Hearst Family Update

February 20, 2021

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Principal's Message

Good evening, Owl Families,

As we've settled in to the rhythms of Term 3, it's now time to start turning in earnest toward Term 4 planning and with the release of the SY21-22 budget this past week, summer and next school year. In order to help us plan for all of this meaningfully, we'll be holding meetings over the next few weeks to gather Term 4 input from families. Please see below for additional details about these upcoming Term 4 meetings and look for additional meeting dates and times about summer school and next school year in the coming weeks. In the interim, please use this form to elevate any Term 4 questions, concerns, and suggestions that you may have.

Hope you're staying warm on this chilly day,


News and Announcements from Hearst

Upcoming Key Dates

  • Wednesday, February 24 - Term 4 Reopening Chat, 9:00-9:30am, Meeting link:
    https://virginia.zoom.us/j/91596170654?pwd=bTZqRDdSOU1mTHovNUdTVXREVnRNUT09; Meeting ID: 915 9617 0654; Passcode: 322453
  • Wednesday, February 24 - LSAT Meeting, 4:30-5:30pm, Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81712740935?pwd=RDJUdGxrN1lUWHgyeDNDZjJuNWNLUT09
  • Wednesday, March 3 – 6:00-7:00pm - Reopen Community Corps (RCC) planning meeting
  • Friday, March 5 - Parent Teacher Conference Day (no school for students)
  • March 8-11 - RCC holds individual grade level meetings to discuss Term 4 reopening (links forthcoming - see below for dates and times)
  • Wednesday, March 10 - PTA Meeting, 5:00-6:30pm (link forthcoming)
  • Wednesday, March 17 - Reopen Community Corps (RCC) planning meeting, 4:30-5:30pm
  • Tuesday, March 23 - Term 4 Town Hall to share final plan with community, 7:00-8:00pm (link forthcoming)
  • Wednesday, March 24 - Hearst Spring Picture Day
  • Wednesday, March 24 - Virtual Coffee Chat for Families on Term 4, Summer Planning, and Next Year, 9:00-9:30am (link forthcoming)
  • Monday, March 29 - Term 4 student offers start (tentative, awaiting confirmation from DCPS)
  • April 12-16 - Spring Break for Students
  • Monday, April 19- Term 4 starts

Quick Updates

  • DCPS has updated the School Planning blog with information around the new school planning process at the Foxhall & MacArthur sites in Ward 3. This is where they will share updates, meeting materials, etc., after the working group meetings in the coming months. Because the opening of these schools may impact the Hearst boundary and/or feeder schools in the future, please be sure to regularly review the site to stay up to date on the latest developments.
  • Reminder: Because our building is open to students, 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!
  • Reminder: DC is publishing COVID data specific to DCPS and it can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/node/1506966. With both staff and students back in school buildings, please visit dcpsreopenstrong.com/health/response/ to learn more about DCPS' COVID-19 Response Protocol, including testing available for students and staff.

ANET 3 Interim Assessment

Students in the 3rd – 5th grades will be taking their 3rd interim assessments (ANET 3) in March during their independent learning time.

A3 ELA is scheduled for 3/1 with make-up’s on 3/2 and 3/3.
A3 Math is scheduled for 3/15 with make-up’s on 3/16 and 3/17.

PARCC Update

As of today, OSSE has not submitted a waiver for DC to be exempt from PARCC testing. As such, that means PARCC will be administered to our 3rd-5th grade students post-spring break. We will share more information as we get greater clarity and details about what that process will look like.

Save the Date - Grade Level Meetings to Gather Input for Term 4

In the coming weeks, the Hearst Reopen Community Corps (RCC) will be holding a series of meetings to gather input and feedback on Term 4 reopening. As with Term 3, we'll be holding individual grade level meetings as well as a few whole school meetings. Details about these whole school meetings are above in the Upcoming Key Dates section and dates and times for the grade level meetings are below. Stay tuned for links to the meetings and know that following these meetings, we'll also be sending out a Term 4 survey to all families to gather additional feedback.

Grade Level Meeting - Date - Time

  • PK - 3/10, 7:00 PM
  • K - 3/9, 5:00 PM
  • 1 - 3/10, 5:00 PM
  • 2- 3/8, 5:00 PM
  • 3 - 3/9, 7:00 PM
  • 4- 3/11, 7:00 PM
  • 5 - 3/10, 5:00 PM

Reminder: Inclement Weather Guidance

In preparation for a potential delay or closure because of inclement weather, all in person students will be sent home with their devices the night before the weather event. Please see below for additional information about attendance and closure notifications:


  • If buildings are closed, all Hearst students are to pivot to virtual learning at home. Students in the CARE and CARE+ classrooms will join their regularly scheduled live sessions. Students in the K IPL class will receive details about their schedule from Ms. Gray and Ms. Cole. Student attendance will be captured by students logging into Canvas.
  • In the event of a two-hour delayed opening of our school building, arrival will begin at 10:15am for K-2 CARE, 3-5 CARE, and our 2-5 CARE+ classrooms and 10:45am for our PK CARE and K IPL class. Students in CARE and CARE+ classes with live lessons in the morning should start those lessons at home and will continue them once in the building. During the 10:00-11:00am window when kids are traveling to school, teachers will either pause on introducing new content during that window or call the students into the equivalent afternoon session so that they can engage in the new learning.

