Tuesday Bulletin
Lafayette Elementary Home and School Association 
Suzanne Stokes Vieth, editor September 3, 2013
In This Issue
From the HSA
Back 2 School Nights
Family Directory
Music News
Room Parents
Counselor's Corner
Math Center
Technology Corner
Spanish Classes
Babysitter Ads
Community Notices
Lafayette Sponsors
Make a Submission
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links...
Lynn Main  
Lynn Main

Trying to keep up with changes in the American education system can be a challenge right now. Across the country, states and schools are starting to implement the new Common Core State Standards. New assessments are in the development stage to see how well these standards are implemented. I often wonder sometimes about all this fuss at the elementary school level. English has 26 letters and 44 symbol-sound associations to master when decoding is the primary reading skill to learn. I am unaware of the arrival of any new ones.  

Other News


The drop off line on Northampton Street is now in effect.  You can drop off your children there between 8:30 and 8:45.  Please drive west on Northampton Street towards Broad Branch Market.  Do not get out of your car.  We will help you children get out. 


There is no parking on Broad Branch Road on school days between 8-4. This is for the safety of the children and allows the Metro buses and other vehicles to pass in front of the school.  DC police will ticket your car if it is parked there. 
Mark Your Calendar  

September 11 (Wednesday)
Back-to-School Night (Pre-K and grades 1, 3 & 5), 7:00 p.m.
New Parent Reception, 6:00 p.m.
September 12 (Thursday)
Back-to-School Night (K and grades 2 & 4), 7:00 p.m.
New Parent Reception, 6:00 p.m.
September 18 (Wednesday)
"New Parent" Social at Jake's, 8:00 p.m.
September 19 (Thursday)
HSA Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m.


September 24 (Tuesday)
Monthly Lafayette Tour, 9:00 a.m.
September 26 (Thursday)
HSA General Meeting 7:00 p.m.

October 3 (Thursday)

Picture Day (individual and classes) 


 See full school calendar 

From the HSA 

Gayle Moseley & Hope Scheller, co-presidents 

We hope everyone has had a smooth first week of school and is settling into your new weekday routine.  We are excited to be working together with the HSA this year and hope many of you will join us in our ongoing efforts to enrich our children's experience at Lafayette.


Last week, each family should have received a bright yellow envelope in one of your children's backpack. There is important back-to-school information in there, including a new "Life at Lafayette" booklet, so please take a few minutes to look it over. We would like to emphasize our openness and availability to listen to your suggestions and try to answer your questions. If your family did not receive an envelope, please let one of us know and we'll make sure one gets home to you.


The weekend before school started was busy with several welcoming activities. Thanks to Hospitality co-chair Jenny Backus and parent volunteer Mary Jaffe, teachers and staff were treated to a really nice Rocklands BBQ Back-to-School luncheon on Friday.  Later that day, Early Childhood Liaison Jared Cohen did a great job welcoming Pre-K and Kindergarten families with watermelon and popsicles. 


Thank you to the many family and community volunteers who came out to help "beautify" Lafayette on Saturday morning for the annual DCPS Beautification Day. Both parents and kids worked hard and had fun weeding, mulching, planting, painting and cleaning to prepare for the arrival of students. Also on Saturday, many new Lafayette families came out to the Greentop for a fun meet-and-greet thanks to our Outreach Coordinator, Jen Lanoff.


On the first day of school, our Hospitality co-chairs Josh Gordon and Jenny Backus were at the school bright and early to set up the parent welcome-back coffee. This was a great opportunity for parents to reconnect after a summer away. We appreciate the time and effort that goes into organizing such an event. Thank you Josh and Jenny!


Please check our website often for up to date happenings at Lafayette and feel free to contact us anytime. Gayle: [email protected] ; Hope: [email protected]


  -- Gayle & Hope


See HSA board members 

Back-to-School Night(s) Next Week                          
tower Please mark your calendars for Back to School Night(s) next week. Wednesday, September 11 is for parents of children in Pre-K, 1st, 3rd and/or 5th grade. Thursday, September 12 is for parents of students in Kindergarten, 2nd, and/or 4th grade. Both evenings will start with Mrs. Main welcoming new parents to Lafayette with an informational meeting in the  in the Great Hall at 6:00 p.m. Next, a brief welcome and HSA informational meeting for all parents at 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria, followed by two parent/teacher sessions in your child's classroom at 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to see your child's classroom, meet their teachers and ask general questions about the upcoming year. Both classroom sessions will be identical in nature. Please pick a session that is convenient for you. Also, Back to School Night is for parents and teachers, so it is preferred that children not attend if possible. 
directory Add or Update Your Family's Directory Information  


The Family Directory is checked many times each week when arranging play dates, planning birthday parties, contacting room parents, scheduling volunteer activities, and the like. We need you to enter or verify your directory information in our database as soon as possible so that we can publish this valuable resource early in the school year. All information is secure and is not shared with outside parties for any purpose.


