News & Events

Payne Post

March 20, 2019


Panorama Survey: Please complete the Panorama Survey by 3/22.  It measures social-emotional learning (SEL), school climate and satisfaction across students in grades 3-5, staff and families. DCPS is using these results to identify areas of improvement needed to support families better.   To access the survey, please go to  The Access Code is “family”.


Attendance Social:  Please join us for our attendance social on Friday, March 22nd at 9am in the auditorium.  There will be giveaways and light refreshments and great information about attendance and how it affects the school and your child.


Information Updates: Please make sure that you update the main office with your current phone number, address and email address.  We want to make sure you are kept abreast of all school information as well as easily reached in case of an emergency.


Science Fair: Please make sure that if your child is in 3-5th grade, that they turn in their parent agreement and topic selection form in to Ms. Henson this week.


2019-20 Enrollment:  Enrollment for next year is right around the corner, April 1st.  A flyer with registration dates have been sent out as well as the school calendar on the website have been updated.  Spots for registration are only guaranteed for in boundary students so please make sure that you do not wait and register your student.

Wildcat PTSA News: Firing Up the Kiln | PTSA Election | Teacher of the Month

This week the PTSA board approved a few expenditures that will benefit students across all grades:


The PTSA is splitting the cost with Payne to cover numerous fixes to SMART boards throughout the school. The PTSA will spend $2,000 to fix or maintain more than 30 boards.


Art classes have not been able to use the Payne kiln for at least two years, but that is about to change. An expert from The Kiln Doctor visited Payne this week and inspected and serviced the pottery oven. It now is certified for use. The PTSA covered the $127 bill, which included an inspection, leveling the kiln, fixing the oven door and some other minor fixes. The certification will enable Ms. Harvey to include pottery projects in her class.


The board approved spending $80 to cover the operational costs of launching the Share Table at Payne, a space where students can place unopened and/or sealed foods that they choose not to eat during school breakfast and lunch, for others to eat.



Payne has started a Teacher of the Month award. Every month, at Payne’s staff meeting, the staff votes for a teacher who shows dedication and exceptional service to our students. “It is a Payne award, but it is special because peers vote for the person,” Mrs. Oxendine said.

Ms. Juanita Stokes, a PK3 teacher, earned the honor in February, and Ms. Dionne Thompson, a first grade teacher, won this month.

(Left: Stokes; right: Thompson)



The PTSA’s annual meeting is May 21, and it’s an election year for three officer positions: president, secretary and parliamentarian. It’s not too early to consider a bid to join the board. A closer look at each role:

The president presides over all meetings of the PTSA and the board. The president appoints committee chairs and is an ex-officio member on all committees. The president represents the organization on the district and national level. The president is the PTSA’s representative on the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT).

The secretary keeps a correct record of all meetings and votes of the PTSA and makes them available to the membership.

The parliamentarian maintains the bylaws and articles of incorporation. The parliamentarian
advises the presiding officer on parliamentary procedure and has a fundamental knowledge of the mission, purposes and policies of the PTSA. The parliamentarian conducts the annual meeting and officer elections.



Payne is seeking STEM experts in the community who are willing to serve as a resource for the school’s growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. Experts may be called upon to answer questions from teachers, serve as guest speakers, provide connections to other STEM resources or whatever you are comfortable doing that can be incorporated into the curriculum this school year or next.

Find out more here and fill out a short questionnaire.



Join the Payne Wildcats Team for the Capitol Hill Classic Kids’ Fun Run, 11 a.m. May 19 at Stanton Park. Kids run around the perimeter of the park (a quick lap). It’s a great way to introduce kids to running and a fun community event. Plus, you get a t-shirt. When you sign up, select “Join a team” and then select “Payne Wildcats” from the drop-down menu. Click here to register. It’s not just for kids; the race includes signups for the 10K and 3K.



Pennies for Patients raised $1,347 between Feb. 11-25, and Ms. Fox’s Fantastic Friends won the class competition for a pizza party. Families and friends still can contribute to Payne’s page online until June here.



March 8: No school

March 15: 7 p.m., Payne Dads Happy Hour, Granville Moore’s

March 19: 6 p.m., PTSA meeting

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

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

Panorama Survey

In School Year 2017-2018, DCPS launched the Panorama Survey to measure social emotional learning, satisfaction, and engagement across staff, families, and students in grades 3-12. The 2018-2019 Panorama Survey is now available and we encourage you to share your perspective. This survey provides stakeholders the opportunity to candidly share perspectives on their school and how DCPS can best set all of our students up for success in college, career, and life.

