Wildcat PTSA News: Holiday Programs | Skate Party | Hello, Grant Money

Hello, fellow Wildcats. The holidays are nearly upon us. But before you bundle up and go wassailing, please read the latest school news and mark your calendars.

HO, HO, HOLIDAY PROGRAMS

Everyone must have been extra nice this year because the school is putting on two programs to celebrate the holidays. The littlest wildcats (PK3 through 2nd grade), will perform 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17 in the auditorium. The program, led by the specials teachers, is called “A Winter Performance of Frozen.”

If kids kindly asking you to “build a snowman” doesn’t suit your tastes, perhaps you should just “let it go” and instead attend “Scrooge: The Musical.” The big kids (3rd through 5th grades) will perform this show 5:15 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 19.

For parents of the Frozen cast: Your child will be collaborating as a grade or in smaller groups to perform songs from the movie. Classes can also choose to perform another non-Frozen winter-themed song. Students are encouraged to wear Frozen attire or blue and white. Students not already receiving food from after care will get a snack before the show.

For parents of the Scrooge cast: Students are encouraged to wear red. In addition to Scrooge numbers, the kids will perform winter-themed songs between scenes. Students not already receiving food from aftercare will get pizza.

Ask your child about his or her songs and practice with them at home.

And finally, Drama Teacher Ms. Barbarino is looking for parent volunteers to help decorate the auditorium during the day of each performance. She also is looking for crafty folks to help build decorations or props. Email: jaclyn.barbarino@k12.dc.gov

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ASL CLUB SHOWCASE

The ASL Club will present its Winter Performance 5 p.m. Dec. 11, in the auditorium. All are invited to see students demonstrate their American Sign Language skills. Students will perform signed presentations that provide a few interesting facts about each student. The students also will perform two musical performances.

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ROLLERSKATING PARTY

The PTSA is hosting a skate night 6-9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Temple Hill Skate Palace, 3132 Branch Avenue, Temple Hills, Md. Tickets are $10 each, and that includes skate rental. Anyone over the age of 2 requires a ticket. PTSA members will sell tickets outside of the Payne auditorium 8-9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 and 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Cash, credit card and check will be accepted. You also may purchase tickets day-of at the Skate Palace.

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GRANT MONEY? WE GOT IT

The Capitol Hill Community Foundation announced Payne will receive a number of high-dollar grants to support activities in and out of the classroom.

Science Materials for Experiments and Interactive Activities: $2,200

Science Teacher Mr. Creef requested funds for animal specimens such as scorpions, spiders, frogs, squids and wasps. You know, the cute ones. Money may be used for other science materials, too.

Professional Development for Eureka Math: $2,000

Seventeen teachers will receive eight hours of training from Great Minds to learn to use the Eureka Math curriculum.

Buses for Field Trips: $1,500

In a city full of free museums, transportation is often the most costly aspect of Payne field trips.

Materials for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Classes: $700

Materials include colored textured tape to help identify hallway paths, dramatic play items with distinctive textures and textured paper and bold Sharpies.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who took the time to write the applications.

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LOTS OF NEW BOOKS

The PTSA just purchased $1,300 worth of books for Payne classroom libraries, made possible through the profits of the Scholastic Book Fair. Purchases were based on recommendations from school librarian Tim Gordon, literacy coach Tiffani Turner and teachers. Titles range from Artemis Fowl to Dog Man to Superfudge.

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OUT AND ABOUT

Last month the Payne Brownie troop went hiking at Kingman Island. They learned about the “leave no trace” philosophy and practiced marking a trail.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Dec. 10: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., volunteer fingerprinting. Spots still are available Click here to sign up.

Dec. 11: 5 p.m., ASL Winter Performance

Dec. 14: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. EdFest, D.C. Armory

Dec. 17: 4 p.m., A Winter Performance of Frozen

Dec. 18: Payne Night at Temple Hills Skate Palace

Dec. 19: 5:15 p.m., Scrooge: The Musical

Dec. 19: 10:15-11:30 a.m., Eliot-Hine Open House

Dec. 23-Jan. 1: No school

Jan. 17-20: No school

Jan. 27-28: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Fingerprints Reminder | Parent Concerns | Reach Program

Hello, everybody.

Spots are filling up for fingerprinting for volunteers the morning of Dec. 10. Click here to sign up. Please bring your negative TB test result. Read more about the DCPS volunteering requirements here. And for those with a security clearance, you can skip fingerprinting and complete this Federal Security Clearance Verification Form.

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PAYNE’S STRENGTHS AND CHALLENGES.

At Tuesday’s PTSA meeting, members held small-group discussions about their families’ experiences at Payne so far this year. As they talked, the PTSA asked them to identify things that have been going well as well as their concerns. PTSA President Mark Jordan summarized members’ key points and submitted them to Principal Byrd on Wednesday.

Strengths

  • All around shout-out for Payne’s teachers and staff.
  • Hands-on learning, chickens example specifically (three of the four tables mentioned this).
  • Kids are loving science.
  • ASL Club and ASL used in class (three of the four tables mentioned this).
  • Reach and Reading Partners — good community partners.
  • FLEX Academies aftercare.
  • Having drama as a special.
  • Responsiveness of particular managers.
  • Fall Festival.
  • Library is well-stocked and beautiful.
  • School facility is always bright, clean, and welcoming.
  • PTSA newsletters / Payne Posts — consistent updates.
  • Excellent enrichment program in aftercare.
  • Members also praised specific staff members and those names were forwarded to Principal Byrd and the PTA will reach out to them directly to pass the plaudits on.

