Hearst Family Update
August 22, 2021
Dear Hearst Families,
Thank you to all that attended Wednesday's information session and if you were unable to attend, I hope that you have viewed the recording and/or presentation slides so that you're aware of important policies and procedures that we'll have in place at the start of this school year.
At Wednesday's information session, there was some talk of the PTA organizing a testing event at Hearst prior to the first day of school. In light of the ample testing resources across the District, I would welcome the our community’s efforts to provide information about testing resources to families available rather than creating additional processes. I would encourage you to direct families to coronavirus.dc.gov/testing for information about walk-up sites and at home test kits. It would also be helpful for families to complete the testing consent form available here to supporting our asymptomatic testing program. Please know that we'll also have this form available at Friday's Open House and will encourage everyone to complete it then.
Additionally, as we know that the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, we strongly encourage families who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I am grateful to be the leader of a school with such a dedicated and engaged family community and look forward to continued collaboration throughout the school year.
Hope you've had a great weekend,
News and Announcements from Hearst
Upcoming Key Dates
August 27 - Open House for Students & Families in afternoon (see your child's classroom's Bloomz page to sign up for a time to visit the classroom and school)
August 30 - First Day of SY21-22 for K-5
September 2 & 3 - First Days of SY21-22 PK classes (see information shared by PK team to know when your child should report to Hearst)
- A shout out to the PTA for providing our staff with breakfast on our first day together as a full staff since March 2020!
The 2021-2022 School Year at Hearst (as of August 18, 2021)
Please see the presentation linked below for the latest updates on the health and safety guidance that frame our planning for the upcoming school year. Unless guidance changes in the next three days, this presentation is what I will talk through at the information sessions on Wednesday.
FAQs about SY2021-2022
Questions from 8/18/21 Information Session
Q: Does "recommended to self-quarantine" mean quarantining is not required following travel outside the region? And as a corollary, what about when immediate family/household (living together) members are traveling but the child is not?
- 'Recommended' is the current DC Health language and therefore the DCPS policy. If you have concerns or questions about this policy change from required to recommended, please do reach out to city and DCPS leaders.
Q: Can Hearst share with families the percentage of students who have signed testing consent forms at my school?
- A: I was told there should be no barrier to sharing this information but DCPS will confirm this with me in the coming weeks.
Q: What happens if a child needs to quarantine not because of DCPS and not because of travel but because of exposure in the community? Will that child receive live virtual instruction from school staff?
- A: Students who are quarantining because of travel or due to exposure outside of DCPS in the community will access asynchronous instruction through Canvas. These students will not have access to live instruction.
Q: Can parents volunteer to support outdoor lunch?
- A: Yes, so long as all DCPS clearances have been completed, your clearance letter is emailed to Jen, and you have completed the Hearst volunteer orientation. If you are interested in volunteering to support outdoor lunch, please complete this form.
Q: The mask guidance for sports and activities shared at the press conference is different than the mask guidance at schools. If sports or activities are on school grounds, the school grounds mask requirement will stand, correct?
- A: All health and safety protocols in place during the school day extend to before and after school programming (e.g., OSTP, before/aftercare, Acceleration Academies). Whenever possible, students should be spaced 3ft apart (6ft from teacher), to minimize close contact. In situations where students are not able to consistently maintain 3ft distance, schools must maintain seating charts for contact tracing.
- A: Athletics will follow DCIAA health and safety guidance.
Q: What types of tests will be accepted for students to resume in-person instruction? (e.g., rapid test, PCR, at home tests?)
- A: Families may go to any DC testing site to be tested for COVID-19 or visit a DC Public Library to pick up a kit to conduct at-home testing. Test results must be provided to the school in order to resume in-person instruction. We encourage DCPS students to be tested through DC testing sites or by using DC at-home kit tests. Both are acceptable for resuming in-person instruction, if the test results are negative. If students test through their family physician, documentation of a negative test result is acceptable for return to in-person instruction.
Information Shared in 8/15/21 Update
What's the deal with outdoor lunch? Will the children be able to eat lunch outside?
The goal is for outdoor lunch as much as feasible, permitting weather, outdoor space, and staffing
What's DCPS's COVID testing policy? Is Hearst allowed to do anything more/different?
- Hearst will follow the DCPS COVID testing policy. Additional details about this policy will be shared by DCPS soon.
Are visitors to the building required to be vaccinated?
- No, however, we are limiting visitors to the school as much as possible and in cases where in person visits are necessary, following health and safety guidelines.
What’s the quarantine plan for kids or teachers who have been exposed? And how would they learn from home during quarantine?
- Please see the slides from 8/18/21 information session above.
Does Hearst have the physical space to ensure distancing between kids?
