Tuesday Bulletin
Lafayette Elementary Home and School Association 
Teresa G. Gionis, editor March 4, 2014
In This Issue
DCPS Attendance
From the HSA
School Boundary
Havana Nights Update
Need a Baby Sitter?
Spelling Bee
Service Club
Jump Rope for Heart
Art Room
Math Club
WLES Shout Outs
Community Notices
Lafayette Sponsors
Make a Submission
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links...
From the Principal 
Lynn Main  
Lynn Main

 It looks like modernization time may have finally come to Lafayette.  Last week Mayor Gray submitted a programming request to the city council asking that $1,050,000 in funds be appropriated to provide swing space so Lafayette students can continue to stay here on site and not be moved to another school location during a modernization.  

Read more

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  



March 5 (Wednesday)

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 

There's a lot going on right now, some of which many of you may not be aware of and we'd like to share! 


The PRINCIPAL SELECTION COMMITTEE met for the first time last week and we have plans to get together several times between now and the end of March to formulate questions we wish to ask of prospective principals during candidate interviews.  We anticipate those interviews to occur in April before Spring Break.  The Principal Selection Committee is comprised of teachers, staff, parents and community members (please see last week's Tuesday Bulletin for a complete list), all with a keen interest in having the best candidate fill Mrs. Main's shoes.  Based on comments received from both teachers and parents, it seems we all agree on what is valued and needed in a principal who will lead Lafayette in the future.  If you would like to share your ideas or concerns of what qualities you would like to be considered in our new Principal, please send an email to:  NewLafayettePrincipal@gmail.com


Shut the front door!  Sit down!  The process has begun!  Last week, the D.C. Department of General Services issued a Request for Proposals to engage a design firm to serve as the architect/engineer for the MODERNIZATION OF LAFAYETTE to be constructed by July 31, 2016!  It is anticipated the architect will be hired by the end of April and an initial concept be prepared by mid-June.  A School Improvement Team (SIT) will be established and is expected to include school staff and teachers, parents and neighborhood representatives.  The SIT will meet regularly with DGS, DCPS and the architects during the design process and is expected to continue through the end of construction.  There will also be monthly community meetings when parents and community members will be able to review proposed plans, make suggestions and ask questions.  Please be sure to read Mrs. Main's column this week to learn how you can be involved.


Many parents have been working hard these past few weeks getting things ready for the HAVANA NIGHTS AUCTION, our biggest fundraiser of the year!  This event raises the bulk of the funds we need to provide Lafayette with the many things that help our school flourish.  Just this past weekend, several parents had a great time making beautiful decorations for the big party.  We felt like we were actually in Havana as we sat in the sweltering heat of the cafeteria!  The auction party will be at Lafayette on Saturday, March 22.  Go to our website for more information, or see the article below.   Don't forget, the online auction begins in just ten days on Friday, March 14!


MANY THANKS to Jennifer & Jason Bertsch, Julie & Charlie Raley, and Hope & Rob Scheller for hosting this year's Sweet Malted Soiree party Saturday evening.  Over fifty couples attended this event and provided a vast array of after dinner drinks to be enjoyed in the Tropicana Lounge at the auction party.  This fun evening was a great way to contribute to the auction while enjoying the company of other Lafayette parents.  As always, we appreciate your generous donations, and for supporting the auction!


Remember RAISE THE PADDLE FOR SCIENCE from last year's auction?  Over the next couple of weeks, the Maryland Science Center will be at our school for the second time this year.  This time around, each grade will take part in cool science assemblies.   Students in Pre-K through 2nd will attend assemblies this week, and 3rd through 5th next week.   Topics covered in the assemblies will include dinosaurs, life science, chemical reactions, electricity, matter vs. energy and much, much more.   


And lastly, there will be a meeting next week regarding the BOUNDARY REVISION PROCESS.  Our local ANC Commissioner has invited DC Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith to provide an update on the boundary review process at the ANC Meeting on March 10 at 7:30 PM at the Chevy Chase Community Center.  Please see more information in the article below.

Maybe one day soon, we'll be able to leave our homes without putting on a coat. 


Have a great week!


