PTO Bulletin

Shepherd PTOPTO Bulletins

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Kindness Club Food Drive
Awesome news! The Shepherd Kindness Club collected more than 600 canned items during the food drive, which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank! Kudos to Mrs. Zepeda, the Kindness Club and to the entire Shepherd community.
Discounted Yearbooks
You have until Saturday, November 30th to get your 5% discount on the Shepherd Elementary School yearbook. See the following link to order:
Basketball Tryouts
Please note that basketball tryouts will take place after Thanksgiving Break during the week of December 2nd.
Tryouts for the girls’ team will be on Wednesday, December 4th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Boys’ tryouts will be on Friday, December 6th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Tryouts will take place in the multi-purpose room on both days.
To try out, your child must complete the DCPS Consent for Athletic Participation (AT-13) found here. Filling out the form and attending tryouts, however, does not automatically guarantee a spot on the team. Go Mustangs!
Please contact Mr. Clayborn at [email protected] if you have specific questions or concerns.
Breakfast for Faculty and Staff – Hosted by the Third Graders – Monday, Dec. 2nd
The Parent Engagement Committee is starting a monthly breakfast to show gratitude for the Shepherd ES teachers and staff who support our children everyday. Below you will find a sign-up link for the full year. Note – first up is third grade on December 2nd! There should be NO NUTS or NUT PRODUCTS brought into the school. Items should be dropped off on the assigned date noted in the sign-up form between 7:30 am and 8:00 am to the teachers’ resource room. If you have any questions, please reach out to Lyly Yonkwa Rijmen at [email protected]. Sign up here: Shepherd Teacher/Staff Appreciation Breakfast
Shepherd Annual Bake Sale
We’ll also be hosting a bake sale on Friday, December 6th from 3:30-6:30 pm and will be looking for donated baked goods (NO NUTS OR NUT PRODUCTS, PLEASE!) as we aim to raise money to help our Shepherd community for the holidays.
Sign up here to bring in an item for the bake sale:!/showSignUp/10c0d44aead2e5-shepherds
We’re looking for cub/boy scout troops and daisy or brownie troops to help us manage the sale. If your group is interested, please reach out to the PTA at [email protected].
Parent Handbook
A general reminder that the Shepherd Elementary School Parent-Student Handbook is posted on the Shepherd website at this link: The handbook has excellent information about various school policies and procedures. For those parents at the PTA who expressed interest in learning more about homework policies at Shepherd, you can find that information on pages 4 and 5.
Local Information of Interest
Open Meetings Act Webinar – Wed. December 4th, time TBD
All About Feeder Patterns
Strands and Specialized Programs
• December 3rd at 6:00pm at Brookland MS
• December 10th at 6:00pm at Hart MS
RSVP here:
DCPS Budget Forums
• December 10th from 6-8pm at Coolidge HS
• December 11th from 6-8pm at Ballou HS
Ward 3 Ed Net Technology Update
Guest speakers for the November meeting were Deputy Chief, Information Technology Cyrus Verrani and Deputy Chief, Academic and Creative Empowerment Karen Cole.
They shared the following information with those present.
When are the new devices coming?
Currently, the lease contracts for the Empowered Learners Initiative (ELi) (1:1 devices in grades 3,6,9) are in the approval process. When the contracts are cleared DCPS will announce the new student devices and provide approximate delivery dates.
The initiative ensures that remaining grades have a 3:1 student to device ratio. Grades 4, 7, and 10 should have 1:1 devices next fiscal year (in addition to 3, 6, and 9). And in the third year, all students from grades 3-12 will have their own device. Schools will have a small inventory of extra devices (1 percent) and DCPS will have a larger set of extra ones (10 percent of total). The hope is to not have any device older than 3 years. All computers will have rugged cases.
Will my student be bringing their device home?
For now, devices will be used in school and will not go home with students. DCPS anticipates that will change in the future. All of the ELi computers will have the same software (Office 365, Class Notebook, Canvas, Adobe Creative Cloud). Students can access their Office 365 accounts now and download the Office Suite onto their home computers (; DCPS ID and password).
Preparing for new devices
School administrators have been asked to prepare and submit a technology plan to Central Office for approval. The submission deadline has been extended into December to give principals time to plan.
Students in grades 3, 6, and 9 are currently receiving “digital citizenship” training, which covers topics like cyber bullying, appropriate use, and caring for devices.
All of the computers will have “Gaggle” to monitor digital interactions for language, bullying, etc., and geofencing “Absolute” to track whether they have left the school grounds, though neither is a 100 percent foolproof. The group also had a discussion about the DCPS firewall, and how sites are whitelisted and blacklisted. Teachers must submit website addresses to be whitelisted and DCPS does not receive many requests.
Tech Support in Schools
DCPS used a portion of the 4.6 million in funding for this initiative to create 5 new Central Office positions – technology support specialists. Each specialist supports two clusters, which roughly equals 20 schools each. The support specialists focus on academic and PD supports for schools.
Each school is being asked to identify a Technology Lead from their existing staff. A small stipend (aprx $1500 – $2500 depending on school size) will be given to the tech lead for assuming the additional technology/asset management responsibilities. There is no additional funding to provide more robust in-school tech support. DCPS emphasized the importance of logging all technology issues through the OCTO ticketing system. Without concrete data complaints are anecdotal.
The group also had an extensive discussion about support for the computers in schools. The group was concerned about broken, missing, malfunctioning devices and the ability of a staff member, with many other tasks, handling what will eventually be hundreds, and nearly two thousand in Deal or Wilson, of devices in schools. The group views the maintenance/asset management as a form of unfunded mandate for schools.
The group had a discussion about what the computer would actually be used for in class. DCPS acknowledged it would take time for staff to get used to them, and might be used more in some subjects than others. Teachers will have the ability to see all of the screens of the class, to lock them into a particular application, and to push out lessons that are individualized by student. Teachers in grades 3.6.9 will also receive new computers with the rollout so they can take full advantage of the Ed tools that have been developed.
Important Note
As of January 2020, all Windows 7 devices will no longer be supported by OCTO. Since shared and staff devices are not a part of ELi, schools must use their tech budgets to replace these computers in advance of January.
Reminder of Upcoming Dates:
• Wednesday, Nov 27th – Friday, Nov 29th – NO SCHOOL (Thanksgiving break)
• Monday, Dec 2nd – Staff and Teacher Breakfast (provided by 3rd grade families)
• Wednesday, Dec 4th – Girls’ Basketball Tryouts
• Friday, Dec 6th – Boys’ Basketball Tryouts
• Friday, Dec 6th – Annual Shepherd Bake Sale (3:30-6:30 pm)
• Monday, Dec 9th – Ward 3 Education Network Meeting at 7 pm
• Wednesday, Dec 18th – LSAT and PTA meetings (4:30 and 6:30 pm)
• Wednesday, Dec 18th – Teacher and Staff Holiday party – 3:45 pm