Dorothy Hamm Middle School PTSA
Summer Edition - August 23rd, 2021
Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming DHMS Dates
  • Thursday, August 26th - DHMS Orientation Day
  • 6th Grade – 8:00-9:45am
  • 7th Grade – 10:00-11:45am
  • 8th Grade – 1:00-2:45pm 
  • Monday, August 30th - First Day of School
  • Friday, September 3rd - No School (Labor Day Holiday)
  • Monday, September 6th - No School (Labor Day)
  • Tuesday, September 7th - No School (Rosh Hashanah)
  • Friday, September 10th - Back to School Driveway Party, 5:00-7:00pm
  • 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)

Please visit the DHMS Master Calendar for all 2021-22 school year dates.
DHMS Back to School Town Hall Follow-Up
Thank you to everyone who attended last week's virtual DHMS Back to School Town Hall with DHMS Principal Ellen Smith! If you missed the live event, click below to watch the Zoom recording. (Answers to the additional chat window questions will be posted next week.)

Access Passcode: Phoenix1!
DHMS Orientation Day - Thursday, August 26th
This Thursday, August 26th, we will welcome all students and families to visit Dorothy Hamm Middle School, get to know their TA Teacher, and walk the building. Drop by anytime during the window(s) listed below. There is no formal presentation, so you and your DHMS student(s) can come anytime during your designated time.
DHMS Orientation Day Schedule
  • 6th Grade – 8:00-9:45am
  • 7th Grade – 10:00-11:45am
  • 8th Grade – 1:00-2:45pm 

If you can’t make this event, don’t worry. This will be repeated the first week of school with students. Stay tuned for more information.
Letters were mailed home on Tuesday, August 17th with your student(s)' TA teacher name and room number, as well as a map of the building and bell schedule.
DHMS PTSA Back to School Family Survey
We are excited to kick off the 2021-22 school year. The DHMS PTSA is eager for your feedback on communications and programming. Please complete this brief survey to help us make this the best school year yet!
Dorothy Hamm MS Driveway Party - Friday, September 10th
Mark your calendar for the Back to School Driveway Party, September 10 from 5pm-7pm! We will welcome our new 6th graders and new students, and get everyone BACK TO SCHOOL! Teachers, administrators, parents, caregivers, siblings and students all welcome. We will have food, selfie station, music and fun. We'll need some volunteers. Please sign up below to lend a hand with setup, cleanup, and/or activities during the event, or email Caroline Holt to help out.
Introducing the DHMS PTSA Buddy Program
Entering middle school is exciting and can also be nerve-racking at the same time! We are looking for a few (ok, hopefully, more than a few!) current students to buddy up with some new-to-DHMS students. Student buddies will get an opportunity to hang out together during Back-to-School week as well as throughout the school year. Current students can show their new DHMS student buddies their favorite parts of the school, provide tips on managing multiple classes and teachers, and what's good for lunch for a start. Everyone involved is also encouraged to come up with fun ideas of their own both buddies might enjoy! 

Please click below to sign up your DHMS student to serve as a current DHMS student buddy or if you would like a buddy for your new-to-DHMS student:

Contact DHMS VP Community, Danusha Chandy, with any questions.
Mark Your Calendar: DHMS School Picture Days
DHMS School Picture Days are Friday, September 24th and Monday, September 27th! Stay tuned for more details, including the student schedule. In the meantime, click below for more information, including Jostens photo package options:

Get Ready for Back to School @ DHMS
2021-22 DHMS School Supply Lists

With just over a week until school begins, make sure to take a look at the DHMS School Supply Lists for 2021-22 posted on the DHMS Website!

APS School Lunch Information

From APS Food and Nutrition Services, the USDA has extended free breakfast and lunch to all APS students for the entire 2021-2022 school year. Students will be expected to go through the serving line this year. In secondary schools, students will have the option of a lunch tray or a bag. Click below for a flyer with more information and frequently asked questions about breakfast, lunch, and applying for meal benefits:

APS Annual Online Verification Process

Families will be able to start completing the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) TODAY, Monday, Aug. 23rd. When families log into ParentVUE, they will be required to complete their AOVP before they are able to access any available features in ParentVUE, including class schedules and transportation routes. 

Please visit the following link to access ParentVUE:

DHMS PTSA Directory: Opt into the directory as part of the AOVP process: For each of your APS students, select Student Info. Under Release of Student Information 1: PTA Directory Information, select ‘Yes, Please provide my student/family information’ to be included in the ASFS PTA Directory.

APS Registration & AOVP Assistance Day: Wednesday, August 25th at all APS schools from 12-4 p.m. Staff will also be available at the APS Welcome Center (2110 Washington Blvd.) from 4:30-8 p.m. to assist families with registering students. See the flyer for more details. 
APS Transportation Updates

Final bus schedules will be posted in ParentVUE on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Schedules are located in the Student Information Tab in ParentVUE, under Instructional Choice. Under Instructional Choice, scroll down to pick-up and drop-off information. Click here for details on how to access ParentVUE. A School Talk will be sent next week to notify families when the schedules are available.

To check your student’s eligibility for bus transportation, please view our bus eligibility zones and maps online. If you have additional questions about eligibility, please call the transportation call center for assistance.

