News & Events

Flex Academies Now Offers After School at Payne

Flex Academies, with Mr. Davis as Site Director, is now offering after school at Payne.  Their program combines enrichment, supervised play, and socialization for children PK3 to 5th Grade.  After school will be held Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 pm.  Options include 3,4 and 5 days per week as well as drop ins.

Registration opens September 27th at 9 am.  You can register and see pricing information at https://bit.ly/2mSsS2q.  

For questions, please email info@flexacademies.com or call 203-408-3900.

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

Wildcat PTSA News: Grant writing | No U-Turns| Walk to School Day

Thanks to all who attended Tuesday’s PTSA meeting. Payne mom Lexi Smith gave an  overview of several big grants that she and a team of parents are applying for. Bottom line up front: If you’d like to join her crew, no experience in grant writing is needed, and your participation could help secure thousands of dollars for students.

Here’s a quick summary of grants being targeted:

Capitol Hill Community Foundation: $2,500 grants (can earn more than one)

  • What’s the money used for? Anything school-related, from bus trips to school supplies
  • Due: Sept. 30
Target: $700 per class
  • What’s the money used for? Field trip transportation
  • Due: Oct. 1

Walmart: $250-$5,000

  • What’s the money used for? Food or environmental education
  • Due: Dec. 31

Chesapeake Bay Trust: Up to $5,000

  • What’s the money used for? Environmental education
  • Due: Jan. 9

Interested in joining the grant-writing group? Email Lexi Smith.

PTSA President Mark Jordan provided an overview of the PTSA mission at Tuesday’s meeting.

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ILLEGAL U-TURNS AND DOUBLE PARKING

A DC police officer was seen at the intersection of C and 14th streets Thursday morning, checking for illegal U-turns. U-turns near the school have been a concern in the past, especially with heavy pedestrian traffic at drop-off and pickup. The officer said he did pull over one vehicle on Thursday. “No U-Turn” signs were added to intersections near Payne last year.

On Friday, a parking enforcement officer was out front. She was checking to see if drivers were obeying the 15-minute drop-off signs. As 9 a.m. approached, she was planning to ticket any cars still in the school zone. That said, she told the PTSA the biggest problem is with drivers double-parking to drop off students, snarling traffic and creating a danger.

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WALK TO SCHOOL DAY

The Payne community typically shows up in droves for Walk to School Today. Let’s keep the tradition alive Oct. 2. Join teachers, staff, students and parents at Lincoln Park. Teachers should plan to be there by 7:30 a.m. and students and parents by 7:45 a.m., said Dr. Crumb, Payne’s gym teacher, who is coordinating for the school.

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ABSENT OR TARDY?

If your child is out sick or running late, you can notify Payne via a new email address: PayneAttendance@gmail.com. Notes also can be dropped in a brown mailbox in the main office.

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VOLUNTEERS FOR FALL FEST

PTSA Fundraising Chair Kerry DeVooght is looking for help preparing for and hosting the Payne Fall Festival, which will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. This is one of the PTSA’s biggest events of the year, and it takes a small army to pull it off. You can help in a wide range of ways, from recruiting sponsors to hauling pumpkins to making chili.

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MUSIC TO YOUR EARS

This Monday, a trio from the National Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert at Eastern High School. It will start at 7 p.m. at the main entrance of the school, 1700 E. Capitol St. NE. The event will be outside, weather permitting, so bring a blanket or chair. If it rains, they will perform in the auditorium.

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SPOIL THE GRANDPARENTS FOR A CHANGE

Payne was flooded Thursday with grandpas, grandmas, omas, opas, bubbas and papas in celebration of Grandparents Day. Teachers and staff handed out refreshments for the guests of honor, who also got to visit classrooms. In the picture below, school psychologist Kesha Weeks mingles with the special guests.

IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 14: DCPS Back to School Block Party, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Roosevelt High School, 4301 13th St. N.W.

Sept. 19: Early Childhood Education Potluck, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 24-26: Scholastic Book Fair

Sept. 25: Literacy Night, 5 p.m.

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

Oct. 2: Walk to School Day, 7:45 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.

