Wildcat PTSA News: Firing Up the Kiln | PTSA Election | Teacher of the Month

This week the PTSA board approved a few expenditures that will benefit students across all grades:

SMART BOARDS GET A NEW LEASE ON LIFE

The PTSA is splitting the cost with Payne to cover numerous fixes to SMART boards throughout the school. The PTSA will spend $2,000 to fix or maintain more than 30 boards.

FIRING UP THE KILN

Art classes have not been able to use the Payne kiln for at least two years, but that is about to change. An expert from The Kiln Doctor visited Payne this week and inspected and serviced the pottery oven. It now is certified for use. The PTSA covered the $127 bill, which included an inspection, leveling the kiln, fixing the oven door and some other minor fixes. The certification will enable Ms. Harvey to include pottery projects in her class.

DC FOOD PROJECT

The board approved spending $80 to cover the operational costs of launching the Share Table at Payne, a space where students can place unopened and/or sealed foods that they choose not to eat during school breakfast and lunch, for others to eat.

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TEACHER OF THE MONTH

Payne has started a Teacher of the Month award. Every month, at Payne’s staff meeting, the staff votes for a teacher who shows dedication and exceptional service to our students. “It is a Payne award, but it is special because peers vote for the person,” Mrs. Oxendine said.

Ms. Juanita Stokes, a PK3 teacher, earned the honor in February, and Ms. Dionne Thompson, a first grade teacher, won this month.

(Left: Stokes; right: Thompson)

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PTSA ELECTIONS MAY 21

The PTSA’s annual meeting is May 21, and it’s an election year for three officer positions: president, secretary and parliamentarian. It’s not too early to consider a bid to join the board. A closer look at each role:

The president presides over all meetings of the PTSA and the board. The president appoints committee chairs and is an ex-officio member on all committees. The president represents the organization on the district and national level. The president is the PTSA’s representative on the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT).

The secretary keeps a correct record of all meetings and votes of the PTSA and makes them available to the membership.

The parliamentarian maintains the bylaws and articles of incorporation. The parliamentarian
advises the presiding officer on parliamentary procedure and has a fundamental knowledge of the mission, purposes and policies of the PTSA. The parliamentarian conducts the annual meeting and officer elections.

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SEEKING STEM VOLUNTEERS

Payne is seeking STEM experts in the community who are willing to serve as a resource for the school’s growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. Experts may be called upon to answer questions from teachers, serve as guest speakers, provide connections to other STEM resources or whatever you are comfortable doing that can be incorporated into the curriculum this school year or next.

Find out more here and fill out a short questionnaire.

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BURN SOME ENERGY, KIDS

Join the Payne Wildcats Team for the Capitol Hill Classic Kids’ Fun Run, 11 a.m. May 19 at Stanton Park. Kids run around the perimeter of the park (a quick lap). It’s a great way to introduce kids to running and a fun community event. Plus, you get a t-shirt. When you sign up, select “Join a team” and then select “Payne Wildcats” from the drop-down menu. Click here to register. It’s not just for kids; the race includes signups for the 10K and 3K.

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THAT’S A LOT OF PENNIES

Pennies for Patients raised $1,347 between Feb. 11-25, and Ms. Fox’s Fantastic Friends won the class competition for a pizza party. Families and friends still can contribute to Payne’s page online until June here.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

March 8: No school

March 15: 7 p.m., Payne Dads Happy Hour, Granville Moore’s

March 19: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting

March 23: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Payne Girl Scouts sell cookies at the Pretzel Bakery.

March 29: 8-9:30 a.m., meet School Chancellor Lewis Ferebee at the Pretzel Bakery.

Wildcat PTSA News: Parent-Teacher Conferences | Who Are the Reading Partners? | Museum Display Fundraising

NEW PARENT-TEACHER MEETINGS

Within the next two weeks, parents will receive dates and times for parent-teacher conferences. But this time could be a little different than the past. Teachers have the option to forego one-on-one meetings and instead lead what are being called Academic Parent-Teacher Team meetings. The APTT meetings will be conducted as a grade level with all of the teachers and parents in the grade. Rather than focusing on individual progress, teachers will discuss the grade’s work and progress as a whole. The team meetings are optional, and your child’s teacher could decide to host traditional one-on-one meetings instead of or in addition to the team meetings.

