Wildcat PTSA News: $81K for Laptops | Meet Officer Simpson | Fall Fest

Big news to report this week: Payne secured an $81,000 grant from Lowe’s. This will fund 91 laptops, 15 teacher computers, two charger carts, one poster maker and one laminator. Parents Andria Thomas and Lexi Smith were instrumental in securing the grant from the home improvement giant.

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Fall Festival by the Numbers.

  • $7,250. Dollars raised from 13 sponsors.
  • $2,000+.  Dollars raised from sales and donations of pumpkins, bake sale, chili, raffle and t-shirts.
  • 100. Pumpkins sold.
  • 15. Vats of chili consumed.
  • Too many to count. Brownies, cookies, cupcakes.
  • 2. Presidents in attendance: the Nationals’ Abraham Lincoln and Payne PTSA President Mark Jordan.
  • 35+. Volunteers making the day happen.
  • 17. Booths from community organizations and vendors.
  • 0. Raindrops between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (Thank you, weather!)
  • Tons: Fun had by all

 

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MEET THE STAFF

Security Officer Lisa Simpson is the first face you see when you step inside Payne most days of the week. Officer Simpson has been providing school security since 2006, and this is her third year at Payne. Officer Simpson is a contractor, employed by Security Assurance Management. She’s also worked security in the Ronald Reagan Building but prefers interacting with students.

Q. What is your favorite part of the job?

A. I love the fact that when I stand right here in the morning, I greet the kids. I see their faces, they just light up. They’re eager to get in the building. I love that.

Q. Can you talk about the importance of your role?

A. I am the first person anyone sees, so it’s very important my eyes are open along with my ears and that I monitor everything and anything that comes through this door.

Q. What advice would you give parents to keep the school safe?

A. When you come through the building, just abide by the rules. I know that there are changes,  but sometimes change is good.

Q. You mentioned new rules, is that the requirement all parents enter through the front door?

A. Coming through the front, signing in, showing ID. Just being considerate of the fact you have to go to the office and check in. It’s about safety for the kids.

Q. What kind of training do you get for the job? Are you trained to stop someone if you have to use physical force?

A.  I am not able to arrest or put my hands on anyone physically, but if a situation came into place, I will do what I need to do to make sure that everyone is safe. We get training every year — CPR for child, adult and infant.

Q. What do you do for fun?

A. Movies. I love the movies. Bowling. I want to learn how to shoot pool. For the most part, I’m just really laid back. Just really chill.

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BOOK FAIR.

The Scholastic Book Fair is Nov. 6-9, and parents are needed to help sell books in the late afternoon and early evening. Sign up here. A portion of the proceeds will go toward book purchases for the school. Book fairs typically raise more than $1,000 for new books.

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NEW MAKER SPACE.

Librarian Tim Gordon created a “self-serve maker space” outside of the library. The station will feature a rotation of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities with an emphasis on the arts. The station requires independence, so Gordon expects the space to be used by 3rd-5th graders. “It will be available throughout the year with new projects appearing monthly,” Gordon said.

Pictured above are directions for creating an origami crab at the maker space.

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BOX TOP TIP.

Does your child have a grandparent in their life? Grandparents love to collect Box Tops. Ask them to save their Box Tops for Payne. Collection boxes are in the main office and in front of Ms. Fox’s Kindergarten classroom.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Friday: Payne Moms Happy Hour, 6 p.m., Ophelia’s Fish House.

Oct. 24: For College Awareness Month, students can skip wearing their Payne uniform for the day if they wear college gear instead.

Oct. 25-26: No school.

Oct. 31: Payne After School presents Spook-tacular, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the auditorium and cafeteria with games, crafts and a haunted house. Students must be accompanied by their after school teacher, and parents are encouraged to attend. Call Ms. Cox with questions, 202-698-3262.

Nov. 6: Election Day bake sale at Payne.

Nov. 6-9: Scholastic Book Fair.

Nov. 8: Literacy Night at Payne.

Nov. 28: Fingerprinting for Payne parent volunteers comes on-site to Payne. Details to come.

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NEWS TIPS.

Do you have news the Payne community should know? Send newsletter tips to PTSA Communications Chair Tony Lombardo, tonylombardo1@yahoo.com.

Early School Arrivals

Autumn is here.