- Please see the slides from 8/18/21 information session above.
Are we allowed to pull kids out for lunch each day to eliminate maskless time indoors?
- Parents have always been able to pick up their kids for appointments and return them to school after the appointment ends. The same would be feasible for lunch and would require signing your child in and out each day you pick them up.
Will Flex (before and after care provider) be required to follow all DCPS health and safety guidelines that are followed during the day?
One More Goodbye...
Dear Students, Colleagues and Parents,
I am writing to you with bittersweet news. I will not be returning to Hearst Elementary for the 2021-22 school year. My husband and I have purchased a restaurant in Sperryville, VA, and we have relocated to Rappahannock County. While we are thrilled with this decision, it is not without its hardships, the greatest of which is that I will miss you all very much.
I feel so grateful to have spent the past five years in this incredible community. When I first came to Hearst in 2016 I had no idea of how fulfilling it would be to teach here. Teaching and working with you has been one of the highlights of my last five years.
Wishing you all a wonderful year of learning and teaching!
4th Grade Announcement
Reminder: Our 21-22 Hearst Team
Below is a quick list of our staff for the coming school year. Except where noted below, DCPS email addresses follow the format of firstname.lastname@example.org. Please know that the Hearst website (www.hearstes.org) has been updated next week and includes updated staff contact information and photos.
PS-PK CES: Danielle Shea, Kendra Schenck, Rhonda Forbes (email@example.com)
Pre-Kindergarten: Denise Dawkins & Grace Fraser, Skyelar Haith (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Patricia Morales
Kindergarten: Maggie Clark & Sumita Singh, Dawn Gray & Jonyce Cole, Beth Prince & Courtney Evans
1st Grade: Sarah Schiers, Victoria Ouellette, and Elizabeth Volpe
2nd Grade: Ashley Boyle, Oda Solms, Takiyah Thompson
K-2 CES: Elana Marber, Ellen Hicks, Lyssa Weaver
3rd Grade: Hannah Halpern (ELA/Social Studies), Megan Burleigh (Math/Science)
4th Grade:Cassi Duvall (ELA/Social Studies), Rachel Wiggins (Math/Science - email@example.com), Long Term Substitute (additional information will be shared when the person is officially processed by DCPS)
5th Grade: Katie Dilley (ELA/Social Studies - firstname.lastname@example.org); Chanmi Lee (Math/Science)
3-5 CES: Carolyn Diaz, Janice Hargrove, & Charlotte Potter
Special Education Teachers: Shareen Beech, Sarah Boone, MaryEllen Noonan
General Education Partner Teachers: Gene'sha Williams and Shari Longo
English Language Support: Brian Garfield, Erica Geppert (email@example.com), Ali Ibrahim
Inner Core Teachers: Carol Baker - Performing Arts, Hunter Coleman - Health/Physical Education, Joe McCright- Spanish, Joshua Harms - Art, Elizabeth Vandivier - Library Media Specialist
Social Worker: Keri Sartin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
School Psychologist: Caroline DeWerd
Instructional Support: Jana Banks - Math Specialist, Janna Walker - Reading Specialist,
Instructional Coach: Tara Souza
Custodial Team: Lawrence Stephenson, Shawn Harrington, Russell Hart, Ramon Zamora
Registrar: Manik Hinchey
Business Manager: Kestaganer Johnson
Assistant Principal: Elke Chen
Principal: Jen Geoffroy (email@example.com)
Reminder: Homeroom Assignments and Requests
Please note that we remain unwavering in our dedication to equity and closing opportunity gaps. Therefore, students will be scheduled and placed in homerooms in ways that promote equity, including some grouping based on current academic needs as well as whole group academic opportunities. Due to the complexity of scheduling and class list creation, we will not be taking homeroom requests from families.
Additionally, it's important to note that the vast majority of our staff, including teachers and partner teachers, are on summer break until August 20. While you're welcome to reach out to staff before August 20, please know they will likely not respond until they report to work on August 20.
Thanks for your understanding!
Reminder: School Supplies - bring towel for outdoor lunch too!
Reminder: PTA Meetings - Save the Dates
- 9/14 – PTA Meeting & Back to School Night - 6-8pm (virtual)
- 10/13 – PTA Meeting - 5pm (virtual)
- 11/10 – PTA Meeting - 7pm (virtual)
- 12/8 – PTA Meeting - 5pm (virtual)
- 1/12 – PTA Meeting- time TBD
- 2/9 – PTA Meeting - time TBD
- 3/16 – PTA Meeting - time TBD
- 4/20 – PTA Meeting- time TBD
- 5/11 – PTA Meeting- time TBD
- 6/8 – PTA Meeting/Celebration - time TBD