Hearst Family Update

June 19, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good afternoon, Owl Families,

A huge thanks our PTA for creating the Wish Tree project on the front grounds of the school last week. If you haven't looked at the Bloomz album with photos of the wishes and trees, please do so!

As I mentioned last week, as we close out this school year, we are also busy planning for the upcoming school year. Hearst and DCPS plans for a full return to in person learning 5 days a week in August, with all staff returning to teach in person in the building. We also plan to offer before and after care and will be partnering with a new organization in the coming year to provide these services. Below is our tentative staffing roster and assignments for the upcoming year and we'll be sharing additional information about our new staff in our updates over the summer. Please be sure to re-enroll so that you can be added to our summer distribution list and receive these updates. If you're having trouble with the online enrollment process, please reach out to Ms. Hinchey (manik.hinchey@k12.dc.gov) with any enrollment questions.

As a reminder to all those who will be coming to Hearst in the last week of school for end of year celebrations, all current health, safety, and school operational policies will remain in effect for DCPS staff, students, and visitors. This means that our mitigation strategies to keep students and staff safe such as wearing masks, social distancing, student cohorting, and daily health screenings are staying in place. Families, please remember to continue to wear masks when on school property. Additionally, please know that any families planning on attending a school-sponsored end of year celebration will need to provide the names and contact information for all those attending the event. This is required by DCPS in the event that we need to do any contact tracing after the event and your child's teacher will be collecting this information from you.

Thanks for your continued partnership and hope you're having a great weekend,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

Monday, June 21

  • 10:00-11:00 5th Grade Promotion (gym)
  • 2:00-3:00 - K Prince celebration (playground)

Tuesday, June 22
  • 2:00-3:00 - K Clark celebration (playground)

Wednesday, June 23
  • 9:00-10:00 - 1st grade celebration (playground)
  • 12:00-4:00 - 5th grade celebration (parking lot, playground, basketball court & upper field)

Thursday, June 24
  • Last Day for Students
  • 9:30-10:00 Dilley/Stacey celebration (playground)
  • 1:00-2:00 - K Gray celebration (playground)

  • 2:30-3:00 – School wide Virtual Dance Party

Friday, June 25

  • Last Day for 10-month Staff

June 28-July 2 - Hearst Hosts Eaton's Summer Acceleration Academy
July 12-30 - Hearst Summer Acceleration Academy

SY21-22 Key Dates

August 18 - Back to School Information Session for Families, 9:00-10:00am & 7:00-8:00pm
August 20 - First Day for 10-month Staff

August 27 - Open House for Students & Families in PM

August 30 - First Day of SY21-22 for K-5

September 2 & 3 - First Days of SY21-22 PK classes (Half of class comes Thursday & the second half comes Friday - more details will be shared in the coming months)

Quick Updates

  • This week, the playground will be closed to non-Hearst kids and adults from 8:00am-3:30pm to allow us to set up, hold, and break down end of year celebrations.

  • Reminder:We've noticed kids walking from the front of the school around the side of the building on the tree-covered hillside that faces Tilden Street. In some cases they are going to classroom windows and knocking on them while teachers are leading lessons in classrooms. Please remind your kids that this behavior is unsafe and the side of the building is not an area in which they should be playing. Thanks!

  • Reminder: The school parking lot is for Hearst staff use from 8:00-3:30, Monday through Friday. Please do not park in the lot during these hours.
  • Reminder: 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!

Returning DCPS-issued Devices, Chargers, and Headphones

At the end of students’ in-person session on Thursday, June 24, all DCPS-issued devices, chargers, and headphones will be collected from students so that they can be updated and serviced over the summer. Families of students who are not in person have until Wednesday, June 30, to turn in DCPS-issued devices, chargers, and headphones to Ms. Johnson in the main office. As a reminder, the office is open from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday.

Yearbook Distribution & Sales

Yearbooks are finally here! Mrs. Boyle will be distributing yearbooks to all students who are in the building for in person learning on Monday June 21st- Tuesday June 22nd. Please ensure that your child's first and last name is written inside the front cover of their yearbook to avoid losing it! If you paid for your yearbook to ship directly to your house, it should arrive soon. Additionally, 5th graders may expect to receive their yearbooks during promotion. If you have any questions or issues that arise during distribution, feel free to contact Mrs. Boyle (ashley.boyle@k12.dc.gov) and Ms. Schiers (sarah.schiers@k12.dc.gov).

