Hearst Family Update

September 27, 2020

Big picture

Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Hearst Families,

It's amazing to see our instructional vision for the school year (build and maintain strong relationships, create accessible, joyful, and engaging learning environments, and teach in developmentally, culturally, and trauma responsive ways) come to life each and every day in our classrooms! I know it's not easy to do day in and day out and appreciate all of the time and energy our staff is putting in to ensure a great virtual learning experience for our Owls. As we move into the fifth week of school and beyond, we have several goals for our kids:

  • Students are active members of the learning community
  • Students are fully engaged academically: their stamina and capacity for working independently and collaboratively is growing; they’re taking on more complex work, they’re continually being appropriately challenged, both individually and as a class; their successes, big and small, are reinforced
  • Students are more self-sufficient: like a true team, the class is trying hard to follow daily routines; the rules continue to serve as the anchor for behavior; students genuinely encourage and support one another

At this midpoint in Term 1, we'd love to get your feedback about what is and is not working for your family around virtual instruction. Please complete the survey found here by Friday to share your ideas and suggestions on how we can improve the virtual learning experience in the second half of Term 1.

One final note - there has been a buzz in some local news outlets and social media regarding a meeting the Chancellor had with principals about opening school buildings for learning. While I can confirm that there was a meeting with the Chancellor on Friday afternoon, I'm still waiting for clarification about what can and cannot be shared from the meeting. As soon as I have this clarification, I'll share what I can.

Thank you for your partnership and support and I hope you're having a wonderful weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Friday, October 9 - Parent Teacher Conference Day
  • Monday, October 12 - Indigenous Peoples' Day (no school for all)
  • Week of 10/13 - Official start of small group instruction
  • Tuesday, November 3 - Election Day (no school for students & teachers)
  • Friday, November 6 - Professional Development Day (no school for students)

Quick Updates

  • All parents/guardians must complete the Student Technology Responsible Use Agreement School Year 2020-21 found here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7kagKk6zM0qSt5md8rwKMrokwfOwIAhEmZryty8pQBJUN1NPTDkzNVAzQUo1NVhPNk5NUDQzMkVFNC4u. This new mandate from DCPS and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.
  • Starting the week of 9/21, during the hours of 7am-3:30pm, contractors will be repairing the roof and gutters on the historic building. There will be some demolition that occurs as part of the project and this includes removing broken slate from the roof. I’m told that tossing the slate into the dumpster may sound like lots of glass breaking. Also know that several parking lot spots and the walkway in front of the historic building will be inaccessible while this work is occurring.
  • Through Term 1, the school building will be open from 8:30-4:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for students and families to pick up learning materials. Please contact Ms. Johnson (kestaganer.johnson@k12.dc.gov) with any questions.
  • We received confirmation of our school nurse and it is Nurse Sydonie Fisher from Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). You may be receiving emails from Nurse Fisher (syfisher@cnmc.org) about immunizations and health records in the coming days.
  • If you haven't yet had your welcome call with your child's teacher, please contact your child's teacher to schedule a time to do so in the next week.

Reminders Regarding Student Attendance Requirements

It is critical that students log into Canvas each day - including Wednesdays - as this is their official record of attendance. Students will be expected to log into Canvas each school day at least once between 6 am and 11:59 pm. Attendance will be recorded based on the student activity in Canvas each school day between 6:00 am and 11:59 pm. Any activity within Canvas will automatically transfer to Aspen and translate into attendance for that day. Activity within Canvas includes logging into Canvas, clicking on the link for the day's activities, clicking on a Teams meeting link, opening a course, or working on a assignment in ClassNotebook within Canvas. Please ensure students are not logging into Teams only; this will not register their attendance as present. For more resources, see the DCPS ReOpenStrong Attendance page.

If a student experiences a tech issue and cannot access Canvas that day, please email attendance@hearstes.org to have their attendance recorded for that day. Review the full attendance guidance on the #ReopenStrong website and watch a recap of this week’s Parent University on the topic.

Reminder: 2019-2020 Yearbook Pick Up

Due to the pandemic and the closure of the building in the spring, we were unable to distribute the yearbooks. We are so excited to finally be able to share these books with the Hearst community! Mrs. Boyle and Ms. Schiers will be holding yearbook pickup on Wednesday, September 30th, from 12:00-4:00 pm. We will be outside, on the rear plaza by the gym stairwell/outside entrance to the library/rear entrance to the school. Masks are required. Last year, we completely sold out our yearbooks. Please only come for pickup if you know you ordered a book! You can check your credit card and bank statements for a payment to “Freed” or contact Mrs. Boyle or Ms. Schiers for confirmation. If you are unable to come for pickup on this day, rest assured that we will hold your yearbook at the school until we are able to find another time to get it to you!

