Phoenix Flyer #10

Good morning, Dorothy Hamm Families,

I miss seeing you and your DHMS students!  I popped over to our building the other day, just to make sure everything is ok, and the halls were so dark and quiet – no slamming lockers, chirpy voices, or warm smiles from our Phoenix students.  Although the classrooms are silent, I have been totally impressed with how active and engaged that students have been on Canvas!  We had over 90% participation rate on Canvas the two weeks before Spring Break – that tells me many students are getting online and engaging in the learning experiences teachers are providing.  Kudos to all of you parents being teachers and coaches at home.  Please read on to find out information about Teaching and Learning, Taking Care of Ourselves, Emergency Support, Construction – and KUDOS to DHMS students!

One question I’ve heard from many students is about when they will be able to come in to clean out their lockers.  At this time, we will wait for guidance from APS about when it is safe for students to enter the building and what that process might look like. Stay tuned!

Take care of yourselves and each other and take time, daily, to seek a silver lining in the middle of this challenging time.

Ellen Smith, Principal
AKA Ms. E. Smith

Fourth Quarter Teaching and Learning – You have likely received the guidance from APS Department of Teaching and Learning about how APS teachers and students will move forward during our continued quarantine (APS Secondary Continuous Learning Plan).  The teaching team at DHMS has collaborated on a few additional practices that we hope will ensure clarity and support for our students.

  • By Monday teachers will email families (and post for students on Canvas) the work assigned/recommended for the week and each teacher’s virtual “Office Hours”
  • The subject line of this email will state: “DHMS – Grade/Teacher” so that you know what class and/or child the email pertains to
  • Each week’s work will include two required assignments and one “may do” assignments
  • Work will be reported in synergy as Complete, Not Complete, or Needs Revision; no score means the teacher does not have the assignment or has not evaluated it yet

Please know that the DHMS team understands this is not an easy time. Feel free to determine what level of engagement is best for you and your family; we understand this may change on a day to day basis. Remember, too, that our teaching staff is in a similar situation, many juggling caring for family members while working remotely. Please extend this same understanding to them.

Enrichment Opportunities 

Some students might have the time and/or energy to explore more than the assignments teachers set for them.  Here is a link to the page on our website where Ms. Partington, our Resource Teacher for the Gifted, shares several online enrichment links and online competition possibilities. She will keep adding to this list as she finds more possibilities, so check back regularly.

Taking Care of Ourselves

Beginning the week of April 20th, APS Middle School Counselors will be providing Social-Emotional Learning lessons to their students. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.

People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and  benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities. Children thrive. Schools win. Workplaces benefit. Society strengthens. All due to social-emotional learning.

SEL lessons will be available each week through the school counselors’ Canvas pages, and although students will not be required to participate in these lessons, we hope that the students will find them helpful as they navigate their way through these uncertain times.

Emergency Support

Are you experiencing emergency needs? There are growing resources available to Arlingtonians who are experiencing unprecedented needs in the areas of rent relief, utility bills, locating food resources, and the like. If you need assistance, please contact our school social worker, Christine Katcher, at

 STARTING APRIL 13: Meal Service resumes at 7 locations.

Meals are FREE to any child aged 2 to 18.
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.Choose your pick-up site:

  • Barrett Elementary School: 4401 N. Henderson Rd.
  • Campbell Elementary School: 737 S. Carlin Springs Rd.
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School: 3500 S. 23rd St.
  • NEW Hoffman-Boston Elementary School: 1415 S. Queen St.
  • Kenmore Middle School: 200 S. Carlin Springs Rd.
  • NEW Key Elementary School: 2300 Key Blvd
  • Randolph Elementary School: 1306 S. Quincy St.

NEW: Children do NOT need to be present for meal pickup.  To pick up meals without children present, families must provide their child(ren)’s name(s) and student ID number(s) to: OR call 703-228-2129. Families only need to provide this information one time.

Medications stored in the clinic:

Medications that reside for use/safekeeping in the DHMS clinic will be being mailed home to families by the Arlington County Public Health Nurses over the next few weeks.


Construction continues at Dorothy Hamm – if you are able, as you are getting outside on some of these beautiful days, walk by the addition on Old Dominion Drive to check out the progress.  Pre-cast is being attached to the South entrance of the addition, and the exterior copper paneling is being installed as well.



After a great DHMS Science Fair early in the year, ten students advanced to the APS Regional Science Fair. Their projects represented our school brilliantly – and showcased the passions and expertise of our students and staff.  This year’s APS Regional Science Fair winners from DHMS are:

Promising Engineer Award:   

  • Elizabeth Adams.  2nd place. Project Title: Toxic Turf

American Water Works Award:

  • Elizabeth Adams.  2nd Place. Project Title: Toxic Turf

Advancing to Broadcom Masters (Broadcom Masters is the nation’s premier middle school STEM competition)

  • Avery DeMots.  7th grade. Project Title:  The Effect of Fish on Local Freshwater Ponds.
  • Sara Martah.  7th grade. Project Title:   Better Healthy than Sorry.

Congratulations to our winners – and all students who participated in the Regional Science Fair! For more details on other regional winners, click here.