Wildcat PTSA News: Parents Sound Off | What’s a Behavior Tech? | Cleanup Day

We opened the floor Wednesday at the first PTSA meeting of the year, and parents raised several topics for further discussion in the weeks to come.

  • Can students have more recess time?
  • How can the deaf and hard of hearing program be more inclusive with the rest of the school?
  • Can the school discuss limiting screen time during the day?
  • What would it take to get full-time art and music teachers?
  • How to start new clubs at Payne (chess? tennis? sewing?)
  • Can we add cultural events at school (MLK Day, International Day, Dia de los Muertos)?
  • How to secure free and on-site Tuberculosis and fingerprinting for parent volunteers?

If you want to volunteer to lead or contribute to groups on these specific issues, please complete this form. And mark your calendars for the next PTSA meeting: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16.

MEET THE STAFF

You’ve probably seen Robert Davis around Payne: At 6-foot-4, he towers over most everyone else. He also takes on a variety of responsibilities across the school, where he’s worked since 1995. His primary role is working as one of two behavior technicians assigned to Payne’s Behavior and Education Support Program. The program buses in children from across D.C. who are identified as having emotional disabilities or challenging behaviors. The classrooms, which can have a max of 10 students, include a teacher, a paraprofessional and a behavior tech.

 

Q. Describe what you do as a behavior tech at Payne.

A. I’ve been trained to implement certain techniques and prompts to get kids who are in my classroom to get back on track and focus and make them feel safe. Right up there with them being safe, is trust. They trust me. Since the environment feels safe for them, then they want to learn, and it’s a win-win for everybody. The goal is to get them back into general ed.

Q. Is patience very important for your job?

A. Oh, extremely important. Especially being an educator. I feel like if you’re doing this for any other reason besides a love of children, then this is definitely the wrong field for you.

Q. Do you do other things around the school?

A. I do everything. I’m Slash. I’m the IT guy. [laughs] Whenever we have a program, I’m the guy who has to go in the Auditorium. I’m the guy who knows how that system works. Every teacher in here has my phone number, so if the Smartboard’s not working, I can troubleshoot. I run my own before care program in the morning.

Q. What is the before care program like?

A. I get here at 6:45, I set up. We have plenty of computers for the older kids. I have different stations. You can color and draw. I have manipulative toys at another station. Puzzles at another station. I also do homework assistance.

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GRANT-WRITING BONANZA

The PTSA Fundraising Committee submitted six applications totaling more than $10,500 to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation through fall seasonal grant applications, which request:

  • Classroom library books for PK4 through 5th grade (with a goal of finding other resources for PK3).
  • Bus money for field trips for Kindergarten through 5th grade and the deaf and hard of hearing classes.
  • Materials for art teacher Ms. Harvey.
  • Science materials for experiments with Ms. Henson.
  • Audio books, Braille books, printer ink and American Sign Language books for the deaf and hard of hearing classes.

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SPECIAL THANKS to all who contributed to the PTSA meeting bake sale. We raised more than $250.

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PRIMARY.COM SPIRIT WEEK SALE. Shop at primary.com now through Oct. 9 to save 20 percent and earn 10 percent back for Payne. Use our unique URL: www.primary.com/school/payne with promo code PAYNEWEEK.

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MORE FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Pretzels for Payne. Stop by The Pretzel Bakery, 3-6 p.m. Oct. 2. Mention Payne, and 20 percent of your purchase will benefit the PTSA.
  • Fall Festival. We’ve raised $6,250 of our sponsorship $8,000 goal, but volunteers and sponsors still are needed. Volunteer for an hour and stay for the fun. Know a business that would love their logo displayed all year on Payne’s playground? Contact Alison Mitchell.
  • Hilloween Volunteers Needed. Payne is looking for volunteers to represent the school at Hilloween, Capitol Hill’s Halloween block party. If you’re interested in sitting at a table and passing out candy, hot drinks and fun items, let Lexi Smith know.
  • Box Tops. This is not your mama’s Box Tops program. You now can download the Box Tops app to scan your receipt to record the Box Tops instantly. Payne still will welcome the actual tops, too.

 

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 29: Join Payne parents at 9:30 a.m. for an outside cleanup to tend the garden, plant bulbs and tidy up the school grounds. Kids are welcome.

Sept. 30: Watkins Elementary at 420 12th St. S.E. will host parents across D.C. for a meeting on Building Community In Diverse Schools, 2-4:30 p.m.

Oct. 2: Pretzel Bakery fundraiser, 3-6 p.m.

Oct. 5: Coffee with Principal Byrd, 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Oct. 8: No school.

