Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear Families, I know the beginning of the week was stressful with the announcement of two confirmed Covid-19 cases at Shepherd. Many of you reached out for more information; others just expressed concern. No news is good news on that front, and I am glad that we did not have to send additional community announcements this week. On Wednesday afternoon, faculty engaged in a Courageous Conversation during our staff meeting.Ms. Scott, fifth grade homeroom teacher, thoughtfully facilitated the meeting. We discussed developing our racial consciousness through challenging our assumptions. Next we analyzed the Four Agreements that will guide our work: (1) Stay engaged; (2) Experience discomfort; (3) Speak your truth; and (4) Expect and accept non-closure. Teachers were engaged and generously shared their experiences and insights. Our monthly faculty meetings this school year will be grounded in Glenn Singleton’s Courageous Conversations about Race. Some important announcements follow. Have a great weekend! Principal Hedlund Health Self-Assessment Thank you for your adherence to this important policy. If your child is experiencing two or more symptoms related to Covid-19, please keep them home and have them tested. It is our responsibility to keep the greater community safe and will need to follow our … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Good afternoon families,  Your children are enjoying being back in school. They are having a lot of fun and learning a lot. Most importantly, they are learning how to be back together again. Please continue to encourage them to maintain their distance from one another and wear their masks at all times; this is a great way to support our work in the building. We are working around some staff absences, which have been unavoidable; substitute teachers are few and far between, and staff members are demonstrating their grace and flexibility as we cover each other. Hug a teacher today (virtually). Back to School Night Back to School Night is Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:00-6:30 pm. It will be virtual. Your teacher will be in touch about scheduling since they will provide multiple sessions for our many families who have more than one student at Shepherd. The Leadership, Wellness , English Learners, Special Education and Specials teams will pre-record a message, which I will send to all of you so you can connect faces with names. In addition, I will be offering two building tours for families who were unable to attend our Open House on August 27th. Please sign … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear Families, It was a busy week full of logistical details, anticipation, and lots of fun. Most students seem thrilled to be back, and so much learning is already taking place, thanks to our highly skilled and deeply committed staff. Thank you for entrusting us with your children. As educators, our job is bigger than ever, but we have the right team to meet any and all challenges that might come our way. Enjoy your long weekend! We should have perfect weather to enjoy. Arrival Arrival goes more smoothly if students in PK-3rd grades have their Ask Ask Look logs in hand. Please help us get them in the building more quickly by helping your student with this. Dismissal Please let your child know the plan for dismissal before they enter school. For safety’s sake, 1st through 5th grade families should remain on the sidewalk. Your child’s teacher will see your sign and release your child to you. When adults enter the courtyard, it is much more difficult to maintain safe, secure conditions for dismissal. Thank you for your cooperation. Car pool If you are using the car pool lane on 14th Street, you should remain in your vehicle. Please make sure your child … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear K-5 Families, It was WONDERFUL to see you and your children at Shepherd today. Even with a downpour, your children brightened our day. Everyone is excited for school to resume on Monday. Today was also a rehearsal for opening day, and we learned from the experience. It would be challenging to screen every child in K-3 verbally on Monday so I have attached the new Look Look Ask protocol and log to this message. We also want to obtain your student’s dismissal information before they start their day. Here is how we will handle screening and collecting dismissal information at  opening day arrival for K-5 students who start school on Monday: Grades K-3 If you are able, please print out the Look Look Ask Log and fill it out Monday morning before you come to school to ease your child’s entry to the building. We will have a table for each grade where you can either return the completed log or receive one to fill out so that your child has it in hand at the entry. At the table we will also have dismissal forms to complete so we can efficiently and safely dismiss your child on Monday, … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Good afternoon, Thank you to all the families that participated in our information sesssions this Monday and last. Your feedback is informing school procedures, and I left yesterday’s meeting with some important action steps. One of them was to provide an abbreviated version of DCPS Reopen Strong website  to address the commonly asked questions at Shepherd. For that, please see below. Students will all receive a folder on the first day of school with carpool/walker signage, a Covid-19 testing permission form that covers asymptomatic and symptomatic testing, a dismissal preference form and an Ask Ask Look protocol log for students in grades PK 3-2. Thanks so much for your patience. I hope this answers many of your question, but please keep asking as you think of the opening of school. I look forward to seeing many of you on Friday. Phyllis Hedlund Principal/Shepherd Elementary Masks · All students and staff must always wear non-medical face coverings or face masks while in the school, and while participating in any school related activities regardless of vaccination status. · Masks may be removed for eating or drinking. · Masks must be removed for naptime. · To be effective, masks must be worn correctly. … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear Families, I look forward to meeting many of our new families this Sunday, August 22nd from 10-noon at the DPR Playground, which is behind the school on Jonquil. Teachers returned to the building today, and it was wonderful to be together again. They are very excited about the upcoming school year. Today, Monday and Tuesday, we are receiving training in Responsive Classroom. Here is an overview of the approach: The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching is comprised of a set of well-designed practices intended to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and school communities. The emphasis is on helping students develop their academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs. Core Belief In order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control—and a set of academic competencies—academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors. Guiding Principles The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. Six principles guide this approach: Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content. How we teach is as important … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear Families,  We are very busy preparing for your arrival in a few weeks. The building looks better than ever, and our custodians are finishing up painting and setting up classrooms. The atrium was painted at the end of July. AP Phillips is ordering supplies, and many of our teachers have already been back to work on their rooms. There is so much excitement around school year 2021-22, but there are still some questions, which is why the parent handbook is not yet finalized. I will also be available to answer your questions and listen to your concerns on Monday, August 16th at 5:00 pm at our virtual meeting.   Please note that to safely conduct our K-5 Open House on 8/27, I have made the following adjustment: Families whose last names begin with A-L should attend from 3:00-3:30 pm. Families whose last names begin with M-Z should attend from 3:30-4:00 pm.   Have a wonderful weekend. Please reach out with any questions, and I look forward to welcoming you to Shepherd soon. Announcements and important dates follow below.  Phyllis Phyllis Hedlund, Ed.D.Principal, Shepherd Elementary  Conversation about SY2021-22 Please join me at 5:00pm on Monday, August 16th for a conversation about the … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Greetings Shepherd family and friends, I know there are lots of questions about the upcoming school year, so please join me on Monday, August 16th at 5 pm to discuss our return to school plans.  Also, you do not need to purchase school supplies at this time as we’re able to purchase all necessary materials internally. Join us here on Mon, Aug 16 to talk about what to expect as we prepare for the beginning of school. Talk soon, Dr. Hedlund Shepherd Elementary Principal

