News & Events

Wildcat PTSA News: Parking Update | Science Fair | PTSA Election Results

Hello, Wildcats.

A keen-eyed Payne mom spotted new parking signs posted on 15th Street, between C and D streets,  designating an area for school drop off (8-9 a.m.) and pick up (3-6 p.m.). Meanwhile, a parking enforcement officer was ticketing again in the area this week.

A view of the new signage:

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JUDGES NEEDED FOR SCIENCE FAIR

It’s crunch time for the Science Fair, and science teacher Ms. Henson needs a dozen volunteers to serve as judges. Do you have a basic understanding of the scientific method? Can you provide positive feedback to our burgeoning Payne brainiacs? That’s great: You qualify!

Judging will take place 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 30. The school will provide judging sheets and criteria. You will be invited, but not obligated, to attend the 2:30 p.m. award ceremony that day.

Ms. Henson also needs volunteers to help with a STEM Fair on Wednesday, May 29. Students will be building homemade thermometers, solar ovens and solar cars. She’s also looking for donated pizza boxes to help build solar ovens.

Please email Ms. Henson right away if you can help with any of the above: shanita.henson@dc.gov

Students in Ms. Ferguson’s kindergarten class learn about water displacement in preparation for the science fair.

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PTSA ELECTION RESULTS

The PTSA elected four officers May 21:

  • President: Mark Jordan, parent of a first grader and PK4 student. Mark is the current president and was elected to a new term.
  • Parliamentarian: Michelle Chapman, parent of a Kindergartner and an incoming PK3 wildcat next year, elected to a two-year position.
  • Secretary: Nancy Parris, parent of a third grader, elected to a two-year position.
  • Treasurer: Carolyn Bowen, parent of a first grader and PK4 student. Carolyn is the current secretary and will be the treasurer for one year to complete the term for Aisha Lee, who has served as treasurer this school year.

All four races were uncontested. In a speech before the vote, Mark said one of his priorities for the 2019-2020 school year will be to encourage parent involvement in the school.

From left: Mark, Michelle, Nancy and Carolyn

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FLEA MARKET FUNDRAISER

Payne will host a flea market 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8 on the tennis and basketball courts to benefit the Story of our Schools project. The school is seeking vendors to sell anything from clothing and baby gear to used books, antiques and crafts. The $40 vendor fee will benefit the project, and 100 percent of sales will go to the vendor. Concessions at the event will benefit Payne. More details are here.

Would you like to reserve a booth? Email Ms. Monich Brown at monich.brown@dc.gov or Ms. Juanita Stokes at juantia.stokes@dc.gov. Know a friend or neighbor who has a small business or side hustle? Please forward this newsletter and let them know tables are available.

The PTSA is considering managing a flea market booth with donated items with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting the project. Is there a volunteer out there who would like to head this initiative? You would lead efforts to collect goods and coordinate other volunteers to help work the booth. Parents had significant interest during this week’s PTSA meeting, so there’d be no shortage of donated items. If this sounds like a project you’d like to be involved with, email tonylombardo1@yahoo.com.

The Story of Our Schools Club at Payne spent the better part of the school year researching Payne history. The Story of Our Schools organization is a non-profit that has designed a museum-quality exhibit for the school’s lobby, informed by the students’ research. Principal Byrd stopped by Tuesday’s PTSA meeting to share photos of Payne students that will be incorporated into the exhibit. Click here to donate to Story of our Schools. The project will cost $30,000, and it is about halfway to reaching the goal.

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BIG THANK YOU

The school community appreciates those who volunteered at and attended the Spring Carnival. The PTSA raised $8,000 to benefit our school. It could not have been done without the tireless work of our volunteers: parents, grandparents, teachers, staff and members of the school community.

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SPRING SHOWCASE. Payne’s Spring Showcase is Friday, May 31. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for refreshments, a student art gallery and a robotics demonstration. Musical performances will begin at 5 p.m, and all grades will participate. The showcase also will feature a performance from The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

May 27-28: No school

May 30: Science Fair

May 31: Spring Concert

June 3: Picture Day

June 7: Fifth grade promotion

June 14: Last day of school

Wildcat PTSA News: Spring Carnival Tomorrow | Spring Showcase | PTSA Elections

Hello, Wildcats.

SIXTEEN FOOT WATER SLIDE. Now that I have your attention, please join the Payne community tomorrow for Payne’s Spring Carnival. Festivities will take place 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday on the playground. We’ll have games, face painting, a moon bounce, hot dogs, cotton candy and a bake sale. Bid in the silent auction on items including Nationals and D.C. United tickets and summer camp spots. Admission is free, and proceeds from food and select activities will benefit the PTSA. Oh, and there will be a big honkin’ inflatable water slide, so bring your bathing suit and towel.The weather experts are predicting a high of 84 degrees.

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SPRING SHOWCASE

The arts will be in full bloom at Payne’s Spring Showcase, Friday, May 31. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for refreshments, a student art gallery and a robotics demonstration. Wildcats will be auctioning artwork created in Ms. Harvey’s studio. “Students are recreating famous Hispanic art pieces, with recommended art pieces from [Spanish teacher] Mr. Montes,” said Mr. Golden, Payne’s music teacher. Musical performances will begin at 5 p.m, and all grades will participate.

“Come experience the growth that has taken place in your scholar since the start of the spring term,” Mr. Golden said.

This showcase also will feature a performance from The Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University.

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ANNUAL PTSA MEETING AND ELECTION

Join the PTSA at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 in the Auditorium for the annual PTSA Election. If you were a paid PTSA member by April 21, you may run for election and/or vote.

This year we are electing a president, secretary and parliamentarian.

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PAYNE POETRY. Third, fourth and fifth graders have contributed to a new book of poetry, available for purchase on Amazon. This is the second edition of poems available for purchase. Curated by Librarian Tim Gordon, the poems are available for $3.70. Click here to purchase.

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NO MORE PARCCING. Congratulations to the third, fourth and fifth graders for completing their mandatory, annual PARCC. They did a great job, and we are all proud of them!

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OUTSTANDING ASL PERFORMANCE. Payne’s deaf and hard of hearing staff organized “The Sign Finale” on Tuesday to showcase the ASL Club’s work this semester. The performance included poetry, music and a tribute to Payne moms. The Payne community turned out in big numbers for the show, and attendees were treated to solo performances by Payne parents and staff.

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SPIRIT WEEK.

Next week is Spirit Week at Payne.

  • Monday: Dress as your favorite book character or wear positive words on a T-shirt.
  • Tuesday: Wacky hair and hats and mismatched clothes. No uniforms required.
  • Wednesday: Class color day (PK3, light blue; PK4, purple; Kindergarten, green; First, yellow; Second, orange; Third, red; Fourth, navy blue; Fifth, gray)
  • Thursday: Dress like a real wildcat (think leopard, lion, tiger, jaguar, panther)
  • Friday: Professional dress day. Business or job attire (including astronauts, firefighters, scrubs, even scuba suits)

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NATIONALS GAME. DCPS Night at Nats Park is 7:05 p.m. Friday, May 24. Interested in tickets? Contact Ms. Oxendine by the end of the day today: akua.oxendine@dc.gov. Schools have a limited number of tickets. The Nats will take on the Miami Marlins. Stay late for fireworks.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

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

May 27-28: No school

May 29-30: Science Fair

May 31: Spring Concert

June 3: 9 a.m., Picture Day. Order forms were sent home this week

June 7: Fifth grade promotion

June 14: Last day of school

Payne Post 5/15/2019

May 14, 2019

Spirit Week: Payne is celebrating Spirit Week May 20th-May 24th.  Flyer was sent home with details in Wednesday Folder.  

2019-20 Enrollment:  Enrollment has been booming.  Spaces are filling up. Out of boundary seats are limited.  Only completed packets will be accepted with health and dental records.  We will be accepting enrollment packets Saturday at the Spring Carnival.  Enrollment packets are available online at: http://enrolldcps.dc.gov/sites/dcpsenrollment/files/page_content/attachments/DCPS_Enrollment_Packet_19-20_FINAL_0.pdf.

Science Fair: Science Fair Projects are due for 3rd through 5th graders on Monday, May 20th by the end of the day to Ms. Henson.  If you have any questions, please email her at Shanita.henson@dc.gov.

DCPS Baseball Night: If you are interested in attending the Nationals vs Marlins game on Friday, May 24th at 6:30pm, please email akua.oxendine@dc.gov and include your name and how many tickets by Friday, May 17th.  The limit is 4.  Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis and will be distributed on Monday, May 20th.