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MEET THE READING PARTNER

One hundred volunteers make regular visits to Payne for one-on-one reading help outside the class through the Reading Partners program. Reading Partners provides extra support when it comes to reading skills for 73 Wildcats in Kindergarten through fourth grade. Rachel McManus is the Payne Reading Partners site coordinator this school year. She fielded questions from the PTSA about the program:

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how Reading Partners works?

A. The principal, teachers and the literacy specialists refer students to Reading Partners. We bring them in for an assessment and then, after we have their permission slips, they come in twice a week, sometimes once a week, for 45-minute sessions, and they’re paired with a volunteer community member. We already have a pre-set lesson plan that’s supposed to complement what’s going on in their classrooms. So a lot of it isn’t necessarily brand new for the student but just extra support. So students come twice a week probably for the entire year.

Q. How do you define success for a student?

A. We have a couple different metrics. We have assessments that consider their phonemic awareness, vocabulary, concept of word, things like that. Very similar to the assessments they’re probably doing with their teachers. The goal is that everyone is reading at or above grade level by the end of the year.

Q. Are you funded with the Payne budget?

A. Each school that we partner with has to pay a fee, which for public schools is $20,000, and they have to provide a set space and also access to a printer. But a lot of our funding comes through AmeriCorps, the D.C. government and local individuals.

Q. Are you looking for more volunteers at Payne? Can parents volunteer?

A. Parents can volunteer. The truth is that a lot of people want to come volunteer at Payne because it’s easy. People are usually coming from work, like if they work on the Hill. In general, we’re always looking for more volunteers, particularly in our schools in Wards 7 and 8.

Q. If someone’s interested where should they go?

A. They can go to readingpartners.org, and there is a link to volunteer.

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STORY OF OUR SCHOOLS UPDATE

A team of students led by PK3 teacher Juanita Stokes and educational aide Monich Brown embarked in November on a project to research the history of Payne Elementary. Students have interviewed teachers and students from past years and collected artifacts and photos. By the end of the year, the plan is to establish a permanent, museum-quality display that honors the history and legacy of our school. The project is part of a broader non-profit effort called Story of Our Schools.

The organization has unveiled sketches of the future exhibit. You can see more in the attached PDF: Payne Story of Our Schools. Initial estimates put the budget for the exhibit between $30,000 and $40,000. The PTSA expects to participate in the fundraising effort with Story of Our Schools staff to make the exhibit a reality. The PTSA is looking for volunteers to help with a targeted fundraising effort for this project. If you can help, please e-mail PTSA fundraising chair Kerry DeVooght.

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MISSING BIRD

A PK3 class at Maury Elementary is missing its cockatiel Stanley. Please keep an eye out for the bird, which has clipped wings and can’t fly far. He was last seen in the area of Eliot-Hine (18th and Constitution N.E.). If you find him, please call Maury at 202-698-3838 or 202-302-7436 (after hours).

This is what a cockatiel looks like:

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

After-School Clubs Liaison. You would work with the ASL Enrichment Club, Chess Club and Sewing Club to ensure their needs are met, including securing parent volunteers, pointing questions in the right direction and senduring Mrs. Oxendine is aware of challenges. You wouldn’t need to handle problem solving or scheduling. Interested? Contact Lexi Smith.

Grant Writing. If you are interested in helping to secure library grants, contact Kerry DeVooght.

Payne SWAG. Does your child LOVE Payne t-shirts? Do you dream of having more Payne SWAG? We are looking for a new volunteer to run t-shirt sales for the remainder of the school year and next year. Contact Carolyn.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

March 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 1: Registration closes for Capitol Hill Little League. Register at www.CHLLDC.org.

March 4: Applications due for Girls on the Run club for third through fifth grades. Email Mrs. Oxendine, akua.oxendine@dc.gov

March 8: No school

March 19: PTSA Meeting

March 29: 8-9:30 a.m., meet Acting School Chancellor Lewis Ferebee at the Pretzel Bakery.

Wildcat PTSA News: Meeting and Bake Sale | 2-Hour Delays | School Chancellor

Today is the Payne Friendship Dance, 4-5:45 p.m. It’s also Family Paint Night, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Parent participation is welcome at both events. PK3 and PK4 students must be accompanied by an adult. The PTSA approved spending $500 to cover the cost of the DJ and to provide snacks and refreshments. Students also will be celebrating Daniel A. Payne’s birthday today at school, eating Girl Scout cookies provided by our very own Troop 1455.