The sun does not rise as early and the temperature is getting lower, but our operating hours remain the same. Breakfast begins at 8:10am, class begins at 8:45.  Students who arrive early will not be allowed into the building for any reason prior to 8:10am.  The only exceptions are 5th grade students whose parents have agreed that they can participate in Mr. Bergfalk’s breakfast program.

 

Here’s why:

Faculty and staff report to duty at 8:00am.  Between 8:10 and 8:40 teachers are preparing for instruction or collaborating with their colleagues, coaches or principal. Aides are preparing classrooms for breakfast. No one is available to supervise students prior to 8:10.

 

Students are encouraged to play on the playground prior to 8:10. However, it is important that they be supervised for their own safety. It is the responsibility of the parent to watch their own child when school is not open.

 

If assistance is needed with Before Care please contact Mr.  Davis (Robert.Davis5@dc.gov)

Wildcat PTSA News: Fall Festival is Saturday | Meet the Teacher | $12K for Classrooms

The school’s Fall Festival is Saturday. This is one of the biggest fundraisers and best events of the school year – and it’s looking like we’ll finally get some nice, crisp fall weather. Swing by the Payne playground 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Chow down on Frito pies and other treats, buy a pumpkin and decorate it, climb on a fire truck, and meet mascots from the Nationals and D.C. Water. Kids can burn energy in the bounce house and get their faces painted. Bring your friends and neighbors.

Thanks to numerous sponsors, PTSA members already have raised $7,250 for the festival and hope to exceed the $8,000 fundraising goal on Saturday. We’re still looking for volunteer booth workers, bakers and chili makers.

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BOARD ACTIONS

The PTSA board met Tuesday and approved allocating more than $12,000 to fund resources for classrooms, including supplemental books for Kindergarten through fifth grade; science and art supplies; and resources for the deaf and hard of hearing classrooms. The board also approved $5,000 to support the school’s Robotics Team.

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MEET THE TEACHER

When it comes to teaching, second grade is the sweet spot for Donita Hubbard, a native of Seat Pleasant, Md. This is her seventh year of teaching (her second at Payne), and despite a one-year detour to kindergarten at Nalle Elementary, second grade is where she wants to be.

Q. Why do you teach second grade?

A. Something about second graders. They’re old enough to self-regulate, but they are still young enough that what I think is super fun and cool, they consider it cool. Being able to talk about plants and extreme weather, and seeing their excitement. I have worked Kindergarten before, and that’s about teaching self-regulation and developing a little person. Second grade is not so much about that, as it is about content, which I prefer.

Q. Are you doing anything different this year?

A. Kind of doing the same thing, in just a bigger way. So, last year we did plants and did one field trip. This year we’re trying to do multiple field trips, so they can get many opportunities and experiences outside of the classroom.

Q. Where do you want to go on field trips that you didn’t go last year?

A. Last year we went to the Anacostia Watershed. This year we’re going to the watershed again. We’ve been to Glen Echo Theater already. We’re hoping to go to the National Arboretum for plants, and we’re going to start extreme weather, so I’m hoping to get a meteorologist to come in, and the Newseum could be good for that.

Q. There seems to be a lot more emphasis on field trips this year, across the school. What’s going on? Why is that?

A. It’s important to remember [children] learn through experiences. In the same way we do as adults, too, they kind of feel their way around in the real world. I can talk about planting a seed, but if I’m actually planting seeds, it makes a difference.

Q. What would you say to first grade and Kindergarten parents to get their kids ready for second grade?

A. If we could come into second grade being independent problem solvers, I think that would propel us. We spend a good deal of the beginning of the year talking about being a good classroom citizen. Most of them know how to do it, but [parents] can have that conversation [with their kids] in the summer. “Make sure you’re being kind and saying kind words and cleaning up after yourself.” I think that would be setting them up for success, behaviorally.

Q. Do you have anything unique hobbies you bring into the classroom?

A. So, I sing. But I don’t full-out belt a song to the kids. But I jokingly play around and sing stuff, and they love it and they’ll start singing randomly with me. I’m like [SINGING] Get your papers! and they’re like I’m gonna get my papers!  It’s cute. It works.

