Phoenix Flyer #6

Greetings, Phoenix Families!

It is truly hard to believe that our first quarter at DHMS is complete!  It has been such a pleasure getting to know the students of Dorothy Hamm.  In classrooms, at the bus stops, on the sidewalks coming to school, so many have been incredibly polite and positive. They almost always respond to my greeting with a smile or a greeting of their own!  Having said that, the fall has not been without its struggles – adjusting to new schedules, new people, and new routines can be challenging for middle schoolers. We continue to set clear expectations for students and remind them of the DHMS expectations: Respect yourself, Respect others, and Respect our shared environment. I expect all students to adhere to these. When they don’t, which may happen, you will likely hear from us about how we can partner to support your Phoenix student to be the very best they can be.

We are looking forward to recognizing students who are meeting the DHMS expectations with a Phoenix Breath of Fresh Air. Teachers, staff members, and bus drivers are encouraged to recognize students doing a great job with a Breath of Fresh Air slip.  Students turn in these slips to the main office and their name is entered into a weekly raffle for prizes!  Please enjoy the updates below.

-Ms. E. Smith, Principal, Dorothy Hamm Middle School

On our Website:

  • Daily Announcements will be posted on the DHMS Website, along with our weekly activities calendar. Look at the Morning Announcements page under DHMS About Us for more information about what’s going on at DHMS.
  • Our student-run Newspaper Club has published its first issue – Please read Tales of the Phoenix on the DHMS Newspaper Page. Congrats to our motivated journalists!
  • Teacher Tuesdays – Encourage your DHMS student to provide positive feedback to a staff member through the Teacher Tuesday “quicklink” on the left-hand side of the DHMS Webpage. We will share this information with staff!

Construction continues in and around our building.

  • At the Main Entrance over the next couple of weeks, there will be modifications made to the curbs and sidewalks. While this is happening, the main entrance will be accessible, but much of the sidewalk will be cordoned off. Drop off will continue with some slight modifications.
  • The addition is making great progress – the grand staircase is almost in place, locker rooms and bathrooms have plumbing, and there are frames for the classroom and library walls!
  • As well, more BIKE RACKS have been added to the south side of the building, closer to the addition!

Getting to school safely will always be a priority and a challenge in this unique location. Please help keep our students safe by:

  • Dropping your car-rider off on the school driveway (on the South side of the building)
  • Not dropping off students on 23rd Street or on Vacation Lane
  • Stopping for any school bus with its Stop Arm out
  • Following the directions of any Crossing Guard that you encounter
  • Not making a U-turn anywhere near Vacation Lane
  • Not passing another vehicle (going the same direction) at any point near the school. You may not be able to see why the car has stopped.
  • Encouraging your bike rider to wear light-up gear so that they can be seen at dawn and dusk
  • Encouraging your bike rider to walk their bike on Vacation Lane (due to high pedestrian volume!)

Report Cards will be available on ParentVue on Thursday, November 15. If you are unable to access ParentVue, please call the main office and we’d be happy to help.

Spotlight on Staff – When you walk into the main office at Dorothy Hamm, you will likely encounter one of our talented administrative office staff:

  • Elizabeth (Bunty) Meikle – In charge of making sure classrooms have subs and ensuring that the main office runs smoothly, Mrs. Meikle is often the first point of contact for parents and staff members coming into the building.
  • Flora Perez – Managing attendance for all 745 students here at DHMS is no small task. Mrs. Perez will get your messages on the attendance line (703-228-2911) or attendance email ( and mark attendance accordingly.  If you would like to pick up your child early, please let Mrs. Perez know and she can have them waiting for you when you arrive.
  • Pamela Kopiak – Mrs. Kopiak manages many of our social media accounts, posting pictures and highlighting special events. She is also the admin who schedules special education meetings during the year.
  • Crystal Richardson – Maintaining the finances for this medium-sized middle school is a massive undertaking. Ms. Richardson does all of our funds collection and deposits, bill-paying, and budgeting, as well as managing the main office in the afternoons.
  • Sonia Argenal – In addition to registering any new students who enter Dorothy Hamm and supporting our counseling office, Ms. Argenal is the point of contact should you need transcripts and/or report cards.

We want you to feel welcome when you enter Dorothy Hamm Middle School.  Please introduce yourself to these staff members when you arrive.  They are here to help!

Thinking about High SchoolEighth graders will be visiting Arlington Tech on 11/13 or 11/14.  Please make sure they have returned their signed permission slip to attend.  Check out the Counseling Page on the DHMS Website for other important information for eighth graders.

Kudos:  Thanks to our ELA/Reading Team for hosting another amazing author this week.  Some eighth graders got to hear from Erin Stewart, author of Scars Like Wings.  Ms. Stewart highlighted her inspiration for the novel and his amazing resiliency in the face of great physical and emotional challenge.  She was inspiring.

Follow us on twitter: @dhmiddleAPS and on Instagram: dhmiddleschool