Phoenix Flyer #1

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 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 2021-2022
Arlington 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!

Ellen Y. Smith, Principal