Hearst Family Update

June 13, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Owl Families,

As we enter the busy final two weeks of school, I hope that you are taking time to celebrate all that your kids, you, and we as the Hearst community have accomplished in this year like no other. Closing out the school year also means celebrating our 5th graders before they move on to middle school. After working through the possibilities and numerous challenges of holding our 5th grade promotion ceremony outdoors, we have settled on holding the ceremony in the Hearst gym on Monday, June 21 at 10am. Because there are COVID capacity restrictions on using the gym, we can guarantee that each 5th grader who attends the ceremony will be able to have at least one guest in person for the ceremony. We are hoping that we can increase this number to 2 guests and will be live streaming the event for those who cannot attend in person. Fifth grade families, please look for more information about the ceremony this week from the 5th grade teachers.

Closing out the school year also means saying goodbye to staff who will be transitioning to other schools in the coming year. I will be sharing news of staff departures with families in the weekly update sent out next weekend, prior to the final week of school, in order to give students and families the opportunity to say farewell. In next week's update I will also share tentative staff assignments for the upcoming school year.

As we close out this school year, we are also busy planning for the upcoming school year. One thing we need from you is to re-enroll for next year if you haven't done so already. We're currently at 55% of our target enrollment for the coming year and if we don't meet our targets, there are several implications for the school, most importantly staffing and class size implications. When a school does not meet enrollment targets, there is a possibility that staff will be cut from the school either in the summer or October, after the official yearly enrollment audit. Should we continue to be below our target, we'll begin to pull students from the waitlist which could possibly increase classroom sizes, should current families decide to enroll later.

Additionally, if you do not re-enroll your child for next year, your child cannot participate in the Summer Academy at Hearst and we will not be able to add them to class lists for the coming school year. This means that you may miss summer communication about home visits and the upcoming school year. All of this to say, if you haven't yet enrolled for next year, please do so ASAP and reach out to Ms. Hinchey (manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov) with any enrollment questions.

One final note, for the remainder of the school year, all current health, safety, and school operational policies will remain in effect for DCPS staff, students, and visitors. This means that our mitigation strategies to keep students and staff safe such as wearing masks, social distancing, student cohorting, and daily health screenings are staying in place. Families, please remember to continue to wear masks when on school property, particularly at drop off and pick up.

Thanks for your continued partnership and hope you're having a great weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

Wednesday, June 16

  • 4:30-5:30 - LSAT Meeting

Monday, June 21
  • 10:00-11:00 5th Grade Promotion (gym)
  • 2:00-3:00 - K Prince celebration (playground)

Tuesday, June 22
  • 2:00-3:00 - K Clark celebration (playground)

Wednesday, June 23
  • 9:00-10:00 - 1st grade celebration (playground)
  • 12:00-4:00 - 5th grade celebration (parking lot, playground, basketball court & upper field)

Thursday, June 24
  • Last Day for Students
  • 1:00-2:00 - K Gray celebration (playground)

  • 2:30-3:00 – School wide Virtual Dance Party

Friday, June 25

  • Last Day for 10-month Staff

June 28-July 2 - Hearst Hosts Eaton's Summer Acceleration Academy
July 12-30 - Hearst Summer Acceleration Academy

August 18 - Back to School Information Session for Families, 9:00-10:00am & 7:00-8:00pm
August 20 - First Day for 10-month Staff

August 27 - Open House for Students & Families in PM

August 30 - First Day of SY21-22 for K-5

September 2 & 3 - First Days of SY21-22 PK classes (Half of class comes Thursday & the second half comes Friday - more details will be shared in the coming months)

Quick Updates

  • We've noticed kids walking from the front of the school around the side of the building on the tree-covered hillside that faces Tilden Street. In some cases they are going to classroom windows and knocking on them while teachers are leading lessons in classrooms. Please remind your kids that this behavior is unsafe and the side of the building is not an area in which they should be playing. Thanks!

  • Reminder: DCPS is working to remove Minecraft from the student devices at Hearst. We will let you know when this has occurred.
  • Reminder: If your kids are taking home devices, please remember to send them back with devices the next day. While we have some extra devices we can loan to kids for a day, these are limited and we do not want your child to miss out on any learning experiences because they forgot their device at home.
  • Reminder: The school parking lot is for Hearst staff use from 8:00-3:30, Monday through Friday. Please do not park in the lot during these hours.
  • Reminder: Any non-staff members who would like to come to the building to pick up materials, switch out a device, etc., must have an appointment in order to come into the building. Please email Ms. Johnson (kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov) or call (202-282-0106) to set up an appointment if you need to come into the building for any reason. Thanks!