--Gayle and Hope


School Boundary Update




Come hear about the Boundary Revision Process firsthand!  Our local ANC, led by Rebecca Maydak, ANC Commissioner 3G04, have invited DC Deputy Mayor for Education Abigail Smith to provide an update on the boundary review process at the ANC Meeting on March 10 at 7:30 PM at the Chevy Chase Community Center.


Lafayette parents, parents-to-be, and interested community members are encouraged to attend the meeting on March 10. Please join us to make your voices heard and hopefully get some of your questions answered.


For those of you new to the school or the community, there has been an informal working group of parents and interested community members, called the School Boundary Working Group,  tracking this process since it was first announced a year and half ago. You can find more information about us and the boundary revision and review process to date here: http://www.lafayettehsa.org/school-boundary-meeting/#background.


 In October of last year, the boundary revision process was moved out of the Chancellor's office and assigned to Deputy Mayor Smith. Since that time, the Lafayette Working group has been attending meetings in other Wards, taking part in focus groups sponsored by the Deputy Mayor's office as part of her review process, and meeting with local leaders to gather intel and make assessments about where we stand.


Please also make sure that each adult in your family has read and signed the letter this community, through the School Boundary Working Group, sent to DC leadership expressing our commitments to the principles of proximity and community that have long guided enrollment rules for DC Public Schools and to maintaining our entire communityıs ability to send our children to Lafayette, Deal, and Wilson.  You can find the letter here.  Please share the letter

and the site with interested neighbors, friends, and community members.


We have resent a PDF of that letter to the Deputy Mayor, and we would love to report on March 10 that even more people have added their signatures to it since we originally sent it to DCPS, the Council, the Chancellor, and the Mayor's office last May.


We view this upcoming meeting with Deputy Mayor Smith as a great opportunity to find out what is happening in the process and what the tangible next steps are as well as to share the questions that have arisen in our neighborhoods since this process was first announced.  Most importantly, we want to demonstrate the depth and breadth of interest that our community has in this process and in our schools.


We hope to see you on March 10!

Havana Nights Update


Join us for the biggest party of the year! Come one - come all to Lafayette's biggest party on Saturday, March  22nd, 7pm!  Escape to the island of Cuba for an amazing night in Havana!  Dinner, open bar, music, a casino, and of course the live auction. 

Tickets are $60 pre-sale and $75 at the door. Each ticket includes your auction reservation, as well as a $500 voucher to gamble in the casino. To purchase your tickets sign in to Maestro (it's easy to create a new account if you haven't signed in before), and click on the "Buy Tickets" tab. From there make a selection from the drop down menu and follow the prompts.


While buying your tickets, we hope you'll consider the option to "Sponsor a Teacher" for $25, or "Sponsor a Teacher and Guest" for $50. We love our teachers and staff, and since they do so much for our kids, we give them complimentary tickets to the event. So, we hope you'll help us cover the cost of these tickets.


Sponsorship/Cash Donations:  Although the deadline for donations has passed, we can always use cash donations/sponsors.  Your donation will go a long way to helping us make this event happen.  Go here for ways to donate cash.


Volunteers:  Want to volunteer your time?  There are several opportunities.  March 15th, from 9AM to 12PM, at the home of Jen Younger, will be your second chance to help assemble flowers, palms trees and other decorations.  We are also looking for volunteers to help decorate the school on Friday, March 21st, as well as work the evening of the auction on March 22nd checking people in at the beginning of the night.  Please email us at lafayetteauctiondcps@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out.


Thank you!

Havana Nights Auction Team





Need a Baby Sitter?
Need a Baby Sitter?

Do you still need a babysitter for March 22nd?  Havana Nights - Spring Auction


If so, we have a connection for you.  Here's the deal:


* 5:30pm - Midnight

* $17 per hour (1-3 children)

* Personable and responsible American University Student

* Email Shannon Behm
  Spelling Bee Winners


Lafayette spelling bee winners spelled in the cluster 

bee on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Competition was stiff, and while no Lafayette spellers advanced to the city-wide this year, Lafayette can be proud of the effort and hard work of our winners. Front Row left to right:Lafayette spelling bee winners Max Fuld, second place and Christopher O'Brien, third place. Back row left to right: Linnea Byrne Kvalsvik, first place and Alissa Simon, alternate. 