Challenges / Opportunities for Growth

  • Lack of substitutes (mentioned by two of four tables).
  • Can parents be informed when teachers are out?
  • Lack of crossing guard at 15th and C streets (mentioned by two of four tables).
  • Departmentalization of second grade — still adjusting, question about whether or not it is working.
  • Communications (e.g. inconsistencies and/or mistakes in dates/calendars). Recommendation: Update website? Archive Payne Post online?
  • Broken faucets/lack of soap in boys’ bathroom by cafeteria (has been an ongoing problem for months).(Update: Ms. Oxendine reports that the faucet was fixed as of 11/21).
  • Insufficient physical activity during the day — some days kids only get to play for 10 minutes at recess. Recommendation: Could there be more opportunities for kids to take breaks during class to be active in some way?
  • Staffing issues in Kindergarten — lack of communication — uncertain plan for December. (Update: Thanks to Principal Byrd for sending a communication out regarding this topic today).
  • More math support/resources/enrichment.
  • Increased reading support in fourth and fifth (e.g. where Reach and Reading Partners don’t provide services).
  • Add paraprofessionals in older grades.
  • Open playground on weekend.
  • School grounds need cleaning up.
  • Too much candy / juice / cupcakes in school.
  • Lack of chaperones given frequency of ECE field trips — expecting same parents. Recommendation: Can we combine field trips and neighborhood excursions (which require fewer chaperones?)

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REACH LITERACY

Have you heard about Reach? This non-profit has been working with Payne for nine years to help our second and third grade students learn to read. NPR ran a story on the program in March featuring the program’s work at Payne.

Teen mentors visit Payne every Tuesday and Thursday after school to help with reading. The teen literacy instructors are paid $20 to $260 per month.

The teens also are published authors. You can buy the books on this website  to support the program.

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BOOK SALE SUCCESS

Thanks to everyone who attended the East City Bookshop Fundraiser on Nov. 16. Payne earned $635, which was the biggest East City fundraiser for the school to date.

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ED FEST VOLUNTEERS NEEDED.

EdFest, D.C.’s annual public school fair is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at the D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. S.E. Payne will be there along with all other DCPS schools. Flu shots for kids and adults will be administered, and library card signups will be available. Parking and admission are free. Read more here. Payne is seeking volunteers to participate and share your Wildcat experience. Click here to sign up for a one-hour shift.

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VOLUNTEER AND DONATION OPPORTUNITIES

Payne Community Liaison Danielle Ciaurro shares the following:

Please donate:

  • Winter coats (sizes 10-12, both genders)
  • Clear storage bins for uniforms
  • Props, costumes, and materials for the winter play
    • Top hat
    • 3 plaid vests for boys
    • 1 black cape with hood
    • 1 red cape with collar
    • Fake gold coins or gold paint
    • 2 small wooden desks
    • Plaid tablecloth
    • Fake chains for ghosts
    • 2 baskets
    • Large sack
    • Bench
    • Paint
    • Paint brushes
    • Large sheet for background
    • Grim reaper staff
    • White make up
    • Long skirts for girls (Various sizes)
    • Cane or crutch for Tiny Tim
    • 3 pairs of black knee socks
    • Metal cups
    • Scrooge’s pajamas
    • Fluid for smoke machine

Volunteer your time to:

  • Organize and take inventory of uniforms
  • Assist Drama Teacher Ms. Barbarino in making props or costumes
  • Assist with Chess Club
  • Assist with science projects
  • ​Assist with the chicken coop Dec. 2-6
  • Set up labs during the school day
  • Assist students with Science Fair projects in December and January

Want to help or have questions? Email: danielle.ciaurro@k12.dc.gov

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We wish a special thank you to one of our Fall Festival Gold Sponsors, Tripoint Solutions, which shares this message:

Tripoint Solutions is an IT solutions provider focused on the intersection of people, process, and technology in the Federal workplace. We do our best to give back to the community and are thrilled to support Payne Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year!

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IMPORTANT DATES

Nov. 22: Picture Day. Note: Uniform is not required this day if your child is getting pictures taken.

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

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

Dec. 14: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. EdFest, D.C. Armory

Dec. 18: Payne Night at Temple Hills Skate Palace; tickets are $10.

Dec. 19: 10:15-11:30 a.m., Eliot-Hine Open House

Dec. 23-Jan. 3: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: East City Books Fundraiser | Story of Our School Donation | Fingerprinting

Hello, everybody!

Please visit East City Bookshop 4-7 p.m. this Saturday and buy some books. For everything you buy during this time, 20 percent will go directly to Payne. You can also buy books requested by classroom teachers or donate to the Payne Library. East City is located at 645 Pennsylvania Ave, SE. Shop local and support Payne. Bonus: there will also be complimentary wine and snacks.

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PTSA MEETING NEXT WEEK

There will be a PTSA meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Representatives from Eliot-Hine Middle School will speak and field questions. We’ll also learn more about REACH, a reading program that pairs teenage tutors with Payne students. And the PTSA wants to hear what’s on YOUR mind, so please join us!

You can also purchase tickets for Skate Night, which will take place Dec. 18 at Temple Hills Skate Palace from 6 – 9 p.m. Last year’s Skate Night was a huge hit last year, and this newsletter writer only crashed like 10 times. Tickets are $10 and 50% of the proceeds go to the PTSA.