Spring Carnival: The Payne Spring Carnival and Auction will be Saturday, May 18th from 11 – 3 at the school. We’ll have bounce houses, a water slide, a face painter, balloon animals, a silent auction, games, goodies, etc.  If you would like to volunteer, please sign up at:  https://signup.com/go/ThuuiNx

Parent Teacher Conference Day:  Parent Teacher Conference Day is on Tuesday, May 28th.  There will be no school for students.

Wildcat PTSA News: Step Up for Spring Carnival | ASL Club | Parking Enforcement

Hello, Wildcats.

The Spring Carnival is coming up fast, and fewer than half of the volunteer slots are filled. Please take a moment and scan the signup sheet here: https://signup.com/go/ThuuiNx. The carnival is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 18 on the playground. In addition to games, face painting and a moon bounce for the kids, there will be hot dogs, cotton candy, a bake sale and a silent auction. Volunteer shifts are short, so you can enjoy the festival, too.

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ASL CLUB PERFORMANCE

Students in Payne’s American Sign Language Club will deliver their closing program, 5-6 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium. The new club has been rewarding for students this year, and the performance will combine poetry, ASL and pop music by artists Miley Cyrus and Drake.

And here is a photo from the deaf and hard of hearing class’s field trip to Port Discovery in Baltimore. They were joined by some members of the ASL club. “We picked Fort Discovery because it was hands-on,” said DHOH teacher Fareeda Gayle. “It gave us a great opportunity for the ASL club to interact with our deaf and hard of hearing population and have an authentic experience in that learning-slash-fun environment.”

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LIBRARY NIGHT. Last week’s newsletter incorrectly stated the date for Payne Library Night. It’s this Monday, May 13. Explore the library with your child from 4-5:30 p.m., read a book with your child and check one out to take home.

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PARKING ENFORCEMENT

Thanks to Assistant Principal Ward for helping to control traffic outside of Payne on Thursday and Friday.

Three parents have expressed interest in joining a working group to examine the parking situation in front of and around Payne. A recent increase in ticketing has stimulated the discussion. Interested in being part of the solution? Email Tony Lombardo.

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PHOTOS FROM THE WEEK

DCPS students flooded Lincoln Park on Wednesday with bicycles, scooters and smiles for D.C.’s annual Bike to School Day. The Payne contingent did not disappoint. As this photo shows, the school had a strong representation from students, parents and staff.

Payne parents and staff joined other feeder schools Tuesday for Eliot-Hine Basketball Fever, hosted at Eastern High School.

Teachers enjoy lunch Tuesday, provided by the PTSA for Teacher Appreciation Week.

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STORY OF OUR SCHOOLS UPDATE. Story of Our Schools staff already are working on graphics and design for the exhibit, which should be complete in about two weeks. The final crucial hurdle is fundraising for the installation; the exhibit is about one-third funded. If you are interested in either making a donation to support this exhibit (any amount is appreciated) or helping to make socilitications using materials developed by the PTSA and SOOS staff, contact Mark Jordan (president@paynepta.org.) Help make this project a reality!

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LSAT ELECTIONS. Elections for four parent positions on Payne’s Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) will be this month. More information about the nomination process and election dates will be forthcoming.

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SUPPORT GIRLS ON THE RUN. Join a fun 5K race (run or walk) June 2. Girls on the Run is a club for girls in grades 3-5, and they’ve been training for 5K. Girls must participate with an adult, and five runners don’t yet have an adult to run with. Support the club and run with one of the athletes. Sign up by May 20 here and let club manager Monich Brown know you will be joining the girls.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

May 2: May LSAT Meeting

May 18: 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., Playground, Spring Carnival

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

May 27-28: No school

May 29-30: Science Fair

May 31: Spring Concert, More details to come

June 3: Picture Day

June 7: Fifth grade promotion

June 14: Last day of school

Wildcat PTSA News: Meet Ms. Henson | Uniform Clarity | Giving Week

Hello, Wildcats.

The PTSA board voted this week to spend $400 for 330 tree kits to be delivered to every student. The project also received support from ForestPlanet, which chipped in another $500. The non-profit’s mission is to support large-scale reforestation efforts across the globe. The tree kits will be incorporated in Ms. Henson’s science classes.  We remain hopeful the Lorax will one day come back.

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LAST CHANCE FOR GIRL SCOUT COOKIES

If you missed out on this year’s Girl Scout cookie sales, you are in luck. Payne’s Troop 1455 has just a few remaining boxes of Trefoils (the classic shortbread) and Savannah Smiles (a lemon confection). You can purchase Friday morning in the lobby while supplies last, or email Tony Lombardo right now to skip the line and secure your snackage. Price is $4 a box.

