SHMS Family Newsletter

January 16, 2022

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

Thank you to everyone for helping us complete a safe return to school for students. Your efforts to test-to-return, get vaccinated, and complete the "Ask, Ask, Look" form daily all go a long way towards optimizing a safe environment in school. As a reminder, you can continue to find comprehensive information about waivers, access to test kits, and other FAQs on the DCPS Safe Return to School website.

It is hard to believe it, but we just completed our only five-day week of classes in January last week and the end of the term will be here before we know it. As everyone works to finish up strong I hope we also take some time this weekend to remember the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While the pandemic may be limiting us, opportunities to work with others in service of our communities and a better, more equal, and equitable future for young people still abound. Personally, I am reflecting on how our work as a school community during a pandemic is an example of the kind of selfless and compassionate service that Dr. King modeled and inspired us all to take.

As we navigate this moment in the pandemic, I hope that everyone continues to exercise optimism and care as we continue with in-person school for our students. Have a great weekend and school week everyone!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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Upcoming Dates: January 17-21

This Week:

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


  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observed, schools closed


  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!
  • MOY ELA testing (ANet), in ELA classes
  • Open House for Prospective Families (virtual), 6:00-7:30 PM


  • A great instructional day!
  • MOY ELA testing (ANet), in ELA classes

Upcoming Dates

  • January 24-25, MOY ELA testing (Reading Inventory)
  • January 26, Last day of Term 2 (deadline for all work), no school for students
  • January 27, First day of Term 3, welcome back students!
  • February 1, 2022, 11:59:59 PM MySchoolDC High School application closes.
  • February 2, Picture Day (during Science classes)
  • February 15, 2022, Open House for Prospective Families, 6:00-7:30 PM
  • February 21-25, 2022, Winter Recess, no school for students or teachers

Athletics Schedule

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated or submit medical or religious exemption forms to be eligible to participate. If exemption is approved, a weekly negative COVID test must be submitted to remain eligible.


Cheerleading tryouts - TBA

Head Coach: Joi Robins-

Girls Bowling

Team Interest Meeting: TBA

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-

Girls Basketball

*All games are closed contest. ( No spectators )

Tuesday: (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Johnson MS @ Johnson MS 4:45pm

Wednesday: ( Practice) 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Thursday: (Game ) Stuart-Hobson vs. Eliot-Hine @ Eliot-Hine 4:45pm

Head Coach: Troy Henderson -

Boys Basketball

*All games are closed contest. ( No spectators)

Tuesday: (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Johnson MS @ Johnson MS 6:00pm

Thursday: (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Eliot-Hine @ Eliot-Hine 6:00pm

Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson -

Co-Ed Swimming

Tuesday: (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Dunbar High School

Thursday: ( Meet) 5:00pm @ HD Woodson Aquatic Center

Head Coach: Leonard Booker -

Indoor Track


Boys Head Coach- Taurus McGhee -

Girls Head Coach- Mark Smith-

Ski Club

Interest meeting date - TBA

Club Sponsor- Michelle Rumph -


Outdoor Track & Field




If you have any questions regarding student eligibility, medical clearance, or interested in supporting Stuart- Hobson athletics. Please contact Richard Strong (Health/PE Teacher / Athletic Director ) at

Click on the link below to submit athletic forms online.

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

A shout out to our boys and girls basketball teams and coaches, including Mr. Henderson. Both teams have been very competitive during the first part of the season and are giving us reason to celebrate! Thank you to all of our winter coaches and players for keeping our winning traditions alive!

Thank you to our department chairs and instructional coaches for working together to fill-in and organize instruction when we experience staffing challenges. Your leadership, adaptability, and optimism are assets for our community of educators whenever obstacles arise in our path. Thank you Ms. Lee, Ms. Rosera, Ms. Smullen, Ms. Gordon, Ms. Doherty, Mr. Hawkins, and Ms. Trueblood (Gaskill) for sharing your bottomless energy with us!

New Information and Important Updates

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

Spelling Bee Updates

The parents/guardians of all students who indicated they would like to participate in the Stuart Hobson Spelling Bee have been contacted. If your child did not have a chance to express their interest in participating, or if you would like to express their interest for them, please register on the Scripps Spelling Bee website by visiting

I encourage you to watch this video tutorial that will walk you through the registration process:

You will need Stuart Hobson's zip code to register your child. Our zip code is 20002.

