Alice Deal Middle School

Think globally - Listen compassionately - Act inclusively  


The Weekly Bulletin 

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Our school mission:
Alice Deal Middle School inspires excellence, curiosity, and compassion through intellectual and social engagement.
deal front        Ecology Field Trip

Principal's message to Deal students and families: 

On Thursday, around 150 members of the community participated in Talking Across the Lines at Alice Deal Middle School. This was, for us, a new endeavor and the results were exciting and challenging. The evening's host was Michel Martin of NPR fame (and a Deal parent!); there were noted panelists (Diana Cardona (CNN), Roland Martin, and Andy Shallal (Busboys and Poets)) and the evening was kicked off by our own Chancellor, Kaya Henderson! I would be remiss if I didn't note that Deal's Dance Team and singer Isabella Amaruso got the crowd into the emotional spirit of the evening.

The heart of the evening was giving ourselves the chance to cut into the issue of race, culture, and education - in America, in DC, and at Deal. The night was raw - putting the questions of ethnicity, fairness, injustice and more right on the stage for all to see. There was a lot of truth in what was said, and yet there was a lot left unsaid. Deal - as a school and a school community - has yet to address many deep-seated issues that arise out of the divide that marks the city. I am unable to capture the conversation because it was too intense to take notes. The reality of the night for me, as the principal of a wonderful middle school in an amazing city, is that for all the good that is here there is still a lot of ugly. As principal, I know that our school has a long way to go. This journey will require many of us - and I include myself clearly in this group - to look at our privilege, what it means to be black, Asian, Hispanic, indigenous at a majority white Alice Deal Middle School.

After the panel, there was a spirited parent/teacher/student activity in the cafeteria that had participants looking at the lines between racism, stereotyping, assumptions, and lived experience - and asked us to cross some of those lines. For those of us who were there (and there were a lot!) it was a great opportunity to push our understandings and to look at what each of these meant to us. As Goldie Patrick, our energetic facilitator said, "the answer is in the journey" of the conversations. 

Out of the evening, all were asked to share next steps that they would like to see at Deal - for students, for staff, and for parents. Universally, the demand was for "more" - more evenings like this, more commitment on the part of the leadership, more reflection on what it means to be a student of color at Deal, more understanding and shared knowledge on the "lived experience" of so many. So often the questions are not asked and the answers, when given, are not heard - but for one night there was a chance to ask and listen.

As the principal of our school, I thank the community for showing the willingness to "talk across the lines" - by showing up, by engaging, and by demanding more. I also realize that the values of the leaders in the building set the tone and direction for so much. I appreciate the start of this discussion, as a way to hold me accountable for what needs to happen at our school. My goal has been to help make a good Deal a great Deal. This conversation, about the lines that divide us, is central to our moving towards that goal.

Special thanks for the evening to the team that put this together: Michel Martin, Goldie Patrick, teachers Derrick Spencer and Danna Hailfinger, and counselor Robin Howard. The group was brought together by the great organizer, Diedre Neal, Assistant Principal for the 6th grade. For this, we are grateful.

Take care, 

James Albright

NB.  There will be another Spring Break edition of the Deal Weekly Bulletin on Sunday, April 3. 
PARCC 2016

Each spring, DCPS students participate in the PARCC assessment to help the district learn more about both student and school progress towards college and career readiness. PARCC will be administered at Deal starting mid-April. 8th grade students will test in the morning and 6th graders in the afternoon during the first two weeks of our school-specific testing window. 7th graders will test in the morning during the last two weeks along with the 8th grade single-session DC Science test that will be administered on 5/13. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Giron ([email protected]).

World Language Trips - General Update
Travel Time!
We are just one short week away from the adventure of a lifetime! With approximately 200 total students traveling to Costa Rica, France, and China, our students are getting ready to take their next big step as global citizens. Start packing those bags, read up on previous years' trips, and we look forward to seeing you at the airport (3 hours before departure, of course)!
Costa Rica Advisory
The Deal team, EF Tours, and DCPS are closely monitoring the current Zika-related health advisory in Costa Rica. We will communicate all news and announcements as we receive them, but we do plan to travel. Please see your email from Ms. Cuffee for the CDC's statement and further information about the trip.
To learn more about these trips, please check out these links:

Costa Rica
Visit  and enter tour number 1697148BA or email
[email protected]
Visit and enter tour number 1687377BT

Visit and enter tour number 1692201BH or email
[email protected]

These trips are a memorable experience and we encourage all families to consider participating. To learn more about past trips, visit and check out our travel blogs!
Upcoming Dates  

March 26
China Trip departs

March 28
France Trip departs
Costa Rica Trip departs

March 28 - April 1
Spring Break 

April 1
Registration for 2016-17 begins!

