Phoenix Flyer #13

Happy Wednesday, Dorothy Hamm Families!

I hope this Phoenix Flyer finds you well.  Shout out to the Teacher Appreciation Week Committee members from our PTSA who have done a fabulous job celebrating our teachers – and it’s only Wednesday!  The Mad Libs Message has been very fun – and teachers cheered when they heard you were getting them a Laminating Machine!  Thank you so much.

I posted an announcement with your DHMS students in Canvas this week asking them to say thank you to a teacher who has made a difference for them.  I shared a memory of my eighth grade English teacher and how supportive she was of me in a new country, new school, making new friends, and understanding different expectations from new teachers.  I recently reconnected with this teacher (some 40 odd years later) and was thrilled and honored that she remembered me.  Reflecting on this experience, I asked our students to consider which of their teachers they might remember in 40 years! Time flies…😊

Counselor’s Corner:  Lesson posted in Canvas for Week 4 – May 4th

We know that for middle school students, socialization is such an important part of their lives. Now that they’re being told to “social distance” or stay inside as much as possible to help flatten the curve, students are becoming more frustrated with their lack of social interaction. They also may become frustrated with this new way of learning and temporary new way of life. For this lesson, school counselors circle back around to explore more specific thoughts, emotions and decisions by exploring frustration. They will also encourage students to create a plan for handling frustrating situations.

Reminder:  Emergency Support

Arlington County Government, Arlington Public Schools, and the DHMS team are able to support families with access to resources and information.  Our amazing Student Support Team is making sure that our website stays updated with valuable information for you – and they can direct you to additional resources that might be available.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time and our team will be in touch.  Please reach out to our Social Worker, Christine Katcher ( or our Bilingual Family Resource Assistant (Spanish), Cecilia Oetgen ( for assistance.

As well – meal service (breakfast and lunch for students) is available 3 days each week:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Check our website for the location that is most convenient to you.


  • What happens if I call the main office? Our main office line is being checked daily (remotely) by our wonderful Main Office Administrative Team. Your call will be forwarded to the appropriate person – and they will get back to you.
  • When can we get in to clean out lockers? Once APS has a process in place for students to come into the building safely – we will communicate that to you. A few families have reached out to let us know that they will be moving before the end of the year, and our registrar will work out a time for us to give you your things.
  • What’s happening with construction? Thankfully – it’s moving forward!  The construction team is practicing social distancing while at work, and all members of the team are protected with the appropriate gear (masks, gloves, etc) to keep everyone safe. I hope to share a video update soon!  In the meantime, check out the construction update posted on the website.
  • When will we hear about Summer School and plans for the Fall? As soon as APS, under guidance from the VDOE, has its plan developed, it will be shared.


Many thanks, again, to the PTSA for designing and implementing a virtual Teacher Appreciation Week!  Carrie Dunn, Angela Huskey, Kristen Shattuck (shout out to Marney), and Debbie Pearson have been so creative. Our teachers truly appreciate your thoughtful planning, efforts, and support!