Phoenix Flyer #22 Return to School

Dorothy Hamm Return to School Details – March 2021

This information will be updated as we finesse and perfect our processes. I will let you know in an APS SchoolTalk Message when information changes.

COVID Notification Procedures –If an in-person student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school will send a general notification to staff and families at that school, and we will post the notice on the main APS website. The notification will inform families and staff that the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) will follow up with contact tracing and specific guidance for anyone identified as a close contact.

  • Based on guidance from the ACPHD, we may temporarily pause in-person instruction, athletics, or school activities for anyone identified as potentially exposed during the case investigation and contact tracing.
  • The investigation will determine close contacts and ACPHD will contact those individuals directly to provide the appropriate guidance, which may include quarantine. A close contact is defined as someone who has spent more than 15 minutes during a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive.
  • More information on contact tracing procedures is available online. When contact tracing is complete, APS will send out a final notification letting the school community know that the process has been completed.

Masks: Students will need to wear their mask throughout the day, ensuring it covers the nose and mouth. Students who ride the bus must wear their mask at their stop and on the bus. Exceptions are when students are eating lunch, drinking water, or if a student has a medical exemption. Students will be provided two (2) cloth masks on their first day of hybrid learning in their TA class. Please wash masks after each daily wear. Students remaining in distance learning will not receive masks.

Daily Qualtrics Screening: Beginning March 1, Arlington Public Schools launched its daily online symptom screener for all students. Invitations are sent to parents and legal guardians; one per student, every morning, at 5:30 AM. Parents and legal guardians receive their invitations via email and text-capable cell phones listed in ParentVUE/Synergy. The symptom screener is available in multiple languages. Parents/legal guardians should complete their daily symptom screener prior to arriving at the bus stop or school. All parents/legal guardians will receive these screeners, whether students are in distance or asynchronous learning or in person.

To expedite the arrival protocol, please share your student’s clearance status with them, either verbally or electronically with a screen shot picture to their device, so that the student may display or share upon arrival.

Qualtrics tips:

1. If you are not receiving the Qualtrics email.

a. Check ParentVue to ensure that the email is included correctly and has the correct check boxes marked.

b. Ensure the email address ( is not blocked

c. Check your junk or spam email boxes on both a web application and phone (androids have a separate junk filter)

2. If you are not receiving text messages

a. Check ParentVue to ensure that the cell number is included correctly and has the correct check boxes marked.

b. Ensure the the telephone number (8449633921) is not blocked

c. Check your carrier to ensure that this number is not getting blocked

Arrival: Our school day begins at 7:50 am. Students will begin entering school at 7:20 am. All students will need to complete the arrival screening process.

  • Bus riders will complete pre-screening protocol at their morning stop, to include Qualtrics verification and temperature check.
  • Walkers, bike riders and students transported by car will complete Qualtrics verification and temperature check upon arrival.

Students will report to the following doors for screening and entrance to the building:·

  • Pre-screened from the Bus – Door 2
  • Walkers/bikers from Lorcom Lane – Door 1
  • Car Riders/Walkers/bikers from Driveway – Door 9 or Door 13

Upon entry into the building, students will be directed to a hand sanitizer station to clean hands, then report to the hallway closest to their first class, where they will wait (socially distanced) until the school day starts.

Students will not be issued lockers. They will carry their book bag to each of their classes. Due to social distancing of the classroom, students will have the space to store their belongings next to their seat.

Dismissal: In promoting social distancing, students will be dismissed by grade and transportation mode. The following are time estimates for dismissal and subject to change:

  • Walkers/bikers: 2:40 PM
  • Car riders: 2:45 PM
  • Bus riders: 2:50 – by Route Number – Due to the fluidity of bus arrival times, students will be safely spaced for supervision in the auditorium lobby and released when the bus arrives. Buses are estimated to arrive at DHMS for pick up at 3:00.

Instructional day: Students will continue to learn in their current A/B scheduled day.

Monday Tuesday, Red Day Periods 1,3,5,7 Wednesday, Gold Day Periods 2,4,5,6 Thursday, Red Day Periods 1,3,5,7 Friday, Gold Day Periods 2,4,5,6
In Person Tuesday/Wednesday Asynchronous -office hours available In person In person Virtual Synchronous Virtual Synchronous
In Person Thursday/Friday Asynchronous -office hours available Virtual Synchronous Virtual Synchronous In person In person
Students remaining fully virtual Asynchronous -office hours available Virtual Synchronous Virtual Synchronous Virtual Synchronous Virtual Synchronous

We have made every attempt to maintain your student’s assigned teachers. The majority of teachers will be returning for in-person learning, however, there are a few who will remain virtual in their instructional duties and an assistant will provide in-person supervision for students. Teachers remaining virtual have communicated this week with their classes/students directly impacted.

Teachers will deliver concurrent instruction for students attending in-person and those attending through distance learning. Note that, once the hybrid concurrent model begins, students will be expected to be present the entire school day. Synchronous/asynchronous learning will be fluid throughout the class period, and students will engage in teacher-led instruction online, as well as some offline work. Asynchronous work will continue to be considered students’ homework. No additional homework will be assigned.

It will be important for students, when attending through distance learning, be present for the entire class session as teachers determine the best instructional flow for all students.

What should students bring to school each day: Students attending in person will need to bring their backpack with:

  • charged iPad APS device (not personal laptops/device)
  • charging block and cord for iPad
  • headphones
  • pencils/pens
  • binder (with lined paper and dividers)
  • agenda
  • colored pencils
  • small pencil sharpener
  • refillable water bottle
    • individual whiteboard w/marker
    • individual external power charger

REMINDER: Students will keep all supplies with them in their book bag, so do not overpack.

Breakfast: Grab and Go breakfast will be provided daily and eaten in the cafeteria.

Lunch: Students will be eating in the cafeteria or outside. Individual desks have been set at 10-foot distance, each with a plexiglass barrier. Our lunch session will be divided to accommodate distance seating, with students being provided outdoor recess (weather permitting). Outdoor lunch seating will be available (as space and weather permits).

***All meals for all students are free***students do not have to enter their student ID to receive meals.

Medicines: The school health team has been busy preparing for the return of students at Dorothy Hamm Middle School. If you are planning to have medication at school for your student, please call 703-228-2910 to schedule an appointment time to drop off the medication and to review the signed physician orders.

Physician order forms for medications and other important information about COVID-19 can be found here.

Request to change instructional model: Distance to Hybrid: It is not possible at this time to change your student’s model from full-time distance to hybrid/in-person instruction. We are now at full capacity due to the six-foot distancing requirements and are keeping a waitlist for families wishing to make a change in the event space becomes available.

Student well-being: We are dedicated to ensuring that all of our students continue to feel supported. We recognize this is a challenging time. Our school counselors will continue to offer lunch time hours to connect with learners virtually. They are also available for any crisis that should arrive. Students can reach their counselor easily by sending a Canvas message. Parents, feel free to send an email.

Student Activities: Clubs and activities will continue to be offered to our students in a virtual space.

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 can go here and click on “Student tech help request form.”
  • 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.