 Service Club News



Lafayette's own One World Service Club had a very successful and much appreciated visit to Sunrise Senior Living Center to deliver Valentine Friendship Cards!  Our next project will involve helping Syrian Refugee children with a Clothing Drive.  Syria has been experiencing a tragic civil war in the last three years.  Hundreds of thousands have been killed, and approximately 5 million families have had to flee to neighboring countries like Lebanon. Many have no shelter, no food, no clothes. We would like to help, and would love to get your input!  We have a chance to transport at no cost, gently used clothing for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.  If you would like to learn about Syrian refugee children, and would like to think about ways to start a clothing drive to help them, please come to an information meeting on Wednesday, March 12 from 3:30pm-5pm, at the Lafayette library. Please join us to help show that Lafayette cares! 


If you plan on attending please contact Sumaiya Hamdani. For questions about One World Service Club please feel free to also contact Debbie Bocian, and Katie Burke.

Jump Rope for Heart Jump Rope for Heart was Awesome 


What a great day at Lafayette last Wednesday.  We celebrated our 15th annual JRFH event.  We started the day off with our "mini" heart pumping jump around.  The PK, K and 1st graders were fantastic. The afternoon saw one of our best events ever.  The older children jumped, danced and sweated for almost 2 hours.  


Thank you to all the teachers who volunteered for both events.  It really is a lot of work and the hands on help is greatly appreciated.  And another big "Thank you" to all of the parent volunteers.  It is really a community service project and I couldn't do it with out  all of the volunteers.  And of course thanks go to Ms. Perll and Mr. Jackson for all of their hard work before and during event. Mrs. Main thank you for your unwavering support for the last 12 years. To everyone I greatly appreciate your commitment and effort in supporting this project.


In the almost 35 year history of Jump Rope For Heart, the American Heart Association has been able to impact many lives thanks to the support of the Lafayette Community.  Over the years, AHA has funded scientists who went on to win Nobel Prizes for their work!  The American Heart Association has been able to work with health care providers to reduce the number of people dying from heart disease and stroke by 25% and those achievements are all because of lifesaving donations we have raised!  Which, by my calculations is close to $250,000.00 over the past 15 years.


Donations are due by March 12th.  When finished collecting please fill out the JRFH envelope and place all donations in the envelope.  Please make sure that your child's name and class are listed.  Place in the JRFH box in the Great Hall.  Make all checks out to the "The American Heart Association"  If you have cash please try to convert to a check. To avoid all this hassle, just join on line  at www.heart.org/jump.  Make a web page (secure) and contact friends, family or work associates through email or social media.  Everything is done electronically.  No paper, no fuss.

Again, thank you to everybody for supporting this year's Jump Rope for Heart extravaganza!


Music sound system was provided by Pat Richitt at Entertainment Exchange.  His company has been very generous to this event for a number a years.  Check out their services 


From the Art Room    Laurie McLaughlin


Laurie McLaughlin, Art Teacher, Grades 1-5


March is Music and Art in Our Schools Month! You will notice even more wonderful art displays up around the building over this coming month, including a piece from every 5th grader in honor of their Informance this Thursday evening (March 6 at 6:45) which explores the Great Migration, The Harlem Renaissance and the Great Depression.


March also marks the beginning of the Spring Fair T-shirt Contest! Our super fun theme this year is Abracadabra and features magicians and jugglers! If you would like to design the t-shirt for the Spring Fair, use a piece of printer paper (8 ½" X 11") and include the words Abracadabra Lafayette 2014 in your design. Remember to think about contrast and make your lettering super easy to read:) Turn your designs in to Ms. McLaughlin by March 28th.

From the Math Center


It's almost time for Pi Day, one of the most exciting math holidays of the year! Pi (π) represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and is equal to 22/7 or approximately 3.14. On Friday March 14th, we will have a Pi Recitation contest in which students compete to name as many digits of Pi as possible. A sheet featuring the first several hundred digits of Pi is available in the Math Center and the contest is open to all students in grades 1-5.