The deadline to register your child is January 18th. If you have any problems with the registration process, please don't hesitate to reach out to To prepare for this competition, students should study words found in this 2022 Spelling Bee folder.

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2021 Lost & Found Items to Be Donated

Any Lost & Found items that were not picked up before the end of 2021 have been moved to the back of the auditorium. During the February vacation the PTA will be taking any remaining items that are in good condition to a local charity as donations. The main lobby Lost & Found will hold any items found in 2022 through the end of the school year. We encourage students and families to visit either Lost & Found location to retrieve some of the many items that have been left around school.

HVAC & Hoodies

We are grateful to everyone for your patience and persistence during the retro-commissioning of the HVAC system here. DGS and engineers are continuing to work on repairs to our system. We experienced fluctuating temperatures this week and expect that to continue while some immediate repairs are taken care of in the coming days. Please be sure that your student has a sweater or sweatshirt to accompany their polo shirt during the winter months.

A few questions have come up about the hoody policy recently. To clarify, students ARE allowed to wear hoodies that meet the other expectations for long-sleeve clothing (e.g. crewnecks sweaters and sweatshirts). Hoodies should also be a solid color (red, white, or black) and have a single logo that is no larger than a dollar bill. Further, while students can wear hoodies, we expect them to keep the hood itself off of their head. Teachers and staff will redirect students for wearing hoodies, or other clothing, that does not meet the uniform policies and expectations.

Staffing Support

As most of you are aware, we have been challenged by some staffing situations throughout the school year. While some of these are short-term or isolated challenges, we do have some needs that are more long-term. While we have plans in place to address these challenges and fill gaps with our staff, there are ways that we could bolster the staffing situation. If you know of anyone who would be interested in any of the following positions, or regular substitute work, please encourage them to reach out to Principal Fraser directly. Here's where we could make use of hep in the mid to long-term with what remains of this school year:

1. Teacher, Science

2. Teacher, Special Education (CES)

3. Aide, Special Education

4. Teacher, Substitute - Apply here!

Thank you all again for your help, feedback, and patience while we have navigated the different staffing challenges this school year!

Previous Announcements & Resources

All Newsletters

You can find previously released newsletters and information here.

The most current version of the Student & Family Handbook is linked on our website.

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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

Results from Weekly Asymptomatic Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends offering coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in schools. COVID-19 testing helps schools identify cases of COVID-19 quickly and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections at school. For the 2021-22 school year, your student’s school is participating in a citywide COVID-19 school based testing program available to all DC public and public charter schools. our

Whenever your student participates in asymptomatic Covid-19 testing the results will be shared securely with the student’s parent/guardian (or the adult student directly), the appropriate school official(s), and DC Health. All testing is free.

Attachments linked below will give you information on the asymptomatic Covid-19 testing process and directions on how to view your child's test results and a contact number if you need support. Our AGENCY CODE is "StuHobMS". This agency code is case-sensitive. Feel free to contact AP Turner or our school's main office with any questions. Please note that we will not always inform you about whether or not your student participates on a given day but testing regularly takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, results are typically available within 24 hours and before school begins the following day.

Thank you for allowing your student to participate in asymptomatic testing. We want to remind everyone to get vaccinated to improve our ability to defeat Covid-19!

File attachments:
05_Process Flow Infographic w_out DOB w Bags (1).pdf
Patient portal login_k12.pdf
Call Center Flyer_with WGS.pdf

Spelling Bee!

We are thrilled to announce that the Stuart-Hobson Annual Spelling Bee is just around the corner. This year's competition will happen virtually. This is our timeline:

  1. Students will be asked in their 8th period class to complete a form indicating whether they would like to compete in this year's spelling bee by 1/11/22.
  2. Parents/caregivers will be contacted by email with instructions on how to register interested student participants for the test. Registrations must be completed by 1/17/22.
  3. Students will compete by grade level by taking an on-line multiple-choice test designed by the Scripps National Spelling Bee on 1/21/22. The top ten students from each grade level will advance to our Schoolwide Bee.
  4. These top 30 spellers will compete in our Schoolwide Bee on 1/27/22. (The format of this test will also be online and will require students to listen to a list of spelling words and type each one.)
  5. The top three spellers from this Schoolwide Bee will advance to the Cluster Spelling Bee (2/9/22) where they will compete against other students across the city.

