newsletter below.
Registration is first-come, first-served for the upcoming school year and opened on Wednesday, August 4 at noon.
For questions regarding After-School All-Stars programming, please contact Evroy.firstname.lastname@example.org
SHMS Athletics Updates
Stuart-Hobson athletics is excited to compete in the upcoming DCIAA fall sports season. In preparation for try-outs / first practice all student-athletes must submit the required athletic forms for medical clearance before participation. Parent/ Guardian interest meeting dates will be forthcoming in the newsletter.
Students must meet several requirements to ensure their athletic participation does not put them at significant risk of injury or academic trouble. Click here For a complete list of eligibility requirements.
Click here to submit athletic forms online. Listed below are the fall sports Stuart-Hobson MS offers.
Sport, Coach(es), Try-Outs?, Try-Out / First Practice Date
Archery, Richard Strong, No tryouts, TBA
Co-Ed Cross-Country, Taurus Mcghee / Mark Smith, No tryouts, TBA
Co-Ed Cheerleading, Joi Robins, tryouts, TBA
Boys Soccer, Rafael Pizarro-Yepes, tryouts, TBA
Girls Soccer, Dexter Batts, No, TBA
Football, Antoino Jeter, No, TBA
Volleyball, Michelle Rumph / Daniellea Valdez, tryouts, TBA
*For questions regarding athletics, contact our Athletic Director and Health/PE Teacher, Mr. Richard Strong (Richard.Strong@k12.dc.gov )
Calling All Athletes!
If you are interested in participating in any of the following sports at Stuart-Hobson during SY 2021- 2022 please fill out the interest form for that sport. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Strong, SHMS Athletic Director, at email@example.com
Football Interest Form
Girls Soccer Interest Form
Boys Soccer Interest Form
Archery Interest Form
School Supply List
The following general school supply list will support your student in a successful start to the school year.
General School Supplies
- Headphones with microphone
- Black or Blue Pens
- Pencils and Pencil Sharpener
- 2-4 Composition Books
- 2-4 Spiral Bound Notebooks
- Crayons, Color Markers, and Color Pencils
- Black Sharpie Marker
- Glue Sticks
*Please contact school leadership or a member of the student support team for support with procuring school supplies*
Additional supplies may be required based on individual courses. These supply lists will be provided by teachers directly to their students/class.
SHMS School Uniforms
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 3:15 pm, unless athletic, dance or other specific apparel is required by the coach/leader.
- School swag including Cluster gear, SHMS t-shirts/sweatshirts or other Stuart-Hobson apparel
- Long or short-sleeved solid red polo shirt/t-shirt
- Plain black cotton sweatshirts (front zip or pullover) and knit vests
- Khaki pants, skirts/shorts worn at waist level
- Comfortable closed-toed shoes or sneakers covering the entire foot
- Any non-SHMS logo on uniform shirts or sweatshirts must be the size of a $1 bill (1 dollar) or smaller
- Small purses or fanny packs
Please avoid wearing:
- Hoods over student heads while inside school
- Metal studs on headbands and other accessories
- Outerwear (vests or jackets made of fleece or other coat-like materials) in the building
- Khaki colored leggings/ tights (worn in place of Khaki pants).
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.
Kids Ride Free Cards
Here are a few reminders about KRF Cards and public transit:
- SY20-21 cards will remain valid through September 30th
- Face coverings are required at school and on all modes of public transit
- Tap the KRF card, always
- Don’t leave home without the KRF card
- DC Student Ride Guide is available online with safe rider tips
- There is no fee for replacement cards
Questions? Students, families, and school staff can visit KidsRideFree.dc.gov or call (202) 673-1740.
If any SHMS students or families need a card or have questions, please reach out to Ms. Hargrove, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual School Option for SY 2021-22
While we expect the overwhelming majority of our students will return to full-time in-person learning, we know there are a few who have a documented medical condition who need to continue virtual learning. To support these students, DC Public Schools will offer virtual instruction for those who meet medical eligibility requirements.
