Home of the Hawks
Greetings Hamilton Families!
It’s hard to believe that the school year 2021-2022 is here! We wanted to check-in with our families and provide some additional information and updates. Please take some time to read the letter in its entirety. The letter is lengthy but we wanted to ensure that all families received the most up-to-date information.
Arrival and Dismissal
● 7: 30 a.m.-- All students must be outside and ready to enter the building at 7: 30 a.m. The doors will open at 7: 30 a.m.. Students will be able to get a “grab-and-go” breakfast to take to their classrooms if they choose. It will be optional but all students must enter the building at 7: 30 a.m. After the first week of school, students will be marked tardy after 7: 40 a.m.
● 2: 10 p.m.-- Dismissal (Please arrive by 2:05 p.m. to pick up children on time if they are not walkers or bus riders). We do not have staff to hold students past dismissal time. It’s imperative that all students are picked up on time. If you need before or after school care please reach out to Fitness, Fun, and Games. Financial Assistance is available based on income. Information on Fitness, Fun, and Games can be found at the bottom of this letter.
Elementary students will be in the front of the building near the door in which they entered. Middle school students will be in the back of the building. If students have permission to walk home (grades 3-8), they must leave the grounds immediately following dismissal. Middle school students who pick up elementary siblings can walk to the front of the building to get them.
Important Upcoming Events
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Orientation
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Families will have an opportunity to learn about the pre-k and k program, meet staff and tour the classrooms. A mask must be worn at all times when in the building.
Friday, August 27, 2021
"Sneak a Peek at your Seat" for all students new to Hamilton
2:00 -3:30 pm
Families will have an opportunity to see the classrooms. We must limit the number of people in each classroom. Families will be asked to take a quick peek in the classrooms and then allow room for others to come inside. We will have additional time during Back to School night for staff and teachers to present and share information with families. “Sneak a Peek at your Seat”, is just an opportunity for families to be able to come into the building to see the classroom set-up. A mask must be worn at all times when in the building.
Monday, August 30, 2021
7:30 am -2:10 pm
First day of school for students
Please see the first-day logistics section below. We want to limit the number of people in the building due to Covid-19 Health and Safety concerns. As such, on the first day of school, staff will come outside to greet students. Students will then be escorted into the building by Hamilton staff. Families will drop off students outside of the building.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Family & Student Meet and Greet with Kona Ice
This is a fundraiser for our school. We will have a Kona Ice truck out back at 2:10 pm, ready for dismissal, with tables set up for you to sit, eat, and talk with other parents and students.
September 13-17, 2021
Scholastic Book Fair
Scholastic is a fundraiser for our school. Students will get a chance to view the books on Friday, Sept. 10th, and create a "Wish List." Then, they can bring money in to purchase books Sept. 13-17th or you can put money online for them to use at the fair. More information will be given as we get closer to the event. https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?method=homepage&url=hamil tonhawks
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Back-to-School Night for all grade levels will be virtual. We will share more information in the coming weeks! Please plan to join us virtually to learn about all of the amazing things happening at Hamilton!
Virtual Learning-Full Year Commitment
There will not be any virtual learning offered to students from Hamilton this year. All students will need to return to in-person learning if they were not accepted into the district's virtual learning program. The application and deadline to apply for virtual learning has closed. Any student who was accepted will have to remain virtual with the district's program for the full school year. The virtual program is not a Hamilton-operated or supported program, but a district initiative. We wish all of our families the best who will be joining the virtual school. All future updates should come from the administration at your assigned virtual school. We hope to see you back next school year.
7th-grade students need 1 dose of Meningococcal (MCV4) and 1 dose of T-Dap. Kindergarten students need 2 doses of Varicella. Students who are out of compliance will require these immunizations to avoid being excluded from school in September. Please read the following to ensure you are in compliance.
● Families are advised to make an appointment with their primary care facility as soon as possible. If they are unable to get an appointment with their primary care provider, they may seek alternate locations, see below.
