Payne Wildcat News: Chat with the Principal | PTSA Update | Problem-Solving Math Grant

Hello, Payne community. 

Principal Byrd is hosting a “Coffee with the Principal” meeting at 5 p.m. Friday. A Teams link will be posted on Canvas. The topic is “The future of Payne,” so don’t miss this important opportunity. 



A gentle reminder to please make your Payne PTSA membership official and sign up: 

The $15 annual dues can be paid via PayPal. If you are unable to pay dues, the PTSA will still accept membership.


You also can write a check payable to Payne PTSA. It can be mailed or dropped off at the school, 1445 C St. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Annual meeting update: The PTSA will be hosting its annual meeting before this school year ends, and it will once again be virtual. While we typically vote on new officers at this meeting, the PTSA Board is considering a potential amendment to our bylaws to delay the officers vote until the fall when school operations could be back to normal and participation is expected to be higher. 

Note: Only members will be eligible to vote in May, and only members can run for a seat on the board. 

Once again, a sincere THANK YOU to the Payne community for attending our virtual meetings this past year and continuing to support the PTSA and Payne. Please consider running for a board position for the upcoming school year. 



The PTSA applied for a $1,600 grant through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation to fund new professional development for Payne math teachers. The funds will cover problem-based math seminars taught by the Two Rivers Learning Institute. Problem-based tasks are exploratory math lessons built around a single compelling problem. Students are given time to collaborate and are encouraged to think creatively and independently. They come up with solutions to share with the group that are then challenged and debriefed with the teacher serving as a guide instead of an all-knowing answer key. Ultimately, the goal is to teach students a deep conceptual understanding of math while building their math reasoning skillset.

Mr. Steven Eskay, Payne’s manager of specialized education, recommended the workshops, noting the technique helps improve student scores on PARCC. If Payne receives the full grant, $1,600 will cover four sessions. 



Has your family completed the Panorama Surveys? Originally due in March, the survey still is open to encourage more participation. Survey data can influence principals and school teams to improve school climate and social emotional learning. Click here for the Panorama survey.

And if you missed Payne’s Summer Academy survey: Take this one, too



Payne staffers are dressing the school building in pink to celebrate cherry blossoms. Would you like to help decorate? Email Kindergarten teacher Ms. Fox,, or art teacher Ms. Harvey,



April 2: Open enrollment begins and lottery results are released. 

April 5: 5 p.m., Third Grade Parent Meeting 

April 12-16: Spring break, no school

May 3-9: East City Bookshop Payne Fundraiser. Buy books online, and 20 percent of sales will benefit Payne. We’ll distribute a special link to make sure Payne gets book-buying credit. 

May 31: Memorial Day, no school