Hearst Family Update

June 6, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Owl Families,

Please see below for information about closing out the school year, as well as important updates for the summer and next school year. As we finalize our plan for ending the school year for students and staff in a fun and meaningful way, I'll be sharing details about those celebrations here. Please also reach out to your child's teacher should you have any questions about these celebrations.

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


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Wednesday, June 16 - LSAT Meeting, 4:30-5:30
  • Monday, June 21 - 5th Grade Promotion, 10am (additional details forthcoming)
  • Wednesday, June 23 - 5th Grade Celebration 12-4pm at Hearst (additional details forthcoming)
  • Thursday, June 24 - Last Day for Students; Virtual School Wide Dance Party 2:30-3:30
  • 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

Quick Updates

  • 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!

Listening Session for Hearst Families of Color - Thursday, June 10

Dear Families,

You may or may not know me: I am Andrea Smith, mom to Henry in 3rd grade and Viola in 2nd grade. I am getting in touch to invite you to a listening session for families of color concerning diversity and inclusion at Hearst.

In the wake of the pandemic and all the challenges of the past year, I have found myself in conversation with some of you about the state of our own Hearst community even as we look hopefully towards a return to a new normal.

Hearst has always been a special place, unique among our upper northwest counterparts for our size, diversity and warm community feel.

The change in demographics at Hearst, specifically the diminishing racial diversity of the population, provides a wider context for some underlying issues of equity and engagement that have risen to the surface. I’m also aware that some feel our community trust has been strained around the return to in-person learning.

Some families of color have expressed an interest to re-engage with each other and our relationships to Hearst. We have a new opportunity to create a coalition of support and community building that would help to (re)center the experience of families of color.

With the Hearst core values and mission as a backbone, the goal would be to reaffirm our culture of diversity and inclusion, seeking to bring together all the parts of our family; this includes a re-engagement with our teachers and staff and a gathering of families who may be less active in traditional forms of engagement, like the PTA and the LSAT.

With all this in mind, please join us for an informal listening session via Zoom on Thursday June 10th at 7pm. This first meeting will be an affinity group of sorts for families of color only; to gather, share and collectively process the needs of our particular families. Faculty, staff and families outside of this affinity group have shown support and an interest in partnership, which bodes well for the future.

Moving forward some possibilities include topical community building sessions around the history of Hearst; activities to highlight and celebrate our various affinity groups; targeted support for families around the academic journey and social emotional supports; educational disparity and anti-racist initiatives. All of these possibilities would reflect the full and rich diversity of Hearst including the experience of our immigrant families and families in the CES program.

I’m hoping to seize this opportunity before we close out the year in order to see where it might develop into the fall. To that end, I welcome anyone who would like to join in planning discussions in the hope of starting next school year with some plans in place for new and current Hearst families.

In so many sectors of our society these pandemic times have revealed inequities and divisions in our country that have been painful to reckon with, and for some of us this trauma is more present than for others. In our own community there are some difficult truths to unearth. It is in the greatest interest to all of our children to open up these conversations with openness and grace.

Please spread the word to any families who might be interested and not on this listserv. Please contact me for the zoom link for the meeting. In the interest of cyber safety I won’t publish it publicly, but please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns. Looking forward to seeing you all.

With best wishes,



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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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: Afterschool Programs for Next Year

The return to in-person learning for students is also about the return to in-person work for adults and our commitment to meeting families’ childcare needs. DCPS is proud to announce that we will offer before and aftercare next school year. More information about how to register for DCPS Out of School Time Programs will be available this summer.

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 do not re-enroll your child for next year, your child cannot participate in the Summer Academy and we will not be able to add them to class lists for the coming 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

Submitted School Budgets for FY22 Now Available

Following the release of Mayor Bowser's Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget, we're reaching out to let you know that individual submitted school budgets for FY22 (School Year 2021-2022) are now available at dcpsbudget.com. To view your school's budget, click on the "Budget Data" tab and then "School Budget Worksheets" or click here.

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.

Reminder: COVID-19 Health, Safety, Operational Guidance

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.

News and Announcements From Other Organizations

Reminder: Next W3EdNet Meeting on June 7 at 7pm: DC Education Research Collaborative, SBOE Rep Ruth Wattenberg, and more

The next meeting of the Ward 3 - Wilson Feeder Education Network (W3EdNet) is on Monday, June 7 at 7pm via Zoom (link below).

We are very happy to host Matt Chingos of the DC Education Research Collaborative and State Board of Education (SBOE) representative for Ward 3, Ruth Wattenberg.

We will first hear from Matt Chingos and have an opportunity to ask questions. The DC Education Research Collaborative is a consortium of 15 organizations, headed by the Urban Institute, that conducts research designed and implemented in partnership with members of the DC education community.

Then we will talk about SBOE (https://sboe.dc.gov/) happenings. In particular, she will talk about the work that the School Board is doing looking again into the School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) framework for school-level report cards as required by the Every Student Success Act (ESSA).

With our remaining time, we will talk about school budgets and the Community Working Group on Foxhall and MacArthur.

Zoom Link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Melody, Karin, and Brian


The Ward 3 - Wilson High School Feeder Pattern Education Network (W3EdNet) is a group made up of PTO Board and LSAT members as well as other interested community members. We aim to work together to support schools in the Wilson feeder pattern, host community events of common interest, and advocate for better schools across the city.

Website: https://www.w3ednet.com/

Twitter: @W3EdNet

Email: w3ednet@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/W3EdNet