Wildcat PTSA News: Spring Carnival Volunteers | New Student Playdate | Teacher of the Month

Happy Spring Break, Wildcats! Teachers and staff, please enjoy this brief respite. Payne parents, good luck to us all.

Check your kids’ book bags. Report cards will be sent home today. Students also will receive spring break snack baskets courtesy of the Crossroads United Methodist Church in Virginia and fifth grade teacher Mr. Chris Bergfalk.

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CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS

The Payne Spring Carnival and Auction is Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. We’re looking for parents to:

  • Make hot dogs
  • Run the snow cone and cotton candy machines
  • Monitor the bounce houses
  • Organize a small auction
  • Run a raffle
  • Organize carnival games and more

Please join us in raising funds for the PTSA and providing a fun day for the community. Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/ThuuiNx. Parents Lexi Smith and Kerry DeVooght can answer questions.

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PLAYDATE FOR NEW WILDCATS

Lottery results are out, and welcome to all new Payne Wildcats. Current and future Payne families are gathering for a welcome playdate 4 p.m. April 28 at Spielberg Park, which is at 17th Street and Massachusetts Ave. S.E. Snacks will be provided. All grades are welcome.

Have a friend or neighbor whose child will be new at Payne next year? Please forward this newsletter to them and invite them to the April 28 playdate.

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PTSA MEETING

The PTSA will meet 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 to preview the annual board elections, which will be May 21. Dinner and childcare will be provided.

To vote in the May election, you must sign up to be a PTSA member by April 21 here. Unsure of your membership status? Email payneelementaryschool.pta@gmail.com.

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TEACHER OF THE MONTH. Congratulations to Ms. Shannon Foster, Payne’s fourth grade ELA and social studies teacher. She has been voted by her peers as the Payne Teacher of the Month for April. Ms. Foster’s students conspired with staff to surprise her with the honor:

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$3K FOR MATH TRAINING. The PTSA board voted to approve spending $3,000 to support training for 20 teachers on the Eureka math curriculum.  The training will occur in August before the new school year and will include math teachers in grades K-5 and other staff.

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DON’T FORGET ABOUT RE-ENROLLMENT. The school will host an enrollment event Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to noon on the playground. Kids can play while parents get enrollment paperwork squared away. Mrs. Oxendine notes that, for out-of-bounds students, every grade has a waitlist. Click here for more enrollment details.

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BAD BEHAVIOR? GOOD READ. Author Katherine Reynolds Lewis will host a discussion at East City Bookshop at 6:30 p.m. April 24 on her book “The Good News About Bad Behavior.”

She writes about a “growing crisis of self-regulation”: Why don’t our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.

Intrigued? Read more here.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

April 15-19: Spring break.

April 21: Deadline to become a PTSA member and participate in annual election.

April 23: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA meeting.

April 26: PARCC pep rally to pump up third-, fourth- and fifth-graders for testing. The theme: “Hit it out of the PARCC!”

May 21: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA annual meeting and elections.

May 27-28: No school.

Wildcat PTSA News: Field Trip Funds | Calling All Hoopsters | Protest From Our Past

Here’s the latest scoop on what’s happening around school.

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PAYNE FIELD TRIPS

The PTSA has supported field trips throughout the year by covering transportation costs. By year’s end, PTSA President Mark Jordan said every grade will have participated in a trip supported by the PTSA.  Most recently, the board approved $120 to cover transport costs for second-graders to visit the Frederick Douglass House in Historic Anacostia.

A message to teachers out there: Are you considering additional field trips this year that are currently unfunded? If so, send your request through the administration as the PTSA is considering allocating funds to support even more trips this year. Please send all requests by April 15.

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BASKETBALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Eliot Hine Middle School is calling on Payne to form a basketball team of parents, staff and students for the 2019 Basketball Fever Feeder FUNdraiser.

Eliot-Hine and its feeder schools will compete 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Eastern High School. Fans are welcome, and it’s free. Concessions and the silent auction will benefit the Eliot-Hine PTO.

Interested in joining the team? Email Assistant Principal Ward: jason.ward@dc.gov

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KILN UPDATE

Art teacher Ms. Harvey confirmed this week she is planning at least one pottery project before the school year is done. You may remember, the kiln room has been out of operation for some time (with the space currently used as storage). But the PTSA funded a recent inspection and minor repairs. Once the room containing the kiln is emptied, it can be fired up once again. Here’s our kiln:

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LAST CHANCE FOR SURVEY

Today is the last day to complete the DCPS Panorama survey, a district-wide confidential survey to gather feedback from students, families and staff about students’ social and emotional learning. The link to take the survey is surveys.panoramaed.com/dcps, and the access code is “family.”

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PAYNE HISTORY LESSON: SEGREGATION AND PTA PROTESTS

During segregation, Payne was a school for black children, and it was severely overcrowded. In the early 1950s, parents became vocal and staged a number of walkouts and pickets. Parents saw a clear solution: Send children to nearby white schools, which had plenty of space. But D.C. was “rigidly segregated” at this time.

Building expansions to the school were not enough for Payne, which in 1953 had 899 students. Today there are fewer than 350.

The Washington Post reported on Feb. 9, 1953, “Several hundred members of the Payne-Maury Parent Teacher Association voted unanimously yesterday to continue keeping the children from attending Payne Elementary school as a protest against overcrowded conditions.” When the protest began, only 57 of the 899 students showed up.

More than a year later, in May 1954, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools could not be segregated on the state level in Brown v. Board of Education. (Fun Fact: The legal case that ended segregation in D.C. was Bolling v. Sharpe.)

Information provided by Jen Harris, executive director of Story of our Schools and the D.C. Public Library’s Washingtoniana Collection.

