PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

Shepherd Elementary School logo

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.

DEAL RISE 2020 – For Fifth Graders only

Quick Snapshot: During the orientation week, students will learn about our IB Program, Deal Culture, organization, technology, using a combination lock to open their lockers, navigating Deal, using the Deal library, understanding their progress report/report cards, communicating with their teachers, reading their schedules, after school club and activity offerings, how to monitor their grades in Aspen, and much more. Students will also participate in a number of team building activities throughout the week. 

Register here:


On Thursday, February 6, we will have group photographs for classes and clubs, and on Friday, April 3, we will have the second round of individual student photos. Forms have been sent home with students.


All Shepherd students are invited to dress up for the Great Kindness Challenge beginning on Monday, February 10th.  Classrooms may choose to participate in the KINDNESS themed door decorating contest.  Judging will take place on Friday, Feb 14th.   

Dress up days are as follows:

Monday, February 10: Kindness never gets old – Dress up like a senior citizen.

Tuesday, February 11: Be Hip for Kindness – Dress like a hippie or hip hop star.

Wednesday, February 12: Be WACKY for Kindness – Dress with wacky hair & socks.

Thursday, February 13:Kindness ROCKS – Dress like a musician.

Friday, February 14: Dream of a world that is KIND – Dress in your pajamas.

Students in grades K-5th grade are invited to join our Kindness Read-a-thon beginning on February 10 – March 13th. Donations can be made to Heifer International directly at or given in an envelope.  Please give all donations to Mrs. Hagan.  Checks should be made out to Heifer International.  

Students who would like to participate will be bringing home more information. Students can collect donations or donations can be made online. 


Last week the Black History Month committee, which comprises of staff and parents, met and decided to dedicate the week of 2/24 to celebrating Black History Month. Each day we will celebrate Black History Month with a different event or activity. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, February 24: Wear your HBCU shirt or sweatshirt!

Tuesday, February 25: Dress up like an honorable Black History Month figure!

Wednesday, February 26th: Black History Month Bowl! 

Thursday, February 27: Third grade production of the play Now Let Me Fly to be held from 6:30-8 pm. Shepherd families and students invited. The play, which is based on hundreds of oral histories and personal interviews, tells the story of the unsung heroes and heroines in the battle for civil rights. 

Friday, February 28th:

  • Step Afrika (an all-school presentation supported by the PTA for the students on Friday morning)
  • Jazz Night – 6:30 pm (all teachers, staff, students, parents and neighbors are welcome!)

In addition, we will have a door decorating contest, a daily Black History fact during announcements, and a Shepherd Black History Month t-shirt. Order your t-shirts at Orders should be placed by Monday, February 17, 2020 (President’s Day) for delivery on Monday, February 24, 2020.


Our 31st annual Shepherd Jazz Night will be Friday, February 28th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm 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! 

We are now taking sign-ups for the potluck dinner. Please bring some yummy treats – homemade or store bought – to share with your Shepherd community. Still no nuts in any food items please! The sign-up sheet can be found here:

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

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! Thanks to Caroline Smith and Siri Warkentien for leading the event planning!


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!

Looking for Summer Camp Options?

Did you miss the Shepherd Summer Camp Expo? Check out the links of the many camps in and around the area as you make plans for your students this summer.

SY 2020-2021 Budget Proposal Meeting – Fri, Feb 7th

A closed LSAT meeting will be held on Fri, Feb 7. During the meeting, Dr. Hedlund and the LSAT team will discuss the proposed budget for the next school year. 

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 FEBRUARY 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 – 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.

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:

  • Thursday, Feb 6th – 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 at 6:30 pm
  • Friday, Feb 28th – Jazz Fest (6:30-8:30 pm)
  • Wednesday, March 18th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:30 pm and 6:30 pm)
  • Friday, March 20th – Professional Development Day (NO SCHOOL)
  • Friday, March 27th – Health/Wellness Fair 
  • 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 
  • Thursday, May 21st – International Day