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MEET THE TEACHER

When you walk into Shanita Henson’s science classroom, you might be drawn to the aquarium that houses Rachel, Gary and Nigel: three crusty, cricket-loving geckos. The kids love them, but don’t ask Ms. Henson to take them out of the aquarium herself. “I’m more so a mammal type of person,” she said. “I like furry animals.”

In the past four years, her science classroom has also been the home to two guinea pigs and even two ducks. The barnyard fowl will never return.

“I had ducks about two years ago,” she said. “I had a tarp in here. I had a little swimming pool. They start off as little babies, and they were just too big to handle. The kids were, like, terrified.”

Her science curriculum often overlaps across grades but with increasing complexity as the kids get older. Right now, for example, the younger students are learning about animals and their habitats. Second graders are studying the larger concept of ecosystems, and fourth and fifth graders are tackling topics such as animal physiology and conservation.

She sees every class for 45 minutes once a week. She supports science in the kids’ regular classrooms, too. “I think it should be every day. It’s not just a special. It’s a core class, especially when you get to middle school,” said Ms. Henson, who is close to securing her master’s degree in early childhood education.

Ms. Henson got her start at Payne as Ms. Baggett’s aide. She worked in that role for four years, then spent a year each in a middle school and high school before returning to Payne to teach science. She also runs the school’s Robotics Club and is planning Payne’s Science Fair. And she is a Payne mom; her oldest daughter is a second grader at the school.

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JUDGE THE SCIENCE FAIR

Payne’s Energy and Science Fair is May 28 and 29. The first day, students will present their projects to fellow students as an exhibit day in the auditorium. Parents are invited to attend; stay tuned for a more detailed schedule. PK3 through second grade will create group class projects, and third through fifth grade are producing individual projects.

Judging will take place May 29. Would you like to help critique the projects or provide support? Email Ms. Henson at shanita.henson@dc.gov

Students now are creating their projects, and parents are invited to mentor them 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Let Ms. Henson know if you are available. And don’t expect exploding volcanoes or homemade slime. “That’s so recreational,” Ms. Henson said. These kids are digging into deeper science topics. Renewable energy is a key focus this year, the result of a donation from Pepco in funds (at least $500) plus energy lesson plans and kits.

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PARCC TESTING. The third, fourth and fifth grade classes began PARCC testing on Tuesday, and the whole school is cheering them on. Inspirational posters are hanging in the school. Here’s a fun one from Ms. Baggett’s PK3 class:

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BLUE TOP BOMBSHELL

Loyal readers of Principal Byrd’s Payne Posts learned this week that uniforms are here to stay after a survey found that nearly 3 out of 4 parents favor a uniform.

For all those hating on white shirts, good news. Principal Byrd has clarified the uniform policy: Navy and light blue tops are acceptable for all grades, not just the younguns in PK. School t-shirts? Also acceptable.

And you can expect more dress-down days in Payne’s future.

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TEACHER APPRECIATION. The PTSA will provide lunch to teachers next Tuesday as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. We’re looking for volunteers to make “THANK YOU” signs for decoration and also volunteers to help with food delivery and setup around 10 a.m. Tuesday. If you can assist, email Carolyn Bowen.

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CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS. The parents who are organizing the spring carnival still are looking for helpers to make hot dogs, run the sno cone machines and more at the Spring Carnival, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/ThuuiNx. Parent  Kerry DeVooght can answer questions.

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GIVING WEEK

It’s Capitol Hill Giving Week from May 4-12, and local business are donating portions of their sales to the school of your choice, so remember to designate Payne as your school when you make a purchase. Participating businesses include:

  • Hill’s Kitchen, the home kitchen supply shop, will donate 15 percent of your purchase toward Payne.
  • Summit to Soul, a fitness apparel shop, will also donate 15 percent to Payne.
  • DCanter wine shop will donate 10 percent of its sales to the nonprofit organization Byte Back.