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SHIRT SALE SUCCESS

Thanks to everyone who purchased Payne T-shirts. We exceeded our goal of 50, selling 84 clothing items and raising $280.

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Reading Coach Tiffani Turner is looking for volunteers to help organize the book room. Separate from the library, this room is where guided-reading, unit books and other supplies are stored. Ms. Turner is looking for three to four volunteers to assist. Tasks included setting reading levels for books, organization, sign creation and decor improvements. She notes, it would be especially helpful if one of our taller community members stepped up. “The shelves are pretty high, and I’m directionally challenged,” she notes. Interested in helping? Email Ms. Turner: tiffani.turner@k12.dc.gov

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STORY OF OUR SCHOOL PROJECT

If your child attended Payne last year, you’ve probably heard of the Story of Our School Project. A team of students, led by PK3 Teacher Ms. Stokes, conducted a thorough research project on the history of Payne, detailing accounts of the school’s namesake, Daniel Payne and interviewing past students and longtime residents of the neighborhood. The culmination of this project is a museum-quality exhibit, to be built in the main entry space, that will educate the Payne community and visitors for years to come.

This initiative is part of the Story of Our Schools project. The cost to build the exhibit is estimated at $30,000, and more than $20,000 has been raised through donations of area businesses and residents like you. And now the PTSA Board has unanimously voted to chip in an additional $4,600 to help close the final gap!

“When complete, the Story of Payne exhibit will be a lasting legacy for the school — a vision honoring Payne’s rich past that our students and our community made a reality,” said PTSA President Mark Jordan. “Through this donation, the PTSA board wanted show our commitment to the project and we thank all members of the PTSA for your fundraising efforts that helped to make this possible.”

If you would like to learn more about the program or make a donation (every little bit helps!) visit this website.

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FINGERPRINTING

To everyone who got a TB test this fall: We will be hosting fingerprinting at Payne the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Click here to sign up. Fingerprinting is the last step to obtaining DCPS clearance for volunteering in city schools. Please bring your negative TB test result to the fingerprinting.

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We wish a special thank you to one of our Fall Festival Gold Sponsors, the Jeanne Phil Meg Team at COMPASS Real Estate:

Compass Concierge is a program that helps sellers capitalize on their homes’ equity to make improvements in order to simplify and quicken selling their homes. No interest or fees. Find out more at jeannephilmeg.com

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DOWN ON THE FARM

Science Teacher Mr. Creef, aka Farmer Creef, introduces one of our chickens to kindergartener Valerie Bowen.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Saturday, Nov. 16: 4-7 p.m., East City Bookshop fundraiser

Saturday, 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.

Nov. 19: 10:15-11:30 a.m., Eliot-Hine Open House

Nov. 21: Second grade field trip

Nov. 22: Picture Day. Note: Uniform is not required this 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

Dec. 19: 10:15-11:30 a.m., Eliot-Hine Open House

Dec. 23-Jan. 3: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Field Day | Safety Patrol | Anti-Bullying

Good evening, folks.

A reminder that Fall Field Day is this Thursday. Temps will be in the 50s and skies will be clear until the evening. Dress your kids in Payne gear or their class colors.

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PAYNE SHIRTS: LAST CALL

The PTSA’s t-shirt sale is ending Friday. Visit this page on Custom Ink. We need to sell 11 more items and we make our goal of 50.

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FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ANNOUNCED.

The first day for the 2020-2021 school year will be Aug. 31.

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SAFETY PATROL, ASSEMBLE!

For the second year, Dr. Crumb has assembled a team of students and deputized them with badges and PT belts. Together they are … SAFETY PATROL. You’ll see this eight-student team of third, fourth and fifth graders at the end of the school day, making sure classes maintain their lines and wait patiently to be picked up. Safety Patrol students also pick up odd jobs around the school, ranging from cafeteria cleanup to handing out programs at events. They do not direct traffic or work outside school grounds.

D’Mari Farmer, a fourth grader, said he feels like a police officer when he dons the badge, but he really wants to be an engineer when he grows up. As a member of Safety Patrol, he knows he has an important mission:

“It’s about saving the community,” D’Mari said. “Helping children be good.”

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BE A BUDDY, NOT A BULLY. Payne social worker Taiya Gregory took the opportunity last month to discuss bullying with the students and to encourage kindness. Students took the “Anti Bullying Pledge”:

I will not bully others.

I will not leave anyone out.

I will help others being bullied.

If I cannot help a bully, I will tell an adult.

I will stand up for what is right.

The end of bullying begins with me!

I CARE. I CAN HELP. I CAN MAKE A CHANGE.

In this photo, students sign the anti-bullying pledge banner.

Students also participated in a bullying prevention poster contest. One of the top artists produced this fantastically friendly T-Rex. You can see all the posters in the hallway on the way to the cafeteria.

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LIBRARY NIGHT.

Family and students are invited to visit Payne’s library 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. Read together and select a book to check out and read at home. Follow school librarian Tim Gordon on Twitter: @MrGordonLibrary

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ELIOT-HINE OPEN HOUSES

Come to one of Eliot-Hine Middle School’s open houses this winter. You will get an overview of the school, hear a panel discussion and get a classroom tour.