● The Baltimore City Health Department TIKE Immunization Clinic is open in August on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. The TIKE clinic has 36 available appointments each of those days. As we get closer to the first day of school, those appointment times will fill up quickly.
● The Rales school-based health center at KIPP Baltimore (2000 Edgewood Street) continues to offer immunizations to students that attend a Baltimore City Public School. Covid Vaccine Clinics City Schools has partnered with BCHD to provide COVID-19 Vaccine clinics in City Schools? The Covid It's true! Click here for weekly updates on vaccination clinics being offered around the city and in City Schools. Free transportation is provided.
You can also text your zip code to 438829 and receive a list of nearby COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Covid-19 vaccines are not required but getting vaccinated helps protect our community and schools.
Before and After Care
Before and After Care is provided through one of our community partners, Fitness. Fun and Games (FFG). These spaces are limited so please do not wait to register. Application link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSesiD9quIrXur-yGUI0mTJoclpqn2_QjMiAeFqOftiRB McfMQ/viewform.
For more information about FFG please visit http://www.fitnessfunandgames.org/hamilton.html . You may also contact Director Mohan at 443-602-4030. Again, this program is separate from Hamilton so please direct all questions straight to FFG.
Safety Protocols for the Fall
Here is the most recent Health & Safety Protocol for Fall 2021 from the School District’s website:
Baltimore City Public Schools is excited about fully reopening to all students in all grades. Most students will return to their classrooms. Recent updates to the COVID-19 guidelines for schools from the CDC, combined with state and local expertise have helped us to refine our health and safety protocols. Key protocols to help keep our schools safe places to work and learn this fall include:
● Vaccination access: City Schools has partnered with the Baltimore City Health Department to provide vaccination clinics across the City. A schedule is available here. Please access this flyer to see the schedule.
● Face coverings: Face coverings will continue to be required indoors for everyone. Please send students with at least 2 cloth masks. Scarves are not masks. Every student must have a mask that covers their nose and mouth. We prefer the cloth masks so that student masks do not break.
● Physical distancing: Distance will be maximized to the extent possible while allowing all students to return for in-person learning. The extent possible will be based on the sq. footage of the classroom and the number of students in each class. Various classroom layouts, including layouts with students facing each other, can be used to support an engaging classroom experience. Schools may resume in-person meetings with families with participants socially distanced. Face coverings, ventilation and our other preventive measures work together with physical distancing to provide additional protection.
● Screening testing: Regular COVID testing will continue this fall to help identify potentially infected people so that steps can be taken to prevent further transmission. Additionally, on-site COVID testing will be available for students who have symptoms of a COVID-like illness.
● Ventilation: higher efficiency mechanical filters and HEPA air purifiers will continue to be used to help mitigate infectious aerosol transmission.
● Handwashing and respiratory etiquette: Routines and education to support handwashing and respiratory etiquette will continue to be implemented.
● Symptom monitoring: Everyone entering a City Schools building will be reminded to monitor their symptoms and to not enter if they are experiencing symptoms. Parents and families need to monitor students for any illnesses prior to sending them to school. Do not send sick children to schools.
● Quarantining and isolation: Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will continue to be isolated and their non-vaccinated close contacts will continue to be quarantined
● Cleaning and disinfecting: Cleaning and disinfecting procedures using products designed to combat COVID-19 will continue to be used daily. Cleaning and disinfecting will be done by each building’s team instead of a centrally deployed team.
● Covid Testing Consent Forms: Parents will have to sign the consent forms for students to be tested at school, if needed, or have students tested on their own and submit a negative result before students can return.
Students will primarily eat lunch in the cafeteria. We have seven lunch shifts to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time. We also reduced the number of students assigned to each table. Pre- covid on average 15 - 17 students were seated per cafeteria table. We will reduce the number of students per table to 6 - 8. We will also provide the option for some classes to eat in their classroom or outside weather permitting. In addition, we have hired additional staff to support cafeteria coverage. We will also create a seating chart for the cafeteria.