Returning Families:

Even if none of your information has changed, you need to access the database and verify that all information is correct.  Go to www.schooldirectoryupdate.com and follow the instructions on the home screen. If you can't remember your username or password, go to the website and choose "Can't Login."

New Families:
Go to www.schooldirectoryupdate.com and choose "Join as a New Family." Fill in and submit the requested information.

If you have any problems, please contact Laura Comay at [email protected].

From the Music Room ...

Joel Holmes, Music Teacher grades 1-5
Greetings! It is with great excitement that I join the Lafayette Elementary School Community. Since visiting this Spring, I have experienced so much positive energy and a strong sense of teamwork. I am eager to work collectively with teachers, parents, and volunteers to provide meaningful experiences and opportunities for our students through music education.

Facts About Me:
  • I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD
  • I earned my BA in Music Education with an instrumental focus from Howard University in 2009
  • I am an avid bassist, but primarily a percussionist
  • This is my fourth year teaching music in DCPS, and I love it!
My Music Education Beliefs At-a-Glance:
  • Through music and the arts at large, students reinforce life skills such as goal setting and attaining, discipline, and cooperation.
  • It is the educator's responsibility to provide resources in music that stimulate growth and positive peer to peer relationships. 
  • Music is a vehicle in which all students can experience the joy of creativity and success.

Here are a few great opportunities in music that the students of Lafayette can look forward to this year:

  • The return of the percussion, guitar, and string ensembles.
  • The return of the beginning and advanced bands
  • Bears Drum Line (marching percussion)
  • Rhythm Masters (This ensemble is geared toward students that are privately trained or exceptionally gifted, and interested in making music together in a small group. This ensemble includes, but is not limited to pianists, drummers, mallet percussionists, guitarists, and bassists.)

I look forward to meeting you all and making music here at Lafayette!

Joel Holmes

Calling Prospective Room Parents

Room Parenting is a great way to volunteer your time at Lafayette. Anyone interested in room parenting this year please send an email to [email protected].
Counselor's Corner 
Jillian Diesner, School Counselor 


We have been hard at work this summer getting ready for a new and exciting year at Lafayette. As you know, we have had the Peace Education program for the upper grade students in years past. This year, however, we will be expanding that program to all grade levels (including Pre-K!) Of course, some age-level differences will exist, but we are very excited to expand this program school-wide. We are using a variety of resources, including Linda Ryden's own Peace Education curriculum, the MindUP curriculum, The Incredible, Flexible You curriculum, and other activities we've designed ourselves. We have combined the major tenets of these resources into one comprehensive school-guidance program, which we are calling Pathways to Peace. For more information, including a short video on mindfulness education, click here to see the presentation we gave to all staff during our professional development week. You can also follow our activities and news by reading the counselor's blog at http://lafayetteoasis.blogspot.com/

We also have another intern from the George Washington University's school counseling program:

"Hello Lafayette!  My name is Justin Tanyavutti and I am in the second year of my Master's in Education and Human Development at the George Washington University. Previously I earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University, and call Chicago my hometown. My "day" job for the past five years has beeJustin Tanyavuttin as a personal trainer, but am pursuing a degree in counseling in my desire to combine my experience in physical well being with mental well being. As a first generation Asian-American, I have a particular interest in working with students developing a sense of self-identity in a multi-cultural world. With Washington, D.C. being the melting pot of so many unique cultures, I am excited to begin my internship at Lafayette Elementary."

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful year at Lafayette! As always, please feel free to contact us with any concerns, questions, or ideas you may have.

-Jillian, Rashida, and Linda
null From the Math Center
Erin Betz, Math Specialist


ST Math: Starting next week, we will be using ST Math in grades 1-5. This game-based instructional software helps to build mathematical understanding through a series of puzzles and activities. Students make connections between the animated math representations and the content they are learning in class....all by playing educational games! The object is always to get JiJi the penguin to the other side of the screen, and figuring out how to do that is where the learning really happens. Classrooms in grades 1-5 will use the program in weekly lab sessions and during class time. We are looking forward to using this unique teaching tool to supplement the Lafayette math program this year.


