Tuesday Bulletin
Lafayette Elementary Home and School Association 
Teresa G. Gionis, editor April 8, 2014
In This Issue
Article Headline
From the HSA
HSA Board Nominations
Lafayette Enrollment
Got Books?
Spring Fair
Security News and Dropoff
Walk for Cure
Lost & Found
WLES Shout Outs
Community Notices
Lafayette Sponsors
Make a Submission
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links...
From the Principal 
Lynn Main  
Lynn Main

For the first 18 years of my life I lived in Chicago, a city that really has two seasons, cold/windy and July. Then I moved to Fort Worth, Texas for the next 12 years and lived again with two seasons, hot/dry and January. When I moved to Washington, for the first time in my life I lived in a place that really had four discrete seasons. Fall is really my favorite. I like the colorful leaves and the return of lower humidity and cool days after the oppressive tropical feel of summer. But like most everyone else, spring is filled with so many glorious wonders that it falls behind fall by only a nose.

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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  


April 11 (Friday)

LEP Winter Session Ends 


April 14 (Monday) through April 21 (Monday)

No School - Spring Break


May 3 (Saturday)

Lafayette Spring Fair 



See full school calendar 

From the HSA 

Gayle Moseley & Hope Scheller, co-presidents 



I can't believe Spring Break is less than a week away! I think we can finally put winter and snow storms behind us. Cherry Blossoms are coming, and before you know it, we'll be discussing summer break, pool time and family vacations.


Last fall we announced that after careful discussion, security updates would be taking place at the school. The front door buzzer was moved to a more strategic location, the LAP & gymnasium doors were fitted with more secure entry systems, and the lighting around the school was placed on timers and became motion sensitive. For the trailers outside of the main school building, we are happy to announce that when we return from Spring Break, the trailers and the side door will be locked, and only accessible via a card swipe system.


As our building physically becomes more secure, we'd like to  remind parents of a couple of important school policies. In the morning, children should line up at the designated place for their class on the school grounds. During inclement weather, children should line up in the appropriate spot inside the building. With the exception of Pre-K and Kindergarten, children dropped off on Northampton should not expect to enter the building through the early childhood doors. All children 1st grade and up should make their way to their class line-up area. Parents should not enter the building at any time between 8:00AM & 8:45AM, unless it is to visit the front office, or for a previously scheduled and approved reason. Any time you enter the building, please remember to visit the security desk to sign both in and out.


The Principal Selection Committee has met several times, and we have developed a list of questions (now being reviewed by DCPS) for potential candidates. Although we were hoping the interviews would take place sooner, it now looks like interviews will happen in late April, early May.


The School Improvement Team (SIT) has met twice to discuss the upcoming modernization of Lafayette, and is currently discussing the Education Specifications required in all PK-5th grade DC Public Schools. The "new" Lafayette will have enough space to accommodate 850 students with five classroom spaces for each grade. Architects have submitted their bids and DGS is hoping to make a choice by the end of April. The SIT will continue to meet over the next several months and there will be opportunities for the entire community to weigh in at upcoming community meetings. We will keep you posted as new information and community meeting dates becomes available.


Interested in joining the HSA Board? We are looking for a few good men and women! Almost every position on the Board is open for candidates, and all parents are encouraged. It's a great way to participate in the school in a meaningful way.  Follow this link for more information and to sign up If you have questions, email Phoebe Cervigni.


Have a great week!

--Hope & Gayle  

See HSA board members  

Calling All Candidates to Join the Lafayette HSA Board Nominations for 2014-2015  

Interested in joining the lafayette board? Please sign up on our genius account here. 

There are two hospitality positions open to Lafayette parents. Hospitality chairs coordinate and set up the refreshments for HSA Board and General Meetings and several annual Lafayette events such as Welcome Back Coffee, Back to School Night, Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week, Field Day and End of Year Teachers' Lunch.

If all slots are filled and you'd like to run for that position, please contact Phoebe Cervigni Millon.