Reminder: Kids Ride Free Cards

Hearst students are eligible to receive a Kids Ride Free card, for use on the Metro and on Metro buses. We will be distributing them on Wednesdays only from September 23-October 21 between the hours of 10-2. In order for Hearst to maintain appropriate social-distancing guidelines, you must request a card for your student in advance, and sign up below to pick it up; cards cannot be issued on a given Wednesday to anyone who hasn't signed up prior to coming to Hearst. Please sign up for ONE pickup slot per family, even if you are picking up for more than one student. The sign up can be found here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d4da5ab2ba6f4c07-kids

Reminder: Hearst PTA Family Survey

Dear Hearst Community,

We hope you are all finding ways to stay healthy and help your family cope as we dive into the 2020-21 school year--a year unlike any other!

The PTA is trying to figure out how to pivot and best support families, students, teachers, and staff. We would benefit from better understanding families’ needs and capacities. This short survey will help us to organize communication channels, allocate resources to teachers and families, and continue building our community as we start the year virtually.

The survey should require less than five minutes to complete. One response per household.

Click here to answer the questions.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Hearst PTA Executive Board

Kerry Schwed and Julia Krahe, co-presidents

Romesh Ratnesar, vice president

Kristine Inchausti and Adam Frost, co-treasurers

Christina Burnett, secretary

Eulynn Shiu, room parent coordinator

Vaccination Reminder

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

School has started, remember to send your child's 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 (tentatively beginning on November 6, 2020). See here for a list of required immunizations. Even though classes are virtual, we will be reaching out to all students who are missing immunizations certification over the coming weeks.

Por favor ayuden a sus hijos a mantenerse vacunados y listos para el regreso a la escuela.
La escuela ha comenzado, recuerde enviar los registros de vacunación de su hijo/a a manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov. Haga citas con sus proveedores de atención médica y proporcione la documentación adecuada antes del inicio de clases en persona (tentativamente a partir del 6 de noviembre de 2020). Consulte aquí para obtener una lista de las vacunas requeridas. A pesar de que estamos comenzando en forma remota, nos comunicaremos con todos los alumnos a los que les falta el certificado de vacunas.

News and Announcements from DCPS

DCPS Meal Site Updates Effective 9/24

Please review the up to date meal service Q & A information below. You will notice two updates from what was previously communicated at the start of the school year. Effective Thursday, September 24th DCPS meal site locations will expand meal service to allow all DC youth ages 18 and younger to receive free breakfast and lunch meals until December 31st. Additionally, to limit the number of trips families need to make to the meal sites, DC youth ages 18 and younger, or parents/guardians on their behalf, may receive up to 3 breakfast and 3 lunch meals at a time.

For a comprehensive and up to date list of DCPS meal site locations, as well as information regarding additional food resources and weekly grocery distribution, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov/food.

School Meals Q & A

Who is eligible to receive meals through a DCPS Meal Site?

Any DC youth ages 18 & under can receive free breakfast and lunch meals at DCPS meal sites through December 31st, 2020.

How do youth ages 18 and younger get meals?

DC youth ages 18 and younger may receive up to 3 breakfast and 3 lunch meals daily at one of the 47 school locations. Parents/guardians are welcome to pick up meal packs on behalf of youth. To ensure the safety of other meal site attendees and staff please follow guidelines outlined by the Mayor’s Office and DC Health regarding coronavirus when visiting meal site locations.

What do meals consist of?

Breakfast and lunch meals will meet the USDA Child Nutrition meal pattern requirements based on each program. Meals consist of an entrée, fruit serving and/or vegetable serving, and a milk. If a student requires dietary accommodations, please contact DCPS Food & Nutrition Services at dietary.forms@k12.dc.gov, or request the dietary accommodations form from staff at any open meal site.

How much do meals cost?

Meals will be free for all DC youth ages 18 and younger through December 31st, 2020.

The following meal prices will be in place starting January 1st, 2021 for students enrolled at non-CEP schools. Students enrolled at CEP schools, and those who have been approved for Free and Reduced Meals (FARM), will continue to receive free breakfast and lunch.

  • Breakfast: Free

  • Lunch: $3.00

For students enrolled at non-CEP schools, Free and Reduced Meal (FARM) applications must be completed every school year to determine your student’s eligibility for FARM benefits. Families that believe they may qualify for FARM benefits are still encouraged to apply online now at https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application, in person at a meal pick-up site, or at their local school to prevent any disruption in meal service and qualification for any additional benefits.