Math Team: Calling all 4th and 5th grade mathematicians! We are excited about another year of problem-solving and creative mathematical thinking. Our first challenge will be the AMC-8 math competition in November, but really we are just a bunch of people who like to get together and talk about math. The Lafayette Math team will have its first meeting on Friday, September 13th at 8 a.m. in the upper library and will continue meeting on Fridays at that time. On September 6th, Ms. Betz will be coming to talk to each math class and distribute permission slips. After that, forms will be available in the Math Center and completed forms can be placed in Ms. Betz's mailbox. For a sneak peak of what we do, try this question from the 2007 AMC-8 test:


If February is a month that contains Friday the 13th , what day of the week is February 1?


Happy thinking!  

-- Erin Betz, Edith Stanton, and David Gregal


Mr. Weiand Technology Corner

Nathan Weiand, Technology Coordinator


Greetings! First off, I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and were able to access some of the math sites we used this last school year. A big special thanks to all of the parents who volunteered on school beautification day to put together the locking carts for our new ChromeBooks! You guys rock and saved us a lot of time!



Thank you again to the entire school community and especially members of the HSA for providing us with the means to purchase 150 new Google ChromeBooks! Every classroom in grades K-5 will receive 6 of these devices in a locking utility cart. For those of you who are not familiar with ChromeBooks, let me explain a little. ChromeBooks run a different operating system than your Mac or PC. Instead, ChromeBooks run Chrome OS, which is essentially the Google Chrome web browser made into an operating system. They are quick, have great battery life and most importantly are inexpensive. We will be piloting these devices for the district this year in order to see if other schools might benefit from them in the future. I am confident in the implementation of these devices and will be providing lots of training and support to both students and staff as we integrate them into our curriculum.


The Computer Lab

The Lafayette computer lab has been upgraded! We now have 26 MacBook Airs in the lab along with some iMacs. We have in turn distributed the MacBooks previously in the lab to members of the staff so that they can work from the same computer whether they are at home or at school.


This year, a lot of time in the lab will be spent playing ST Math (Spatial Temporal Math). ST Math (as mentioned in Erin Betz's math update) is a program based primarily on neuroscientific research and provides a visual approach leading to a deeper understanding of math concepts. The program is truly educational and really makes kids think, which is why we picked it over a few other programs we have been trying out.


Thank you all for your support of our school's technology initiatives. This is going to be a great year for technology integration at Lafayette and I am excited to share all there is to offer with our new cutting edge equipment. Thank you again and here's to a great school year!




Foreign Language Classes


Spanish Class Registration is open! The Lafayette Foreign Language Program will once again offer before-school Spanish classes to children in grades 1-5.  Classes are held three days a week and begin on September 23. REGISTRATION CLOSES ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13th.  Spaces are limited so please register early using this application.
null Calling All Babysitters


We are compiling listings of neighborhood babysitters for the Lafayette Family Directory. As in previous years, this is intended for neighborhood sitters with a Lafayette connection--mostly students and often Lafayette alums or siblings--who will be available for weekend, evening, and other casual babysitting. The listings are free, but please only submit a listing if you expect to be reasonably available and limit the entry to a few sentences at most. Include your name, age, and at least one contact such as a phone number or email address, as well as any particular restrictions (such as days or neighborhood or what age group you want to babysit). Please email submissions (or any questions) as soon as possible to Holly Idelson at [email protected].


Community Notices



is starting next week. There are still spaces available for this unique musical experience for children in grades 1 through 5. This session's theme is Don't Stop Believin' the Possibilities, featuring the greatest hits from the 80's! The club starts Thursday, September 12 with the final performance on November 26. REGISTER NOW! More information on this fabulous musical club at www.Notebusters.org.


Girls on the Run
Come Join the Fun! The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire 3rd-5th grade girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

The GOTR season at Lafayette will begin the week of September 9 and end with a 5k run on November 24th. Practices will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 pm and led by Coach Erin de Jonckheere. Please contact Sarah Boone, GOTR Site Liaison, to register.  Spots are filling up quickly! 


Mad Science at Lafayette

This fall, Mad Science of Washington is offering Zip Zap Boom after-school programs. Classes will be held on Monday and Tuesday from 3:30 until 4:30 p.m. The Monday class will be held from September 30 through December 9. The Tuesday class will be held from October 1 through November 19. Both classes are open for K-5th graders. Registration is online at www.madscience.org/dc. The program cost $129; please register before the September 18 deadline. Registration is first come, first served, so register early to secure your spot. Questions? Contact Mad Science at [email protected] or 301-593-4777. Lafayette's coordinator is Laura Lindsley and can be reached at 202-369-4858. 


