Tuesday Bulletin
Lafayette Elementary Home and School Association 
Sheryl-Ann Gayle, editor February 18, 2014
In This Issue
DCPS Attendance
From the HSA
Enrichment Update
Wine and Cheese
Winter Dance
Character Development
Heating and Cooling
WLES Shout Outs
Community Notices
Lafayette Sponsors
Make a Submission
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links...
From the Principal 
Lynn Main  
Lynn Main


Well that was an unexpected mid-winter break!  The 100th Day of School celebrations went off without a hitch and Valentine's parties were in the air when the forecasters started upping the amount of snow.  2-4, then 6-8 and then finally some amount over 10 inches.

Please Read:

DCPS Attendance Protocol


1) The Office of Youth Engagement now identifies students who accrue 10 unexcused absences as "chronically truant."


2) Students must be referred to court once they have reached 15 unexcused absences.


3) Students must be at school 80% of the entire school day in order to be considered "present".  




The only excusable reasons for a student's late arrival and/or absence from school are:

  • Illness or medical cause (a doctor's note is needed for 5 or more absences)
  • Medical or dental appointment 
  • Death in the student's immediate family
  • Summoned to attend in judicial proceeding 
  • Religious holiday
  • Lawful exclusion or expulsion from school
  • Failure of DC to provide transportation  
  • Emergency or circumstances approved by LEA

In order to be acknowledged as "excused" the student must provide a note to the attendance counselor (written or electronically) from the parent and/or guardian citing at least one of the reasons listed above. 


If you have any questions please contact the office and ask to speak to Ms. Bright, or email her.


Mark Your Calendar  


February 13 (Thursday)

Valentine's Day Parties, all day


February 14 (Friday)

No School, Professional Development Day


February 17 (Monday)

No school, President's Day


February 24 (Monday)

No school, Parent Teacher Conference Day


February 25 (Tuesday)

Lafayette Tour, 9:00 a.m.


February 26 (Wednesday)

Jump Rope for Heart


February 28 (Friday)

Second Grade Heroes Assembly 


March 3 (Monday)

Potomac Pizza Night, 4:00 p.m.


March 6 (Thursday)

Fifth Grade Informance, 6:30 p.m.


March 7 (Friday)

Music in Our Schools PK - 2nd, 2:00 p.m.



See full school calendar 

From the HSA 

Gayle Moseley & Hope Scheller, co-presidents 
Welcome back from a FIVE day weekend! Did you remember how to get to school? I'm sure the kids are happy to have their Valentine's party on the first day back.  I'm just glad I sent the Valentine M&Ms to school for the party last week, because there would be none to deliver if they had been in my house over the FIVE day weekend!

Thank you to the many parents who have stepped up to participate on the Principal Selection Panel. We have set up online voting through Survey Monkey, and voting will begin tomorrow (Wednesday) at 9 AM. Please look for an email from Survey Monkey inviting you to participate in the election process. In the meantime, below is an alphabetical list of the interested parents, along with the information they submitted about themselves and why they would like to serve on the panel. Please take a moment to read about each and every one so you are prepared to choose the three (3) who best represent your ideas once we get the voting system up and running.

Have a great week! 

Philip Brach

Robin Chait

Marilyn Kitzes

Everett Lott

Laura Phinizy

Karley Sessoms

Jonathan Weinstein


Philip Brach

My primary reason for wanting to serve on the new principal selection committee is probably the same as any other parent: to assure our children have the best education opportunity possible.  Of course my own children specifically motivate me: Joseph and Philip (LES graduates), Patrick, Maggie, Lucia and Eddie (current LES students), and finally Sarah and Rosie who will be the classes of 2022 and 2024 respectively.   When all is said and done I will have had a 20-year span of children attending Lafayette.  I guess it would be fair to say I have a vested interest.


Professionally, I have spent the last 15 years of my career working in educational administration.  Five years running a foundation that worked with disadvantaged youth in Chicago, seven years as a Vice President for St. John's College High School and most recently as the Assistant Dean for the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America.

In these roles I have been involved in countless search and interview processes for a variety of educational leadership positions.  I feel these experiences along with my experience as a Lafayette parent will add considerable value to the committee.

What will I look for in a principal?  Beyond the core qualification, I will be looking for an individual who has demonstrated authentic leadership.  An individual who understands that beyond educating our children we want a school that develops magnanimous children - that is children who have a natural desire to do noble and great things with their lives.  Finally, I will look for a leader who displays the humility to know that nothing truly happens at a school without the commitment and dedication of the classroom teacher.


Robin Chait

I'd like to run for the community panel because we have had a terrific experience at Lafayette for over five years and I want to help ensure that other families have a great experience as well. I've also spent my professional career working in education in a variety of capacities and therefore have a unique perspective to contribute.


