February 26, 2021
Can you believe it is almost March? Time sure is flying by. I hope you found your Phoenix student’s presentation for conferences informative and affirming. Students are working so hard to stay engaged, continue learning, and maintain some normalcy. It has been a pleasure to be in classrooms over the last few weeks. As well, I have been very excited and impressed to see the Voices of Dorothy Hamm projects that students have worked on in TA or individually. There are posters, word clouds, videos, and interviews all focused on Black History. The Broadcast Team wowed us with their skills again this week when they spotlighted a panel of local African Americans who discussed their experiences living here in Arlington, including our own amazing Activities Coordinator, Ms. Unika Dabney. As well, they interviewed Joan Mulholland, Freedom Rider, sit in participant, and resident of the Cherrydale neighborhood. Check these videos out on the DHMS Website. \
I was so proud to hear and see so many Dorothy Hamm Choral students singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at last week’s School Board meeting! I recommend checking it out – it was incredible. Congratulations to our Choral Director, Erin Ginnerty, and her team of Phoenix Singers!
Join Kat Partington, DHMS Resource Teacher for the Gifted for Gifted Services Identification and Screening Information Night – March 10 at 7:00 PM.
Returning to the Building: Some of the information below pertains to the students who are returning to school in person. While this is very exciting for teachers, we are cognizant that 30% of our students are remaining fully virtual; and on any given school day, 60% of our students will be learning online. Our teaching team seeks to ensure that all students feel welcomed and a part of the DHMS learning community. To this end, the DHMS Road Map – a tool teachers are developing to support students’ transition to a hybrid learning experience – will address both learning in person and learning virtually. This Road Map will be introduced to sixth grade students next week – and seventh and eighth grade students the following week.
The APS Safe Routes to School Coordinator, Lauren Hassel, will be available, along with DHMS Admin, on the bus loop by entrance #1 on Saturday, March 6, from 10 AM – 12, Noon. If your student is a walker or bike rider, and/or new to our school, please stop by to pick up a recommended routes map and ask any questions. This would be a good opportunity for families to “practice” their student’s safest walking/biking route. This event will happen rain or shine. The map will be available on the website next week!
Technology update from Katherine Leon, DHMS Instructional Technology Coordinator, for all Dorothy Hamm Middle School students who will be returning to the building. This announcement will be sent to all Dorothy Hamm students as well.
- All middle school students reporting in person will be expected to bring a fully charged APS issued iPad each day. Personal devices are not permitted and will not be supported. If students have been using a personal device during distance learning, please turn on and use the APS iPad to test and acclimate to the device before returning to the building.
- Students with APS laptops issued to them for robotics and coding classes may bring them to school.
- If you have any technical issues with your APS issued device, please submit a student tech help request on the Dorothy Hamm website to begin the repair process as soon as possible. Please do NOT wait until you return to the building since it may take longer to resolve.
- Students should also bring and be prepared to use personal headphones inside the building.
- As a reminder, students use their ID number and MyAccess password to connect their iPads to APS WiFi inside school buildings. All students should know this information. Students may need to open the WiFi settings on their iPad and reconnect the iPad to the APS network their first day back in the building. Students will receive support for this process in their classes.
- Students who have portable chargers may bring them to school. Most classrooms will have five USB cables connected to a basic charging unit for emergency charging scenarios. However, it is critical that students start the day with fully charged iPads. Please help your student establish a charging routine at home to ensure a fully charged iPad each morning.
- Please label your iPad/chargers/headphones as you bring them to school to prevent loss and confusion. You may consider storing the accessories in a labelled bag in the student’s backpack.
- For our 7th and 8th grade students who replaced their old cases with the keyboard cases – the student name may no longer be visible on the back of the iPad. To avoid confusion PLEASE find a way to securely place a label with the student first and last name under the back flap of these keyboard cases.
- ALL students (those in person or virtual) are still expected to submit a student tech help form to report any technical issues.
Return to School Information: More details will be shared on the DHMS Website on Monday, March 1 and at the DHMS Town Hall on Tuesday, March 2. Thank you for all of your support as we navigate this transition. It is so appreciated.
- Monday, March 1 – 4:00 PM, Parent Chat in English
- Tuesday, March 2 – DHMS Town Hall: Return to School
- Friday, March 5 – No School for Students – Teacher Work Day
- Saturday, March 6 – Safe Routes to School – 10 AM – 12 Noon (Drop in anytime)
- Monday, March 8 – 6:00 PM, Parent Chat in Spanish
- March 9-12 – Sixth Grade Students return
- Monday, March 15 – 4:00 PM, Parent Chat in English
- March 16-19 – Seventh and Eighth Grade Students return
- Monday, March 22 – 6:00 PM, Parent Chat in Spanish
- Monday, March 29 – Spring Break