Payne Wildcat News: Saturday Arts Update | Gardening Lab | Uniform Swap & Swag

Hello, Payne Wildcats.

Hope you are enjoying a fun and safe summer break. We’re just a few weeks from the first day of school and there are a number of updates to share. 



Registration for the Payne Saturday Arts Academy has started strong. So far, 113 Payne students are signed up for extracurricular Saturday classes at the school this fall. That means more than one-third of the whole school is signed up. 

Click here to complete the registration form:

Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis, and some of the most popular classes are filling up. However, plenty of seats remain overall, and there’s still time to secure your child’s spot in some amazing classes.  

Your child can choose from classes in:  

  • Piano 
  • Violin
  • Drums
  • Tae Kwon Do (limited spots remain)
  • Outdoor Sports Clinics
  • Robots & More Clubs (limited spots remain)
  • Preschool Circle Time Music 
  • Theater (waitlist only for all grades)

Suggested tuition amounts are listed in the registration form, but no child will be turned away based on ability to pay. The early registration deadline is Aug. 17. Classes begin Saturday, Sept. 11. 

Reach out to Payne parents Jessica Coomes, Andria Thomas and Kate Kaufman if you have any questions:,,



Wildcats will receive hands-on lessons in gardening and cooking this school year as the FoodPrints program arrives at our school. Educators will get students excited about growing, preparing, and enjoying fresh, local whole foods — and bring science, math and social studies to life. Every class will meet with the FoodPrints Teachers once a month.

Payne has received a $2,500 Capitol Hill Community Foundation grant to support building a new garden space. This fall the former garden space off of 14th Street behind the school will get new cedar beds designed for small hands. Funds will support a water irrigation system and an outdoor classroom. There will be more updates on FoodPrints as school approaches.


FALL FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS. With the return to school, the PTSA is hoping this year will mean a return of some of the school’s biggest events and fundraisers. A volunteer team is being formed to help plan a fun and safe Fall Festival. Please email Alison Mitchell:


UNIFORM SWAP IN THE WORKS. After 18 months of remote learning, our kids all grew — right out of their barely worn uniforms. Do you have gently used uniforms to unload? Are you in need of some bigger sizes? The PTSA is mulling a back-to-school uniform swap. Interested? Please fill out this short survey

A reminder of the uniform plan for next year. Uniforms Monday-Thursday, Friday is Student Choice (Bold! Remember, no flip flops and shirt messages must be child friendly.): 


PAYNE SWAG YEAR ROUND. Payne now has a CafePress site to purchase shirts, totes, mugs, even rugged iPhone cases to show your Payne pride. There are no order minimums, and you can have your items shipped directly to your home. Items arrive in about 7-10 business days. Happy shopping:



DC Public Schools is hosting a series of seminars for grownups to prepare for the upcoming school year. The Parent University schedule: 

  • July 22: 5:30 p.m., Caring For Our Youngest Learners: Reopening Our Pre-K Classrooms
  • Aug. 10: 5:30 p.m., Getting My Child Ready For School This Year; What Will DCPS Look and Feel Like?
  • Aug. 17: 5:30 p.m.., Supporting Our Students: Accelerating Learning In And Out Of The Classroom
  • Aug. 19: 5:30 p.m., Mentally Preparing Myself And My Child For The New School Year




Our friends at Reading Partners, who assist our students with growing reading skills, are looking for full-time, in-school AmeriCorps positions. Please help get the word out. Application details:



Wednesday, Aug. 11: 5 p.m., Walk Through Wednesday. Come inside, see Payne classrooms, hear about fall programming.

Friday, Aug. 13: 4 p.m., Summer Soiree at School Auditorium, drink lemonade, mix and mingle.

Aug. 18: Noon, Walk through Wednesday at Payne. 

Aug. 25: 5 p.m., PK3 and PK4 playdate at Payne for kids and parents

Aug. 30: Payne First Day of School, Grades K-5: Payne Countdown Calendar

Sept. 2: First Day for PK3 and PK4