Phoenix Flyer #10


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!

With thanks –
Ellen Smith, Principal, DHMS

Upcoming Events:

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