SHMS Family Newsletter

April 24, 2022

Principal's Message

Greetings Stuart-Hobson community,

Thank you all for your support with the DCPS Test-to-Return program this past week. We are happy to report that we had high levels of compliance from students and staff early in the week so were able to minimize disruptions and ensure a safe start to the fourth, and final, term of the year.

It was refreshing to see some staff and families in-person on Friday evening for the annual Cluster Auction. Thank you to everyone who donated and/or bid on the different experiences and items during the auction. The support and community among our families is unique and deeply appreciated. Like the Pep Assembly before break, the auction signaled a return to normal for us as a school community. We are excited to return to many other traditions and routines that are hallmarks of our school community during this final term as we prepare for the school year. Another old routine that is returning this week is PARCC testing. We recognize that some of our students have only taken these exams once in their academic career and are prepared to support them with doing their best on the upcoming assessments.

As the weather warms up we have a good stretch of uninterrupted school weeks and are excited to work with students to finish the year strong and prepare for next school year. We hope to see some of our families at our mission and vision building focus groups on Wednesday night and ask that you RSVP by the end of the day on Monday if you plan to attend.

Warm regards,

Eric Fraser


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Upcoming Dates: April 25-29

This Week:

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


  • A great instructional day!


  • First day of PARCC testing


  • PARCC Testing
  • Mission & Vision Family Focus Groups, 6:00-7:30 PM


  • PARCC Testing
  • A great instructional day!


  • A great instructional day!
  • Annual Impact Aid Survey deadline (details below)

Upcoming Dates

  • May 2-6, Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week!

  • April 26-May 13, PARCC Testing (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays)

  • May 18, SHMS Mission & Vision Building Family Focus Groups, 6:00-7:30

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.

Outdoor Track & Field

Monday: (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Wednesday: ( Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Thursday: (Meet) DCIAA Developmental Meet @ Spingarn HS (2500 Benning Rd NE) 1:00pm

Boys Head Coach- Taurus McGhee -

Girls Head Coach- Mark Smith-


Tuesday: (Practice) 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Thursday: (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Jefferson MS @ Taft Field (1800 Perry St. NE) 4:00pm

Friday: (Game) Stuart-Hobson vs. Eliot Hine @ Maury Wills Field ( 2500 Georgia Ave NW) 4:00

Head Coach: Scott Campbell -




Tuesday: (Practice) 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Head Coach - Richard Strong -


Monday: (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Wednesday: (Intramural Scrimmage) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Friday: (Practice) 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Head Coach- Coach Stancil -

Intramural Soccer

*May 4 first practice. 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Cluster Basketball Skill Developmental Sessions( Grades 4-7)

Friday: 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Saturday: 10:00am - 11:30am (Boys) 11:30am - 1:00pm (Girls)

*Students interested must sign up with Mr. Henderson (email:

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DCPS Calendar

***March 25, 2022 UPDATE***

After further consultation with the OSSE, we have determined that we have met the full threshold of required instructional days and can end the school year for our students on that Friday, June 24 barring any unplanned school closures. The last day of school for staff will be the Monday, June 27 Records/PD Day. Updated calendars are available at this link.

Shout Outs and Celebrations

Thank you to the Cluster PTA and our Stuart-Hobson Middle School PTA Executive Committee for your unwavering support and throwing a great party on Friday night at the annual Cluster Auction!

Thank you Ms. Hargrove and AP Turner for spearheading our enrollment efforts this Spring. We are ahead of the pack with enrollment and re-enrollment and your commitment to this work is making that happen!

Congratulations to Mr. Thrift and student Lincoln C. In addition to winning some prize money, Lincoln's website will soon be featured on the White House Historical Society's website!

Use this form to shout out a staff member or team. Shout-outs will find their way into staff meetings, newsletters, and mailboxes. Thank you!

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New Information and Important Updates

You can find the latest edition of our student paper, The Panther Gazette, online for easy access anytime and on-the-go!
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DCPS Middle School Math Competition - Mathematicians wanted!

Any student is welcome to sign up for the DCPS Middle School Math competition on Saturday May 14! The Stuart-Hobson team will practice Fridays after school each week prior to the competition from 3:30-4:30: April 29, May 6, and May 13.

For more details, see Ms. Rosera in room 207 or email

Enroll for The 2022-23 School Year Now!

Thank you for helping us move to almost 33% of our enrollment goal in the opening month of enrollment season! We aspire to enroll 70% of families for next school year by May 1st! See below for ways that you can help us hit that target!

The Stuart-Hobson Middle School team looks forward to welcoming your rising 6th, 7th and/or 8th grade student into our diverse and dynamic Capitol Hill Cluster School community. You can also learn more about our school by viewing our school's recorded Open House webinar.

Enrolling can be quick and easy for families, and we encourage you to enroll as soon as possible. For your convenience, visit this website to complete your enrollment online: dcpsenrollment. Families are also invited to complete enrollment by visiting our SHMS main office between 8:00 am-4:30 pm Monday through Friday. See above for extended Friday night hours.