Grandparents Day Information

Hello Payne Family,

I hope this message finds you well. We plan to celebrate Grandparents Day this Thursday, September 12th from 8:30 am-9:30 am. Please see below for information and logistics of the day. A flyer with RSVP information will be sent home tomorrow. Please return it by Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you.

  • 8:30 am-9:00 am Welcome and Continental Breakfast for Grandparents in Auditorium
  • 9:05 am Grandparents transition to students classrooms to join their morning meeting and complete activity
  • 9:30 am Grandparents get hugs and then depart for the day

Wildcat PTSA News: Chickens at Payne? | Second Grade Switch | Parking Enforcement

Hello, Payne parents, teachers, staff and supporters.

The year’s first PTSA meeting is 6-7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium. Your support and participation is an essential part of Payne’s success. Join us for pizza and meet PTSA leaders and fellow parents to share your questions, concerns and ideas. Child care will be provided.

A bake sale will precede the meeting, at 5:30 p.m. If you’d like to donate baked goods sign up here.

And if you haven’t joined yet, you can sign up here to be a PTSA member.

SOMETHING TO CLUCK ABOUT

Payne is close to enrolling a few feathered friends this year. New science teacher Mr. Doug Creef is seeking a permit to bring 2-6 adult chickens to roost, and he has support from Principal Byrd. Chickens are not unheard of at D.C. schools and are so popular that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education already has extensive guidance on how to make it happen.

“Egg-laying female hens are allowed in the District and are a great way to engage students in the school garden, especially in urban environments like the District of Columbia where many students are disengaged with details pertaining to the food system,” the superintendent’s office said. You can read more here.

A few fun facts:

  • The school would have no roosters, which is good news because they tend to be louder and meaner.
  • There would be no chicks and no threat of future chicks (see the first bullet point). The program allows for full-grown, egg-laying hens.
  • Students aren’t allowed to eat the eggs in school, but they could be allowed to cook with them. Eggs also could be made available to share with families.

Mr. Creef cautions the plan is tentative, but some parents already have offered to help manage the coop, which would be on school grounds, not inside the school.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. One-hour shifts are still available to volunteer at the Scholastic Book Fair during the week of Sept. 23. It’s a fun and easy gig, and a portion of sales will be used to buy books for Payne classrooms. Click here for the sign up sheet.

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SECOND GRADE SWITCH

New this year, the second grade is departmentalized like third through fifth grades.That means students spend half of their day with Ms. Perry learning math and science and the other half with Ms. Hubbard learning English language arts and social studies. Students are assigned to one homeroom, where they spend their morning, then they switch midday.

“Departmentalization allows teachers to focus on two subjects at a time,” Byrd told the PTSA. “Ms. Hubbard is teaching ELA and social studies, while Ms. Perry teachers math and science. Teachers hone their craft and become experts in their content areas. This makes for stronger instruction.”

Byrd said she expects second graders to become better at each subject as a result of the change. So far this year, they are off to a promising start, she said.

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PARKING UPDATE

If you handle drop-offs or pick-ups, you’ve probably seen Dr. Crumb, Payne’s physical education teacher and resident grandmaster in Taekwondo, keeping the front of the school clear of cars. That’s so buses have plenty of space out front.

You can still park on C Street, where new signs specifically designate a “School Parking Zone” from 7-9 a.m. and 3-6:30 p.m. That said, stay out of the area marked by cones and look out for Dr. Crumb directing traffic. Payne has stressed that C St. is for drop-offs only. If you intend to go inside the school, please park on along 14th or 15th. Finally, the school is warning parents to stay out of the parking lot. Unapproved vehicles could be ticketed or towed.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 10: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Sept. 13: 8 a.m., Fifth Grade Potluck

Sept. 24-26: Book Fair is open

Sept. 25: 5 p.m. Literacy Night

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

Oct. 2: Walk to School Day

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

Oct. 11-14: No school

Oct. 26: Fall Festival, stay tuned for more details and how you can help!

Wildcat PTSA News: Q&A With Principal Byrd | Meet the New Staff | Back to School Night

Hello, Payne community. The PTSA would like to welcome new members of this group and welcome back all of you ready for another enriching school year.

Two important events are coming up soon:

Back to School Night. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Meet teachers, administrators and other parents. Learn about the curriculum, and bring your questions.

