Wildcat PTSA News: Science Updates | Art and Drama | Coffee Talk

Thanks to everyone who attended the PTSA meeting this week. Participation continues to grow at the meetings. Thanks also to Principal Byrd for her insights.

You don’t want to miss the next meeting, 6 p.m., Feb. 11, when you’ll have an opportunity to visit with teachers to discuss your child’s next year at Payne.


Mr. Creef covered a wide-range of topics at Tuesday’s PTSA meeting. Here are a few highlights:

1. He’s interested in bringing back chickens and is exploring the idea (and related costs) of incubating eggs and hatching them at school.

2. With the help of the PTSA and a grant award, Mr. Creef purchased a number of specimen jars with assorted creatures and organs. They have proven very popular with the kids. He brought some animal brains, a shark and other preserved creatures to the PTSA meeting.

3. Project planning for the Science Fair, required for grades 3-5, now is underway. Mr. Creef has set up after-school hours when parents can assist students with their projects. Are you available 3:30-5:45 p.m. Jan. 21-24 or Feb. 6-13? Email Mr. Creef: emmett.creefjr@k12.dc.gov.

Teachers in the younger grades are exploring classroom project ideas. If you’d like to assist, check with your room parent or child’s teacher.

For anyone looking for ideas for science fair projects, Mr. Creef suggested checking out ScienceBuddies.Org.

4. DCPS introduced a new science curriculum called STEMscopes. Mr. Creef gave the curriculum high marks, noting that resources are all online and cover grades Kindergarten through high school. Parents can ask Mr. Creef for their own parent sign-on to explore the curriculum in greater detail.

5. Fourth graders helped to grow endangered orchids as part of a Smithsonian conservation program. The class attempted to grow both Maryland and Florida varieties of orchids. While the Maryland plants did not survive, many of the Florida varieties have successfully grown, and the young plants will be shipped to the Sunshine State to flourish.


On Feb. 3, prepare for a specials shift at Payne. Students who attend the art special each week will switch to drama for the remainder of the year, and vice versa.


Principal Byrd hosts informal chats with parents 9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. Have some coffee and candid conversation with our school’s top administrator. The next coffee klatch is Feb. 7. Principal Byrd said she also is planning some evening opportunities this school year.


J.O. Wilson will host its annual D.C. Camp Fair 6-8 p.m. Jan. 30. Learn about more than 40 summer camp options. The school is at 660 K St. N.E.


If you haven’t completed the DCPS Panorama survey, please click here. It only takes a few minutes, and DCPS uses the data to inform decision making for professional development, family resources and more. It’s an opportunity to share feedback about your child’s teachers, the administration, DCPS and more.


Some wild(cat) local news this week. A bobcat was caught on a motion camera in Georgetown — a rare sighting in the District. It’s unclear what business the bobcat had in the District, but it probably wasn’t studying for the PARCC test.


Jan. 17-20: No school

Jan. 22: 8-9 p.m., Parents with rising third graders meet. Contact Liz Aloi for details.

Jan. 23: 8-9 p.m., Parents with rising Kindergartners meet. Contact Liz Aloi for details.

Jan. 23: 6 p.m., Eastern High School Open House

Jan. 24: 9 a.m., Volunteer orientation for Reading Rocks. Click here to sign up.

Jan. 27-28: No school

Jan. 29: 4-9 p.m., Nando’s fundraiser, 411 H St. N.E. Tell them you support Payne, and 40 percent of your order will go to the school.

Jan. 30: 6-8 p.m. J.O. Wilson Summer Camp Fair

Feb. 11: 6 p.m. PTSA meeting

Feb. 17-21: No school