Hearst Family Update

August 28, 2020

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Principal's Message

Good evening, Hearst Families,

We're so excited to see you all on Monday for our first ever virtual first day of school! We have been hard at work to get everything prepared for a great first day of teaching and learning and because this is all new to kids, you, and us, know that we'll be taking things slow in the first several weeks of school. Next week, this means that our goals for students and ourselves are to:

  • Start to learn classmates' names and build connections ​

  • Feel a sense of belonging, significance, safety + joy ​

  • Learn and practice routines ​

  • Experience a sense of excitement about the academic work and learning ahead ​

  • Explore some key academic supplies or materials ​

  • Build positive family partnerships

As much as we've prepared and checked and double-checked each link and tab and button on our learning platform, we know that everything won't be perfect. Teachers will be modeling for kids how to use the learning platforms during live sessions but as with any technology, there will be glitches and frustrations that arise, and we ask that you stay close by, particularly in the first days of school, in order to help your kids with any challenges they may face. We'll also have additional staff available to troubleshoot and teachers will be sharing the contact information for these staff members in the event that you want or need to reach out with an urgent issue during your child's live learning session. We're all on the same team and will work together to find solutions.

Thank you for your partnership and I hope you have a wonderful weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Sunday, August 30 (12am) - Students will be able to see published courses on Canvas

  • Monday, August 31 - First day of the 2020-2021 school year for K-5 students
  • Thursday, September 3 - First day of instruction of the 2020-2021 school year for PK students
  • Wednesday, September 2, 4:00-5:00pm - Hearst Town Hall Meeting for Families Join Zoom Meeting (https://virginia.zoom.us/j/96576430063?pwd=YXFEbG8zK0xRMWFMdERBcUpYUlk4dz09) Meeting ID: 965 7643 0063; Passcode: 216560; One tap mobile +16465189805,,96576430063# US This meeting will be recorded and shared for families who are unable to participate live.
  • Wednesday, September 16, 6:00-7:00pm - Back to School Night (additional information will be shared soon)

Quick Updates

  • A million thanks to Claire Cinque for helping Ms. Johnson with organizing the math books for distribution today. We appreciate your support!
  • We were informed earlier this week that Hearst will have a school resource page in Canvas. With everything we had to do this week to prepare for Monday, we haven't yet built out that page. When we do, our goal is to have our daily morning announcement recordings housed on that page as well as our recorded Wednesday read alouds. Our hope is to have that resource page available to you for the second week of school. This means that in this coming week, morning announcements and the Wednesday read aloud will be shared in the Hearst ES page on Bloomz.
  • The link to the audio recording of Wednesday's Family Town Hall can be found here: https://dck12-my.sharepoint.com/:u:/g/personal/jennifer_geoffroy_k12_dc_gov/EW1CU-EkqXpHnkBS5J-mPesBpxLghd9f8_rhjcnIcSz8JA?e=OThYu1. The presentation shared during the meeting is also below (8-26-2020 Community Meeting.pdf).

Technology Information and Supports for Monday and Beyond

  • Our student-facing learning platform, Canvas, can be accessed at: dcps.instructure.com. User Name: StudentId@students.k12.dc.us and Password: DOB (MM/DD/YY). If you do not know your child's student id/user name, please reach out to your child's teacher as soon as possible.
  • Canvas 101 Video for Families (English); (Spanish)
  • For a quick 2-page reference guide on common technology support requests, including the new student and family-facing call center, please reference this document.
  • If students have access issues and cannot log in, please call the DCPS main line: (202) 442-5885 where we have a team of customer support ready to triage beginning 6am on 8/31.
  • Teachers are also sharing the contact information of staff who will be supporting students in their virtual classes in the first weeks of school. Please feel free to email those support staff if your child is having trouble accessing Canvas or Teams.

Employer Letter Explaining Parent Virtual Learning Assistance

Attached is a letter to share with employers that explains that we are asking parents to support with virtual learning. I hope that it is helpful to you and if your employers have any questions, I've included my email on the letter and they are welcome to reach out.

Supporting Students With Virtual Learning

Our school psychologist, Caroline DeWerd, has created a short guide on how to teach and implement learning executive functions while in the home/virtual learning environment. Executive functions are important as we use them every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Some of these skills involve: paying attention; organizing, planning, and prioritizing; starting tasks and staying focused on them to completion; understanding different points of view; regulating emotions; and self-monitoring (keeping track of what you're doing).

A Note from Caroline:

Good afternoon and Happy Friday Hearst families!

The first day of school is almost here!! Even though it is not starting how we would normally expect or plan to start, I am excited and optimistic for what this school year has in store for us.

REMEMBER: It is okay to feel overwhelmed and nervous about the new start to the school year (for both parents and students). Just remind your child (and yourself) that this is new for everyone and you are doing the best you can! I encourage you to add stress relievers (i.e., fidgets, sitting on exercise ball, classical music in background, etc.) and movement breaks to your child's day to help with concentration and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

REMEMBER: It is okay to feel overwhelmed and nervous about the new start to the school year (for both parents and students). Just remind your child (and yourself) that this is new for everyone and you are doing the best you can! I encourage you to add stress relievers (i.e., fidgets, sitting on exercise ball, classical music in background, etc.) and movement breaks to your child's day to help with concentration and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Please don't hesitate in reaching out to me with any questions/concerns you may have.


