Wildcat PTSA News: Get to Know Next Year’s Teachers | Valentine’s Day Dance Tradition

Next Tuesday is the most-anticipated PTSA meeting of the year. Visit the classrooms of the grade your child will be in next year, and get to know the teachers. The meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday. Pizza, drinks and child care will be provided.


You’ve probably heard Payne will host a Valentine’s Day Dance on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. But did you know this dance is a longstanding Payne tradition, one that dates back to 1991?

Coach Freda, who works in aftercare, runs many of the school’s clubs and volunteers countless hours at Payne, has coordinated the dance since its inception. And DJ Derrick on the Wheel of Steel has provided the music since 1997.

“I just don’t want it to stop,” Coach Freda said, reflecting on the many dances she has helped host. “When people come to Payne, they always say it’s a family. It’s always been a family here.”

Admission is free. A mandatory permission slip went home with students. If you did not receive one, please check with the front office. Photos will be taken for $5. A painting activity will be set up for parents in the cafeteria.


Past and present staff and students, family members and members of the community gathered Wednesday evening for the official unveiling of the Story of Our School Project. The display in the main lobby tells the history of Payne, which started as a school for black students in 1896 during segregation. The display already has proven popular among visitors, and some adults even spotted themselves as students in the rotating display of archived photos. Ms. Juanita Stokes and Ms. Monich Brown led a team of third through fifth graders starting in 2018 to research the history of Payne, and this project is the culmination of their work. Job well done, and it’s a legacy for the school to appreciate.


The PTSA voted to make $2,000 available to support school clubs. Club organizers will be contacted to make them aware of how to access these resources.


In response to parent requests to learn more about unfamiliar math methods that students learn at school and requests for more math support, the PTSA will be organizing two, one-hour workshops for parents. Content of the sessions are being finalized but may include hands on ways to learn about Common Core, a description of Eureka Math, and an explanation of why math looks different than what we learned.


Thanks to everyone who stopped by Nando’s for the PTSA fundraiser, which raised $410 to benefit the school.


The deadline to complete the DCPS Panorama survey is Feb. 14. To take the short survey, click here. It’s an opportunity to share feedback about your child’s teachers, the administration, DCPS and more.


Signups now are open for Capitol Hill Little League’s spring 2020 season. Visit www.chlldc.org for deadlines. Player scholarships are available.


Payne once again is collecting coins in February to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Check your child’s backpacks for an information sheet and collection box. The goal is to raise $2,020 for 2020. Click here for more information.


Feb. 11: 6 p.m. PTSA meeting. Teachers will be available to discuss your child’s next school year.

Feb. 12: 8-9 p.m., parents of kids attending second grade next year are invited to join parents of current second graders to learn about their experience at Payne.  Contact Carolyn Bowen to learn more.

Feb. 13: 4:30-6:30 p.m., Valentine’s Day Dance, Auditorium

Feb. 17-21: No school

Feb. 24: Daniel A. Payne’s birthday

Feb. 28: Black History Month Celebration. Details to come. If you can volunteer during the daytime celebration contact: jaclyn.barbarino@k12.dc.gov

March 10: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting

March 20: No school