I have two children at Lafayette--a girl in fourth grade and a boy in third grade. We have all enjoyed being part of the Lafayette community. I've served as a room parent, was a member of the LSAT for two years, and have volunteered for many school events and activities. These experiences have helped me get to know the Lafayette community as well as understand some of the broader issues the school faces.

In my professional life, I oversee employee recruitment and human resources for a charter network in DC called Center City Public Charter Schools. I've worked in education for about 15 years and have been a teacher, policy analyst, and have also worked at the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of the State Superintendent for Education here in DC. I'd like to apply that experience to help select a principal who will listen to parents' needs and concerns and will also lead the school community to do what's best for all students.


Marilyn Kitzes

I'm the parent of third grader, Gabriel Satin. Since the time my son started the pre-K program at Lafayette, I've served in different volunteer roles at the school. I've been a member of the HSA board for two years as communications co-chair and one year as hospitality co-chair. I've also co-chaired the spring fair for the last four years and have worked as a room parent for two years. Outside of my Lafayette activities, I work as a senior writer at HZDG, a branding/advertising firm in the DC area.


I believe any school is as good as its leadership. That's why I'd like work with DCPS to identify a principal who will not only support the Lafayette teaching staff, but who will confidently challenge them to do their very best work. We are so fortunate to have a parent body that donates much time and money to help Lafayette be the best it can be. Let's find a principal who will inspire every teacher at our school to give back all they can to our children and dedicated community.


Everett Lott

I have an interest in serving on this committee to provide input into the selection of the next Principal at Lafayette Elementary.  I have a vested interest in the school, the leadership, and its direction over the next several years. My son has attended Lafayette since Pre-K.  He is currently a first grader and has many more years ahead of him at Lafayette. 

As a federal government executive, former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, and former administrator under two Mayoral administrations (Williams and Fenty), I offer a diverse perspective, leadership, and willingness to serve to help improve our community and our schools.
Many thanks for the consideration.


Laura Phinizy

I am the mother of 1st-grade twins at Lafayette, and I'm also a middle school teacher.  I have been through 5 principals at the school where I teach, and I know the stress that change can put on the school community.  Principals definitely set a tone in the building.  Their priorities and their style can make the teachers, parents, and children feel known and appreciated, inspired and encouraged, valued for their expertise ... or not.

I would really like to see a principal who values and continues the strengths of Lafayette: 
We have simple, clear expectations for the children.  Our four rules (Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible, Work Hard) are easy to remember and live by. 
Our teachers and students are encouraged to think outside the box and try new things that might benefit the group, but common sense also prevails. 
Our paper-plate golden "L's" might be, dollar for dollar, the most cost-effective motivator for good behavior in the city.
We encourage our students to do performances -- these teach the students about being ready with their part, behaving properly in public and as an audience, and appreciating the efforts of others. 
We value music and art and use them to make connections to other disciplines -- our songs inspire patriotism, teach about the rainforest, for ex,. 
We value field trips to go beyond what we have in the classroom, and teach the kids about observing and listening carefully in other contexts. 
We use our limited space creatively and flexibly, such as Girl Scout groups in one hallway, or Spanish classes in the music rooms and preK space. 
We keep encouraging a love of fiction, even as we also read informational text more. 
We value being part of the neighborhood and try to make sure that our logistical needs (dropoffs, play time, etc.) have as little negative impact on the neighborhood as possible. 


We value our unique Peace Program.  
When mandates from DC wouldn't make for an efficient use of our time or resources, we find a way to do things that is efficient, while still making sure the larger goals of DC are met. 
We believe in learning every day, so that we don't spend an overabundance of time in specific test preparation or testing. 
Because of all this . . . kids want to come here, their parents want them to come here, and teachers want to work here. 
That is what I think we need to continue with our new principal, and the reason I would like to represent you on the selection committee.
Thank you.



Karley Sessoms

I am interested in serving on the principal selection panel and participating in the recommendation process because I understand how critical it is to select the ideal candidate for our unique and special school.  Our next leader will be joining the Lafayette community during challenging times, I am hopeful he or she will bring forth energy and an interest for developing a vision and long-term comprehensive school plan.


Jonathan Weinstein

I am volunteering to serve as an elected parent representative on the committee that will interview candidates for the position of Lafayette principal following Ms. Main's well-earned retirement.  With two children at Lafayette (PK and 1st), I will be a Lafayette parent for another six years.  We have wonderful teachers, programs, resources and parent involvement.  It has been demonstrated, however, that student academic success is closely tied to the stability (and obviously, the capabilities) of school leadership.  So my hope is that the principal selected to lead Lafayette next year will be the principal for many years to come.  