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PTSA MEETING

The next PTSA meeting is open to all parents who want a look into the teachers and classrooms for their child’s upcoming year. Join us at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26. Visit classrooms and meet teachers in your child’s next grade. A bake sale will start at 5:30 p.m. in the front lobby. Want to provide goodies for the bake sale? Please sign up here.

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100TH DAY

Payne celebrated the 100th day of school, and students dressed up as centenarians. Kindergarten teacher Ms. Fox snapped this fun photo.

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2-HOUR DELAYS

Parents expressed confusion and frustration this week at the 2-hour delay. School leaders acknowledged the schedule could have been more clear. The PTSA also would like to correct some misinformation. In the event of a 2-hour delay, breakfast WILL be served; it will be a cold breakfast picked up in the cafeteria.

2-hour delay for first through fifth grades:
  • Building opens at 10:15 a.m. Light breakfast is served in the cafeteria.
  • Classes are picked up from cafeteria at 10:40 a.m.
  • School ends at 3:15 p.m.
2-hour delay for PK and Kindergarten:
  • To receive breakfast, stop first at the cafeteria to pick up your child’s food.
  • Report directly to classrooms starting at 10:15 a.m.
  • School ends at 3:15 p.m.

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STILL LOOKING FOR BIG IDEAS

As the PTSA thinks about funding decisions for the second half of the year, the board would love to hear your big ideas for making Payne better. How the PTSA use funds? Send your ideas to Communications Chair Tony Lombardo.

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PENNIES CAMPAIGN

It’s not too late to participate in Payne’s Pennies for Patients campaign benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Collections will be accepted through Monday, Feb. 25. Payne still has a ways to go to meet its goal. Follow the progress here. Online donations will be accepted all school year.

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DCPS CHANCELLOR INTERVIEW

NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi sat down this week with Lewis Ferebee, the DCPS acting chancellor. It’s a hard-hitting interview that tackles a range of topics from Ferebee’s reputation as a reformer to diversity concerns among DCPS teachers. Click here to listen or read the transcript.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Feb. 18-22: No school

Feb. 23, 25, 27:  Mayor’s Public Budget Engagement Forums

Feb. 24: Daniel A. Payne’s 208th birthday

Feb. 26: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA meeting

March 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 8: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Laptops Are Here | Meet Ms. Danielle | School Dance

A reminder that today is Family Movie Night. This free event starts at 4:30 p.m., and the movie is best picture-nominated Black Panther, in honor of Black History Month. Concessions will be sold.

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PTSA MEETING RESCHEDULED

The PTSA has canceled the Feb. 12 meeting and rescheduled it for 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Auditorium. This can’t-miss meeting includes an opportunity for parents to look ahead to next year by visiting classrooms and meeting teachers in your child’s next grade. We apologize for the serial PTSA meeting rescheduling, but this will give teachers more time to prepare and the PTSA more time to ensure parents can join.

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HELLO, NEW  LAPTOPS!

Payne received half of its shipment of brand new laptops, ordered as part of an $81,000 grant from Lowe’s home improvement stores. In total, Payne will receive 91 laptops and 15 desktop computers. Mrs. Oxendine reports that Payne also received two new, lighter-charger carts thanks to the grant.

“The new laptops will be used solely for PARCC and other testing. Our ultimate goal is to have 1:1 computers to students for 3rd-5th grades,” Mrs. Oxendine said.

The laptops are not a net addition for the school, however. Mrs. Oxendine said that the school recently disposed of 95 damaged and outdated laptops. Damage included missing keys, broken screens and failing batteries. With the remaining grant money, Payne will be getting a new poster maker. Thanks to parents Andria Thomas and Lexi Smith, who were instrumental in securing the grant.

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DANCE AND ART NIGHT

Payne is hosting a Friendship Dance, 4-5:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. That same day is a Family Paint Night, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Parent participation is welcome at both events. PK3 and PK4 students must be accompanied by an adult. An RSVP form went home with students this week. Please fill out right away and return to the main office.

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NEW AMERICORPS STAFFER

Welcome to Danielle Ciaurro, Payne’s new AmeriCorps VISTA Community Liaison. Ms. Danielle will work closely with the Payne administration to strengthen and engage the Payne community. Here’s her bio:

I’m originally from New Jersey but went to GW. I graduated last year with my BA in Human Services & Social Justice. After my AmeriCorps VISTA term I’m going back to GW for my master’s in public administration. I also work part-time for a nonprofit that assists survivors of sexual violence in DC, so that’s the other issue area I’m passionate about other than education. My favorite spot in DC is Meridian Hill Park and my dream is to learn to rollerblade and skate around the city. My Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff. On weekends I can be found boxing at a feminist fight club (self-defense class but I call it fight club) in Dupont.