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SPRING FUNDRAISER

The Payne auctions during the past two years were fun and successful events. Based on a number of considerations, the PTSA has decided to try a different approach this year, combining a larger spring carnival with a small, focused on-site silent auction. The event will be in May to coincide with Payne Spirit Week and the end of PARCC testing. We will be looking for volunteer support to help make this event happen. More details will follow.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

TODAY, March 29: My School D.C. lottery results released. Welcome, new Wildcats!

April 1: Payne enrollment opens, starting with PK3 and PK4.

April 4-5: No school (Note: There will be after care April 3)

April 17-21: Spring break

April 21: Deadline to pay PTSA dues to participate in annual election.

May 21: PTSA annual meeting and elections.

Wildcat PTSA News: Social Studies for K-5 | Spring Concert Postponed | The Payne Fire of 1983

NEW FOCUS ON SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE

DCPS recently released more specific scheduling guidelines for social studies and science for the upcoming school year for grades K-8. Bottom line up front: Grades K-2 are expected to receive the equivalent of 45 minutes per day of social studies for half the year and 45 minutes per day of science for half the year. For grades 3-5, it’s 30 minutes per day for social studies and 30 minutes per day of science, all year long.

Scott Abbott, the DCPS director of social studies, provides further detail in a little tweetstorm March 10. Read his posts here. He includes a chart that fully breaks down required subjects and time expectations. The chart also is attached to this message.

Social studies was a major discussion point at Tuesday’s PTSA meeting, which included a presentation by Ward 6’s State Board of Education member Jessica Sutter. She told parents that World History 1 was the most failed class in DCPS high schools, and officials think a lack of social studies in the elementary and middle schools played a significant role.

Sutter pointed out that DCPS has had standards in place for teaching social studies for years, but no curriculum existed. DCPS now has developed its own social studies curriculum, she said.  Sutter suspects many schools will draw social studies time from the existing literacy block.

You’re wondering what this means for Payne and the kids’ already-packed schedules. Principal Byrd said Payne students currently receive science and social studies lessons that are “infused in the reading curriculum.”

Next year, grades K-2 will keep the 120-minute literacy block, but grades 3-5 will go from a 120-minute literacy block to 90 minutes, Principal Byrd told the PTSA. Math blocks remain at 90 minutes.

Abbott said social studies promotes literacy. “They need to learn disciplinary literacies as practiced by historians, geographers, political scientists, economists, and more to really enhance their reading abilities,” he tweeted.

For more on how reading in social studies and science promotes literacy, Sutter recommended the podcast Hard Words.

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SPRING CONCERT POSTPONED

The spring concert, originally scheduled for March 29, has  been postponed. A new date has not been decided. Music teacher Mr. Golden and art teacher Ms. Harvey are working on the program, and more details will be coming soon, Vice Principal Ward told the PTSA.

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MATH BOWL COMPETITORS

Payne students from grades 3-5 competed March 14 in the DCPS Math Bowl. Grant Opara, Sebastian Frederick, Da’Shod Williams, Layla Jackson, and Xavier Kenner earned 4th place, a mere four points from the first-place team. Twenty-five teams competed: 13 from elementary schools and 12 from middle schools.

Vice Principal Ward attended the event and shared this message with the staff: “I was extremely proud of the teamwork, camaraderie, and support of each other that the team displayed throughout the evening. Keep up the good work, teachers — we are moving in the right direction. GO WILDCATS!​”

Pictured: Payne Students crushing numbers and taking names at the Math Bowl.

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ATTENDANCE SOCIAL

Stop by the auditorium from 9-10 a.m. Friday to meet Payne’s attendance team. Enjoy a continental breakfast and participate in a gift card raffle. And, more importantly, check on your student’s attendance record.

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PTSA ELECTIONS PSA

The PTSA will hold elections at its annual meeting May 21. The PTSA bylaws require that to be eligible to vote in the election, individuals must be in good standing with the PTSA by signing up and paying dues at least 30 days before the election, which is April 21 this year.

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SWAG VOLUNTEER NEEDED

Seeking a volunteer to run t-shirt sales for the remainder of the school year and next year and ideas for new Payne merchandise. Car magnets perhaps? Contact Carolyn Bowen.

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BUILD THE LITTLE LIBRARY

The PTSA purchased a “little library” kit to build in front of the school. The goal is to encourage reading and the sharing of books. We’re looking for volunteers with tools and some construction skills.  If you are interested, contact Lexi Smith.

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PLEASE TAKE THIS SURVEY

The DCPS Panorama survey is a district-wide confidential survey to gather feedback from students, families, and staff about students’ social/emotional learning. The link to take the survey is surveys.panoramaed.com/dcps, and the access code is “family.” Alternatively, parents or guardians can fill out paper copies at the school. The survey will be open online until March 29.

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PAYNE HISTORY LESSON: THE FIRE

Loyal newsletter followers already know about the Story of Our School team, tasked with researching Payne’s history for purposes of establishing a permanent exhibit at Payne. We’ll be highlighting some of the team’s discoveries as they continue their research. This week we’re taking a closer look at the fire that destroy the original building:

A little before 11 a.m. on April 26, 1983, faulty wiring in the attic started a fire in the original 1896 building, which was located where the tennis courts are today. Jim Lloyd was one of 79 firefighters who fought the fire for 50 minutes that day. In an interview with the Story of Our School team, he said the damage didn’t seem too severe. Even so, the city demolished the building shortly after. There were no injuries, and 290 students were evacuated. Most children were either in the new “annex” on C Street (still part of Payne today) or on a field trip.

Jen Harris, executive director of Story of our Schools shared the details above, and Jim Lloyd provided the photo below of Payne on fire.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

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

March 29: My School D.C. lottery results released

April 4-5: No school

April 17-21: Spring break

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