March 19, 2021
Dear Phoenix Families,
We were delighted to welcome 7th and 8th Grade students into the building this week, in addition to our 6th Graders. While the Sixth and Seventh Grade response to being back was very enthusiastic, (Awesome! Epic!) I will say – the Eighth Graders have been slightly more subdued. These were the quietest Eighth Grade Lunch periods I have ever experienced. I know that Daylight Saving Time and the loss of an additional hour of sleep didn’t help ease the adjustment. One more week of school – and then Spring Break – then a return to the routine will help us all.
Outside Lunch/Recess: This week we were able to have students outside for both lunch and recess most days. Please know that even if the temperature is downright cold (anything above 32 degrees) we will be outside; remind your Phoenix to dress appropriately. We will keep students in the auditorium during recess if it is raining outside.
Challenges of Being In-person: I have shared with students that I understand that returning to school with social distancing and masks in place is very different, and some students may feel frustrated by the limitations that are in place. I really appreciate your support with reminding students that we put these safety protocols in place to ensure everyone’s safety – both theirs and all the family members at home. This is one of those times that we want to encourage our students to remember that individual actions can make a huge difference to the whole community. Their patience with and practice of the safety protocols is much appreciated.
Driveway Procedures: The Driveway has seen many cars dropping off students this week. If you can, I recommend coming between 7:20 and 7:30 for a quicker drop off. As well, we have shifted the drop off to two locations on the driveway – by door 13 and by door 9. You may be asked to move further along the drive before you drop your student. Please follow the guidance of our awesome and enthusiastic staff members (Thanks Ms. Drayton, Ms. Shanker, Ms. Gaines, and Ms. Kopiak!). As a reminder, this is our drop off process:
- Cars – proceed to the Driveway on the Soccer Field side of the building from Vacation Lane
- Stay on the right side of the Driveway – follow the signals of the staff members there
- Keep student in car until staff member stops you; have Qualtrics Green Check ready
- When staff member gets to your car – show the green check – she will give you/your student a green slip of paper that shows they are cleared
- Student should hop out of the car and head towards door 9 or door 13
- If you want to avoid the wait in the Driveway line – Drop off on Military Road – make sure your Phoenix has a picture of their Green Check on their IPad – and they can walk to door 9
Qualtrics Screening: Please do the Health Screening that you get every morning, every day! This information is incredibly vital to our ensuring every person’s safety. If you make a mistake on the screening – no worries! Call the main office, or email, and we can fix it. Our instructional staff continues to amaze me. This week I’ve watched staff use their technology to work with both our in-person students and our virtual students – and they make it look easy. It is not. One of their biggest worries is losing time and touch with either student group – and they are working hard to ensure that they don’t! I am so appreciative of their continued commitment to ensuring each Dorothy Hamm student has engaging, rigorous, and relevant learning experiences. Your support is, as always, much appreciated.EllenEllen SmithPrincipal, Dorothy Hamm Middle School
- Monday, March 22 – 3:00 – 5:00 PM, Distribution at DHMS Door 1 (Library/class materials)
- Monday, March 22 – 5:00 PM, Parent Chat in Spanish
- Tuesday, March 23 – 7:00 PM DHMS Act Two Musical – link in Monday 3/22 SchoolTalk Message
- Monday, March 29 – Friday April 2 – Spring Break
- Monday, April 5 – Synchronous Learning Day (“Gold Day”)
- Friday, April 9 – last day of Third Quarter
- Monday, April 12 – No School for Students, Grade Prep Day
Information about Virtual Virginia Courses in the Middle School:Arlington Public Schools (APS) is committed to providing our students with a variety of opportunities to enrich their learning experiences. With this in mind, we have expanded our ongoing partnership with Virtual Virginia to include summer school course offerings for middle school students grades 6-8. While students can receive high school credit for certain courses, there are limits to this option. Successful completion of the following courses will be accepted as part of a student’s high school transcript. It is important to note that students have until the end of their junior year summer to have any high school credit-bearing courses removed from their transcript. Acceptable Courses:Rising 9th grade students who have passed Algebra I can enroll in Geometry
- Rising 9th grade students are permitted to enroll in Economics and Personal Finance. This course will also be offered through the Virtual@APS program.
- Rising 9th grade students are permitted to enroll in Earth Science
- All students are permitted to enroll in the World Language courses. It is important to note that World Language courses beyond level II will only be offered virtually during middle school.
- Rising 9th grade students can enroll in Health and PE 9
It is our expectation that course work taken outside of APS be approved by the Department of Teaching and Learning prior to enrollment. While we encourage families to pursue enriching or strengthening educational opportunities across a wide array of academic offerings, know that without prior approval these courses will not result in credit earned toward graduation.
Director of Secondary Education