Wildcat PTSA News: Free TB Tests | Just Say No to Nuts | Legos & Chicken Coops

Hello, Payne people!

The PTSA is providing free TB tests for PTSA members. The tests, which are required to volunteer in the school and on field trips, will be administered Tuesday, Oct. 15. A few important facts:

  • The PTSA purchased 50 tests, and they will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. The testing will run after school (times to be announced) in the Auditorium.
  • The test is free for PTSA members. Not a member yet? Click here to join. You also can join at the testing.
  • If you were tested last year, please don’t get tested this year. Your clearance is valid for two years.
  • If you are tested Oct. 15, you will need to return to Payne on Friday, Oct. 18 to have the test result read. Results will be read 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground. You must bring the screening and administration form provided to you when the test was administered. Note that you can elect to have the results read by a qualified healthcare provider elsewhere.
  • Fingerprinting also is required for volunteering. The PTSA is working to host this at Payne, too, later this fall.  Click here to read other options for TB tests and fingerprinting.



The next PTSA meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will include a session with Principal Byrd, who will share goals and accomplishments and will also field questions. Pizza and refreshments will be served, and childcare will be provided.

Treats will be available during the meeting as part of a bake sale fundraiser for the PTSA. Click here if you can donate some baked goods. Payne parent Jessica Cantwell also is looking for additional support in organizing and operating the sale: jessica.r.cantwell@gmail.com



Wildcats turned out in full force for Walk to School Day.


DID YOU KNOW? Payne’s staff directory is online, if you need to email a teacher or a member of the leadership team.



Payne is now nut-free. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The new policy, outlined in a memo that went home with parents this week, was born from concerns that parents voiced at a PTSA meeting in September.
  2. No food or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts or that were packaged or manufactured in a facility that handles nuts are allowed, effective immediately. The second part can be tricky, so please check the labels on your kids’ snacks.
  3. There are students and teachers at Payne who have severe nut allergies. Skin exposure to nuts or, for those with severe allergies, even exposure to the breath of someone who has consumed nuts, can trigger a reaction.
  4. Payne is not the first school to enact such a policy. Maury Elementary, for example, is also nut-free.
  5. Nut allergies are becoming more common. A study from the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital found that from 1997 to 2008, peanut allergies tripled from 1-in-250 children to 1-in-70, CNBC reported last year.



The PTSA Board this week unanimously approved the following expenditures to support Payne students and staff:

  • $100 for Legos: The Lego Club, led by Coach Freda, was in need of more Legos. Specifically, more Lego people. (Lego Club is for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and takes place during lunch time. Interested? Let Ms. Cox know: lajuana.mobley@k12.dc.gov )
  • $315 for a chicken coop: Payne has received the official OK to host chickens this fall. The PTSA is giving these birds a place to roost. (And a special thanks to the parents who worked with Mr. Creef to clean up the garden area, which can now be called The Farm.)
  • $100 for a holiday show. Drama teacher Ms. Barbarino is planning a holiday production starring third through fifth graders. The money will be spent buying song and script rights.
  • $10,000 for field trips. Earlier this year, the PTSA board approved $5,000 to support field trips for every grade. Because of high interest from teachers and parents, the PTSA doubled the available funds to $10,000. Some of this money could be paid for through grants, which leads us to the next topic…



Payne parent Lexi Smith and nearly 20 other volunteers have been hard at work, submitting grants in support of Payne. Here’s a status update, keeping in mind that the school isn’t guaranteed to receive them all.

Capitol Hill Community Foundation request:

  • $2,500 for field trip transportation for Kindergarten through fifth grades and deaf and hard of hearing.
  • $2,500 for Eureka math professional development.
  • $2,200 for science support materials, including preserved animals and insects.
  • $727 to support the deaf and hard of hearing classes.

Target request:

  • $8,400 for two field trips per grade for Kindergarten through 5th grade.

(Note: Head Start already provides funding for PK field trips.)

What’s next: Lexi said the team is pursuing a Pepco/Exelon grant involving STEM and a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant for field trip funds and a special project tied to the field trip.



Oct. 15: Help manage TB testing at Payne. One volunteer is needed in the afternoon and early evening to help guide parents through the process.

Oct. 31: Dr. Crumb is looking for Field Day volunteers. Email brian.crumb@k12.dc.gov.



Tuesday, Oct. 8: 4:30 p.m., fifth grade APTT meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 8: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 9: Specials potluck, 3:45 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 10: Time TBD, fourth grade APTT meeting

Thursday, Oct. 10: 5 p.m., PK4, Kindergarten and second grade APTT meetings

Thursday, Oct. 10: 5:30 p.m., PK3 and first grade APTT meetings

Friday, Oct. 11: 3:30 p.m., third grade and BES APTT Meetings

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 15: TB tests after school (time to be announced)

Oct. 18: TB test results readings, 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground

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

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 11: No school

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: No school