As previously shared, Hearst will start virtual instruction at the regularly scheduled time even if DCPS announces a two hour delay to virtual instruction. While the two-hour delay to virtual instruction makes sense for schools that are using the simulcast model (teaching in-person and virtual students at the same time), it does not make sense for our model and therefore we will not be delaying virtual instruction even when DCPS makes such an announcement.

Reminder: Information for Families with Students Returning In Person in Term 3

We are excited for Term 3 and to welcome back our students who are participating in in-person learning.Please take time to review the In-Person Learning family guide for resources to help you prepare for the first day back to the classroom. It includes important forms that parents or guardians need to sign:

We will send home these documents with students on their first day of school and ask that you return them as soon as possible. If you'd like to print, sign, and send them in with your students, we welcome that as well.

As you know, school will look a little different this year. There may be instances where class is cancelled for the day due to staff availability, quarantines, or building operations. In those instances, we will notify you via Bloomz as soon as possible.

Reminder: Access to Reading Materials/Books

There are many different ways that you can access physical and digital books for your child to read at home. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Vandivier or your child's homeroom teacher if you are having difficulty getting access to a wide variety of books and/or books at an appropriate reading level for your child. We are here to help!

  • Option 1: Check out books from the Hearst library!

  • Option 2: Check out books from the DCPS library!

    • As a Hearst student, your child can get a library card for DC public libraries! Please head over to the DCPS libraries website for more information on how to sign up and how book checkout/pickup works: https://www.dclibrary.org/

  • Option 3: Purchase books from Scholastic!

    • Each class has a Scholastic account. Due to the pandemic, you can currently purchase books and ship them directly to your home! It is very convenient. Website https://clubs.scholastic.com/home Please reach out to your homeroom teacher directly for a class code.

  • Option 4: Sora

    • You can access Sora for free via the Clever Portal. Sora offers a wide variety of books to read and to listen to!

  • Option 5: Epic

    • Epic is an extra website that you may have access to! Some classes have a class account. Epic provides TONS of books at all different levels. https://www.getepic.com/sign-in Please reach out to your homeroom teacher or Ms. Vandivier directly for a class code.

Reminder: Spring Portrait Day

We'll be holding our Spring Portrait Day on Wednesday, March 24, from 9am to 3pm. Portraits will be outdoors and socially distanced and you can sign up for an appointment at https://tuab0xbvaa.timetap.com/#/. Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

Reminder: Yearbook Photos Needed

Ms. Schiers and Ms. Boyle are getting started on the SY 20-21 Hearst Yearbook, and need your help collecting photographs! Please upload any candid or posed photos that you have of your child and Hearst children from THIS school year! Please know that by uploading a photo into this album, you are giving consent for that photo to be used in our yearbook. More information is forthcoming regarding how to order your yearbook, and about a socially distanced and outdoor portrait day with Freed Photography.

News and Announcements from DCPS

Announcement for Parents/Guardians: Panorama Survey Opt-Out Information: DC Public Schools

Attention Students in Grades 3 and Up: Please share this announcement with your parent or guardian. The Panorama Student Survey for grades 3 and up will open online on Monday, February 22. Parents/guardians have the right to opt children out of the survey. If you are 18 or older, you can opt yourself out of the survey. Details and instructions are in our Notification and Opt-Out Letter. To review survey questions, get more information on the Panorama Surveys, or download the opt-out letter in other languages, visit https://dcps.dc.gov/surveys. The opt-out Form will remain open through March 5.

Reminder: DCPS FY22 Budget Update

Initial school budget allocations for Fiscal Year 2022 (School Year 2021-2022) have been released and can be found at our new budget website, dcpsbudget.com.

Dcpsbudget.com replaces the old DCPS Datacenter site that LSAT members from previous years will likely remember. The new site is a one-stop-shop for all things DCPS budget. In addition to housing the FY22 Budget Development Guide, information about how DCPS is funded, how schools are funded, and how the Central Office budget is developed, the site's Budget Data page has School Budget Worksheets from previous fiscal years. This is where you will find the FY22 initial allocation worksheets. Additionally, the Budget Data page has an interactive tool where you can compare an individual school's budget year-over-year, see how a school's submitted budget may have differed from their initial budget in a given year, and compare budgets from school to school.

If you have questions while reviewing the information on the new site or at any other time during the budget development process, please email dcps.schoolfunding@k12.dc.gov and a member of the School Finance Team will be available to support.


DCPS Community Action Team

Reminder: Travel Guidance for In-Person Students and Staff

We recognize that some staff working in person and families attending in-person programming may be traveling over the upcoming long weekend in January.

Per the Mayor’s Order 2020-110, individuals who have traveled to any place other than Maryland or Virginia are required to either (1) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for 14 days after returning to the District (or coming to work for a District agency), or (2) self-monitor and limit daily activities—including not attending school—for three to five days and then receive a negative COVID-19 PCR COVID-19 test.

All DCPS staff members who are working in person, whether they are a District resident or not, can show their school ID to be prioritized at any District public testing sites.

See DC Health’s Guidance for Travel for more information and the flyer below for easy-to-follow dos and don’ts on this topic.

DCPS continues to follow the CDC’s and DC Health’s Holiday Travel Guidance released November 9th, remember the safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home. Gatherings with family and friends who are not a part of your household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

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. Immunization sites across the city are posted here.