Phoenix Flyers 2021-2022

Here are Ms. E. Smith’s newsletters to the DHMS community.

If you’d like to see past Phoenix Flyers, they are here:

2020-2021
2019-2020

June 12, 2022

Dear Phoenix Families, It is with a grateful heart that I write this last Phoenix Flyer for the 2021-2022 School Year.  I’m in awe of the growth and resilience that our Phoenix students have demonstrated this year – and I am looking forward to celebrating these wonderful young people this week! I have a special […]

Dear Phoenix Families,

It is with a grateful heart that I write this last Phoenix Flyer for the 2021-2022 School Year.  I’m in awe of the growth and resilience that our Phoenix students have demonstrated this year – and I am looking forward to celebrating these wonderful young people this week!

I have a special message of thanks to our eighth-grade families this year.  Your kiddos came to DHMS to visit in the Spring of 2019 while our building was still under construction – they wore hard hats and big smiles, and they left their signatures on the wall of the new addition. They were undaunted as sixth graders – adjusting to middle school in the midst of construction traffic and challenging spaces.  Then their lives – and ours – were unbelievably changed by the onset of the pandemic – and we all shifted to virtual learning.  Thank you, families, for taking on “lead teacher” roles and collaborating with our staff to support students.Looking back, I’m so thankful for the trust and faith that you all put in the DHMS team – and the support you have provided as well. And I’m grateful that we are able to celebrate in person the wrap up of these three extremely challenging years.

To our wonderful sixth and seventh grade families – we were thrilled to have your students in person this year and look forward to seeing them continue to grow over the next few years.  Please encourage your students to read at least 60 minutes every day this summer – make sure they exercise that muscle we call the brain.  They are welcome to read anything: books, graphic novels, magazines, manga; then, ask them to talk about what they are reading with you.  Those conversations provide them the opportunity to reflect on their reading, summarize, find the main idea, and support with evidence (details) – all key skills they need to be successful.

Have your student send us a postcard this summer – I will have a bulletin board posted with a map to track where our Phoenix students are this summer!  This is a great opportunity for your students to write – and we love to hear from you! With the greatest appreciation for your support this year.

May 28, 2022

The DHMS staff has been deeply saddened by the acts of violence at Uvalde, Texas and closer to home at Alexandria City High School.  We join Dr. Duran in his statement condemning these acts of violence.  On Thursday, many DHMS students participated in a school walkout protesting gun violence. Students gathered at the front of […]

The DHMS staff has been deeply saddened by the acts of violence at Uvalde, Texas and closer to home at Alexandria City High School.  We join Dr. Duran in his statement condemning these acts of violence.  On Thursday, many DHMS students participated in a school walkout protesting gun violence. Students gathered at the front of the school for about 15 minutes before returning to their lunch or classes.  A small group of students continued their protest on school property until the end of the school day.

Due to the Tornado Warning alert that we received just after Noon on Friday, DHMS students and staff moved to assigned interior hallways and rooms for protection in case of a tornado.  The students were calm and quiet during this, and all remained in that sheltered location until the bad weather passed.

Amidst all of these things, students took their Reading SoL test, and eighth graders took their science SoL test.  We will take the last two tests this week:

  • Tuesday, seventh and eighth graders will take their Civics or World Geography SoL and
  • Thursday, all grades will take their Math SoL test.

I do hope that students are able to relax this weekend, spend time interacting with family and loved ones, and get lots of affirmation.

IPAD Collection in June:
As seen in the Superintendent’s May 18, 2022 update, APS will be collecting all student devices. Additional information about summer school devices and the updated process for returning devices is available online. Here’s what it means for our Dorothy Hamm families:

What is being collected?

  • Each student is to hand back their APS iPad in the case, the USB charging cable and power block that APS provided (and any other devices that APS provided)
    • For 6th and 7th grade students, turn in all items in a gallon Ziploc bag labeled with your student’s name. 8th grade students do not need to do this.
    • Our staff will note any damaged devices and any items (like the USB cable) not returned.
    • If your child received a MiFi or additional equipment from APS, they all must be returned. Please make sure to include the power cords to these items.
  • Please check and make sure that your student has their name clearly labeled on the iPad case. For 6th and 7th graders, it is the best way to ensure that students receive the same iPad back in the Fall. For 8th graders, this is the fastest way to check that your student handed back the iPad.

How do students prepare for this?

  • Since the iPads will be wiped, we are asking all students to go through their iPads to upload extremely important items to their APS Google Drive BEFORE the collection date:
    • Important photos/videos from either the photos app or the Autodesk Sketchbook app.
    • iMovie or GarageBand projects/files
    • Copy any important notes within the Notes app into APS Google Drive

When – iPad Collection Dates

  • June 10th: All 6th, 7th and 8th grade iPads will be collected through TA and throughout the day. Any iPad not turned in to the TA teacher by the end of the day will be remotely locked.
  • June 13th: All 6th, 7th and 8th grade iPads at DHMS will be mass wiped.

Please contact Katherine Leon, Instructional Technology Coordinator, if you have any questions.

Opportunities: Athletes currently in 7th and 8th Grades – Free, Non-Contact Football Clinic sponsored by W-L General Football will be held on June 4th from 9:00 – 11:30 at the W-L Main Stadium.  Meet the coaches, players, and parents – and build your skills.

Public Comment on the proposed Nelly Custis/Military Road changes will be available at the link below until June 6th.  Please take a look at the project page and provide your feedback to Arlington County on this intersection:

For Upcoming Events see the DHMS calendar.

May 15, 2022

A heartfelt thank you from the DHMS Teachers and Assistants for such a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week, last week.  The team loved the Kona Ice treats, the Kudoboards, the coffee and bagels, the goody bags, the gift card raffle, and the lovely messages from students and families.  We all felt very appreciated.  Thanks to the […]

A heartfelt thank you from the DHMS Teachers and Assistants for such a wonderful Teacher Appreciation Week, last week.  The team loved the Kona Ice treats, the Kudoboards, the coffee and bagels, the goody bags, the gift card raffle, and the lovely messages from students and families.  We all felt very appreciated.  Thanks to the PTSA Team who put this all together – and everyone who contributed.

Just some brief updates from DHMS:

Spirit Week begins tomorrow with Sports Day – represent your favorite sports team!  Ask your Phoenix student what they plan to wear tomorrow!

Nelly Custis/Military Road Intersection – Arlington County DES is sponsoring a Public Engagement Session focused on the Nelly Custis/Military Road Intersection.  If you frequent this intersection, please drop by the DHMS Cafeteria on Tuesday, May 17, anytime between 7-8:30 PM to:

  • Review observed speed and yielding data collected before and after the pilot project was implemented
  • Learn more about why a roundabout was selected for this pilot project
  • Hear more about previous studies for this intersection
  • Review past public engagement for this project
  • Share your feedback on the pilot project
  • Learn more about the next steps for this intersection

Movie Night Rescheduled:  Please join Ms. Allen’s Period 1 Individual Development Class and FCCLA Club for a Movie Night, Friday, May 20 at 7:00 PM, on the DHMS Driveway.  Parents/Guardians must accompany students.  Entry fee:  3 nonperishable food items per person. Please check out the DHMS Website for lots of information about what’s going on.  The Phoenix Post, published weekly by our awesome PTSA is a great resource that can be found there as well.

Upcoming Events: 

  • Wednesday, May 18 – DHMS Lebanese Taverna Night
  • Friday, May 20 – 7:00 PM – Movie Night at DHMS
  • Monday, May 23 – 6:00 PM – Parent Chat in Spanish
  • Tuesday, May 24: Science SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday, May 26: Reading SOL (Grades 6, 7, 8)
  • Thursday, May 26 – 7:00 PM – Band Concert
  • Monday, May 30 – No School (Memorial Day)
  • Tuesday, May 31: Civics SOL (Grade 7) and World Geography SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday, June 2: All Math SOLs (Grades 6, 7, 8)
  • Thursday, June 2 – 7:00 PM – Chorus Concert
  • Thursday, June 9 – 7:00 PM – Orchestra Concert
  • Thursday, June 16 – Early Release/Last Day of middle school

May 7, 2022

Happy Rainy Saturday, DHMS Families –Every school across APS is experiencing an uptick of positive Covid cases – and consequently, an increase in student close contacts.  Please look at the guidance below.  More specific information can be found on the APS website. Close Contacts:  Students who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine if […]

Happy Rainy Saturday, DHMS Families –Every school across APS is experiencing an uptick of positive Covid cases – and consequently, an increase in student close contacts.  Please look at the guidance below.  More specific information can be found on the APS website.

Close Contacts: 

  • Students who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact – just monitor for symptoms – stay home if any symptoms develop.  To ensure they are not sent home, make sure your child’s vaccination status is in the APS Covid System.  Submit proof of vaccination here.
  • If a student is not vaccinated and are a close contact, they must:
    • Quarantine for 5 days – and return on day 6 or
    • Test to stay: Receive daily testing at the Syphax Building through day 5 after the exposure.

Positive Cases – change in guidance about return to school:

  • Students who test positive should isolate for 5 days, regardless of vaccination status. Students may return to school on Day 6 if they have no symptoms, have been fever free for 24 hours, and are able to wear a mask for days 6-10.

Parent Chat – Monday, 5/9 at 12:00, Noon – This Monday’s Parent Chat will touch on SOL Testing and the DHMS schedule, Summer School Information, and Eighth Grade End-of-Year activities.  The link is below – we will send again on Monday morning.

Other Opportunities for Parent Engagement: Take a leadership role with our amazing PTSA:  The DHMS PTSA is looking to fill a few important roles.  We are especially looking for a candidate for President, to lead our PTSA next year.  If you might be interested, or know someone who would be a great leader, please contact Kristen Shattuck, current DHMS PTSA President, or a member of the nominating committee, Susan Newton, Madelon Brennan, or Julie Madison.  There are several additional vacant positions – please look at the most recent Phoenix Post on the DHMS website for contact information and more details.

