Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Principal's Newsletter

Dear Families,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at this week’s Back to School Nights. We appreciate your attendance and thoughtful questions and feedback. As I reflect on the milestones I shared at Back to School Nights these last two weeks, I wonder how our students can possibly reconcile their passion for fairness and justice with the failure of the grand jury in Kentucky to hold the police officers in the Breonna Taylor case accountable. The answer is that they cannot and should not; none of us can. Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, announced Wednesday that one police officer would be charged, not in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, but with endangering her neighbors with reckless gunfire. What does that scream to Ms. Taylor’s family and all of us about the value of her life in our justice system? The case forced no one to be held responsible for her murder. When we cannot grasp that, what do our students do? Our call to action is greater than it has ever been.

Since our last newsletter we also lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What does the replacement of her seat on the Supreme Court mean for justice? She is the first woman and first Jewish person to lie in state at the US Capitol. What does that suggest about fairness and justice? What did it take for her to be a trailblazer? It is a time of questions, but we need to find answers. We have been answering the same questions with disbelief and horror for too, too long. The most important question now is: What action can we take, or what opportunities for action can we create for students to take with us, to demonstrate how much we value them and their futures?

Have a wonderful weekend, and please keep sharing your ideas and feedback. They are greatly appreciated.


A note on Specials

As a reminder, students are expected to attend Specials. If your student is in one World Language and receives an assignment for the other World Language, please disregard it. This is a glitch we are trying to address.

Shepherd Virtual Learning Expectations:

-Students are expected to be ready with materials to learn at the beginning of each class period with all necessary materials (electronic device, charger, paper, pencils, etc.)

-Students should be seated upright, on task, listening actively, and following directions in quiet space designated for learning.

-Unless a student is speaking, microphones should be muted.

-Electronic devices, toys, reading materials, and supplies that are not being used for the lesson are not permitted.

-Students should not wear pajamas to class.

-Students should not eat during class.

-Students are expected to follow the expectations outlined in the DCPS Tech Agreement.

-Students should not use the chat and video conferencing functions when teachers are not present.

PK Supplies and Tech Pick Up Thursday and Friday 10/1-10/2 TENTATIVE

We are hopeful that the iPads will arrive next Wednesday, and we will have pick up for PK materials and devices next Thursday and Friday. I will provide an update on this next week at the open houses and email.

PK Pick Up Days/Times

Thursday, October 1st 12:00 pm-5:00 pm

Friday, October 2nd 8:00 am – Noon

Please observe social distancing guidelines and wear a mask — thank you!

Back to School Nights by Grade Level

1st grade open house

Time: Sep 28, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 899 2925 1599

Passcode: XD32hM

Kindergarten Open House

Time: Sep 21, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 832 2821 3201

Passcode: MH4hUt

PK-4 Open House

Time: Sep 29, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 832 8423 1015

Passcode: AVuV46

PK-3 Open House

Time: Sep 30, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 842 2468 6762

Passcode: 5fTrSm

Technology Support

If you are having difficulties remembering the steps or username/password for your child to log into Canvas or Teams, please send an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

You can also visit this website with step-by-step directions:

For all other related issues, please use the DCPS helpline 202-442-5885. There are technicians who can remotely help you resolve user and access issues or determine if it is your device that is preventing access. If a technician tells you to contact the school due to a DCPS device issue, please email [email protected].

Common Tech Issues Reported This Week and Solutions

DCPS has compiled a frequently asked question and answers website for students who are using DCPS devices:

Many families have reported that their student cannot see all of their peers, but only one speaker at a time. To see up to 49 participants at the same time, students must be using Microsoft Teams through the Desktop Application, not the internet browser version. Please make sure your device has downloaded the latest version of the desktop application and follow these instructions:

-Click on your user account (student initials) in the top right,

-Click on Settings,

-Go down to the bolded Applications section,

-Check “Turn on new meeting experience” (New meetings and calls will open in separate windows. Requires restarting Teams),

-Then you have to close out Teams and restart.

Many families have reported that specific functions have not worked in Teams, such as cameras, microphones, sounds, hand raising, and chat. Usually the best fix for these issues is a complete shut down and restart of your device. If that does not resolve the issue, it could be a device or browser limitation. Please use the DCPS helpline to determine next steps. 202-442-5885.

Drop-In Specials

On Wednesdays, our Specials teachers are offering extra classes to provide fun activities, enrichment, and extra support as needed. For our first Drop-In day, we had students visiting multiple classes during the 20-minute class time. While we want to empower our students to attend the class of their choice, please encourage your student(s) to select one drop-in class to attend each Wednesday. Thank you for helping us to minimize disruptions during instruction.

Need a Technology device?

Please email [email protected] and complete the tech needs survey: