SHMS Family Newsletter

November 14, 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

We are busy kicking off the holiday season with celebrations and gratitude. This week we paused to remember and recognize the many veterans in our lives on Veterans Day; the month of November is Native American History Month, and this past week was National School Psychologists Week. We are grateful for the work and support of our psychologist, Ms. Kristin Dezen, please join me in thanking her for her service to our community!

We are very excited about the recent expansion of vaccine availability as it makes almost every member of our community eligible to take the most important step towards protecting themselves and others. As a reminder, the COVID vaccine is mandatory for any students wishing to participate in winter sports.

Lastly, while Term 2 is officially underway, student report cards are expected to publish in Aspen by the 18th and we will put a hard copy (along with some other updates) in the mail by the end of the week as well.

This is our last full week of school before December, let's have a great one!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser



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Upcoming Dates: November 15-19

This Week:

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


  • A great instructional day!



  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!
  • Term 1 Report Cards visible in Aspen


  • A great instructional day!

Upcoming Dates

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Athletics Schedule

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be vaccinated by December 1 or submit medical or religious exemption forms to be eligible to participate.


Monday- (Practice) 3:30pm - 4:15pm

Tuesday- (Playoffs) Stuart-Hobson vs. Deal 4:00pm @ Deal

Thursday- (Playoffs) TBA

Head Coach- Myron Alston-


Winter Cheerleading Try-Outs: Pending Scheduled Date

Girls Bowling

Team Interest Meeting: To be announced soon

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-

Girls Basketball:

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

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

Head Coach: Troy Henderson -

Assistant Coach: Natasha Lee -

Boys Basketball

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

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

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

Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson -

Co-Ed Swimming

Tuesday- ( Practice) 4:00pm - 5:15pm @ Dunbar High School ( Transportation is provided)

Head Coach: Leonard Booker -

Indoor Track

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-

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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

Shout Out to Ms. Tomlinson and the Cluster PTA's Race, Class, and Equity Group for putting together the list of recommended books to help us celebrate Native American Heritage Month. See below for the recommendations:

The American Indian Library Association American Indian Youth Literature Awards were established in 2006 and are awarded biennially to honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. In celebration of National Native American Heritage Month, consider reading one of these American Indian Youth Literature honor and award winners available at the DC Public Library and through Sora on Clever.

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day (Upper Skagit) When twelve-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother's adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family's history and her own identity.

The Grizzly Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Gitxsan) To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. Together, they share the land and forests that the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. Follow mother bear as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis (Umpqua/Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) When Regina's Umpqua tribe is legally terminated and her family must relocate from Oregon to Los Angeles, she goes on a quest to understand her identity as an Indian despite being so far from home.

I Can Make This Promise and the following titles are available in the Stuart Hobson library's print collection: Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitich Smith; Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth; and Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians (But Were Afraid to Ask): Young Readers Edition by Anton Treuer.

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New Information and Important Updates

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

Attention Student-Athletes: Vaccination Deadline!

The science is clear: the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of the disease. It is safe, effective, and free.

To protect you, your teammates, coaches, and help ensure an uninterrupted sports season, participants 12 and older of any school-based extracurricular athletics must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

While the Mayor’s Order around this requirement went into effect on November 1, student athletes will have until December 1, 2021, to submit paperwork confirming they have received a full course of vaccination against COVID-19. Students who have not yet received a full course of vaccination should use this time to secure the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have already submitted a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card indicating you received both doses, or if you have been approved for a medical or religious exemption, there is no further action on your end.

However, if you have yet to complete your COVID-19 vaccination series or need to apply for a medical or religious exemption please see the attached document for more information. The deadline to provide exemption documentation is Monday, November 15 and athletic vaccination clinics are open this weekend.

Check Grades in the Aspen Family Portal

Aspen Family Portal accounts have been available since 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:

Also, we recommend that families download the Grade Corner app to their smartphones or other devices. This app was created by an SHMS parent, requires an Aspen login, and allows you to see all of your student's grades in one place. In addition to seeing report cards, it is a quick and easy tool for keeping tabs on your student's progress.

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OSSE Annual Special Education Parent Survey

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education's (OSSE) 2020-21 Special Education Parent Survey is open. This confidential survey is for families of students with disabilities who have individualized education programs (IEPs) and received special education services during SY 2020-21. OSSE reports a summary of the results to the US Department of Education as a part of DC’s Annual Performance Report. If your family is eligible, please use the online survey to share feedback by December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, if you have any questions about anything related to special education at SHMS you can contact AP Taylor or Ms. Lovelock.

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

1:1 Device Launch!

We are very excited to launch our in-school 1:1 device program this week. This means that every SHMS student will have access to a DCPS device throughout the school day. We will be reviewing the routines and procedures for taking care of these devices (from charging to device pick-up and return to general maintenance and upkeep) and encourage parents, teachers, and staff to review the DCPS Technology Use Agreement for Staff and Students. The expectations and policies outlined therein govern everyone's use of DCPS devices so that we can enhance learning and maintain a safe and productive school experience for all.