We have released the school supply list. The school supply list is under the "School Year 2021-2022" tab on our school’s website and attached to this letter. I understand that many of us are experiencing extremely challenging times. Please reach out to your grade level administrator or myself if you need assistance with the school supply list.
students are required to wear school uniforms. Picture examples are under the "School Year 2021-2022" tab on this website. Top: Burgundy collared shirt. Bottoms: 4 options- Khaki pants, Khaki shorts, Kaki below the knee skirt, burgundy and gray plaid below the knee uniform skirt Dresses: 2 options- Khaki uniform below the knee dress, Burgundy plaid below the knee uniform dress. Sweaters/ Hoodies: 3 options- all sweaters or hoodies must be one of the solid colors below.
Burgundy, Black and White
Class assignments will be available after August 24, 2021. You will be able to look on the parent portal starting August 24th for homeroom assignments. If you have never set up a Parent Portal account or need to add a new student, please email Mrs. Chalk at email@example.com or Mrs. Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Parent Portal Activation letter. If you have already set up your account, but forgot your password, you must call 443-984-2000 to get it reset. If you are unsure, request the activation letter first. This is the website: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/campus-portal
Back to School - Block Party!
We had so much fun at our first annual Back to School Block Party held on Aug 15, 2021. We had games, raffles, school supplies, food, face painting, book give-aways, 360- camera booth, balloon animals and so much more! We thank our community partner, “Parties by Neicey”, for hosting the event. It was so nice to see so many of our Hamilton families.
At Hamilton, we believe in the beauty and power of community. Our families are such a major part of our story. We are so thankful for our partnership with our Hamilton PTA. Please reach out to our Hamilton PTA and become a member if you haven’t already. You may find additional information about our PTA on our school website. You may also inquire via email at HamiltonEMSPTA@gmail.com.
First Day of School Logistics
All teachers will be outside to greet students on the first day of school. Teachers and staff members will help direct you and your child to the correct entrance. Parents will drop off their students outside of the building. Elementary students will enter through one of three entrances in the front of the building. Middle school students will enter from the back of the building.
When facing the front of the building, all pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and Mrs. Riga’s class will wait at the door to the right of the flagpole. There are green squares on the ground to direct students to the correct door.
Grades 1-3 will wait at the door to the left of the flagpole where there are blue triangles leading to the door. Grades 4-5 will enter at the main entrance in front of the flagpole where gold and burgundy circles are on the ground.
All middle school students will line up according to their homeroom number which is on the ground outside. For example, students in the 603 homeroom will line up behind the “603,” which is spray-painted on the ground. It is imperative that parents set up a Parent Portal account not only for the homeroom assignment, but also to check grades and report cards throughout the year. If you have called for help and still do not know the homeroom your child is in on the first day, we will have teachers and staff available to help you and your child locate the correct homeroom.
* Please note that due to safety concerns, parents will not be permitted to walk children to their classrooms. We are holding pre-kindergarten and kindergarten orientations and a “Sneak a Peek at Your Seat” for students new to Hamilton in order for parents to see the building and classrooms.
2021-22 HEMS FAQs-
COVID Health & Safety- 08/21 *All FAQs are based on Baltimore City Schools SOP
1. Will masks be required?
Yes. Masks must be worn at all times by all staff, students, and visitors to the building inside the building. Only designated mask breaks, lunch, and outdoor time will not require masks.
2. What is a designated mask break?
Students can request a mask break in class and is only permitted one student at a time. All other students keep on their masks during breaks, and students will need teacher permission.
3. Will asymptomatic COVID testing be completed this year?
Yes. All students and staff who are not fully vaccinated (with proof) will complete asymptomatic COVID testing weekly. These are conducted by our Health and Safety Coordinator and will take place between Monday - Wednesday. - HEMS students will complete the Nasal Swab testing and grouped by homeroom. - City Schools has specific information about each test on their website. - All students who are not fully vaccinated will need to have a signed consent form and complete weekly COVID testing. Students who are fully vaccinated will need to provide proof by copying the vaccination record and submitting it to the main office. - All students will need to provide the school with a completed consent form by September 10th. These will be sent home and available soon.
