SHMS Family Newsletter

October 17, 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

With the middle of the term behind us and only two five-day school weeks left in the term, teachers are working with students to make adjustments so that everyone can meet with success by the end of the first term. If students are at-risk of failing any class for the term they will be completing a Student Support Plan (SSP), bringing it home for parent review and signature, and returning it to school to guide our work in the second part of the term. If your student has been struggling in any classes, please ask them about their SSP this week.

We have a lot of fun for students on the horizon. Our teachers and staff will be engaging students in competitions and challenges for Bullying Prevention Month, in advance of our Term 1 Pep Assembly, during Spirit Week, and our October town halls at the end of the month. Thank you to everyone who has chipped in to organize those events!

Lastly, good luck to the SHMS Debate team on their first competition of the season this weekend as we set out to defend our national championship title! Please remember that it's not too late to get students involved with debate (flyer below) or many other extra-curricular clubs and activities.

Have a great week everyone!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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Upcoming Dates: October 18 - October 22

This Week:

'The 3-week DCPS meals menu can always be found here.


  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!
  • DCPS Parent University: Prepare Your Child for College: Overview of College Prep Resources and How to Get them. Sign up


  • A great instructional day!
  • October Book Club Meetings


  • A great instructional day!
  • Asymptomatic testing, 9:15 AM (new time!)
  • Careers w/Animals event, 4:30-6:30 (see blurb below)


  • A great instructional day!

Upcoming Dates

  • October 25-29, SHMS Fall Spirit Week
  • October 26, SHMS Fall Family Night (virtual), 6:00-8:00
  • October 26, Parent University: The DCPS Journey to Become a Whole-Child Centered, Anti-Racist District. Sign up
  • October 27, October Book Clubs meetings
  • October 29, Term 1 Pep Assembly (virtual)
  • November 2, Election Day, no school for teachers or students
  • November 5, Last day of Term 1, Professional Development and Records-Keeping Day for staff, no school for students
  • November 11, Veterans Day observed, no school for students, teachers, or staff
  • November 16, Parent University: Check in on our Social Emotional Well Being and Mental Health. Sign up Flyer here. (In Spanish as well!)
  • November 24-26, Thanksgiving Recess, no school for students or teachers
  • December 14, Open House for Prospective Families (virtual), 7:00-8:30 PM
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Athletics Schedule


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

Tuesday- (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Leckie 4:00pm @ Stuart-Hobson

Thursday- (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Wheatley 4:00pm @ Stuart-Hobson

Head Coach- Myron Alston-


Monday- (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Wednesday- (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Thursday- (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Head Coach- Taurus McGhee -

Head Coach- Mark Smith-

Boys Soccer

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

Tuesday- (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Ida B. Wells 3:30pm @ Randall Field

Thursday- ( Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. CHEC MS 4:30pm @ Randall Field

Head Coach- Richard Strong -

Girls Soccer

Tuesday- (Practice) 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Wednesday - (Practice) 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Thursday-( Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. CHEC 4:00pm @ CHEC

Head Coach- Dexter Batts-


Monday- (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Brookland 5:30pm @ Brookland

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

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

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

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-


Fall Cheerleading Try-Outs have been postponed.

Head Coach: Joi Robins -

Stuart-Hobson will be competing in the DCIAA winter sports season. Listed below are the winter sports Stuart-Hobson will be offering.

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be vaccinated by November 1 to be eligible to participate.

Girls Bowling

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-

Girls Basketball:

Head Coach: Troy Henderson -

Assistant Coach: Natasha Lee -

Boys Basketball

Friday: Basketball Workouts: 3:30pm-5:00pm

*** Students must have athletic forms submitted and medically cleared to attend open workout sessions.

Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson -

Co-Ed Swimming

Head Coach: Leonard Booker -

Indoor Track

Head Coach: Mark Smith-

Head Coach: Taurus McGhee -


Head Coach: Joi Robins-

DCPS Calendar

DCPS has released the academic calendar for School Year 2021-2022. For SY21-22, the first day of school for students is Monday, August 30, 2021 and the last day of school for students is Wednesday, June 22, 2022 and Thursday, June 23 for teachers.

Shout Outs and Celebrations

Thank you to all of our families who came out for parent-teacher conferences, or who followed up earlier this week. One of the metrics that we track about school health is the number of students who are failing 1+ classes. This number is down dramatically since this time last year and we are confident that our students' presence in-person and the support of our families are keys to that success - thank you!