The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete.  The responses are confidential and voluntary.  The final day to complete the survey is March 29, 2019.  It can be accessed using the information below:

Survey Link:

Access Code: family

Please only submit one survey per school and if you have more than one child in the same school, please answer for the oldest child.

Thank you for participating in the DCPS Panorama Survey!

Wildcat PTSA News: Parent-Teacher Conferences | Who Are the Reading Partners? | Museum Display Fundraising


Within the next two weeks, parents will receive dates and times for parent-teacher conferences. But this time could be a little different than the past. Teachers have the option to forego one-on-one meetings and instead lead what are being called Academic Parent-Teacher Team meetings. The APTT meetings will be conducted as a grade level with all of the teachers and parents in the grade. Rather than focusing on individual progress, teachers will discuss the grade’s work and progress as a whole. The team meetings are optional, and your child’s teacher could decide to host traditional one-on-one meetings instead of or in addition to the team meetings.



One hundred volunteers make regular visits to Payne for one-on-one reading help outside the class through the Reading Partners program. Reading Partners provides extra support when it comes to reading skills for 73 Wildcats in Kindergarten through fourth grade. Rachel McManus is the Payne Reading Partners site coordinator this school year. She fielded questions from the PTSA about the program:

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how Reading Partners works?

A. The principal, teachers and the literacy specialists refer students to Reading Partners. We bring them in for an assessment and then, after we have their permission slips, they come in twice a week, sometimes once a week, for 45-minute sessions, and they’re paired with a volunteer community member. We already have a pre-set lesson plan that’s supposed to complement what’s going on in their classrooms. So a lot of it isn’t necessarily brand new for the student but just extra support. So students come twice a week probably for the entire year.

Q. How do you define success for a student?

A. We have a couple different metrics. We have assessments that consider their phonemic awareness, vocabulary, concept of word, things like that. Very similar to the assessments they’re probably doing with their teachers. The goal is that everyone is reading at or above grade level by the end of the year.

Q. Are you funded with the Payne budget?

A. Each school that we partner with has to pay a fee, which for public schools is $20,000, and they have to provide a set space and also access to a printer. But a lot of our funding comes through AmeriCorps, the D.C. government and local individuals.

Q. Are you looking for more volunteers at Payne? Can parents volunteer?

A. Parents can volunteer. The truth is that a lot of people want to come volunteer at Payne because it’s easy. People are usually coming from work, like if they work on the Hill. In general, we’re always looking for more volunteers, particularly in our schools in Wards 7 and 8.

Q. If someone’s interested where should they go?

A. They can go to, and there is a link to volunteer.



A team of students led by PK3 teacher Juanita Stokes and educational aide Monich Brown embarked in November on a project to research the history of Payne Elementary. Students have interviewed teachers and students from past years and collected artifacts and photos. By the end of the year, the plan is to establish a permanent, museum-quality display that honors the history and legacy of our school. The project is part of a broader non-profit effort called Story of Our Schools.

The organization has unveiled sketches of the future exhibit. You can see more in the attached PDF: Payne Story of Our Schools. Initial estimates put the budget for the exhibit between $30,000 and $40,000. The PTSA expects to participate in the fundraising effort with Story of Our Schools staff to make the exhibit a reality. The PTSA is looking for volunteers to help with a targeted fundraising effort for this project. If you can help, please e-mail PTSA fundraising chair Kerry DeVooght.



A PK3 class at Maury Elementary is missing its cockatiel Stanley. Please keep an eye out for the bird, which has clipped wings and can’t fly far. He was last seen in the area of Eliot-Hine (18th and Constitution N.E.). If you find him, please call Maury at 202-698-3838 or 202-302-7436 (after hours).

This is what a cockatiel looks like:



After-School Clubs Liaison. You would work with the ASL Enrichment Club, Chess Club and Sewing Club to ensure their needs are met, including securing parent volunteers, pointing questions in the right direction and senduring Mrs. Oxendine is aware of challenges. You wouldn’t need to handle problem solving or scheduling. Interested? Contact Lexi Smith.

Grant Writing. If you are interested in helping to secure library grants, contact Kerry DeVooght.

Payne SWAG. Does your child LOVE Payne t-shirts? Do you dream of having more Payne SWAG? We are looking for a new volunteer to run t-shirt sales for the remainder of the school year and next year. Contact Carolyn.



March 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 1: Registration closes for Capitol Hill Little League. Register at

March 4: Applications due for Girls on the Run club for third through fifth grades. Email Mrs. Oxendine,

March 8: No school

March 19: PTSA Meeting

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

Payne Post 2/27/19

February 27, 2019

Coffee with the Principal: We will be having coffee with the Principal this Friday, March 1st at 9am.  The focus will be on a day in the life of 5th grade.  We encourage all 4th grade parents to attend.

