Phoenix Flyer #28

April 23, 2021

Good Afternoon, DHMS Families,

***Please complete the survey for APS regarding your family’s choice for Instructional Model (Fully Virtual Academy or 5 days In Person) in the Fall.  The selection is due by Friday, April 30.  More details can be found on the APS website.

The Fourth Quarter is well underway – and it’s a delight to see the work your DHMS students are producing.  I am especially proud of the hard work our eighth graders invested in their World Geography and Writing Performance Based Assessments (replacing the SoL).  In World Geo students grappled with unpacking evidence and formulating an argument responding to the question, Is globalization a good thing? In English students drafted a persuasive essay articulating their thoughts and the supporting evidence that they uncovered in their World Geo work.  It was incredible to hear student thinking about the impact of globalization on their lives, as well as its impact on the world.  Congratulations to our students – and thank you to the amazing teachers who supported each and every student with this culminating assessment.

Some of the most challenging teaching moments for teachers and staff happen during times of great crisis in the school, country, or world.  This year has been full of those challenging moments, and we continue to seek ways to support students as they grapple with them.   On Monday, May 3, 2021, the DHMS Student Services team will offer students the opportunity to engage in dialogue about race and our country’s racial climate.  We invite 6th, 7th & 8th grade students to participate in this student Community Circle on Monday, May 3, at 1pm, during their Asynchronous Learning Day.

Community Circles strengthen relationships and provide opportunities to process events together.  Click here to learn more about restorative practices and Community Circles.  Any student interested in participating will complete a registration form and a MS Teams link will be e-mailed to those students who have pre-registered. We have included some resources to support home conversations with your child around the current events taking place.  Please take time to listen to our children and discuss their thoughts and feelings.

Feel free to contact any member of our Student Services Team with questions, thoughts, and ways we can support each other as a community. Please see below for information on:

  • Picture Day @DHMS
  • SEL Lessons for this month
  • Upcoming Parent Chat Topic
  • Preparing the Device for SOL Testing

With gratitude for your support,
Ellen Smith, Principal, Dorothy Hamm Middle School

Social & Emotional Learning Corner:  A fixed mindset is seen as unchanging. But more than that, a fixed mindset fosters negative thinking where intelligence stays the same and brains know what they know and do not grow. For example, a student with a fixed mindset might be heard saying things such as: “I can’t do this,” “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I give up.”

A growth mindset, however, fosters more positive thinking and a belief that intelligence can change, develop, and grow. It is the belief that people can learn from their mistakes and that the brain is like a plant, always ready to soak up new information. A student with a growth mindset might say: “I’m not going to give up,” “I’m going to keep trying,” or “I can do this.”

These next few weeks we will teach students the connection between how they take care of themselves and its impact on their brain’s ability and growth. We will also discuss the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.

This current lesson series is an adaptation of resources provided by MindsetWorks and Second Step. All of our weekly lesson are aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) as well as the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) mindset standards and perspective. SEL lessons are integrated throughout Teacher Advisory (TA) classes. These lessons, along with our weekly wellness check-in, allow us to truly support our students in processing their physical and mental health needs during these unprecedented times.

SEL Resources for Families

More information on mindset for parents and caregivers, can be found here!
TedTalk: The power of believing that you can improve featuring Carol Dweck.
Growth mindset activities for kids

Brainology at Home
Effective Effort Lesson
You Can Grow Your Intelligence Lesson 
Malleable Mind Lesson Plan
Goal Setting Lesson Plan

DHMS School Pictures – We will be taking pictures this year.  While these pictures won’t be in the yearbook, they will be a great remembrance for this completely unusual year.

For virtual students (only) on May 3rd from 11AM-5PM:

  • Students wishing to purchase a picture package will have the opportunity to do so online after they sign up for a time and after picture day. Paper picture order forms will not be distributed this year. All picture packages will be delivered via USPS shipping to a home address.
  • Families can order photo packages here.  Shipping costs are included in each picture package cost.
  • Instant IDs will be given to students on-site upon exiting the photography station.

For in-school students only on May 5-6th from 8AM-3PM:

  • Students will take pictures with their physical education class.  Paper picture order forms will not be distributed this year. All picture packages will be delivered via USPS shipping to a home address.
  • Families can click here to order photo packages.  Shipping costs are included in each picture package cost.
  • Instant IDs will be given to students on-site upon exiting the photography station.
  • Feel free to contact Victor O’Neill Studios for any questions from students/parents.

Preparing for SOL Testing:  All middle school students will take the SOLs on the APS issued iPad. MacBooks distributed for Tech Ed. courses will not be used for SOL testing. Beginning Tuesday, April 27th, teachers will assist students in completing system checks during TA to ensure the iPad is in good working condition. Please check in with your DHMS student to verify they have a working iPad before that date. If the iPad needs repairs or is not functioning properly, please have your DHMS student fill out a student tech help request under the technology tab on the DHMS website.

Parent Chat:  Monday, April 26 @5:00 PM.  This week’s parent chat gives families the opportunity to meet with Crystal Moore, the DHMS Equity and Excellence Coordinator and hear about the mission and vision of equity at DHMS. Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday/Sunday, April 24/25 – DHMS Treasure Hunt *on your own, start at DHMS Door 1 -details there.
  • Monday, April 26 – Parent Chat (in Spanish) 5:00 PM
  • Saturday/Sunday, May 1/2 – DHMS Treasure Hunt
  • Monday, May 3 – pictures for DL students
  • Wednesday, May 5 – In Person Pictures for Tues/Wed
  • Thursday, May 6 – In Person Pictures for Thus/Fri
  • Monday, May 10 – SOL Testing Begins
    • Virtual students will test in the building on Mondays
    • Hybrid students will test on the days they are in the building