Phoenix Flyer #19

Dear Families of Dorothy Hamm Middle School,

Just a few updates and thank yous to share with you as we close out the year.


  • Re-opening – Stay tuned for information about Arlington Public Schools plan for re-opening. The APS website will be updated regularly with information about what our plan is for bringing students and staff back safely and I will follow up soon after with additional information unique to DHMS.
  • Rising Sixth Graders – we look forward to seeing you. Please check out the DHMS webpage for videos and information to orient you to DHMS.  We hope to hold some in-person events this summer if it is safe and advisable to do so. Please stay tuned.
  • Summer Reading – check out the DHMS Summer Reading Page for ways to stay engaged in great books. DHMS library e-books will be available all summer long for students to check out.
  • Summer Math Packets – the APS Math Department encourages students to keep practicing their math skills over the summer. Please select the packet associated with the course your student completed this year.
  • Taking care of your iPad – Ms. Leon has suggestions and guidelines for keeping your iPad in good working order.
  • Locker Contents – we will hold any locker contents that were not picked up until students are back in the building to claim.yearbook cover
  • Yearbooks – we still have lots of yearbooks available at the building to buy. They are $40.00 – and an awesome remembrance of this first year. If you would like to reserve one, and pick it up later, just let me know via email ( We do have yearbooks available to pick up or purchase, in person at the main entrance (Door 1), on Wednesdays from 2-4 PM, through July 15.
  • Construction – I will post pictures and videos of the inside of the addition over the next few weeks so that students and families can see the incredible progress that is being made. You’ll notice if you drive by, the exterior of the addition is almost complete – and landscape work is being done in preparation for the historical commemoration walk. Classrooms are mostly done, furniture is put together and staging in the gym, and the delivery date for our ten thousand library books has been set!  The building will be completed this summer.

Thank yous to the:

  • Eighth Grade Teachers and Promotion Team – We were delighted to celebrate this first group of eighth graders to be promoted from Dorothy Hamm Middle School with a lovely virtual promotion ceremony, filled with student speeches, candid shots of students in classrooms, words of congratulations from our Interim Superintendent and School Board Liaison, and thoughtful words from Carmela Hamm, daughter of Dorothy Hamm. This amazing ceremony and the “Drive-through Clap Out” were organized and created by the team of:  Melissa Cobbs, Unika Dabney, Amy Juengst, Theresa Ducassoux, Carrie Schaefer, Lisa Moore and Tara Antonipillai.  Thank you all so much for creating this lovely celebration of these students.  We were so proud to promote these guys to ninth grade!
  • Advisory Leadership Team – The Team Leaders and Department Chairs of DHMS came together to help connect students and their belongings. These were long and hot days – and many of these staff members worked multiple days!  Thank you to:  Sally Donnelly, Whitney Field, Anne Whipp, Courtney Arifin, Jane Scruggs, Aaron Tagert, Beth Sanderson, Patricia Carlson, Kathy Ascenzi, Carrie Schaefer, Jenny Shanker, and Unika Dabney.  They did a fantastic job.  Thank you!


  • Dorothy Hamm Middle School PTSA – who have done a Rock Star Job of creating community, raising money, supporting our teachers, and celebrating our students. Many thanks to the Inaugural PTSA Executive Board for their thoughtful and supportive work:  Debbie Pearson, Dena Porter, Heidi Gibson, Angela Huskey, Holly Tennant, Dan Lyons, and Lara Johnson. You are the heart of our school – thank you for collaborating, supporting, and leading us all through this first year.  I look forward to our partnership moving forward.

exterior of DHMSAs we wrap up this chaotic and crazy year, I can’t help but reflect on the journey that we began, almost two years ago, to bring the community’s goal of opening a neighborhood middle school to reality. Meeting families at Middle School Information Night, working with students to brainstorm mascots and colors, beginning the process of forming a PTSA, and naming our school after local civil rights’ activist Dorothy Hamm – as exciting as these steps forward were, none compared to the joy of welcoming your children into this building on the first day of school, and every day thereafter.

Thank you for the privilege of working with you and your students to create an environment that is warm, welcoming, and supportive our youngsters online and in person. I look forward to continuing our collaboration next year.