Lafayette Elementary School
Tuesday Bulletin
hsa logo
October 18, 2016
Sheryl-Ann Gayle, Editor

Mark Your Calendar

October 20
HSA Board Meeting 6:30 pm

October 25
Family Science Night 6:00 pm

October 28
No School - Professional Development Day
Dear Lafayette Families

Indeed there is no place like home...This past weekend was an incredible example of the spirit of our community as we celebrated our Wizard of Oz Fall Festival.  Hundreds of families turned out to enjoy baked goods, scream in the haunted house, bounce in the bounce house, and enjoy crafts, face painting and more fall fun. Kudos to the 5th grade students and parents who worked so hard to create the spooktacular haunted house.  A huge thank you to all the parent volunteers, especially Edith Rankin and Michelle Moser, the Fall Festival Chairs and our Ways and Means Chairs, Astrid Ruggeri and Jenny Backus. It was an incredible celebration of our community as a family.  

In other news, we have extended our breakfast and library hours! Beginning Wednesday, October 19th, we will start serving breakfast in the cafeteria at 8:15 am.  Also, the Library will be open to students beginning at 8:15 am.  We ask that between 8:15 - 8:25 am students choose to stay in either the cafetorium for breakfast or the Library.  At 8:25, we will allow students to proceed to their line-up spots as usual.  We are excited about these extended hours to better serve our students' nutrition and love of reading.  

To help continue to increase communication between school and parents, I will be hosting "office hours" for parents.  I need your help in identifying a time that works for families' schedules. Please take 3 minutes and complete this Doodle Poll to indicate your preferred time for open office hours.  Your input is greatly appreciated! 

The last few weeks of October have some very exciting opportunities for our students and families.  Student council applications for 4th and 5th grade students are due on Tuesday, 10/18.  Math Club will meet on Wednesday mornings and Math Team will meet on Friday mornings.  Our 4th graders are off on a canoe trip on the Potomac with their PE classes on Monday and Tuesday, 10/24 and 10/25.  Also on 10/25, we will host our first ever Family Science Night from 6 pm - 8 pm.  Tuesday 10/25 will also be a Tuesday Tour for Prospective families at 9 am and a Tuesday Tour for our current families at 2 pm.  Please feel free to join us for the Tuesday Tour if you wish to see the new building "in action".  Don't forget that Friday, 10/28 there is no school for students. 

For all of you new to Lafayette, you are in for a real "treat" as we celebrate Halloween as a school.  Monday, 10/31 we will have our annual Halloween Parade and class parties.  The parade will start at the front doors of school at 1:30 pm and then travel into Lafayette Park and loop around the playground.  Be on the lookout for a map of the parade route to be distributed via email. Class parties will start directly after the parade and continue until the end of the day.  Please remember that students should not bring pretend weapons of any kind.  Students are welcome to wear their costumes to school for the entire day, or to bring their costumes to change in to after lunch/recess.

It's hard to believe, but we are quickly rounding out October, the first term of the school year and heading into the holiday season. This fall has been filled with community, gratitude, and enjoyment for our students.  The joyful learning continues as we settle into our new building and truly realize that "there is no place like home...".  I hope everyone enjoys this week of beautiful fall weather.

Take care,

Dr. B
Halloween Candy Drive

Halloween is upon us and that means it's time again for our annual Halloween Candy Drive for the Homeless. Every year at Lafayette we collect candy to send over to the Bethesda Cares Homeless Shelter. Last year we collected so much candy that our friends at the shelter were able to give a piece of candy to everyone who visited the shelter for a whole year. You might be wondering: "Why Bethesda Cares?" Lafayette grads Nina and Kyle Clemente work at the shelter and are willing to collect all of our candy and then bring a little to the shelter each week of the year. "Shouldn't we be giving people healthy food?" People going through hard times have very few treats. After the healthy meal they receive at Bethesda Cares getting a little sweet surprise really means a lot. Help us to help others by bringing in your extra Halloween candy starting on Tuesday November 1 - Thursday November 6. Drop your candy off in the Peace Room (202).

-Linda Ryden

After all of the Halloween excitement at school on the 31st, keep those costumes on and join Lafayette Gives Back for an opportunity to extend the fun, and share the joy with the residents of Knollwood Military Retirement Community. The children will get to show off their ensembles in a costume parade, and have a great time trick-or-treating with the residents. If your kids would like to join for this easy chance to brighten some lives, please sign up here.

But we still need more new and gently used/freshly laundered coats.

Thank you to everyone who brought coats and mittens and hats to the Fall Festival. Your generous donations helped us get about 1/3 towards our goal in just one day. Now we have two more weeks to get the rest of the coats we need to help children across Washington DC stay warm this winter.  We will be accepting donations of new and gently used coats at school from now until Halloween. Just send them in with your kids in the AM and they can drop them in our bin. Or bring them to 5841 Nebraska Ave and drop them in the bin on the front porch.  We are also looking for a few parent volunteers to help sort and drive coats to our donation sites. Just email Jenny Backus at if you are interested and thank you to you for supporting this great Lafayette tradition.