Our signature enrollment events will be our Special Saturdays. We are excited to invite interested Watkins, JO Wilson Ludlow-Taylor and in-boundary students with a completed DCIAA medical waiver to join us for our Cluster Basketball Clinics on Saturdays. Bring your children for engaging athletic practice and skill building while family members are invited to complete enrollment in our school main office. See the graphic below for details. Contact Athletic Director Mr. Strong or Basketball Coach Troy Henderson for more information

We welcome all parents to make the school choice that best suits their child and family needs. If your student will not be joining our SHMS community, please contact the main office informing our team of your student's new school. We will provide you with appropriate documentation to be removed from our school roster and mailing list.

We look forward to supporting our families through this enrollment season and welcome you to contact AP Turner with questions.

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Previous Announcements & Resources

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

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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The Panther Gazette is Now Online!

In an effort to be more sustainable and responsive to breaking news, Stuart-Hobson's student newspaper has switched to a digital format. Check out the Journalism Club's website at! Interested students are welcome to join meetings of the Journalism Club on Mondays at 3:30 pm.
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National History Day DC Awards!

Congratulations to our Stuart-Hobson students who placed in the finals of the National History Day DC event on Thursday, April 7th! SHMS students, supported by our Social Studies teachers, competed with DC public, private and charter schools across the city. Second and First Place finishers now advance to the National competition!

To Ms. Doherty, Mr. Frail, Mr. Thrift, Ms. Trueblood (Gaskill) and Ms. Rizzo - thank you for all the time you have dedicated to our students and the NHD projects!

Junior Division

Individual Exhibit

Second Place

Title of Project: Pinball: Between the Flippers

Student: Sadie Davidson

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: The Room Where It Happened

Student: Jacob Scott

Teacher: Alexander Frail

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Exhibit

Third Place

Title of Project: What Impact Did the Seneca Falls Convention Have on the Women’s Rights Movement?

Students: Sophie Curry and Anna Sullivan

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Individual Documentary

Third Place

Title of Project: Billie Jean King-Fight for Equal Rights in Sports through Debate and Diplomacy

Student: Andrew Leavitt

Teacher: Alexander Frail

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Second Place

Title of Project: The Role of Debate and Diplomacy in the Partition of India

Student: Siddharth Kravetz

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Documentary

Third Place

Title of Project: The Woman’s Suffrage Movement

Students: Colette Gregg and Sadie Feldman

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: Plessy V. Ferguson: A Stain on American History

Students: Mossi Tull and Leo Smock

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Individual Website

Second Place

Title of Project: Abraham Lincoln and His Few Words that Impacted the Future

Student: Lincoln Celestino

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

First Place

Title of Project: Censorship in Black and White: The History of the Parental Advisory Label

Student: Jack Laws

Teacher: Atinuke Doherty

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

Group Website

Third Place

Title of Project: Nuclear Nascency

Students: William Neuroth and Percival Kyd-Bruneau

Teacher: Monica Rizzo

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School


First Place

Title of Project: Of Missiles and Meetings

Student: Ruth Pournelle

Teacher: Monica Rizzo

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

The White House History Prize: Sponsored by The White House Historical Association

Junior Division

Category: Individual Website

Title of Project: Abraham Lincoln and His Few Words that Impacted the Future

Student: Lincoln Celestino

Teacher: John Thrift

School: Stuart Hobson Middle School

National Maritime Historical Society Award

Junior Division

Second Place

Category: Group Website

Title of Project: Bombs Bursting in Air: The Story of the Battle of Fort McHenry

Students: Maya Smith and Tyne McNamara

Advisory Lesson Content

As we are all aware, middle school is a period of incredible development. Students are busy exploring and making sense of the world and much of that learning is influenced by the diverse communities they belong to in and outside of school. We also aspire to maintain a safe school environment that is free from any discriminatory, biased, or hateful language or interactions with and among students. Thus, it is important for us to teach students about acceptable and appropriate language, especially as they begin to explore and make sense of new aspects of their own and classmates' identities.

We have been incorporating opportunities for students to learn about appropriate language into our daily advisory lessons. We expect that these lessons will help students learn about ways that their communication and exploration of new subjects can be done safely. We encourage all adults in our school community to support students in learning and using language that is free from any harmful -isms, e.g. racism, sexism, ableism, genderism, etc. Attached to this newsletter you should find two brochures that outline DCPS' approaches and policies for supporting our LGBTQ+ community. We will continue this work throughout our time with students and thank everyone for supporting us outside of the school day too!