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BOOKS. CHECK ’EM OUT. Monday is Payne Library Night. Explore the library with your child from 4-5:30 p.m., read a book with your child and check one out to take home.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

May 2: May LSAT Meeting

May 6-10: Teacher Appreciation Week

May 8: 7:30 a.m., Lincoln Park, Bike to School Day

May 9: 5:30 p.m., Eliot-Hine Middle School, Basketball Fever and Fundraiser

May 18: 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., Playground, Spring Carnival

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

May 27-28: No school

June 3: Picture Day

June 7: Fifth grade promotion

June 14: Last day of school

Payne Post 4/24/2019

PARCC Testing: We start PARCC Standardize testing on Tuesday, April 30th!  3rd through 5th grade will test in Math, ELA and Science. Make sure they get a good night’s rest, eat healthy meal, and come to school on time. Please encourage the students. We know they will do well.

 

ENROLL on Saturday: This Saturday, April 27th from 9am-12pm on the large playground. All grade levels are welcomed.  Please make sure that you bring in your completed packet with supporting documents.  Enrollment packets are available online at: http://enrolldcps.dc.gov/sites/dcpsenrollment/files/page_content/attachments/DCPS_Enrollment_Packet_19-20_FINAL_0.pdf.  No incomplete packets will be accepted.  We are halfway enrolled for next year so don’t miss out on a slot!

 

Science Fair: Projects are due to Ms. Henson May 20th-21st.  All 3rd-5th graders are required to do a project, which is half of their grade and PK3-2nd will do a class project.  Any questions can be emailed to Shanita.henson@dc.gov.

 

Engagement Survey: Please remember to complete our family engagement survey as you complete your enrollment packets for next year! You can fill it out online or in-person during enrollment. Link: https://forms.gle/CPsKaWmxrSTiyrUw8

 

Save the Date:  In order to keep you inform, please mark your calendar for these important dates: Bike to School  Day 5/8, Muffins for Moms 5/10, Donuts with Dads 6/6, Picture Day 6/3, 5th Grade Promotion 6/7, ECE Promotion Activity 6/11.

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

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

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

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CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS

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

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

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

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PLAYDATE FOR NEW WILDCATS

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

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

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PTSA MEETING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intrigued? Read more here.

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

April 15-19: Spring break.

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

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

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

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

May 27-28: No school.

2019-20 Enrollment

Hello Payne Family,

 

The 2019-20 Packets are now available and is attached to this email or you can click the link http://enrolldcps.dc.gov/sites/dcpsenrollment/files/page_content/attachments/DCPS_Enrollment_Packet_19-20_FINAL_0.pdf.  You have the ability to fill out the fields online because it is a typeable PDF.  The school will be utilizing the registration dates below for continuing students so please adhere to the week for submitting the completed packet and documents.  If you have multiple students, you can bring all packets to the one date.

  • Please note that we WILL NOT accept any enrollment packets until April 1st.
  • Packets must be complete, signed and accompanied with required documents (residency & health forms).
  • Incomplete packets will not be kept by the school.
  • Spots for registration are only guaranteed for in-boundary K-5 students so please make sure that you do not risk losing your child’s seat.

Current Grade Level                                                                  Registration Dates (9a-2:30p)

PK3 & PK4                                                                               April 1st-April 5th

K & 1st                                                                                     April 8th-April 12th

All Grades                                                                               April 15th-April 19th (Spring Break)

2nd & 3rd                                                                                April 22nd-April 26th

All Grades                                                                               Saturday, April 27th 9am-12pm

4th                                                                                            April 29th-May 3rd

 Also, we would like to gather your perspective regarding school communication.  Please click this link https://forms.gle/zPVakAQxZ1MobdBF7 to fill out a short survey.

Thanks,

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

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

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PAYNE FIELD TRIPS

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

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

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BASKETBALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE

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

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

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

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KILN UPDATE

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

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LAST CHANCE FOR SURVEY

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

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PAYNE HISTORY LESSON: SEGREGATION AND PTA PROTESTS

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

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

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

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

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

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SPRING FUNDRAISER

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

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

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

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

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

April 17-21: Spring break

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

May 21: PTSA annual meeting and elections.

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

NEW FOCUS ON SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCIENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SPRING CONCERT POSTPONED

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

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MATH BOWL COMPETITORS

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

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

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

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ATTENDANCE SOCIAL

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

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PTSA ELECTIONS PSA

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

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SWAG VOLUNTEER NEEDED

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

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BUILD THE LITTLE LIBRARY

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

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PLEASE TAKE THIS SURVEY

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

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PAYNE HISTORY LESSON: THE FIRE

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

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

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

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MORE IMPORTANT DATES

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

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

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

April 4-5: No school

April 17-21: Spring break