SHMS Family Newsletter

September 12, 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

This Saturday, while recalling my own experience in New York City on September 11, 2001, I spent some time reflecting on the selflessness of first responders. I thought about how in the minutes, days, and weeks after the attacks started, countless people stepped up into that role even though it was not one officially bestowed upon them.

It has been overwhelming to be surrounded by so many people who are stepping up into our current moment in history, navigating a global pandemic that keeps tension and stress levels high. I am humbled to work with our community of parents and educators who are putting their own reservations aside to help students, children, navigate school amidst so much uncertainty and, at times, fear. I cannot adequately express my gratitude for you all here, but thank you!

We are excited for the full week of school ahead. You will find updates about our after-school athletics schedule and a few more clubs that are launching below. Attached is a newsletter from our City Year team if you are curious to get to know our corps members.

Lastly, as we have learned from responding to the early Covid incidents at school, a major perk of getting fully vaccinated is that your student, even if a close contact with someone who is positive, will not have to quarantine if they are not sick or symptomatic. I cannot remind us enough to get eligible students vaccinated, talk to unvaccinated family and friends to help them overcome any fears or reluctance, and surround our students with as many safeguards as possible.

I hope to see many of you at our LSAT meeting on Tuesday night and hope you and the students have a great week!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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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.

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Upcoming Dates: September 13 - 17

This Week:


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


  • A great instructional day!
  • BOY Testing in Social Studies classes (SAGE)

  • A great instructional day!
  • BOY Testing in Social Studies classes (SAGE)
  • LSAT Meeting (virtual), 7:00 - 9:00 PM (Zoom link in attached agenda)


  • A great instructional day!
  • BOY Testing in Social Studies classes (SAGE)


  • Weekly Asymptomatic Testing, 10:45 - 11:30
  • BOY Testing in Social Studies classes (SAGE)

  • A great instructional day!
  • BOY Testing in Social Studies classes (SAGE)
  • 2nd Annual Cluster Scavenger Hunt begins!

Upcoming Dates

  • September 22, SHMS Back To School Night, 6:00-8:00 (in-person & virtual options)
  • September 27 - October 1, BOY Testing in Science classes (MAP)
  • 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 teachers or students
  • November 5, Last day of Term 1, Professional Development and Records-Keeping Day for staff, no school for students
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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 the PTA's SHMS Executive Committee (Ms. Tucker, Ms. Zyla, Ms. Vazquez, Ms. Taylor, and Ms. Tomlinson) for our official kick-off meeting last week. Although we were budgeting, the PTA's support of our students, staff, and community is truly immeasurable and invaluable. Thank you all for the time you give to make sure we are supporting everyone in the most impactful ways possible!

Shout out to Mr. Strong, Mr. Smith, and Ms. Rumph for leading the launch of our after-school sports programs. Interest and engagement are both high and it is great to see the students coming together for tryouts and early practices. Check out the schedules above and drop by to see the students in action some afternoon. Go Panthers!

New Information and Important Updates

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

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Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARM) Application

Although breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks and supper are free for all students throughout DCPS this year, families are still encouraged to complete the Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARM) application, especially if your student or family might qualify for benefits beyond school meals.

You can find an online application here. Additionally, you can download the paper application to return to the school at that site. Please note that we will also send the paper version home with students and have them available in the main office for pick-up.

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Asymptomatic Testing

We are excited to offer weekly asymptomatic testing to our students on Thursday mornings. This is an important health and safety procedure for our school community. Every week we will test around 100 randomly selected students. Additionally, you can click here to view the student video. Please feel free, and encouraged, to show this video to students prior to their testing day. You may also share with parents who are interested in seeing the process.

Cell Phone and Personal Technology Policy

Please remind your student to leave their cell phone and other personal technology/devices at home or in their locker for the duration of the school day - this includes meals and recess. We do not currently rely on students to use these at any point during the school day and not having access to them helps us to maintain a safe school environment that is focused on learning.

If you must send your student to school with a device, please know that we are very limited in our abilities to investigate loss, theft, or damage to those devices. This is another primary reason why we discourage students from having them at school.

Thanks for your support here!

Previous Announcements & Resources

All Newsletters

You can find previously released newsletters and information here.

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

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To Do List for Students & Families

  1. Bring your Ask, Ask, Look form completed every morning. Blanks can be picked up in the main office.
  2. Prepare for asymptomatic testing on Thursdays by watching the overview video. As a reminder, all students are eligible unless they submit an opt-out form.
  3. Bring a refillable water bottle to school. We encourage you to put your student's name on it with tape or a marker. We have bottle fillers throughout the building for students and staff to use.
  4. Arrive at the main gate by 8:50 AM to ensure your student makes it to class by 9:00 AM.
  5. Remind your student that cell phones and other personal devices must remain in their locker or backpack for the duration of the school day, including during lunch and recess. This keeps everyone safe and focused on learning.

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,

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 ( )

Policies & Daily Operations

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:

SHMS School Uniforms

Uniform 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 3:15 pm, unless athletic, dance or other specific apparel is required by the coach/leader.

Uniforms include:

  • 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 or call (202) 673-1740.

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

Supports for Students & Families

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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, 202-557-6404

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