  • 10:15-11:30 a.m. Nov. 19
  • 10:15-11:30 a.m. Dec. 19
  • 10:15-11:30 a.m. Jan. 23
  • 6-7:15 p.m. Jan. 23
  • 10:15-11:30 a.m. Feb. 26
  • 6-7:15 p.m. Feb. 26

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NATS (AND PAYNE) ON PARADE

Tens of thousands of D.C.-area fans gathered Nov. 2 to cheer on the Nationals for their World Series victory. Joining in the excitement was a contingent of Payne students, teachers and staff who got to march in the parade, too, with other D.C. Public Schools. The Payne baseball field will receive up to $25,000 in grant money for field improvements courtesy of Major League Baseball. Payne’s participation in the MLB project led to the parade opportunity.

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A Note From One of Our Fall Festival Gold Sponsors:

Lisa & Leroy is a full service interior design firm offering design, renovation and interior decorating services. Creating stylish interiors through whimsy color pops, curated collections & non-stuff sophistication, our goal is to give you the home of your dreams. View our portfolio and get in touch at lisaandleroy.com

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IMPORTANT DATES

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.

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

Dec. 23-Jan. 3: No school

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

Wildcat PTSA News: Nats and a New Baseball Field | Field Day Signups | New Shirts for PK

Hello, Payne Community!

See you at the Fall Festival, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday (tomorrow).

And thank you to everyone who has signed up to make this year’s Fall Festival fundraiser a huge success. The PTSA is particularly grateful for our 2019-2020 sponsor partners, including: The Pretzel Bakery, The Jeanne Phil Meg Team at COMPASS Real Estate, Lisa & Leroy, Tripoint Solutions, Solar Solution, Blue Star, DC Access, Maggio Roofing, Moody Graham, Jay Barry Group, Fowler Architects, Capitol Hill Auto Service, Aerica Kennedy with RE/MAX Allegiance, The Little Gym, Dwell Residential, District Vet Hospital, Johnson Law Group, Tiber Realty Group, Heather Schoell, Tom Faison – Real Estate in DC, Premier Financial Alliance, and Chris Cox at First Savings Mortgage.

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NATIONALS AT PAYNE

The Nationals’ staff (and could it be … some players!) are making a pitstop at Payne today, just hours before Game 3.

Payne’s ballfield, part of the Capitol Hill Little League program, has been selected for a $25,000 grant for upgrades from the Nats and Major League Baseball. The improvements could be for the field, a new mural and/or permanent dugouts. Remaining funds will be used to support other nearby fields.

Today, CHLL volunteers and Nationals staff will be at Payne from 9:30-11 a.m. to celebrate the award and do minor beautification work. Payne students who participated in the league or baseball summer camp also will participate.

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HELP WITH FIELD DAY.

Physical Education teacher Dr. Crumb is looking for many volunteers to help with Fall Field Day on Thursday, Oct. 31.  The kids will do obstacle courses, hockey, T-ball, potato sack races, horseshoes and more.

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PAYNE SHIRTS: *NEW SIZES* ON SALE

Thanks to requests from some PK parents, Payne T-shirts now come in smaller sizes. You can buy shirts in 2T-6T, in addition to a range of youth and adult sizes.

The sale runs through Nov. 8 via this page on Custom Ink. From the website, click on the picture of this kid to access 2T-6T options:

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL FAIRS

It’s not too early to be thinking about middle school and high school, and there are two events for your radar.

MIDDLE SCHOOL FAIR. Third, fourth and fifth-grade students and their families are invited to meet with middles schools on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Payne Auditorium. There will also be a prize drawing and multiple giveaways.

EASTERN FEEDER FEST. Learn about high school 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol St. N.E. All in-boundary, feeder families and community members are invited. There will be refreshments, music, face painting, building tours and elected officials in attendance. RSVP: https://easternfest.eventbrite.com

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BOX TOPS DEADLINE.

The PTSA will be mailing all of our box tops for Box Tops for Education program on Thursday, Oct. 31, to meet the Nov. 1 fall earning deadline. If you have not done so, please deposit your box tops at Ms. Asante’s desk at the front office.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 11: No school

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

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

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: No school

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

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

Wildcat PTSA News: Fall Festival | Spelling Bees | T-shirt Sales

Hello, Payne Community.

The Fall Festival is just eight days away. Bring your family, friends and neighbors. All are welcome, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Bounce houses, pumpkins, crafts, chilli and more. And volunteer spots still are available: https://signup.com/go/LnqQpdG

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TB TEST SUCCESS.

Twenty-two people took advantage of the PTSA’s free TB tests this week, so that’s 22 more volunteers for Payne. Thanks to those who received the tests and the parents and staff who assisted. Also, a huge thank you to Nurse Practitioner Kristy Huenink of Promenade Primary Care for donating her time and skills to administer the tests free of charge to the Payne community.

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SPELLING BEE

Distressed, beatboxing colonists periodically parachuted, scattering turbulent gadgets.

What’s up with this sentence? Why, it’s made entirely of words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee list. Class bees will take place Oct. 28-29. Check with your child’s teacher for more information. Second through fifth grades are participating and potentially some students in first. The school-wide Spelling Bee will be Jan. 15.

Want to practice some words with your student? The spelling lists for this year’s competition are attached to this email.

 

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PAYNE SHIRTS ON SALE.

If you missed the last T-shirt sale, you’re in luck. The PTSA opened up the online store again via this page on Custom Ink. You can order child and adult-sized shirts, both short- and long-sleeved, to show your school spirit. The sale will last until Friday, Nov. 8. Most sizes cost $12.

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CHICKEN WATCH 2019

You didn’t think we’d have a newsletter without at least one mention of chickens, did you? Our incoming Henriettas must have a clean bill of health before roosting at the school. The vets, as of Thursday, were still waiting on lab results. Expect to see the chickens next week.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 11: No school

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

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: No school

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

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

Wildcat PTSA News: TB Test Reminder | Testing Goals | Meet the New Assistant Principal

Happy Long Weekend, Payne Community!

