PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

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DCPS is Seeking Your Feedback on Interim Principal Hedlund

As you likely recall, Principal Hedlund was appointed to serve as the interim principal for Shepherd for this school year. Before determining whether to appoint her as Principal at Shepherd on a permanent basis, DCPS wants to ensure the community has an opportunity to share feedback and reflections on your experience working with her during this school year.

Please send any feedback regarding your experience working with Principal Hedlund by Friday, February 7th. Letters should be sent via email to [email protected], with the subject “Community Input on Principal Hedlund.” All principal appointments are decided at the discretion of the Chancellor; however, anything you submit will be included along with other information from this year for the Chancellor and other senior leaders when considering next steps for the 2020-21 school year.

Looking for Volunteers – Shepherd Jazz Night and Shepherd Gala and Auction

SAVE THE DATE…our 31st annual Shepherd Jazz Night will be Fri, Feb 28th in the Shepherd Multipurpose Room and we’re looking for parent and teacher volunteers to help organize the potluck dinner, help with set up and clean up, decorate the room, and help with promotion! 

For those who haven’t been before, the event includes a potluck dinner with parents and neighbors, live and up-close jazz music by outstanding artists (including both talented students and veteran professionals), creative activities, and more!

Jazz Night founder, Dr. Michael Wallace, introduced this special event 31 years ago—when his own children were Shepherd students – and he still helps us plan and execute this long-standing event every year. Jazz Night was created with Shepherd students in mind; to introduce them to jazz music in a kid-friendly environment. Bring your children to enjoy the music and see the musicians—and their instruments—close up.

Email Caroline Smith at [email protected] if you can help be on the committee!

SAVE THE DATE of Sat, April 25th for our annual Spring Gala and Auction – Shepherd’s largest fundraiser of the school year! 

Join parents, teachers, friends and neighbors of Shepherd Elementary School on Saturday, April 25th, 2020 at Bobby Van’s Grill, for our 16th Annual Spring Gala and Auction! Your ticket purchase secures your entrance to a fantastic evening of entertainment, featuring our live and silent auction, while you enjoy cocktails, diverse beer & wine offerings, and delicious bites as you select your top auction items of the night.

New Silent Auction offerings will include experiences and offerings from local businesses, as well as beloved class creations, parent parties, teacher treats, and more.  Get ready to bid with our live auctioneer who will help us raise the paddle and entice the crowd with the best items of the night. Tickets can be purchased here:

We are looking for parents and teachers to help us put on this MASSIVE event! See the link below for many volunteer opportunities. Let us know how you can help!

Upcoming DCPS Performance Oversight Hearing – Wed, Feb 19th 

The first of the annual DCPS public hearing opportunities is coming up on Wed, Feb 19 at 11 am. The DCPS Performance Oversight Hearing is meant to give members of the public (parents, teachers, students) the opportunity to share their concerns with the DC Council about issues with the schools such as management, facilities, operations, equipment/materials, processes, and procedures.

Unfortunately, this first hearing is during the DCPS FEB BREAK, which means quite a few parents will likely not be able to testify in person. However, whoever can be there should and those who can’t should definitely send in written testimony.

Those who wish to testify may sign-up online at or call the Committee on Education at (202) 724-8061 by 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 17, 2020. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged to bring 10-15 copies of their written testimony. 

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The record typically closes 10 business days after each hearing – Feb 27th. Written statements can be emailed to Ashley Strange, Committee Assistant, at [email protected].

Several parents have volunteered to develop sample testimony for Shepherd advocates. We will focus on important issues like replacing the lead equipment on the playground and concerns with DPR/DCPS collaboration over the community center construction project. It’s always more impactful when we’re saying the same things and hitting on the same messages to break through and try to make change. But feel free to make it personal with your own anecdotes.

The date of the Budget Hearing for next year’s school budget is still TBD…and that is where we’ll certainly be needing to push more publicly with many voices at the table!  

Printing School Directories – PLEASE VERIFY YOUR INFO

We will soon be distributing the annual family school directory. Please verify your info in AtoZ Connect so we can share the most updated info. Please email PTA President Liz Bradley at [email protected] if you would like to have your family’s info removed from the directory.

Mark Your Calendars!

Black History Month

Shepherd’s Black History Month Celebration will take place on the evening of February 27th with an encore the morning of February 28th. More details to come soon, but if you’d like to volunteer to help – please contact Mrs. Rottman or Dr. Hedlund. 

Picture Days

On February 3, we will have group photographs for classes and clubs, and on April 3, we will have the second round of individual student photos. 

IB Corner

We will be celebrating multilingual week each day during the first week of March 2020. We will dedicate one day during multilingual week to multilingual career day. Do you have a job that requires foreign language skills and/or know of jobs in your company/organization that require foreign language skills? We’d love to have you come speak in classrooms on March 5, 2020 from 8:40am-9:10am to encourage students to understand the importance of learning foreign languages. Please email Ms. Mack at [email protected] if you’re interested.

Our learner profile attribute of the month is Risk Taker! Risk Takers are courageous and determined. We work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and strategies.  Encourage your child to be a risk taker at home by trying new activities and hobbies, making new friends, and participating in public speaking opportunities.

Shepherd is in its self-study year for our upcoming IB Evaluation in December 2020. The self-study year is a chance to reflect as a school on our IB program’s strengths and weaknesses over the past five years. Here is a link to the survey We want to hear from Shepherd parents on how we can improve our program! As always, if you have any questions please email me at [email protected].

Friendly reminder: International Day is on the calendar for Thursday, May 21st at 6pm. Please mark your calendars for an evening of fun. We will be asking for families to contribute international dishes for this event at a later date in the school year.

Local Information of Interest

Panorama Family Survey

DCPS launched our Panorama Family Survey and it is open for feedback from January 13-February 14.  Last year, only 31% of Shepherd families completed the survey. One of our Comprehensive School Plan action steps this year is to increase our response rate to 60%. Take a few minutes to take the DCPS Panorama Survey that evaluates progress in our school. Share your thoughts by following the link:  We need your feedback!

DCPS Parent University Workshops 

The next set of DCPS Parent University Workshops will be held at Brookland Middle School at 6 pm on February 25th and Hart Middle School at 6 pm on February 11th.

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, Feb 3rd – Group and Class Photo Day
  • Monday, Feb 10th – Ward 3 Education Network meeting (7pm)
  • Wednesday, Feb 12th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:30 pm and 6:30 pm)
  • Monday, Feb 17th-Fri, Feb 21st – February Break (NO SCHOOL)
  • Wednesday, Feb 19th – DCPS Oversight Hearing (DC CITY COUNCIL)
  • Tuesday, Feb 25th –DCPS Parent Workshop at Brookland Middle School ( 6 pm)
  • Thursday, Feb 27th – Black History Month event
  • Friday, Feb 28th – Jazz Fest (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Wednesday, March 18th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:30 om and 6:30 pm)
  • Friday, March 20th – Professional Development Day (NO SCHOOL)
  • Friday, March 27th – Health/Wellness Fair 
  • Friday, April 3rd – Picture Day 
  • Monday, April 13-Fri, April 17th – Spring Break
  • Wednesday, April 22nd – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:30 om and 6:30 pm)
  • Saturday, April 25th – Shepherd Gala and Auction 
  • May 4-8th – Teacher Appreciation Week 
  • Saturday, May 16th-Sunday, May 17th – Shepherd family camping trip
  • Thursday, May 21st – International Day