Oct. 10: Walk to School Day, 7:30-8:15 a.m. at Lincoln Park.

Oct. 13: Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Oct. 16: PTSA meeting, 6 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Oct. 25-26: No school.

Oct. 27: Forty literary-themed dinner parties will be hosted across Capitol Hill for the annual Literary Feast to support the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s Grants to Neighborhood Schools.

LSAT Meeting Minutes-September 2018

Agenda:

  • Kickoff-Steve
  • Elect a chair
  • Community Member- Appoint
  • Role of the LSAT and specific goals to achieve for this school year

Introductions/Attendance:

  • Stephanie Byrd
  • Steve Bowen
  • Mark Jordan
  • Jason Ward
  • Aisha Hemphill-Merritt
  • Fareeda Gayle, Teacher for deaf and hard of hearing
  • Juanita Stokes
  • Ms. Thompson- Building representative
  • Dierdre Duffy

Not in attendance:

  • Second Teacher Representative
  • Community Member (TBD)

Meeting/Discussion:

  • Nomination and acceptance of Steve Bowen as Chair of LSAT
  • Key driving parameter of meeting is to stick to agenda to be respectful of everyone’s time.

Discussion on Role of LSAT and specific goals to achieve for this school year:

  • Think of it as the Budget but LSAT’s role is much more than that.
  • Sounding Board
  • Good to be a conduit for parent community.
  • Can bring constructive ideas
  • Come up with specific set of goals where you can bring some ideas to the LSAT and how PTA differs.
  • Collaborative nature of LSAT for allocation of school resources, curriculum options, local school comprehensive plan.
  • SAT about academics, advisory board for academic achievement. (Principal Byrd).  What is the place for parents to process experiences, can discuss that.
  • Defined/Discrete role- another way to get input from parents/teachers/community for how we are shaping the school (Byrd). Not only academic component, curriculum options, local school comprehensive plan. Think Tank to consider everyone’s perspective. Students on the LSAT? Student Council share their thoughts.
  • Goals for school feed budgetary considerations. Budget comes January/February.
  • Starting metrics/dashboard accessible for LSAT or community? So we know what decisions need to be made to get us to goals.
  • Look at data school provides to community and see if there are ways to make information more available. What kind of data are we publishing.
  • Make sure data relates to the goals set forth.
  • Easier way to answer question to answer question of where did we start, now, going, and how do we get there.
  • Definition of Data- what is it that we are referencing. Does the PTA have information on what parents want to know? Reading and Math figures across different years.
  • What programs have we tried that have failed, also wondering those questions on programs, pedagogy, teaching, expectations for students and parents for what they are getting out of the school.
  • What is the data- surveys, gathering how, is it too much? Data on test scores, goals of projects, numbers and substance. Post it somewhere it can be tracked for the community.
  • Growth, teachers explaining what is happening specifically in their classroom.
  • Assessment- i ready data, what my kid is doing in class.
  • List of programs that we can assess- retention was it effective and affective for kids especially programs that cost money
  • How do we interact with school- what is the school culture
  • Re-enrollment-76% 106% enrolled- over-enrolled. Retention of programs, kids, why aren’t they staying to the 5th grade year. What can we implement to keep kids. Exit interviews.
  • Where are the struggles, and how do we help resolve, help with direction of the school.
  • Goal of LSAT is to measure performance
  • What is the 5 year plan, how far into it are you and how do you self assess.
  • Timeline- trying to do this to inform the community better and then the community can inform Principals decisions.
  • Comprehensive School Plan timeline has shifted, done for this year. Timeline starts in April, needs assessment done, data analyzed and these are the goals for the next year.
  • Will send out this plan for everyone to read (see picture)
  • What about surveys, Mark will follow up on who is best suited to support (Andria, others?)

Decisions:

  • Meetings held the first Tuesdays of the month at 5:30 to be staggered with the PTA meetings
  • Charlie will do meeting minutes and Ms. Gayle will be backup stenographer
  • Key roles of LSAT will drive activities and it is important to create and get agreement ASAP.

Actions:

  • Write draft mission statement/goals for LSAT- to be kept short (2 to 3 main ones)
  • Conduct offline discussion on community member participant
  • Mark to conduct preliminary discussion on survey creators

Wildcat PTSA News: Payne’s Own Solar Farm | Shop, Save, Support | Parents’ Happy Hour

Don’t miss our first PTSA meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 25 in the Auditorium. We’ll begin with an informal meet-and-greet with the board at 5:30 p.m., and the meeting will run 6-7 p.m. We’ll discuss ways you can get involved in the school and upcoming school events, including Fall Fest. Also, come tell us what we can do to support you and the Payne community. BONUS: Pizza and child care will be provided. Not a PTSA member yet? It’s not too late.