CHICKEN WATCH 2019 UPDATE: The barnyard cluckers are expected to arrive next week. Science Teacher Mr. Creef said he has been inundated with interest from students and parents alike. He intends to host some family nights after their arrival, so young and old can meet the hens.

TB TEST REMINDER

TB testing will be 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15. The test, which is required for the volunteer clearance process, is free to PTSA members. Fifty tests will be administered first-come, first-served.

You will need to return to Payne on Friday, Oct. 18 to have the test result read. Results will be read 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground. You must bring the screening and administration form provided to you when the test was administered. Note that you can elect to have the results read by a qualified healthcare provider elsewhere.

Can you help on site during TB testing? Take a one-hour shift to help guide parents through the process. Email tonylombardo1@yahoo.com.

TEST SCORE GOALS

More than 50 parents, teachers and administrators turned out for Tuesday night’s PTSA meeting. Principal Byrd took questions and shared data on PARCC tests, which are administered to third, fourth and fifth graders.

English Language Arts

Year Achieved proficiency

2015-16 8%

2016-17 16%

2017-18 18%

2018-19 33%

Bottom line: Achieving 33 percent means that 39 of 119 students achieved proficiency in ELA (i.e. scoring Level 4 or Level 5). Payne is seeing sustained progress every year, and further improvements are expected. The goal this year is to see a 10 percent gain in the highest scores and 10 percent decrease in the lowest scores.

Math

Year Achieved proficiency

2015-16 22%

2016-17 26%

2017-18 22%

2018-19 34%

Bottom line: Previously hovering in the 20-percents, Payne experienced a significant jump in math proficiency scores last year. Like reading, the goal is to see a 10 percent gain in the highest scores and 10 percent decrease in the lowest scores.

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MEET THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL

LaToya Coleman is a long-time educator, but this is her first year as assistant principal. Ms. Coleman, a D.C. native, earned her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Coppin State University in Baltimore and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix. An educator for 15 years, she has taught Kindergarten special education and second through fourth grades in Prince George’s County and the District. She joined Payne three years ago as the math coach. She sat down with the PTSA to talk about her new job, which includes a focus on school culture, discipline and instruction.

Q. How is the assistant principal job going so far?

A. It’s a challenge, but it’s rewarding. I honestly did not see myself in this position, I loved the classroom. I still love the classroom. And I make sure that’s part of my daily routine – every single day – to get in as many classrooms as I possibly can. And I’m not just there to observe. I’m in there to interact, ask questions, see what the kids are thinking, what are they learning.

Q. What can parents do to make your job easier?

A. Parents can just bring kids to school. We got it from here. If you have questions, ask. That’s pretty much it. We have a really good core group of parents. You see them often. They are engaged in the classroom, and you’ll see them in the cafeteria. Friendly faces.

Q. If a parent has a question for the school, what kind of questions go your way?

A. Discipline will come my way. Scheduling will come my way. Instruction comes my way. Specifically, math, but being the assistant principal, it’s not just math.

Q. How would you describe your style in interacting with kids in terms of discipline?

A. I’m very straight forward. I will remind students of our expectations. Nine times out of 10, they know them. So they will know if they did not meet the expectation. The question usually is, what hindered you from meeting that expectation? How can I help you make sure that you meet the expectation? Putting the onus back on the student so that they are aware of what their actions were and how they can correct them.

Q. Is there any kind of punishment issued?

A. Oh, there’s consequences to actions. We look at fair consequences. We don’t like to call them “punishments,” but there’s going to be a consequence, good or bad, with your actions.

Q. What are the consequences?

A. We have “zen zones” in every classroom. Like your time-out time. Get yourself focused. You have a notepad you could be writing on. You have pictures you could draw. Just to kind of calm yourself. Bring you back to zero, so that you can re-engage in the instruction.

If that is not going to be immediately effective, then you are offered the opportunity to go to a buddy classroom, where another teacher will have you in their classroom a set amount of time. Maybe no more than 10 minutes to where, again, you remove yourself from where the conflict might have occurred.

If it gets to the point where that did not work, then we have a care team, which consists of our social workers and our school psychologist. If it gets past that, then we will request a parent conference. We haven’t had too many issues with suspension simply because we are able to cut some of those because we don’t go straight to suspension. There are other areas we can focus on, so kids can become more self-aware of what their behaviors are and manage them themselves.

Q. Do you have any special projects in the works?

A. I have brought on a partnership with Howard University and also UDC. Their education majors will do their internships here at Payne. So, it offers another body in the building to practice and to really get their feet into seeing what it’s like to be in the classroom. First grade has one right now, fourth grade is soon to have one, starting in November.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. My commitment to Payne. I’m excited about the fact I was able to grow in leadership here. Payne is a wonderful school to be at.

***

HOYAS KIDS CLUB. Here’s a pretty sweet sports deal for the Georgetown Hoyas. If your child joins the Hoyas Kids Club, they receive four free tickets to men’s basketball games, a Kids Club jersey and more. The cost is $15 plus $3 for online registration. Read more here.

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BOX TOPS UPDATE.

