SHMS Family Newsletter
October 31, 2021
Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,
Happy Halloween! Last week was reinvigorating and full of fun. Students, staff, and even a few parents got fully into Spirit Week and the smiles were infectious! Congratulations to the 6th grade for winning our Term 1 Pep Assembly by earning the most Live School points and earning a dress-down day tomorrow!
Thank you to the families who joined us for Fall Family Night on Tuesday, we hope you learned something, got any questions answered, and are excited about the term ahead of us.
We only have 3 days of school left in the first term! We have been working hard to connect with students and set them up for a strong start to the term, let's make the most of these last few days and time off. As a reminder, students have until 3:30 PM on Friday to turn in any missing, late, or revised (where allowed) work for grades to count for Term 1. Let's take advantage of Tuesday and Friday to make sure everyone finishes strong and is set up for success when Term 2 starts a week from Monday.
If you need something to listen to while out on Halloween, please check out the first episode of Panthers in Action, our student-generated podcast! Here's to a great week and a happy Halloween everyone!
Upcoming Dates: November 1-5
'The 3-week DCPS meals menu can always be found here.
- A great instructional day!
- 6th Grade Dress Down Day!
- Jeans & Jersey Day for students with perfect attendance!
- Election Day, no school for students or teachers
- A great instructional day!
- PTA New Family Meet-Up, front steps, 8:00-9:00 AM
- Youth Risk Behavior Survey administration, 2nd period classes
- LSAT Meeting, 7:00-9:00 PM
- Final instructional day of Term 1!
- Asymptomatic testing, 9:15 AM
- Last day of Term 1, Professional Development and Records-Keeping Day for staff, no school for students
- All late, missing, and revised work due to teachers no later than 3:30 PM
- November 6, Banneker High School Open House and Building Tours
- 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
Head Coach- Myron Alston- Maalston0563@gmail.com
Monday- (Practice) 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Tuesday- ( Practice) 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Head Coach: Michelle Rumph- Michelle.Rumph@k12.dc.gov
Fall Cheerleading Try-Outs have been postponed.
Head Coach: Joi Robins - firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Head Coach: Michelle Rumph- Michelle.Rumph@K12.dc.gov
Friday: Basketball Workout 3:30pm - 5:30pm
**Girls Basketball Try-Outs will be November 1 - November 5
Head Coach: Troy Henderson - Troy.Henderson@k12.dc.gov
Assistant Coach: Natasha Lee - Natasha.Lee@k12.dc.gov
*** Students must have athletic forms submitted and medically cleared to attend open workout sessions.
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.
Head Coach: Leonard Booker - email@example.com
Head Coach: Mark Smith- Mark.Smith3@k12.dc.gov
Head Coach: Taurus McGhee - Taurus.McGhee@dc.gov
Head Coach: Joi Robins- Joi.Robins16@gmail.com
Shout Outs and Celebrations
Thank you to our teachers and staff who double as coaches during the Fall athletic season. Mr. Smith, Ms. Rumph, and Mr. Strong are true assets for our students and school community and helped us to accelerate our community building and establish school pride this season! Congratulations to the Track Team on their 3rd Place finish at this past week's championship meet! Good luck to the archery, volleyball, and soccer teams with their remaining competitions!
New Information and Important Updates
**The information below is new or an updated version of something announced previously! **
8th Graders: Interested in Traveling the World?
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!
Cluster Fall Book Fair w/East City Bookshop!
Need a new book to cozy up with this fall? Ready to start your Holiday shopping early? Want an easy way to support our schools and local business at the same time? Back by popular demand is the Cluster Fall Book Fair with East City Bookshop!
The Cluster School East City Bookshop Book fair is next week: November 1-7. East City Bookshop, a locally-owned store, will donate 20% of purchases BACK to the Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA to support our students.
Families can shop in-store or online using a special link (coming soon!) All you have to do is shop and mention Cluster School Book fair.
Teachers were invited to submit wish lists and those will be posted for you to donate to classroom libraries.
All items purchased online and in-store by your families will be included in our total tally, so please think about personal and holiday shopping in addition to the teacher wish lists.