WE HAVE A SOLAR FARM

If you haven’t been on Payne’s roof lately, you might be surprised to learn 344 solar panels now are sitting up there, soaking up the sun and creating energy. You can get a peek at them via the window on the third floor.

Thomas Gustafson with PEER Consultants Inc., an environmental engineering consulting firm working with the D.C. Department of General Services, tackled some PTSA questions about the project. Gustafson said the system is monitored online, and it’s been a useful teaching tool about green energy for other projects.

Q. How much of Payne’s electricity will the solar panels generate?

A. The system on Payne Elementary School is anticipated to produce an annual output of 147.5 MWh of electricity [Note: That’s the equivalent of taking 23.5 vehicles off of the road for one year.] The configuration for this system allows for the production of electricity to be “back-fed” into the existing electrical grid. The resulting power is then realized as a credit, or savings, by the D.C. Department of General Services which is the “owner” of the facility.

Q. Why was Payne selected?

A. Payne is one of almost 50 sites across D.C. that has been awarded this system as a result of the Department of General Services’ initiative to expand green energy sources throughout the city. The flat roof configuration of Payne makes this a good candidate for this rooftop solar array application.

Q. When are the panels becoming operational?

A. The system is currently running and the panels are now operational.

SHOP AND SUPPORT PAYNE

Pop quiz: What do Disney on Ice, Harris Teeter and Jeff Bezos all have in common?

Answer: If you give them your money, you also can support Payne.

Amazon Smile: Shop through Amazon Smile, and Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible purchases to the Payne PTSA. Make sure to use this URL: smile.amazon.com and select Payne Elementary Schools Parents Teachers Students Association as your charity of choice.

Primary.com: The children’s clothing site offers tops and bottoms that work great for Payne uniforms. Use the Payne school link, and 10 percent of the sale will go to the school. New customers get 20 percent off with code “PAYNE.”
Harris Teeter: Link your VIC card to code 8144.

Box Tops: Together with Ms. Fox (Kindergarten) and Ms. Dance (PK4), the PTSA will collect Box Tops. Bring in Box Tops, found on General Mills products, and the school will get 10 cents each. Collection boxes will be located in the main office near Ms. Cox’s desk and in front of Ms. Fox’s Kindergarten classroom. Got a question? Talk to Ms. Fox or Ms. Dance.

CertifiKID: This website offers deals on family-friendly events such as Disney on Ice and haunted houses and will donate $5 to the PTSA with every purchase of $20 or more with the code “PAYNE.”
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FUNDRAISER SUCCESS

Thanks to everyone who participated in the East City Bookshop fundraiser and dined at Mr. Henry’s on Saturday. You helped to raise more than $1,100 for Payne, and 60 books were donated to classroom libraries. Big thanks to Principal Byrd for stopping by for storytime.

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STAFF DIRECTORY NOW ONLINE: Need to contact a teacher or staff member at Payne? You now can get their email address via the school directory.

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GET INVOLVED

Where to Start: Want to volunteer? Let us know your interests and your unique set of skills in this online form.

Fall Fest: Help plan the Oct. 13 Payne Fall Festival and manage booths and activities such as pumpkin decorating, face painting, running a bounce house and selling chili and homemade treats. Contact PTSA Fundraising Chair Kerry DeVooght.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 20: Payne Dads Happy Hour, 6:30 p.m., Biergarten Haus, 1355 H St. N.E.

Sept. 20: Ward 6 school board candidate forum, 7-9 p.m. at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E. Submit questions to debate@hillrag.com, and put “School Board” in the subject line.

Sept. 25: The first PTSA meeting of the year begins with an informal meet-and-greet with the board at 5:30 p.m., followed by a meeting from 6-7 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Sept. 26: Payne Moms Happy Hour, 6 p.m., Betsy, 514 8th St. S.E. (back alley).

Sept. 28: Story of Our Schools is hosting an auction fundraiser, 6:30 p.m. at The Loft, 600 F St. N.W.

Sept. 30: Watkins Elementary at 420 12th St. S.E. will host parents across D.C. for a meeting on Building Community In Diverse Schools, 2-4:30 p.m. Discuss what’s working and what isn’t in building respectful and equitable school communities.

Oct. 10: Walk to School Day, 7:30-8:15 a.m. at Lincoln Park.