4. When will asymptomatic testing begin?
After the window of consent forms, we will begin COVID testing. We anticipate COVID testing to begin the week of September 13th. We will send updates and specifics of what to expect with testing in the week leading up to the start.
5. How will students be grouped?
Students will be grouped by homeroom and spend the majority of their day with their homeroom classmates. Students will switch by homeroom classrooms, sit together at lunch by homeroom, and attend specials by homeroom.
6. Will there be health screening or temperature checks during morning entrance?
No this will not be completed at the school level this year. Families will be required to monitor student health and temperatures at home. Any student who has two or more symptoms, or a fever of 100.4 or more should remain home. Families should also contact the teacher and administrator about the reason for absence. All cases of positive COVID results at home need to be reported directly to the school.
7. How will classrooms be arranged? Will there be social distancing?
Classrooms do not have a set floor plan or spacing requirement set in the Standard Operating procedures. Teachers will organize classrooms to fit student desks in the room and maintain social distancing to the best extent possible. Students will have masks on in classrooms throughout the day. All rooms have air purifiers.
8. What safety protocols are in place with lunch? Will lunch be grouped by homerooms?
We will use several of the mitigation measures outlined by City Schools to support health and safety in the cafeteria during lunch. We will utilize ventilation, reduce the amount of students at each cafeteria table and mask wearing. - Ventilation includes the addition of 3 air scrubbers. - Social distancing- Students will sit in assigned seats (all grades) by homeroom or class assignment while in the cafeteria. All space will be utilized so each homeroom/class is separated by 6 feet between tables - Mask wearing- Students will learn and practice eating with masks lowered but pulling masks up when speaking. We will also be staggering the line to get lunch so that students waiting will have masks up, and students eating will not be less than six feet with masks down.
9. What about recess?
Will students wear masks or be separated by homeroom? Students will have 15 minutes of recess daily. Students will have an opportunity to take off their mask during outdoor recess. Recess will be outside weather permitting. During inclement weather, students will have indoor recess and will not be allowed to remove their masks.
10.Will students have access to the water cooler?
Students need to bring their own water bottle full each day for use. Teachers and support staff will support with refilling water bottles for students.
11.Will parents be able to come into the building?
Partnering with parents is at the heart of our work. We want families to feel welcomed and a part of our Hamilton community. Teachers/Administrators will be able to hold parent meetings virtually and in-person by appointment only. Parents/Visitors will be able to come to the front lobby to drop off paperwork or handle other business matters. Parents/Visitors will not be permitted in the classrooms during the school day, to limit the number of people interacting with the students due to Covid-19. If you would like to volunteer at the school, please reach out to Ms. Myers. Volunteers must be vaccinated or provide a weekly negative Covid-19 test result.
I thank you for taking the time to read this entire letter (smile). Please know that we hear you and we are working to ensure you receive the most updated information. We will continue to provide ongoing updates throughout the school year.
Our theme this year is, “Let your light shine”. We want our students, staff, and families to shine bright this school year. We know our Hamilton students are incredibly gifted, innovative, artistic, and the list goes on and on. We will build on these strengths to ensure that our students are able to show up authentically and shine those beautiful lights to help illuminate the world.
We are honored to serve the students and families of Hamilton Elementary Middle School, the best school in WORLD! If you have any questions, please call us at 410-396-6375 between 8: 30 a.m.- 2: 30 p.m. or email us. If you leave a phone message we will be sure to respond back to you within 48 hours.
Natasha Pouncey- Principal- email@example.com
Zaakira Muhammad - Assistant Principal- Middle School- firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorrie Randall- Assistant Principal- Elementary School- email@example.com
Mrs. Chalk- Support with enrollments- firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Myers- Support with withdrawals- email@example.com
School Website: https://www.hamiltonelementarymiddle.org/
Natasha Pouncey, Principal
“There is always light, if we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Do you need to update your phone number, email, and/or address? Please log into the campus portal link.
You can also check your child's grades online in Campus Portal.
To create a new Campus Portal Account, please click on the Campus Portal flyer link: