Wildcat PTSA News: Field Day Out, Costumes In | Haunted Payne | Chickens Arrive

Hello, Payne Community.

Field Day is rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 7, but there is still fun to be had on Halloween at Payne. Wildcats are encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook character, but scary costumes and masks are not allowed. Science teacher Mr. Creef, anticipating the arrival of Payne’s chickens, dressed up a day early as Donald Duck.

The chickens arrived Wednesday and will stay at Payne for several weeks. They are looking healthy and happy.



The aftercare program will be celebrating Halloween on Thursday with a haunted house, games and activities, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. All Payne students and family members are invited to participate, and students who are not enrolled in aftercare must have a parent present.



Thanks to everyone who attended last weekend’s Fall Festival. The PTSA raised more than $12,000 in sponsorships, donations and day-of sales. It would not have been possible without the support of all of the Payne community (and 23 pots of chili).

A special thanks also to our four Gold Sponsors. We’ll be highlighting each one over the next several newsletters. First up is the Pretzel Bakery.

The Pretzel Bakery serves small batch, hand-rolled, Philadelphia-style soft pretzels fresh-out-of-the-oven all day. Stop by or check out their menu http://thepretzelbakery.com/menu.



The Hill Rag wrote a nice feature about the Capitol Hill Little League and improvements to Payne’s ballfield. Read more here.



Don’t forget your Payne swag. The sale runs through Nov. 8 via this page on Custom Ink.  As of publication time we need 17 more items to be purchased to reach our goal of 50.



Nov. 1: Third grade field trip

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 7: Field Day

Nov. 11: Veterans’ Day (no school)

Nov. 13: Library Night, 4-5 p.m.

Nov. 14: Middle School Fair 5-6:30 p.m. in the Payne Auditorium with a prize drawing and multiple giveaways.

Nov. 14: Second grade field trip

Nov. 16: East City Bookshop fundraiser; details to come

Nov. 16: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Feeder Fest at Eastern High School

Nov. 18: 9 a.m., open house for prospective families

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m. Please note the print calendar for November lists the meeting as Nov. 12, but the correct date is Nov. 1

Nov. 21: Second grade field trip

Nov. 22: Picture Day

Nov. 26: No after care. Please pick up students no later than 3:20 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: Thanksgiving Break (no school)

Dec. 18: Payne Night at Temple Hills Skate Palace; details to come


Have you joined the PTSA? Please join us and help support our school and students.

LSAT Meeting Minutes-September 2018


  • Kickoff-Steve
  • Elect a chair
  • Community Member- Appoint
  • Role of the LSAT and specific goals to achieve for this school year


  • Stephanie Byrd
  • Steve Bowen
  • Mark Jordan
  • Jason Ward
  • Aisha Hemphill-Merritt
  • Fareeda Gayle, Teacher for deaf and hard of hearing
  • Juanita Stokes
  • Ms. Thompson- Building representative
  • Dierdre Duffy

Not in attendance:

  • Second Teacher Representative
  • Community Member (TBD)


  • Nomination and acceptance of Steve Bowen as Chair of LSAT
  • Key driving parameter of meeting is to stick to agenda to be respectful of everyone’s time.

Discussion on Role of LSAT and specific goals to achieve for this school year:

  • Think of it as the Budget but LSAT’s role is much more than that.
  • Sounding Board
  • Good to be a conduit for parent community.
  • Can bring constructive ideas
  • Come up with specific set of goals where you can bring some ideas to the LSAT and how PTA differs.
  • Collaborative nature of LSAT for allocation of school resources, curriculum options, local school comprehensive plan.
  • SAT about academics, advisory board for academic achievement. (Principal Byrd).  What is the place for parents to process experiences, can discuss that.
  • Defined/Discrete role- another way to get input from parents/teachers/community for how we are shaping the school (Byrd). Not only academic component, curriculum options, local school comprehensive plan. Think Tank to consider everyone’s perspective. Students on the LSAT? Student Council share their thoughts.
  • Goals for school feed budgetary considerations. Budget comes January/February.
  • Starting metrics/dashboard accessible for LSAT or community? So we know what decisions need to be made to get us to goals.
  • Look at data school provides to community and see if there are ways to make information more available. What kind of data are we publishing.
  • Make sure data relates to the goals set forth.
  • Easier way to answer question to answer question of where did we start, now, going, and how do we get there.
  • Definition of Data- what is it that we are referencing. Does the PTA have information on what parents want to know? Reading and Math figures across different years.
  • What programs have we tried that have failed, also wondering those questions on programs, pedagogy, teaching, expectations for students and parents for what they are getting out of the school.
  • What is the data- surveys, gathering how, is it too much? Data on test scores, goals of projects, numbers and substance. Post it somewhere it can be tracked for the community.
  • Growth, teachers explaining what is happening specifically in their classroom.
  • Assessment- i ready data, what my kid is doing in class.
  • List of programs that we can assess- retention was it effective and affective for kids especially programs that cost money
  • How do we interact with school- what is the school culture
  • Re-enrollment-76% 106% enrolled- over-enrolled. Retention of programs, kids, why aren’t they staying to the 5th grade year. What can we implement to keep kids. Exit interviews.
  • Where are the struggles, and how do we help resolve, help with direction of the school.
  • Goal of LSAT is to measure performance
  • What is the 5 year plan, how far into it are you and how do you self assess.
  • Timeline- trying to do this to inform the community better and then the community can inform Principals decisions.
  • Comprehensive School Plan timeline has shifted, done for this year. Timeline starts in April, needs assessment done, data analyzed and these are the goals for the next year.
  • Will send out this plan for everyone to read (see picture)
  • What about surveys, Mark will follow up on who is best suited to support (Andria, others?)


  • Meetings held the first Tuesdays of the month at 5:30 to be staggered with the PTA meetings
  • Charlie will do meeting minutes and Ms. Gayle will be backup stenographer
  • Key roles of LSAT will drive activities and it is important to create and get agreement ASAP.


  • Write draft mission statement/goals for LSAT- to be kept short (2 to 3 main ones)
  • Conduct offline discussion on community member participant
  • Mark to conduct preliminary discussion on survey creators

LSAT Meeting Minutes-January 2018

Payne Elementary School LSAT
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Members in attendance: Adrienne Daniels, Aisha Hemphill-Merritt, Dalila Kaddour, Danielle Glover, Juanita Stokes, Tiffani Turner, Janice Brown Parker, Jason Ward, Stephanie Byrd
Absent: Christopher Bergfalk (excused), Deidra Duffy (excused), Mandla Deskins (excused)

Continue reading LSAT Meeting Minutes-January 2018

LSAT Meeting Minutes-December 2017

Payne Elementary School LSAT
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Members in attendance: Adrienne Daniels, Aisha Hemphill-Merritt, Dalila Kaddour, Juanita Stokes, Tiffani Turner, Mandla Deskins, Janice Brown Parker, Stephanie Byrd

Absent: [Shanita Henson – excused], Christina Mitchell, Zakia Dance

1. Election – Clarification on DCPS protocol to fill vacant positions

  • We need to fill the vacant parent position due to Ms. Zakia Dance’s departure as a parent at Payne ES due to her move outside of the District of Columbia. After significant discussion the parent members of the team recommended the following:
    • Review the list of seven remaining candidates from the election held in June 2017, and
    • Contact each person and inquire whether they’re still interested in serving as a member of the team (D. Duffy, V. Brietbarth, M. Thompson, A. Thomas, S. Bowen, N. Todd, and B Thompson). Parents will be contacted as listed in the order of most votes.
    • This recommendation will be shared with the Payne ES PTA at their January board meeting.
  • We need to fill the position of secretary for the 2017-2018 LSAT. No one volunteered to serve as secretary of our 2017-2018 LSAT.

2. Our Hopes and Dreams – Four (4) Years and Counting Down

  • Identifying our Piece of the Pie: Team members were encouraged by Chair Brown Parker to take into consideration our hope and dreams as we determine our priorities of focus this SY. Investigate and identify resources, agencies, and partners to assist and collaborate with us to help to achieve our goals in making Payne ES a world-class school. The following themes and programs were discussed:
    • World Cultures
    • Mathematics and Science
    • Responsive classroom o Reader’s/Writer’s Workshop
    • 2nd Science Teacher
  • Engaging Stakeholders and Promoting Our Plan
    • LSAT Minutes – Our minutes should be published to inform stakeholders. How? Where?
    • The team indicated that publishing the minutes of our meeting to inform stakeholders would be in the best interest of the school community. We’ll reach out to the school’s website team to see if the minutes can be posted on the website monthly. Perhaps there can be a LSAT section on the website. o
    • Opening our LSAT meetings to the public – When? Where?

Action Items:
1. Team Members will investigate and research exceptional and successful math and science programs, determine if those programs would be a good fit for our school, then report their findings to the team next month.
2. Janice Brown Parker will contact our website team to inquire about our ability to publish our minutes on the school’s website.
Next Month’s meeting: Next meeting date is 01/18/18 at 5:30 PM
Meeting adjourned at 6:38 PM

LSAT Meeting Minutes-November 2017

Payne Elementary School LSAT
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Members in attendance: Adrienne Daniels, Aisha Hemphill-Merritt, Dalila Kaddour, Juanita Stokes, Janice Brown Parker, Stephanie Byrd
Absent: Shanita Henson, Christina Mitchell, Zakia Dance, [Mandla Deskins – excused]
1. Elections – Community Member

  • Mrs. Aisha Hemphill-Merritt informed the team that as of today she has been unable to get in contact with Mr. Myers, hence she withdrew his name for our consideration.
  • Principal Byrd informed that our community members from last school year, Kellie and Jim Robinson are interested in continuing on the team which would add some continuity in the progression of the Five-year plan developed by the team during SY 2016-2017 – Secretary
  • There were no volunteers to serve as secretary. We will submit requests again next month at our December meeting.

2. Payne ES’s Program and Goals – The Big Picture There was significant discussion after review of our ‘Big Picture’ that was developed by last year’s team. Members reiterated what we’d like Payne ES to ‘look like in four years’. Questions like… What have we achieved? What is working? How do we implement a plan of action? And more of that nature was discussed. Student engagement, parent engagement, and safety of our students were primary in the discussion. The LSAT would like help develop and foster a tenacious attitude in our students. We’d also like to ensure that our students have access to the latest technology and innovation. We need to develop our foci – look towards big initiatives.
What do we want for our students four years from now? We want our students to/become… Global Academic Social-Emotional Good citizens Ask questions Enjoy school Culturally competent Bilingual Play well with others Creative Strong STEM student Welcome a challenge Social consciousness Proficient/advanced A risk taker Most concerned with achievement for impact, achieve for a reason Have a growth mindset/constant learner Knowledgeable/ confident Acknowledge as stakeholders and change makers Enjoy reading Self-advocating
Be able to compete with peers nationally, and locally Courage of her convictions
Great communication skills, both oral and written Problem solver
Mathematical reasoning and computational skills Be able to handle a challenge/trust failure
Be able to handle a challenge/trust failure Self-advocacy
Physically healthy Self-reflective
Happy/positive (don’t be a hater)
Mentally healthy
Other abilities/resolutions: entrepreneurial, resilience, empathetic, be able to find mentors
What work has to happen to create these kids?

1. We have to make sure we are encouraging our students to participate. We need to challenge our children to be competitive.

2. Analyze what we have in place that speaks to the list 3. Be able to take risks and justify them. We must be willing to push the envelope to a point we’re not afraid. Look at teaching our children to make smart risks.
3. Our Hopes and Dreams — 4 Years from Now Global Academic Social Emotional International Day World Cultures School Reading curriculum intentional in including different cultures
What have we done to move towards our goal?

1. Responsive classroom 2. Playworks program 3. *SEM teachers?

Action Items:
1. Members will draft ideal mission statement for PES LSAT.
2. Team Members will review information uploaded in to our google doc.
3. Janice Brown Parker contact Kellie and Jim Robinson to inform them they will continue as the community members of our team.

Next Month’s meeting: The team voted and agreed that the LSAT meeting will be held the 3rd Thursday of the month at 5:30 PM; however our next meeting date is 12/14/2017 due to winter break schedule.
Meeting adjourned at 6:42 PM