For more information, including what to expect on the school bus, please see the APS School Talk message (8/17): APS Transportation Updates for the 2021-22 School Year.
Return to School Technology Information

DHMS Families, click below for a 2021-22 Return to School Message from Ms. Leon, DHMS Instructional Technology Coordinator, with key tips to make sure your student's APS iPad is ready for the return to school and other important items to note.

Visit the DHMS Technology page for additional resources and how to request technology assistance if you run into any issues.
Required APS iPad iOS Upgrade

The APS Dept. of Information Services has asked all families to help ensure student devices are ready to support learning on the first day of school. All student iPads need to be updated to the current iOS, 14.7.1. This upgrade is necessary to support upgraded apps the students will be using this fall. 

Upgrading the iOS is something you or your student can do at home, simply follow these step-by-step directions to upgrade the iOS.

Keys to success:
  • Plug the iPad in and keep it plugged in during the upgrade
  • Some iPads are pretty full. If the upgrade fails due to running out of space you can offload some of the documents, here’s how.
  • If you are having any troubles, contact your school’s ITC.
DHMS Phoenix Con Parent Volunteers

We'd love your help to kick off the school year! Students will participate in "Phoenix Con" during the first few days of school for team building, getting to know the school, their teachers, and one another. Pending APS health and safety guidelines, we could use parent volunteers to help support this event:
  • Tuesday, August 31st and Wednesday, September 1st (8:15-11:30am and 11:30am-2:15pm) - to co-lead activities and help to provide directions around the school. (Lunch will be provided for full-day volunteers.)
  • Thursday, September 2nd (2:00-3:30pm) - to serve at the after-school ice cream party
  • There are many ways to contribute! Click below to sign up:

Get Engaged With the DHMS PTSA
Join the Dorothy Hamm MS PTSA for 2021-22 Today!
You and your family are invited to join the DHMS PTSA for 2021-22! DHMS PTSA members must renew each year (beginning July 1st) in order to vote on PTSA matters and join our community. DHMS PSTA annual dues are $10 per adult member, and $5 per student. Sponsorships are also available so that all DHMS community members may join the PTA.

Please consider a donation to the DHMS PTSA Phoenix Fund! All donations go to support the students, teachers and staff at Dorothy Hamm Middle School.
Open DHMS PTSA Committee Chair Roles for 2021-22
The DHMS PTSA is seeking volunteers to lead the following Committee Chair positions for the 2021-22 year. A great way to get involved, meet fellow DHMS parents, and support our school!

  • Phoenix Fund: We are looking for 1-2 parents to coordinate our annual PTSA fundraising drive this fall.
  • Teacher & Staff Appreciation: We'd love 1-2 additional parents to help plan events throughout the year, including Teacher Appreciation Week.

More ways to help! Here are other open DHMS PTSA roles to consider:
  • PTSA Hospitality (all year; 1-2 volunteers)
  • Science Fair/STEM Lead (One event in January 2022; 1-2 volunteers)

Please contact Kristen Shattuck, DHMS PTSA President, if you are interested or have any questions. Thank you for your support!
DHMS Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge
The DHMS PTSA is looking forward to participating in the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge again this year! We are looking for one more volunteer to host a collection box at your house, weigh the plastic and deliver it to the Cherrydale Safeway throughout the year. Please contact Liz Rugaber if you are able to help out, and stay tuned for more details this fall!
New DHMS Family & Rising 6th Grade Reminders
Sign Up for the DHMS PTSA Phoenix Post
If you haven't already, sign up for the weekly DHMS PTSA newsletter by texting PHOENIXPOST to 22828. Remind your friends to sign up as well!

Follow Us on Social Media
DHMS Student Reminders & Opportunities
DHMS Math Packets & Summer Reading

Math packets for students are posted on the APS 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.

From Ellen Smith's Phoenix Flyer (7/26/21), students should be reading for pleasure at least 30 minutes every day during the summer. There is a great summer reading program through Arlington County Library that might provide extra motivation.
2021-22 Dorothy Hamm MS Sports

Middle School Sports will return for the 2021-2022 school year! There are a variety of sports, including: Ultimate Frisbee, Girls/Boys Soccer, Tennis, Cheerleading, Girls/Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Swim, Dive and Track and Field.

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.
2021-22 National PTA Reflections Contest
This year's theme is "I Will Change the World By..."

We are looking for a parent lead to coordinate this year's DHMS competition. Visit the National PTA Reflections website to learn more, and email Kristen Shattuck if you are interested. Students may submit entries in any (or all) of the categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, or Visual Arts.
DHMS PTSA Reminders
DHMS Basics: Office: 703.228.2910 / Clinic: 703.228.2940 / Attendance: 703.228.2911
​​​Get Involved: Join the PTSA / PTSA Directory / PTSA Meetings / Volunteer
Engage With APS: APS Engage / Online Form / Open Office Hours / Meetings / Agendas​​
The DHMS PTSA Phoenix Post is a weekly newsletter that informs the DHMS community about DHMS, PTSA, and relevant APS and community news. Please send any newsletter submissions to [email protected] by Thursday at 10am for inclusion in the following Monday's Phoenix Post.