SHMS Family Newsletter

November 21, 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

In addition to sharing excitement about the upcoming holiday break, I hope we all have the opportunity to reflect on the things we are grateful for together. I remain humbled and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this school community and deeply appreciate everyone's enthusiasm, grace, and feedback so far this school year. We have so much passion, power, and potential as a community and it is overwhelming to see it at work.

In just this past week we celebrated students for countless achievements in Term 1 during Town Hall events, prepared for another year of stellar National History Day projects, handed out Thanksgiving baskets, and are building community through kickball today. This is all possible because of the persistence and resolve of our students, staff, teachers, and families. Thank you all for everything you do!

We have a short week ahead and the newsletter will take a holiday break. Please see updates for the next two weeks below and look out for the newsletter's return on Sunday, December 5.

Lastly, if you need something to talk about at the dinner table, please remember that students' Term 1 Report Cards were published in Aspen on Thursday. I hope that everyone celebrating has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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Upcoming Dates: November 22-23 and November 29 - December 3

This Week:

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

Monday, Nov. 22

  • A great instructional day!

Tuesday, Nov. 23

  • A great instructional day!
  • November Attendance Celebration - Pancake Breakfast

Wednesday - Friday, Nov. 24-26

  • Thanksgiving Recess

Monday, Nov. 29

  • A great instructional day!

Tuesday, Nov. 30

  • A great instructional day!

Wednesday, Dec. 1

  • A great instructional day!
  • Deadline to submit proof of COVID vaccination for student-athletes
  • 8th Grade Family Night & High School Fair (in-person), 6:00-7:30 PM

Thursday, Dec. 2

  • A great instructional day!

Friday, Dec. 3

  • A great instructional day!

Upcoming Dates

  • December 7, Monthly LSAT Meeting, 7:00-9:00 PM
  • December 11, EdFest (virtual)
  • December 14, Open House for Prospective Families (virtual), 7:00-8:30 PM
  • December 23 - 31, Winter Recess, No School for Teachers or Students
  • January 3, 2022, First Day of Classes in 2022
  • January 4, 2022, Monthly LSAT Meeting, 7:00-9:00 PM
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Athletics Schedule

Students that are 12 years of age and older must be vaccinated by December 1 or submit medical or religious exemption forms to be eligible to participate.


Winter Cheerleading Try-Outs: Pending Scheduled Date

Girls Bowling

Team Interest Meeting: To be announced soon

Head Coach: Michelle Rumph-

Girls Basketball:

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

Head Coach: Troy Henderson -

Assistant Coach: Natasha Lee -

Boys Basketball

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

Head Coach: Sylvester Robinson -

Co-Ed Swimming

Tuesday- ( Practice) 4:00pm - 5:15pm @ Dunbar High School ( Transportation is provided)

Head Coach: Leonard Booker -

Indoor Track

Monday, 11/22 - (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Monday, 11/29 - (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Wednesday, 11/30 - (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Thursday, 12/1 - (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Head Coach- Taurus McGhee -

Head Coach- Mark Smith-

Click on the link below to submit athletic forms online.

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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.
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Shout Outs and Celebrations

Social Studies Department - Ms. Doherty, Mr. Frail, Ms. Rizzo, and Mr. Thrift - for organizing our National History Day competition and last week's Family Info Session.

Mr. King, Dean of Students, and Mr. Howard, DSL, for organizing Saturday's Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway (photo above) for Cluster families! Thank you to the teachers and staff members from the Cluster who came out to help unload the delivery truck and load families' vehicles with the baskets too!

Here's the latest episode of Panthers in Action, our student-designed podcast.

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New Information and Important Updates

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

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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!

