PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

Shepherd Elementary School logo

Next PTO meeting TOMORROW – Wed, Feb 24 at 6:30 pm

At this month’s PTO meeting, we are bringing in experts to talk with us about mental health concerns facing parents, teachers and students during the pandemic.

We’ll tackle everything from the stress and challenges faced when kids are learning from home while parents are working from home to managing the transition of returning to in-person learning for students, parents and teachers alike.

Our panelists will include:

Dr. Gishawn Mance is a clinical psychologist with a practice in downtown Silver Spring. She is also an asst. professor at Howard University. She will give a short slide presentation on how to identify what you’re feeling, understanding that you are not alone and suggesting coping mechanisms to overcome it.

Barbara Paulson is deputy director of Child Services at DC’s Dept. of Behavioral Health. She will give a short slide presentation on available services in DC to help overcome the challenges.

Hahva Gallagher is a licenced clinical social worker and a Shepherd parent to a first grader. She will have the dual role of giving perspective from both sides.

Join us here on TEAMS for the discussion tomorrow evening. 

DCPS REOPEN Town Hall – Wed, Feb 24 at 5 pm

Tomorrow DCPS will host another Town Hall to share what WMATA and DC Government Agency Partners are planning as they discuss Student Transportation and Safe Passage. Register here to join.

Black History Month All School Meeting on Fri, Feb 26 from 9-10 am – TEAMS link is here

Community Center updates/DPR hearing TODAY – submit written testimony for the record by Fri, Feb 26

Today is the hearing, so if you haven’t yet…please submit written testimony for the official record to [email protected]. Testimony can be sent in through Friday, Feb 26. To watch the hearing live now, click here.  Below are the key messages to be tweaked as you feel appropriate. 

Below are the broad strokes of the story we want to tell.  Personalize this with your own experiences.

  • Over the last two years Shepherd Elementary underwent a significant renovation and construction project that resulted in the recently completed Shepherd Park Community Center.  
  • This project represented a significant compromise on the part of our school.  The city only partially renovated the school and repeatedly denied Shepherd the funds needed to deal with facilities that were in disrepair including the kitchen, cafeteria and multipurpose spaces, and to add a gym.
  • The only way to get these much needed facilities for our school was to make a deal with the Department of Recreation (DPR).  Shepherd gave up some of its existing facilities and land – including about a third of our already too small playground – for DPR to build a community center, on the condition that the school would have exclusive access to the community center facilities during school and aftercare hours (8 am to 6:30 pm).  
  • Members of our school community spent hours in meetings with DPR and other administration officials and were assured over and over again that the school would have exclusive access during school days during these times. 
  • In January, DPR informed the Shepherd Elementary staff that they do not intend to honor this promise.  DPR now plans to open the community center facilities up for public use starting at 3 pm on school days– potentially renting out the gym and multipurpose rooms to DC-MD-VA league sports teams or other non-community renters.  
  • This also creates potential security, traffic and parking issues for the school and community.  It also deprives our students of access to these facilities for school purposes (such as basketball tournaments, school events, and Star Achievers enrichment aftercare programming). 
  • DPR made well documented promises to our community.  These actions show that they negotiated with the school community in bad faith and we expect that they will be made to keep the promises they made to our students, school and community.
  • We want to make sure our students have access to the facilities they deserve as any other students across the city would. And we want DPR to have transparency and collaboration with our school community in any decisions that are made.

Women’s Shelter Tolietry Drive with Mrs. McIntyre

We’re helping Shepherd’s own Mrs. McIntyre with the 9th annual Women’s Shelter Tolietry Drive to help women and children in need during Women’s History Month in March.

When: Monday, March 1, 2021 thru Thursday, April 1, 2020

Where: Toiletry drive bin @ main entrance of the school

Please donate the following items:

Body soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, band-aids, deodorant, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, hair combs and brushes, cottonballs, baby powder, baby oil, and travel-size mouthwash. Additional toiletry items not mentioned are also needed. All items are donated to DASH safe housing alliance.

DC Department of Parks and Recreation Citywide Survey

DPR has reopened their Citywide Survey until March 1, 2021, and they want to hear from you!  Please take a few minutes to them know your thoughts on the future of parks and recreation in DC and tell your friends, family, and neighbors to fill out the survey as well.  If you have any questions or comments please email [email protected] or call the Ready2PlayDC Voice Mail message line at 202-282-2198 and leave a message.

Upcoming dates:

Feb 24 – DCPS Town Hall at 5 pm

Feb 24 – PTO Meeting at 6:30 pm

Feb 26 – Black History Month All School Meeting at 9 am

March 1 deadline – MySchoolDC Lottery applications

March 5 – Parent Teacher Conf – NO SCHOOL DAY

March 11 – Ward 4 Edcuation Alliance meeting