As a reminder, Mr. Thrift facilitates our Panther PRIDE group and is our school point of contact for LGBTQ+ programming and questions. You can reach him at

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Summer CTE Programs w/DCPS

This summer, DCPS CTE is offering a new and exciting summer enrichment program for middle school students. Students will have a chance to explore four types of tech including Apple coding, Raspberry Pi, Robotics, and graphic arts at three different middle schools across the district. We look forward to hosting your young scholars this summer and are excited to give them this opportunity! Please see the flyer below for more information as well as course descriptions.

There are only a limited number of slots available, so encourage your students to sign up soon using this link, or they can visit

Summer Acceleration w/SHMS Teachers

We are excited to share some emerging plans for summer learning and support at SHMS. Please see below for some in-person offerings that we have planned for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in Math. Please note that these are not mandatory and are aimed at supporting students in getting a jump start with content that they will encounter during SY 2022-23. We are currently planning for each day to allow students to attend one of two 90 minute workshops that will begin in the early or mid-morning.

Session 1 (w/Mr. Broome): 2 weeks, 7/11-7/22

  • Math 7 Readiness (for rising 7th graders and rising 6th graders interested in taking Math 7)
  • Math 6 Readiness (for rising 6th graders)

Session 2 (w/Ms. Rosera): 2 weeks, 7/25-8/5

  • Math 8 Readiness (for rising 8th graders and rising 7th graders interested in taking Math 8)
  • Equations Boot Camp (pre-Algebra 1 or rising Math 8)

Please note that students must be enrolled for SY 2022-23 to participate in these opportunities. Please complete this interest survey so our team can begin planning for these sessions. Lastly, should we have any capacity challenges we will use date of enrollment / re-enrollment to prioritize students for participation.

Updated English Learner (EL) Exit Criteria

As OSSE announced in on Jan. 28, 2022, the English Learner (EL) exit criteria will change from a proficiency level of 5.0 on ACCESS to a proficiency level of 4.5 for students in grades 1-12, beginning with the 2021-22 ACCESS assessment (to affect EL statuses beginning in the 2022-23 school year). The exit criteria for students in kindergarten remains the same at 5.0, as the kindergarten assessment did not significantly change. This policy change will not be retroactive.

The full announcement can be found on our English Learner Exit Criteria page.

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SHMS Mission & Vision Building Family Series

We will be reviewing our school's mission and vision statements this Spring and summer and are planning opportunities for all members of our school community to participate in that work. Students will do this work during the school day and staff will have opportunities during our professional learning time.

Because of the generous donation of an anonymous member of our school community, we will be able to engage with parents and families with a specific focus on how race and equity show up and influence our work with students. Using the affinity group format, we will have three facilitated discussions where we will discuss how our mission and vision building, with race and equity in mind, can improve all students' sense of belonging and well-being at SHMS. We are so excited to begin this work and hope you will save these dates so you can join us:

March 30, 6:00-7:30

April 27, 6:00-7:30

May 18, 6:00-7:30

We are so excited to begin this work and are grateful to the PTA, our anonymous donor, and the Race & Equity Committee for supporting us here. We will share more details in upcoming newsletters.

PTA Spring Updates

Peabody, Watkins and Stuart-Hobson Families,

Two of our biggest and most amazing PTA community events are coming back this spring and we need your help!

Our 2022 Spring Auction will be in April! The auction planning team is actively planning the event, including a final date and outdoor location. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey we sent out last week -- the feedback was amazing! If you are interested in volunteering, please email our 2022 Auction Chairs, Kristi Lowe and Laura Odato. There is a place for everyone on the team! (,

The Capitol Hill Classic is BACK -- please mark your calendars for Sunday, May 15th! The CHC is truly one of the best community events on Capitol Hill but it takes a huge amount of work to put together. If you would like to join the Capitol Hill Classic Team, please email Race Director Jason Levine or Lona Valmoro. (,

PTA Dates This Spring:

Monday, March 7th -- PTA March General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

Sunday, March 20th -- Kickball Tournament on the field at Stuart-Hobson (Price of admission -- canned/non-perishable item for our Cluster Food Drive!)

April Tbd -- 2022 Spring Auction!

Sunday, May 15th -- 41st Annual Capitol Hill Classic!

Monday, May 23rd -- PTA May General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

Updated DCPS Meal Sites

Starting Monday, February 7, 2022, DC youth 18 years and younger or parents or guardians on their behalf, are eligible to receive multiple-day meal kits from one of 10 DCPS open meal site locations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

DCPS Assessments Guide for Families!

Launching the New Assessment Guide for Families!

The DCPS Assessment Guide for Families is a resource to assist families with understanding their student’s assessment results. This guide provides an overview of the uses of diagnostic and curriculum-based assessments.

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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.

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!

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

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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Impact Aid Survey - due April 29th

DCPS submitted the initial Impact Aid application in January for all surveys received to date. Everyone is encouraged to complete one survey per child in their preferred language. Surveys collected through April 29, 2022 will be included in our application amendment. Eligible students and families will be able to generate additional federal funds for DCPS. Surveys can be found on our Impact Aid Webpage.