I am offering to participate based on my professional experience hiring staff for the past 13 years, conducting regular interviews for this purpose and as an alumni interviewer for Berkeley's MBA program for the past 15 years, and as a student of human resources and interviewing practices.  I spent a year working for a DC public charter school with six campuses.  Just before I arrived, the charter school replaced principals at three campuses and spent the year very focused on evaluating each principal's performance and understanding what it takes to be an effective school leader.  If elected, I would bring my knowledge of that process to this position.  I am happy to serve if elected and appreciate this opportunity to contribute to our school and community.   



--Gayle and Hope


See HSA board members 

Lafayette Enrichment Update
kids holding hands
We are now in our 3rd week of the new Lafayette Enrichment Program (LEP).  Thank you for your cooperation and patience over the last two weeks while we implemented new procedures and policies.  
Although enrollment for most classes is closed, there are a couple that are still accepting enrollment.  Girls on the Run starts next Wednesday, February 26, and is still accepting enrollees here.  noteBusters begins on March 20.  To register visit the LEP registration site.  HoopEd will start on March 25, and you can enroll on the HoopED website.


Tomorrow Night Wine and Cheese 
cheese and wine
Meet and Greet for anyone interested in becoming a board member of the Parents Association; the HSA (Home School Association)! It's an informal meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria with wine and cheese and other light refreshments, for all interested parents. We hope to have parents from every grade to represent our Lafayette community.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the HSA is a parent-run, parent-supported non-profit organization that exists to bring Lafayette families, teachers, and staff together to enrich the experience of Lafayette students. There are many different leadership positions within the HSA - and ways to get involved -- there is no better way to better your childrens' education.  Please come tomorrow and we'd be glad to answer any questions you have about the HSA.

Thank you!
The Nominating Committee: Phoebe Millon (Giovanni and Luca's mom) phoebeitaly@hotmail.com 202-380-8924
Jennifer Bertsch, Julie Waterman, Courntey Corn, Chris Nusbaum, & Ellen Shurman
Winter Dance this Friday

winter dance The Student Council will have its Winter Dance this Friday, February 21. The third and fourth grade dance will run from 3:20 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. in the cafeteria.  The fifth grade dance will be from 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

This year, we have changed the ticket price.   Students will pay $5 for a ticket  which will also cover the price of a drink, a piece of pizza, and a small cup of candy.  This is a change from past years.

The Winter Dance will have the theme of a snowy enchanted forest. So if you can, wear as much white as possible and once you get there you will see why. Even the food will be white!
Have a fun Winter Dance!
Weston Duncan, Secretary


Building Resiliency and Character Development Through Sports
Come one, come all to an exciting evening program entitled, "Building Resiliency and Character Development Through Sports". On March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m., you are invited to hear Lafayette psychologist Harriet Kuhn, Jimmie Parker of E-Train University (ETU) and Tony Korson of KOA Sports talk about how to help your child build psychological resilience through team/individual sports.  Topics will include how to use sports to help your child be more organized, resourceful and obtain the mental toughness needed to survive in today's rapidly changing world.  Children are invited to work out with ETU and KOA staff in the gym while parents learn more about how to help their children cope with stress, reduce anxiety and increase self esteem.  Dinner to be provided.


Heating and Cooling

temperature You may have seen several HVAC trucks around the school recently.  They are not here because of any heating issues.  The school is warm and comfy this winter.  We are having a new air handler installed for our air conditioning system.  The old one was on its last legs so instead of waiting until the temperatures are in the 90's to replace it, the work is being done this winter.  With the new chilling tower that was installed last year, air-conditioning should be more effective and efficient at Lafayette this spring.


shout out dude Buy a WLES Shout Out


Have a custom message read to your child during the morning announcements. It is a great way to say "Happy Birthday," "Good Luck" or just send a fun message to your child at the beginning of the school day. Print and fill out this form, place it and a payment of $15 (checks made out to Lafayette HSA) in the WLES Shout Out box in the Great Hall. Announcements and payment must be received at least seven days prior to the announcement date. Please contact Eden Burgess for more information.



Community Notices


First Touch Soccer.First Touch Soccer will conduct 2014 Spring Break soccer programs the weeks of March 24-28, April 7-11 and April 14-18 at the Palisades Recreation Center turf field.  The program is designed for boys and girls ages 7 and older with all skill levels and abilities.  Half day (9:00 a.m. - 12:15pm) and Full day (9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.) options are available.  The clinics emphasize dribbling, passing, receiving, controlling and shooting skills using a combination of training methods and small-side games.  The fee is $160 for half-day all week and $250 for full day all week.  For registration and further information, visit www.FirstTouchSoccer.org


Thank You Lafayette Sponsors!


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


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