Hearst Family Update

March 14, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good evening, Owl Families, and Happy Pi Day!

Thanks to all those who attended last week's grade level meetings to discuss the Term 4 options. Below are the presentations shared during those meetings as well as links to the Term 4 Preference Survey that we need every family to complete for each of their children by tomorrow, Monday, March 15 at 5pm.

In partnership,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Monday, March 15 - CES Term 4 Meeting, 6:00-7:00pm https://virginia.zoom.us/j/96412676812?pwd=YzBtajN2QjFtRkZrdnhSNmdad3dFdz09; Meeting ID: 964 1267 6812; Passcode: 619418
  • Wednesday, March 17 - RCC planning meeting, 4:30-5:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 17 - PTA Meeting, 6:30 https://virginia.zoom.us/j/98926906438?pwd=UE91WUFwTEpza2FlaDU4dXBDMnJvdz09 Meeting ID: 989 2690 6438; Passcode: 296224
  • Tuesday, March 23 - Term 4 Town Hall to share final plan with community, 7:00-8:00pm (link forthcoming)
  • Wednesday, March 24 - Hearst Spring Picture Day
  • Wednesday, March 24 - Term 4 Coffee Chat for Families to share final plan with community, 9:00-9:30am (link forthcoming)
  • Monday, March 29 - Term 4 student offers start (tentative, awaiting confirmation from DCPS)
  • April 12-16 - Spring Break for Students
  • Friday, April 16 - Emancipation Day (no school for students and all staff; building closed)
  • Monday, April 19- Term 4 starts

Quick Updates

  • A former principal of Hearst, Pat Greer, passed away last month. Her photo is on our legacy wall in the atrium and her obituary is here. Thanks to Patti Macie for sharing this sad news.
  • With the warmer weather, we're seeing an increasing number of kids back on the playground and on school grounds. Unfortunately, we also discovered that someone decided to go behind the school gym, go to the bathroom, and then 'decorate' the gym doors with their creation. Please be sure to supervise your kids and remind them that the school grounds are not a bathroom. Also, if you see kids going behind/around the gym, please ask them not to do so. Thanks!
  • DCPS has updated the School Planning blog with information around the new school planning process at the Foxhall & MacArthur sites in Ward 3. This is where they will share updates, meeting materials, etc., after the working group meetings in the coming months. Because the opening of these schools may impact the Hearst boundary and/or feeder schools in the future, please be sure to regularly review the site to stay up to date on the latest developments.
  • Reminder: Because our building is open to students, 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: DC is publishing COVID data specific to DCPS and it can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/node/1506966. With both staff and students back in school buildings, please visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/response/ to learn more about DCPS' COVID-19 Response Protocol, including testing available for students and staff.

Term 4 Preference Survey - Please complete by 5pm on Monday, March 15

The Hearst Reopen Community Corps is asking you to complete this survey to help us understand your preferences as we create the Hearst reopening plan for Term 4. Please note that your responses are not binding and are not guaranteed but will help us understand your thinking about reopening in Term 4, which starts on April 19.

All Term 4 grade level meeting presentations, a frequently asked questions document, and a document summarizing the Term 4 grade level meetings takeaways can be found by visiting our Term 4 landing page here. The presentations and Term 4 FAQ are also now linked below and the link to the takeaways document is here.

Because our reopening plan is flexible and may look different for kids at each grade level, please fill out the specific grade-level survey for each child you have at Hearst. The information in this survey, feedback collected from students and staff, as well as feedback collected at the grade-level planning meetings will be used to craft our Hearst-specific Term 4 reopening plan.

PK Term 4 Survey

K Term 4 Survey

1st Grade Term 4 survey

2nd Grade Term 4 Survey

3rd Grade Term 4 Survey

4th Grade Term 4 Survey

5th Grade Term 4 Survey

Read-a-Thon Results

As a school, Hearst readers collectively logged 56,965 minutes of reading and raised $10,383 for community members in need! Here are the final results:

Most Money Raised (Grade)

3rd Grade

Most Money Raised (Class)

Ms. Burleigh

Top Readers Overall

Paul Doyle (5790 minutes)

Liam Stockton (3725 minutes)

Ellie Olesh (3571 minutes)

Top Readers by Grade

PK: Katja Swanson (1153 mins)

K: Asher Neumann (764 mins)

1st: Benjamin Hansel-Leader (1798 mins)

2nd: Iris Dodson Green (2288 mins)

3rd: Emerson Boyette (2475 mins)

4th: Alex Burnett (1026 mins)

5th: Malcom McIntyre (2955 mins)

Supporting Students' Social Emotional and Mental Health

Greetings Hearst Community,

I hope that you are all doing well! The mental health team is excited to announce a series of virtual social, emotional support groups that we will be offering to students beginning on March 16, 2021. Each session will be conducted by myself, 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 schedule for the groups by grade level is included below as well as the links to join.