A Box Tops For Education collection box is on Ms. Asante’s desk at the main office. Box Tops are worth 10 cents each, and that money can add up quickly. So keep eating that cereal and mac and cheese. The school can earn two ways: (1) Cut out Box Tops from eligible products and bring them to the collection box in the front office. (2) Skip the cutting, and scan your receipt through the Box Tops app when you’ve purchased eligible items, and presto, the school will get credited for the Box Tops.

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Oct. 26: Help make the Fall Festival a success by volunteering for a one-hour shift (helping at the arts and crafts table, selling baked goods or chili, etc.) or donating food or other supplies. Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/LnqQpdG

Oct. 31: Dr. Crumb is looking for Field Day volunteers. Email brian.crumb@k12.dc.gov.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Oct. 14: No school

Oct. 15: TB tests 4-6 p.m. (Remember to sign up to be a PTA member)

Oct. 18: TB test results readings, 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 11: No school

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Free TB Tests | Just Say No to Nuts | Legos & Chicken Coops

Hello, Payne people!

The PTSA is providing free TB tests for PTSA members. The tests, which are required to volunteer in the school and on field trips, will be administered Tuesday, Oct. 15. A few important facts:

  • The PTSA purchased 50 tests, and they will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. The testing will run after school (times to be announced) in the Auditorium.
  • The test is free for PTSA members. Not a member yet? Click here to join. You also can join at the testing.
  • If you were tested last year, please don’t get tested this year. Your clearance is valid for two years.
  • If you are tested Oct. 15, you will need to return to Payne on Friday, Oct. 18 to have the test result read. Results will be read 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground. You must bring the screening and administration form provided to you when the test was administered. Note that you can elect to have the results read by a qualified healthcare provider elsewhere.
  • Fingerprinting also is required for volunteering. The PTSA is working to host this at Payne, too, later this fall.  Click here to read other options for TB tests and fingerprinting.

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PTSA MEETING: BYRD’S GOALS

The next PTSA meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will include a session with Principal Byrd, who will share goals and accomplishments and will also field questions. Pizza and refreshments will be served, and childcare will be provided.

Treats will be available during the meeting as part of a bake sale fundraiser for the PTSA. Click here if you can donate some baked goods. Payne parent Jessica Cantwell also is looking for additional support in organizing and operating the sale: jessica.r.cantwell@gmail.com

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WALK TO SCHOOL DAY.

Wildcats turned out in full force for Walk to School Day.

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DID YOU KNOW? Payne’s staff directory is online, if you need to email a teacher or a member of the leadership team.

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NO NUTS AT PAYNE

Payne is now nut-free. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. The new policy, outlined in a memo that went home with parents this week, was born from concerns that parents voiced at a PTSA meeting in September.
  2. No food or drinks that contain peanuts or tree nuts or that were packaged or manufactured in a facility that handles nuts are allowed, effective immediately. The second part can be tricky, so please check the labels on your kids’ snacks.
  3. There are students and teachers at Payne who have severe nut allergies. Skin exposure to nuts or, for those with severe allergies, even exposure to the breath of someone who has consumed nuts, can trigger a reaction.
  4. Payne is not the first school to enact such a policy. Maury Elementary, for example, is also nut-free.
  5. Nut allergies are becoming more common. A study from the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital found that from 1997 to 2008, peanut allergies tripled from 1-in-250 children to 1-in-70, CNBC reported last year.

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SUPPORT FROM THE PTSA: MORE FIELD TRIPS, LEGOS, & CHICKEN COOPS

The PTSA Board this week unanimously approved the following expenditures to support Payne students and staff:

  • $100 for Legos: The Lego Club, led by Coach Freda, was in need of more Legos. Specifically, more Lego people. (Lego Club is for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and takes place during lunch time. Interested? Let Ms. Cox know: lajuana.mobley@k12.dc.gov )
  • $315 for a chicken coop: Payne has received the official OK to host chickens this fall. The PTSA is giving these birds a place to roost. (And a special thanks to the parents who worked with Mr. Creef to clean up the garden area, which can now be called The Farm.)
  • $100 for a holiday show. Drama teacher Ms. Barbarino is planning a holiday production starring third through fifth graders. The money will be spent buying song and script rights.
  • $10,000 for field trips. Earlier this year, the PTSA board approved $5,000 to support field trips for every grade. Because of high interest from teachers and parents, the PTSA doubled the available funds to $10,000. Some of this money could be paid for through grants, which leads us to the next topic…

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GRANT-WRITING SUPERSTARS

Payne parent Lexi Smith and nearly 20 other volunteers have been hard at work, submitting grants in support of Payne. Here’s a status update, keeping in mind that the school isn’t guaranteed to receive them all.

Capitol Hill Community Foundation request:

  • $2,500 for field trip transportation for Kindergarten through fifth grades and deaf and hard of hearing.
  • $2,500 for Eureka math professional development.
  • $2,200 for science support materials, including preserved animals and insects.
  • $727 to support the deaf and hard of hearing classes.

Target request:

  • $8,400 for two field trips per grade for Kindergarten through 5th grade.

(Note: Head Start already provides funding for PK field trips.)

What’s next: Lexi said the team is pursuing a Pepco/Exelon grant involving STEM and a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant for field trip funds and a special project tied to the field trip.

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Oct. 15: Help manage TB testing at Payne. One volunteer is needed in the afternoon and early evening to help guide parents through the process.

Oct. 31: Dr. Crumb is looking for Field Day volunteers. Email brian.crumb@k12.dc.gov.

***

IMPORTANT DATES

Tuesday, Oct. 8: 4:30 p.m., fifth grade APTT meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 8: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 9: Specials potluck, 3:45 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 10: Time TBD, fourth grade APTT meeting

Thursday, Oct. 10: 5 p.m., PK4, Kindergarten and second grade APTT meetings

Thursday, Oct. 10: 5:30 p.m., PK3 and first grade APTT meetings

Friday, Oct. 11: 3:30 p.m., third grade and BES APTT Meetings

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 15: TB tests after school (time to be announced)

Oct. 18: TB test results readings, 8-9 a.m. and 3:15-4 p.m. inside the school and 4-4:30 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the playground

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Nov. 4-5: No school

Nov. 11: No school

Nov. 19: PTSA meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Nov. 27-29: No school

Wildcat PTSA News: Volunteer Permissions | Meet the Librarian | Ways to Help

Happy Friday, Wildcats!

Don’t forget: Wednesday is Walk to School Day. Meet at Lincoln Park at 7:30 a.m. and wear your Payne shirts and walkin’ shoes.

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VOLUNTEER PERMISSIONS.

You’ve probably heard by now about the hoops parents have to jump through to volunteer at DCPS. (If not, click here to read about the TB test and fingerprinting process.) While somewhat onerous, they are intended to protect the safety of our children.

There has been some confusion at Payne about what to do once you receive your clearance paperwork. Once cleared, you should receive a clearance letter via email. Please provide it to your child’s teacher, either as a printout or an email. The administration has informed the PTSA that it is not keeping track of these centrally; the responsibility is on teachers to know which parents or guardians are volunteer-ready.

Clearances are good for two years. Even if you turned your form in to Payne last year, you need to submit a copy to your child’s current teacher this year. Try searching “DCPS employment clearance” in your email to find the letter. And hold on to this email just in case you need to produce it for future events or volunteer opportunities.

To help facilitate the clearance process, the PTSA will be hosting TB testing and fingerprinting at Payne this fall. We hope to have TB testing on site at the school Oct. 8, which also the next PTSA meeting, but are awaiting confirmation and will send an update once details are finalized. Note: If you have a secret or top secret clearance through work, the process is much easier.

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MEET THE TEACHER

Mr. Tim Gordon joined Payne three years ago as the school librarian. An Illinois native and longtime Chicagoan, Mr. Gordon worked as an advertising and graphic designer in the newspaper business. After he earned his library degree, he thought he’d land a gig at a public library. But working at a school has been a pleasant surprise and one that has helped him fulfill his mission of encouraging kids to read. In his spare time, he is an expert in Disney World and has offered to host a “Disney World Boot Camp” for parents planning a trip down to Mickey Town.

Q. What do you like best about being Payne’s librarian?

A. Well, a big part of why I left the corporate world and went into librarianship in the first place was to be able to work with kids and maybe have some influence over their reading and their love of reading. When I was in first, second grade, there were certain books that I loved and I still go back to now as an adult.

The best way to get kids to love reading is to give them things that they love to read. Too often we’re trying to shove what we consider good literature or whatever in their faces and, you know, if a kid would rather read Spiderman, let them read Spiderman, if that’s going to get them into reading. If they want to read Sports Illustrated, I’ve got it.

Q. Describe how library works for the different grades.

A. I see every single class once a week. It’s a whole class all at once, so I have to prepare a lesson. I’m trying to do a lot of stuff about books and parts of a story and reading comprehension. For the older kids, I want to get into how to do research, how to surf online safely.

Q. Do kids check out books from the library?

A. Yeah, every class gets to check out. Right now the books stay at school, but I’m hoping, especially this year, that I’ll start with the older grades being able to send stuff home. The first year I did inventory, I found out that we were missing over 1,000 things, and that’s a lot. With the budget that we have, I only get 300-350 books a year. So you know, it would take us over three years to replace that stuff. I’ve been doing a lot on my own, going to the Maryland Book Bank and things like that to get books in addition to the big book order we get. And I’ve gotten several grants for new books, too.

But that’s really the lifeblood of the library is having new stuff. If you just have the same old stuff all the time, kids are going to quickly get bored with it.

Q. What’s new at the library this year?

I got a lot of new books over the summer. I went to the American Library Association Conference that was in D.C. this year and picked up a lot of stuff. I made contacts with some publishers, and they have sent me a lot of materials for the library.

We started an Imagineering Club last year that I’m continuing this year where we talk about Disney World and jobs at Disney World and trying to get kids interested in things like engineering for theme parks.

Q. Who is eligible to be in the club?

So right now, I have hand-picked some fourth graders who were already in after care, and I think I have two third graders. It’s a small group. I don’t want it to be more than 10 or 12 kids. I like them to be able to work on the computers or show a lot of videos about things. When we did it last year, I had the kids design their own theme park attraction.

Q. Are you accepting new participants?

A. Yes. Basically it’s third, fourth and fifth graders if they are already in after care. People that are already in after care, I’m open to. The parents could contact me or they could have their student contact me, too.

Q. What are some of your favorite children’s books?

A. I like classics like Dr. Seuss and Clifford and the Berenstain Bears. Something that I did when I started was that we didn’t have a lot of books like that in this collection. So I made sure to go out and get stuff like that. Things that we know from our childhood and even older. We didn’t have the Wizard of Oz. We didn’t have Alice in Wonderland, stuff like that.

Q. And you still have the Spiderman.

A. Absolutely.

***

MEET (OR RE-MEET) DANIELLE CIAURRO.

