SHMS Family Newsletter

November 7, 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

Congratulations to all of our students, families, faculty and staff for finishing the first term in another unprecedented school year! Teachers will be working to finish all Term 1 grades this week while kicking off Term 2 with our students. As we begin the second term, we will revisit many schoolwide expectations and routines, including a few where we have made adjustments. Specifically, we will be revisiting routines for daily operations (e.g. uniforms, lockers, and transitions) and launching our 1:1 device program.

As of this coming week, all students will have access to a DCPS-issued device during the school day. For now, we will only send devices home when students are on a mandatory quarantine. If you still have a school-issued device at home (from last year, last summer, or this school year), that is the device that your student is assigned so please return it to school this week. If your assigned device, was lost, stolen, or damaged, please contact the school so we can report it and get a replacement assigned.

Thank you to the families and staff who showed up for this week's LSAT and parent meet-up events. We hope to see even more people at Monday evening's PTA meeting when Principal Sah Brown from Eastern will be dropping by to talk about the great work happening there!

Welcome to the second term and here's to a great restart for everyone!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser



Upcoming Dates: November 8-12

This Week:

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


  • 1st Day of Term 2 - A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!


  • Veterans Day observed, no school for students, staff, or teachers


Upcoming Dates

  • November 11, Veterans Day observed, no school for students, teachers, or staff
  • November 16, Parent University: Check in on our Social Emotional Well Being and Mental Health. Sign up Flyer here. (In Spanish as well!)
  • McKinley Tech Virtual Open House, 6-7:30 PM
  • November 24-26, Thanksgiving Recess, no school for students or teachers
  • December 11, EdFest
  • December 14, Open House for Prospective Families (virtual), 7:00-8:30 PM
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Athletics Schedule

Stuart-Hobson will be competing in the DCIAA winter sports season. Listed below are the winter sports Stuart-Hobson will be offering.

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be vaccinated by November 1 to be eligible to participate.

Girls Bowling

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-

Girls Basketball:

Friday: Basketball Workout 3:30pm - 5:30pm

**Girls Basketball Try-Outs will be November 1 - November 5

Head Coach: Troy Henderson -

Assistant Coach: Natasha Lee -

*** Students must have athletic forms submitted and medically cleared to attend open workout sessions.

Boys Basketball

Friday: Basketball Workouts: 3:30pm-5:00pm

**Boys Basketball Try-Outs will be November 1 - November 5

Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson - Sylvester.Robinson@DC.GOV

*** Students must have athletic forms submitted and medically cleared to attend open workout sessions.

Co-Ed Swimming

Head Coach: Leonard Booker -

Indoor Track

Head Coach: Mark Smith-

Head Coach: Taurus McGhee -


Head Coach: Joi Robins-

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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

Congratulations to Ms. Abou-Samra's GeoPlunge club, Ms. Bonner's We The Girls club, and Ms. Smullen's class as they tied for first place in the Bullying Prevention Month door decorating competition. Honorable mention went to Ms. Kyer's 8th-period study block!

Congratulations to our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in the Bully Prevention Awareness Month poster competition. Students Inez, Chloe, and Liora took those titles, respectively and their posters are below! Thanks to everyone for participating and for working with us always to Stomp Out Bullying!

New Information and Important Updates

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

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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!

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.

Guide to College and Career Academies

DCPS will mail The Guide to College and Career Academies to all DCPS 8th graders during the week of November 8th. The Guide to College and Career Academies helps 8th grade DCPS students understand what’s available in many of our DCPS high schools for hands-on career exposure and college preparation. The personalized guides share information about the NAF College and Career Academies available at each student’s in-boundary schools, as well as the College and Career Academies at DCPS high schools across the District. If you have any questions about the Guide or want additional resources, please reach out to either of our guidance counselors, Ms. Williams or Ms. Schimmerling.

8th Graders: Interested in Traveling the World?

The Study Abroad Program is a great opportunity to travel, learn, and experience other places, cultures, and languages. This is a fully funded trip in the summer. Applications are open and due by November 12, 2021 at Need more information or help completing your application? See Ms. Taylor in Room 109.

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.

