Spring Break is over and what a wonderful week it was in Washington. The trees are all just about in leaf and my azaleas are starting to bloom, at least two weeks earlier than normal. We could use some rain since everything is so very dry. But we are ready to be back in school and are starting to see the end of the year in the distance.
|Mark Your Calendar |
April 12 (Thursday)
HSA Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
April 16 (Monday)
No school, Emancipation Day
April 20 (Friday)
April 25 (Tuesday)
Principals' Office Hours, 8:45 a.m.
April 25 (Wednesday)
Speaker: Parenting in the Digital Age, 7 p.m.
May 1 (Tuesday)
Class Picture Day
May 5 (Saturday)
Spring Fair, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
See full school calendar
From the HSA
Dan Aladjem & Jenny Murray, co-presidents
Ahh, Spring Break. Is there a better time of year? The threat of snow is long gone, and probably only a few more days of cold (defined as temperatures in the 40s and 50s). The DC CAS starts next week, but will thankfully be over quickly.
A few quick notes now that Spring Break is over and we return for the home stretch. DCPS has posted final school budgets for next year. Note that Lafayette is receiving minimum funding of $8,568 per pupil. Lafayette's budget for next year can be found here. As always, our great administrators and teachers will make a silk purse out of this sow's ear. And while the HSA budget (including the costs of running events like the Spring Fair) is small compared to Lafayette's DCPS budget, we are very fortunate to be able to contribute in meaningful ways to fill gaps in the DCPS budget. Between DCPS and the HSA, Lafayette has less than $9,000 to spend per student. Compare that to other schools in DCPS. Or most charter schools. Or just about any private school in town. I am honestly amazed at what Lafayette is able to do with such a threadbare budget.
On a related note, don't forget to enroll for next year. There's never a guarantee that DCPS will give us an extra teacher to ease crowding in some grades, but the best hope of that happening depends on being able to demonstrate large classes as early as possible. So fill out the packet that was recently sent home, or go online and register for next year.
The best thing about the end of Spring Break is that Spring Fair will soon be here. This year's Fair will be on May 5th from 11am-4pm. Each class is responsible for a particular task at the Fair - don't forget to go online and sign up! -Dan
LSAT Candidate Needed
Want to get involved? There is still an open parent representative spot for the Local School Advisory Team (LSAT). The LSAT is a group of about 15 elected and appointed members that exists for every DCPS school. The team includes a mixture of school administration, staff, teachers, parents and a community representative to advise the principal on matters that promote high expectations and high achievement for all students. These teams were initially established to serve in an advisory capacity to the principal for the purpose of improving student outcomes. The LSAT meets one Monday per month, at 7:45 a.m.
Local School Advisory Teams are tasked with advising the principal on matters such as: allocation of school resources; organization of the school; curriculum options, including special or supplementary course offerings and specialized research-based instructional strategies; budget decisions; priorities and considerations for staffing patterns and the selection of personnel; monitoring overall student progress; school culture, and family engagement.
If you are interested, please email Jenny Murray with a brief bio. Thanks!
See HSA board members
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|Spring Fair News: Luau on May 5!
Thanks to all the parents that have signed up to Co-Chair for all the categories at the Fair! Thanks to Oliver Walke for designing this year's T-Shirt - we can't wait to see it!
Only 4 weeks to go! If you haven't done so already, it's time to sign up to help at the fair. Here's how:
CLASS ASSIGNMENTS FOR SPRING FAIR 2012
Each activity at the fair needs volunteers to be successful. Families should contact their Room Parent to sign up for an hour slot (or longer) at the activity assigned to that class. If you're already signed up for something else, that's ok - we're reaching out to families who are able to help but have not signed up yet. If you have any questions regarding a particular activity, contact the appropriate co-chair(s) for more info. THANKS to each of you for contributing to this great community fair.
Other things you can do:
- Start gathering books, video games, CDs and DVDs to donate to the sale.
- Bake for the bake sale
- Donate a salad
- Mark your calendar, bring the family, enjoy the Fair!
T-Shirt Design Winner is Oliver Walke!
Congratulations to Oliver Walke, 5-G, for his winning design for this year's Spring Fair t-shirt! Also, congratulations to our finalists, Brooke McKalip, 3-Y; Daisy Blumenthal, 3-J; Michele Heilman, 5-J. Thank you to everyone that participated in the design contest!