Term 2 ELA Class Novels in Sora

Here are the links for students and families to borrow a copy of the ELA anchor text for Term 2 in Sora:

6th Grade

Tuck Everlasting

Natalie Babbitt

7th Grade

Warriors Don’t Cry

Melba Patillo Beals

8th Grade


Laurie Halse Anderson

SHMS Lost & Found in Lobby

We have organized all of the items in the Lost and Found and hope to reconnect students with their belongings. The items are currently in the lobby. Feel free to direct or escort students to the lobby to look for any personal belongings or drop off anything that you find around school.

Cluster PTA Updates


Please join us on Sunday, November 21st from 2:00pm-4:30pm for our first November Kickball Tournament!
Location is the field at Stuart-Hobson Middle School (410 E Street NE).
First games will be approximately 2:00pm-3:00pm for our younger kiddos (PK-2nd Grade) and our second games will be approximately
3:00pm-4:00pm for our older kiddos (3rd-8th).
If we have room on teams, parents will be invited to play too!
How are we going to pull this all together? We need Team Captains and parents to help out on Sunday afternoon!

Please take a few moments to sign up here: Volunteers for November Kickball Tournament


A HUGE thank you to all who have contributed to date -- we truly appreciate your generosity!

The Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA is excited to announce the Panther Fund, an annual fundraising campaign to support our students, teachers, staff,

and families at Peabody, Watkins, and Stuart-Hobson! Between November 2nd and December 1st, the Panther Fund seeks to raise $50,000. Our goal is to replace the income from two fundraisers that had to be canceled due to COVID – the Renovators House Tour and the Mini Capitol Hill Classic. And while we are hopeful that our spring fundraisers – the Auction and the Capitol Hill Classic – will take place as planned, this fund will ensure that our school year’s fundraising goals are met. We are asking families to please consider donating $30, $50 or $100 per scholar. Donations will be accepted through our Panther Fund Greater Giving page:


In addition to our weekly newsletters, we have list serves at each campus! The list serves are another source of information for parents, created by the Cluster PTA.

Please take a few moments to sign up for your school:

6th Grade Science

We want to thank our 6th grade students and families for your patience while we have navigated the unexpected departure of one of our teachers and made plans to provide uninterrupted instruction for the students. Also, I want to thank Mr. Smith, Mr. Hawkins, Ms. Lovelock, Ms. Rosera, and Ms. Lee for stepping up to teach our sixth graders and am excited to share that we expect a former SHMS teacher to begin long-term coverage of these classes on Monday, November 29th. We will continue to update impacted students and families with more information as it becomes finalized in the coming days. Thanks again to everyone!

Previous Announcements & Resources

All Newsletters

You can find previously released newsletters and information here.

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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

Attention Student-Athletes: Vaccination Deadline!

The science is clear: the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of the disease. It is safe, effective, and free.

To protect you, your teammates, coaches, and help ensure an uninterrupted sports season, participants 12 and older of any school-based extracurricular athletics must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

While the Mayor’s Order around this requirement went into effect on November 1, student athletes will have until December 1, 2021, to submit paperwork confirming they have received a full course of vaccination against COVID-19. Students who have not yet received a full course of vaccination should use this time to secure the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have already submitted a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card indicating you received both doses, or if you have been approved for a medical or religious exemption, there is no further action on your end.

However, if you have yet to complete your COVID-19 vaccination series or need to apply for a medical or religious exemption please see the attached document for more information. The deadline to provide exemption documentation is Monday, November 15 and athletic vaccination clinics are open this weekend.

OSSE Annual Special Education Parent Survey

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education's (OSSE) 2020-21 Special Education Parent Survey is open. This confidential survey is for families of students with disabilities who have individualized education programs (IEPs) and received special education services during SY 2020-21. OSSE reports a summary of the results to the US Department of Education as a part of DC’s Annual Performance Report. If your family is eligible, please use the online survey to share feedback by December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, if you have any questions about anything related to special education at SHMS you can contact AP Taylor or Ms. Lovelock.

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.

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

COVID Policy Updates & Reminders

  1. 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.
  2. 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 (
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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