Phoenix Flyer #11

Dear Phoenix Families,

Just a quick note to say hello and let you know we are enjoying seeing your DHMS students on Canvas and in Teams Meetings! This week I will summarize just a few of the key messages that APS has shared; Katherine Leon, our ITC, shares some tips for Technology; and we share some Kudos for the week.

Stay safe – and please reach out if you need anything.


Ellen (Ms. E. Smith)
Principal, Dorothy Hamm Middle School

Continuous Learning: The continuous learning plan, developed by APS, provides a unique opportunity for DHMS teachers and students to build skills and explore meaty topics in more depth. Teachers have (last week), or will (this week), post new learning activities for students on a weekly basis. Many of these activities will be project or problem-based and will focus on the skills and standards that are vital for students’ foundational knowledge. The DHMS Team will:

  • Email families on Mondays the week’s assignments – the subject line will say (DHMS, Grade/Class)
  • Engage in Office Hours for students to check in, get help, or just connect.
  • Post 2 “must do” assignments and at least 1 “may do” assignment for students weekly on Canvas
  • Provide feedback on assignments using the APS Comments: Complete (showing mastery of the content); Needs Revision (turned in, but not mastered yet); and Incomplete (work submitted is incomplete). No Comment means that the work has not been turned in or “given feedback yet” by the teacher.
  • If the student completes at least 80% of the “must do” assignments their FINAL letter grade for the class will be increased by one letter grade, per the APS Continuous Learning Plan.

One reminder – our electives and PE classes are presenting learning activities as well! These classes offer unique opportunities for us to explore different skills and ways of learning. Please encourage your DHMS student to engage in these classes as well.

We are excited to work with our students and develop new skills as teachers, even at a distance. While most of our learning experiences are not on a time schedule, please encourage your students to participate in Teacher Office Hours and DHMS Weekly Class Meetings (usually on Fridays) – these are a great way for students to stay connected with teachers and friends.

Technology Tips from DHMS ITC, Katherine Leon:

We hope you and your APS issued devices are doing well during these unprecedented times. Please find below some technology tips for remote learning:

General Tips:

  • Ask your student to write down ALL passwords in a safe place – and share with you!
  • To avoid charging issues with the iPad use an Apple certified charging cord and brick whenever possible.
  • If you are having connectivity issues please shutdown (slide to power off) the iPad, wait a few minutes then power up again. It may take 5-10 minutes for GlobalProtect to connect.
  • More tips on WiFi Connectivity can found on our website.

App support:

  • If you are having problems with the Canvas app or the StudentVUE app – try logging in to these resources through Safari on the iPad.
    • Open Safari and go to the Dorothy Hamm website
    • Scroll down and look on the left side for the MyAccess icon
    • The student can log in to MyAccess using their credentials o From the MyAccess screen students can access Canvas, StudentVUE and Google Drive
    • If the Canvas assignment includes writing on a PDF the student MUST use the app
  • Please ask your student to check their Canvas Inbox and To Do list frequently
  • More information including Canvas tutorials can be found on our website.

To submit a request for technology support please use one of the following options:

  • Students can put in a tech help request on the DHMS website by going to the Technology Tab and choosing Student Technology Help Request.
  • Families can email for technology support.

Finally, check out our technology support section on the DHMS website.

We miss you DHMS students! Stay well!

Collection of School Items: Teachers sent home many, many books (trade books, library books) with students on or before March 13. We are discussing ways to collect these materials before the end of the year. Please stay tuned, and – hang on to those supplies! We want to be able to use them again next year! As soon as APS says we can allow students to re-enter and clean out their lockers, we will communicate that plan with you.

Construction: The silver lining is that the work on our building is making great progress! There are SMART Panels going up in every classroom, and the pre-cast panels on the South entrance of the addition are in place and look beautiful. Check out the video-tours that I made of each floor of the addition. I, too, am learning some new skills – my videoing will improve! Enjoy.

KUDOS: DOROTHY HAMM SCIENCE ROCKS AGAIN!!! Once again, our students demonstrate their scientific talent. A group of students worked diligently to write scientific papers based on their science fair projects. Their papers were submitted to the Virginia Junior Academy of Science to compete in the 2020 Annual Research Symposium. Here are the names and project titles of the students whose projects were accepted to VJAS and are advancing to the second part of the competition.

  • Elizabeth Adams: The effect of the amount of time crumb rubber soaks in saltwater on lead and chemical levels found.
  • Ella Cohen: Deice: Not so nice.
  • Emma Hemsch: The effect of the acidic or basic substance added to the soil on the height of pea plants.
  • Simran Kulkarni: The effect of the type of liquid on the amount of oxygen isolated through electrolysis.
  • Avery Park: The effect of the type of liquid on the amount of oxygen isolated through electrolysis.
  • Evelyn Scally: The effect of sunscreen composition on radish plant growth.
  • Ophelia Tulchinsky: The effect of the species of tree on the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed and stormwater intercepted.

Congratulations!!!! Our Science Department wants to thank our VJAS coordinator (Ms. Araya), our amazing library staff (Ms. Shanker and Ms. Tsai), and our Resource Teacher for the Gifted (Ms. Partington), for the unconditional help they gave to our students during the research, writing, and editing process.