Hearst Family Update

December 4, 2020

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Principal's Message

Good evening Owl families,

A big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to help us start to plan for reopening in Term 3 by completing the DCPS and Hearst surveys and participating in our grade level reopening meetings this week. An extra big thank you for our parent representatives on the LSAT who are hosting and note-taking during these sessions. Please see the key dates calendar below for upcoming meeting dates and links, as well as information about community building events happening this weekend.

Thanks for your continued partnership and I hope you're well,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

Quick Updates

  • If you're coming into the school to pick up materials, please know that you will be required to wear a mask and get your temperature scanned by one of our Patient Care Technicians. We're always happy to see you and know that for our collective safety, we will be maintaining social distancing practices with all visitors to the building.

  • The Hearst will close to the public on Wednesday, December 9, when our CARE classrooms start at Hearst. Thanks for your understanding.

  • DC has started to publish COVID data specific to DCPS and it can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/node/1506966

Virtual Learning Updates

The Academic Leadership Team (ALT) met earlier this week to discuss the challenges in student class and independent work completion in virtual learning. Our teachers noted the importance of streamlining work expectations for students and families and utilizing our blended learning program to provide opportunities for personalized and independent learning based on students’ skill levels. In light of our discussion, here are the two action steps we will be implementing at Hearst starting this week for our K-5th grade classes:

Action Step 1: Connect all assignments to either in-class work or blended learning programs

What it means:

  1. Teachers will identify and prioritize assignments that are MUST Do’s for students.
  1. Async work will only additional practice or must do’s from live lessons
  1. Students will use blended learning programs such as Zearn, First in Math, iReady Reading and Lexia for asynch work. Students should aim for 30-45 minutes of personalized learning in each subject area (Reading and Math) each week. Your classroom teacher will provide more directions

Action Step 2: Provide families and students a way to easily see what assignments are due each week

What it means:

In the class weekly updates in Bloomz, families and students will have access to a chart of weekly assignments that identifies:

1) In-class work that needs to be submitted for a grade
2) Other in-class work

3) Blended learning options

4) Weekly Objectives for subject areas

5) Materials needed

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your student’s homeroom teacher and/or Dr. Chen (elke.chen@k12.dc.gov).

ANet 2

We will be conducting our second round of ANet over the next 2 weeks. Students will complete the assessments online and during independent work time.

ANet Math: Independent work time, Wednesday 12/9 (12/10 if additional time needed)
ANet ELA: Independent work time, Monday 12/14 (12/15 if additional time needed)

Please review the attached document “Family Guide to Taking ANet Assessment at Home” for more information on how to help your student successfully complete the test at home.

Reopening Surveys

DCPS has issued a Term 3 and 4 demand survey and the link can be found here: https://bit.ly/PKto5survey. There are options to choose translated versions of the survey that can be found at the top right as a drop down. The deadline for families to respond to the DCPS survey is Dec. 4. The deadline for the Hearst survey sent out yesterday is December 8 and the link for that survey can be found here: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7kagKk6zM0qSt5md8rwKMrokwfOwIAhEmZryty8pQBJUQ01PRzZUNVlOOUo2SjRRTzlHVlQxM1BNSi4u.

DCPS Budget Info for LSAT Members and Others Who Are Interested

Advising on school budgets is a key role of LSATs. As you may have heard at the public budget hearing (recording available in English and Spanish) on November 23, DCPS will continue using the Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM) to fund schools for Fiscal Year 2022 (School Year 2021-2022). To learn more about the CSM, the budget process, and LSAT's role in school-level budget development, please join us for a webinar next Wednesday, December 9 at 4:30pm via Microsoft Teams. Click here to join via Teams or here to call in via phone. While the webinar content is designed for LSAT members, it is open to anyone who is interested, so please feel free to share the access information widely.


The Wellness Committee is excited to announce our #ThankAnOwlChallenge which officially kicks off today and runs through 12/18.

The goal behind the #ThankAnOwlChallenge is to spread some positivity in the Hearst community and to share our gratitude with one another. The challenge is to send a thank you to a Hearst student/staff/family member and for the recipient to pass it on to at least 3 other people. The message can be informal via an email, text, or whatever format you prefer. If you want to do a public shout out, you can also post it on the Hearst Kudoboard.

We hope you join us in the challenge!


The Wellness Committee

Hearst School Spirit Fridays

Show off your creativity and outfits as you get ready for our final School Spirit Friday - Hearst Swag Day. Spread the word, see you in your Hearst gear on 12/11, and reach out to Dr. Chen if you have any questions.