Please consider supporting our school community and PTA by going out for the SHMS Executive Committee parent vacancy and/or by volunteering to be a grade-level parent. Thank you to the existing volunteers and leaders on the Cluster PTA!

Thank you to our City Year Corps members for jumping right into our work this year. Your presence in classrooms, support for students outside of class time, and consistent power greetings during student arrival help make our school a warm and welcoming place for everyone. Learn more about what City Year Corps members have been up to in their monthly newsletter (attached).

New Information and Important Updates

**The information below is new or an updated version of something announced previously! **

SHMS PTA Executive Committee Parent Vacancy

We continue to search for parents/caregivers who may want to serve on the PTA Board this school year -- including someone to join our three S-H Executive Committee parents!

If you are interested in the position, please reach out to Lona Valmoro ( or Sarah Cissna ( -- thank you!

Stuart-Hobson Executive Committee

Develop a month-by-month campus plan, including detailed budget allocation and tracking. Coordinate all campus-specific family gatherings and teacher appreciation events. Oversee grant process throughout the year. Attend monthly meetings with school administration to review campus needs. Help to establish a network of Stuart-Hobson grade parents. Attend PTA General and Board Meetings throughout the year.

(Approximately 5-8 hours each month.)

Fall Spirit Week - 10/25 - 10/29

Spirit Week!

Stuart-Hobson's Fall Spirit Week will take place on October 25th-29th! Prizes will be awarded for creative, funny, and interesting costumes. Costumes and clothing worn throughout the week must not be more revealing than the traditional Stuart-Hobson school uniform.

10/25: Meme Monday

Dress up as your favorite meme! Offensive or derogatory memes are not permitted.

10/26: PJ Tuesday

Stay cozy and comfy and wear your pajamas to school!

10/27: Color War Wednesday

More than 50% of your outfit must be in your grade level's assigned color to count!

6th = blue 7th = white 8th = black

10/28: Throwback Thursday

Dress up from your favorite decade!

10/29: Costume Contest Friday

Prizes awarded for Most Creative, Best Fictional Character, Best Real Person, Funniest, and Best Duo/Group.

Contest Rules:

  1. No masks other than COVID masks
  2. No costumes that depict violence, alcohol, or drugs
  3. No fake or real weapons
  4. No offensive costumes
  5. No costumes more revealing than a school uniform

Careers--Working with Animals an Event Created Especially for Middle School Students Who Care About Animals!

Thursday, October 21st, 4:30 p.m.– 6:00 p.m. ET

Calling all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders interested in animal-related careers. HRA and St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center’s mini animal Career Fair is for you! Are you a super sleuth interested in law enforcement? What about a career as an animal control or humane law enforcement officer? Do you like to teach and figure out puzzles? Maybe a career in behavior and training is right for you. Are makeovers your passion? Dog grooming may be a good option! Hear from the experts, learn about animal-related jobs, and get your questions answered.

Register here


K-8 Family Curriculum Guides Now Available!

K-8 Family Curriculum Guides are now available to DCPS families!

The Family Curriculum Guides give us a snapshot of what K-8th graders are learning at school and activities families can try at home to reinforce skill-building at school. Guides are available on the DCPS website and on the DCPS Way.

DCPS Study Abroad: Stateside Edition

The DCPS Study Abroad student application is now open to all 8th grade, 11th grade, Certificate 3, and Opportunity Academy students. Please note that for summer 2022, and contingent on health conditions, DCPS Study Abroad will only travel to domestic destinations and all participating students must be vaccinated.

Learn more at

COVID Policy Updates & Reminders

  1. Ask, Ask, Look (attached to newsletter) - It is imperative that students bring a completed copy of the Ask, Ask, Look protocol with them every morning to support a smooth and timely entry to school. Also, if your student does not pass the protocol at home you should not send them to school. Please reach out to the school if you are ever wondering whether or not your student is cleared for entry before leaving home.
  2. Devices - We have been loaning students and families devices while on quarantine. It is important that these devices return to school when students do. As we launch our 1:1 device plan in the coming weeks we will not be allocating devices to students who have signed a device out and not returned it or otherwise accounted for it. If you have questions, please contact Mr. Howard (
  3. Reusable Water Bottles - Please send your student to school with a reusable water bottle, labeled clearly with their name, to minimize the demand for single-use plastic cups. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, a water bottle reduces the amount of instructional time that stuents miss to go out and get hydrated.
  4. Masking & Distancing - Please continue having conversations with you student about your expectations for how they will protect themselves and your family with appropriate mask- wearing (always over mouth and nose) and social distancing (as much as possible and especially when unmasked to eat/drink) throughout the school day.