Spirit Week - June 14-18

Let's end the year with a little school spirit. Student Council is sponsoring one final Spirit Week June 14-June18!

  • Monday - Colors of the Rainbow Day: Wear as many colors or rainbows as you can
  • Tuesday - Accessory Day: Break out the bows, ties, scarves, belts, glasses, necklaces... ANYTHING you can think of and accessorize!
  • Wednesday - Hearst Gear: Show your spirit in Hearst colors blue and white or you favorite Owl gear
  • Throwback Thursday - Take you style back in time and dress your best from the last 100 years
  • Friday - Pajama Day - Roll out of bed and right into class in your favorite PJs.

We can't wait to see how you will show your Hearst Spirit!!

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Hearst Wish Tree Project

As we end the school year, the parents and teachers of PTA and LSAT, Student Council Advisory Committee, and school administration invite all members of the Hearst community -- students, teachers, staff, and parents -- to participate in a closing ritual. Inspired by the centuries-old Japanese tradition of tying wishes to trees, we invite you to share your wishes for yourself and our community in the year ahead. During a quiet moment, walk by the trees to add your wishes and see others.

We are offering free paper tags for all members of our community to share their wishes for the year ahead. During the week of June 14, Wish Tree Ambassadors will hand out paper tags at AM drop-off and PM pick-up. Participants can tie the paper tags to trees on the plaza themselves, or hand them back to Wish Tree Ambassadors.

We are also collecting wishes virtually via an online form (https://forms.gle/r72MBJnF79h6HPQy8). Any wishes received via this virtual form will be transcribed by Mr. H's art students onto a paper tag and added to the trees on the Hearst plaza.

To learn more about wish trees visit this page about the Japanese festival of Tanabata or about Yoko Ono's Wish Tree at the Hirshhorn Museum using this link.

If you would like to volunteer as a wish tree ambassador (passing out tags or tying tags to trees), contact Eulynn Shiu (eulynnshiu@gmail.com, 202.341.8904)

Please join our community in sending out this year with our best wishes for the days ahead.


Parents and Teachers of PTA and LSAT

Student Council Advisory Committee

Art Students of Hearst

School Administration of Hearst

Foxhall and MacArthur Community Working Group: Final Recommendations

On behalf of the members of the Foxhall and MacArthur Community Working Group (CWG), I am happy to share the final recommendations report, attached here. This document is a key deliverable from this process, and outlines the options for the sites along with the trade-offs, preferences, and considerations that the CWG and the broader community have engaged in. The CWG included parents, school leaders, and community members from the 15 schools that make up the Wilson High School feeder pattern.

My team is grateful for the time and feedback provided by all members of the CWG over the last few months, including many school leaders who were very active and present amidst a lot of other priorities. Several CWG members also dedicated significant time to attend multiple community meetings. The conversations were not always easy, but my team and I learned a lot and appreciated the opportunity to wrestle with some of these issues together with members of the CWG.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Have a great weekend,


Claudia Luján

Deputy Chief, Strategic School Planning and Enrollment

Reminder: Returning DCPS-issued Devices, Chargers, and Headphones

At the end of students’ in-person session on Thursday, June 24, all DCPS-issued devices, chargers, and headphones will be collected from students so that they can be updated and serviced over the summer. Families of students who are not in person have until Wednesday, June 30, to turn in DCPS-issued devices, chargers, and headphones to Ms. Johnson in the main office. As a reminder, the office is open from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday.

Reminder: Spring Portraits

We are delighted to let you know that The Hearst ES portraits are now online for viewing and purchasing. If you could, please send this information to your parents. The flyer is attached, with a hyper-link to view the galleries.

To view the galleries, go to www.freedpics.com

Enter the password: HEARST21SPQ

Reminder: In Person Student Absences and Simulcasting in Grades 2-5

If a student is absent from in person learning class, this is considered an absence like in previous typical school years, meaning the student simply misses the class. The only time we can make the virtual accommodations for students are instances where students are quarantining after a positive case of COVID, exposure/being a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID, or because of traveling. In these instances, teachers may simulcast lessons at the same time the quarantining student currently has in person instruction or the quarantining student can join the virtual class session that already exists. Teachers will share specific information about this with you in the event that your child needs to quarantine for the three reasons listed above.

Reminder: Enrolling for Next School Year

Enrollment season has kicked off and you can re-enroll your child for the 2021-2022 school year! On behalf of the entire Hearst family, we would like to thank you for the privilege of educating your child this current school year, and we look forward to continuing our work together next year. We can’t wait to have even more exciting experiences together next year.As the Hearst teachers, staff, and leadership are already thinking about next year, please remember to complete re-enrollment for your child for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. If you’ve already completed re-enrollment, we want to thank you for doing so! All families are encouraged to re-enroll early to help us better prepare for next year. To do so, please complete the following three steps:

1. Complete the enrollment packet: Download the full enrollment packet

2. Provide proof of DC residency: Review residency verification guidelines

3. Submit the completed enrollment packet and proof of DC residency to your school.

We also are happy to help you in any way so that you can check re-enrollment off your summer to-do list. Please reach out to Manik.Hinchey@k12.dc.gov for this support.

Thanks again to you and your family for being part of our school community. It is an honor to serve your family, and we look forward to continued partnership with you and your child next year.

Reminder: Supporting Students' Social Emotional and Mental Health

The mental health team is excited to continue their series of virtual social, emotional support groups that we starting offering to students in March. Each session will be conducted by Ms. Brown, the school social worker and by our school psychologist, Ms. Dewerd. Groups will occur weekly via MS Teams and will be designed to target student's skills and needs by pairing grade levels. During these groups, we will be teaching students about self regulation, particularly mindfulness and the benefits of incorporating these practices into their daily routine. We will also utilize these sessions to teach useful executive functioning skills. Each session will occur during non- instruction periods, so that everyone who wants to, can attend. Sessions will also be recorded, to increase accessibility. By giving your child permission to participate, you are also consenting to the recording. If you or your child do not wish to be recorded, please feel free to disable your camera function. The good thing is, students will not have to participate interactively to benefit from each session!

The updated Term 4 schedule for the groups by grade level is included below as well as the links to join:

Reminder: Hearst Playground

To ensure that students who are in person do not mix with kids who are not in their cohorts, the playground will be closed from 10:15am-1:45pm daily. Only kids who are in person for the full day will have access to the playground from 10:15-1:45.

This means that AM only kids will be unable to use the playground after they dismiss for the day and PM only kids will be unable to use the playground before they start class.

Additionally, please refrain from coming by the playground to visit when your kids are at recess. What we've seen happen is that a child will run over to the fence to see their parent and other kids follow and before we can stop them, come within 6 feet of the adult, potentially exposing them and complicating any required contact tracing. Thanks for your understanding and support in keeping our community safe!

News and Announcements from DCPS


As DC Public Schools plans for next school year, we are focused on enhancing the school experience and student learning by: strengthening relationships between students, teachers, and families; providing joyful opportunities at school that accelerate learning; continuing our unwavering focus on health and safety; and addressing inequities through systemic change.

Please read below for an update on the health and safety measures that will be in place for in-person learning as well as a new virtual option available for eligible students for School Year 2021-2022. As a reminder, before and after school programming will also be operating in the upcoming school year.

Back-to-School Health & Safety Measures

For SY21-22, here’s what families can expect at school to maintain a safe environment for in-person learning:

  • HVAC enhancements allow for well-ventilated spaces at every school, including state-of-the-art HEPA filters in classrooms and air quality sensors throughout the building.

  • Practice safe routines: All staff, students, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering, and daily PPE and hygiene supplies will be provided.

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols for high-touch surfaces, and a deep cleaning completed after a suspected or reported COVID-19 case.

  • Space arrangements: Students should be separated as far as possible, and individual desks and tables are to be facing the same direction to the extent feasible.

  • Student meals: Pre-K and Kindergarten students will eat in the classroom and all other grades will eat in the cafeteria. Social distancing should be followed while eating and drinking, to the extent feasible.

  • Student cohort interactions will be limited to the extent feasible, but there will be no cap for student or staff cohort interactions in any grade.

  • Screen for illness: Students and staff will complete a daily “Ask, Ask, Look” screening, but temperatures will not be taken upon arrival at school.

  • COVID-19 reporting protocols: Schools will report positive cases with a school community if a person has been in the building during their infectious period, along with a quarantine protocol. Additional information about asymptomatic testing will be shared over the summer.

Virtual Learning for Students with Medical Need

We hope and expect the overwhelming majority of our students will return to full-time in-person learning in the fall. However, we know there are students who have a documented medical condition who need to continue virtual learning. To support these students, DCPS will offer virtual instruction for a limited number of students who meet medical eligibility requirements. Virtual instruction based on medical need will be available across all grades.

You can review the medical eligibility form and read a FAQ for families at https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/sy21-22/virtual.

After the COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification form is uploaded online, families will be notified once their virtual learning request is processed. You can also drop a completed medical form off at the school. DCPS will safeguard information in alignment with all privacy laws. Families will be asked to provide their student’s name and ID number on the registration form. We encourage those who need virtual learning to complete this process by July 6 to help us create class schedules for the fall.

P-EBT Update for Families

The Department of Human Services has begun issuing Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits to eligible students for this fiscal year. For all P-EBT related questions please visit the DHS P-EBT website or call the P-EBT call center at 1-877-4DC-PEBT. Food and Nutrition Services encourages all families with students who do not attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school or who do not receive SNAP to complete a FARM application as soon as possible to ensure maximum P-EBT benefits are received.

Reminder: Updated Travel Guidance for DCPS Staff, Students and Families (Effective Friday, May 28, 2021)

As the summer season and Memorial Day weekend approaches, we understand that many staff and families are inquiring about travel guidance. Beginning Friday May 28, the updated travel guidance from DC Health, released on May 20, 2021, will apply to DCPS staff, students, and families.

*Note that changes apply to international travel for unvaccinated individuals.

The following applies to domestic travel, and does not reflect any change from prior travel guidance:

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated

Per DC Health’s Guidance for Travel, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who have traveled domestically to any place other than Maryland or Virginia must either (1) not attend school for 10 days after returning or (2) not attend school until tested for COVID-19 three to five days after returning AND receive a negative COVID-19 viral test.

Fully Vaccinated (14 days after final dose)

Fully vaccinated people (or people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days) may travel within the United States without the need for post-travel quarantine, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

There are updates regarding international travel and the guidance below reflects those changes:

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated

Per DC Health’s Guidance for Travel, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who have traveled internationally must either:

1. not attend school for 10 days after returning, or (2) not attend school for seven days after returning, get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after returning, AND receive a negative COVID-19 viral test.

Even if the test is negative, the individual must still not attend school for seven days.

Fully Vaccinated (14 days after final dose)

Fully vaccinated people (or people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days) may travel internationally and do not need to quarantine upon return to DC. It is recommended they get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after international travel.

Free PCR COVID testing is available from healthcare providers as well as walk-up testing sites across the district.

News and Announcements From Other Organizations

Juneteenth Celebration Centering our LGBTQ Black Youth

I am emailing to share an exciting event that may be of interest to you and your school community: The DC State Board of Education has partnered with the Office of Teaching and Learning at DC Public Schools (DCPS), Friendship PCS, KIPP DC PCS, Office of the Ombudsman, Office of the Student Advocate, and the Ward 5 Education Equity Committee for a day of fun in the sun to celebrate Juneteenth and center our LGBTQ+ Black youth. We ask that you share the event and registration link with your school’s families, PTOs, and LSATs!

About the event:

The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 19 at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave, Washington, DC, 20017). We will engage in mindfulness activities, yoga, arts and crafts, and more from 10am - 12pm. The event is open to all families and students.

Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration commemorating the end of slavery and June is national Pride Month, which promotes the affirmation and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This event seeks to highlight the importance of intersectionality, centering the unique experiences of our LGBTQ+ Black youth and to affirm them.

Below are details for the event:

WHEN: Saturday, June 19 (10am - 12pm)

WHERE: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave, Washington, DC, 20017)

REGISTRATION LINK: http://bit.ly/2TbHqdK

Note: We will gather in the grass area adjacent to the Rec Center.

CLOSEST METRO STOP: Brookland Metro CUA (Red line)


  • 10th St NE + Randolph St NE
  • 12th St + Michigan Ave
  • Michigan Ave NE + 12th St NE
  • Quincy St NE + 12th St NE
  • Brookland-CUA; Fort Totten

PARKING: Recreation Center and Street Parking

Some reminders on what to wear and bring:

  • Wear comfortable clothing suitable for yoga or other physical activities
  • If you are not vaccinated, please bring a mask
  • A yoga mat (if you have one), though we will provide temporary mats to guests

Hearst Park May Update

Dear Community Stakeholders of Hearst Park:

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the DC Department of General Services (DGS) are pleased to share the May 2021 construction update for the Hearst Park and Pool project. Please find the flyer attached for progress information.

For additional information, please visit the project website for information and resources: https://dgs.dc.gov/node/1135096.


  • Peter

Peter Nohrden, ASLA

Capital Projects, Planning and Design

DC Department of Parks and Recreation

1275 First Street, NE, 8th Floor | Washington, DC 20002

P: (202) 671-1852 | E: peter.nohrden@dc.gov

DPR.dc.gov | Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @dcdpr