Oct. 27: Forty literary-themed dinner parties will be hosted across Capitol Hill for the annual Literary Feast to support the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s Grants to Neighborhood Schools. More than $140,000 in grants were awarded in 2017 to fund special projects and programs for schools, including Payne.

Wildcat PTSA News: Cafeteria Wins Big | Common Core Rap | Volunteers Needed

There’s a buzz in the cafeteria this week as Payne’s food crew has earned top honors. Meanwhile, fourth grade math is humming (rapping, actually) as the kids learn Common Core in a creative way. And new volunteer opportunities await. Here’s what’s happening this week at Payne.

TOP HONORS FOR CAFETERIA

A film crew will arrive at Payne on Thursday to video record the cafeteria staff in action. SodexoMAGIC, Payne’s food service provider, named Payne the 2017-2018 Showcase Elementary School, and cafeteria lead Kevin Dyer was named employee of the year, recognized for quality service, cleanliness and an all-around successful kitchen. “We love doing what we’re doing,” Dyer said.

(From Left: Food service worker Annette Nichols, cafeteria lead Kevin Dyer, food service worker Emily Green and food service worker Rachel Anderson. Not pictured: Chef T)

NEW ON THE MENU

Students are enjoying the trifecta of melons, as the cafeteria now is serving cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. Also debuting in this year’s meal rotation: a yogurt parfait for breakfast (vanilla yogurt, granola and berries). Iceberg lettuce, however, is out this school year, replaced with more nutrient-rich darker greens such as kale and mesclun.


MEET THE TEACHER

Christina Mitchell, Payne’s fourth grade math teacher, knows math can be intimidating. To counter any hesitation, she brings a positive attitude, real-world scenarios and rap lyrics. The Montgomery County native is in her ninth year at Payne. And while the math curriculum is Common Core, she has some decidedly uncommon techniques.

Q. What do you tell a student who thinks they don’t like math?

A. Just wait ’til you come to my class. (Laughs.) I like to present things in a very visual and tactile way, and also I like to incorporate fun activities. For example, we did a rap for learning how to “bundle.” That’s the new term for regrouping. We did a rap, it was several verses. Each day for morning meeting we would look at each verse and look at what it means.

 

Q. Where did these rap lyrics come from?

A. I made them up! I just try to do fun things like that to grab their attention and get them interested. Also, the real-world connection. When we do lot of word problems, I try to tailor the word problems, so it’s dealing with things they’re familiar with. I just try to encourage them to do their best, and I’ll meet you half way. If you’re paying attention, if you’re focused, and you’re being persistent and trying, I will always come and help you.

 

Q. How important is homework?

A. We have homework every day, and it is important because it reinforces what you are learning in the classroom.

 

Q. What can parents in the younger grades do to prepare their children for 4th grade math?

A. It’s important to just make math a part of your every day routine. So when you’re going to the grocery store with your little ones, have them count the bananas you put in the basket. Have them do the foundational skills but in a real-world type situation. Not sitting down drilling practice. Just more authentic experiences.


GET INVOLVED

Fall Festival: The PTSA is looking for parents to help plan the Oct. 13 Payne Fall Festival and manage booths and activities. We’re also looking for sponsors. The PTSA already raised $1,750, but our goal is $8,000. Help us by asking, businesses, friends, or your employers. If you’re interested in helping, contact PTSA Fundraising Chair Kerry DeVooght.

Library Help: Tim Gordon, the Wildcat librarian, is looking for a volunteer once a week from 1:30-2:30 (any day except Wednesday) to help around the library. Contact Lexi Smith.

Early Childhood: Family Services Coordinator Lisa Mitchell is seeking volunteers for the Early Childhood Education Parent Committee and Policy Council. Contact Lisa Mitchell.


DID YOU KNOW?

You can add the Payne PTSA calendar to the calendar on your phone or email. Click here and scroll down for directions.


IMPORTANT DATES

Friday, Sept. 14: Coffee with Principal Byrd at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Saturday, Sept. 15: East City Bookstore Payne fundraiser, 3-6 p.m. Afterward, Mr. Henry’s restaurant will donate a portion of dinner sales to Payne if you mention the school.

Sept. 25: The first PTSA meeting of the year begins with an informal meet-and-greet with the board at 5:30 p.m., followed by a meeting from 6-7 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Sept. 28: Story of Our Schools is hosting an auction fundraiser, 6:30 p.m. at The Loft.

Oct. 13: Payne Fall Festival at the school, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Pumpkin decorating, face-painting, a bounce house, chili and homemade treats for sale, and more.

