Regular school attendance is vital to academic success. When students are absent, they miss valuable information and lessons necessary to meet Common Core State Standards. Families, schools and communities must work as a team to support school attendance. Our system-­‐wide goal is to improve local school attendance at every grade level.

Yes, school attendance is required for all students who reach five years of age on or before September 30th of the current school year. Students must attend school until their 18th birthday. Students who reside in DC must be enrolled in a public, independent, private, parochial or home school each year during the period that schools are in session.

The administrators, teachers and staff of Payne Elementary School take daily attendance very seriously. Regular attendance in school is vital to your child’s progress. Students should attend school each day and be on time. The school day is from 8:45 am until 3:15 pm. If your student is absent from school, please call the office at 202 698-­‐3262 by 10:00 am. When your child returns to school, be sure they have a note explaining the absence inclusive of a parent/guardian signature. If we do not receive a written excuse, the student will be issued an unexcused absence.

Breakfast is free to all Payne Elementary School students and is served starting at 8:00 am, ending promptly at 8:35 am. No student will be accepted into the building prior to 8:00 am. No supervision is available prior to the aforementioned time and it is therefore unsafe for students to be in the building. Upon arrival at school, all students in grades 1 through 5 will report to the cafeteria and are encouraged to eat breakfast during this time. Students in Pre-­‐school, Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten will eat breakfast in their respective classrooms at the same time and should report directly there upon arrival. Your cooperation will help us maintain the safest possible environment for your child.

Lunch is served in the cafeteria during two 30-minute periods – students in primary grades (1st and 2nd) from 12 noon until 12:30 pm; students in intermediate grades (3rd through 5th) from 1:15 pm until 1:45 pm. Menus will be sent home monthly. A 20-minute period for recess immediately follows each lunch period. Students in grades 1 through 5 have recess on the big playground behind the East Wing of the Building, weather permitting. Early Childhood students (preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten) eat family-style lunch in the classroom with the teachers and aides from 11:45 am – 12:15 pm. Physical activity is for a 30-minute period daily and, weather permitting, these students use the “Tot Lot” which is the smaller playground behind the West Wing of the building.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a USDA grant program that provides our students with fresh fruit and vegetable snacks during the school day. Distribution of these healthy snacks will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


Students are expected to arrive at school on time. Late arrivals slow down not only your student’s learning, but also interrupts valuable instructional time. If your student arrives late, he/she must check in at the office and pick up a tardy pass before going to class. In an effort to minimize instructional time interruptions, all students must independently transition to their classroom with the exception of students in grades Pre-­‐school through Pre-­‐ Kindergarten.

Students are released to the parent/guardian on record only. Parents/guardians must give advance written notice to the school when requesting a child to be released to other designated persons. No telephone notifications will be accepted.


Payne Elementary School is a 100% uniform school. All students are expected to come to school every day wearing the Payne School uniform, Monday through Friday. The official school uniform consists of navy blue bottoms (e.g., pants, knee-length shorts, skirt, jumper, skort) and a white collared shirt or blouse for students in Kindergarten through grade 5. Early childhood students (preschool and pre-kindergarten) wear navy blue bottoms with navy blue collared shirts and/or blouses. Each student enrolled will receive one imprinted Payne School logo polo style shirt free of charge at the beginning of the school year. Additional Payne polo style shirts are available for purchase at the school throughout the year. Please inquire at the main office if you are interested.

Below are additional guidelines regarding acceptable dress for school:
• Undershirts cannot be worn as shirts

• No t-­‐shirts with inappropriate messages or images

• Pants must be worn with belts and not extend below waistline

• No short-­‐shorts/skirts (2” or more above the knee)

• All types of hats, headscarves and coats are inappropriate for indoor wear and should be stored until the end of the school day

• Footwear that covers the foot and toes should be worn (i.e., loafers, “Mary Janes”, tennis shoes, boots, etc.). Shoes that slip on, lace up and have velcro closures are all appropriate provided that they stay securely on your child’s foot as they move. Flip-­‐flops are dangerous on the stairwell and playground areas and should not be worn to school.

Students arriving inappropriately dressed will remain in the main office area until appropriate clothing can be provided. In addition, a parent/guardian will be contacted as needed in order to bring in the necessary items.