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SCHOOL RATINGS SURVEY

You may recall that DCPS has rated its schools using a new system this year, the DC Schools Report Card. (Payne earned 3 stars.) Now DCPS officials are soliciting feedback. What do you think of the new system? Take the survey here.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Feb. 12: PTSA meeting canceled

Feb. 15: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fourth Grade

Feb. 15: No after school care

Feb. 18-22: No school

Feb. 24: Daniel A. Payne’s 208th birthday

Now-Feb. 19: Pennies For Patients Campaign. Click here for fundraiser details

Feb. 26: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA meeting (new date)

March 1: 9 a.m.,  Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 8: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Meeting Rescheduled | Share Table | Camp Fair

MEETING RESCHEDULED

Tuesday’s PTSA meeting is canceled due to the threat of evening snow. It is rescheduled for a week later, 6 p.m. Feb. 5 in the auditorium. The agenda includes a brief presentation from Payne’s Girl Scouts Troop 1455, an overview of how DCPS allocates money to elementary schools and an opportunity to share your priorities for Payne with LSAT members.

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LOOK AHEAD MEETING

Another important PTSA meeting will be 6 p.m. Feb. 12. Get a preview for the upcoming school year and visit classrooms. More details to come.

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MISSING SOMETHING?

You know how your kid is always losing stuff at school? Now multiply that by 347. Well, Ms. Cox is ready to save the day. This Wednesday, she will put all of the lost and found items on a table by the front door. Stop by and reclaim what’s yours.

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SUMMER CAMP GUIDE

J.O. Wilson Elementary’s PTA is hosting an annual camp fair, 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the school, 660 K St. N.E. More than 60 summer camps providers are expected. This handy camp guide provides information on dates, costs and age requirements.

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FOOD SHARE TABLE

Payne is joining other DCPS schools by hosting a Share Table to help reduce waste and feed hungry students.

“The Share Table is a place where students can place unopened and/or sealed food that they choose not to eat during school breakfast and lunch in a basket, providing an opportunity for other students to take additional helpings of food that would otherwise be thrown away,” said the DC Food Project, a non-profit that runs the Share Table program. “While serving a greater need for nutrition within schools, these tables will also help in the reduction of food waste.”

Students can share shelf-stable packaged foods and uneaten fruits such as bananas and oranges. Open containers and food with common allergens such as peanuts aren’t allowed. You can learn more at DC Food Project’s website.

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BASKETBALL GAME

Cheer on the Payne boys basketball team, 4 p.m. Thursday at Watkins Elementary as they square off against the boys of Miner Elementary. The game is free.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Feb. 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Second Grade

Feb. 1:  4:30-7 p.m., Auditorium, free family movie night screening of Black Panther

Feb. 2-19: Pennies For Patients Campaign. Click here for fundraiser details

Feb. 5: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA Meeting.

Feb. 6: 5 p.m., Auditorium, Payne Middle School Fair. Third, fourth and fifth grade parents and students can learn about schools in the area

Feb. 8: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Third Grade

Feb. 12: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA Meeting to visit classrooms for the next grade up

Feb. 12: 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Auditorium, free dental screenings by Gordon Dental Associates, hosted by Early Childhood Family Services Coordinator Lisa Mitchell. Applications are due Feb.. 4. See Ms. Cox at the front desk for applications. Questions? Email lisa.mitchell@dc.gov

Feb. 15: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fourth Grade

Feb. 18-22: No school

March 1: 9 a.m.,  Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 8: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Extrinsic Rewards | Big Ideas | MLK Message

EXTRINSIC REWARDS GONE

Principal Byrd has announced teachers are no longer using “extrinsic rewards” in their classrooms. That means teachers are no longer using the carrot-and-stick approach with rewards such as owl stamps, stickers and toys. Principal Byrd answered some additional questions about her decision.

Q: Why did you decide to put an end to extrinsic rewards?

