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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.



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.



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.