Phoenix Flyer #18

Dear DHMS Families,

It has been absolutely wonderful to see sixth grade students coming up The Driveway of DHMS to pick up their locker contents, or to just wave at the staff that is helping out.  Their sometimes shy smiles, their grins when they see a special teacher or friend, their eyes from behind the mask, these glimpses of our students motivate each DHMS teacher get up every day and keep teaching – even remotely.  Of course, there is a poignancy about this year’s closeout that makes those smiles and glimpses of students even more special.

To the Seventh and Eighth Grade families – we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, depending on your scheduled time. Eighth Graders – we have gifts for you that we want you to have before you are promoted on June 17th. Please make sure all your eighth-grade friends come by the DHMS Driveway this Friday.

If for some reason you cannot come during your assigned time this week, we will be available on Monday, 6/15 from 8-11 on the driveway.  It will be a little slower process, but we want to connect your student with their belongings.

As well, Ms. Shanker and Ms. Tsai have been excited to collect classroom novels and library books to process back into the building. And, so many have come back!  Keep up the great work team!  Below is a picture of just some of them! Ms. Shanker also wants to remind everyone to check out our Summer Reading page, where you can sign up for the public library’s summer reading program and more. The virtual book fair is also ongoing through June 19, so stock up on some good books there.

library books

Our yearbooks are late in arriving – but as soon as they get here, we will let you know!  A simple drop by will be available to pick yours up. If you didn’t purchase a yearbook, and you are feeling the wistfulness of missing a year that ended quickly, you can still order one.  Order your yearbook on the Dorothy Hamm Jostens ordering page.  It is a stunning book – and a lovely commemoration of the first year of this school. It is a piece of history!

Please don’t forget to complete the distance learning surveys that are coming home. We need your feedback to be able to move forward with best practices to ensure high levels of student learning. The student survey went out through Canvas. The parent survey was emailed to you.

We are excited to welcome rising sixth graders to Dorothy Hamm Middle School in September, and to prepare them, our Student Services Team has put together some video orientations and presentations to help begin to build familiarity. If you have a rising sixth grader, or know a rising DHMS sixth grader, please share this Sixth Grade Orientation Page found on our website!  We can’t wait to meet you!

Ms. Leon, our ITC, is sharing this link to our website with some guidelines on iPad use and storage over the summer. We recommend revisiting the Family Media Plan (the template is on the site) that you made earlier in the year to set summer expectations!  If you didn’t, now is a good time to make your plan.  Please remind students to remember their iPad is susceptible to heat!

I posted another video on Canvas, Global Announcements, for students to see how the building is changing.  The construction team is really able to make progress without us in the building.  You’ll notice the sidewalks are almost done on Vacation Lane, the copper siding is creeping up the walls of the addition, and the black brick is truly striking on the lower level and the transition between the old and new sections.  I’ll continue to make videos this summer and post those to the website.  Stay tuned – can’t wait to share the progress.

In closing this week’s Phoenix Flyer, know that everyday I reflect on the experience of the 7th graders who began the desegregation process in our building in 1959 and the powerful lessons to be learned from the mothers and fathers, neighbors and friends, who demanded equal access and opportunity to education here in Arlington County. Dorothy Hamm’s vision of equal and safe access to everything our country has to offer is one that we as a staff and community must take to heart.  To this end, our Student Services Team has drafted a message of support that outlines our commitment to reflecting on our personal actions, standing with our Black and African American students, families, and staff, and listening to, learning about, and valuing the varied perspectives that are part of our school community.

Please join with us in these conversations in the fall.

Ellen Smith, Principal