Promotion Ceremony Reception – Seventh Grade parents needed to host the promotion reception at DHMS on Wednesday, June 15 immediately following the 8:30 ceremony.  The committee is charged with providing light refreshments, decorations, and a photo backdrop for pictures with family and friends.  Please contact Alise TroesterKristin Woody, or Kristen Shattuck if you are able to support.

The DHMS Instructional Team is very excited about next week’s Teacher Appreciation Week.  Many thanks for all you do to support our teachers and assistants. Have a wonderful weekend.

April 30, 2022

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families: Kudos and thanks to the amazing team of volunteers that implemented the First Phoenix Games last Friday afternoon.  I loved seeing our students competing with such enthusiasm in games like Tug of War, Goal Post Kick, Egg and Spoon races, and Volleyball.  I apologize to the Phoenix student who partnered with […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families:

Kudos and thanks to the amazing team of volunteers that implemented the First Phoenix Games last Friday afternoon.  I loved seeing our students competing with such enthusiasm in games like Tug of War, Goal Post Kick, Egg and Spoon races, and Volleyball.  I apologize to the Phoenix student who partnered with me in the Three-Legged races – I was a clumsy asset to our team!  The artistry of the cakes displayed for our decorating contest was truly impressive.  All the cakes looked (and smelled) delicious.  At the end of the evening, there were so many tickets for each grade level…but most important, everyone had a wonderful time.  Thanks to Adrianne Bosco and her team for the leadership and hard work to make this event happen!

Spring Sports: We are wrapping up our Spring sports seasons – Congratulations to our Swim Team for such an incredible season – and a strong showing at the Countywide Swim Championships.  Our Track Team wraps up its season over the next two weeks – Good luck to all our runners and jumpers as you compete in the Countywide Track Championships.  So proud of all our athletes.

Monday’s (5/2) Holiday:  Remember, there is no school on Monday.  As Ramadan comes to an end, we wish all our families who celebrate, Eid Mubarak.

Cherrydale Farmer’s Market:  On Saturday mornings from 8-12 on the DHMS Plaza, stop by and visit the Cherrydale Farmer’s Market.  Fruit, vegetables, flowers, and unique artisanal food items are on sale.

Covid Testing Date Change:  DHMS Covid Surveillance Testing has shifted to Wednesday (7:30 – 9:30) this week because of Monday’s holiday.  We will remind students to attend during the morning announcements this week.  As we see an uptick in positive cases more students are being asked to quarantine.  Please ask your students to reach out via Canvas Inbox to their teachers, if they are quarantined, for guidance regarding their school work.

SAVE The DATES – SOL TESTING:  All students in grades 6-8 in Arlington Public Schools will take the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests between May 16, 2022 and June 14, 2022. Dorothy Hamm Middle School has selected the testing dates below.  Please make sure your student is here!

  • Tuesday May 24: Science SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday May 26: Reading SOL (Grades 6, 7, 8)
  • Tuesday May 31: Civics SOL (Grade 7) and World Geography SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday June 2: All Math SOLs (Grades 6, 7, 8) ​​​​​​​

May’s Upcoming Events: 

  • Monday, May 2 – No School (Eid al-Fitr)
  • Monday, May 9-Friday May 13 – DHMS Teacher and Assistant Appreciation Week
  • Monday, May 9 – Noon – Parent Chat in English – SoL Testing
  • Monday, May 23 – 6:00 PM – Parent Chat in Spanish
  • Monday, May 30 – No School (Memorial Day)

April 22, 2022

A few timely announcements for today’s Phoenix Flash: DHMS Families – join us THIS Friday, April 29th from 5pm – 7pm on the DHMS Driveway and Field.  Featuring music, popcorn, food trucks, a cake decorating contest, and a variety of outdoor games!  Students who compete and “win” a game/event will earn a point for their […]

A few timely announcements for today’s Phoenix Flash:

DHMS Families – join us THIS Friday, April 29th from 5pm – 7pm on the DHMS Driveway and Field.  Featuring music, popcorn, food trucks, a cake decorating contest, and a variety of outdoor games!  Students who compete and “win” a game/event will earn a point for their class.  The class with the most points will be treated to an outdoor party during last period later this spring. PLEASE NOTE:  this is NOT a drop-off event.  Parents must accompany their Phoenix student/s to this event.

JOB/Volunteer Fair:  Students who will be 14 years old by summer are invited to the Teen Summer Job Fair, tomorrow (4/23) at 10:00 AM at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center.  Please find more information and the form to pre-register ahead of time at this (Arlington County) link.

This Saturday, April 23, is Yorktown Band Day!  Band students from Yorktown High School will be canvassing Yorktown neighborhoods to talk about and raise money for the Yorktown band programs.  Funds raised will support music purchases, instruments purchases and repair, educational speakers, spring trips, uniforms, and provide financial aid.  Please support your local students if any come to your door!

Monday 4/25 – NO Late Buses at 4:20 PM!  The Track Meet that was to be held on Monday will be rescheduled. Any track team member is welcome to stay for an optional Track Practice.  Students must be able to get themselves home. The Your Voice Matters Survey has been extended through Sunday, April 24.  If you haven’t already, please complete the Your Voice Matters Survey.  This data provides valuable feedback to APS and the DHMS Team.

SAVE The DATES – SOL TESTING:  All students in grades 6-8 in Arlington Public Schools will take the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests between May 16, 2022 and June 14, 2022. Dorothy Hamm Middle School has selected the testing dates below.

  • Tuesday May 24: Science SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday May 26: Reading SOL (Grades 6, 7, 8)
  • Tuesday May 31: Civics SOL (Grade 7) and World Geography SOL (Grade 8)
  • Thursday June 2: All Math SOLs (Grades 6, 7, 8)

All tests will be given in the morning.  It is important that your child attend school and be on time on these days.  Please avoid scheduling trips or appointments that would take your child out of school on these testing days. It is also important that every student have a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast before testing. If you become aware of an unavoidable conflict that could result in your child missing a testing day, please notify your child’s counselor as soon as possible.

Since the testing will be online, it is essential that fully charged iPads be brought to school every day. If you have questions about SOL testing, please contact your child’s counselor or the school testing coordinator at Dorothy Hamm Middle School. The purpose of SOL testing is to provide information about student achievement to the parent, school, school division, and state. In most cases, test scores are available for parents by the end of the school year. More information about how and when you will receive your child’s scores will be shared closer to these dates.

April 8, 2022

Happy Spring Break!  What a week… there was a lot of energy in the building – and we could feel the excitement mounting as students left this afternoon.  They are ready for a break, and so are the staff, to be honest. We were delighted to host rising sixth graders to DHMS on Monday and […]

Happy Spring Break!  What a week… there was a lot of energy in the building – and we could feel the excitement mounting as students left this afternoon.  They are ready for a break, and so are the staff, to be honest.

We were delighted to host rising sixth graders to DHMS on Monday and Tuesday – and so many of our students had the opportunity to shine. Our student panel and student tour guides were so wonderful answering questions, shepherding fifth graders through the building, and relaying messages of confidence and excitement to next year’s students.

The Swim Team has had two fabulous swim meets, with incredible wins each time.  There is so much sheer talent and determination on this team!  Thanks to Coaches Caslavka and Foley for their support.  The Track Team has been running nonstop for the last few weeks – in the building on rainy days – and were so disappointed that their first meet was postponed due to rain.  The commitment of each of these runners and jumpers has been inspiring though; we can’t wait to cheer them on.  Congratulations and thank you to these amazing coaches:  Coaches Schoenebeck, Westcott, and Williams!  Keep running over Spring Break, Team!

The Your Voice Matters Survey has been extended through April 24.  If you haven’t already, please complete the Your Voice Matters Survey. This data provides valuable feedback to APS and the DHMS Team.

Eighth Grade Parents – Save the Dates:  The end of the year will be upon us soon.  In partnership with our PTSA we have special events planned to celebrate our first group of eighth graders to spend three years at DHMS.  Please hold these dates:

  • Friday, June 10, 7-10 PM – Eighth Grade Promotion Party at DHMS
  • Tuesday, June 14, 8 – 6 PM – Eighth Grade Trip to Kings Dominion
  • Wednesday, June 15 – 8:30 AM – Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony, Clap Out, and Reception

More details, permission slips, and expectations will be shared with students and sent home to families on April 22!

Covid Testing:  Arlington public Schools distributed another rapid antigen test kit per student and employee this week.  All students and staff are encouraged to use this free resource in alignment with the CDC guidelines.  I recommend that students use this before returning to school.

Have a wonderful break.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, April 11 – Friday, April 15, No School – Spring Break
  • Monday, April 18 – No School for Students, Grade Prep Day for Teachers
  • Monday, April 25, 6:00 PM, Parent Chat in Spanish
  • Monday, May 2*, No School, Eid al-Fitr *This is a change

April 1, 2022

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families – Just some quick updates: If you haven’t already, please complete the Your Voice Matters Survey.  The link was sent to your email from Panorama. This data provides valuable feedback to the DHMS Team. We want to hear your voice! Monday, April 4, Parent Chat @ 12:00 Noon please join us for a […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families –

Just some quick updates: If you haven’t already, please complete the Your Voice Matters Survey.  The link was sent to your email from Panorama. This data provides valuable feedback to the DHMS Team. We want to hear your voice!

Monday, April 4, Parent Chat @ 12:00 Noon please join us for a special combined DHMS Parent Chat and PTSA Meeting. We will vote on the 2022-23 DHMS PTSA Nominating Committee members, share highlights of the upcoming DHMS Phoenix Games, and get the latest PTSA updates on what’s ahead the rest of this year.

Covid Tests coming home – APS is supplying every student with a Covid Test to be used before they return to school on April 19.  Please expect your student to bring the box home on Wednesday, April 6.  Boxes will be distributed through TAs, and students will be asked to put them in their backpacks.

March 25, 2022

Good afternoon. As we begin to prepare for the last quarter of the school year, I am meeting with all grade levels to remind of our great expectations for them, both academically and behaviorally.  As part of these presentations, I’m reminding students about the expectations of Respect, Integrity, Self-awareness, and Engagement (RISE) as the key […]

Good afternoon.