Shop at Politics & Prose, Eat at Terasol and Comet Pizza to Support Wilson High School!
Plan to shop and eat March 3 & 4
Come shop at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Saturday and Sunday, March 3 & 4 to help raise important funds for the Wilson PTSA. Politics & Prose will donate 20 percent of all book sales to the PTSA if you tell the cashier that you're a Wilson supporter. In addition, teacher and library "wish lists" will be available at the Wilson table, across from the children's section.
Afterward, dine at nearby Comet Pizza or Terasol Restaurant, identify yourself as a Wilson supporter, and the restaurant will donate a portion of your tab to the school. Please urge your friends and neighbors to shop and eat in support of Wilson!
|Lafayette Needs Your Used Books + CDs!
Please donate your gently used books, cds, and video games for the Book Sale at the Lafayette Spring Fair. Drop off in the Great Hall or, for larger donations, email co-chairs Teresa Gionis or Gayle Moseley. No VHS tapes, textbooks or encyclopedias please. Children's books especially welcome.
|From "The Oasis" at Lafayette (Counselor's Corner)
Are you looking for a good book? We invite you to join us as for our very first discussion group as we read The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness
by noted child psychiatrist and author Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. According to the author, his "elevator pitch" is as follows: "This book is about the roots of joy. I present specific steps you can take to increase the chances of a child's finding happiness and fulfillment in childhood that will deepen and grow in adulthood." Because this is something we can all identify as wanting for our children, we thought this would be an appropriate first book for our group to read. So, please join us in reading this book together. What's that? You don't have time for yet another book group or face-to-face school meeting? I feel the same way! That's why this group will be all online, and we've created a discussion group anyone can access. To join the group, simply go to the site and click "join." You'll then be able to post items as well as read them. We will be online for 4 Thursdays from 2:30-3:30pm, starting April 19th and continuing April 26th, May 3rd, and May 10th to host a live discussion of this book. Even if you can't join us at these times, we encourage you to read along and post your thoughts, questions, or insights to the discussion group anytime. Help make our first foray into "virtual discussions" a success, and hopefully learn some strategies to instill lifelong happiness in your child, too!
-Jillian Diesner, School Counselor and Cydney Lewis, School Counselor Intern
|Peace Club Updates
We've been very busy in Peace class and Peace Club these days. In 3rd and 4th grade we have been learning about how we communicate with each other. We've been talking about "Trouble Talk" - things like gossip, rumors, words that hurt - and how we can use the power of our words to help rather than to hurt. We have learned about the THINK Test: Before you speak, think about whether what you want to say is True, Helpful, Necessary and Kind. If not, maybe it should be left unsaid. We've talked about how to avoid being a bystander and how to stand up for people who are being treated badly, being excluded, or being bullied. We've focused on how important it is to avoid pointing fingers at others but to think about how each of us can change and make kind choices. The inspiration for this unit is the quote I've been using with the 4th graders from Michael Jackson's song "Man in the Mirror": "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change." We are all capable of making better choices and once we start to think about how our choices affect others we can start to change.
Peace Club is as busy as ever with as many as forty kids joining together for lunch and fun and friendship every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We have now provided food for a local homeless shelter once a month for the past four months and we'll keep going until June. Many thanks to all of the families who have contributed to our efforts. Special thanks to the Czwartacki family for their especially generous donations.
The Fifth Grade Peace Team has also grown and now includes eleven students who work in teams of three to write Peace Tips to read during the morning announcements on WLES.
Those are just some of things happening in the Peace program at Lafayette. Please feel free to contact me for more information or if you have any questions or suggestions for me.
Registration is still open for the Lunchtime Tennis for 1st through 5th graders during their recess. Also, there are still openings in the Lafayette Afterschool program for players 5 through 14 mostly in the 4:30 and 5:30 classes. Please check here for space availability and registration information. Call or email Paul Rosenbaum if you have any questions, 202 441-0925.
|HSA Speaker Series
The HSA speaker series continues in April and in May -- please mark your calendars now and plan to attend these events!
Parenting in the Digital Age: Raising Good Digital Citizens. Wednesday, April 25, 7-8:30pm, Lafayette cafetorium.