If you have not returned or reported the loss, damage, or theft of a previously-issued DCPS device, please know that your student will not be receiving a device this week until you account for the previously-issued device. We will continue to reach out to families with outstanding devices to resolve any issues and make sure that your student has access to a device while in school. Please reach out to the main office, Mr. Howard (, or Ms. Tomlinson ( with any questions about your previously assigned device.

Lastly, a huge thank you to Ms. Tomlinson for spearheading our technology work and for leading us to this exciting moment!

Attendance Corner

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. Parents, it is crucial that you get your child to school on-time and attending all classes. Please take a moment and read the 80/20 rule below. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me and I will be able to discuss it with you.

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. 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 go to the see the attached 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. I want to thank the students that had perfect attendance and participated in the Jeans & Jersey Day on November 1, 2021. Our next attendance incentive will be our Annual Perfect Attendance Pancake Celebration on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

SY 2021-22 Impact Aid Survey

The SY21-22 Impact Aid Survey will be available to schools and families in both paper and electronic format on Monday, November 1. Please see this webpage to access the survey electronically. All DCPS families are encouraged to complete one survey (paper or electronic) per child, not per household, to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. Thanks!

Uniform Policy Update

As the weather changes we will notice more students wearing warmer clothing to school. As a reminder, students may wear crewneck or hooded sweatshirts or sweaters over their red t-shirt or polo shirt during the school day. We have heard that it can be difficult to find a black sweater or sweatshirt with a smaller-than-a-dollar-bill sized logo. We will expand the policy to include any solid black, white, or red sweater or sweatshirt (crewneck or hooded) with a single logo smaller than a dollar bill.

Please remember, students will not be allowed to wear sweaters, sweatshirts, or outerwear to class that violate the policy above. Any outerwear (fleeces, coats, jean jackets, windbreakers, etc.) other, or multi, colored sweaters or sweatshirts should be kept in students' lockers during the school day except for while at lunch/recess.

We hope the policy adjustment makes things easier for families and keeps a strong sense of school pride and identity among the student body.

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

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.

School Policy Reminders

Cell Phones, Hoodies, Backpacks, and Pocketbooks/Fanny Packs

We will be resetting expectations with students this week about a few student policies that need our attention. Please speak with your student about the following policies before school on Monday:

  • Cell phones - Cell phones and other personal technologies are discouraged. Should students bring them to school they must be kept in a locker for the duration of the school day, including lunch.
  • Hoodies - Three years ago, students lobbied the school to change the uniform policy to allow hoodies, so long as they were in compliance with expectations for other sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. Hoodies can be worn ONLY if they are solid black and/or have logos smaller than a dollar bill. Any hoodie that does not meet these criteria will be treated like other outerwear and we expect it to be kept in lockers all day (except for lunch/recess).
  • Backpacks - Backpacks should not be carried around during the school day (except when a student is not assigned a locker). Students should place their belongings in their locker upon entry and plan for additional locker visits before lunch, after lunch, and at the end of the school day. All other locker visits are discouraged.
  • Pocketbooks/fanny packs - While we allow students to carry very small pocketbooks or fannypacks, we are noticing that these are the most common places where they are stowing cell phones during the school day. Please work with your student to determine whether or not their pocketbook/fanny pack is essential for school.

Parking During Drop-Off and Pick-Up

  • When dropping students off in the morning, please do not idle in staff parking spots before the gates open at 8:15 AM. This prevents staff from being able to park in very limited spots allocated for us and arriving to work on time.
  • When dropping students off, please pull all the way forward into the loading zone so that cars can pull in behind yours and do not double park in the middle of the street for drop off.
  • Please make every effort to make the drop-off process quick so that traffic can continue moving and spots are available to other families behind you for a safe drop-off.
  • During pick-up in the afternoons, please do not stop, pick-up, or idle in the northbound lane on 5th Street (heading from E to F Street). If you need to double-park for pick-up on 5th, please do so in the southbound lane.
  • Similarly, please do not double-park in the eastbound lane (moving from 4th to 5th street) on E Street. A simple rule of thumb is to park/double-park on the same side of the street as the school during drop-off and pick-up.

Early Pick-Up / Dismissal Procedures

  • Please have valid identification card or passport to present when picking up a student for early dismissal.
  • Children will not be allowed to leave the building without their parent/guardian displaying proper identification.
  • Please contact Ms. McIlvaine if you need to update information about emergency contacts or to add someone to the list of people who are eligible to pick-up your student(s).

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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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,

2021-22 Indoor Track Information

Info meeting: Tuesday, October 26, 3:30pm, Room 115

Practice Details

  • Practice will start Monday, Nov 1.

  • Practice is Mon, Wed, Thurs (4:00 pm-5:30 pm); you must practice 2x/week to be on the team.

  • MANDATORY for practice: Water bottle, running shoes, running clothes (shorts/t-shirt), cold-weather clothes (sweatpants & hoodie).


Covid Vax Paperwork

  • Proof of Covid vaccine must be sent to Athletic Director Richard Strong ( for children 12 and over.

  • More details will come soon regarding religious/medical exemptions.

Contacts: Coach McGhee: 202-727-8891,

Coach Smith: 202-489-4310,

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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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