We continue to work on The 15-day Culture Challenge. This past week, students reviewed expectations for hallways, recess, cafeteria and restrooms in morning meetings. In addition, teachers were challenged to spend two minutes a day for ten days connecting through conversation with a student in their classes. The technique is known as two-by-ten, and it is intended to build relationships.
Please note that we will host an Open House on Wednesday, January 15th at 9:00 am. Encourage any families that have expressed interest in Shepherd to attend. Word of mouth is our most effective marketing strategy!
There are a number of updates this week. Please scan the headings and see what is of interest to you and your family:
Girls on the Run — I met with the Program Director this week, and if there is interest, I would like to restart the program at Shepherd. The program is for girls in grades 3-5, and the season begins mid-March and ends in early June. Practice would be twice a week from 3:15-4:30, and the program culminates in running a 5K in late May/early June. If your daughter is interested in running or if you are interested in being a coach, please contact me by email. Thank you!
Water Quality — Our school has recently been tested for lead in water, and the results have been posted online. All of the drinking water sources tested this year are below the District’s actionable level of 5 ppb. Please see the letter from DCPS detailing the test results here: DCPS_Water Filtration_All Pass_Final_12.30.19.pdf
Future Chefs — If your student is in grades 3-5 and loves to cook, he/she may have come home this week with a flier describing the Future Chefs contest. It is a national contest for burgeoning chefs, and a student from Hearst made it to the finals next year. Students are challenged to create a recipe for a school lunch reimagined by the end of January. The guidelines and recipe template can be found at this link.
Community Center — Next week workers will start the installation of additional fencing and a trailer, which will eliminate parking on Jonquil on the north side of the street from 14th Street to mid-way through the DPR playground. Sheeting and shoring drilling will also begin next week and will not be any louder than the excavation work that has been ongoing. Sheeting and shoring will take place from 1/13-1/24. Please note that air quality is being monitored daily. Our monthly construction update from DPR is posted here.
Panorama Family Survey — DCPS launches our Panorama Family Survey from January 13-February 14. Last year, only 31% of our families completed the survey. One of our Comprehensive School Plan action steps this year is to increase our response rate to 60%. Take a few minutes to take the DCPS Panorama Survey that evaluates progress in our school. Share your thoughts by following the link: bit.ly/dcpsfamily We need your feedback!
Staffing Updates — It is with a heavy heart that I share that Mandy Anderson has resigned from her position as librarian at Shepherd Elementary. Ms. Anderson shared her decision with me today by phone. As many of you know, Ms. Anderson has been out on leave since early November. She is currently living out of town with the support of her loving family and friends, and she was just accepted into treatment at highly rated medical center. Although I did not know Ms. Anderson as well as many of you, I found her to be so welcoming and warm when I arrived at Shepherd. Her creativity, kindness and generosity make her a wonderful teacher, staff member and friend. She has been missed, and we will continue to miss her and pray for her recovery. We will start the search for a new librarian immediately.
Yesterday, I selected Ms. Morgan Williams as our temporary teacher for Physical Education to cover Mr. Langrock’s leave. Ms. Williams is an experienced Physical Education/Health teacher who is eager to return to DCPS. She will complete the onboarding process as soon as possible, and the long term substitute we currently have in place will remain in the role until she does. I will continue to provide updates on these and all staffing shifts and changes.
Thank you, and I hope to see many of you at the PTA meeting on Wednesday.
OTHER UPCOMING DATES Wednesday, Jan 15th – Summer Camp Expo (3:00-6:00 pm) Wednesday, Jan 15th – Prospective Parent Open House Wednesday, Jan 15th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:00 pm and 6:30 pm) Friday, Jan 17th – Parent-Teacher Conferences (NO SCHOOL) – STAR ACHIEVERS OPEN Monday, Jan 20th – MLK Day (NO SCHOOL) Friday, Jan 24th – All School Morning Meeting (hosted by 1st grade) at 8:45 am Friday, Jan 24th – Staff and Teacher Breakfast provided by Fifth grade families Monday, Jan 27th – Records Day (NO SCHOOL) – STAR ACHIEVERS OPEN Tuesday, Jan 28th – Professional Development Day (NO SCHOOL) – STAR ACHIEVERS OPEN Wednesday, Feb 12th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:00 pm and 6:30 pm) Monday, Feb 17-Fri, Feb 21 – February Break (NO SCHOOL) Friday, Feb 28th – Jazz Fest (6:30-8:30 pm) Friday, March 27th – Health/Wellness Fair Saturday, April 25th – Gala and Auction May 4-8th – Teacher Appreciation Week Thursday, May 21st – International Day