Are you worried about your kids' use of technology, cell phones, and the internet? Join us for tips on raising responsible digital citizens, internet safety for elementary aged children, family media management, cyber-bullying, texting and cell phone use. Our speaker will be Dr. Ruth Zitner, a Lafayette parent and clinical and forensic psychologist with over 20 years of helping children and families find emotional well-being and balance in their individual and family lives. She has worked with many children, teens and parents in creating sensible media plans and fostering dialogue between children and parents.
What's Eating Your Child? The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments. Thursday, May 10, 7-8:30 pm, Lafayette cafetorium.
Join us to talk about the connections between food and common childhood ailments such as anxiety, recurrent ear infections, stomachaches, picky eating, rashes, ADHD, and more. Our speaker, Kelly Dorfman, is a nutritionist who has specialized in the connection between children's health and behavior and the food they eat. Ms. Dorfman has been called a nutrition detective who integrates information from many sources to find practical solutions for even the most complex ailments and symptoms. She is also a popular speaker and workshop leader and author of the book, What's Eating Your Child? The Hidden Connections Between Food and Childhood Ailments, which was published last year.
Lafayette 3rd Grader in KidsPost!
If you missed the story about Lafayette's very own junior beekeeper, Sam Shapiro, in the Washington Post on March 27, click here to check it out.
|Notice of Candidates for HSA Board |
Elections for next year's Home & School Association board are coming up on May 10. Please take a moment to read through all of the candidate statements.
*We are still looking for two people to serve as Ways & Means co-chairs. This job involves finding chairs to run the three main events during the school year (you don't have to run the events!) as well as managing our annual sponsors. If you might be interested, please contact Jennifer Gootman to ask questions and learn more about it.
Here are the candidates:
- Co-president (other co-president, Jenny Murray, will fulfill the 2nd year of her two-year term next year): Michael Koppenheffer and Gayle Moseley (vote for 1)
- 1st Vice President: Kate Mazza
- 2nd Vice President: Marek Gootman
- Treasurer Co-chair (other co-chair, Beth Taubman, will fulfill the 2nd year of her two-year term next year): Kristin Willsey
- Volunteer Chair: Sue Wright
- Early Childhood Liaison: Rita Brickman
- Communications Chair: Marilyn Kitzes
- Dues Chair: Julie Maner
- Ways & Means co-chairs: looking for candidates
- Hospitality Co-chairs: Jenny Backus and Janine Finck-Boyle (vote for 2)
- Environmental Chair: Kimberly Cestari
- Outreach/Tours Chair: Jen Lanoff
- Community Representatives: forthcoming
- LSAT Representatives: Arthur Burris, Celia Byrne, Jeanne Metzger, looking for one additional representative
A new soccer club called "DC Youth Futbol Club" will start its inaugural season on Sunday, April 15. All games will be played on Sunday afternoons at a convenient upper NW DC location on artificial turf or manicured grass fields. The club is looking for individual players and teams for the following boys and girls age group divisions: U7/U8, U9/U10 and U11/12. DCYFC is a full service club that will offer 1 ¼ hours of training during the week by certified coaches and players. Come improve your soccer skills, play competitive games and train with coaches/players who have an in-depth understanding of children and the game. For more detailed information, visit us.
Free Intro to PEP"Why don't My Kids Listen to Me?"
Thursday, April 12,10-11:30
at Temple Micah, 2829 Wisconsin Ave., NW.
For parents of children age 2 ½ to 18 who have never taken a PEP course. Feel like a broken record or like you're talking to a brick wall when it comes to your kids? At this free workshop you'll learn how to gain more cooperation without repeating, reminding, nagging, bribing or yelling. Space is limited; preregistration is required.
PEP Parenting Preschoolers
A class for parents of children age 2 ½ - 5. Thursdays, April 19 - June 7, 9:30-11:30 at Temple Micah, 2829 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Learn proven tips and tricks that address your daily parenting challenges as you gain insights into your child's development and what it means to be an effective parent in today's world. You will learn ways to stop misbehavior without punishing, deal with tantrums and power struggles, promote healthy eating, sleeping and potty training, and grow calmer and more confident as a parent. Course fee: $217. Member discounts, payment plans and scholarships available. 301-929-8824. www.pepparent.org
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