More info and special online links coming soon but for now, make your reading lists.
New Family Welcome Event and Morning Meet-Up w/PTA, November 3rd!
To ALL of our new families at Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson,
(And that includes families who joined us over the pandemic too!)
The Cluster PTA and the Race, Class & Equity Group are hosting a Welcome Committee event on Wednesday November 3rd!
The Welcome Committee is a group of Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson volunteers who aim to make each scholar and family feel at home at our three schools.
We offer a chance to meet other families and students, and learn about our community.
Please join us -- along with Principal Fraser -- for a Morning Meet-Up on the steps of Stuart-Hobson on Wednesday, November 3rd from 8:00 am-9:00 am.
Meet new and returning families outside in a relaxed setting.
Bring your own coffee/morning beverage. Masks are required. No RSVP needed!
If you can't join us but would like to reach out to connect to the Welcome Committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your student’s
grade level to make a connection.
President, Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA
Youth Risk Behavior Survey
The District of Columbia Youth Risk Behavior Survey (DC YRBS), conducted biennially by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), is the most comprehensive, representative source of data regarding risky health behaviors for our middle and high school students across the District.
SCHOOL PARTICIPATION IS REQUIRED. All District public and public charter middle and high schools are required to participate as part of the LGBTQ Health Data Collection Amendment Act of 2018, At Stuart-Hobson MS, 6th-8th grade students will complete this survey during their 2nd period class on Wednesday, November 3rd. The survey is anonymous and student names are not utilized during the administration of the survey.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION IS ENCOURAGED. All students in grades 6-12 will be asked to complete the survey, but student participation is completely voluntary. Students are not required to take the survey. Opt out forms were distributed by 2nd period teachers on Wednesday, October 19th. These forms were printed on green paper. If you did not receive an opt out form and would like to opt your child out of the survey, please complete the attached form and have this form returned to the main office ASAP. Students who opt out of this survey will be moved to another area while the survey is administered.
For more information including the survey questions, please visit the OSSE YRBS website https://osse.dc.gov/service/dc-youth-risk-behavior-survey-yrbs or you can contact AP Turner at email@example.com.
Previous Announcements & Resources
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:
- What happens when there is a COVID-19 positive case at your child’s school.
- 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 https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/response/.
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.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR FAMILIES
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.
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 dchealth.dc.gov/immunizations, and you can schedule an appointment at vaccinate.dc.gov.
K-8 Family Curriculum Guides Now Available!
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Boys Lacrosse Head Coach- $812.00
Girls Lacrosse Head Coach- $812.00
Baseball Head Coach - $2,000.00
Interested candidates, please email email@example.com.
Policies & Daily Operations
COVID Policy Updates & Reminders
- 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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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.
- 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 vaccinate.dc.gov 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.
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 https://aspen.dcps.dc.gov
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:
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
DCPS Study Abroad: Stateside Edition
The DCPS Study Abroad student application is now open to all 8th grade, 11th grade, Certificate 3, and Opportunity Academy students. Please note that for summer 2022, and contingent on health conditions, DCPS Study Abroad will only travel to domestic destinations and all participating students must be vaccinated.
Learn more at dcpsglobaled.org.
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 KidsRideFree.dc.gov or call (202) 673-1740.
If any SHMS students or families need a card or have questions, please reach out to Ms. Hargrove, email@example.com
Mental Health Supports
Molly Smith, Social Worker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Thompkins, Social Worker, email@example.com
Kimberly Harrington, DBH Social Worker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Montrice Williams, CIS Social Worker, email@example.com
Jessica Schimmerling, Guidance Counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomicula Willams, Guidance Counselor, email@example.com
Kristin Dezen, firstname.lastname@example.org
2021-22 Indoor Track Information
Info meeting: Tuesday, October 26, 3:30pm, Room 115
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 (email@example.com) for children 12 and over.
More details will come soon regarding religious/medical exemptions.
Contacts: Coach McGhee: 202-727-8891, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Smith: 202-489-4310, email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.