Previous Announcements & Resources

All Newsletters

You can find previously released newsletters and information here.

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Chancellor's Reopening Update for Families

September 10, 2021

Dear DCPS Community,

Across DC Public Schools, it is exciting to see students are settling into their classes and new routines, building friendships, and connecting with their teachers. The well-being of our students and staff is our priority. We recognize that with our robust health and safety measures in place, this school year feels different for most students and families. We know families have questions, and we are committed to keeping you informed about our health and safety measures.

Today’s email covers:

  1. What happens when there is a COVID-19 positive case at your child’s school.
  2. What to do if your child feels unwell or tests positive for COVID-19.

What should I do if my child doesn’t feel well?

Each day, families should follow our daily symptoms checklist (often referred to as “Ask. Ask. Look.”) to monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 before your student leaves for school. If your child is not feeling well or is showing any symptoms, they should stay home.

Your school can also provide information about the learning materials available for your student while they are unwell and can arrange for an at-home technology device to be available if you need one.

My child tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 cannot attend school in person and should isolate for at least 10 days and show improvement of symptoms, including no fever for 24 hours.

Please call your school to notify immediately if your child tests positive for COVID-19. We will need to know when your child was last in the school building so contact tracers can begin identifying anyone who may have been in close contact with your child. Your school can also provide information about the learning materials available for your student while they are quarantining and can arrange for an at-home technology device to be available if you need one.

How do I learn if someone tests positive for COVID-19 in my child’s class?

When we are notified about a positive COVID-19 case at school, trained contact tracers will determine if anyone is considered a close contact. Anyone who is identified as a close contact will be notified directly by the school.

After close contacts are identified and informed, families are notified via an email message from your school principal that someone tested positive for COVID-19 within their school and the date that the individual was last present in the building. If the person who tested positive was in your child’s classroom you will receive an additional notification from your school.

If someone at my child’s school tests positive for COVID-19, who is told to quarantine?

Contact tracers will work with the school and the individual who tested positive to identify anyone who is considered a close contact. If your student is considered a close contact, you will be contacted directly. Click here to read how DC Health defines a close contact in a school setting.

If your student is fully vaccinated, they will be notified that they are a close contact but are not required to quarantine unless they show symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals who are in close contact with a COVID-19 individual are encouraged to get a test between 3 to 5 days of exposure.

What kind of COVID-19 testing is done at school for students?

There are two kinds of testing operations at DCPS schools.

If a child is showing symptoms of COVID-19, they will be escorted to the Health Isolation Room and administered an on-site COVID-19 test.

DCPS also has an opt-out, no-symptom (asymptomatic) testing program. This means we work to randomly test 10-20 percent of our students each week. This is a non-invasive saliva-based test.

All DCPS school-based testing is free for students.

Have more questions?

You can find the answers to more questions about how we inform a school community about COVID-19 public health notices at

We know there is nothing more important to you than the well-being of your child. We will continue to update you on our health and safety protocols and the steps we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.


Lewis D. Ferebee, Ed.D.


Take the Shot, DC!

The science is clear: the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. DCPS highly encourages all eligible students and community members to get vaccinated. Go to vaccinate.dc.govto find information on the vaccination clinics happening across the city. DC students can get AirPods or a $51 gift card if they get their first shot at the Johnson, Sousa, or Brookland Middle School locations between now and September 30. Youth giveaway sites are open Tuesday – Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Routine Immunizations

Students must be in compliance with routine childhood immunization requirements by their 20th school day to attend in-person learning. To see a list of required immunizations, visit, and you can schedule an appointment at

SHMS Fall Family Night - Tuesday October 26th

All families are invited to participate in our SHMS Fall Family Night on Tuesday, October 26th from 6:00-8:00 PM (VIRTUAL ONLY) where we will review our schoolwide expectations, discuss Title 1 funding and programming, and provide grad-level breakout groups hosted by the grade level administrators for grade-specific information.

Families requiring reasonable language or other accommodations as required by ADA should contact Ms. Tomicula Williams in advance of the meeting.

Provide Feedback on the Proposed SY 2023-26 Calendars

To enable future planning and in alignment with DCMR regulations, DCPS will release the SY 23-26 calendars this upcoming winter. To support this process, proposed calendars are available for public feedback at this link. Please share this link with your school community (staff, families, students, etc.) to ensure all schools have the opportunity to shape our future calendars.