As we begin to prepare for the last quarter of the school year, I am meeting with all grade levels to remind of our great expectations for them, both academically and behaviorally.  As part of these presentations, I’m reminding students about the expectations of Respect, Integrity, Self-awareness, and Engagement (RISE) as the key to their success at DHMS and in the community. I especially am emphasizing that students’ words and actions should be kind and respectful. As part of our No Place for Hate campaign, this is especially true. Last week students completed the NPFH Scavenger Hunt with their TAs – more activities will follow.  Looking forward to seeing our students wear the NPFH wristband signifying their commitment!  I have met with sixth and seventh grades – and eighth is coming up! RISE, Phoenix, RISE!

Your Voice Matters Survey: The unique link to the Your Voice Matters Survey has been shared with all families via email. This survey allows APS and DHMS to hear your thoughts and receive your critical feedback. If you need a device to access the survey, please contact the DHMS Main Office and we will provide a device here at school. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns related to completing this survey. Thank you for completing it!

Kudos:  March brings the end to our Winter sports (basketball and wrestling) and the beginning of our Spring sports (track and swim/dive). I’m incredibly impressed with all our winter athletes and coaches – our wrestlers and girls basketball teams finished up with winning seasons overall. Swimmers participated in their first swim meet last week – and absolutely dominated the pool!  A qualified diving coach is being onboarded through HR. Looking forward to getting Dive back in the pool.   And, over 130 students showed up for the first DHMS track team – can’t wait to see how they perform!

School Bell Times Study Project: APS has begun a project to review the school bell schedules and start and end times across schools.  The goal is to ensure the system is maximizing instruction and reducing the variations in start/end times in order to operate more efficiently.  The team is gathering your feedback on some proposed schedule scenarios.  Some of the proposals impact the middle school start times.  Please take a moment to provide your feedback to APS on the various scenarios.

The DHMS Spirit Wear site is up and running – sales close on March 28th.  Don’t miss this chance to purchase items that reflect our DHMS Phoenix school spirit.

Last Two Weeks of Third Quarter – with warmer weather comes a sense of summer…but remind your Phoenix student that there are still 2 weeks in the third quarter. They should check in with teachers regarding late or missing assignments.  Monday, April 18 is the Third Quarter Grade Preparation Day.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, April 4, 12:00, Noon, Parent Chat in English
  • Monday, April 11 – Friday, April 15, No School – Spring Break
  • Monday, April 18 – No School for Students, Grade Prep Day for Teachers
  • Monday, April 25, 6:00 PM, Parent Chat in Spanish
  • Monday, May 2, No School, Eid al-Fitr

March 19, 2022

Your Voice Matters Survey: The unique link to the Your Voice Matters Survey has been shared with all families via email.  This survey allows APS and DHMS to hear your thoughts and receive your critical feedback. If you need a device to access the survey, please contact the DHMS Main Office and we will provide a device here at school. Please reach […]

Your Voice Matters Survey: The unique link to the Your Voice Matters Survey has been shared with all families via email.  This survey allows APS and DHMS to hear your thoughts and receive your critical feedback. If you need a device to access the survey, please contact the DHMS Main Office and we will provide a device here at school. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns related to completing this survey.  Thank you for completing it!

Parent Chat in Spanish – 6:00 PM Monday: We are so excited to have Sally Donnelly, DHMS Reading Specialist, and Heather Donaldson, Math Coach, join us in this week’s chat! Together, they will review strategies to support your student, the skills required to be successful in various courses, and how staff makes a recommendation for your student’s class for the upcoming school year. A variety of math and reading resources will be shared, as well. Looking forward to seeing you all!

March 12, 2022

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families – Here are a couple of important announcements: ANNIE JR – Matinee Performance:  Today’s Annie Jr. matinee, performed brilliantly by the DHMS cast, has been postponed until tomorrow (Sunday, 3/13 at 4:00).  Tickets purchased for Saturday, March 12, will be honored for Sunday’s performance.  Each performance has played to a packed house – […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families –

Here are a couple of important announcements:

ANNIE JR – Matinee Performance:  Today’s Annie Jr. matinee, performed brilliantly by the DHMS cast, has been postponed until tomorrow (Sunday, 3/13 at 4:00).  Tickets purchased for Saturday, March 12, will be honored for Sunday’s performance.  Each performance has played to a packed house – the show is exceptional!  Congrats to the students, staff, and families who have contributed to this fabulous show.

Grade 8 Writing SOL Tests – THIS Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18:  Eighth Grade students will be taking the two-part writing SOL on Thursday and Friday mornings of this week.  Please encourage your eighth grader to get a good night sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and bring their writing knowledge, skills, and stamina to these assessments.  Students must have updated their IPad – please see below.

Please help your DHMS student prepare their iPad for spring SOL testing. 

  1. iOS updated to 15.2 or above. Check-in with your DHMS student to ensure the iPad is updated to iOS 15.2 or above. TA teachers have shared this information with students. To update the iPad iOS:
  • takes 20-40 minutes
  • the iPad needs at least 50% battery to update or be plugged in to a power source.
  • the iPad needs at least 6 GB space to update the iOS. Please delete any photos or videos that are not needed for school.
  • open the Settings app
    • Click on “General” on the left then “Software Update” on the right.
    • Click “Download and Install.”
    • The iPad should update to iOS 15.2 or above.
  1. Is the iPad in working order? Please submit a student tech help request on the DHMS website for any of the following items:
  • the iPad is damaged/has a crack
  • the keyboard case is not functioning properly
  • 8th Grade only: part of the keyboard case is missing, or the student did not pick up a keyboard case.

Student Services News:  A huge thank you to the DHMS Social Worker, Christine Katcher, for her work on behalf of Dorothy Hamm students and families.  We are so appreciative of Ms. Katcher’s generous, positive, and dedicated work in our school community. The March Student Services Newsletter is now posted. The SEL theme for March is Self-Awareness. This month’s newsletter highlights National Professional Social Work month, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, March 21-27, and the upcoming APS SEL Survey. Lastly, don’t miss the upcoming trainings available to parents, as well as the free and available to all, Cigna Student School Support Line.

Enjoy the wintry weather today!  Winter’s Last Gasp, hopefully.

Upcoming dates:​​​​​​​

  • Tuesday, March 15 – DHMS PTSA Meeting
  • Wednesday, March 16 – Early Release Day (11:54 AM Dismissal) “B Day/Gold Day”
  • Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 – Writing SoL
  • Monday, April 11 – Friday, April 15 – Spring Break

March 7, 2022

Good morning, Phoenix Families – SOL Testing Eighth Graders will be taking the two-part VA Writing SoL on March 17 and 18.  More details will be shared by English teachers.  Please don’t schedule appointments for those days! Cell Phone Policy Updates Most students have adjusted extremely well to our “off and in lockers” cell phone […]

Good morning, Phoenix Families –

SOL Testing
Eighth Graders will be taking the two-part VA Writing SoL on March 17 and 18.  More details will be shared by English teachers.  Please don’t schedule appointments for those days!

Cell Phone Policy Updates
Most students have adjusted extremely well to our “off and in lockers” cell phone policy.  I’m finding far fewer social media problems occurring during the day.  For the few students that are found using their cell phone during the day, the cell phone is collected and securely stored in the main office until the end of school (2:24).  If this happens 3 or more times, parents will be asked to come and collect the cell phone from the main office.  I do truly appreciate your support in helping our students be a part of a positive and respectful school community.

DHMS Gifted Referral Deadline ~ April 1st
Do you recognize a talent, interest, or passion in your child? Is your child curious? Does he, she, or they seek answers? These are just a few indicators of possible giftedness.  If you were unable to attend the DHMS Gifted Services Identification and Screening Meeting, a recording of the presentation is available on the Dorothy Hamm website.  See the gifted services tab for more information. If your student has not been identified in a content area (English, math, social studies, or science), visual arts, or music, referrals can be submitted by parents, community members, and even students. Visit our school website to secure the referral form. For more information about the process contact, Regina Boyd @ regina.boyd@apsva.us

Your Voice Matters Survey
Arlington Public Schools values your opinion about education and student behavior. Please take the time to respond to an email link that will be sent to you starting March 14th.

  • The survey should take 20 minutes
  • The link will be sent to your email
  • You can complete on any internet device
  • Available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Mongolian, and Spanish

Contact Laurel Cerrud at laurel.cerrud@apsva.us with any questions.

Upcoming dates:

  • Monday, March 7 – Parent Chat – in English – Hear from our Math Coach (Heather Donaldson) and Reading Specialist (Sally Donnelly)
  • Thursday, March 10 – Saturday, March 12 – Annie Jr. Performances
  • Tuesday, March 15 – DHMS PTSA Meeting
  • Wednesday, March 16 – Early Release Day (11:54 AM Dismissal) “B Day/Gold Day”
  • Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 – Writing SoL
  • Monday, April 11 – Friday, April 15 – Spring Break

February 25, 2022

Good morning, Phoenix Families – Conferences are a great opportunity to discuss your child’s academic performance to date.  This Spring’s conferences will be held after the school day is over on Thursday, March 3 and in the morning on Friday, March 4.  They will be short, virtual five-minute sessions with the teachers you would like to see.  Please […]

Good morning, Phoenix Families –

Conferences are a great opportunity to discuss your child’s academic performance to date.  This Spring’s conferences will be held after the school day is over on Thursday, March 3 and in the morning on Friday, March 4.  They will be short, virtual five-minute sessions with the teachers you would like to see.  Please access this link to the DHMS webpage for conference sign-up information and meeting links.  On the day of your scheduled conference, click the Conference Meeting link on the DHMS website to join the conference at your scheduled time.  Due to the limited number of reservations available within the time provided by APS for teachers to hold conferences, please consider only scheduling conferences if you have academic or behavioral concerns. Teachers can always be contacted via email in lieu of a conference.

SOL Testing:  Eighth Graders will be taking the two-part VA Writing SoL on March 17 and 18.  More details will be shared by English teachers.  Please don’t schedule appointments for those days!