For new Payne parents, if you haven’t chatted with Danielle Ciaurro, you will soon. She’s at most after-school events and works throughout the day to assist the administration, family and students. She shares the following message:

I am thrilled to let you all know I will be staying at Payne for the 2019-20 school year!

For those of you who have not met me yet or are unfamiliar with my role, I am an AmeriCorps VISTA serving as the school’s Community Liaison. I joined the Payne family in February and I am so excited to be back for another year. I assist with capacity-building efforts around the school so I work closely with Mrs. Oxendine and Mrs. Asante.

The largest part of my role is to manage the partnerships we have with community-based organizations like nonprofits, small businesses, and government agencies, as well as manage donations received by the school. I also assist with funding opportunities for new projects or initiatives, coordinating school-wide events with the PTSA and the school, field trips, the enrollment process, and more.

If you ever have questions, ideas, suggestions, anything, please come talk to me! You can either find me in Mrs. Oxendine’s office or at the front desk. I am here as a resource for you all as a community and I would love to hear from you about what you would like to see at the school and work with you all to make that a reality!

***

TEACHER SUPPORT NEEDED.

Danielle Ciaurro will, on a regular basis, start sharing volunteer and donation needs for Payne. Here are a few:

  • Instructional Reading Coach support: Ms. Turner needs help organizing the book room. Contact tiffani.turner@kc12dc.gov
  • Science research: Mr. Creef asked for support in watering and measuring the plants of various endangered species in his room as part of his project with the Smithsonian Institute. Contact emmett.creefjr@k12.dc.gov
  • Administrative support: Mrs. Asante needs assistance organizing files in one of the storage rooms. Contact Danielle.Ciaurro@dc.gov
  • Donations (drop off at front desk)
    • Old uniforms in larger sizes (14-16)
    • New socks and underwear for smaller sizes (3T, 4T)
    • Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.

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LITERARY FEAST.

The Capitol Hill Community Foundation, which has supported Payne with grants, will host the 2019 Literary Feast on Oct. 26. The foundation will host 39 dinner parties in homes across Capitol Hill with each dinner featuring food from a specific book. Themed dinners this year include The Godfather, A Confederacy of Dunces, All the Light We Cannot See and The Rum Diary. Registration is expected to close on Sept. 30, so click here to join in the fun.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Tuesday, Oct. 1: First grade potluck, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 2: Walk to School Day, 7:30 a.m., Lincoln Park

Oct. 8: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day

Wildcat PTSA News: Weed Pullers Wanted | Fundraising Tips| Security Appreciation

If you hate weeds and love (or even mildly tolerate) yard work, please join Payne’s new science teacher, Mr. Doug Creef, at the school at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28. He’s looking for 5-7 volunteers to help clean up the garden space in the front of the school along C Street. Bring yourself and gear: shovels, rakes, a wheel barrel and a weed eater. Beautify the yard, and you’ll also be making room for Payne’s soon-to-arrive chickens.

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SHOP AND SUPPORT PAYNE

While the Fall Festival will be the PTSA’s big fundraiser for the fall, the PTSA has organized simple, small ways to raise funds. Here’s a roundup of ways you can raise money for Payne when you shop:

  • Box Tops for Education. Box Tops are worth 10 cents each, but that money can add up quickly. So keep eating that cereal and mac and cheese. The PTSA can earn money in two ways: (1) Cut out Box Tops from eligible products and bring them to the collection box in the front office on Ms. Cox’s desk. (2) Skip the cutting, and scan your receipt through the Box Tops app when you’ve purchased eligible items, and presto, the school will get credited for the Box Tops.

  • AmazonSmile: The PTSA will receive a portion of eligible purchases when you shop AmazonSmile by using this URL: smile.amazon.com and selecting “Payne Elementary Schools Parents Teachers Students Association” as your charity.

  • Primary.com: The children’s clothing site offers tops and bottoms that work great for Payne uniforms. Use the Payne school link, and 10 percent of the sale will go to the school. This program raises more for Payne than any other.
  • Harris Teeter: Link your VIC card to code 8144, either online or in person at the store, and the school will get a portion of eligible purchases.  You must link your VIC card each year to the Payne code, so even if you linked it last year, you’ll need to do it again to ensure the school gets money.
  • CertifiKID Gives: CertifiKID offers deals on family-friendly events such as Disney on Ice and haunted houses. CertifiKID will donate $5 to the PTSA with every purchase of $20 or more with the code PAYNE after the code has been used at least 10 times. 

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THANK YOU, OFFICERS.

This week is National Security Officer Appreciation Week, and the PTSA would like to send a big thank you to Payne’s security team: Officer Lisa Simpson and Officer Danielle Goodwine. This is Officer Simpson’s fourth year at Payne and Officer Goodwine’s first.

The PTSA profiled Officer Simpson in October 2018. At the time, she spoke about the importance of her role: “I am the first person anyone sees, so it’s very important my eyes are open along with my ears and that I monitor everything and anything that comes through this door.”

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FEEDER SCHOOL SHOUTOUT.

Eliot Hine Middle School has its very own broadcast network where student journalists conduct interviews and deliver the news. The students secured press credentials and attended a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday to cover H.R. 51, a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st State. (Note to self: Start training Payne students to write this newsletter.)

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IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 24-26: Scholastic Book Fair, Main Lobby

Sept. 25: Literacy Night, 5 p.m. Games, crafts, writing workshops and more

Sept. 25: Fourth Grade Potluck, 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 2: Walk to School Day, 7:30 a.m., Lincoln Park

Oct. 8: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Oct. 31: Fall Field Day