Yoga for Kids!!

An exciting new afterschool class offered by Excel Into Action, Yoga for kids in grades K-5 develops focus, flexibility, strength, and coordination through a variety of yoga poses, stories, music, sing-alongs, drawings and games. These classes enhance energy while teaching children how to remain calm and centered. Children learn basic yoga movements in a fun, relaxed setting, which always promotes doing their personal best in a non-competitive environment. Other benefits of yoga include increased patience, posture, confidence, and self-esteem. Poses are learned individually, with partners, and in groups.


Grades K-5

$154 for 11 weeks

Wednesdays 3:20 p.m.-4:20 p.m.

Sept 25 thru Dec 4

Register at http://excelintoaction.com/ and click on "Online Registration"


Join Cub Scout Pack 90

Cub Scout Pack 90 is starting up for another action-packed year. Come join one of the oldest Cub Scout troops in the city, based right here in Chevy Chase DC. We are open to all boys in 1st through 5th grades. We have monthly pack and den meetings. Activities vary depending on age group, but some highlights include camping, a pinewood derby race, hikes and many other outdoor activities, and various skills challenges, to name a few. Learn leadership, citizenship, teamwork, and sportsmanship skills. Our first meeting will be on Friday, September 13 from 7-8 p.m. in the Blessed Sacrament School Auditorium. Any questions, please contact Dave Missar at 202-965-4330 or [email protected].

Seeking Before School Help 
I am the mom of a new 4th grader and am looking for some morning help getting my son to school. Specifically, a family who lives near school willing to let me drop my son off at 8 a.m. three days a week (Monday, Thursday and Friday or any combination!) He loves to read and would be a quiet presence in your home while your family gets ready for school/work. We are happy to provide baked goods in return! We live near school as well. 
Please contact me at [email protected] if you are able to help out, if only on a temporary basis (I am hoping a spot opens up in LAP). Thanks-- Malikkah Rollins (mom to new 4th grade boy)

Wrestling Club at Lafayette

The Hustle & Muscle Mat Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit youth wrestling club that operates out of the St. Albans School Activities Building on Garfield Street. We will be having a fall practice session for novice, beginner and intermediate youth wrestlers ages 6-12. No experience is necessary! Beginners are welcome!

The fall session dates are as follows: Fridays September 13 through October 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The only cost is a USA Wrestling card that can be obtained via our website, where you will also find the required registration form.  See http://www.hustlemusclematclub.org/registration__rules.

Cub Scout Pack 52

Cub Scout Pack 52 will be having a orientation night at 7p.m. Tuesday, September 17 at All Saints Church, located at 3 Chevy Chase Circle. Cub Scouts is great way to build self-esteem, learn to serve the community, appreciate the outdoors, and have fun. We will be meeting after school starting next fall and welcome new members. Pack 52 is open to all boys who want to grow, learn and have lots of fun. We enjoy the diversity of many religious traditions, family compositions and ethnicities. For more information, please contact Chris Purdy ([email protected]) or Carrie Cohen ([email protected]).


Violin Instruction
Carole Evans, National Symphony Orchestra violinist & Lafayette mom, has limited space in her private teaching studio this fall.
For further information please email Carole at [email protected] -- 
Carole Tafoya Evans.
Interested in Helping Form a Service Club?
Sumaiya Hamdani, mom to 2nd grader Zahra is interested in establishing a club that encourages the kind of awareness (local and global) and empowerment that comes from volunteering and service. I believe, as I'm sure you do, that involving kids in a range of direct activity and service to the community would greatly enhance their sense of agency as children. It would also give them the kind of exposure, vested interest in, and education that applying what they learn in school can often bring. Read more...
Bear with us as we respond to requests to remove former Lafayette families from the email list. We try to respond promptly but understandably we're getting a large number of requests these early weeks of school.

Thank You Lafayette Sponsors!


These organizations support Lafayette through a generous annual donation- please support them!


Make a Submission


Submissions for next week's issue should be emailed to [email protected]. Submissions are due by 3:15 p.m. on Friday. Submissions received after this time will be included in the following issue, unless instructed otherwise. Please keep submissions brief. Longer articles may be truncated at the editor's discretion, with a link to the full text.