Let someone else make dinner for your family this week. It's Galley Food's Giveback Week. From now through Friday 10/21, order from Lafayette Annual Sponsor Galley Foods, and Lafayette gets 20% back. No subscription or minimum order required. Just put #Lafayette in the delivery instructions. Preparing 4 new menu options daily from scratch, Galley delivers meals to your door at a time of your choosing to make dinnertime a breeze.   Questions?  Email  Bethann Siegel (Lafayette Mom) at

The Lafayette 2016 Fall Festival was one for the record books. Beautiful weather, wonderful food and fun and lots and lots of people.  Lafayette parents Michelle Moser and Edith Rankin took on the challenge of chairing the Fall Festival for the first time this year and knocked it out of the park. Their theme "No Place Like Home- Wizard of Oz" really captured the community and record crowds turned out for the event. Helped along by Sophie Hanrahan's adorable Wizard of Oz communications campaign, Michelle and Edith turned Lafayette into the Land of Oz along with their amazing team of Lead Fall Festival Volunteers:  Stacy Beck, Katherine Burke, Michael Fox, Fatisha Gayton, Marek Gootman, Josh Gordon, Laura Grimm, Mary Jaffe, Maria Lacaste, Jen Lanoff, Sonya Matza, Kristin Nicholson, Tonya Oliver, Ed Pagano, Heidi Rauch, Hope Scheller, Heidi Sherman, Michael Sonza and the incomparable Astrid Ruggeri, HSA Ways and Means Committee and former Fall Festival Chair. 

Congratulations to all our Costume Contest Winners and the winners of the Pie Contest. You all were a delicious addition to a great day.

The Lafayette Fall Festival is entirely parent powered. Thank you to all our parent bakers, ticket takers,  game players, face painters and haunted house makers and everyone else who came on out and spent money and  made the day a success. 

Thank you to our 2016-2017 Lafayette Annual Sponsors and 2016 Fall Festival Sponsors whose generous donations fund our great activities and events. A special shout out to Annual Sponsors Anslie Stokes . Kimberly Cestari and Galley Foods who also sponsored special activities for the kids at the Fall Festival.

 And thank you to our wonderful Lafayette staff, especially Laurie McLaughlin who created our Emerald City and Yellow Brick road with her students and always adds a special creative touch to our HSA events and George Young and his custodial team for making the magic happen with a smile all day long. 

In our initial thank you Constant Contact on Sunday evening, due to haste and overtiredness, we incorrectly listed our great custodial foreman George Young's name. We apologize for the error.


Congratulations to the Lafayette 5th Grade and their parents for a scarily good Haunted House at the Fall Festival. Working with the theme of the Festival, the 5th graders designed and decorated  a scary Wicked Witch of the West's Castle in the Lafayette Park Rec Center.  Children could choose to visit a Haunted Graveyard of Junk Food, a Haunted Library Labyrinth or the very scary Witches Castle. Plus a coffin with their undead classmates and a potion table of horrors including witches blood and gooey eyeballs. According to the word on the street this Sunday after the Festival, it was very scary.

Marek Gootman, 5th grade dad and Lafayette's own Master of the Dark Arts, and ANC Commissioner Rebecca Maydak dug into their personal Halloween treasure closets to help spice up the decor.  The Haunted House Committee of Ed Pagano, Joel Bates, Jane Ellis, Nina Severin, Teresa Gionis, Maura Rogan and Dennis Smyth worked for the past week to gather decorations, write scripts, help kids with their costumes and hang curtains. 

A very special thanks to 5th grade teacher Connie Harn who helped out at all the Haunted House meetings,  DC Parks and Recreation superstars Betty Hester and Ellsworth Hart at the Rec Center and Lafayette's own George Young and the custodial team who helped move and preserve our coffin and jack-in-the-box for next year.
Thank You Lafayette Bakers

A huge thank you to all of you talented Lafayette bakers who contributed baked goods to the sale at the Fall Festival! Everything was delicious, and we had an incredible number of donations this year. The pies submitted for the competition were also a sight to behold, with an impressive array of styles and flavors. The choice was tough for Dr. B with so many delicious entries, but the winning pies were:
First place: Maple Pumpkin Pie with Salted Pecan Brittle (by Parker Fendig and Julianna Gately)
Second place: Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seeds (by The Bernstein Family: Arabella, Walt, Teresa and Bob)
Third place: Louisiana Banana Pecan Pie (by Dennis Smyth)

The Winning Recipe:
Maple Pecan Pie with Salted Pecan Brittle (from Better Homes and Gardens)

Growing Healthy Schools

This week's celebration of Growing Healthy Schools month includes a cooking demonstration for the kindergarten classes by Lafayette parent Brooke Finland.  Students will watch a chef in action and taste some healthy, homemade food! 

The cafeteria display this week will allow students to learn more about the benefits of exercising and different ways to move throughout their day.  Having a balanced diet is just the first step to keeping your body healthy--exercising plays an equal part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle! 

Also, a big congratulations to Oliver S., from Ms. Breslin's class, for winning the first raffle drawing for "Eat A Rainbow"! Students are encouraged to continue to participate, as we'll have more drawings throughout the month.  Students can pick up another copy or print one out at home for more chances to win.

Stay tuned for more health and wellness activities to celebrate Growing Healthy Schools Month throughout October! If you're interested in helping or joining the GROW committee, contact Laura Nelms at
Lafayette Park Clean Up. Please come out to help clean up Lafayette Park this Saturday the 22nd at the Friends of Lafayette Park's Fall Clean-Up from 9 AM to noon.  Meet at the Rec Center near the 33rd Street entrance to the park.  Coffee, donuts and water will be served. All ages are welcome!

Thanks to our Sponsors:
Submissions for next week's issue should be emailed to Submissions are due by 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. Submissions received after this time will be included in the following issue, unless instructed otherwise. Please keep submissions brief. Longer articles may be truncated at the editor's discretion, with a link to the full text.