Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

APS strives to make Dorothy Hamm Middle School (DHMS) environmentally sustainable and has worked hard to ensure safe walking and bicycling routes for our students. To minimize traffic congestion, improve safety, promote active lifestyles and teach students to be good stewards of the environment, we encourage students and families to walk or bike to school, ride the school bus, or carpool with other families as possible. If you have any questions related to our school arrival and dismissal procedures, please contact DHMS Principal and School Transportation Coordinator Ellen Smith at 703-228-2910.

Please click on a link below to take you to the appropriate section:


Arrival and Dismissal Basics

Times

    • Regular school days start at 7:50 a.m. and end at 2:24 p.m.
    • On early release days, school dismisses at 11:54 a.m. but dismissal procedures are the same as on regular school days.
    • Doors open at 7:20 a.m.
    • Students should be in their seats by 7:50 a.m.

Doors

    • At arrival, students may enter the school building through the following doors:
      • Walkers and bicyclists—Door 1, Door 9 (Sixth Graders), and Door 13 (Seventh and Eighth Graders
      • Bus riders—Door 1
      • Car riders—Door 9 (Sixth Graders) and Door 13 (Seventh and Eighth Graders)
    • At dismissal, students may exit the school through the following doors:
      • Walkers and bicyclists—Any door
      • Bus riders—Door 2
      • Car riders—Door 9 and Door 13

Walking and Biking Procedures (see map for more detail)

Students living within the “no bus zone” are encouraged to walk or bike to and from school (please see the Dorothy Hamm Bus Eligibility Zone Map).

Crossing Guards

Crossing guards or school staff are posted at the following locations around the school to support safe pedestrian access during arrival and dismissal:

    • Cherrydale Five Points
    • Vacation Lane & Military Road
    • Nelly Custis & Military Road
    • Old Dominion Drive & DHMS Driveway (School Staff)
    • Vacation Lane & Lorcom Lane (School Staff)

Safety personnel will be at these locations 7:20-7:55 a.m. during arrival and 2:20-2:40 p.m. during dismissal (11:50 a.m.-12:10 p.m. on Early Release Days)

Safety Rules

    • Bicycles and scooters must be ridden in a safe and responsible manner, and students must wear a safety helmet.
    • Students are not allowed to ride bicycles and scooters on campus sidewalks. Students must dismount and walk their bikes or scooters to their final destination.

Bike and Scooter Storage

    • Bike racks are located near Door 1, Door 2, Door 5, and Door 13. (see the Bicycle Access and Storage Map for additional details).
    • Bikes must be secured with a bike lock and helmets must be stored in student lockers.
    • Collapsible scooters must be stored in student lockers.

School Bus Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures (see map for more detail)

All students that live within the DHMS bus eligibility zone will be assigned school bus transportation and are encouraged to take the school bus.

    • In the last week of August, parents will receive a letter from APS that includes information about their child’s bus route and pick-up time.
    • If there are questions related to school bus travel, please contact APS Transportation’s Call Center at 703-228-8670. The Call Center will be staffed weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through August 6th. Starting August 9th, the hours will extend to 6 p.m.
    • DHMS’s school bus loop is located at the northeast corner of the campus, in front of the main entrance (Door 1).
    • Bus riders will unload and load at the bus loop sidewalk, will enter the school building through Door 1.

For more information about APS school bus transportation, please visit this page.

Private Vehicle Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures (see map for more detail)

APS encourages families to explore all possible options for travelling to and from school and to utilize healthy green transportation options as often as possible. If you must drive, please follow these procedures during student drop off and pick up to minimize vehicle conflicts with students who may be walking or riding their bicycles to school and minimize traffic congestion.Please do your part to help keep our students safe. Thoroughly review the procedures below while studying the school bus and family vehicle circulation map (Map B).

IMPORTANT

    • Family vehicles drop off and pick up will take place along the driveway on the southern side of the building (the opposite side of the building from the bus loop). Drop off and pick up should occur ONLY along the curb and in the designated drop-off and pick-up zone.
    • Please do not drop off or pick up on Vacation Lane.
    • Families can drop students off on Military Road near Vacation Lane if more convenient but please be mindful of parking restrictions and traffic to ensure students can exit safely.
    • Please be mindful of pedestrian crossings. Drive with caution, do not block crosswalks, and yield to pedestrians.
    • U-turns are strictly prohibited.
    • No texting or cell phone use while driving.
    • Please follow all directions from school personnel.
    • Devote more time and be extra cautious on rainy or foggy days. Drive with your headlights on to see and be seen.

Morning Drop-off Procedures

    • School staff members will supervise morning drop off from 7:20 a.m.to 7:50 a.m.
    • Please form two lines on the driveway. The right lane is for drop off, the left lane is the through lane.
    • When you reach the drop-off zone for your grade level (see Map B) pull into the right lane to drop off. Make sure your child is ready to unload.
    • Once in the drop-off zone for your grade, pull forward as far as possible, put your car into park, and have your student exit the car from the right, onto the sidewalk.
    • Note: Drivers should remain inside the vehicle. No trunk unloading is allowed in the drop-off zone. If your student needs to unload items from your trunk, please park in an available visitor parking space.
    • When your child has left your vehicle, pull out cautiously into the left lane and exit, or go straight ahead if you are at the front of the drop-off zone.

Afternoon Pick-up Procedures

    • Multiple school staff members will assist with afternoon pick up starting at 2:24 p.m. (11:50 a.m. on early release days).
    • Please enter the pick-up zone and pull to the farthest spot available.
    • When in the student pick-up zone, please put your car in park; your student should enter your car directly from the school sidewalk.
    • Note: Drivers should remain inside the vehicle, and no trunk loading is allowed in the pick-up zone. If your student needs to load items into your trunk, please park in an available visitor parking space.
    • When your child has entered your vehicle, pull out cautiously into the left lane and exit or go straight ahead if you are at the front of the pick-up zone queue.

Visitor Parking

Whether coming into the building for a quick stop (to pick up your student or drop something off) or to attend a meeting or school event, please plan to park in visitor parking spaces in the North Lot (northeast side of Vacation Lane) or Vacation Lane Lot (west side of Vacation Lane).