Mask Update:  As of Tuesday, March 1, parents can opt their children out of wearing a mask in school.  Staff will remain masked until the Superintendent communicates a change.  There will be many students who choose to remain masked.  I expect all students and staff to be respectful of the choices that families have made – and stay committed to the other mitigation strategies in place: frequent handwashing, distancing when possible, and staying home when sick. As a reminder, students are required to wear masks on all public transportation, including school buses.  Please see the Superintendent’s Messages for more information.

Cell Phone Policy Updates:  Most students have adjusted extremely well to our “off and in lockers” cell phone policy.  I’m finding far fewer social media problems occurring during the day.  For the few students that are found using their cell phone during the day, the cell phone is collected and securely stored in the main office until the end of school (2:24).  If this happens 3 or more times, parents will be asked to come and collect the cell phone from the main office.  I do truly appreciate your support in helping our students be a part of a positive and respectful school community.

Sign Up for DHMS PTSA Communications:  Are you receiving the DHMS PTSA Phoenix Post newsletter every Monday morning as well as other PTSA communications?  If you haven’t already, text PHOENIXPOST to 22828 to sign up to receive the DHMS PTSA Phoenix Post weekly email newsletter directly to your inbox, or by joining the DHMS PTSA online.  You can also opt in via ParentVUE to be included in the online DHMS PTSA Directory and PTSA communications.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email newsletter@dhmsptsa.org or president@dhmsptsa.org. Thank you!

DONATIONS Needed:  One of our students is doing a SPRING/SUMMER clothing drive to benefit Arlington’s Clothesline, a nonprofit whose mission is to collect new and clean, gently used quality clothing from the community, and distribute it free of charge to low-income school-aged children (age 5-18) in a welcoming space. We are going to collect spring & summer clothes only.  Please deliver any of these items to the box just inside the Main Entrance (Door 1).  We are collecting:

  • Spring/summer clothes sizes 4T to 16 (no stains, pilling or rips)
  • Teen/adult spring/summer clothes XXS-XXL (no stains, pilling or rips)
  • New socks (in packages)
  • New underwear (in packages)
  • Bras, PJs, accessories, clean sneakers in excellent condition
  • NO sports uniforms, promotional tee shirts, baby/toddler clothes, books, sports gear or heavily used items.  We want kids to feel good about their clothes.
  • NO used socks or underwear

Do you want to learn more about Arlington’s Clothesline overall? Email ben@clotheslinearlington.org

​​​​​​​Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday, March 3 (in the afternoon, after school) and Friday, March 4 – Parent Conferences
  • Monday, March 7 – Parent Chat – in English – Math Coach and Reading Specialist
  • Thursday, March 10 – Saturday, March 12 – Annie Jr. Performances
  • Tuesday, March 15 – DHMS PTSA Meeting
  • Wednesday, March 16 – Early Release Day (11:54 AM Dismissal) “B Day/Gold Day”
  • Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18 – Writing SoL
  • Monday, April 11 – Friday, April 15 – Spring Break

February 19, 2022

Course Request Forms:  Students have heard from their school counselors about courses available for next year.  The grade level presentations are posted on the DHMS Academic Planning webpage.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s grade level counselor. Current 6th and current 7th grade students MUST turn in their Course Request Form (CRF) by February 25th. Ninth Grade […]

  • Course Request Forms:  Students have heard from their school counselors about courses available for next year.  The grade level presentations are posted on the DHMS Academic Planning webpage.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s grade level counselor.
    • Current 6th and current 7th grade students MUST turn in their Course Request Form (CRF) by February 25th.
    • Ninth Grade Course Request forms are due back to Ms. Pennington as soon as possible.
  • Swim Team starts this Tuesday; students will be riding a bus to WL pool right after school.  Dive Team will begin in March – stay tuned for more details.
  • Save the Date:  Middle School Conferences are March 3 (PM) and March 4 (AM).  You will sign up for 5-minute sessions with the teachers you wish to see.  The links to sign up will be available on Friday, 2/25, on the DHMS Webpage.
  • Construction on DHMS Doors 13 and 16.  FYI – a Construction Team will be installing the glass canopies over Doors 13 and 16 this upcoming week.  Door 13 will not be available for morning entrance.  Students will use Door 9 from the driveway side of the building.

February 11, 2022

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families! What a beautiful end of the week we have had. Outdoor lunch has been truly wonderful, today especially. The warm days were lovely – but I don’t think we are out of the woods for cold weather yet! That pesky groundhog… This week’s Flyer touches on: Parent Conferences; Course Request Forms; […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families! What a beautiful end of the week we have had. Outdoor lunch has been truly wonderful, today especially. The warm days were lovely – but I don’t think we are out of the woods for cold weather yet! That pesky groundhog…

This week’s Flyer touches on: Parent Conferences; Course Request Forms; Parent/Teacher Conferences; New Covid Surveillance Testing, date and vendor; APS/DHMS Black History Videos; Summer Activities Fair; High School Spring Sports for eighth graders; and a message from the APS Office of Student Services.

Course Request Forms: Students are hearing from their school counselors this week about courses available for next year. The grade level presentations are posted on the DHMS Academic Planning page. If you have questions, the parent chat scheduled for Monday, February 14 @ 9:00 AM will feature our amazing Counseling Department. This link will be sent that morning.

Save the Date: Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences on March 3 (PM) and March 4 (AM)! Teachers have expressed a desire to meet with more parents and students. These parent conferences will be virtual and not run through TA – you will be able to sign up to meet (very briefly) with a few of your child’s teachers. Teachers will not be able to meet with all 125-130 families during this time – please consider only scheduling conference time if you have academic or behavioral concerns.

Covid Safety Updates:

  • Please make sure you pull the Covid Tests that APS sent home out of your DHMS student’s backpack! Tests were sent home on Thursday.
  • The new AEGIS Solutions Covid Surveillance Testing will begin next week. Families who have already opted in to weekly testing have been sent a text message for registration. If you would like to sign up, click here to access the APS Webpage on testing.
  • DHMS Covid Surveillance Testing will now occur on Mondays between 7:30 and 9:30 AM.

Summer Planning: APS will hold its virtual Summer Activities Fair on Wed, Feb. 16, providing families information about Summer School and the camps and enrichment activities available through Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation and other local providers. Full details and a video overview are available online.

High School Sports: Rising 9th Graders can play a spring sport at their assigned high school; check out the High School’s websites for more details. Tryouts for some sports are on February 21.

DHMS Sports: Our Girls Basketball Team and Wrestling Team are focused on playing hard and finding success! Upcoming sports for DHMS students: Swim and Dive begin at the end of February; Track and Field begin in mid-March. Make sure those physicals are on file with our Activities Coordinator, Ms. Unika Dabney, before your student can try out.

From the APS Office of Student Services: The SEL theme for February is Responsible Decision-Making. This month’s newsletter also highlights National School Counseling Week, Feb 7-11, Healthy Relationships Month, and the upcoming APS SEL Survey. Lastly, don’t miss the upcoming trainings available to parents, as well as the free and available to all, Cigna Student School Support Line.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, February 14th – DHMS Parent Chat, in English, 9:00 AM
  • Tuesday, February 15th – DHMS PTSA Meeting, 7:00 PM
  • Monday, February 21st – NO SCHOOL (Presidents Day)
  • Friday, March 4th – NO SCHOOL (Parent Teacher Conferences)
  • Tuesday, March 15th – DHMS PTSA Meeting, 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 16th – Early Release (11:54am Dismissal) *B Day (Gold Day)

January 28, 2022

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families – It’s hard to believe that we are half-way through the school year.  Our students are working so hard.  It’s wonderful to see them in classrooms and interacting with their peers.  Congratulations to all of our science fair participants – there are some fabulous projects that have been developed. Next week, […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families –

It’s hard to believe that we are half-way through the school year.  Our students are working so hard.  It’s wonderful to see them in classrooms and interacting with their peers.  Congratulations to all of our science fair participants – there are some fabulous projects that have been developed. Next week, February 2, marks the 63rd anniversary of the start of desegregation in Arlington Public Schools, which occurred right here in our building.  Over the next few weeks, our students will be engaged in learning more about this history – they will get the chance to hear from Mr. Michael Jones, one of the four 7th graders who started school on February 2, 1959.  As well, they will explore Black history here in Arlington – focusing on local citizens and neighborhoods.  Please make the time this month to come over to our building as a family and walk the historical path, read the panels that teach the history of desegregation in Virginia, and learn more about Dorothy Hamm.

Save the Date!  DHMS Gifted Screening and Identification Presentation: Thursday, February 10 @ 6:30 PM. Join our Resource Teacher for the Gifted, Regina Boyd, as she presents the process for gifted screening and identification at DHMS. Learn more about how your student can be referred, informal and formal screening, and the projected timeline. This meeting will be held virtually, and a link will be sent out on the morning of February 10. We hope that you will join us!

The No Place for Hate® program is an organizing framework for K-12 schools committed to creating sustainable change that leads to improved school climate developed by the Education Department of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Participating schools are able to incorporate ADL’s anti-bias and anti-bullying resources with their existing programming to form one powerful message that all students have a place to belong. The goal of No Place for Hate® is to inspire a national movement led by students and educators who are committed to using the power of positive peer influence to build inclusive and safe schools in which all students can thrive.

To learn more or to get involved with No Place for Hate® at Dorothy Hamm Middle School, please read the letter to parents and/ or contact the No Place for Hate Coordinator and DHMS Equity & Excellence Coordinator, Dr. Glenn in room 118 or email her at  kamyka.glenn@apsva.us. With your help, we will make our school community a safe and welcoming space for all.

No Student Drop Off on 23rd St. or Vacation Lane: In the last week we have seen an increase in student drop-offs on 23rd Street (in both directions) and Vacation Lane and a number of “near misses” between cars and pedestrians. Because there is no sidewalk on 23rd St., it is NOT a safe place to drop your students. As well, DO NOT stop anywhere on Vacation Lane to drop off your student. The DHMS Driveway is ideal, and Lorcom Lane has space for drivers to pull over and drop, as does Military Road. Need a STRATEGY for drop off success?  Drop your student further away from the building.  The walk is good for them – it gets their sleepy, adolescent blood moving!