We are almost completely sold out of yearbooks. We have five yearbooks left for this school year, 2020-2021. If you are interested in purchasing one of these yearbooks, please contact Mrs. Boyle at ashley.boyle@k12.dc.gov. The yearbooks are $25 each. We also have one yearbook left from the previous school year, 2019-2020. You can also reach out to Mrs. Boyle if you'd like to get a copy of last year's book!

Staff Transitions

Closing out the school year also means saying goodbye to staff who will be transitioning to other schools in the coming year. Below are goodbye messages from the staff who will be moving on from Hearst at the conclusion of this school year. Please join me in thanking all of them for their contributions to Hearst and wishing them all the best in their new adventures!

Tandra Brown, Social Worker

I am writing you today to inform you that I will be leaving Hearst at the end of the 20-21 school year. I am thankful for the many connections that I have made in my time here and for all that we have accomplished through our partnerships! I am proud of the work we have been able to do together and so proud of the progress your child has made! It has been a joy to watch them grow! I am thankful for how the Hearst community welcomed me 3 years ago and for all you've done to support me in my role as social worker here. I wish each of you the very best! I will still be with DCPS and transitioning over the summer so please feel free to reach out with any needs and I will do my best to support or lead you in the right direction.

Cristina Cantillo-Show, Spanish & ELL Teacher

Hola Hearst Community,

It was a great pleasure to teach Spanish and support the ELL team at Hearst these past two years. We learned so many things during this time! Amazing Hearst families I cannot thank you enough for the support and the appreciation I received from you all and the community.

I just want to share with you about my plans for SY 21-22, and it is with a heavy heart that I am letting you know I have accepted a new role as an ELL teacher at Truesdell Elementary. It was a difficult decision, but this move will allow me to focus primarily on ELL along with being closer home. I want you all to know that I absolutely LOVED being a Spanish teacher at Hearst. Working at Hearst Elementary has been one of the best teaching experiences of my career so far.

My dear Hearst students I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to be your Spanish teacher for the past two years. Not only your Spanish skills have improved, but you have grown up every day becoming such amazing individuals. I LOVED coming to work every day and guiding your motivation to learn Spanish. I am truly going to miss each and every one of you!

Take care and keep learning Spanish!

Wishing you all the best in the future!


Cristina Cantillo-Show

Josh Levin, 5th Grade Math/Science Teacher

Hearst Families,

I am moving to a different DCPS location, where I will be taking on a role as a math and data coach, while also still having an opportunity to teach 5th grade math. This was an incredibly difficult decision, as I have spent seven incredible years at Hearst, but I’m so excited to take this next step in my career. Thank you to all the families and coworkers that encouraged and supported me as I grew from a brand new elementary school teacher to a wise old owl. I hope to see you all continue to thrive in the future!

Best wishes,


Emily Loughead, 5th Grade ELA Teacher

This will be my last year at Hearst, and I am so thankful for the love and support throughout my time here. I am moving to New York City this summer to complete a Literacy Specialist Master's program from Teachers College at Columbia. The Hearst community has been an incredible place to spend my past five years teaching and I have grown so much as an educator and partner from the support of families like you all. I will miss being a Hearst Owl and wish all the best for our students as they return to school next year. I hope to come back and visit soon but feel free to stay in touch! My DCPS email will no longer be active after the last day of school, but my personal email is erealoughead@gmail.com.

Ian Norden, 3-5 CES Partner Teacher

Hello Hearst Family,

Unfortunately, I will not be returning to Hearst next school year as my graduate program becomes full time. I appreciate all the support and I received from this community and hope to see you all again as I continue my career in DCPS. It has been a pleasure getting to know all the Hearst staff members and families throughout this past year. This time next year I will be fully licensed to teach elementary education and hold a graduate degree in Elementary Ed.

Thank you all so much,


Dylan Stacey, 3rd Grade Math/Science Teacher

Hello Hearst Families,

It's very bittersweet that I share this news that I won't be returning next year. My wife and I are moving to California, which is something we've considered for some time and finally decided to take the plunge. I'm excited for this next adventure and happy I'll be much closer to my family on the west coast, though feel sad to be leaving my Hearst family, as well. I feel so lucky to have found this job and have truly enjoyed my 5 years as part of the Hearst community. Thank you all for everything!



Outdoor Learning Resources

All DCPS schools received funds a few weeks ago to purchase outdoor learning materials and equipment. For this round of funding, schools had to select from a menu of options provided by DCPS. With the funds allocated to Hearst, we purchased a structure to shade the rear plaza, picnic tables, and other flexible seating options that can be used indoors and outdoors. More information about these materials and how we'll use this space will be shared in August.