First PTSA Meeting. Tuesday, Sept. 10, 6-7 p.m. in the auditorium. Childcare will be provided, and pizza and refreshments will be served. Learn how the PTSA supports students, teachers and parents, and tell us what your priorities are. Sign up here to be a PTSA member now.

Above, PK4 teacher Ms. Douglas welcomes her new class Wednesday, the first day of school for preschoolers.

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Q&A WITH PRINCIPAL BYRD

Principal Stephanie Byrd is starting her fourth year as Payne’s top administrator. The D.C. native and George Washington University grad sat down with the PTSA to discuss the new drama class, new staff and more ways for parents to get involved. Excerpts from our interview:

Q. For the returning parents, what’s new at Payne?

A. We are excited about our new drama class. Mr. Golden, our music teacher, finished his master’s degree last year at Howard University and moved back home to Cleveland. Instead of bringing on another music teacher, the team decided to do drama.

Q. Why drama?

A. Drama gives kids a new avenue to express themselves. Also, I wanted to give kids an opportunity to learn how to speak up and speak clearly, to remember and memorize text and to engage in text in a different way.

Q. Will it be structured similar to how music was – half the school year?

A. Yes, for everybody, PK3 through 5th grade, it will be a semester of art, a semester of drama.

Q. Are there plans to have a school play?

A. There will be some plays, maybe not huge productions, but small productions and maybe one big production.

Q. What are some of the other staff changes this year?

A. We are bringing on quite a few folks. [See full list below.] At the top we have Ms. Latoya Coleman, who is not new to Payne, but is starting off in a new position as assistant principal.

Ms. Coleman came in four years ago, when I was looking to hire a fifth grade math teacher. As we talked, I could see a lot of leadership potential in her. Instead of bringing her on in the fifth grade math teacher position, I offered her the math coach position, and she was delighted. She was the testing coordinator. She also helped support the rollout of our new technology with the laptops and laptop carts, while still leading the math instruction.

Q.  Is there a lot of student interaction for the assistant principal?

A. Yes. One of the pieces is “school culture and climate,” so usually that’s a euphemism for “bad behavior.” But it’s not here, because we don’t have a lot of bad behavior. But really it’s because of the work that the assistant principal does to make sure we don’t have a lot of problems.

Q. Is there a new math coach?

A. There is not. Instead of having the math coach, I have the manager of specialized instruction.

Q. Can you describe that job?

A. The manager of specialized instruction is going to be responsible for leading our special education team. He will do some coaching of special education teachers and general education teachers around special education.

Q. What kind of message would you like to share with the parents who are new to Payne?

A. Welcome to Payne. We’re sure you’re going to be very happy here. I think we have a lot to offer. We are a very community-focused school. So building community, building relationships with one another is really important to the work we do, and I think that’s comforting. We’re growing in achievement, and we’re getting better and better each year at what we’re doing.

Q. What else is new?

A. Before care. We’ve always had before care, but now we’re working with a new company to provide before care. And there’s space. We have two people who will be overseeing the before care. Mr. Davis is still with us and will still be doing before care. The cost is relatively the same. There are scholarships available. If interested talk to Ms. Oxendine.

We have automated our volunteer signup. If you want to read to kids, if you want to volunteer for the spring carnival, whatever it is, you can volunteer there. We’re making it a requirement that every classroom have at least two room parents.

We are also going to have class potlucks at the beginning of the school year, so we need every parent to start thinking about a delicious dish that they’re going to bring to share with their grade level. Try to arrange for childcare if you can; if not, we’ll try to make some arrangements. But this is an adult thing where parents come in and just meet other parents in the classroom.

Q. Why is it so important for parents to get involved?

A. Children follow the lead of the parent. So if parents are involved, then children know that this is an important place to be, and they do better at school.

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NEW STAFF

As Principal Byrd noted, there are quite a few new faces on the Payne staff this year. Here’s the full list:

  • Jaclyn Barbarino, Drama Teacher
  • Monica Braxton, Primary Behavior Education Support (BES) Teacher
  • Thomas Carter, Custodian
  • Doug Creef, Science Teacher
  • Steven Eskay, Manager of Specialized Instruction
  • Tonya Jones, Third Grade ELA Teacher
  • Patrice Martin, PK3 Educational Aide in Ms. Stokes’ Class
  • Adriana Smith, Behavioral Tech in Primary BES
  • Courtney Thomas, Kindergarten Educational Aide in Ms. Fox’s Class

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BOOK FAIR

The Scholastic Book Fair will be the week of Sept. 23. A portion of sales will benefit Payne. Volunteers are needed to help set up the fair, work the fair and clean up. Click here for the sign up sheet.