Kindergarten-1st grade (pre-k is free to join!) Tuesdays 11:45am-12:30pm Click here to join the meeting

2nd-3rd grade- Tuesdays 3:45pm-4:30pm Click here to join the meeting

4th-5th grade Thursdays 3:45pm- 4:30pm Click here to join the meeting

Again, groups will start next Tuesday, March 16th. Please only join the session that corresponds to your child's grade level. Students will not need to bring any materials but are free to have pencil and paper to take notes if they like.

There is a lot happening in our world right now that is beyond our control and many of us are facing unexpected challenges! We are looking forward to connecting with the students in our community and assisting with building social, emotional skills that that can support overall wellbeing!

Take care,

Mental Health Team of Hearst ES

Reminder: Order Your Hearst Yearbook for the 20-21 School Year

Yearbooks are on sale for pre-order! The early bird special is $22 until the end of March. In April and on each book is $25. Please see the attached flyer for directions to order your yearbook! The yearbooks will arrive near the end of the school year. This year, there is an option to ship the book directly to your home. Otherwise, it will ship to the school and we will find a way to do a safe and secure pickup.

The Hearst yearbook contains portraits of each homeroom class and some candid photos from the year. Thanks to the creativity of our families we've been able to collect a ton of photos for the book! Don't forget to attend school portrait day on Wednesday March 24th with Freed, to have your child's photo taken for the yearbook.

Every year we sell out of yearbooks; don't let it happen to you. Reserve your copy today!

Reminder: Information for Families with Students Returning In Person in Term 3

We are excited to welcome back our students who are participating in in-person learning in Term 3.Please take time to review the In-Person Learning family guide for resources to help you prepare for your child's first day back to the classroom. It includes important forms that parents or guardians need to sign:

We will send home these documents with students on their first day of school and ask that you return them as soon as possible. If you'd like to print, sign, and send them in with your students, we welcome that as well.

As you know, school will look a little different this year. There may be instances where class is cancelled for the day due to staff availability, quarantines, or building operations. In those instances, we will notify you via Bloomz as soon as possible.

Reminder: Access to Reading Materials/Books

There are many different ways that you can access physical and digital books for your child to read at home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Vandivier or your child's homeroom teacher if you are having difficulty getting access to a wide variety of books and/or books at an appropriate reading level for your child. We are here to help!

  • Option 1: Check out books from the Hearst library!

  • Option 2: Check out books from the DCPS library!

    • As a Hearst student, your child can get a library card for DC public libraries! Please head over to the DCPS libraries website for more information on how to sign up and how book checkout/pickup works: https://www.dclibrary.org/

  • Option 3: Purchase books from Scholastic!

    • Each class has a Scholastic account. Due to the pandemic, you can currently purchase books and ship them directly to your home! It is very convenient. Website https://clubs.scholastic.com/home Please reach out to your homeroom teacher directly for a class code.

  • Option 4: Sora

    • You can access Sora for free via the Clever Portal. Sora offers a wide variety of books to read and to listen to!

  • Option 5: Epic

    • Epic is an extra website that you may have access to! Some classes have a class account. Epic provides TONS of books at all different levels. https://www.getepic.com/sign-in Please reach out to your homeroom teacher or Ms. Vandivier directly for a class code.

Reminder: Spring Portrait Day

We'll be holding our Spring Portrait Day on Wednesday, March 24, from 9am to 3pm. Portraits will be outdoors and socially distanced and you can sign up for an appointment at https://tuab0xbvaa.timetap.com/#/. Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

Reminder: Yearbook Photos Needed

Ms. Schiers and Ms. Boyle are getting started on the SY 20-21 Hearst Yearbook, and need your help collecting photographs! Please upload any candid or posed photos that you have of your child and Hearst children from THIS school year! Please know that by uploading a photo into this album, you are giving consent for that photo to be used in our yearbook. More information is forthcoming regarding how to order your yearbook, and about a socially distanced and outdoor portrait day with Freed Photography.

News and Announcements from DCPS

Asymptomatic Testing for Students will be Led by School Nurses (3/15)

As COVID-19 guidance evolves, DC Health, aligned with the CDC, now recommends weekly (more frequent) asymptomatic testing using a random sampling of 10 percent of the in-person student population. As a result, in partnership with DC Health and Children’s School Services (CSS), School Nurses will take over the responsibility of asymptomatic testing for students starting Monday, March 15. School Nurses will work with school leaders to create asymptomatic testing schedules that work best for their school community. A family notice was sent by DCPS on Monday, March 8 to share this update.

Save the Date: DCPS Virtual Events in March

Please share with your school communities two opportunities to engage with DCPS leadership. Hear from a panel of family members and school staff at the Community Roundtable, Lessons for Recovery on Wednesday, March 17 at 5:30pm or attend the DCPS Recovery Townhall with Chancellor Ferebee and DCPS leadership on Wednesday, March 24 at 5:30pm. Attendance is open to everyone. Download flyers here to promote.