Caroline DeWerd

School Psychologist


Student Learning Supplies and Student Belongings Pick Up

Our staff have put together school supply lists for each grade level and they can be found at: www.schooltoolbox.com. These supply kits contain recommended supplies for Term 1 and can be delivered directly to your home. If your family already has supplies on the list, you do not need to order to complete supply kit but can pick and choose items that you need. Additionally, if you would like to order to supplies from a different supplier, you can do so using the lists provided. Two final notes, if your family is unable to purchase supplies for your kids, please email Tandra.Brown2@k12.dc.gov and she will ensure that your family receives supplies. If you would like to donate a supply kit to a family in need, you are able to so do via the www.schooltoolbox.com site.

In addition to the recommended supplies that teachers have identified, DCPS is also providing learning materials for Term 1. The math books were delivered Thursday afternoon and can be picked up in the gym along with student belongings from the previous school year. We are still waiting for DCPS manipulative kits to be delivered and will let you know when they arrive. All available items are located in the gym and can be picked up from 10-2 Monday through Friday. If you are unable to pick up your child's belongings or learning materials during the available windows, please reach out to kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov to make alternate arrangements.

Communication at Hearst

By now you are likely familiar with Bloomz, our parent-facing communication platform. We will post messages for the entire school community on the main Hearst ES page and staff will post messages for specific classrooms/grade levels on those classroom or grade level pages. Bloomz also has a messaging feature that allows individual or group message between families and staff or among families.

Email is also a tool we'll use to communicate with families and our goal is to respond within two business days to any emails you send. Knowing that teachers are spending the vast majority of their work day leading live lessons, please understand that they may take the full two business days to respond to emails. The two-business-day turnaround also means that if you email over the weekend, staff may not respond until Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on when you sent the email. For questions and concerns about the areas and grade levels listed below, please email the point of contact listed. Know that your first point of contact for all grade level/content questions should be the teachers of those grades/content areas.

One final note: teachers will be sharing their communication preference with you this week, noting whether they prefer to be contacted via email or Bloomz messages. Dr. Chen and I do have a preference for email and ask that you contact us at the email addresses above rather than through the Bloomz messaging feature.

News and Announcements from DCPS

A Family Guide to Learning at Home

To help parents and caregivers have a successful start to the school year, DCPS created a helpful guide to virtual learning for families. The guide contains information about Canvas, student schedules, attendance, family wellness, and more. The guide is available in both English and Spanish.

Family Microsoft Teams Training Sessions

Microsoft is partnering with DCPS to offer free training sessions for families: Let's Team Up! Getting Prepared for Remote Learning with Microsoft Teams and Surface
Using technology for the sake of technology is a thing of the past. With remote learning being the new normal, Microsoft Surface and Teams make it easy for students to use technology to learn. Join us for this webinar where you will learn from an experienced educator, trainer and parent how to use Surface and Teams to promote independence, engage with teachers and peers, support various learning preferences and styles while providing a simple and safe remote learning experience for all. Q&A will be available.
Every Wednesday through the end of September at 10am and 6pm. Virtual links below: morning sessions 10-11am; afternoon sessions 5-6pm.
• Aug 26: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
• Sep 2: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
• Sep 9: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
• Sep 16: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
• Sep 23: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
• Sep 30: Live Event 10am/Live Event 5pm
Directions for Joining a Teams Live Event: What is a Teams Live Event? As an attendee of a live event in Teams, you can watch live events and participate in the moderated Q&A. You can't share audio or video. The event is automatically recorded and you can rewind or review what you've missed at any time.
Before watching a live event: Make sure your browser allows third-party cookies. Ensure your browser supports Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Azure Media Player. You can join on a mobile device, tablet or desktop computer. Please check your settings and device before the live event.
How do I join the live event? Click the attendee link provided to join during the time of the event.
Will I be able to ask questions? YES! During the live event, please utilize the Q&A to ask question. A live moderator will be available to answer your questions throughout the session.
For more information on live events and how to participate as an attendee, click the Microsoft Support link for detailed instructions.

Food & Nutrition Services Update

USDA Child Nutrition Programs

DC Public Schools (DCPS) is proud to offer nutritious meals to support student learning and success. DCPS participates in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Nutrition Programs and adheres to guidelines established by the DC Healthy Schools Act. Our schools participate in the USDA School Breakfast Program, the National School Lunch Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Summer Food Service Program.

School Meal Service during the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

For school year 2020-2021, while the Covid-19 emergency virtual and/or hybrid learning model is in place, select school sites will be serving breakfast and lunch for pick up to DCPS students. One breakfast and one lunch will be provided per student, per school day. Parents or caregivers can pick up meals on behalf of their DCPS student(s). Student name, student ID number, and school name must be provided at the pick-up site. For more information and the most up-to-date list of open school meal sites please visit: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/food. During the Covid-19 Emergency virtual and/or hybrid school learning, all meals will be free for DCPS students.