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Six weeks until the first day of school! Important reminders! Dear Shepherd Families, I hope you and your family are having a safe summer so far. As we prepare to welcome your student back for a new school year on August 30, we want to keep you updated on our work and what you need to know to be ready for the first day of school. Please not that PK 3 and PK 4 programs start on September 2nd. In this email, you’ll find information on staffing, uniforms, health and safety protocols, virtual learning registration for medically eligible students, required immunization reminders for all students, afterschool registration information, dates for family activities and information for early childhood families. Staffing Updates Sabria Trotter who has taught Kindergarten for the last two years at Shepherd is excited to move to PK 3 this fall. Sarah Zepeda looks forward to moving back to Kindergarten. Janelle McCarthy will be our new third grade homeroom teacher. She has a background not only in general elementary education but special education and counseling. In term 4, Ms. McCarthy served as a substitute for in person learning classrooms and is already feeling at home in our Shepherd community. … Read More

Message from Principal Hedlund

Dr. Phyllis HedlundPrincipal Newsletters

Dear families, Happy summer! It was a lot of fun to have so many of you with us on the playground over the last week — a taste of things to come. We are excited to welcome you all back next year. The LSAT will be meeting in July to finalize our Comprehensive School Plan, but we have been discussing and planning strategy since March. Here is an overview of what we have planned for SY 2021-22 organized by the domains of the Comprehensive School Plan: Shared Leadership — We have created a number of teacher leader roles to support the accomplishment of our objectives. We will have two Family Engagement leads to support outreach, recruitment, and participation in school initiatives: Ms. Holt and Ms. Hagan. Ms. Zepeda and Ms. Montgomery will serve as mentors to teachers new to Shepherd. Dr. Rowe, our new special educator, will be our equity lead, and she will work with staff and families using the Courageous Conversations framework to extend what we began before the pandemic. She will also work closely with Ms. Mack to bring IB into Action with an emphasis on equity and social justice for students. Ms. Murali will serve as … Read More