The only way to access remote learning is by submitting a completed medical eligibility form signed by your child's doctor. You can review the form and read a FAQ for families at https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/sy21-22/virtual.
If you are interested in virtual learning for a student with a medical need, families should complete by registration process as soon as poosible, by following these steps:
- Complete student enrollment for SY21-22. You may submit enrollment forms electronically online or complete them at the school you will attend next year.
- Download the COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification for Distance Learning prepared by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) or pick up a copy from your school.
- Contact your child’s medical provider so they may complete and sign the medical consent form for virtual learning. Forms must be signed by a physician or nurse practitioner, or they will not be accepted.
- Complete the virtual learning registration process by uploading your student’s medical consent form signed by their doctor by July 6. You can just take a picture of the signed form if you do not have an electronic copy. The form will ask for your student’s ID number. If you do not have the ID number, please contact your school.
- Our Student Health Services team will follow up with you if your form is incomplete, or to notify you if your form has been accepted.
If you have more questions about virtual learning, please let us know. For general questions on virtual learning in SY21-22, you can reach out to the Office of Integrity at email@example.com or call 202-442- 5885 (Option 2). If you have questions about medical eligibility for virtual learning, or the medical consent and certification form, please contact the Student Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification for Distance Learning prepared by the OSSE:
Translated DCPS online registration forms for virtual learning:
Online registration form (SPANISH)
DCPS Device Return
Welcome from the Cluster PTA!
Panther Pride School Store: Additional SHMS Clothing & Gear!
Social distancing doesn't mean fashion gets thrown to the wind. Show your Panther pride during your next class, meeting, or virtual friend meet-up. Check out the clothing and gear that are available at our new school store!
Families, staff, and students will be able to buy custom Stuart-Hobson Panther gear. You can find the latest name brands on your custom SHMS gear.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Howard, email@example.com
IEPs, 504 Plans, and Language Acquisition
Please see the points of contact for each type of inquiry below:
Tamara Lovelock (firstname.lastname@example.org): Special Education and IEPs
Molly Smith (email@example.com): 504 Plans
AP Rennie Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org): English language learners, IEPs, or 504s
Good Touch / Bad Touch Program w/DBH
Attention 6th Grade Families
The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) School Mental Health Program will host an educational, preventative program, "Good Touch/Bad Touch", with all of our 6th graders in September. This program is provided annually at Stuart-Hobson Middle School and has proven to be a successful intervention to teach students about basic safety protocols as well as how to get help for themselves and their friends if needed. Please see the attached letter for further information. Your response is only needed if you choose to have your child NOT participate. Any questions can be directed to our in-house DBH Clinician, Kimberly Harrington, LICSW at email@example.com.
Previous Announcements & Resources
***Everything below this section of the newsletter has been announced in previous editions or communications from DCPS***
Chancellor's Reopening Update for Families
August 18, 2021
Dear DCPS Families,
Today, we are sharing an update on our back-to-school health and safety measures and the robust plans that will be in place as we welcome back all of our students. We worked hard throughout the summer to get our schools ready for your student’s return. We recognize that many of our families have questions about what their student’s experience will look like, and what protocols are in place to protect our schools from the variants of COVID-19.
DC Public Schools has a strong, layered approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19 that we detailed below.
DCPS is focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 with universal masking, physical distancing, enhanced air filtration and cleaning, and a robust campaign for our community to get the COVID-19 vaccine alongside a vaccination requirement for staff. We are screening for COVID-19 symptoms with daily health assessments for students and staff, and we will have regular asymptomatic testing for students. We are also keeping our families informed if there is a COVID-19 case within their school.
Our robust and layered approach builds upon our experiences in operating our schools for in-person programming last year. We will continue to work closely with DC Health and health and safety experts to regularly review and adapt these measures, to make sure we are taking the strongest steps possible to keep our classrooms open for in-person learning for all our students. You will hear from us regularly as the school year progresses.