Meal Prices & Free and Reduced Price Meals

When full-time in-person, school learning resumes, the following meal prices will be in place: Breakfast: Free; Lunch: $3.00. Your student may qualify for free lunch through one of the following ways:

1. If your student attends one of the 86 schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision Program (CEP); to see this list of schools, please visit the below web page or contact your school: https://dcps.dc.gov/page/community-eligibility-provision-cep-schools.

2. At remaining schools, DCPS students may qualify for free meals if:

a. Students are in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

Program (SNAP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), or

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

b. Students are foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or the court, or are homeless, migrant, categorically eligible, or runaway.

c. A Free and Reduced-priced Meal (FARM) application is submitted and approved based on

the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. All school-aged children in income-eligible households can receive school meal benefits regardless of a child’s immigration status. To see if your student qualifies for free meals, please complete the 2020 - 2021 Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FARM) application online at https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application.

NOTE: A new form must be completed each school year. Additional information is available here:


Local Meal Charge Policy

For complete details on our meal charge policy, visit: https://dcps.dc.gov/page/meal-prices-and-payment

Meal Payments

Submit payment for lunch meals in one of the following ways:

1. By paying with a credit/debit card at myschoolbucks.com, an online prepayment service, (there is a service charge of $2.49 per transaction); or,

2. By sending a check or money order (student ID# must be included) made payable to the DC

Treasurer to the following address:

DCPS Food and Nutrition Services

1200 First Street NE, 9th Floor

Washington, DC 20002

Students will never be refused a meal or served an alternate meal selection if there are no funds in the student account. The meal will automatically be charged to the student account and will create a negative meal balance. Students with a negative meal balance are not identified in any way during meal service and will receive the same meal choices.

Negative Meal Balance

As a courtesy reminder, once a student’s balance exceeds $9.00 (3 charged lunches), household notifications are made via automated communications (calls, text, email). Automated communications will continue until the negative meal balance is paid. The aforementioned payment methods (online and check/money order)

can be used to pay off negative meal balances.

As your student continues to eat lunch, meal balances will increase. You can manage the meal balance by loading funds to your student’s meal account. Any unpaid meal balances will rollover into the next school year. Any payments made will first go to pay off the negative meal balance. Please note that negative meal balances do not delay a student’s graduation. DCPS Food and Nutrition Services makes every effort to answer questions related to negative meal balances and repayment. Automated communications are also used to remind families to complete FARM applications to ensure all students qualifying for free meals are made aware of the application.

To see translated version of this letter, please visit: https://dcps.dc.gov/page/meal-prices-and-payment

Dietary Accommodation Forms

If your student requires a special diet/meal plan for meals served through the USDA Child Nutrition Program, due to food allergy, medical condition, or philosophical/religious need, we need to know about it. Please complete a dietary accommodation from (https://dcps.dc.gov/node/1415741) and submit the completed form to your school nurse or any open meal site during virtual and/or hybrid learning. Please allow time for

processing and development of menus. FNS reserves the right to decline a request that is beyond a reasonable accommodation.

If you have any questions, please contact Food & Nutrition Services by phone at 202-299-2159 or email food.dcps@k12.dc.gov.


Robert M. Jaber

Executive Director, Food & Nutrition Services

District of Columbia Public Schools

Reminder: Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance

As a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, District health care providers have recorded an extremely low rate of pediatric immunization administrations. According to DC Health, the rate of pediatric immunization administrations has dropped by 70 percent in the District as families have avoided or not had access to well child care during the emergency period. Due to this, many children in the District are not fully immunized, creating a high risk for an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable infectious disease such as measles among our students. DC Health has advised that such an outbreak of another infectious disease could be as much, or even more, of a public health risk for school communities than COVID-19 itself, and would add another complex obstacle for school operations this year.

District law and regulations require schools to verify immunization certification for all students as part of attendance (DC Official Code § 38–501 et seq. and DCMR 5-E § 5300 et seq.). Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all schools will be required to enforce this District immunization law by requiring immunization certification as part of school attendance, including notifying and potentially removing non-compliant students from in-person instruction after a 20-school day period until they obtain the necessary immunizations (DC Official Code § 38–505).

Please carefully review the attached Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance which provides guidance on the implementation of this law beginning next school year. To prepare schools and families for this policy, OSSE is encouraging school leaders to review this policy and ensure immunization compliance is part of planning for the start of school. We request your assistance with communicating immunization requirements to families now to ensure their children are protected from vaccine-preventable infection, and to give them as much time as possible to make appointments with their health care providers and receive necessary immunizations before the start of school. DC Health will continue to encourage District health care providers to notify patients of missing immunizations and prioritize immunization appointments.

News and Announcements from Other Organizations

Download the DC Access Mobile App to Apply or Recertify for Benefits

Because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may end the automatic recertification of public benefits, District families who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be required to recertify starting in September.

Residents can use the new DC Access mobile app to apply or recertify for cash, food, and medical benefits. In addition to DC Access, District residents can visit dcbenefits.dhs.dc.gov to apply and recertify. Learn more at dhs.dc.gov/dcaccess.