Hearst Readiness to Reopen - Updated 12/4/20

Below are listed the precautions that DCPS is putting in place to support a return to learning in the building. Please see the bolded statements to see where Hearst stands with these items.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Hygiene Supplies: Schools have the necessary general and enhanced PPE and hygiene supplies and are prepared to utilize the standardized inventory monitoring protocol established by central office to ensure timely supply replenishment. PPE & Hygiene supplies are on site at Hearst.
  • Cleaning Supplies & Procedures: Schools have the necessary cleaning supplies and are prepared to utilize the standardized inventory monitoring protocol established by central office to ensure timely supply replenishment. All cleaning supplies are from the EPA-registered list in the CDC guidance. School custodial staff have been trained to implement enhanced and deep cleaning protocols. Cleaning supplies are in place, training is ongoing.
  • Socially Distant Space Arrangement: Schools are set up to facilitate social distancing among staff and students, using resources provided by central office. Socially distant classrooms have been set up. Our compliance walkthrough with DCPS was successfully completed and our staff and family walkthrough occurred in November.
  • Signage: Schools have COVID-19 health signage (in English and other languages) posted in arrival spaces, hallways, and classrooms. Signage will address key COVID-19 public health and safety practices. Floor decals and signs have been placed around the school
  • Water Access: Schools have safe and reliable access to water in a manner that prevents risk of virus transmission. Water fountains in classrooms are turned on for use. Water fountains outside large group bathrooms are turned off. Single use and reusable water bottles are on site.
  • HVAC Enhancements: Schools are equipped with either a Direct Outside Air System (DOAS) with MERV-13/MERV-14 filters or High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. Enhanced filters have arrived and been installed and DCPS has provided portable HEPA filter units in all of our classrooms in addition to the MERV and DOAS work at Hearst. Providing the additional layer with the portable HEPA filters in the rooms gives us the most cost-effective way to add UVC into the filtration process as the portable units have a UVC light kit in them. Work on replacing pipes in the second floor HVAC system in the historic and new building wraps up today. Next week, contractors begin replacing HVAC pipes on the first floor, with an anticipated completion date on January 8.
  • Plumbing Systems: School plumbing work orders related to bathrooms, sinks, and water supply systems are prioritized so that schools are ready to welcome students and staff. All sinks, toilets, and water supply systems in the building are working properly.

As a reminder, our school readiness checklist can also be found at dcpsreopenstrong.com/school-plans/. On each page, you can download a reopening plan for each school, review the status of its school readiness checklist, and find other resources for the school community around reopening. All of the DCPS health and safety resources for families are online at dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/

Reminder: Staff Absences and Coverage of Live Instruction

The availability of substitutes who can effectively step in to cover live instruction for our staff is limited right now, even more so than a typical school year. We were reminded of this last week when a staff member had an unexpected family emergency. As in previous years, we will do our best to arrange substitute coverage using our own staff, but doing so means pulling staff from the live instruction that they were scheduled to provide to other groups of students.

Please know that in the case of staff emergency absences, we will always attempt to provide some coverage of live instruction but may not be able to secure a substitute for the full day of live instruction and therefore may need to cancel some live sessions. The call to cancel live classes is never ideal and we understand the disruption and stress that can cause families. We will do our best to limit cancelling live classes and thank you in advance for your understanding if we do have to cancel live classes because of a staff emergency.

Reminder: Vaccinations 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 80.83% as of 10-11-2020. 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 (see here for a list of required immunizations). Immunizations must be up to date to take an in-person seat or CARES seats starting in Term 2.

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.

Reminder: SY20-21 Calendars Available

After delays due to the public health emergency, printed SY20-21 calendars, titled DCPS Legacy, were delivered to schools this week. Each school received English and Spanish versions of the calendar to distribute to families and staff members as you see fit. Digital versions of the calendar are available on the DCPS website in English, Spanish, Amharic, French, Vietnamese, and Chinese. If you would like to pick up a calendar, they will be on tables in the hallway outside the main office near the student materials.

Reminder: Impact Aid Survey Open (10/30-12/22)

Each year, DCPS asks all families to complete the Impact Aid survey to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. This year, the survey has moved to an electronic format using the Seamless platform and will be open for completion from October 30th to December 22nd. All DCPS families should complete one survey per child, not household, in their preferred language and submit by Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Please complete the survey using the links below:

Amharic: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_Ahmaric

Chinese: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_Chinese

English: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_English

French: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_French

Spanish: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_Spanish

Vietnamese: https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/DCPSImpactAid_Vietnamese

If you have questions, please contact us at DCPSImpactAid@k12.dc.gov.

News and Announcements from DCPS

Reminder: DCPS Immunization Compliance Updates and Immunization Requirements for CARE and In Person Classroom Participants

As a reminder, all public and public charter schools in DC are required to verify student compliance with school immunization requirements before students may participate in any in-person learning opportunities. Students must be up to date with all required immunizations in order to accept a seat in a DCPS CARE or in person classroom. Our school nurse can confirm students’ current immunization status and whether they have been cleared to participate in in-person learning. She can be reached at SyFisher@childrensnational.org.