Free & Reduced-Price Meal Application Reminder

Though all meals will be served free of charge for DCPS students learning in school and through open meal sites for SY20-21, we strongly urge families with children who do not attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school to complete the Free and Reduced Meal (FARM) application as soon as possible to ensure maximum P-EBT benefits are received once they become available. More information on FARM can be found here. Paper FARM applications can be picked up and submitted at any open DCPS site or school. For all questions related to the DC Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program, please direct families to visit DHS’s P-EBT webpage and complete the web form to contact the Department of Human Services.

Join DCPS for Family Cornerstones Live!: Family Activity Virtual Events

Join DCPS Family Engagement for their newest Family Engagement Program:

DCPS Family Cornerstones Live!

We are happy to announce that we will be hosting Family Cornerstone Parent University workshops! Fun and learning for the whole family.

Family Cornerstones Live are hosted on Thursdays at 5:30pm

Family Cornerstones - College Pathways Bingo

March 4th

Join the Latino Student Fund virtual event as they focus on Exploring Future Pathways with Your Child. RSVP HERE

Family Cornerstones - Standing Up and Speaking Out

March 11th

Join the Imagination Stage virtual event as they focus on Building a Sense of Advocacy in Your Child RSVP HERE

Family Cornerstones - Yoga Stories

March 25th

Join the Imagination Stage virtual event as they focus on Strengthening Your Bond as a Family RSVP HERE

Family Cornerstones - Banking On Our Future

April 8th

Join Operation Hope virtual event as they focus on Supporting Habits for a Financially Stable Lifestyle RSVP HERE

Family Cornerstones - Environmental Stewardship Starts on Your Block

April 22nd

Join Urban Adventure Squad's virtual event as they focus on Encouraging Community Involvement RSVP HERE

Family Cornerstones - Represent Yourself and Community through Public Art

April 29th

Join Urban Adventure Squad's virtual event as they focus on Celebrating Being Washingtonian RSVP HERE

What are Family Cornerstones?

Discover activities to try as a family on our Family Cornerstones page!

All DCPS Families can and are supporting their child's education in many unique ways. Family Cornerstones provide a roadmap for families from Pre-K to Graduation that highlights a few key shared learning experiences. These key experiences are essential to the partnership between DCPS schools and families.

Reminder: Impact Aid Survey – Amendment Deadline (5/30)

DCPS submitted the Impact Aid application on January 13, 2021 for all surveys received to date. Please continue to encourage all DCPS families to complete one survey per child in their preferred language as eligible surveys collected through Sunday, May 30 will be included in our application amendment to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. Surveys can be found on our Impact Aid webpage. For additional questions, please contact DCPSImpactAid@k12.dc.gov.

Updated Medical Documentation Required to Return to Learning in the Building

Help your kids #StayOnTrack and ready for school-entry with on-time vaccinations.

Hearst has a current immunization compliance rate of 90% as of 3-14-2020. Remember to send your child's updated medical documentation (Universal health certificates, Medication authorization forms, immunization records) to manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov. Make appointments with your health care providers and provide the proper documentation before the start of in-person school (see here for a list of required immunizations). Immunizations must be up to date to take an in-person seat or CARES seats. Immunization sites across the city are posted here.

Reminder: Travel Guidance for In-Person Students and Staff

We recognize that some staff working in person and families attending in-person programming may be traveling over the spring break. Per the Mayor’s Order 2020-110, individuals who have traveled to any place other than Maryland or Virginia are required to either (1) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for 14 days after returning to the District (or coming to work for a District agency), or (2) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for three to five days and then receive a negative COVID-19 PCR COVID-19 test.

All DCPS staff members who are working in person, whether they are a District resident or not, can show their school ID to be prioritized at any District public testing sites.

See DC Health’s Guidance for Travel for more information and the flyer below.

News and Announcements From Other Organizations

SEEK 2021 Registration is OPEN!


As a valued partner, I wanted to contact you directly to inform you that our Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) Student Application is OPEN! I am asking for your support to help promote the program within your network as we work to increase the pipeline and supply of minority and female engineers. We do that through the SEEK — an engineering immersion that exposes under-served students to STEM.

SEEK Program:

  • 100% Virtual
  • 100% Free
  • All students will receive a tablet for program access and all supplies needed to participate

Program Dates and Curriculum:

  • June 14 - July 2 (Virtual Program 1)
  • July 19 - August 6 (Virtual Program 2)
  • Drone, Robotics, and Coding

Registration is Now Open:

  • To register for the #SEEK2021 program, visit our landing page at https://seek.nsbe.org/. Feel free to share this link with parents and leaders within your communities.

Follow Us on Social Media:

  • Facebook: NSBE.SEEK | Instagram: @SEEKNBSE | Twitter: @SEEKNSBE

In addition, I have attached a few flyers for distribution.

Thank you and feel free to reach out with any questions.

David Varnado

Manager, Pre-College Programs

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

205 Daingerfield Road

Alexandria, VA 22314

703-966-6793 mobile