M u s t a n g  N e w s l e t t e r

In This Issue
Dates to Remember
Mon. - Fri., 3/2 - 3/6:
Read Across America
Spirit Week at Shepherd

3/2 - 4/3:
Shepherd's March Madness Reading Competition

Thursday, 3/5:
Breakfast at Shepherd, 8am
Hosted by Chartwells
Register below

Sunday, 3/8:
Daylight Savings Time
(Set your clocks to Spring Ahead!)

Friday, 3/13:
School wide Field Trip to Imagination Stage

Wednesday, 3/18:
PTA Meeting, 6:30 pm

Thursday, 3/26:
Shepherd's Circus, 6 pm

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Come One . . . 
           Come All . . . 

The Mustang is looking for a few good writers to serve as contributors to the The Student Scoop, a student-written column that will appear in every Mustang.  

Keep your schoolmates up to date on what's happening at Shepherd for a student's-eye view!

If you are interested, please send an email to 
Subject: Student Writer

We want your voice in the Mustang!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Content Submissions
The Mustang is the biweekly newsletter for Shepherd Elementary and community.  


We welcome community-relevant submissions of announcements (100-200 words) or articles (300-500 words) to add to the newsletter.  


The Mustang is published on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month; please submit items two weeks in advance in order to be included in the next Mustang.



The Mustang staff reserves the right to edit announcements and articles for space and content, and to decline submissions of inappropriate subject matter.  Advertisements and solicitations are not permitted.

Submit Content to Mustang

Thank you for joining
Jazz Night
          at Shepherd

Making Music . . . 
     and Memories!

More Good News!

Join us for Breakfast!

Chartwells is hosting breakfast on Thursday, March 5th from 8 to 8:30 am. 

We would love for you to be in attendance.

Thank you Exxon!
For the past 3 years Shepherd has been the recipient of the ExxonMobil Education Alliance Program Grant in the amount of $500.

This year is no different! Once again, Shepherd was a grant recipient.  The grant will be used to help support and enhance programs with an emphasis on Math and Science.

Shop for Shepherd!

Did you know that many local stores like Giant and Safeway will donate a percentage of your purchases to Shepherd?

Visit the PTA website to find out how:  Shop for Shepherd!

March 2, 2015 

Welcome to the Mustang e-Newsletter!  

Look for a new publication every 1st and 3rd Monday to stay connected with Shepherd school and community news.    

A Message from the PTA
Hi Shepherd families!

The year is flying by!  Plans for the Spring Gala (Auction) are in full swing and as we look with eagerness to these upcoming events, I also wanted to take a moment to celebrate our successes so far this year.
  • New Communication Tools - electronic Mustang that is phone friendly!
  • Updated Website - new format and re-engineered structure to modernize and simplify.
  • Online Teacher Wish Lists - a centralized location for all teachers to identify classroom needs so parents can provide support.
  • Updated Bylaws - to keep current with changes at the school and with IRS requirements.
  • Improved outreach to new families - new web resources and more open house events to tell the Shepherd story to new families.
  • Over $10,000 in direct support to the teachers at Shepherd.
  • 6 new iPads for Principal Miles to use as a shared resource for the teachers.

These are just some of the great things that parent volunteers have accomplished in just half of a school year.  Other great changes are happening as well - the Star Achievers Program achieved a milestone and had their nonprofit status confirmed by the IRS, a major milestone as this program continues to grow to meet the needs of Shepherd families.  And of course, there is the great initiative headed by Christopher Alexander establishing the Saturday Academy with a STEM focus that will now meet at Shepherd.


These are all great news stories.  But they also have a moral.  Nothing gets done without the help of volunteers.  And with volunteers great things can happen.  Have you volunteered yet to help Shepherd?  The Spring Gala/Auction is our biggest and most important fundraising event of the year (and it's a lot of fun too!).  We need help - all kinds of help - to make this happen.  Please take a moment to commit some time to lending a hand on these big events.


Thinking bigger?  We will soon be starting the process to identify candidates to run the PTA next year.  Talk to a PTA officer about your interest - it is highly rewarding.  And if you think you don't have time, while it is a commitment, remember that all of the current PTA officers are managing just fine even with demanding day jobs - it is doable and the school needs you!


Have a great week!

David Trimble

Action Required: Support School Renovation

Call to Arms!


The city is proposing to cancel the final phase of renovations for Shepherd Elementary!


The PTA and LSAT are working to raise our voices and demand that funds be provided to complete the work that was planned. Why should you care? Essential facilities are being cut.


The items not funded include:

  • Real kitchen for the cafeteria - one that could actually prepare healthy meals
  • Renovated gymnasium
  • Enlarged cafeteria
  • Parking for teachers and staff

What can you do?

Call and/or email the Mayor's office and the DC Council Education Committee members including Committee Chair David Grosso. (See contact info listed below).


Sign up to speak at city council hearing on the school budget scheduled April 23, 2015.


Volunteer to assist the Shepherd parent group working on this issue. Send an email to info@shepherd-elementary.org or talk to a PTA officer.


The PTA will do its best to keep you informed. There is much work to be done and our window for restoring funding for the school is rapidly closing.


Contact List:

Mayor's Office, 202-727-2643, eom@dc.gov


DC Council Education Committee:


David Grosso, Committee Chair, 202-724-8105, dgrosso@dccouncil.us


Christina Henderson, Committee Director, 202-724-8060, chenderson@dccouncil.us


Yvette Alexander, 202-724-8068, yalexander@dccouncil.us


Charles Allen, 202-724-8072,


Anita Bonds, 202-724-8064, abonds@dccouncil.us

The Student Scoop
Written by: Kennedy Mack, 3rd Grader
Hello Mustang, this is your Student Scoop!  I have two big scoops for you this week.  The first scoop: the Ski Club held a Valentine's Day Dance on Friday February 20th.  Everyone who attended the dance had a good time and if you didn't go it's okay because other people can tell you how it went.  I think it was fun because there were a lot of good dancers. There was also a DJ who was Mr. Velez and he played great music. We also had a dance contest. 