Fifth grade math teacher David Gregal created an amazing Pi t-shirt design and is holding a printing session on Wednesday, March 12th during the lunch/recess hour. Members of the Math Club and Math Teamwho are interested in having a memento of Lafayette Pi Day should bring in a light-colored shirt clearly labeled with the student's first and last name. Students must bring in the shirts by Tuesday, March 11th so we can be ready for printing.


We are looking forward to celebrating Pi Day at Lafayette!

Erin Betz & Edith Stanton



E-Scrip Program

Have you heard about the E-Scrip program?  Lafayette earns a percentage of everyone's Safeway purchases when their Safeway card number is registered with E-Scrip.  It's a great and EASY way for us to generate much-needed funds for the school.  Since Lafayette first began with E-Scrip, they have contributed tens of thousands of dollars towards the HSA's annual funds which are used for valuable school programs.  It's important for you to know, our participation has dipped to low levels, so we are anxious to increase our current E-Scrip monthly amount of approximately $500 to over $1000 by encouraging everyone to participate.  Many of you shop at Safeway, but your cards have not been "renewed" with E-Scrip, or you haven't signed up yet.  Please join us!


E-Scrip requires cards to be renewed every year and if you haven't signed up yet - it's easy to do both on their web site www.escrip.com.  Lafayette's ID # is 11873297.  You need to identify Lafayette as the recipient of  your earnings, and register your Safeway card number, along with your address and an email address.  I am happy to help register new users, please provide your info to me in an email and I'll sign you up!  Renewals have to be handled by the cardholder.


A very important new policy:  Credit card purchases do not count toward the E-Scrip program, so we need to remember to use a debit card, cash or checks when paying at Safeway so our purchases are included in the Lafayette totals.   


This program requires so little effort and the pay off can be substantial for Lafayette! 


Thank you for taking the time to register or renew your Safeway card.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help with registering.




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



Expert and Versatile Tutor/Coach Is your child ready to spring forward? I've been successfully coaching a cohort of rising middle schoolers referred by their teachers last year. Now, I'm pleased to be able to open new slots for rising fifth or sixth graders.  Also, I anticipate more openings this summer, when my work days become longer. I have an advanced degree in linguistics from Georgetown U and decades of teaching and tutoring/coaching experience. In the past few years, I've enjoyed working in all subject areas with students at Lafayette, Mann, Murch, Deal, Washington Latin, and competitive private schools. My references attest to my expertise, as well as to students' improved confidence, performance in school, and scores on standardized tests. I offer a 15 % discount for summer scheduling before spring break. Contact Maggie Ronkin 



Camp For Boys will be returning for the summer of 2014! We will be located at Lafayette again this summer, and are working on a second location closer to the Horace Mann/AU area. Our tentative dates are June 23rd - August 29th in one-week sessions. The website (campforboys,com) and registration form will be updated shortly for the 2014 season. We will make sure to keep you all updated, but feel free to contact us with any questions or early registrations!



Book sale Come to the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School Used Book Sale. Saturday, March 15 (10am - 5pm)

Sunday March 16th (10am - 3pm)

Bestselling Hardcover ($3.00) and Paperback ($1.00 - $2.00) books

There is a HUGE selection of Children's books including board books, nonfiction books, picture books, popular hardcover and paperback children's series starting at $0.50, Wide ranging selection of classics, biographies, cook books, parenting books, and more.



DC Citywide Chess Tournament on Saturday, March 15

DC elementary and middle school students grades K-8 are encouraged to play in the 3rd annual citywide tournament at Wilson High School on Saturday, March 15. Prizes include: trophies for the top five finishers and all participants will receive a free t-shirt, lunch, wristband, prizes and raffle tickets. This four-game, swiss-style tournament is open to the first 200 participants. Sign up ASAP at: http://chesschallengeindc.org.



Troop 6014 will be selling Girl Scout cookies in the great hall (outside weather permitting) on Thursday March 6 during pick up. Donated boxes will go to Children's Hospital and hope to contribute to Dr Bear's closet with new toys and books. So even if you do not want cookies in your home, please feel free to donate your purchase or bring any extra toys to donate.




Thank You Lafayette Sponsors!


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


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