Phoenix Flyer #16

Dear Phoenix Families,

I hope you enjoyed your long weekend. This is the sixteenth issue of the DHMS Phoenix Flyer, and we are almost to the first week of June! It is shocking to me how quickly time has flown by during this quarantine. Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions!

When can I pick up my locker contents?
Plans for connecting your students with their locker contents are being finalized. Look for an email from me later this week that will outline the process. This would be a good time, though, to ask your DHMS student to dig through their backpacks, under their beds, and the table by the TV to find any library books, classroom novels, uniforms, etc., that should be returned to Dorothy Hamm. We anticipate having students/families come to the DHMS Driveway, at assigned times, the week of June 8.

When can I pick up any medications that are still in the clinic?
Medications that have not been mailed home will be available to pick up when you and your student come to pick up your locker contents. Medications must be picked up by a parent.

How is the construction going?
I hope that you have had the opportunity to see the videos that I shared with students through Canvas. I will do another next week! I’ve had some positive feedback from students.

The Library is beginning to feel like a “real” space – carpeting went in today – and the cool triangle-shaped ceiling tiles have been installed. Furniture is being put together in the gym; there are some very interesting looking student desks that can be pushed together for group work, or separated for individual work. Our cafeteria is a staging location for all of the white boards and bulletin boards that will be installed in the addition classrooms.

If you drive by, you will notice that the exterior is beginning to get its finish – black brick on the lowest level of the addition and the green copper siding is going on as well. I was on the roof the other day – the waterproof roof is being prepped to become “green.” There is an interesting tower on the roof with windows to capture the sunlight and cast it down into the grand stairwell of the South Entrance to the building.

We heard DHMS was broken into last week. What happened?
Yes, unfortunately, the building was broken into and there was some graffiti spray painted around the second floor mostly. Fortunately, the alarm system worked the way it was supposed to – and the damage was mostly cosmetic. Our amazing custodial team has taken care of most of the mess. A little paint will take care of the rest.

What exciting things are coming up?
Morning News Show TA: rising 8th graders can apply now! Ms. Partington and Ms. Shanker are excited to announce that they will be running a broadcast TA next year which will oversee our announcements and daily news program. Ms. Partington and Ms. Shanker will accept applications now through Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Needed: anchors, producers, writers, and tech crew. Apply here. (Note: the form is restricted to APS accounts. Your student must log into their Google account to see the form.)

Author visit: June 9 – join Ms. Donnelly for another awesome author visit. Middle-grade fiction author, Lindsey Stoddard, will join a DHMS Team meeting on Tuesday, June 9th from 1:30-2pm. Mark your calendar and save the date for this final virtual author visit of the school year. All DHMS students are invited. They can email their ELA teacher who will send them the invite to the team meeting. You can order her books from Politics and Prose and the bookstore will mail them to you for a $5 mailing fee. If you have any questions, email

What is going on with social-emotional support this week?
For this last week of SEL lessons, school counselors continue their work exploring thoughts, emotions and decisions and will specifically explore calming-down strategies and explain why they are effective. In addition to identifying calming-down strategies, students will learn how to do slow, deep breathing to help them when they encounter a difficult situation.

What does the end of the year look like?
We are getting closer to the end of the school year. Next week (June 1-5) is the last week to turn in Must-do assignments for classes. In fact, everything should be submitted by the end of the day on Friday, June 5. The week of June 8-12 teachers will be asking students to reflect on the year, participate in end of year projects, and say their good-byes. I’ve heard teams and teachers planning some wonderful activities for the end of the year. Please encourage your DHMS student to stick with us until the end! They have done a great job!

Please check out this week’s Remote Learning Celebrations! Pre-algebra students used every day objects found around the home to explain their understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem. Ms. Donnelly’s sixth graders shared some of their Passion Projects. I enjoyed reading, watching, and listening to their wonderful self-directed inquiry projects. Check out their work. Some of our PE students have been using clever ways to build movement into their day. The game they created looks like a great place for me to start exercising! And Ms. Azzara’s “Ask a Scientist” office hours have been incredible. Congrats to all our students on their deep thinking and critical questioning.

Kudos this week go out to our incredible PTSA Executive Board who have been facilitating book drives and setting up “little” libraries for students to “grab and go” books to read. Check out their libraries at Key and ASFS as well as at DHMS. Please see the PTSA Facebook page for more details.