PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

Shepherd’s Spring Fling Family Engagement Events – April – June

Let’s get together to have fun, see each other and raise a little money for next school year! SAVE THESE DATES!

Sat, April 24th at 5pm – virtual family baking class hosted by Tiny Chefs, add-ins include ingredient kits and Shepherd aprons and chef hats to be purchased. Appropriate for all ages. Get your tickets and ingredients here.

Thurs, May 6th at 8 pm – Adults-only “Shaken AND Stirred” cocktail making class hosted by the Quarantine Cocktail Club.

End of May – School “photos” to be taken outside in front of the school marquee to make sure this year doesn’t fly by without your sentimental (and cheesy!) annual school picture. Each student will sign up for a specific time.

JUNE OUTDOOR EVENT – We have some clearance from DCPS to start to do things together OUTSIDE! So, we’re planning a gathering IN PERSON FOR LATE JUNE! If you’d like to help plan, email [email protected]

SHEPHERD WINS “Lettuce Grow” Farm Stand grant project FROM WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION

Thanks to the amazing grant writing by Shepherd parent, Siri Warkentien, we’ll be receiving our first farm stand with initial seedlings, as well as future seedlings, nutrients, and pH test kits. Our first grade class will be leading the hands-on project with Ms. Saxton! Check out the org – Lettuce Grow here. Pics coming soon!

SHEPHERD GARDEN CLEAN UP – Sun, April 25 starting at 10 am

Our very own gardner-in-resident, Simon Messing, would love help weeding and planting to shape up our gardens around the school. He kindly spends a lot of free time keeping up with the flower beds, helping our trees and even weeding! Let’s get together (socially-distanced!) to help spread the load. Come when you can and bring some gardening gear. 

Foxhall and MacArthur Community Work Group Update – Shepherd Elem meeting on May 3

DC Public Schools will meet with the Shepherd school community on Mon, May 3 at 6 pm to discuss the efforts of a community working group looking at two potential schools in the Wilson High School feeder pattern. All are welcome to attend, both to learn more and to offer their opinions. A link will be sent closer to the event.

We will also have an open convo at the April PTO meeting to talk about the options being presented.

What is this Community Working Group?

The community working group is a collection of parents, principals, and community members to provide input to the DC Public Schools about two potential properties — a new school on the grounds of the Hardy Recreation Center in Foxhall and the Georgetown Day School Lower Campus on MacArthur Boulevard, which the city is in the process of buying.

The group started meeting in mid-February and is slated to conclude in late May. The group is advisory only, and while discussing these two properties specifically, has touched broader issues of overcrowding, boundaries and feeder rights, and equity and diversity. The Shepherd school representatives on the group are Dr. Hedlund and PTO co-president, Liz Bradley.

Why has DCPS convened a Community Working Group?

The underlying reason for the group is that schools in the Wilson High School feeder pattern are overcrowded, and the city’s projections have this problem getting significantly worse. The city’s latest projections have Wilson High School, which was originally built for 1,600 students, reaching an enrollment of over 2,800 students by 2028-29. Deal MS, with currently around 1,500 students, would reach about 1,900 students at that time. With elementary schools also overcrowded, enrollment at all elementary schools will exceed the capacity of their buildings by a collective of more than 1,300 students (the equivalent of 2 school buildings), according to the Deputy Mayor for Education.

What options are being discussed?

The group’s discussions have focused on several options for the two properties.

A new elementary school serving PK-5 grade, which would have a boundary that includes part of the current Stoddert, Key, and Mann elementary schools. Another option still under consideration is making the school a 3-5 grade school and pulling out the upper grades at Key ES and Stoddert ES. None of these options would have a direct impact on families in the Deal MS feeder pattern, though an additional elementary school would feed into Wilson HS.

A new middle school. This option would pull 1-2 elementary schools currently in the Deal MS feeder pattern, and instead, have them feed into Hardy MS. Doing so would initially relieve overcrowding at Deal MS. However, this option would not reduce overcrowding at Wilson and may worsen it. DCPS has not said which elementary schools would switch.

A new high school. This option would have students who attend the current Hardy MS attend a new high school at the MacArthur Blvd property (or alternatively, at Hardy, with the middle school shifting to MacArthur). This option would relieve overcrowding at Wilson, but would not provide a solution for Deal’s overcrowding issues.

A ninth-grade academy. This option would have ninth-graders at Wilson HS attending school at the MacArthur property. This option would help relieve some of the overcrowding at Wilson, though not Deal, and some argue that there are pedagogical reasons for separating ninth-graders from other students. However, it would also present logistical (and potentially budgetary) challenges having the ninth-grade students so far from the rest of the school.

How can I learn more?

The community working group has held 5 meetings to date. Presentations and notes from these meetings are available on a DCPS website.

WE NEED YOUR HELP – PTO NOMINATING AND AUDIT COMMITTEES

We’ll be doing PTO Board elections at the May PTO meeting and need 3-5 parents to volunteer to be on the nominating committee to hold the official elections. We’ll also need 3-5 parents to serve on the audit committee at the end of the year to close out our financial books. No one related to the current board can volunteer.  If you’re interested in helping, please reach out to [email protected] by April 16.

ATTENTION FIFTH GRADE FAMILIES – Shepherd Chat with Deal’s Principal Neal – April 27th at 6:30 pm

Join Principal Neal as she talks with Fifth grade parents about how to get students ready for the transition to middle school.

Topic: Virtual Feeder School Chat – Shepherd

Time: Apr 27, 2021 6:30 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87484553072

Meeting ID: 874 8455 3072

+13017158592,,87484553072#

Upcoming Important Dates:

April 12-16 – Spring Break

April 21 – Shepherd PTO meeting – 6:30 pm

April 24 – “Spring Fling” virtual baking class – 5-6 pm

April 27 – Fifth Grade Chat with Deal Principal Neal – 6:30 pm

May 3 – DCPS Foxhall/MacArthur School Community Update Meeting – 6 pm

May 6 – “Spring Fling” ADULT cocktail-making class – 8 pm

May 19 – Shepherd PTO meeting and ELECTIONS – 6:30 pm

May 31 – Memorial Day holiday

June TBD – 5th Grade Graduation

June TBD – SCHOOL WIDE OUTDOOR EVENT

June 24 – last day of school