April 4
6th Grade Science Trip to Calleva

April 5
Costa Rica Trip returns 
6th Grade Science Trip to Calleva
April 6
China Trip returns 
France Trip returns 
6th Grade Science Trip to Calleva

April 7
WTU Meeting, 3:30 pm
6th Grade Science Trip to Calleva

April 8
End of Term 
Students dismissed at 12:15 pm

April 9
Saturday Detention, 9 am - noon

April 11
6th Grade Birthday Party, 3:00 pm
6th Grade Building Museum Trip

April 12
6th Grade Building Museum Trip

April 13
6th Grade Building Museum Trip
UK Trip Meeting, 6:30 pm

April 14
Team Leaders, 8:10 am (all)
Community Project Meeting, 8:10 am
6th Grade, Building Museum Trip
Spring Dance

April 15
Emancipation Day Observed
No school for staff and students 

April 20
DCPS Music Festival 

April 21
Faculty Meeting, 3:30 pm

April 22
SCAC Meeting, 7:30 pm

April 23
Musical Rehearsal, 9 am - 4 pm

April 24
Musical Rehearsal, 9 am - 4 pm

April 28
Team Leaders, 8:10 am (Gr Level) 
DCPS Music Festival
April 30
Musical Rehearsal, 9 am - 4 pm
DCPS Music Festival 

Travel Time!

Over 200 students are on their way to Costa Rica, France, and China for their 8th grade world language trip! After studying Spanish, French, or Mandarin for three years, this is a welcome opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture of their study.

Feeling jealous? Check out the travel blogs from previous years' trips here and be sure to check in for daily updates from this year's adventures!

Costa Rica:
France Blog:
China Blog:

Taking such a big group around the world is no small feat. This would not be possible without remarkable students, selfless chaperones, impeccably organized leaders, supportive community, and a generous ADCA. Nearly $50,000 in scholarships was made available through the support of DCPS and our community. Thank you to everyone who made these trips possible. Here's looking to a safe, educational, and fun experience for everyone! 
Spring Period 8 Blended Learning Courses - Registration OPEN!
Courses being offered are Mixtape to Movement on Mondays with Mr. Spencer and Ms. Howard, Piano & Composition on Mondays with Mr. McKeithen, "The Witness" and the Art of Game Design on Tuesdays with Mr. Eckel, and Learning Spanish through the News on Tuesdays with Mr. Arango.  Courses start the second week of April (4/11-4/14) and end the first week in June (5/30-6/3). If you are interested in joining one of these classes, please go to to register. Not ready to enroll but would like more information? Visit the course catalog or email Ms. Giron ([email protected]) with questions. 


National History Day
Nationals Bound!

Congratulations!!!!  More than 55 Deal 8th graders participated in the DC NHD Citywide Contest on Wednesday, March 23.  Many kudos to all students who participated!
Students who placed first or second will move on to the National Competition in June at the University of Maryland. 
Research Papers:
  • Aaron Bartlett:  Mt. Pleasant Riots-3rd place
  • Ella Pearlman-Chang:  Exploring Xenophobia-2nd place
  • Ryan Cheney:  Harnessing the Power of Sports-1st place
Group Exhibits:
  • Skye Irving and Olivia Pickens:  The Great Migration-1st place
  • Tara Cousins, Rachel Wallach, Sammy Toggas, and Gabe Solomon:  Apollo 13-3rd place 
Individual Exhibits:
  • Katherine Bouker:  The Armenian Genocide-1st place, First Hand Account Special Prize
  • Emma Berdy:  Mae Jemison-2nd place
Group Websites:
  • Anna Nardello and Olivia Loomis:  Grimke Sisters-3rd place
  • Avery Dunn and Fanny Berger:  Discovering the North Pole-1st place
  • Savannah Waymer and Knoll Aiken:  Gold Rush-Multiple Perspectives Special Award
Individual Websites:
  • Chloe Fatsis:  Billie Jean King and Title IX-2nd place
Group Performances:
  • Lilian Alten and Isabelle G:  Fashion over time-1st place
Individual Performances:
  • Chloe Ifill:  Emmit Till-3rd place
  • Ale Jorge:  L'Enfant-1st place
Group Documentaries:
  • Aanisah Hasan and Sydney Forrester-Wilson:  Roy Lichtenstein-2nd place
  • Eliza Dahlkemper, Elizabeth Willsey, and Calista Gotzev:  Harlem Renaissance-1st place
Individual Documentaries:
  • Zara Hall:  Partition-2nd place
  • Nico Snotherly:  Mexican Expressionism and Art-1st place, Annotated Bibliography Speical Award
  • Xavey Bzdek-3rd place
Looking for a Great Summer Camp?  

The Alice Deal Athletic Department will offer a four-week youth sport & fitness camp in July!

What: Four weeks of rotating sports instruction, fitness & nutrition education, and FUN!
When: Four sessions from July 5th - July 29th from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday with no camp on Monday, July 4th.
Who: Any rising 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders 
This summer, Deal Fit & Sport Camp will provide 
fitness, sport, and nutritional education in a fun and nurturing environment. In addition, the Deal Fit & Sport Camp will offer opportunities for enrichment, team building, and peer mentoring. 
  • Weekly swimming and water play
  • Weekly rotating sports and games
  • Skills instruction
  • Indoor/outdoor free play
  • Stretching and exercise instruction
  • Daily fun runs
  • Nutrition and diet education

  • Weekly field trip

Camp rates per session:
1 week session: $300
2 sessions: $550
All 4 sessions: $1,000
Drop in daily rate: $50
Register now using the following link (paper registration forms are also available):
Please email [email protected] with any questions or contact Coach Downing directly at [email protected].
Space is limited, register now!