January 23, 2022

Good evening, Phoenix Families, My apologies for the late Sunday message. I wanted to reach out regarding mask wearing in school tomorrow and this week. I continue to be so appreciative of the DHMS community’s support as we have worked to keep students safe and school open over the last two years. While I feel […]

Good evening, Phoenix Families,

My apologies for the late Sunday message. I wanted to reach out regarding mask wearing in school tomorrow and this week. I continue to be so appreciative of the DHMS community’s support as we have worked to keep students safe and school open over the last two years. While I feel lucky that our school community has experienced fewer positive covid cases than others, I have observed a noticeable uptick in cases over last few weeks, requiring us to send more students home for quarantine.

One of the challenges that we experience is maintaining physical distancing among students – it is a problem that reflects the normal needs of middle school students to engage with each other. Because of this, and knowing that many members of our school community (staff and students) are at a higher risk of serious complications from Covid, I am reminding our students and families that the School Board and APS are requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear masks in Arlington Public Schools facilities, and federal law requires the use of masks on school buses.

I’m incredibly grateful for the messaging late last week from Governor Youngkin asking communities to listen to their principals and trust the legal process. As we wait for the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision on the lawsuit that has already been filed, I appreciate your support in following the mask guidance currently in place.

January 14, 2022

1/14/2022 Dear Phoenix Families,I have been so delighted to see your students back on campus, visiting with friends, engaging with their teachers, and focused on learning. I stopped into almost every TA last week to say hello and remind students about our reset expectations for cell phones, mask wearing, and bus riding (see January 2nd […]

1/14/2022

Dear Phoenix Families,I have been so delighted to see your students back on campus, visiting with friends, engaging with their teachers, and focused on learning. I stopped into almost every TA last week to say hello and remind students about our reset expectations for cell phones, mask wearing, and bus riding (see January 2nd Phoenix Flyer)! Our students have been very positive about these reminders – and they have expressed understanding that the goal of these guidelines is to keep everyone safe. I do appreciate your help with this!This week’s Phoenix Flyer includes some things to talk to your middle school student about, some upcoming events, and some guidance about drivers/pedestrian actions.

  • Course Information Sessions: Counselors will be presenting Course Information Sessions on Thursday, January 27th at 6:30 PM.  Please join these virtual sessions with your student’s grade level counselor to learn about the academic planning process, required and elective classes for the next grade level, and the timeline for submitting course requests.  I recommend that your student attend as well.  These sessions will be recorded and posted on the DHMS Website.
  • Mask distribution:  The Superintendent has purchased KN95 masks for every student.  These will be distributed in TA on Tuesday, 1/18.  The safest masks should fit gently, but tightly, around the student’s nose and mouth.
  • Monitor your child’s social media accounts:   Students are using social media to interact with each other outside of school hours and on the weekends.  Perhaps because of the (false) sense of privacy or anonymity, many students are using inappropriate and foul language in these chats, saying things to each other they would never say in person, and generally being disrespectful.  These incidences often have repercussions that play out in school.  Please talk to your student about their involvement in social media, monitor their accounts, and remind them that there is no expectation of privacy when something is posted online.
  • Safety Reminder:  Please remind students that any potential weapon or drug paraphernalia (like a knife (even a small pocketknife) or a lighter) is not allowed on school property, ever.
  • On-time arrival:  Thanks to all for making a concerted effort to get your students to school a few minutes earlier.  We have seen an improvement!  Remember, the DHMS Driveway will close at approximately 7:46 AM.  Students who arrive by car after that time should enter Door One off the bus loop!  Students who repeatedly arrive late will be asked to stay after school to create a new plan!
  • No Student Drop Off on 23rd St. or Vacation Lane: Last week we saw an increase in student drop-offs on 23rd Street (in both directions) and Vacation Lane and a number of “near misses” between cars and pedestrians.  Because there is no sidewalk on 23rd St., it is NOT a safe place to drop your students.  As well, DO NOT stop anywhere on Vacation Lane to drop off your student.  The DHMS Driveway is ideal, and Lorcom Lane has space for drivers to pull over and drop, as does Military Road.  Need a STRATEGY for drop off success?  Drop your student further away from the building.  The walk is good for them – it gets their sleepy, adolescent blood moving!

January 2, 2022

Dear DHMS Families, I hope you have enjoyed a safe and relaxing winter break. The DHMS Team joins me in wishing you a Happy New Year! Just a short message before the kids return tomorrow – with some things to keep in mind: Safety: This new Covid variant impacted many of us during the winter […]

Dear DHMS Families,

I hope you have enjoyed a safe and relaxing winter break. The DHMS Team joins me in wishing you a Happy New Year! Just a short message before the kids return tomorrow – with some things to keep in mind:

  • Safety: This new Covid variant impacted many of us during the winter break. It will likely continue to do so over the next few weeks. My guidance –
    • Please don’t send your child to school if they are experiencing any symptoms.
    • Complete the Qualtrics screener daily.
    • Register your child for weekly in-school testing (or re-register them – APS has a new vendor) here.
    • Remind your student to wear their mask correctly and consistently for everyone’s safety.
    • Expect your student to be outside – they should dress appropriately for the weather. We will continue to wait outside in the morning before school, eat outside as much as possible, and hold PE classes outside.
  • Masks – students must wear them except when they are outside or eating lunch. Kids have a hard time keeping the blue medical masks over their noses. I recommend the N95, as it comfortably covers both the nose and mouth and leaves space for jaw movement.  Please send extra masks to school with your kiddos – you have no idea how many we have given away already.
  • Cell Phones – tomorrow begins our new policy – cell phones are to be in lockers (off and away). Students will be asked to put their cell phone in their locker the first time a staff member sees it.  If this is a repeated occurrence, the main office will hold onto phones until the end of the day.
  • Being on Time is an important skill for our students. Our school day begins at 7:50 – and TA is possibly the most important part of a student’s day. Please remember that the DHMS Driveway gate closes at 7:46 – any student arriving by car after that should be dropped at the bus loop.  If a student is dropped after 7:50, they will spend some time after school developing a time management plan or contract.
  • School Buses are for assigned bus riders – no additional passengers can be taken on a bus.

As a final thought – beginning this new year – we totally depend on the collaboration with our parent community to ensure that our students are safe, making good decisions, and learning from their mistakes.  Thanks to all parents for staying in contact with the DHMS Team about things that worry you. It does take a village to support middle school students, especially. I want students to know and trust that parents and staff members are a team working for their success. Please stay in touch.

December 11, 2021

I have been so impressed with our students these last few weeks. Many of the eighth graders are participating in NaNoWriMo – and their word counts (and their writing) are absolutely impressive! Our Model UN Team is planning the DHMS/WMS MUN Competition; our sports teams have been practicing and playing hard; and our fine arts […]

I have been so impressed with our students these last few weeks. Many of the eighth graders are participating in NaNoWriMo – and their word counts (and their writing) are absolutely impressive! Our Model UN Team is planning the DHMS/WMS MUN Competition; our sports teams have been practicing and playing hard; and our fine arts performances, including the Visual Arts presentations of modern fashions made of recycled materials, have been amazing. It is so wonderful to see our families and students enjoying these performances and celebrating the dedication of our students.

Things on my mind this week:

Science Fair Judges Needed. The DHMS Science Fair will be held in the DHMS cafeteria on Thursday evening, January 13, 2022, from 6-9 PM (inclement weather date January 27). We need judges from the community (high school sophomores and older welcome – community service hours available!). Each judge will be asked to evaluate between 3-5 science projects. If you are interested in signing up to be a judge, please complete this interest form. The Science Fair Director (Elaine Kennedy, Science 8 teacher) will contact you to confirm your participation.

Students do their best when they arrive to school on time. We suggest that students be dropped off at school by 7:35AM. The doors open at 7:40. Students are expected to be seated in their classes by 7:50. When you allow your child time to enter school, say hello to friends, go to their lockers, and be in their TA classes by 7:50…. the day starts well…. your child’s mindset is one ready to learn. THANK YOU for making certain that your child arrives to school on time!

The hardest job I’ve ever had has been that of parent…it still is in many ways, even though my kids are grown.  I am always looking for resources to help grow young people who care, advocate, and take responsibility for their actions. Ms. Katcher shares this article that has some great parenting ideas.

Students need help with good decision-making – in particular around cell phone use.  The DHMS policy for cell phones has been “off and away (out of sight)” for the whole school day.  This encourages students to interact with each other – and removes students from social media during the school day.  However, like many adults, students are carrying their phones on their person – and constantly “checking” them.  More importantly, there are students not following the APS acceptable use policy, which states that no pictures can be taken of anyone else without their permission or taken in certain locations, like bathrooms. Pictures from bathrooms here at DHMS have been posted on social media.  This is unacceptable.  Therefore, I’m instituting clearer expectations for students and their cell phones.  Your support in helping your Phoenix understand these expectations is appreciated.

We will begin messaging students this week that phones must be stored for the day in their secured, assigned locker.  If you or your student is concerned about theft from the locker, please keep the phone at home. If a teacher sees the phone out between 7:50 and 2:24 – they will ask the student to return it to the locker. If this happens multiple times, the phone will be turned into the main office, and the student will pick it up at the end of the day.  If your youngster has difficulty disconnecting from the phone during the school day, please encourage them to leave it at home. Remember, if you need to contact your child – please call the main office. We are happy to convey a message to them. If they need to contact you, there are phones in every classroom that students are welcome to use, anytime.

The DHMS Student Council Association is passionate about helping our community, in particular other children. To this end they are asking students to donate gifts to the patients of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital this week.  New toys, like action figures or Barbies, lego kits, baby/toddler toys, art supplies, earbuds, chargers or speakers – and books, are all welcome. The hospital cannot accept cloth or handmade items, stuffed animals or unpackaged items. Thanks for talking to your kids about this. Thank you to the PTSA who surprised staff with coffee and the most amazing donuts last Friday. We all enjoyed this delicious treat – you are the best!