CWG Update from Jonathan Topping, Hearst's Parent Representative

As many of you may have seen from Brian Doyle’s post last week, the DCPS Community Working Group(CWG) for the new Foxhall and MacArthur Schools concluded, and they have delivered a final recommendation letter to the Chancellor. I’m reattaching the letter, but I wanted to share some key takeaways, particularly those that would have an impact on the Hearst community. I’ll focus on the MacArthur options, which would propose a new secondary school (either middle or high school).

As a reminder, the three options for the secondary schools were:

· A new high school to relieve overcrowding at Wilson, by redirecting Hardy to feed into the new high school.

· A new 9th grade academy. This option was unpopular among various stakeholders, including students, and the CWG did not move forward with this recommendation.

· A new middle school that would create a third middle school to feed into Wilson. This would shift 1-2 elementary schools that currently feed into Deal into the new middle school. (these ES would be named in the coming months after some community engagement)

The first two options do not impact Hearst, but the new middle school option would likely impact Hearst, because we are one of the southern-most elementary schools currently feeding into Deal MS.

CWG’s Recommendations, Impact to Hearst

Here are some key excerpts from the CWG’s letter:

· The option to create a new high school (no Hearst impact) is more heavily favored in the CWG recommendations write-up:

"this option received the most support among stakeholders, though with some concerns related to the site amenities, size, and transportation options for a new high school"

· The option for providing an additional middle school (likely to impact Hearst) to feed into Wilson was less favored, but still flagged as "recommended” by the CWG:

“The group recognizes that there was mixed feedback to this option among stakeholders, with least support within Deal feeders who could potentially be re-assigned to Hardy. There is significant concern within the group around advancing a new middle school without identifying a high school solution for Wilson.”

What’s Next?

We expect a final decision for the options on how to use the new properties to be made soon by the Chancellor. One thing to remember is that only Wilson High School or Deal Middle School will get overcrowding relief, not both. So whatever is decided in the coming weeks, we should expect more discussions and shifts in the coming years to relieve the school that this MacArthur property could not.

We will keep you posted on any new developments, and if there are any ways the Hearst community may need to engage.

Enrolling for Next School Year

Enrollment season has kicked off and you can re-enroll your child for the 2021-2022 school year! On behalf of the entire Hearst family, we would like to thank you for the privilege of educating your child this current school year, and we look forward to continuing our work together next year. We can’t wait to have even more exciting experiences together next year.As the Hearst teachers, staff, and leadership are already thinking about next year, please remember to complete re-enrollment for your child for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. If you’ve already completed re-enrollment, we want to thank you for doing so! All families are encouraged to re-enroll early to help us better prepare for next year. To do so, please complete the following three steps:

1. Complete the enrollment packet: Download the full enrollment packet

2. Provide proof of DC residency: Review residency verification guidelines

3. Submit the completed enrollment packet and proof of DC residency to your school.

We also are happy to help you in any way so that you can check re-enrollment off your summer to-do list. Please reach out to Manik.Hinchey@k12.dc.gov for this support.

Thanks again to you and your family for being part of our school community. It is an honor to serve your family, and we look forward to continued partnership with you and your child next year.

Next School Year at Hearst (as of June 2021)

As DC Public Schools and Hearst plans for a full reopening to in person learning in August with all staff teaching in person, we are focused on enhancing the school experience and student learning by: strengthening relationships between students, teachers, and families; providing joyful opportunities at school that accelerate learning; continuing our unwavering focus on health and safety; and addressing inequities through systemic change.

Please read below for an update on the health and safety measures that will be in place for in-person learning as well as a new virtual option available for eligible students for School Year 2021-2022. As a reminder, before and after school programming at Hearst will also be operating in the upcoming school year.

Back-to-School Health & Safety Measures

For SY21-22, here’s what families can expect at school to maintain a safe environment for in-person learning:

  • HVAC enhancements allow for well-ventilated spaces at every school, including state-of-the-art HEPA filters in classrooms and air quality sensors throughout the building.

  • Practice safe routines: All staff, students, and visitors must wear a mask or face covering, and daily PPE and hygiene supplies will be provided.

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols for high-touch surfaces, and a deep cleaning completed after a suspected or reported COVID-19 case.

  • Space arrangements: Students should be separated as far as possible, and individual desks and tables are to be facing the same direction to the extent feasible.

  • Student meals: Pre-K and Kindergarten students will eat in the classroom and all other grades will eat in the cafeteria. Social distancing should be followed while eating and drinking, to the extent feasible.