A: As a Responsive Classroom school, we have been working on reinforcing, reminding, and redirecting students. We want students to demonstrate desired behaviors as a result of their own intrinsic motivation. We are teaching students to be reflective and self-regulated. Rewards (stickers, owls, etc) have been replaced by affirming language, recognition of desirable behaviors, and encouragement.

Q: Was this something you had hoped to do for awhile?

A: We have been working towards this all year.

Q: How widespread was the use of owl stamps/stickers/trinkets?

A: Most classes had some form of extrinsic reward system.

Q: Have you received any questions/concerns from parents or students so far?

A: None so far. I don’t anticipate any from students. As we remove extrinsic rewards, they are being replaced with consistent reaffirmation of students throughout the day.

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HAVE A BIG IDEA? As the PTSA thinks about funding decisions for the second half of the year, the board would love to hear your BIG ideas for making Payne Elementary School better. How should PTSA funds be used to enhance Payne? Would you invest in community activities? Classroom upgrades? Teacher training? Special programs? Nothing is off the table. Send your ideas to Communications Chair Tony Lombardo.

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STUDENT SHARES

Fifth grader Makayla Jones wrote a message in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

What would I say to Dr. King?

If Dr. King was still alive, I would say you are right, because I think we should come together because we are all one of a kind. …  I would say you are a hero because you went through all that civil rights movement.

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BOARD EXPENDITURES. The PTSA Board on Jan. 17 approved several expenditures:

  • $100 for nine checkerboards to support the Checkers Club.
  • $400 to purchase a PTSA directors and officers liability insurance policy and a fidelity bond to protect the PTSA funds.
  • $119 for classroom and library copies of the book Bearnard’s Book. The author, Deborah Underwood, will read her book to students in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade on Feb. 5. Parents will be able to pre-order books that will be signed by author. Stay tuned for more information. Order forms will be sent home with students.

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CASTING CALL. Children in grades 3rd through 5th are invited to join The Payne Players theatrical ensemble. An introductory meeting will be 3:45 p.m. Jan. 24 in the Auditorium. Parents are encouraged to attend and participate.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Jan. 21-23: No school

Jan. 29: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting. Come learn about the school budgeting process and tell LSAT members what your priorities are for the coming school year.

Feb. 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Second Grade

Feb. 2-19: Pennies For Patients Campaign. Click here for fundraiser details

Feb. 8: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Third Grade

Feb. 15: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fourth Grade

March 1: 9 a.m.,  Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

Wildcat PTSA News: Clubs Clubs Clubs | iPads Arrive | Little League Signups

SO … MANY … CLUBS. Did you know there are more than 25 clubs at Payne Elementary? From chess and Pokemon to art and drama to basketball and flag football — there is something for every kid. And though the year is well underway, many clubs are still accepting new participants. Attached to this email is a handy spreadsheet with club details, eligibility guidelines and points of contact.  Clubs at Payne Elementary

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iPADS OPERATIONAL. As previously reported, DCPS agreed to provide an additional 25 iPads to split among the Payne classrooms. The influx of iPads was the result of an unanticipated 8 percent uptick in student enrollment (there are 347 students at Payne). Ms. Oxendine, who shared the photo below, said the iPads are already in use.

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COFFEE TALK SCHEDULE.  In preparation of enrollment season, Payne teachers and staff are hosting coffee talks and classroom introductions for parents. Get an early look at your child’s next school year. The sessions start at 9 a.m. in the auditorium on the following dates:

Moving up to….
Kindergarten-Friday, Jan.11
1st Grade, Jan. 18th
2nd Grade, Feb. 1
3rd Grade, Feb. 8
4th Grade, Feb. 15
5th Grade, March 1

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THANK YOU, FOULGER-PRATT.  Foulger-Pratt, which is developing the Safeway site across the street from Payne, generously donated $1,500 to the PTSA.  We appreciate the support from our new neighbors.

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PENNIES FOR PATIENTS. Prepare to raid your couch cushions. Next month, Payne students will be collecting change in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Pennies for Patients campaign. While the effort runs Feb. 2-19, some of the younger grades are already bringing home donation boxes. This year’s goal is to raise $2,019 for 2019. Once the school reaches $750, the classroom with the most funds raised will earn a celebration party.The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and to  improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Click here for more fundraiser details.

