Hearst Family Update

May 31, 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.

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 (additional details TBD)
  • Thursday, June 24 - Last Day for Students
  • 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: as of 4/17/21 all 2-5 CARE seats are filled. If there are seats that become available over the course of Term 4, I'll share this information with families in an update.
  • 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!

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: Cicadas!

The cicadas are arriving in stronger and stronger numbers on our campus much to the delight (or chagrin) of kids and staff. When I recall recess duty 17 years ago when this brood was last above ground, I have memories of squeals of both excitement and disgust coming from kids as they got up close and personal with the cicadas. Some students wanted to see and understand these mysterious creatures and gently picked them up to get closer looks while others thought it was hilariously fun to scoop up piles of live cicadas and/or exoskeletons and toss them at other kids. It is with this in mind, that I'm asking all Hearst staff supervising recess duty to be vigilant with kids and remind them to look at the cicadas with their eyes only and not pick them up. As I said to kids on the soccer field this week - the cicadas have been waiting 17 years to explore the world and only have a short time to do so, so let's not interrupt them and their journey of discovery. :)

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

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.

Family Communication Regarding Assessments

In April the U.S. Department of Education officially granted the District of Columbia a one-year waiver from the statewide assessment requirements for the general and alternate assessments in ELA, mathematics, and science under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This resource explains this waiver and can be shared with families.

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

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

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

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