  • December 15 – Winter Chorus Concert
  • December 20 – January 2 – Winter Break
  • January 3 – Return to School
  • January 13 – Science Fair, 6-9 PM

November 27, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving Phoenix Families – I hope this long weekend allowed you the time to relax and reconnect with family and friends. There are lots of wonderful activities coming up over the next three weeks – I look forward to seeing you at DHMS for a few of them. Upcoming Events: If your student is […]

Happy Thanksgiving Phoenix Families – I hope this long weekend allowed you the time to relax and reconnect with family and friends. There are lots of wonderful activities coming up over the next three weeks – I look forward to seeing you at DHMS for a few of them. Upcoming Events:

  • If your student is interested in singing, acting, and/or participating on Tech Crew – please have them attend the Annie, Jr. Musical Interest Meeting on Monday, 11/29, at 2:30 in the DHMS Auditorium.
  • The DHMS Book Fair will be here from December 1-7 in the library!  Want to help? Parents can sign up to volunteer here. For more information, check out our website here.
    • Students will come to the book fair with their Reading (6th grade) or English classes (7th/8th grade). The book fair will be open all day from 7:40 am to 2:45 pm. Students may visit during TA, lunch, or right after school.
    • We will have a Family Night on Thursday, December 2 from 5-8pm. Enter at Door 16!
    • Teacher wish lists will be available in the library and online.
    • Parents can also shop online. To set up your account:
      • Step 1: Go to bedfordfallsusa.com
      • Step 2: Click LOGIN at the top of the page
      • Step 3: Register as a PARENT and use this school code to start shopping: DHMS1
  • Our amazing Performing Arts Department kicks into Concert mode over the next few weeks.  Please join us in our auditorium, fully masked, to see and hear your Phoenix students perform:
    • Orchestra Concert – December 7 at 7:00 PM
    • Band Concert – December 9 – begins at 7:00 PM – check with your student about the time for their performance.
    • Chorus Concert – December 15 at 7:00 PM
  • Please join our new Resource Teacher for the Gifted, Ms. Regina Boyd, as she presents our annual Gifted Information Night presentation on Monday, December 13, at 6:30 PM.  This will be a virtual presentation – the link will be sent on Monday (12/13) morning.
  • December 8 is an early release day for students – students will be dismissed at 11:54 AM.
  • Parent Chats will be held this month on:
    •  Monday, December 6 (in English) – this meeting will focus on high school information, including how kids will sign up for classes!
    • Monday, December 13 (in Spanish) – topic tbd.
    • Links will be sent the morning of!

November 13, 2021

Dear Fabulous Phoenix Families –Is it really the middle of November?  I am always amazed at how quickly the first quarter goes by – especially this year with our earlier start date!  Time flies when you are having fun, and it has been fun to have our Phoenix students back in the building – learning, […]

Dear Fabulous Phoenix Families –Is it really the middle of November?  I am always amazed at how quickly the first quarter goes by – especially this year with our earlier start date!  Time flies when you are having fun, and it has been fun to have our Phoenix students back in the building – learning, growing, and reacclimating to being part of a larger community of scholars.

Early on in Second Quarter, it’s good to ask your DHMS students to reflect on how the first quarter went – and remind them of the goals that they set at their student-led conference.  What supports do they need?  Which teacher might they need to reach out to for some support?  What self-management habits are they working on improving?  These conversations ask the student to reflect on and take ownership for their learning and their achievement.  The TA teacher will continue to have these conversations regularly as well!

APS Student Services Department publishes a monthly newsletter – This month’s newsletter shares information on the SEL focus for this month: Social Awareness. Check it out here.

Covid Updates/Reminders –

  • Testing occurs at DHMS on Wednesday mornings between 7:30 and 9:30 AM.  Remember, you will only be contacted in the event of a positive Covid Test.
  • As we move into colder and wetter weather – please discuss with your student your expectations regarding where they eat lunch.  We will have two locations open inside for students to eat (Cafeteria and a gym); as well, our outdoor lunch space will always be available.  Please make sure your child understands where you expect them to eat.
  • Covid Contact Tracing/Quarantine – We have experienced a slight increase in Covid positive cases at DHMS – and the number of students who have had to quarantine (some multiple times) is large. Please know if your child is a close contact, teachers will post on their Canvas page the guidelines for students who are quarantined. For some classes, students will be able to join the class through a live Teams Meeting link. For others, assignments and expectations will be posted and students will be expected to work through these on their own. Your child should reach out to their teachers to let them know they are working from home and stay in contact.

Kudos: Congratulations to Ms. Allen’s Independent Living Class (Period 6) who put on a great Movie Night last week. The lessons students learned about planning, advertising, implementing, and wrapping up an event like this were fabulous. Despite the chilly weather, everyone seemed to have a great time. Our new popcorn maker was a huge hit!

Happy National School Psychologist Week (last week) to our amazing and dedicated school psychologist, Ms. Brooke Zeller. This year, perhaps more than ever, our Student Support Team of counselors, social workers, and psychologist provide vital supports for students – and guidance for families and staff.  You will meet Ms. Zeller in IEP meetings and/or student study meetings – as well as around our school building interacting with students daily. Thanks for all you do, Ms. Zeller! Hope you all enjoy the chillier weather this weekend.

Upcoming Important Dates: 

  • November 24-26 – No School for Students (Thanksgiving)
  • December 1 – 7 – Book Fair at DHMS
  • December 6 – Parent Chat – in English
  • December 7 – Winter Orchestra Concert
  • December 8 – Early Release Day for Students
  • December 9 – Winter Band Concert
  • December 13 – Parent Chat – in Spanish
  • December 15 – Winter Chorus Concert
  • December 20 – January 3 – Winter Break

October 29, 2021

Dear DHMS Phoenix Families, The creativity, enthusiasm, and school spirit has been so strong this week – our students have taken to heart the “One Week, One DHMS” and celebrated every day!  Thank you for supporting our school in this fundraiser.  If you haven’t had a chance – the sixth graders were in the lead, […]

Dear DHMS Phoenix Families,

The creativity, enthusiasm, and school spirit has been so strong this week – our students have taken to heart the “One Week, One DHMS” and celebrated every day!  Thank you for supporting our school in this fundraiser.  If you haven’t had a chance – the sixth graders were in the lead, last I heard…here are the details:Today is the last day of the One Week One DHMS celebration to show our school spirit and #DHMS support through the Phoenix Fund fundraiser. There is still time to donate! The class-wide and TA competitions are still at stake. Donate now at https://t.co/thMIvQVepy  or  https://t.co/ycsITBXEcQ

Lots if information in this issue:

Safe Routes to School – Please review your student’s walking route to school. Two concerned community members have reached out about students running across fast and dangerous roads at random points, rather than at crosswalks or traffic lights. Students have been seen crossing Old Dominion Dr. at N. Thomas Street, as well as Lorcom Lane at N. Quincy Street. Please remind our students that they are expected to cross intersections at a crosswalk or with a crossing guard or traffic light.  At both of these locations the traffic is moving very fast – and drivers are not expecting students to dart into the road.

Personnel Changes – I’m delighted to let you know that we have had some success in filling a few of the positions that we have needed.  Please congratulate Ms. Regina Boyd – who will become the DHMS Resource Teacher for the Gifted.  Ms. Boyd is currently teaching 7th and 8th grade English – and will remain in that spot until we have found her replacement.  We have hired a number of instructional assistants to support classrooms – please welcome, Alfred Reid, Candace Barnes, Dawn Daley, Sunita Tamang, who join our amazing Instructional Assistants Team.

Equity and Excellence Team forming – Greetings – I’m Dr. Glenn, your new Equity and Excellence Coordinator at DHMS. Staff member, student, parent, or community member… YOUR VOICE MATTERS; and I would love to work with you as we build equity in excellence at Dorothy Hamm Middle School. If you are interested in being a part of the DHMS equity team please complete the interest form by November 12, 2021. Click this link to access the interest form.

Rising Ninth Grade Parents – High School is right around the corner for our eighth graders!  Time to gather information and determine your student’s options.  Please attend High School Information Night on Monday, November 1 at 7:00 PM.  The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to access the event on the DHMS website.

VLP Families – We miss you – and want to make sure you and your DHMS student stay connected. Please join our PTSA to ensure access to key information during the school year – as well, please have your DHMS student reach out to Ellen.Smith@apsva.us to let me know which clubs they might be interested in attending virtually.

DHMS Fall Movie Night – Sponsored by the Individual Development Class and our FCCLA Club. Families are invited to join us for snacks and a movie on Friday, November 5, at 5:30 PM on the DHMS Soccer Field.  Students must attend with a parent or guardian. Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate – part of the proceeds will be donated to AFAC.  Check the DHMS Web page for more details. As always – your collaboration and support are much appreciated.Have a wonderful weekend.

  • November 1 – Last day of first quarter
  • November 2 – No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)
  • November 4 – No School for Students (Diwali)
  • November 5 – DHMS Movie Night @5:30
  • November 8 – DHMS Parent Chat in English (Virtual)
  • November 11 – No School for Students (Veteran’s Day)
  • November 24-26 – No School for Students (Thanksgiving)

October 15, 2021

Dear DHMS Families, There was no better way to end the work week than sitting by DHMS Door 1 with a few passionate Ukulele players and learning how to strum. I’m so impressed with the musical talent around DHMS. I hope at some point you get to hear us play! This week’s Flyer touches on […]

Dear DHMS Families,

There was no better way to end the work week than sitting by DHMS Door 1 with a few passionate Ukulele players and learning how to strum. I’m so impressed with the musical talent around DHMS. I hope at some point you get to hear us play! This week’s Flyer touches on mask use, upcoming conferences, and thoughts about supporting your youngster academically.

