Wildcat PTSA News: TB Test Reminder | Testing Goals | Meet the New Assistant Principal

Happy Long Weekend, Payne Community!

CHICKEN WATCH 2019 UPDATE: The barnyard cluckers are expected to arrive next week. Science Teacher Mr. Creef said he has been inundated with interest from students and parents alike. He intends to host some family nights after their arrival, so young and old can meet the hens.


TB testing will be 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15. The test, which is required for the volunteer clearance process, is free to PTSA members. Fifty tests will be administered first-come, first-served.

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.

Can you help on site during TB testing? Take a one-hour shift to help guide parents through the process. Email tonylombardo1@yahoo.com.


More than 50 parents, teachers and administrators turned out for Tuesday night’s PTSA meeting. Principal Byrd took questions and shared data on PARCC tests, which are administered to third, fourth and fifth graders.

English Language Arts

Year Achieved proficiency

2015-16 8%

2016-17 16%

2017-18 18%

2018-19 33%

Bottom line: Achieving 33 percent means that 39 of 119 students achieved proficiency in ELA (i.e. scoring Level 4 or Level 5). Payne is seeing sustained progress every year, and further improvements are expected. The goal this year is to see a 10 percent gain in the highest scores and 10 percent decrease in the lowest scores.


Year Achieved proficiency

2015-16 22%

2016-17 26%

2017-18 22%

2018-19 34%

Bottom line: Previously hovering in the 20-percents, Payne experienced a significant jump in math proficiency scores last year. Like reading, the goal is to see a 10 percent gain in the highest scores and 10 percent decrease in the lowest scores.



LaToya Coleman is a long-time educator, but this is her first year as assistant principal. Ms. Coleman, a D.C. native, earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Coppin State University in Baltimore and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. An educator for 15 years, she has taught Kindergarten special education and second through fourth grades in Prince George’s County and the District. She joined Payne three years ago as the math coach. She sat down with the PTSA to talk about her new job, which includes a focus on school culture, discipline and instruction.

Q. How is the assistant principal job going so far?

A. It’s a challenge, but it’s rewarding. I honestly did not see myself in this position, I loved the classroom. I still love the classroom. And I make sure that’s part of my daily routine – every single day – to get in as many classrooms as I possibly can. And I’m not just there to observe. I’m in there to interact, ask questions, see what the kids are thinking, what are they learning.

Q. What can parents do to make your job easier?

A. Parents can just bring kids to school. We got it from here. If you have questions, ask. That’s pretty much it. We have a really good core group of parents. You see them often. They are engaged in the classroom, and you’ll see them in the cafeteria. Friendly faces.

Q. If a parent has a question for the school, what kind of questions go your way?

A. Discipline will come my way. Scheduling will come my way. Instruction comes my way. Specifically, math, but being the assistant principal, it’s not just math.

Q. How would you describe your style in interacting with kids in terms of discipline?

A. I’m very straight forward. I will remind students of our expectations. Nine times out of 10, they know them. So they will know if they did not meet the expectation. The question usually is, what hindered you from meeting that expectation? How can I help you make sure that you meet the expectation? Putting the onus back on the student so that they are aware of what their actions were and how they can correct them.

Q. Is there any kind of punishment issued?

A. Oh, there’s consequences to actions. We look at fair consequences. We don’t like to call them “punishments,” but there’s going to be a consequence, good or bad, with your actions.

Q. What are the consequences?

A. We have “zen zones” in every classroom. Like your time-out time. Get yourself focused. You have a notepad you could be writing on. You have pictures you could draw. Just to kind of calm yourself. Bring you back to zero, so that you can re-engage in the instruction.

If that is not going to be immediately effective, then you are offered the opportunity to go to a buddy classroom, where another teacher will have you in their classroom a set amount of time. Maybe no more than 10 minutes to where, again, you remove yourself from where the conflict might have occurred.

If it gets to the point where that did not work, then we have a care team, which consists of our social workers and our school psychologist. If it gets past that, then we will request a parent conference. We haven’t had too many issues with suspension simply because we are able to cut some of those because we don’t go straight to suspension. There are other areas we can focus on, so kids can become more self-aware of what their behaviors are and manage them themselves.

Q. Do you have any special projects in the works?

A. I have brought on a partnership with Howard University and also UDC. Their education majors will do their internships here at Payne. So, it offers another body in the building to practice and to really get their feet into seeing what it’s like to be in the classroom. First grade has one right now, fourth grade is soon to have one, starting in November.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. My commitment to Payne. I’m excited about the fact I was able to grow in leadership here. Payne is a wonderful school to be at.


HOYAS KIDS CLUB. Here’s a pretty sweet sports deal for the Georgetown Hoyas. If your child joins the Hoyas Kids Club, they receive four free tickets to men’s basketball games, a Kids Club jersey and more. The cost is $15 plus $3 for online registration. Read more here.



A Box Tops For Education collection box is on Ms. Asante’s desk at the main office. Box Tops are worth 10 cents each, and that money can add up quickly. So keep eating that cereal and mac and cheese. The school can earn two ways: (1) Cut out Box Tops from eligible products and bring them to the collection box in the front office. (2) Skip the cutting, and scan your receipt through the Box Tops app when you’ve purchased eligible items, and presto, the school will get credited for the Box Tops.



Oct. 26: Help make the Fall Festival a success by volunteering for a one-hour shift (helping at the arts and crafts table, selling baked goods or chili, etc.) or donating food or other supplies. Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/LnqQpdG

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



Oct. 14: No school

Oct. 15: TB tests 4-6 p.m. (Remember to sign up to be a PTA member)

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