The second scoop is that the school celebrated Mardi Gras.  If you were a Pre k 4 thru 1st grade student you got to walk in a parade thru the school hallways.  The students in the parade were wearing masks and beads and the colors were green, purple, and yellow.  Mardi Gras is held on Shrove Tuesday - some people call it Fat Tuesday - which is the last day before Lent.  Mardi Gras is celebrated by carnivals, masquerade balls, and parades of costumed merrymakers.

March Madness Reading Competition
Are you read for a little competition?

For the month of March, each class at Shepherd will compete in a March Madness Reading Competition.

Quick Overview:

- Each classroom will be randomly assigned the name of an actual NCAA basketball team.

- Students will earn points for their team based on the number of minutes read daily at home during March Madness.  There is also an opportunity for classes to earn bonus points (see additional details below). 

- Books read in school are not eligible for points.

- Each student will keep daily reading logs, totaling the minutes they read every day at home to compute their weekly totals. 

- A copy of their reading log is due every Friday beginning March 6th with the last submission being Friday, April 3rd

- Books read as part of nightly reading can be counted.  (March Madness reading does not have to be in addition to regular home reading, although we hope students will be more inclined to read).

How will points be tallied?

There will be a separate point system for grades K-1 and for grades 2-5.

Read a book (or have it read to you in grades K-1) and record your daily minutes on the March Madness Reading Log.  A weekly reading log will be sent home every Friday.

Grades K-1 - Every 15 minutes = 1 point
Grades 2-5 - Every 30 minutes = 1 point
Team Bonus Points:
90% class participation = 30 points each week
Decorate your door or bulletin board = 15 points

The team with the highest score will be rewarded!  Team prizes can be as wacky as making a human hot fudge sundae, having a staff member dress up as a clown, or scheduling a class field trip to an indoor play center.  Students will vote to determine the Reward.

How can our parents support?
  1. Be sure to help your child participate by holding them accountable for Reading and Logging their Minutes Daily 
  2. Help us petition our local stores for additional sports related prizes
  3. Assist with collecting and displaying the data in a creative way
  4. Share any additional suggestions to make this event a success by emailing tenishia.whren@dc.gov
Important Traffic Safety Reminders
    Please remain 100% attentive during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal.

     Please drive below the speed limit.

     When dropping off or picking up your student, please pull up to 14th street curb.  Do not stop in the middle of the street or double park.

     Students should enter and exit their car on the school side of the street.

     The 14th street curb is a pick-up and drop off zone between the hours of 8:00 and 4:30.   Cars may not be left unattended.

     If you are unable to find a spot along 14th street in front of the school, circle until a space becomes available or find a parking space and walk your student to the sidewalk.

     Please refrain from blocking cross walks, double parking or making U-turns.

      Please be patient, slow-down and remain respectful.   Remember our students are watching and learning from our actions.   Not following the traffic rules or displaying road rage not only sets a negative example for our students, it also puts the lives of our Shepherd family members at risk.  

Shepherd Presents:
The Greatest Show Imaginable
Come to our amazing show!

Meet us under the Big Top for this family engagement activity.   The show will feature PS, PK, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade performers.  

When: Thursday, March 26th at 6 pm
Where: In the Big Top (Auditorium)
Who: Shepherd Family and Friends

Students must be accompanied by an adult. 

Hot dogs, popcorn, and juice will be served!  

News and Announcements
City Championships . . . Here we come!

Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Advance to Championship Games
The overall season record of Shepherd's boys and girls basketball teams landed them both in this year's playoff games.  With hard earned victories last week, the teams have advanced to the DC city-wide championship!  Stay tuned to the Shepherd website for more information, both the boys and girls championship games are likely to be scheduled this week.    

Who Reads? We Read!
Join the Fun . . .

Arts, Culture, and Education
Shepherd's Programs, Initiatives, and Enrichment

The Shepherd/TI Tutoring Program

For 17 years, the Shepherd/TI Tutoring Program has provided free weekly tutoring for Shepherd Elementary students. This program meets every Sunday (except holiday weekends) from 5 - 6 pm at Tifereth Israel, a synagogue at the corner of 16th and Juniper Streets.   

We now have some tutors who are eagerly awaiting new students.  If you would like to participate please email Susan Catler, liaison for the program, shepherdtutoringprogram@

We're Going to Imagination Stage!

On Friday, March 13th Shepherd will take a school wide field trip to Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD. The trip is courtesy of our building contractors Turner Construction.  On this day, students will enjoy a bag lunch from home or one provided by the cafeteria.  Permission slips were sent home and must be returned on Monday, March 2nd. Space is available for up to 2 parent chaperones, please contact your child's teachers.

Students in PS through K will see Blue; and our 1st through 5th grade students will watch Wiley the Hairy Man.  To learn more visit:  Imagination Stage

Music for Mustangs

Our talented new music teacher, Mr. Rudy Gonzalez, wants to give all Shepherd students the opportunity to play a musical instrument.  To make that dream a reality, we need your help to purchase musical instruments!

The Shepherd PTA is sponsoring the first Shepherd crowdfunding effort.  

Click Music for Mustangs to make a contribution and see what prizes you can earn! 

Shepherd Elementary | (202) 576-6140 | mustangshepherd2@gmail.com 
7800 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20012