Wildcat PTSA News: Fingerprints Reminder | Parent Concerns | Reach Program

Hello, everybody.

Spots are filling up for fingerprinting for volunteers the morning of Dec. 10. Click here to sign up. Please bring your negative TB test result. Read more about the DCPS volunteering requirements here. And for those with a security clearance, you can skip fingerprinting and complete this Federal Security Clearance Verification Form.



At Tuesday’s PTSA meeting, members held small-group discussions about their families’ experiences at Payne so far this year. As they talked, the PTSA asked them to identify things that have been going well as well as their concerns. PTSA President Mark Jordan summarized members’ key points and submitted them to Principal Byrd on Wednesday.


  • All around shout-out for Payne’s teachers and staff.
  • Hands-on learning, chickens example specifically (three of the four tables mentioned this).
  • Kids are loving science.
  • ASL Club and ASL used in class (three of the four tables mentioned this).
  • Reach and Reading Partners — good community partners.
  • FLEX Academies aftercare.
  • Having drama as a special.
  • Responsiveness of particular managers.
  • Fall Festival.
  • Library is well-stocked and beautiful.
  • School facility is always bright, clean, and welcoming.
  • PTSA newsletters / Payne Posts — consistent updates.
  • Excellent enrichment program in aftercare.
  • Members also praised specific staff members and those names were forwarded to Principal Byrd and the PTA will reach out to them directly to pass the plaudits on.

Challenges / Opportunities for Growth

  • Lack of substitutes (mentioned by two of four tables).
  • Can parents be informed when teachers are out?
  • Lack of crossing guard at 15th and C streets (mentioned by two of four tables).
  • Departmentalization of second grade — still adjusting, question about whether or not it is working.
  • Communications (e.g. inconsistencies and/or mistakes in dates/calendars). Recommendation: Update website? Archive Payne Post online?
  • Broken faucets/lack of soap in boys’ bathroom by cafeteria (has been an ongoing problem for months).(Update: Ms. Oxendine reports that the faucet was fixed as of 11/21).
  • Insufficient physical activity during the day — some days kids only get to play for 10 minutes at recess. Recommendation: Could there be more opportunities for kids to take breaks during class to be active in some way?
  • Staffing issues in Kindergarten — lack of communication — uncertain plan for December. (Update: Thanks to Principal Byrd for sending a communication out regarding this topic today).
  • More math support/resources/enrichment.
  • Increased reading support in fourth and fifth (e.g. where Reach and Reading Partners don’t provide services).
  • Add paraprofessionals in older grades.
  • Open playground on weekend.
  • School grounds need cleaning up.
  • Too much candy / juice / cupcakes in school.
  • Lack of chaperones given frequency of ECE field trips — expecting same parents. Recommendation: Can we combine field trips and neighborhood excursions (which require fewer chaperones?)



Have you heard about Reach? This non-profit has been working with Payne for nine years to help our second and third grade students learn to read. NPR ran a story on the program in March featuring the program’s work at Payne.

Teen mentors visit Payne every Tuesday and Thursday after school to help with reading. The teen literacy instructors are paid $20 to $260 per month.

The teens also are published authors. You can buy the books on this website  to support the program.



Thanks to everyone who attended the East City Bookshop Fundraiser on Nov. 16. Payne earned $635, which was the biggest East City fundraiser for the school to date.



EdFest, D.C.’s annual public school fair is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at the D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. S.E. Payne will be there along with all other DCPS schools. Flu shots for kids and adults will be administered, and library card signups will be available. Parking and admission are free. Read more here. Payne is seeking volunteers to participate and share your Wildcat experience. Click here to sign up for a one-hour shift.



Payne Community Liaison Danielle Ciaurro shares the following:

Please donate:

  • Winter coats (sizes 10-12, both genders)
  • Clear storage bins for uniforms
  • Props, costumes, and materials for the winter play
    • Top hat
    • 3 plaid vests for boys
    • 1 black cape with hood
    • 1 red cape with collar
    • Fake gold coins or gold paint
    • 2 small wooden desks
    • Plaid tablecloth
    • Fake chains for ghosts
    • 2 baskets
    • Large sack
    • Bench
    • Paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Large sheet for background
    • Grim reaper staff
    • White make up
    • Long skirts for girls (Various sizes)
    • Cane or crutch for Tiny Tim
    • 3 pairs of black knee socks
    • Metal cups
    • Scrooge’s pajamas
    • Fluid for smoke machine

Volunteer your time to:

  • Organize and take inventory of uniforms
  • Assist Drama Teacher Ms. Barbarino in making props or costumes
  • Assist with Chess Club
  • Assist with science projects
  • ​Assist with the chicken coop Dec. 2-6
  • Set up labs during the school day
  • Assist students with Science Fair projects in December and January

Want to help or have questions? Email: danielle.ciaurro@k12.dc.gov


We wish a special thank you to one of our Fall Festival Gold Sponsors, Tripoint Solutions, which shares this message:

Tripoint Solutions is an IT solutions provider focused on the intersection of people, process, and technology in the Federal workplace. We do our best to give back to the community and are thrilled to support Payne Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year!



Nov. 22: Picture Day. Note: Uniform is not required this day if your child is getting pictures taken.

Nov. 26: No after care. Please pick up students no later than 3:20 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: Thanksgiving Break (no school)

Dec. 14: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. EdFest, D.C. Armory

Dec. 18: Payne Night at Temple Hills Skate Palace; tickets are $10.

Dec. 19: 10:15-11:30 a.m., Eliot-Hine Open House

Dec. 23-Jan. 3: No school