  • Student cohort interactions will be limited to the extent feasible, but there will be no cap for student or staff cohort interactions in any grade.

  • Screen for illness: Students and staff will complete a daily “Ask, Ask, Look” screening, but temperatures will not be taken upon arrival at school.

  • COVID-19 reporting protocols: Schools will report positive cases with a school community if a person has been in the building during their infectious period, along with a quarantine protocol. Additional information about asymptomatic testing will be shared over the summer.

Virtual Learning for Students with Medical Need

We hope and expect the overwhelming majority of our students will return to full-time in-person learning in the fall. However, we know there are students who have a documented medical condition who need to continue virtual learning. To support these students, DCPS will offer virtual instruction for a limited number of students who meet medical eligibility requirements. Virtual instruction based on medical need will be available across all grades.

You can review the medical eligibility form and read a FAQ for families at https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/sy21-22/virtual.

After the COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification form is uploaded online, families will be notified once their virtual learning request is processed. You can also drop a completed medical form off at the school. DCPS will safeguard information in alignment with all privacy laws. Families will be asked to provide their student’s name and ID number on the registration form. We encourage those who need virtual learning to complete this process by July 6 to help us create class schedules for the fall.

Tentative Staffing Assignments for SY21-22

As we plan for a full reopening to in person learning in August with all staff teaching in person, I'm pleased to share tentative staffing assignments for the upcoming school year:

PK - Ms. Dawkins & Ms. Fraser; Ms. Morales & Ms. Haith

K - Ms. Clark & Ms. Singh; Ms. Gray & Ms. Cole; Ms. Prince & Ms. Evans

1st - Ms. Schiers, Ms. Volpe, and a new to Hearst teacher to staff our third 1st grade homeroom

2nd - Ms. Boyle, Ms. Thompson (DCPS veteran, new to Hearst), and a new to Hearst teacher to staff our third 2nd grade homeroom

3rd - Ms. Burleigh (Math/Science); Ms. Halpern (ELA/Social Studies)

4th - Ms. Duvall (ELA/Social Studies); Ms. Wiggins (Math/Science)

5th - Ms. Dilley (ELA/Social Studies); a new to Hearst teacher for math/science

With the exception of the World Language, Social Worker, and 3-5 CES Partner Teacher positions, all other current staff are slated to remain in their current positions in the coming school year. Please note that we have selected several candidates for the vacancies listed above but until they receive their official offer letters from DCPS, we are unable to share their names here. Stay tuned for additional information about our new staff in our summer updates!

News and Announcements from DCPS

Reminder: P-EBT Update for Families

The Department of Human Services has begun issuing Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits to eligible students for this fiscal year. For all P-EBT related questions please visit the DHS P-EBT website or call the P-EBT call center at 1-877-4DC-PEBT. Food and Nutrition Services encourages all families with students who do not attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school or who do not receive SNAP to complete a FARM application as soon as possible to ensure maximum P-EBT benefits are received.

Reminder: Updated Travel Guidance for DCPS Staff, Students and Families (Effective Friday, May 28, 2021)

As the summer season and Memorial Day weekend approaches, we understand that many staff and families are inquiring about travel guidance. Beginning Friday May 28, the updated travel guidance from DC Health, released on May 20, 2021, will apply to DCPS staff, students, and families.

*Note that changes apply to international travel for unvaccinated individuals.

The following applies to domestic travel, and does not reflect any change from prior travel guidance:

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated

Per DC Health’s Guidance for Travel, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who have traveled domestically to any place other than Maryland or Virginia must either (1) not attend school for 10 days after returning or (2) not attend school until tested for COVID-19 three to five days after returning AND receive a negative COVID-19 viral test.

Fully Vaccinated (14 days after final dose)

Fully vaccinated people (or people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days) may travel within the United States without the need for post-travel quarantine, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

There are updates regarding international travel and the guidance below reflects those changes:

Unvaccinated/Partially Vaccinated

Per DC Health’s Guidance for Travel, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who have traveled internationally must either:

1. not attend school for 10 days after returning, or (2) not attend school for seven days after returning, get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after returning, AND receive a negative COVID-19 viral test.

Even if the test is negative, the individual must still not attend school for seven days.

Fully Vaccinated (14 days after final dose)

Fully vaccinated people (or people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 90 days) may travel internationally and do not need to quarantine upon return to DC. It is recommended they get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after international travel.

Free PCR COVID testing is available from healthcare providers as well as walk-up testing sites across the district.