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VOLUNTEER NEEDED. Do you have experience with data entry? Payne is looking for a volunteer who can work 1-2 hours, twice a week. Data would include emails and contact information. Work would also involve answering phones. Email Ms. Oxendine: akua.oxendine@dc.gov

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FAREWELL, MS. AMY. Amy Thomas, the AmeriCorps VISTA Community Liaison, will be leaving us on Friday. She has accepted a job as a research analyst for a contracting company in Virginia. She anticipates AmeriCorps providing a successor, though he or she has not yet been named. Ms. Amy’s role at Payne has been to assist the administration and improve communication among the entire Payne Community. She had this to share:  “Thanks to the Payne Family, for welcoming me into your school this year. I am saddened to leave Payne, but am thankful for the time I was able to spend at your school. I look forward to visiting and seeing the great things that will be happening at Payne in 2019 and beyond!”

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PLAY BALL. Capitol Hill Little League registration is now open for the spring season.  Click here to register your player(s) for baseball and softball for the spring. All kids who live within the Capitol Hill footprint or attend a Capitol Hill school are eligible to play, and scholarships are available. The website includes helpful resources such as how to measure your child’s “league age” and a Capitol Hill boundary map.

Baseball divisions are:
Single A:  League age 5 and 6
Double A:  League age 7 and 8
Triple A:  League age 9 and 10
Majors:  League age 11 and 12
Juniors/Seniors:  League age 13-16

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Jan. 12: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eastern Feeder Fest. All of Eastern High School’s feeder schools are invited to learn more about the school at 1700 East Capitol St. N.E. The feeder schools will also have tables at the event. Entertainment includes a DJ, popcorn and more.

Jan. 14: 9:30 a.m., Payne open house

Jan. 21-23: No school

Jan. 29: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting

Wildcat PTSA News: School Year Survey | Summer Camp Fair | Free Sign Language Classes

Happy 2019, Payne parents and staff.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL AUG. 26. The 2019-2020 school year begins Aug. 26 for most students and Aug. 29 for PK students, DCPS announced. But DCPS is polling parents, students and staff on three calendar proposals for how holiday breaks should be allotted. The survey takes a few minutes and could have big implications for your vacation plans. Sound off here.

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SUMMER CAMP FAIR. The New Year has just begun, but parents already are reserving camp spots for spring break and summer. Not sure where to start? J.O. Wilson Elementary’s PTA is hosting an annual camp fair, 6-8 p.m. Jan. 31 at the school, 660 K St. N.E. More than 60 camps from D.C., Maryland and Virginia are expected, ranging from traditional camps to others focused on the arts, music and academics.

 

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JANUARY PTSA MEETING RESCHEDULED TO JAN. 29: The January PTSA meeting will be moved back two weeks from Jan. 15 to Jan. 29. DCPS has chosen Payne to host a closed roundtable discussion Jan. 15 about the school budgeting process with LSAT members from DCPS schools around the city.

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GRADE-SPECIFIC COFFEE TALKS. As enrollment season approaches, Principal Byrd is hosting a series of coffees to take a closer look at grade levels. It’s an opportunity to learn what will be in store for your child moving up a grade. The first session at 9 a.m. Jan. 11 will focus on Kindergarten.

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FREE SIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES. The D.C. Public Library is offering free classes to learn American Sign Language. Beginner and intermediate courses available, with no need to register. The Northeast Neighborhood Library will offer beginning level classes 10-11 a.m. on Saturdays, Jan. 26-March 30 and April 27-June 28. Intermediate classes will be 11 a.m.-noon, also on those Saturdays. For a full list of classes, with libraries all over the district, email lbph.dcpl@dc.gov or call 202-559-5368.

 

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Jan. 7: 9:30 a.m., Payne open house

Jan. 12: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eastern Feeder Fest. All of Eastern High School’s feeder school are invited to learn more about the school at 1700 East Capitol St. N.E.

Jan. 14: 9:30 a.m., Payne open house

Jan. 15: PTSA meeting rescheduled for Jan. 29

Jan. 21-23: No school

Jan. 29: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting

Wildcat PTSA News: Holiday Concert | Skate Party Success

Seasons Greetings, Payne parents and staff.

HOLIDAY CONCERT. The day of the Winter Wonderland show is here. Doors open at 2 p.m., and the show starts at 2:30 p.m. You’ll hear holiday classics like Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman, poetry and a Kwanzaa presentation. And for fans of the Hokey Pokey, get ready to have your minds blown; the PK3 classes will sing the Winter Hokey Pokey live.

