PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

It’s almost the last week of SUMMER! Here’s all the info to help you gear up for the start of the new school year. In this newsletter, you’ll find:

  • School re-opening info from DCPS 
  • Tips and articles from Dr. Brown (our amazing school psychologist) on transitioning back to school 
  • Reminders about Sunday’s Playdate and Garden Clean Up 
  • Dates and times for the school open houses on Fri, Aug 27
  • Volunteer opps – PTO Audit Committee, Parent Equity Panel, Welcome Ambassadors for New Families and Club leaders
  • Immunization clinics at schools around us
  • AND MUCH MORE!

Don’t miss out on the latest news from Shepherd PTO! Our AtoZ Connect database has been updated to the newest version powered by Membership Toolkit. In order to keep you on the PTO email roster, we need all parents to re-register in AtoZ as soon as possible to confirm contact info.

Please create your family’s new account here, ideally using the same email you used for your initial AtoZ registration. You will then receive a verification email that you must acknowledge within 2 hours in order to authorize your account.

See you all real soon!

Shepherd PTO Board

School Supplies and Class Lists

Just a reminder that the school and PTO budgets will be covering all school supplies needed to start the year. 

Class lists will be shared by Dr. Hedlund the week of Aug 23.

School Community Beautification Project – Sun, Aug 22nd

Members of the Shepherd community will come together on Sunday, August 22 from 11am-2pm to clear up the gardens and flower beds around the school. As they say, “many hands make light work” so we’re seeking as many volunteers as possible to assist with the effort – even if you can only join for an hour or two, we would love to have you! Interested individuals should contact Derek Musgrove at [email protected].

Special Election for Open PTO Board Positions – Sept 1st

There are currently two open PTO Board positions for SY2021-22: Co-President and Assistant Treasurer. PTO will hold an ad-hoc special election meeting on Wednesday, September 1st at 6:30PM ET. This meeting will be hosted virtually on Microsoft Teams and voting will be done via show of hands in Teams. Nominations can be sent to [email protected].

Urgent Need for Audit Committee Members

In order to comply with the financial obligations mandated by our PTO bylaws, an audit of fiscal records from the prior school year must be undertaken by three independent Shepherd PTO members (i.e., not affiliated with current or previous PTO Executive Board members). The audit will require approximately 3-4 hours of time in the next 6 weeks. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in serving in this very important role.

First “Back to School” Playdate – THIS SUNDAY at 10 am

Come meet new friends and see old friends too! We’re just excited to see everyone again. Join us at the Shepherd Park DPR playground (lower side of 14th and Jonquil Street NW) at 10 am on Sunday, August 22nd. 

DCPS Reopen Strong

Check out all the info from DCPS about protocols, plans and processes for this school year here at the DCPS Reopen Strong site. Also, the site includes links to Mayor Bowser’s update on Aug 18 and the Chancellor’s latest email. 

Parent Resources from Dr. Brown

Our amazing school psychologist, Dr. Brown, has shared some key links for helping our students prepare for going back to school in person. Take a look at these and use them in your conversations over the next week to begin to get everyone (including parents!) more comfortable and less anxious about the transition back.

Going Back to School from PBS

Back-to-school Anxiety During COVID from Childmind Institute

How to Set Priorities This School Year

Managing Your Own Anxiety During School Re-opening

Tips for Partnering With New Teachers

Clubs at Shepherd

Are you a gardening enthusiast wanting to pass on your green thumb? Do you love teaching your children how to cook or bake? Have a special hobby that you love to share with others? Consider leading an afterschool club for students this school year! Interested Shepherd community members should contact Dr. Hedlund directly with your club ideas at [email protected]. Please note that anyone wishing to volunteer at Shepherd must complete the DCPS Clearance process before a club can be initiated.

Ordering Spirit Wear and Uniform Swap

Watch this space very soon for a link to our new Shepherd gear online store. We’ll have new designs, more choices and shipping directly to your home. As Dr. Hedlund shared, students can wear Shepherd gear everyday in place of white uniform shirts and the gear sales benefit all the work the PTO does for our school community!

In the meantime, many of us have uniform pieces that are way tooooo small! Please consider donating any gently used uniforms in support of our uniform “swap” at our upcoming open houses. Donation bins are located in the school’s main entrance vestibule, which is accessible between 8AM and 4PM on weekdays.

Seeking Welcome Ambassadors for New Shepherd Families

PTO is seeking approximately 30 returning Shepherd Elementary families who would be interested in serving as a Shepherd Ambassador Families to help ensure a smooth transition for families new to Shepherd in SY2021-22. As an Ambassador Family, you will be paired with a newly enrolled family that best matches your child/ren’s grade. 

Pairings will be sent out the week before school resumes. Ambassadors are asked to make personal contact with their new families within a week of receiving their assigned family. We also welcome Ambassador families to consider joining the New Family playdate scheduled for August 22nd at 10AM. 

If you would be willing to serve as a resource for a new, incoming family this school year, please send an email to [email protected] with your children’s grade levels at Shepherd.

New Contact Information for PTO Executive Board

Please note the following NEW email address for use in contacting members of the Shepherd PTO Executive Board: [email protected]. We will be retiring the [email protected] email account moving forward.

Parent Equity Panel

Dr. Hedlund is seeking a handful of parents to serve on a mixed panel of Shepherd faculty/staff and parents who will work together to develop activities and programming to promote equity within Shepherd’s classrooms. Interested parents should contact Dr. Hedlund directly at [email protected].

Immunization Reminders

DCPS is hosting immunization clinics for childhood vaccine updates, as well as COVID-19 vaccines for those who currently qualify. See link to schools near you here.

DCPS Parent University is Re-opening with New Classes

Our Doors Are Open! DC Public Schools will be hosting a series of #RecoverStrong Parent University Sessions, designed to prepare you and your child for School Year 2021-22. Please join us on Microsoft Teams at bit.ly/parentujoinRegister here!

Upcoming School Calendar of Events

Playdate for New Families @ DPR Playground, 1425 Jonquil St NW – Sunday, August 22 from 10am – 12pm

Garden Clean Up (in front of the school) – Sunday, August 22 at 10 am 

LSAT Meeting via Teams – Tuesday, August 24 from 4 – 5pm

PK4 School Tour and Playdate – Friday, August 27 from 1 – 2pm

PK3 School Tour and Playdate – Friday, August 27 from 2 – 3pm

K-5 Open House and Play Date – Friday, August 27 from 3 – 4pm (depending on last name)

“Back to School” Playground Playdate @ DPR Playground, 1425 Jonquil St NW – Sunday, August 29 from 1 – 3pm

First Day of School (K-5 Students) – Monday, August 30

Special PTO Board Election Meeting via Teams – Wednesday, September 1 from 6:30 – 7:30pm

First Day of School (Pre-K Students) – Thursday, September 2

Labor Day – NO SCHOOL – Monday, September 6

First Day of Hispanic Heritage Month – Wednesday, September 15

Back to School Night – Wednesday, September 15 from 6 – 8pm

September PTO Meeting – Wednesday, September 22 from 6:30 – 7:30pm