Phoenix Flyer #9

Monday, March 30, 2020

Good Morning, DHMS Families.

What a first year!?! The staff at Dorothy Hamm has been left heartbroken by the news that we will not return to work with our amazing students this school year. However, all of us are rising to the challenge, like you, of tele-working, tele-teaching and learning, caring for ourselves and our families, and practicing social distancing. I’m so proud of the work that the Dorothy Hamm staff has done over the last two weeks to support student learning – and I know that this high level of commitment to our students will continue as we move into the Fourth Quarter.

Teaching and Learning: I appreciate the feedback from many of you about what has worked for teaching and learning in the last few weeks, and what has not. While many of our teachers are adept at using online resources for teaching, none of us had moved completely online before. We have all learned so much in the last two weeks. We will continue to refine our technical and pedagogical practices, with additional guidance from APS, ensuring that the Fourth Quarter will be a productive learning experience for our students.

Online Teaching and Learning Support: There are so many resources available – but let me highlight a few. On the DHMS website, please access the Technology section for help with problem solving for a device, and the Library section to get info on additional reading materials for your voracious reader.

Student/Family Support: Please know that there are many resources for both students and parents to access during this difficult time. Counselors are available to students through Canvas. Each counselor has a class called DHMS Class of 2024, 2025, or 2026. Through this class students can ask questions, set up a virtual meeting, or just reach out to connect. Please encourage your students to look at what counselors have set up in Canvas and reach out at any time.

Additionally, please don’t hesitate to reach out with your concerns. Our student/family support team stands ready to help. Kudos to Ms. Katcher, Ms. Pierce, Ms. Oetgen and the rest of our Student Support Team for the help that they have provided to families already. Check our website for the appropriate email addresses.

Construction: Construction on our beautiful new addition will continue despite school being shut. When you drive by on Vacation Lane you will see our new Dorothy Hamm Middle School sign affixed to the front of the building. Additionally, the copper paneling on the exterior of the addition is being installed this week. Classrooms in the addition are getting paint, and if we stay on track, furniture will be delivered for those classrooms in early May! I will be tweeting regular pictures – so stay tuned.

Keeping Spirits Up: Social Distancing is hard! In an effort to keep spirits up and students connected we are hosting a Virtual Spirit Week this week before Spring Break! Students are encouraged to participate in the daily spirit activity and post a picture (with your permission) either on Twitter or the DHMS Facebook Page, or on the Padlet that is available through Canvas.

Tag @DHMiddleAPS and @dhms_ptsa on Twitter
Tag @dhmiddleschool on Instagram
Use the hashtag #VirtualDHMS.

  • Monday, March 30th: Show off your Bed Head – Crazy Hat or Hair Day
  • Tuesday, March 31st: Take a picture of yourself reading today – D.E.A.R. Day
  • Wednesday, April 1st: Celebrate your fav sport team – Jersey Day
  • Thursday, April 2nd: Facetime & dress like a friend – Twin Day
  • Friday, April 3rd: Wear DHMS gear – show your Phoenix Pride – DHMS Spirit Day

In an effort to keep our incredible school community connected, I will be sharing a Phoenix Flyer weekly (Sunday night or Monday morning). This, in combination with the PTSA’s Phoenix Post, should keep you up to date. I so appreciate your support during this challenging time, and I look forward to being able to come together as a school community again.


EllenEllen Smith, Principal