Multicultural Reads Day: On Friday, March 1st we are celebrating Multicultural Reads day.   We have 20 volunteers! Readers will read pre-selected books for each class.

Pennies for Patients:  Pennies for Patients was a success!  We raised over $1300 for Blood Cancer Research! Thank you to all who supported.  Mrs. Fox raised $379, Ms. Douglas raised $277 and Ms. Allen raised $228. You can still donate online at until June to help us reach the goal of $2019.

Panorama Survey:  On March 5th-18, DCPS will survey to measure social-emotional learning (SEL), school climate and satisfaction across students in grades 3-12, staff and families. DCPS is using these results to identify areas of improvement needed to support families better.  We will have IPad ready to assist parents in taking the survey at school.

Girls on the Run:  Girls on the Run begins March 11th.  Applications from Girls from grades 3-5 are due to Mrs. Oxendine by Monday March 4th.  Parent meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 6th.

 Nationals Baseball League:  Registration is open through the end of the week for Capitol Hill Little League’s spring baseball and softball season.  The cost is $125 for the spring season and player scholarships are available.  The official CHLL Opening Ceremonies will take place on Saturday, April 6. Sign up before it’s too late!  Register online on our website (

Capitol Hill Little League registration closes Friday

Play Ball! Register Closes this Friday for Capitol Hill Little League

Registration is open through the end of the week for Capitol Hill Little League’s spring baseball and softball season. CHLL is a fun way for boys and girls to learn how to play and enjoy baseball or softball.  Through our partnership with the Washington Nationals, all registered players get Nats-branded uniforms, and during the season there are opportunities to meet Nats players, opportunities to go to special events at Nats Park, win free Nats tickets, and more (or use the code CHLL to get discounted tickets).

Register online on our website (

CHLL offers baseball divisions from t-ball to kid-pitch (boys and girls ages 5-16), and softball divisions (girls 7-14).  Newcomers welcome!  Any child who lives or goes to school within CHLL boundaries is eligible to play, which means all students who attend Payne Elementary School are eligible. The cost is $125 for the spring season and player scholarships are available.  Registration closes Friday, March 1. The first workouts will be in early March, after that, teams will be assigned, with practices and games starting in late March running through the end of the school year.  The official CHLL Opening Ceremonies will take place on Saturday, April 6. Sign up before it’s too late!

Wildcat PTSA News: Meeting and Bake Sale | 2-Hour Delays | School Chancellor

Today is the Payne Friendship Dance, 4-5:45 p.m. It’s also Family Paint Night, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Parent participation is welcome at both events. PK3 and PK4 students must be accompanied by an adult. The PTSA approved spending $500 to cover the cost of the DJ and to provide snacks and refreshments. Students also will be celebrating Daniel A. Payne’s birthday today at school, eating Girl Scout cookies provided by our very own Troop 1455.



The next PTSA meeting is open to all parents who want a look into the teachers and classrooms for their child’s upcoming year. Join us at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26. Visit classrooms and meet teachers in your child’s next grade. A bake sale will start at 5:30 p.m. in the front lobby. Want to provide goodies for the bake sale? Please sign up here.



Payne celebrated the 100th day of school, and students dressed up as centenarians. Kindergarten teacher Ms. Fox snapped this fun photo.



Parents expressed confusion and frustration this week at the 2-hour delay. School leaders acknowledged the schedule could have been more clear. The PTSA also would like to correct some misinformation. In the event of a 2-hour delay, breakfast WILL be served; it will be a cold breakfast picked up in the cafeteria.

2-hour delay for first through fifth grades:
  • Building opens at 10:15 a.m. Light breakfast is served in the cafeteria.
  • Classes are picked up from cafeteria at 10:40 a.m.
  • School ends at 3:15 p.m.
2-hour delay for PK and Kindergarten:
  • To receive breakfast, stop first at the cafeteria to pick up your child’s food.
  • Report directly to classrooms starting at 10:15 a.m.
  • School ends at 3:15 p.m.



As the PTSA thinks about funding decisions for the second half of the year, the board would love to hear your big ideas for making Payne better. How the PTSA use funds? Send your ideas to Communications Chair Tony Lombardo.



It’s not too late to participate in Payne’s Pennies for Patients campaign benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Collections will be accepted through Monday, Feb. 25. Payne still has a ways to go to meet its goal. Follow the progress here. Online donations will be accepted all school year.



NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi sat down this week with Lewis Ferebee, the DCPS acting chancellor. It’s a hard-hitting interview that tackles a range of topics from Ferebee’s reputation as a reformer to diversity concerns among DCPS teachers. Click here to listen or read the transcript.



Feb. 18-22: No school

Feb. 23, 25, 27:  Mayor’s Public Budget Engagement Forums

Feb. 24: Daniel A. Payne’s 208th birthday

Feb. 26: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA meeting

March 1: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 8: No school

Inclement Weather Policy

Hello Parents,

Thank you for your patience today as we had a rare 2-hour delay.  We definitely understand there was some confusion and wanted to make sure to send out what the schedule would look like if this happens in the future.

Normal School Start Time:

Building opens at 8:10am for Breakfast

Classes are picked up from cafeteria at 8:40am

School Ends at 3:15pm

2 Hour Delay:

Building opens 10:15am.  Light breakfast served in cafeteria.

Classes are picked up from cafeteria at 10:40am

School Ends at 3:15pm.

Thank you for your understanding.

Wildcat PTSA News: Laptops Are Here | Meet Ms. Danielle | School Dance

A reminder that today is Family Movie Night. This free event starts at 4:30 p.m., and the movie is best picture-nominated Black Panther, in honor of Black History Month. Concessions will be sold.



The PTSA has canceled the Feb. 12 meeting and rescheduled it for 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Auditorium. This can’t-miss meeting includes an opportunity for parents to look ahead to next year by visiting classrooms and meeting teachers in your child’s next grade. We apologize for the serial PTSA meeting rescheduling, but this will give teachers more time to prepare and the PTSA more time to ensure parents can join.



Payne received half of its shipment of brand new laptops, ordered as part of an $81,000 grant from Lowe’s home improvement stores. In total, Payne will receive 91 laptops and 15 desktop computers. Mrs. Oxendine reports that Payne also received two new, lighter-charger carts thanks to the grant.

“The new laptops will be used solely for PARCC and other testing. Our ultimate goal is to have 1:1 computers to students for 3rd-5th grades,” Mrs. Oxendine said.

The laptops are not a net addition for the school, however. Mrs. Oxendine said that the school recently disposed of 95 damaged and outdated laptops. Damage included missing keys, broken screens and failing batteries. With the remaining grant money, Payne will be getting a new poster maker. Thanks to parents Andria Thomas and Lexi Smith, who were instrumental in securing the grant.



Payne is hosting a Friendship Dance, 4-5:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. That same day is a Family Paint Night, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Parent participation is welcome at both events. PK3 and PK4 students must be accompanied by an adult. An RSVP form went home with students this week. Please fill out right away and return to the main office.



Welcome to Danielle Ciaurro, Payne’s new AmeriCorps VISTA Community Liaison. Ms. Danielle will work closely with the Payne administration to strengthen and engage the Payne community. Here’s her bio:

I’m originally from New Jersey but went to GW. I graduated last year with my BA in Human Services & Social Justice. After my AmeriCorps VISTA term I’m going back to GW for my master’s in public administration. I also work part-time for a nonprofit that assists survivors of sexual violence in DC, so that’s the other issue area I’m passionate about other than education. My favorite spot in DC is Meridian Hill Park and my dream is to learn to rollerblade and skate around the city. My Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff. On weekends I can be found boxing at a feminist fight club (self-defense class but I call it fight club) in Dupont.



You may recall that DCPS has rated its schools using a new system this year, the DC Schools Report Card. (Payne earned 3 stars.) Now DCPS officials are soliciting feedback. What do you think of the new system? Take the survey here.



Feb. 12: PTSA meeting canceled

Feb. 15: 9 a.m., Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fourth Grade

Feb. 15: No after school care

Feb. 18-22: No school

Feb. 24: Daniel A. Payne’s 208th birthday

Now-Feb. 19: Pennies For Patients Campaign. Click here for fundraiser details

Feb. 26: 6 p.m., Auditorium, PTSA meeting (new date)

March 1: 9 a.m.,  Auditorium, Coffee with Principal: Learn about Fifth Grade

March 8: No school

DCPS 5 Million Minute Reading Challenge

A new year, a new reading challenge! This year, DCPS has been challenged to read 5 million minutes this semester.  Please log into Beanstack, and log every minute read.  All reading counts.

GOOD NEWS! Beanstack can now be accessed via Clever with each student’s normal Clever login information.

MORE GOOD NEWS! Teachers can now log reading minutes for the entire class at once via Clever.

BEST OF ALL! The Beanstack Tracker App is available for all your mobile devices.