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!