We look forward to safely welcoming our K-12 students back on August 30 and our Pre-K families on September 2.
Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.
DCPS BACK TO SCHOOL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES
All students, staff and visitors will be required to always wear a face mask on school grounds.
Consistent with DC Health’s latest guidance that encourages masks when outside in crowded areas, we will continue to require masks outside during recess, during before and after school care, and for other school day activities.
Masks can be removed for eating, drinking, and during nap time for PreK students.
If anyone does not have a mask, one will be provided upon entry to the school.
Enhanced air filtration
DCPS invested more than $24 million in HVAC enhancements to protect everyone in a school building from airborne diseases like COVID-19. These enhancements make sure more fresh air is brought into school buildings, that the air is well ventilated and filtered, and that it’s disinfected.
Every classroom has a small filtration unit with a medical-grade HEPA filter to clean the air within that space.
Required immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine
Students must be in compliance with routine immunization requirements by their 20th school day, or they will be prohibited from attending until compliant. To see a list of required immunizations, visit dchealth.dc.gov/immunizations.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently not required for students, but we highly encourage all eligible students and community members to get vaccinated as this is the best way to stop the spread of the virus.
Staff are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by September 19 or take a weekly COVID-19 test.
DCPS will not be able to disclose the vaccination status of individual staff or students.
Physical distancing and student interaction
Desks will be physically distanced to the greatest extent possible within classrooms.
To the extent feasible, 6 feet of spacing will be maintained between adults and students.
Student cohort interactions will be limited to the extent feasible, particularly at the elementary school level, but there is no cap for student or staff cohort interactions in any grade.
Schools are encouraged to utilize outside learning spaces where possible.
Students in Pre-K and Kindergarten will eat lunch in their classrooms. Students in grades 1st – 12th may eat in the school cafeteria.
Masks may be removed only while students are actively eating or drinking.
Cafeterias will be set up to allow the greatest amount of distance between students, and student seating will be assigned.
All schools received two large HEPA filters designed to support large spaces. One of these large HEPA filters will be placed in the cafeteria of each school. The HEPA filter placement will provide local filtration and complete air exchanges in the cafeteria.
Where possible, schools are encouraged to utilize outside eating areas or alternative locations in the building to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.
Daily health screenings
Each day before going to school, families should complete the “Ask. Ask. Look.” checklist for their student(s).
Upon entry, staff will confirm that students have completed the “Ask. Ask. Look.” checklist and conduct a visual COVID screening.
We will continue to limit visitors to our schools. All visitors must be pre-approved, confirm completion of a health assessment, and always wear a mask on school grounds.
Student arrival and dismissal
Families are not allowed to enter the building for student drop-off and pick up, except for students with a parent/guardian escort as a component of a written safety plan.
Notifications about COVID-19 cases within your school
Families will receive a notification if someone tests positive for COVID-19 within their student’s classroom and within their school.
Due to medical privacy concerns, families will not be informed which individual(s) tested positive.
Close contact and quarantine guidance
If an unvaccinated student or staff member is a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine for at least 7 days. Students or staff may return to the classroom after 7 days if they take a COVID-19 test on or after day 5 and receive a negative result. Unvaccinated students or staff who do not take a test must quarantine for 10 days.
Vaccinated students and staff who are in close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they are not showing symptoms but are recommended to take a test between 3 and 5 days after they are exposed.
Based on the updated guidance from DC Health, a student in a school setting is considered a close contact if they are within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes within a 24-hour window within 2 days prior to illness onset or positive test result. Per CDC and DC Health guidance, students in a school setting who are within 3 to 6 feet of another student for longer than 15 minutes are not considered a close contact if both students are consistently wearing well-fitting masks or other mitigating factors are in place (for example, physical distancing, increased ventilation, etc.).
If there is a positive COVID-19 case within your school, contact tracers will determine who is a close contact.
