PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

Shepherd Elementary School logo

Less than a week until we have all of our Mustangs back in the classroom. HOORAY! 

Here are a few key updates to help you kick off the new school year. 

In this week’s Bulletin, you’ll find:

– Dates and times for the school open house sessions TOMORROW (Fri, Aug 27th)

– Reminder for the final “Back to School” playdate on Sun, Aug 29th at 1 pm 

– Reopen Strong info and links to Medical and Dental forms required for all students by DCPS 

– Link to our new, updated SCHOOL WEBSITE!

– Tips and articles from Dr. Brown (our amazing school psychologist) on transitioning back to school 

– Parent Volunteer Opportunities – Welcome Ambassadors for New Families and After School Club Leaders


See you all on Friday,

Shepherd PTO Board

Open Houses this FRIDAY!

Come join us to meet your teacher and see your classroom on Friday, Aug 27, Below is the schedule for the day so we can better manage safety for all:

PK4 students – come from 1-2 pm

PK3 students – come from 2-3 pm

Kinder-5th grade students – those with last names beginning with A-L should come from 3-3:30 pm; and those with last names beginning with M-Z should come from 3:30-4:00 pm.

Check out our new school WEBSITE

We’ve overhauled and updated our school website!! A HUGE SHOUT OUT to PTO Co-President, Taryn Losch-Beridon, for leading the charge, to Ms. Mack for all the updated content help, and Intrepid (BIG THANKS to Jack Robbins’ Dad!!) for their pro bono support for the web design template and hosting. 

We’re adding more and more content each day, but look here for the latest from Dr. Hedlund, PTO, updates on events, school calendar, etc.

Another “Back-to-School” Playdate – Sun, Aug 29th

Come join us for popsicles and fun at the DPR Shepherd Park playground from 1-3 pm. Park is right down the hill from the school on Jonquil Street NW. 

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.  

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.

DCPS Medical Forms and Reopen Strong Info

On this week’s call with Dr. Hedlund, there were a few questions about where to find medical forms and the current DCPS quarantine policy. Here are the links that will provide a lot more info. Here is more info on health and safety policies and the required medical and dental forms. See email from Dr. Hedlund (sent on 8/24) for more the highlights on health and safety info relevant to Shepherd.

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].

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.

THANKS to our Garden Clean Up Volunteers!

A HUGE thanks to Derek Musgrove and Simon Messing for leading the charge on last weekend’s Garden Clean Up! We had LOTS of help and appreciate everyone who put in some sweat and muscle to make our school shine for next week!

HELP STILL NEEDED to put together 2 sheds for the playground area. If you can help, please contact Dr. Hedlund or [email protected].

School Supplies and Class Assignments

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

Class assignments have been shared; if you haven’t received anything, contact Dr. Hedlund.

Immunization Clinics

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.

PTO Audit Committee Update

Many thanks to Shepherd parents, Ana Ma, Simon Messing and Greg Marchand, for volunteering to help us execute our annual PTO budget audit. We truly appreciate your help. 

Signing up for PTO’s email directory

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.

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

Getting 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. In the meantime, we’ll have gear we have on hand for sale at the Open House on Friday.

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!

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.

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 here!


PK-4 School Tour and Playdate – Friday, August 27 from 1 – 2pm

PK-3 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