Oct. 27: Forty literary-themed dinner parties will be hosted across Capitol Hill for the annual Literary Feast to support the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s Grants to Neighborhood Schools. More than $140,000 in grants were awarded in 2017 to fund special projects and programs for schools, including Payne. Register at www.aliteraryfeast.org. Ticket sales close Sept. 30 or whenever tickets sell out.

Wildcat PTSA News: New PE Teacher | Calendar Updates | Get Involved

Welcome to the new school year from the PTSA. Let’s catch you up on what we’re tracking at Payne this week. We have a new teacher to introduce you to, dates to put into your calendar, and instructions for joining the PTSA and getting involved at school.

*NEW DATE* FIRST PTSA MEETING

Please update your calendars. The first PTSA meeting of the year will be Tuesday, Sept. 25. It will begin with an informal meet and greet with the board at 5:30 p.m., followed by a meeting from 6-7 p.m. The meeting will be in the Payne Auditorium.  Learn about how you can get involved in the PTSA through one of the committees, and tell us what you want from the PTSA this year. Payne staff will provide childcare in the Library and feed them pizza for dinner. PLEASE NOTE: There is no longer a meeting Sept. 18, which was announced previously; we rescheduled because that is the start of Yom Kippur.


HOW TO JOIN

Not a member yet? Click here and scroll down to fill out the membership Google form and send your $15 dues via PayPal. Or you can sign up in person at our first meeting Tuesday, Sept. 25.


MEET THE TEACHER

Payne’s new physical education teacher, Dr. Brian Crumb Sr., was born and raised in Southeast D.C. He’s a former professional boxer and a grandmaster in Taekwondo with an eighth-degree black belt. He even has plans to introduce some Taekwondo lessons in Phys Ed this year. He sat down with the PTSA to talk about his outlook for the school year.

Q. What is your goal for the school year?

A. I really want to see the students focusing on physical fitness and health, as well as academics. The physical education and health piece is lifelong. You have to take care of your body now, because when you get to my age … I know people who can’t do the things they used to do because they didn’t take care of their body.

 

Q. Can you list the sports that will be covered throughout the year?

A. We’re starting off with kickball, which leads up to soccer, baseball, softball, a little bit of bowling. … Eventually we’ll go to flag football, tennis, a little bit of handball. The second grade children will be learning how to ride bikes, and not just riding bikes but hand signals and the laws of the road.

 

Q. What advice would you give to parents to encourage physical fitness at home?

A. Let the children go outside in the yard. Sit down with them. Do sit-ups with your children. Do pushups with them. Expose your children to a lot.

 

Q. You are considering launching a Taekwondo program at Payne?

A. If not in October, more than likely in January. I have to see if I’m going to do it after school or put it as part of the physical education class. … [It would be] a controlled setting where the students would be focused on stretching, the discipline and the movements, without touching.


ENRICHMENT SIGNUP DEADLINE

Is your child in PK3 through 2nd Grade? Is he or she enrolled in afterschool through DCPS or Springboard? If so, please submit the $300 suggested donation to cover enrichment programming and the waiver form by Sept. 15. The PK3-2nd grade enrichment program starts Monday, Sept. 18 and will offer programming on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For questions please contact Payne parents Kate Abend or Lexi Smith.


PTSA SUPPORTS GRANDPARENTS DAY

This Friday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. in the Auditorium, the school is hosting a breakfast for all of the grandparents out there supporting Payne students. The PTSA supported the event with $250 to supply bagels, fruit, coffee and other breakfast foods.


OTHER IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 10: PTSA Fundraising Committee hosts a grant-writing workshop at 8 p.m. at Lexi and Josh Smith’s House. Please RSVP to Lexi Smith.

Sept. 14: Coffee with Principal Byrd at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Sept. 15: East City Bookstore Payne fundraiser, 3-6 p.m, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E. Shop and support Payne and a local small business at the same time. You can purchase books for Payne teachers that they’ve identified as needing for their classrooms. Twenty percent of book fair proceeds are donated to Payne. Afterwards, walk up the street with friends and family for dinner at Mr. Henry’s, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E. Mention you’re there to support Payne, and a portion of the sale will be donated to the school.

Sept. 28: New this year, Payne is partnering with Story of Our Schools, an organization that will help build a history exhibit of Payne. Story of Our Schools is hosting an auction fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. at The Loft, 600 F St. N.W. Click here for more details. Early bird ticket prices expire midnight Friday.

Grandparents Day Celebration

Payne plans to honor our wonderful grandparents at a great event this Friday, September 7, 2018 from 9 am-10 am in the school auditorium.  We will be sending home a flyer with RSVP information that is due by Thursday.  We look forward to seeing you at this wonderful event!