Wildcat PTSA News: Grant writing | No U-Turns| Walk to School Day

Thanks to all who attended Tuesday’s PTSA meeting. Payne mom Lexi Smith gave an  overview of several big grants that she and a team of parents are applying for. Bottom line up front: If you’d like to join her crew, no experience in grant writing is needed, and your participation could help secure thousands of dollars for students.

Here’s a quick summary of grants being targeted:

Capitol Hill Community Foundation: $2,500 grants (can earn more than one)

  • What’s the money used for? Anything school-related, from bus trips to school supplies
  • Due: Sept. 30
Target: $700 per class
  • What’s the money used for? Field trip transportation
  • Due: Oct. 1

Walmart: $250-$5,000

  • What’s the money used for? Food or environmental education
  • Due: Dec. 31

Chesapeake Bay Trust: Up to $5,000

  • What’s the money used for? Environmental education
  • Due: Jan. 9

Interested in joining the grant-writing group? Email Lexi Smith.

PTSA President Mark Jordan provided an overview of the PTSA mission at Tuesday’s meeting.

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ILLEGAL U-TURNS AND DOUBLE PARKING

A DC police officer was seen at the intersection of C and 14th streets Thursday morning, checking for illegal U-turns. U-turns near the school have been a concern in the past, especially with heavy pedestrian traffic at drop-off and pickup. The officer said he did pull over one vehicle on Thursday. “No U-Turn” signs were added to intersections near Payne last year.

On Friday, a parking enforcement officer was out front. She was checking to see if drivers were obeying the 15-minute drop-off signs. As 9 a.m. approached, she was planning to ticket any cars still in the school zone. That said, she told the PTSA the biggest problem is with drivers double-parking to drop off students, snarling traffic and creating a danger.

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WALK TO SCHOOL DAY

The Payne community typically shows up in droves for Walk to School Today. Let’s keep the tradition alive Oct. 2. Join teachers, staff, students and parents at Lincoln Park. Teachers should plan to be there by 7:30 a.m. and students and parents by 7:45 a.m., said Dr. Crumb, Payne’s gym teacher, who is coordinating for the school.

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ABSENT OR TARDY?

If your child is out sick or running late, you can notify Payne via a new email address: PayneAttendance@gmail.com. Notes also can be dropped in a brown mailbox in the main office.

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VOLUNTEERS FOR FALL FEST

PTSA Fundraising Chair Kerry DeVooght is looking for help preparing for and hosting the Payne Fall Festival, which will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. This is one of the PTSA’s biggest events of the year, and it takes a small army to pull it off. You can help in a wide range of ways, from recruiting sponsors to hauling pumpkins to making chili.

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MUSIC TO YOUR EARS

This Monday, a trio from the National Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert at Eastern High School. It will start at 7 p.m. at the main entrance of the school, 1700 E. Capitol St. NE. The event will be outside, weather permitting, so bring a blanket or chair. If it rains, they will perform in the auditorium.

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SPOIL THE GRANDPARENTS FOR A CHANGE

Payne was flooded Thursday with grandpas, grandmas, omas, opas, bubbas and papas in celebration of Grandparents Day. Teachers and staff handed out refreshments for the guests of honor, who also got to visit classrooms. In the picture below, school psychologist Kesha Weeks mingles with the special guests.

IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 14: DCPS Back to School Block Party, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Roosevelt High School, 4301 13th St. N.W.

Sept. 19: Early Childhood Education Potluck, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 24-26: Scholastic Book Fair

Sept. 25: Literacy Night, 5 p.m.

Sept. 25: Fourth Grade Potluck, 4:30 p.m.,

Oct. 2: Walk to School Day, 7:45 a.m., Lincoln Park

Oct. 8: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Grandparents Day Information

Hello Payne Family,

I hope this message finds you well. We plan to celebrate Grandparents Day this Thursday, September 12th from 8:30 am-9:30 am. Please see below for information and logistics of the day. A flyer with RSVP information will be sent home tomorrow. Please return it by Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you.

  • 8:30 am-9:00 am Welcome and Continental Breakfast for Grandparents in Auditorium
  • 9:05 am Grandparents transition to students classrooms to join their morning meeting and complete activity
  • 9:30 am Grandparents get hugs and then depart for the day

Wildcat PTSA News: Chickens at Payne? | Second Grade Switch | Parking Enforcement

Hello, Payne parents, teachers, staff and supporters.

The year’s first PTSA meeting is 6-7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium. Your support and participation is an essential part of Payne’s success. Join us for pizza and meet PTSA leaders and fellow parents to share your questions, concerns and ideas. Child care will be provided.

A bake sale will precede the meeting, at 5:30 p.m. If you’d like to donate baked goods sign up here.

And if you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up here to be a PTSA member.

SOMETHING TO CLUCK ABOUT

Payne is close to enrolling a few feathered friends this year. New science teacher Mr. Doug Creef is seeking a permit to bring 2-6 adult chickens to roost, and he has support from Principal Byrd. Chickens are not unheard of at D.C. schools and are so popular that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education already has extensive guidance on how to make it happen.

“Egg-laying female hens are allowed in the District and are a great way to engage students in the school garden, especially in urban environments like the District of Columbia where many students are disengaged with details pertaining to the food system,” the superintendent’s office said. You can read more here.

A few fun facts:

  • The school would have no roosters, which is good news because they tend to be louder and meaner.
  • There would be no chicks and no threat of future chicks (see the first bullet point). The program allows for full-grown, egg-laying hens.
  • Students aren’t allowed to eat the eggs in school, but they could be allowed to cook with them. Eggs also could be made available to share with families.

Mr. Creef cautions the plan is tentative, but some parents already have offered to help manage the coop, which would be on school grounds, not inside the school.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. One-hour shifts are still available to volunteer at the Scholastic Book Fair during the week of Sept. 23. It’s a fun and easy gig, and a portion of sales will be used to buy books for Payne classrooms. Click here for the sign up sheet.

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SECOND GRADE SWITCH

New this year, the second grade is departmentalized like third through fifth grades.That means students spend half of their day with Ms. Perry learning math and science and the other half with Ms. Hubbard learning English language arts and social studies. Students are assigned to one homeroom, where they spend their morning, then they switch midday.

“Departmentalization allows teachers to focus on two subjects at a time,” Byrd told the PTSA. “Ms. Hubbard is teaching ELA and social studies, while Ms. Perry teachers math and science. Teachers hone their craft and become experts in their content areas. This makes for stronger instruction.”

Byrd said she expects second graders to become better at each subject as a result of the change. So far this year, they are off to a promising start, she said.

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PARKING UPDATE

If you handle drop-offs or pick-ups, you’ve probably seen Dr. Crumb, Payne’s physical education teacher and resident grandmaster in Taekwondo, keeping the front of the school clear of cars. That’s so buses have plenty of space out front.

You can still park on C Street, where new signs specifically designate a “School Parking Zone” from 7-9 a.m. and 3-6:30 p.m. That said, stay out of the area marked by cones and look out for Dr. Crumb directing traffic. Payne has stressed that C St. is for drop-offs only. If you intend to go inside the school, please park on along 14th or 15th. Finally, the school is warning parents to stay out of the parking lot. Unapproved vehicles could be ticketed or towed.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 10: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Sept. 13: 8 a.m., Fifth Grade Potluck

Sept. 24-26: Book Fair is open

Sept. 25: 5 p.m. Literacy Night

Sept. 25: 4:30 p.m., Fourth Grade Potluck

Oct. 2: Walk to School Day

Oct. 8: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, stay tuned for more details and how you can help!