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NICE THREADS

Before the school year even began, the PTSA had its first fundraising success, raising more than $450 in an online T-shirt sale. If you had your shirt delivered to Liz Aloi, they will be available to pick up at the first PTSA meeting Sept. 10. If you are unable to attend, contact Liz Aloi.

PTSA fundraising enabled the association to buy coffee and donuts to welcome parents and teachers on the first days of school.

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IMPORTANT DATES

Sept. 2: No school

Sept. 4: Back to School Night, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sept. 10: PTSA Meeting, 6-7 p.m.

Sept. 12: Grandparents’ Day Celebration

Sept. 13: 8 a.m., Fifth Grade Potluck

Sept. 24-26: Buy books at our Scholastic Book Fair

Sept. 25: 5 p.m. Literacy Night
Sept. 25: 4:30 p.m., Fourth Grade Potluck

Payne T-Shirt Sale! Order Now until August 16th

Get your Wildcat ready for the new school year and purchase Payne t-shirts, hoodies, and water bottles directly online!

Reminder: Payne t-shirts may be worn as part of the school uniform.

A portion of all sales will go to the Payne PTA and will be used to support the school. The Web site to purchase your Payne gear will be live until August 16, so order now at:

https://www.customink.com/fundraising/payne-wildcats

Before Care at Payne

Flex Academies, a leader in safe, fun, enrichment program management, announced that it will launch a before-school care program for students at Payne Elementary School. Payne is a Washington D.C. school serving students in pre-K through Grade 5.

“As a parent of a child in DCPS, I know that life moves fast here and schedules change quickly,” said Flex Academies Founder and CEO Joshua Chernikoff. “Sometimes parents need to be on the job before the school day begins. They need a reliable partner in their children’s care, and we aim to be that.” 

Experts often cite benefits of before and after school programs, including opportunities for children to interact with their peers in a different setting. Chernikoff says that the Flex Academies before-care program will focus on safety and fun, putting parents’ minds at ease while offering young students a positive way to start to the school day.

Parents who set up an account with the program will be able to take advantage of drop-in care, as needed. There will also be familiar faces at Payne Elementary’s before-care program, as Flex Academies plans to staff the program with some educators already at the school.

For sign up and for more information:

 https://flexacademiespayne.jumbula.com/view#/welcome-

 

 

 

 

Summer Touch Base

Hello Payne Family,
We hope you are having a relaxing summer and getting ready for the upcoming holiday.  In an effort to keep you informed of upcoming events and preparation for the new school year, please see a few brief announcements below:

Summer Soiree’: Payne will be hosting a Summer Soiree on Friday July 19th at 5:30 pm.  We will have food, fun and there will be time to get to know Payne staff and play on the wonderful playground.  We will also be accepting enrollment packets.

 

Mailing: Teacher Assignment, Summer Reading and Teacher Welcome Letters will be sent home next week.   Please look out for these in the mail.

 

ECE Play dates:  We two ECE Playdates.  The First one is 7/10/2019 from 12pm-2pm and the other is 8/13/2019 6-7:30pm on the small playground.

 

Parent Engagement: Payne has a keen focus on increasing parent engagement for the school year 2019-20.  The mission of Payne Elementary School’s commitment to parent engagement is to support overall student achievement by empowering families to become proactive in their children’s education on a continuous basis. The goals are to increase parental participation in student academics and learning activities, support learning at home, and strengthen the home school connection.  A survey with sign up information for clubs and events will be coming out this month through email.

 

Enrollment: If you have not enrolled for 2019-20, slots for four grade levels are already full!  Please make sure to claim your spot.  Enrollment is taken daily but we will have a Saturday event right before school begins.  If your child is not enrolled, you will be unable to enroll in after school.

 

***Please forward to any parent that may not be receiving emails and have them follow up with Akua Oxendine at akua.oxendine@k12.dc.gov to update.  ***