Please encourage your student to participate. If spelling in front of a crowd usually makes your student nervous, this year's virtual format should be very reassuring! Students will be given a chance to sign up to participate in 8th period, during the week of 1/10/22. However, if as a caregiver, you would like to sign your child up to participate, feel free to e-mail me directly ( with your child's first and last name and grade level. (You can "voluntell" them to participate this way.) Spelling words to practice can be found in this 2022 Spelling Bee folder.

National History Day Projects

Thank you to the SHMS Social Studies Department for connecting with families to share information about this year's NHD projects and competition. If you missed the meeting you are welcome to watch the recording at any time. If you have questions or requests after that, please reach out to your student's Social Studies teacher or our department chair, Ms. Atinuke Doherty (

Thanks again to our team and we cannot wait to see what our students ask, research, and create for this year's competition!

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!

Check Grades in the Aspen Family Portal

Aspen Family Portal accounts have been available since 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:

Also, we recommend that families download the Grade Corner app to their smartphones or other devices. This app was created by an SHMS parent, requires an Aspen login, and allows you to see all of your student's grades in one place. In addition to seeing report cards, it is a quick and easy tool for keeping tabs on your student's progress.

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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,

Policies & Daily Operations

Student Breakfast and Lunch Adjustments for 2022

We will be adjusting both our breakfast and lunch routines when students return to school in January. Based on data from other schools that have been offering indoor meals since the beginning of the year, we are confident that we can pivot to indoor breakfast and lunch during the winter months without compromising student safety. Additionally, these new plans will help us to accommodate and supervise students during the colder months of the school year. Please see summaries of our updated plans below:

Breakfast - Students will continue to enter on 4th Street, beginning at 8:15. Students will be directed to the cafeteria for breakfast or to the gym for supervision until we bring students upstairs to prepare for their first period class at 8:45. We will have assigned spaces in each location for the different grade levels and will encourage all COVID safety guidelines (e.g. mask wearing, social distancing, etc.).

Lunch - We will return to the lunch and recess model that we used before the pandemic began. At the beginning of each lunch period the entire grade level will enter the cafeteria and sit in assigned locations (with classmates from the previous period). Once everyone is seated, half of the grade level will have a 20-minute recess outside (weather permitting) while the other half eats lunch in the cafeteria. Halfway through the period we will switch the recess and cafeteria groups. While students are in the cafeteria eating they will be able to spread out into available seating to maximize social distancing. Again, we will continue to encourage adherence to all COVID health and safety guidance (e.g. mask wearing when not eating, hand and respiratory hygiene, etc.)

We will communicate these plans to students during upcoming Town Halls and our Welcome Back Assemblies (scheduled before their lunch periods) on the first day of school in 2022.

Please reach out to your grade-level administrator with any questions about these planned changes.

DCIAA Athletic Events Update - No Spectators

Attention SHMS Families and Fans!

Thank you for your support of our student-athletes. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the city and region, spectators will not be permitted at athletic programming at our school. We recognize that this is disappointing news for our families and supporters. The health and safety of our students remains our highest priority.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

DCPS Attendance Policy Updates

This is a reminder about updates to DC Public Schools’ policy regarding unexcused absences related to COVID-19 and Virtual Learning Program for school year 2021-22. If your student has unexcused absences related to COVID-19 or Virtual Learning Program this school year, please review the information below to determine whether your student's absences are eligible to be excused. If you believe your student to be eligible, you must submit a note to your school’s Attendance Point of Contact (Ms. Hargrove) for absences to be excused.

COVID-19 Close Contact: You may now submit a note for an excused absence if your student was absent from school because the student, or a member of the student’s household, was determined to be a close contact of a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Students whose absences were not previously eligible for excusal for this reason can now have those absences excused.

Virtual Learning Program Expansion: If your student is approved for virtual learning under new requirements set by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), their previous absences related to COVID-19 can also be excused.

Please complete and submit the excuse note provided below if your child has been absent from school this school year due to one of the following reasons:

1. Your child or a member of your household was determined to be a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19; or

2. Your child has recently been approved for the Virtual Learning Program and has had COVID-related absences between the start of school and November 30, 2021.

Notes must be submitted via email, text, or hand-delivery to your child’s school on or before December 17, 2021, so that your child’s absence can be recorded as excused. For the rest of this school year, please submit excuse notes to your school within five days of your child’s return to school from an absence.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your school’s attendance Point of Contact, Ms. Hargrove.

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.

Supports for Students & Families

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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,

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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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