M u s t a n g  N e w s l e t t e r
December 15, 2014 

Welcome to the Mustang e-Newsletter!  

Stay connected with Shepherd school and community news . . . a new publication every 1st and 3rd Monday. 
In This Issue
Dates to Remember
SES Winter Holiday Concert

12/22/14 - 1/2/2015:
Winter Break, School Closed

Family Dinner Night at Franklin's

School Re-Opens after Winter Break

The Mustang Newsletter RETURNS!

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

Come One . . . 
           Come All . . . 

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

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

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

We want your voice in the Mustang!

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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

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook      

Save the Date!
Family Dinner Night
December 23, 2014

Plan to join fellow SES families for Family Dinner Night during the winter break.  


Remember to say "I'm with Shepherd" and a portion of your purchase will be donated to the Shepherd PTA.    



5123 Baltimore Avenue  Bladensburg, MD  20710

(301) 927-2740

A Word from Principal Miles

Greetings Shepherd Families:

The first part of the school year has come to an end.  It is amazing how quickly the time has passed.   It has been an exciting four months and we are eagerly anticipating what is yet to come! 


Progress Report

On Wednesday you will receive your students midterm progress report along with the last grade level newsletter for 2014.  Please take time to review both and contact your child's teacher with questions.   In the newsletter you will find tips and recommendations for this you should work on with your student during the winter break.


Congratulations Ms. Laughinghouse

Please join us in saying goodbye to Ms. Laughinghouse.  She will be retiring effective December 19, 2014.  Ms. Laughinghouse has served as our primary special education teacher for the past 6 years and has been an amazing asset to our organization.    Though we are sad to see her go, we are happy to be able to celebrate this important milestone in her life.   Thank you Ms. Laughinghouse for years of service. We wish you the best!

The Shepherd school family would like to wish each of you a joyous and prosperous holiday season.  Please enjoy this special time with family and friends.   We look forward to seeing everyone when we return on January 5, 2015.  

 Happy Holidays,

The Shepherd Admin Team


The Student Scoop
By: Kennedy Mack
Mustang student reporter  

Shepherd Elementary celebrated its annual International Day on December 12, 2014.   International Day was so much fun and all students got to participate. Each class made a presentation on a different country from around the world that meant you didn't have to go to a room and see the same thing as another room. Each class had different themes, posters and signs. Each class had different foods and music.  People dressed up and had performances about their countries.  My class did Panama.  


I brought chips and salsa which is one of my favorite foods.  International Day was also in the evening so parents could participate too by sharing information on their family culture.


I hope you came to International Day to learn about different world cultures and HAD A GREAT TIME!  

Shepherd's IB PYP Corner

Holidays Around the World 


Welcome to December, a month filled with many multicultural celebrations around the world. It could be Ramadan (Muslim), Kwanza (African American), Hanukah (Jewish), Three Kings Day and Christmas (Christian), Fiesta of our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican), St Lucia Day (Swedish), Boxing Day, (Australian, Canadian, English and Irish), or Omisoka (Japanese). Chances are we each may celebrate one or more than one of these holidays. It is a month filled with holidays across cultures so let's use the opportunities to teach and learn from each other.


Did you know? Dec. 12 was Jamhuri Day in Kenya?  On the 12th of December 1964, the country of Kenya gained full independence from the United Kingdom. One year earlier on December 12th, 1963, Jamhuri Day was so named because it was the day Kenya was established as a Republic. The celebration is a double event with numerous cultural festivities. This day represents Kenya's most important holiday and celebrates the country's cultural heritage.

This month, the Learner Profile trait is Open-minded. An open-minded person is someone who understands and appreciates their own cultures and personal histories. They are open to perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.  They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.  An open minded person is comfortable with differences, and has a variety of lenses to view issues.


International Day

Last week was a busy one with the planning and the preparation for International Day. Thank you to all of our families that helped out with the planning or participating with a display, or the sharing of a favorite international food dish or the performance of a song or dance. It was a great success and we could not have done it without you. Bravo! Some of the countries that were represented:  Russia, Panama, Germany, Jamaica, Guyana and Tanzania, Puerto Rico, USA, Ethiopia, Trinidad, and Ireland.


Programme of Inquiry

Unit 3 began on December 1, 2014. This unit will continue until January 23, 2015.  The themes may vary for each grade level and include: 


  • Sharing the Planet 
  • How we Express Ourselves 
  • Who We Are 
  • How we Organize Ourselves 

More detailed information about each unit will be in the class Newsletter.


Our Holiday concert will take place on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM. I hope to see everyone there!


Happy Holidays!  

Sandra Hart

IB Coordinator


A Heartfelt Thanks!


Dear Shepherd Family,


My principal residency at Shepherd Elementary School has been a very rewarding experience. Ms. Miles took me under her wings and opened her school, so that I could learn the craft of leading a school. I thank her greatly. She is a phenomenal instructional leader. The staff, students and parents have given me opportunities to grow in my practice as a leader in a variety of ways. I appreciate you letting me be a part of your conferences, meetings, classrooms and school culture. I will miss this enduring community that focuses on students and their educational journey through elementary school. Shepherd Elementary you are bright beacon shining the way for future generations.   


Zara Berry-Young

Resident Principal

Mary Jane Patterson Cohort 2

District of Columbia Public Schools


News and Announcements
Holiday "Winter" Concert:
December 17, 2014


 Students pre-school through 5th grade




Start your holidays with a special song and dance musical tribute starring our very own Shepherd Elementary School Students.  



Wednesday, December 17 at 6:00 pm



Shepherd Elementary School



Season's Greetings!

Our December Days are filled with art projects which will be used to decorate the auditorium for the Winter Concert.  Students of all ages are busy creating snowflake chains and peace signs to brighten the holiday performance!  We are also practicing with Mr. Velez for a special song at the Concert.


On the last day of school before the winter break (Friday, December 19th) we will be open until 6:30 pm and have plans to watch a movie and eat pizza! 


Please Note:  December is the end of the year and all tuition must be paid in full by the end of this month - there will be no exceptions.

Enjoy the Break and we will see you in the New Year!!!!



Mustang Bucks!
Rewarding IB Attitudes

Mustang Bucks are back!  Here is an overview of how the program works.


Who earns Mustang Bucks?

Students who are displaying IB attitudes in the school setting.  IB attitudes include:
Confidence, Independence, Appreciation, Honesty, Curiosity, Enthusiasm, Tolerance, Respect, Empathy, Creativity, Cooperation, Commitment

What are Mustang Bucks?

School money that can be spent at a special monthly Mustang event.  


When do students receive Mustang Bucks? 

Teachers and Administrators give students Mustang Bucks when they exhibit an IB attitude or are being safe, responsible, or respectful.  

Students may also receive Mustang Bucks when they are following teacher directives, being responsible, courteous, and polite toward their peers and staff.

How are Mustang Bucks awarded?
Teachers and Administrators are intentional with their language when they give a student a mustang buck, ensuring that they specifically state the IB attitude that the student demonstrated.


For example:

Sheila, you are receiving this Mustang Buck because you were demonstrating confidence when you volunteered to present your project to the class.


Why Mustang Bucks? 

Teachers and Administrators pass out Mustang Bucks when students are spontaneously displaying IB attitudes to promote and encourage a positive school culture and a more caring environment at Shepherd. 


shepherd elementary | (202) 734-8201 | carabiddle@me.com | http://www.shepherd-elementary.org/
7800 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20012