  • Mask Use – Increasing numbers of students are coming to school without their masks.  We have a stockpile of masks that we have been giving to students – but our supplies are running low.  Please make sure your child always has an extra mask in his or her backpack.
  • Conferences – Thursday 10/21 (PM) or Friday 10/22 (AM).  By now your TA teacher has reached out to schedule your parent/teacher/student conference.
    • Conferences are a 20-minute opportunity for your youngster to share with his “support team” (parents and TA teacher) how the year is going, their strengths and areas for growth, and their goals for the year – and also to hear from the TA teacher how things are going.  Feel free to come with any questions you might have for your student about what’s working for them, or what’s not!  By putting students in charge of their conferences, we ask them to take ownership of their learning.
    • Before your conference time, please ask your student to use their IPad to access the Conferences Teams Meeting Link in Canvas the TA teacher has established.
  • Academic Support – As we get closer to the end of the first quarter (November 1), staff members notice that the academic “honeymoon” is over…and sometimes grades aren’t as good as students expect.  it’s important to help students practices some good habits when they get home – here are some things they can do to help themselves:
    • Every day once they are home they should check their agenda for their homework.  Teachers are requiring students to write homework down in their agenda daily – for every class they have.  TA teachers are supporting the agenda’s use with mini-lessons and set up time for the week (on Mondays) – and for the weekend (on Fridays).  This should be your student’s go-to resource to remember if they have homework.  If this is not a habit for your youngster, or their grades are not what you both expect, implement this practice at a time when you both can look at the agenda.
    • Check Student/ParentVue regularly – Regularly in middle school, I asked my kids to share their grades, break down timelines for major projects, and write their extra-curricular activities on our family calendar.  These conversations model for students the kind of organizational thinking and organizational strategies that you use to be successful.  The best kind of teaching!
    • Finally – encourage your Phoenix student to meet with any teacher in whose class they might be struggling.  This might involve a rehearsal, “What are you going to say to Ms. E. Smith?” and that is great too.  Please normalize this teacher/student interaction – we want students to learn to advocate for themselves – and their teachers want to support them!
  • Social Emotional Support –
    • I’m sure that you have read articles or heard stories about the struggles many students are having with adjusting to being back in person after so many months out of school.  This is true for many of our students.  I’m hearing inappropriate language in student conversations, students are complaining about kids being unkind, and while they are glad to be back, their stamina for interpersonal interactions are short – leading to frustration and the occasional outburst.
    • Please remind your student that our community depends on each of us following the Golden Rule – treat others how you would like to be treated.  And, perhaps most importantly, remind students to be an “Upstander” in our community, if they see something, they should say something to a trust adult.
    • We will continue teaching kids the importance of being kind and respectful to each other through TA Lessons.  This week, on Wednesday, October 20, please join DHMS students and staff members in wearing ORANGE to support kindness and inclusion.

Many thanks for all you do –EllenEllen Smith, Principal DHMSUpcoming events:

  • October 19 – PTSA Meeting
  • October 21 (PM) and October 22 (AM) – Virtual Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
  • October 22 – No School for Students
  • October 25 – DHMS VLP Families – Parent Chat @8:30
  • October 27 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 11:54
  • October 29 – DHMS School Picture Make-up Day
  • November 1 – Last day of first quarter
  • November 2 – No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)
  • November 4 – No School for Students (Diwali)
  • November 11 – No School for Students (Veteran’s Day)

October 1, 2021

Good afternoon, DHMS Families, I hope you have been enjoying the cooler weather – those of us supervising outdoor lunches are so glad our temps are in the 70’s!  Much more comfortable for everyone. This Phoenix Flyer is packed with information – please read to the end! As we seek to ensure that every one […]

Good afternoon, DHMS Families,

I hope you have been enjoying the cooler weather – those of us supervising outdoor lunches are so glad our temps are in the 70’s!  Much more comfortable for everyone. This Phoenix Flyer is packed with information – please read to the end! As we seek to ensure that every one of our 860 students feels like they belong here at DHMS – are safe, valued, and included – our staff has revised some of our guidelines and expectations for students. I want to share with you our messages to students:

  • Lockers are to be visited in the morning before TA begins, before and after lunch, and at the end of the school day. Backpacks are to remain in lockers until the end of the day. These guidelines ensure that students can move through the hallways easily.
  • Students are expected to be in their classes (TA included) on time and ready to learn, with the materials needed for the day. Teachers will be tracking tardiness and working with students to make up missed instructional time during lunch or after school.
  • Due to the size of our building, we have increased the time for students to move between classes to 5 minutes. We are asking students to use the restroom and fill water bottles during this extended time, rather than leave class and miss instruction. In an emergency, students are welcome to ask to use the restroom during class.
  • Masks are expected to be brought to school and worn over both the mouth and nose while inside the building. Outside for PE and Lunch students may remove their masks, but are expected to maintain a distance from each other, even if they are vaccinated.

Our teachers and staff members have recently observed an increase in mean and disrespectful, even bullying, behavior amongst students. Every single student at Dorothy Hamm deserves to feel safe and valued – and we are incredibly proud of the diversity within our student population. Please know that our students reflect many cultures, religious backgrounds, gender identities, and socio-economic situations.

We will be making a concerted effort over the next few weeks in classes and at lunch to help students understand empathy and compassion, what it means to be an upstander, and reflect on their own actions. The family conversations that you have at home can be very helpful for our students as well. This website has many great resources to help families support young people to be the “best humans” possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s grade level counselor if you have questions or suggestions about how to best support our young people.

After School Activities have begun (check out the Clubs/Activities page on the website) – and we are so excited to have students playing sports, participating in clubs, and cheering each other on. Please know that I expect students who stay after to play or watch any sport to be respectful of the Phoenix Team as well as the visiting team with their words and actions, demonstrate excellent sportsmanship in the game and on the sidelines, and lead by example. Students who cannot follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the game.

Please note: Students who ride the late bus at 4:20 must stay on school property until they get on the bus. They are not to leave school property (to walk to Starbucks, 7-11, etc.) at any time.  If they do, they will be asked to call home for a parent pick up.

The rainy weather that we experienced during morning drop off a few weeks ago demonstrated for me the fragile nature of the traffic patterns around DHMS.  Any small weather change is likely to heavily impact the traffic patterns around DHMS. Because many families chose to drive their students to school that rainy day, Lorcom Lane, Vacation Lane, Military Road, and the DHMS Driveway all became essentially gridlocked. Teachers were late, students were late, and drivers were frustrated. As we experience more inclement weather this Fall, I encourage you to have your children walk (either from home or drop them off on Lorcom Lane or Military Road). Avoid Vacation Lane and the DHMS Driveway if possible. If students are dressed appropriately for the weather, they will be fine – and the walk will do them good!  Posted on the Arrival/Dismissal page are walking maps for DHMS that highlight crosswalks, staff locations to support crossing, and crossing guard locations. Please use these maps to plan your student’s safest route to school.

Finally – I’m delighted to let you know that we have filled a few vacant positions here at DHMS.  We are excited to welcome a new Sixth Grade Special Educator (replacing Mr. Johnsen), Ms. Gabriella Richey, who will be collaborating with our sixth-grade teachers and students; and, we are thrilled to welcome a new Equity and Excellence Coordinator, Dr. KaMyka Glenn, who will be supporting students and staff throughout the building.  Please join me in welcoming these new teachers to DHMS.

Upcoming events:

  • October 4 – First Virtual Parent Chat at 8:30 AM – link sent on Monday morning.
  • October 11 – No School for Students
  • October 19 – PTSA Meeting
  • October 21 (PM) and October 22 (AM) – Virtual Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
  • October 27 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 11:54

September 18, 2021

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families, This week I’ve been helping my 22-year-old daughter pack up her room in preparation for a year-long move to Spain. She’s totally excited, and I am as well, but as we cleaned out closets and got rid of more stuffed animals than I could count, I couldn’t help thinking about her […]

Good afternoon, Phoenix Families,

This week I’ve been helping my 22-year-old daughter pack up her room in preparation for a year-long move to Spain. She’s totally excited, and I am as well, but as we cleaned out closets and got rid of more stuffed animals than I could count, I couldn’t help thinking about her middle school years and how quickly the years since have passed.It is amazing, now, to look back on my daughter’s adolescence and consider her transformation into young adulthood – there were a few years where I wasn’t sure her adolescence was going to end.  But, it has, and now she heads off independently to build her Spanish skills, gain some work and life experience, and determine how she will give back to the world. Enjoy your young people at home, as time flies, and soon they too will be adventuring off into the world.This week’s flyer shares information on Picture Days, Covid Testing, walking/biking guidance, things to know about our building, and a TikTok trend that is impacting schools nationwide (DHMS included).

  • DHMS Picture Days are Friday, 9/24 and Monday, 9/27.  Students will take pictures through their PE classes. Make up pictures will be taken in October.
  • Opt-In Covid Testing has begun at DHMS, Wednesday mornings 7:30 – 9:30. While our goal is to get students in and out, the fact is that over 180 students and staff members have signed up for this, and there will be some waiting. Students can come between 7:30 – 7:45 to get tested, or their TA teacher will have a pass waiting for them with their assigned time on it. Students will miss some of TA and/or First Period.
  • Please remind your bike riders to wear helmets as they ride and follow all traffic rules.  Once they are on school property, students should walk their bike to the bike racks.  The expectations are the same in the afternoon.
  • There are bottle fillers on every level of the building (and on each end of the building). I encourage your students to carry a water bottle and fill it regularly, especially as the weather continues to be warm.
  • There are two separate restrooms (boys and girls) on every floor of DHMS. Additionally, closest to Door 13 and the Aux Gym there is a set of bathroom stalls that are open to anyone. The left side of the bathroom is labeled boys – the right side is labelled boys/girls and has three separate stalls for student privacy. Please discuss these options with your youngsters.

Finally, I would like to ask that you take some time to talk to your students about a viral meme on the social media platform TikTok. The meme asks students to vandalize their school building in some way and promote this on TikTok. We have experienced some of this vandalism at DHMS this past week and ask for your help to make sure our students understand the seriousness of vandalism on school property. Of particular concern – students have ripped down and stolen soap dispensers in our bathrooms. All students and staff need to be able to wash their hands effectively. The DHMS Staff will continue to monitor the impacted areas closely. Please remind our students not to engage in this type of behavior and to share information with a staff member if they hear of or witness an event.

Save the date:

October 21 from 4-7 PM and October 22 from 8-Noon are Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences.  Your TA teacher will reach out in early October with more information and an opportunity to select a time to confer virtually.