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,

Policies & Daily Operations

Update: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Student-Athletes and Coaches

Today, we are providing an important clarification on the policy and urgent action needed by staff and student-athletes who are not yet vaccinated.

This notice clarifies and supersedes the notice that was provided to you on September 23, 2021.

Vaccination Requirement for Adults

Beginning November 1, 2021, all adults who are regularly in DCPS schools must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the individual has received a religious or medical exemption granted in accordance with the Mayor’s Order #2021-109. This includes coaches, game officials, bus drivers, athletic trainers, and other athletic personnel.

Vaccination Requirement for Student-Athletes
Also beginning on November 1, any DCPS student participating in any school-based extracurricular athletics must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the student-athlete has received an exemption. Unvaccinated, non-exempt individuals will not be allowed to participate in any team activities, including practice, competitions, scrimmages, and pre-season activities.

It is especially imperative that student-athletes ages 12-17 receive their first vaccination dose as soon as possible to be on track to remain eligible for athletics participation on November 1, 2021.

Please note, that if a student has their 12th birthday between September 20 and November 1, 2021, their vaccination requirement deadline is extended to December 13. For student-athletes who turn 12 years old after November 1, 2021, the deadline for vaccination is two months after their birthday.

Currently, individuals ages 12-17 may only receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, whereas individuals ages 18 and older may receive any available vaccine.

We encourage all student-athletes 12 and older and adults working as athletic personnel at our schools to visit and get vaccinated at a clinic near them. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and free.

We will communicate more information soon on how individuals should submit proof of their vaccination status or request a religious or medical exemption.

Thank you,


Aspen Family Portal Login

Aspen Family Portal accounts will be available the week of August 23rd. 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 (check your junk and spam folders for the invitation).

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
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:

Attendance Corner

Welcome to the Attendance Information Corner for Stuart-Hobson Middle School. My name is Ms. Hargrove and I will be providing attendance updates to families in this corner.

"80/20" Attendance Rule - This rule states that a student must not miss more than 20% of their day to be marked present. If a student misses 2 classes in a day, that student has missed 20% of the day and will be marked absent without a valid excuse. Please do your best to have your student present and on-time for school every day. If your student has a valid excuse for being late, please provide documentation to Ms. Hargrove by email:Clara.Hargrove@k12.DC.Gov, by text: 202-494-9747 or by calling the main office at 202-671-6010.

If you need additional information on DCPS Attendance Policies, please see this website.

Attendance Celebration: At Stuart-Hobson Middle School, we like to celebrate our students’ achievements for attendance. We will host a monthly attendance celebration for perfect and improved attendance by our students. Perfect attendance is described as no tardies or absences from classes for the month. Our first attendance celebration will be a Jeans & Jersey Day for students that arrive on-time and present to all classes for the month of October. We will provide you with the exact date in the next newsletter. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Hargrove.

Supports for Students & Families

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 or call (202) 673-1740.

If any SHMS students or families need a card or have questions, please reach out to Ms. Hargrove,

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Like Scary Books? Join the October Lunch Book Club!

This month's featured genre is horror fiction. Book clubs meet Wednesdays in the library during the lunch. Participation is limited to the first ten students in each grade level who sign up with Ms. Tomlinson (

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie who only finds solace in books discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man”–a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Whispering Pines by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski

Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.

The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

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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,

Jessica Thompkins, Social Worker,

Kimberly Harrington, DBH Social Worker,

Montrice Williams, CIS Social Worker,

Jessica Schimmerling, Guidance Counselor,

Tomicula Willams, Guidance Counselor,

Kristin Dezen,

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Craft & Chat Club!

Craft and Chat started in Spring 2020 during distance learning and continued strong last school year. We are ready to start in-person and are excited for any and all students to join us! No art or craft experience necessary! Students are welcome to bring their own project but we will have art supplies available. This is an opportunity to slow down after the school day, be creative, and have community with others at Stuart-Hobson MS.

Craft and Chat will meet on Tuesdays from 3:45-4:30pm in classroom #G03 (Ms. Kensey’s room) starting Tuesday, 9/21/2021.

Any questions? Contact DBH Social Worker Kimberly Harrington ( See flyer above for more information.

Students can drop in as they can and we look forward to growing a joyful and creative community of students as the school year continues.

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