PTA Updates


In addition to our weekly newsletters, we have list serves at each campus! The list serves are another source of information for parents, created by the Cluster PTA.

Please take a few moments to sign up for your school:


Please join us for our November PTA General Meeting at 8:00pm on Zoom!

We will be joined by Eastern High School Principal Sah Brown who will talk about his vision for Eastern High School and take Q&A from parents.

In addition, our campus teams will present fall grants to prepare for community voting next week. We hope to see you on Monday night!

(Zoom link to follow over the weekend.)


The Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA is excited to announce the Panther Fund, an annual fundraising campaign to support our students, teachers, staff,

and families at Peabody, Watkins, and Stuart-Hobson! Between November 2nd and December 1st, the Panther Fund seeks to raise $50,000. Our goal is to replace the income from two fundraisers that had to be canceled due to COVID – the Renovators House Tour and the Mini Capitol Hill Classic. And while we are hopeful that our spring fundraisers – the Auction and the Capitol Hill Classic – will take place as planned, this fund will ensure that our school year’s fundraising goals are met. We are asking families to please consider donating $30, $50 or $100 per scholar. Donations will be accepted through our Panther Fund Greater Giving page:


The PTA is working on a Community Event on Sunday November 21st from approximately 2:00pm-5:00pm.


Please keep your eyes out for more details next week!

Calling all DCPS Retirees!

DCPS is currently recruiting individuals who retired from the Teachers’ Retirement Plan to join our dedicated force of substitute teachers! We are sharing two new initiatives—increased compensation for long-term substitutes and a signing bonus—for DCPS retirees who re-join our ranks.

  • Increased Compensation for Long-Term Service: Returning retirees will receive a higher rate of pay ($300/full day vs. $150/full day) beginning on the thirty-first day of continuous service.
  • Signing Bonus: We will also offer a $4,500 signing bonus to retirees who agree to serve at least 90 consecutive days as a substitute teacher. This bonus includes $2,500 upon hire with the first paycheck and a year-end bonus of $2,000.

Please reach out to DCPS at for additional information or to get involved in this initiative.

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

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!

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,

SHMS Athletic Coach Vacancies

Please consider supporting students and the SHMS Athletics program by applying for one of our coaching vacancies. Please see the vacancies and accompanying stipends below.

Winter Sports Season

Boys Basketball Assistant Coach- $1,000.00

Spring Season

Boys Lacrosse Head Coach- $812.00

Girls Lacrosse Head Coach- $812.00

Baseball Head Coach - $2,000.00

Interested candidates, please email

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).

Update: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Student-Athletes and Coaches

Today, we are providing an important clarification on the policy and urgent action needed by staff and student-athletes who are not yet vaccinated.

This notice clarifies and supersedes the notice that was provided to you on September 23, 2021.

Vaccination Requirement for Adults

Beginning November 1, 2021, all adults who are regularly in DCPS schools must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the individual has received a religious or medical exemption granted in accordance with the Mayor’s Order #2021-109. This includes coaches, game officials, bus drivers, athletic trainers, and other athletic personnel.

Vaccination Requirement for Student-Athletes
Also beginning on November 1, any DCPS student participating in any school-based extracurricular athletics must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless the student-athlete has received an exemption. Unvaccinated, non-exempt individuals will not be allowed to participate in any team activities, including practice, competitions, scrimmages, and pre-season activities.

It is especially imperative that student-athletes ages 12-17 receive their first vaccination dose as soon as possible to be on track to remain eligible for athletics participation on November 1, 2021.

Please note, that if a student has their 12th birthday between September 20 and November 1, 2021, their vaccination requirement deadline is extended to December 13. For student-athletes who turn 12 years old after November 1, 2021, the deadline for vaccination is two months after their birthday.

Currently, individuals ages 12-17 may only receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, whereas individuals ages 18 and older may receive any available vaccine.

We encourage all student-athletes 12 and older and adults working as athletic personnel at our schools to visit and get vaccinated at a clinic near them. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and free.

We will communicate more information soon on how individuals should submit proof of their vaccination status or request a religious or medical exemption.

Thank you,


Aspen Family Portal Login

Aspen Family Portal accounts will be available 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:

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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