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HOW WE ROLL. About 200 members of the Payne community turned out Wednesday night for the skate party fundraiser at Temple Hills Skate Palace. The PTSA earned nearly $1,000, and the money will be spent on field trips.

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SEE YOU NEXT YEAR. Today is officially winter and the days are now getting longer.  School is out until Jan. 2.  When asked what parents and students could do during the break to foster learning, PK3 teacher Ms. Stokes shared this advice:

“Read daily, write in a journal, and have conversations with your child. Enjoy!”

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Payne PTSA.

Wildcat PTSA News: 3 Stars for Payne | Big Yellow Bin

PAYNE EARNS 3 STARS.

For the first time, standardized school report cards are measuring the school performance of all public schools, DCPS and charter. Payne scored 3 out of 5 stars for last year’s performance. So is 3 stars good? “It’s a great start,” Principal Byrd told parents Wednesday evening.

Byrd said she hopes and expects that the school will score higher in the future.  Already this year she and her staff are closely tracking student progress and she is encouraged by beginning of year testing results.

She’s particularly frustrated about declining math scores, however. The percentage of students approaching, meeting, or exceeding expectations on the PARCC dropped in 2017-18 from the previous year. On the positive side, Payne students do appear to be improving more rapidly in math than their peers in other public schools.

Byrd sent out a detailed explanation of the report card to the Payne community via email on Sunday. For the report card click here. Here are some things you might not have heard.

How does Payne stack up against its neighbors?

  • Only 27% of schools earned 4 or 5 stars.
  • Only 8% of schools earned 5 stars.
    • 5 stars: Maury, School-Within-School
    • 4 stars: Brent, Ludlow-Taylor, Two Rivers 4th Street and Watkins
    • 3 stars: Miner, Capitol Hill Montessori, J.O. Wilson, Tyler and Two Rivers Young

48 Minutes of play time? Payne’s Report Card notes 48 minutes per week of physical activity, but that’s a mistake Principal Byrd is correcting the record on. K-5 students receive 150 minutes a week of recess time (30 minutes x 5 days), plus 45 minutes per week during physical education class, she said. K-5 grades also receive an additional 45 minutes per week because Playworks visits their classroom and leads recreational activity, Principal Byrd said. PK grades get 60 minutes of recess per day and 45 minutes per week with Dr. Crumb in Phys-Ed.

Is attendance getting better? Payne has better than average daily attendance:  91% of students attend school each day. But Payne is below average when measuring the percentage of students who are in attendance for at least 90 percent of school days. About two thirds of Payne students reach that goal, and the D.C. average is slightly higher at 70 percent.

Have a question about the Payne report card? Email Principal Byrd at stephanie.byrd@dc.gov

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NO AFTERCARE DEC. 21. There is no aftercare on Friday, Dec. 21. That’s the same day as the Winter Wonderland holiday concert, which starts at 2:30 p.m.

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MORE BOOKS: With the support of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, the PTSA purchased over $5,600 worth of books this week for every grade, from PK3 to 5th Grade, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing classrooms, and the BES classroom.

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BOOK GIVEAWAY. A free book giveaway is happening today from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Eastern High School, 1700 E. Capitol St. N.E. This is Eastern’s Sixth Annual Give the Gift of Books event. Students and community members may select free books as holiday gifts for family and friends. Gift wrapping is available for free. Local businesses will be on-hand to sell gifts, too.

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CLOTHES DONATIONS. A big yellow bin sits just south of Payne, where you can drop off bags of clothes. It’s a Planet Aid bin. The organization, started in 1997, sells your donations on the wholesale used clothes market, and they often end up in developing countries. The organization is reducing the 14 million tons of textiles that end up in landfills every year in the United States. Rotting clothes in landfills create methane, which is a greenhouse gas. The organization accepts any article of clothing that isn’t dirty, wet or moldy, even underwear.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

Tonight: Thankful To Give spaghetti dinner, 4-6:30 p.m. Help put together care packages for D.C.’s homeless.

Dec. 17: Payne open house for prospective parents at 9:30 a.m. Interested in volunteering? Email Carolyn Bowen.

Dec. 19: Holiday Skate Party, 5-9 p.m. at the Temple Hills Skating Palace in Temple Hills, Md. You can still buy tickets at school on Monday morning or Sign up and pay online here. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Dec. 21: Winter Wonderland concert, 2:30 p.m. in the Auditorium. Doors open at 2 p.m.

Dec. 24-Jan. 1: Winter break