Enrollment Packet for 2014-2015 Now Available


The Enrollment Packet for School Year 2014-2015 is now available for download. Current families will receive a copy of the enrollment packet through the mail by April 1st, and students new to DCPS who received a seat through the My School DC Lottery will receive their mailing by April 7th. Please note that Mrs. Bright will also have access to a data file with an enrollment form pre-populated with student data for each student. We also have blank copies of the enrollment forms from the DCPS website on hand for families new to DCPS. Lastly, if a student is attending a NEW school next year, the family should bring their enrollment forms to the NEW school. For example, a current 5th grader at Lafayette ES advancing to 6th grade at Deal MS next year would bring their enrollment forms to Deal.  Please enroll as soon as possible.  This helps with our planning for next year.  You do not need health forms at this time to reregister.

Got Books?  


If you're staying in town over Spring Break, please take some time to go through your bookshelves . . . we are now collecting books of all kinds for the used Book Sale at the Spring Fair. Hardbacks, paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction are all welcome. In addition to Lafayette families, the used book sale attracts many folks from the neighborhood who do not have students at Lafayette, so it's a nice way to bring everyone together!

We are especially in need of children's books, so please check your kids' bookshelves and see if there are a few books gathering dust that haven't made the bedtime story rotation in awhile.

DVDs are always popular (please no VHS tapes), as well as music CDs. Video game cartridges are also welcomed. Thanks in advance for not unloading your college textbooks, outdated self-help books, ancient encyclopedias, etc. If you wouldn't buy it, please don't donate it!

Donations are being collected in the Great Hall. Ask you neighbors, friends and relatives. If you have a large batch of books, we'll come pick them up (contact Gayle Moseley) or you can bring them to the school during our neighborhood book drive on Saturday, April 26th (time TBD).





We Need Yours! 


Please bring cookies, cupcakes, or other treats to the bake sale table when you arrive at the Spring Fair.


Thanks for the Love!


Spring Fair News - Abracadabra!



Less than four weeks to go until the train is on our track, the moon bounces and slides and other rides cover Lafayette Park. Excitement is building for our Spring Fair on May 3rd (from 11 am to 4 pm).


Other things you can do NOW to help support the Fair:


Donate an hour or two to staff an activity, please contact your room parent or a co-chair to sign up.As in past years, class assignments have been made to help make sure each activity has the volunteer help it needs to run successfully


Start gathering books, video games, CDs and DVDs to donate to the book sale. 

Bake for the bake sale 

Donate a salad


Mark your calendar, bring the family, enjoy the Fair!

Security News and Drop Off Protocol

Mrs. Main

A new card scanning system is being installed on the trailers and the outside door of the school leading to that area. All access to the trailers and the building near them will be done using this scan system.


After the long winter it is time to remember where your morning drop off points are around the building.  These were designed to reduce the congestion in entering and leaving the school but with such a bitter winter many of you have been cutting through the building.  No more. Having so many people enter the building through so many doors really negates any security procedures we have in place.


So -- PK and K children using the car drop off lanes use the Northampton doors.  Older students using the drop lanes will be directed to go to the back of the building where their lines are located.


PK students in rainbow, yellow and blue base use the Northampton doors.  Lime base sudents use the early childhood playground.


K children who walk use these entrances:  Green Base enters the door facing Broad Branch Road, Red and Orange Bases enter through the early childhood playground, Purple and Pink Bases enter the doors facing Broad Branch Road in the south wing of the old building.


Grades 1-4 line up behind the school.  Their line up locations are immediately behind the wing or trailer where their classroom is located.


Grade 5 lines up on the green top by the blue and yellow playground. 


For those of you who persist in walking your children to their classrooms, let me assure you that the children at Lafayette are just as intelligent as the millions of children all over America who ride buses to school and somehow manage to find their classrooms without parental assistance.  If your intent is to provide a few more minutes of quality time, come home earlier in the evening.  Because none of this is the policy of your principal. This is the policy of DCPS. You cannot walk your child to a classroom. All visitors including parents entering a school must come to the main office, sign in and state your reason for being in the school.  I'm bombarded with questions about security almost everyday. This is what it looks like.  This is what is should be.  Now you all need to play your part. 