To help determine who is a close contact, assigned seating will be utilized in classrooms where students are seated within 3 feet of each other.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should not attend school and should isolate for at least 10 days and show improvement of symptoms, including no fever for 24 hours.
Quarantine and classroom instruction
If a teacher is unable to provide in-person instruction, DCPS will first employ substitutes to continue in-person learning for the class.
Students who are required to quarantine will be provided with a DCPS device for learning at home. Course content will be available via canvas for students learning at home. Instruction may be fully virtual, a mix of simultaneous in-person and virtual instruction, or self-guided, depending upon the number of students quarantining and the availability of the teacher. Families will be informed about when and how virtual instruction will be provided.
Quarantine attendance policy
Students should stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms, are a close contact of a positive case, or as recommended based on the travel guidance.
For students who are required to quarantine but not at the direction of DCPS (e.g., because a family member tested positive for COVID-19 and they were contacted by a contact tracer), the parent/guardian must provide written documentation of the quarantine. The written note must include the date of COVID-19 exposure; the length of time the student has been directed to quarantine by a medical professional or contact tracer; and the name, organization, and contact information of the medical professional or contract tracer.
Please note, students required to quarantine at the direction of DCPS (e.g., because a teacher tested positive for COVID-19) do not need to provide documentation.
Unvaccinated individuals who travel outside of the DC-Maryland-Virginia area are recommended to self-quarantine upon return. Three to five days after returning, individuals should get a COVID-19 test. If the test is negative, the self-quarantine can end after the seventh day. If no test is performed, unvaccinated individuals should self-quarantine for 10 days.
We will continue to evaluate COVID-19 case levels and vaccination rates and determine whether DCPS will modify operations around the Thanksgiving and Winter holidays. We will provide an update in October on these considerations.
For surveillance testing, 10 percent of students will be randomly tested each week for COVID-19, with written consent. Students must have a signed consent form on file to participate in the asymptomatic testing program.
Please click here to complete a consent form for your student! Schools will provide families with instructions on how to return the testing consent form.
We ask you to help make this measure as strong as possible by submitting a COVID-19 testing consent form.
Devices for students
All students in grades 3 and up will be issued their own technology device. For students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade, there will be a 3 to 1 ratio of students to devices.
Students who need to quarantine will be provided with a device by their school.
Schools will continue to implement enhanced cleaning procedures with CDC and EPA-approved supplies.
Deep cleaning will continue to occur during scheduled school breaks and as needed, per DC Health guidance, related to any COVID-19 exposure.
Sports and extracurricular activities
Mask guidance for sports and extracurricular activities are addressed in DC Health’s tiered guidance based on the level of risk for that sport or activity such as cheerleading or band.
DCPS Summer Meals
Lastly, additional food resources can be found here.
Mr. Strong, the SHMS Athletic Director, is seeking interested candidates to coach some of our sports teams for the upcoming school year. The following sports are most in need of interested and qualified candidates, please spread the word!
Girls Head Basketball Coach (winter sport) --$2,000.00 stipend (approx.)
Boys Assistant Basketball Coach (winter sport)- $1,000.00 stipend (approx.)
Head Lacrosse Coach (Spring sport) -- $800.00 stipend (approx.)
Qualifications: CPR Certified, DCIAA Coaches Certifications, Cleared Criminal Background Check
Interested candidates should send a letter of interest to Richard.Strong@k12.dc.gov.
Policies & Daily Operations
Supports for Students & Families
Mental Health Services for Stuart-Hobson Students
The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) School Mental Health Program is hosted by Stuart-Hobson Middle School to support students’ mental and emotional well-being. Reach out to Ms. Harrington if you feel your student would benefit from support such as, individual therapy or group grief therapy.
These services are provided via telehealth during partial and full distance learning.
DBH's services are a public health model. Services are provided to families at no charge regardless of insurance. For more information or to enroll, please reach out to Ms. Harrington using the email or phone number below.
Kimberly Harrington, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker
School Mental Health Program, Department of Behavioral Health