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JOIN US ON SLACK

Payne has a Slack group, and you’re invited. The app fosters collaboration and communication among Payne parents, staff and the community.  Email Carolyn Bowen and she will add you to the group, PayneElementaryDC. Once in, you can join sub groups such as #grants and #greenspace, or connect one-on-one with PTSA board members and parents.

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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.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Saturday: Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Payne.

Oct. 16: PTSA meeting, 6 p.m. in the Auditorium. Principal Byrd will speak.

Oct. 18: Payne Dad’s Happy Hour, 6:30 p.m. at The Brig. Join the Dad’s Happy Hour email group.

Oct. 19: Payne Mom’s Happy Hour, 6 p.m., Ophelia’s Fish House.

Oct. 25-26: No school.

Nov. 8: Literacy Night at Payne.

Nov. 7-9: Scholastic Book Fair. Buy books while earning money for Payne. Interested in volunteering at the fair or helping to coordinate? Email Carolyn Bowen.

Wildcat PTSA News: Enrollment Is Up | Fall Fest | New Chef

MORE STUDENTS, MORE iPADS

Payne enrolled 8 percent more students this year than initially projected for a total of 347 kids. With more students, D.C. Public Schools’ enrollment team provided an additional 25 iPads for students to use. The iPads have arrived at the school, and Ms. Oxendine said the administration are distributing them among the classes.

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MATH HELP … FOR PARENTS

Common Core math is foreign to a lot of parents. To help, Payne has grade-specific tip sheets available for Kindergarten through 5th Grade. Pick them up from envelopes on the bulletin board between the cafeteria and the front desk. Math “homefun” – it’s not just for the kiddos.

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FALL FEST ALMOST HERE

Come have some fall fun at the 2018 Payne Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the school with pumpkin decorating, face painting, bounce houses and more. Meet mascots for the Nationals and D.C. Water and enjoy chili and baked goods. Organizers still are looking for volunteers, especially for the face-painting table. Please sign up to volunteer.

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NEW CHEF ON STAFF

Meet new Cafeteria Chef Calvin Coleman. A native of Washington, D.C, with familial roots in the Carolinas, Chef Coleman joined Payne last month. He most recently worked as a chef at the Verizon Center. His favorite things to cook include Caribbean food, mac and cheese and seafood salad. “I’m looking forward to upgrading the food and putting a new twist on it,” Coleman said. He replaces Chef T, who transferred to Jefferson Middle School.

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MORE ON AMERICORPS

Payne will have a new resource for the next three school years: a full-time member of the AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America Program (VISTA). Amy Thomas has started working at Payne for the first year of the program. AmeriCorps VISTA members work with communities to ensure poverty is addressed in a manner that builds community, generates self-sufficiency and establishes economic, health and educational security. The program was founded in 1965 by a bi-partisan Congress to help eliminate widespread poverty within the U.S.

Amy’s goals for her year at Payne include:

  • Recruiting STEM partnerships
  • Updating parent, staff and partner contact information
  • Streamlining communication, volunteer and partner systems
  • Building a sustainable community within Payne
  • Tracking and updating partnerships

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WALK TO SCHOOL … LOUDLY

Walk to School Day begins with a rally with several Capitol Hill Schools at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at Lincoln Park. Bring some noisemakers to show the community how well-represented Payne is.

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PRETZEL POWER

Thank you for participating in the Pretzels for Payne fundraising event this week. We earned $168 for the school. Do you know of a local business that would be interested in a proceeds-sharing event for Payne (like we have done with The Pretzel Bakery, East City Books, and Mr. Henry’s)? If so, contact PTSA fundraising chair Kerry DeVooght, kerrydevooght@gmail.com.
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LITTLE FREE LIBRARY IS COMING

Interest is building to establish a Little Free Library at Payne and to decorate it on Literacy Night, Nov. 8. Want to help? Email Carolyn Bowen carolyncbowen@gmail.com.
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SHOPPING SALE ENDS SOON

Shop at primary.com now through Tuesday 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 IMPORTANT DATES

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

Oct. 4: Monthly LSAT Meeting.

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. at Payne.

Oct. 16: PTSA meeting, 6 p.m. in the Auditorium. Principal Byrd will speak.

Oct. 25-26: No school.

Nov. 8: Literacy Night.

Nov. 7-9: Scholastic Book Fair. Interested in volunteering at the fair or helping to coordinate? Email Carolyn Bowen