Mindfulness Post-Event Recap


Thanks to everyone who attended our mindfulness event! We had almost 50 people out to learn more about Mindfulness and Your Child. First we watched a short video on Linda Ryden's Peace of Mind program and why she started the program. Next we heard a short talk from Dave Trachtenberg, Program Manager at MINDS, Inc. on the definition, science, and benefits of mindfulness. In a nutshell, Dave shared that "awareness" is another word for mindfulness and that there are thousands of scientific studies proving the benefits of mindfulness on our immune system, executive functioning, behavior, stress levels, and general health and well-being.  He shared some anecdotes on how teens have benefited from the training, and how much more our students will benefit having started the training so early while their brains are still malleable. He stressed that we want our children to learn how to "pause" and have awareness of their feelings (anger, hurt, sadness, anxiety, self-judgement, etc.) before reacting or lashing out, as these feelings become more intensified in adolescence and the ramifications of poor impulse control can be much more serious. He praised Lafayette for being "the only school in the DC/MD/VA area" to have such a large and intensive mindfulness program with 700 students! We ended the event with a slideshow of some of the Peace Classes with our students (to be uploaded to the blog soon!), and Linda and I told a bit about how we run the classes. It was a nice evening, but if you missed it and would like more information on mindfulness please feel free to contact us! You can also check out the counselor's blog at  
From the Art Room Laurie McLaughlin
Laurie McLaughlin Ward
Art Teacher, Grades 1-5


Congratulations to Charlotte Goodnow and Rebecca Meroney, whose bear popping out of a magic hat drawing was selected by the fair co-chairs for our 2014 Spring Fair T-shirt! They were very impressed by the quality of all the submissions, so impressed that they have selected 20 other submissions as runners up! The winners and runners up have been posted in the Great Hall. Now, let's get busy with those IMAGES 2014 cover designs in black and white! More detailed instructions are on the Lafayette art blog at lafayetteartwithlaurie.blogspot.com. Designs are due just after Spring Break on April 23rd!


The art room has not been asking for volunteers on a regular basis this year but here is where we really need your extra pairs of hands and eyes! Your art room volunteer coordinator will be contacting parents in each class grades 1-5, to ask for help with matting and labeling art for our upcoming ARTS NIGHTS! Please consider volunteering a few hours during or after school beginning after Spring Break to help with this task. Training will be provided and your art teacher will be SO grateful!!!!


Finally, a huge thanks goes out to Dominique Evans, a Lafayette alum now in her senior year of high school, who volunteered two mornings a week in the art room for the past few months... her assistance has been invaluable!!! Now that she has moved on to other commitments, I am looking for a few parents or au pairs who might be interested in helping out in the art room for the rest of the school year... for an hour or morning each week. Please e-mail me if you can help.


Walk for the Cure - Diabetes

Nurse Cockrell

I just want to remind everyone that the Walk for the Cure is Wednesday April 9, starting at 2:15 on Lafayette school grounds.  All participants are strongly encouraged to wear a hat of their choice: favorite team, wacky hat, favorite character!

Popcicles will be provided at the end of the walk, and the class raising the most money wins a party with movie and popcorn!

Lost & Found
lost and found2
The lost and found (back in the corner on the way to the music room) will be emptied and all items donated to charity over spring break. Please check before then to see what items might belong to you! Thanks.


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 Spring Break Programs

DATES:  April 7-11/April 14-18/April 21

TIME: 9am - 12:15pm (half day)/9am - 3:30pm (all day)

LOCATION: Palisades Recreation Center Turf Field

WHO: Girls and Boys Ages 7 and Older

COST: $250/player/all week $160/player/all week-Half day

 $60/player (All day)$40/player (Half day)

Registration and further information at firsttouchsoccer.org or 202-256-2558


Walking for a Cure! For the fifth year in a row my daughter and I are participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer here in DC, May 3rd & 4th.  We will be walking 40 miles over 2 days to help fund breast cancer research and treatment here in the DC area.  In order to walk, I need to raise $1800 and we'd love to raise even more for the cause!  If you would like to donate, you can do so online at www.avonwalk.org/goto/MargaretQuinn or by dropping off a check made out to "Avon Walk for Breast Cancer" with Kia Ghamarian in Pre-K.  Thank you to all the parents and teachers who have already donated - the support of the Lafayette community means so much to me.  -- Margaret Quinn


Hoop Ed Spring Break Camp  If your family is staying in town and you are looking for something fun and athletic for the kids to do, join us at the coolest All Sports and Games Camp in town! April 14-18
For: Boys and Girls Ages 5-13
Time: 9:00am-3:00pm (Aftercare available until 5:30)
Right in your Lafayette Gym!
Lafayette Spring Break All Sports & Games Camp
*Full and Partial week sign ups available...
Go to
www.hoopeducation.com to register




Thank You Lafayette Sponsors!


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


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