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 21 – PTSA Meeting
    September 29 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 11:54
    October 4 – First Virtual Parent Chat
    October 11 – No School for Students
    October 19 – PTSA Meeting
    October 21 (PM) and October 22 (AM) – Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences
    October 27 – Early Release Day – Dismissal at 11:54

September 4, 2021

Good afternoon, DHMS Families, What a joy it was to have our Phoenix students in the building with us this week. All of our students spent time this week getting acquainted with our building, becoming knowledgeable about their personal strengths, getting to know each other, and rebuilding organizational skills in anticipation of a great year […]

Good afternoon, DHMS Families,

What a joy it was to have our Phoenix students in the building with us this week. All of our students spent time this week getting acquainted with our building, becoming knowledgeable about their personal strengths, getting to know each other, and rebuilding organizational skills in anticipation of a great year of learning. Please ask your Phoenix student about their “color” strengths, the history of our building, who is in their TA, and how to best organize their binder for success.In fact, if they haven’t already, this weekend is a great time organize their binders with dividers for each class, their agenda, pencil pouch, and paper. Extra supplies can be left at home for when the binder needs to be “refreshed’ (usually in January).Last week culminated with locker assignments and combination lock practice, an evaluation of our PhoenixCon Workshops, and a cold treat! Thanks to all of our Parent Volunteers who helped with team building, monitoring the hallways, and handing out ice cream bars or popsicles to students! Your help was so appreciated.On Wednesday – students will report to their TA by 7:40 and then will see each of their classes.  Thursday and Friday of next week will be our first block days – students will see half of their classes for extended periods each day.Some items to be aware of:

  • Dropping your student off by car? 
    • Please only drop students on Military Road or the DHMS Driveway. Do not drop on Vacation Lane or 23rd Street.  Both streets are narrow and 23rd Street has no sidewalk allowing safe access to DHMS.
    • On the DHMS Driveway:  approach the drop off like an airport –
      • two lanes of traffic
      • pull in to your grade level on the right (6 first, 7/8 by the curve)
      • students exit right side of car
      • proceed to light – left lane must turn left (on green); right lane must turn right (typically on the red due to students crossing)
      • Keep speed slow on the driveway – students can be unpredictable
  • Bus 611 – Beginning September 9 APS Transportation has made the following adjustment:  Students riding bus 611 (picking up at N. Barton and Fairfax or Key Blvd and N. Edgewood) pick up times have changed.  Contact the main office for new pick up times.
  • Vaccination Record – when your DHMS student has been vaccinated, please send a copy of the vaccination record to the DHMS clinic.

I look forward to seeing many families at our DHMS Back to School Celebration this Friday, September 10 at 4:30.  There will be games, DHMS Swag, and an opportunity to meet other DHMS families. Can’t wait to see you on the Driveway!

  • Friday, September 10th – Back to School Driveway Party, 4:30-6:00pm **New time!**
  • Tuesday, September 14th – Bring your Parent to Back to School Night, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Thursday, September 16th – No School (Yom Kippur)
  • Tuesday, September 21st – DHMS PTSA Meeting, 7:00pm
  • Friday, September 24th & Monday, September 27th – DHMS School Picture Days
  • Wednesday, September 29th – Early Release Day (11:54am)
  • Monday, October 11th – No School (Columbus Day)

August 27, 2021

Good afternoon, DHMS Families, The DHMS staff had such a great time visiting with you and your Phoenix Students yesterday! There were so many smiles and such expressions of joy from students and adults alike! Thank you for stopping by. We can’t wait to see the kids again on Monday morning.We have planned a unique […]

Good afternoon, DHMS Families,

The DHMS staff had such a great time visiting with you and your Phoenix Students yesterday! There were so many smiles and such expressions of joy from students and adults alike! Thank you for stopping by. We can’t wait to see the kids again on Monday morning.We have planned a unique experience for our Phoenix the first week back. Students will go to their classes on the first day – and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we will all participate in PhoenixCon: seminar sessions on organization, team building, managing stress, our building’s history, and getting to know one another. Thursday’s schedule will wrap up with lockers, a school picture, and a little sweet treat at the end of the day. Ultimately, our goals are to help students get comfortable back in the building, get to know some of the key people they will be working with, and build a strong TA community in which every student is known and valued.Upcoming:

  • In Mid-September the state has asked school divisions to implement short assessments of student growth in Math and English. DHMS Math and English teachers will give these assessments to their students through classes. These are low-key check-ins on content knowledge for teacher use when planning.
  • Back to School Celebration – Join us on the DHMS Driveway – Friday, September 10 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
  • Bring your Parent to Back to School Night – BTSN will be virtual this year.  Your student will bring you “virtually” to all of their classes through Teams Meeting Links.  Please hold the date – 9/14 at 6:30 PM – and reserve a space on the couch next to you for your kiddo!
  • Covid Vaccinations:  If your DHMS Student has been vaccinated against Covid, please consider sending a record of the vaccination to the DHMS Clinic.  In the event of a close contact, a record of the vaccination will enable us to communicate quarantine status quickly.

We would love to have just a couple of more volunteers help out in the building on Tuesday and Wednesday.  If you are available, please complete this sign-up and we will reach out to you.There is great excitement in the air as we ramp up the school year.  Thank you to our amazing PTSA for a great kickoff lunch for teachers today.  We all feel so appreciated!  Looking forward to an amazing year.

July 26, 2021

Dear Dorothy Hamm Families,I am hoping this School Talk message finds you and your families well. This is the late-July Issue of the Phoenix Flyer, my regular communication to our school community. This month’s issue welcomes new families to DHMS and shares some brief reminders and updates.Welcome to DHMS:  I am delighted to welcome our […]

Dear Dorothy Hamm Families,I am hoping this School Talk message finds you and your families well. This is the late-July Issue of the Phoenix Flyer, my regular communication to our school community. This month’s issue welcomes new families to DHMS and shares some brief reminders and updates.Welcome to DHMS:  I am delighted to welcome our new families to Dorothy Hamm Middle School. Over 250 sixth grade families join us this Fall, in addition we have had several families move or transfer into our school boundaries bringing students who will be joining us in the seventh and eighth grades!  Welcome. Our webpage has a wealth of information on it – from tech help, to getting students safely to and from school, to videos from the past two years. Please explore the DHMS webpage. Here are some brief facts to introduce who we are at DHMS:

  • We are The Phoenix – in the building, have your picture taken in front of our Phoenix WINGS!
  • Our school colors are Red and Gold.
  • Our building is historically important to both the Commonwealth of Virginia and Arlington County as it was the first public school building in Virginia to begin desegregation in February of 1959.
  • We are named after Dorothy M. Bigelow Hamm, an Arlington County Civil Rights Activist.
  • The legacy of Dorothy Hamm and our building’s history are vital teaching and learning points for our staff and students.  Look for lessons, units, community activities, and performances that connect students and families to this history.  Come by and visit the Commemorative Trail by DHMS Door 13 for more information.
  • Our motto is #DHMSBelongandBecome – our mission is to ensure that every child feels safe, known, supported, and equipped with the skills needed to become whatever they dream!

We have an amazing PTSA (yes, students are part of our Parent/Teacher Association) filled with members who collaborate and work tirelessly on behalf of our school community.  Please join with us to make DHMS a great place to learn and grow.  Start by checking out the DHMS PTSA webpage. Then join the DHMS PTSA Facebook group. Both are great resources!

Sign Up for DHMS PTSA Communications: If you haven’t already, text PHOENIXPOST to 22828 to sign up for the Phoenix Post weekly email newsletter, or by joining the DHMS PTSA online.

Instructional Delivery for School Year 2021-2022Arlington Public Schools will open schools to all students, five days a week, in the Fall.  At this time, the expectation is that students, families, and staff will continue to follow the mitigation measures that APS has in place.  As the situation changes, I will communicate what that looks like to you. If you come to the building this summer expect to wear a mask, as most weeks we have students in camps in the building. Please note, we will return to our normal sports schedule in August; if your DHMS student intends to try out they will need a completed physical form on file with Unika Dabney, our Activities Coordinator. Take a look at the Sports page on the DHMS Website for more information.

Reminders and Updates: 

  • Rising Sixth Graders – please come by to tour DHMS and meet Mr. Tuttle, your school counselor. Use this link to sign up for a tour!
  • Rising Seventh Graders should have proof of updated immunization mailed to DHMS.  Regular APS School Talk messages will continue through the summer reminding parents of this requirement.  In August, you will receive additional communication from DHMS if your child’s records are not up to date.  Seventh Grade students must have this info submitted (or exempted) before they can begin school.
  • Yearbooks from 2020-2021 are still available for purchase.  Please stop by the Main Office between 8 AM and 2 PM to purchase a yearbook ($40, cash or check).
  • School Supply Lists are available on the DHMS website!
  • Math packets for students are posted on the DHMS website. Students should complete the math packet associated with the grade level they just finished, and bring the completed packet to their math teacher in the first week of school.
  • Students should be reading for pleasure at least 30 minutes every day during the summer.  There is a great reading program through Arlington Public Library that might provide extra motivation.
  • Little Libraries for “read and return books” are available at the Main Entrance of DHMS.  If your youngster needs reading materials, drop by and check out the selection, read, then return!
  • Cherrydale Farmer’s Market at Dorothy Hamm– Come by the Plaza on the soccer field-side of the building every Saturday during the summer and fall to shop.

Save the Dates:  

  • Monday, August 16th – 7:00 PM – Virtual Back to School Town Hall – Link will be sent that morning!
  • Thursday, August 26th – Return-to-School Orientation!  On this date we will welcome all students and families to visit Dorothy Hamm Middle School, get to know their TA Teacher, and walk the building.  Please save this date – but, if you can’t make this event don’t worry, this will be repeated the first week of school with students.  More information will be shared in August.
    • 6th Grade between 8:00 – 9:45
    • 7th Grade between 10:00 – 11:45
    • 8th Grade between 1:00 – 2:45

This summer is a great time to support your youngsters in finding joy off screen, whether in books, physical activity and exploration, and/or creative experiences. This summer think about building game night into your regular weekly schedule, supporting the skills of strategic thinking, collaboration, and the all-important life lessons around winning and losing – this also prepares students for one of our most popular clubs:  Strategic Games Club. I am so excited to see you this Fall!Enjoy the summer!