Hello Miner Families,
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope that everyone is doing well and getting some quality family time. I wanted to write a quick update for everyone - and will plan to continue communicating at least weekly, if not more.
Spring Break - Teachers and students officially begin Spring Break today through next Monday (March 23rd). During this time, teachers are also off and not expected to be working. During this time, if you have anything school related that you need, please feel free to email AP Townsend (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Principal Jackson (email@example.com). At least one of us will be working each day during Spring Break to assist with anything that you need.
Work Packets - Members of the Miner staff worked to prepare packets that were sent home for every student who was at school on last Friday. In addition, DCPS's Office of Teaching and Learning has prepared Distance Learning Packets for students beginning on March 25th. These packets will be available online but can also be picked up in person at Miner on the following dates/times:
Following the listed pick up dates, DCPS will CLOSE schools, at which point all employees (including administrators) will be teleworking.
Teacher's Office Hours - Beginning on Tuesday, March 24th, all teachers and staff will have office hours while they telework so that students and families can reach out for assistance with their Distance Learning Packets. Some teachers will even attempt to deliver new content via blended learning platforms. Teachers will reach out via class dojo, email, or text message to inform you of their hours. I will also post them on Class Dojo for all K-5 teachers.
If you need additional assistance or are unable to reach your child's teacher during Distance Learning, please feel free to reach out to AP Townsend (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Principal Jackson (email@example.com) and we will be happy to assist.
I hope everyone enjoys Spring Break!
Visit to the Future
Miner fifth-graders took a step into the future on Feb. 11 when they visited Eliot-Hine Middle School for Buddy Day. This was no typical open house. The fifth-graders got to team up with upperclassmen on an International Baccalaureate engineering project, visit the art studio and the design-and-modeling classrooms, speak to a student panel, and meet Principal Marlene Magrino.
Fifth-graders from Miner Elementary pose with students at Eliot-Hine Middle School during Buddy Day in February. Miner is a feeder school for Eliot-Hine.
Miner Elementary and Eliot-Hine Middle School students collaborate on an IB engineering project during Buddy Day at the middle school on Feb. 11.
The PTO’s annual Yard Sale will be March 21, featuring great deals on games, toys, books, clothing, household items, and more. Volunteers will collect hazardous household waste like paints and oils and recycle used electronics and batteries. Also on that day, Miner will welcome D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen for a ribbon cutting of the new playground and sports fields, which will be open to the public for a springtime play date.
A Real Growth Period
Miner has formed a Green Team to lead its garden-related programming and to manage the school’s two recently renovated gardens: a large vegetable plot known as the Peace Garden and a smaller ECE pollinator patch known as the Discovery Garden.
The Peace Garden will be replanted this spring after a long closure during Miner’s new playground construction. The Green Team will host community work days in March and April as well as a garden play date to celebrate the Peace Garden’s official reopening. It will feature tables, benches, an irrigation system, and composters acquired through a $35,000 grant from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, which has established and strengthened MIner’s garden programming over the past two years.
Additionally, Miner is partnering with FoodCorps to have a full-time servicemember visit K–5 classrooms weekly to provide garden-related instruction and hands-on experiences. Miner also has a popular Garden Club open to K–2 students.
Yes to the Dress—and the Suit
Miner is collecting formalwear and dressy clothes, including shoes and accessories, for children pre-K to fifth grade, leading up to its Spring Dance on April 3. Donations may be brought to the school office.
Tomorrow, I Love Ya
Students have been rehearsing vigorously for the school’s spring musical, Annie Jr., with performances on May 28 and 29. Khloe Thomas will star as Annie, Kemontae Chaplin as Mr. Warbucks, and Nijayah Ross as Ms. Hannigan. Music teacher Stephen Chubb is directing.
A Heartwarming Valentine’s
Parents and students showed their love for teachers by presenting them with roses on Valentine’s Day and distributing snacks and sweets during the month. And Capital Candy Jar supported the school by donating proceeds from a day of sweets sales to the PTO.
Miner students and parents enjoy some sweets in front of the Capital Candy Jar at 15th and Constitution NE on the day the store donated a portion of sales to the school’s PTO.
The Miner Elementary School community has gotten back into a routine after its festive and heartwarming holiday celebrations. Many of the Christmas trees and wreaths enjoyed around Capitol Hill were sold by the school’s fourth annual Greenery and Bake Sale, this year in partnership with Amidon-Bowen Elementary and Eliot-Hine Middle School.
Students made every day count in December as each grade competed with each other in Attendance Wars. By the time school adjourned for winter break, the fifth-grade class had achieved the best on-time arrival rate and daily attendance numbers.
Also in December, students were treated to a gift delivery from D.C. United soccer player (and cancer survivor) Chris Odoi-Atsem as well as the team’s mascot, Talon the Eagle, and the Screaming Eagles supporter group. The group, in partnership with the D.C. Scores youth soccer league, donated more than 100 wrapped presents to Miner students. (Check out the video.)
Miner’s young athletes now are competing in basketball—including a new girls’ team this year. So far the Mighty Bears have faced off against H.D.Cooke, Van Ness, Ludlow Taylor, and West Elementary.
The school’s family-support team offered two workshops for parents in January: one focused on “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” and another session about Restorative Justice, a technique that seeks to repair the harm of crime by bringing the victim and offender together.
The PTO’s annual Yard Sale will be March 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school. Clothing, toys, games, books, household items, and much more will be sold for bargains of $1 to $5. The PTO will also collect hazardous waste and e-waste the morning of the sale.
Proud award recipients at Miner Elementary's Honor Roll & Student Achievement Assembly.
Miner's new girls basketball team after a victory in their first game, against H.D. Cooke Elementary. Coach Gina Stoyle is leading the school’s girls squad.
The Miner PTO wants to thank everyone who was involved in our 4th Annual Holiday Greenery and Baked Goods Sale on Dec 6th and 7th. We had a lot of success (and fun!) on Friday night and during the day on Saturday as we mingled with members of the community who came to Miner to support not just our sale, but the poinsettia sale hosted by Eliot-Hine Middle School and the holiday card sale held by Amidon Bowen Elementary. Working with our friends at neighborhood schools added to both the community spirit and the monetary success of the sale - our greenery and baked goods raised over $6,000 for the Miner PTO! All proceeds will benefit the school directly, in the form of technology, classroom grants, field trips, family engagement events, and more. On top of our fundraising success, we were able to donate 13 Christmas trees to families who otherwise might not have one. The funds for those donations came from the generosity of many of our Miner families and the supporters of our sale.
We are so grateful to everyone who helped with the fundraiser, whether as a baker, a volunteer, or a shopper. There were many people involved, but we want to specifically thank our event co-chairs, Maggie Ben-Or and Abby McGill, our treasurer Jamie Milhous, and our Communications Chair Jen Barrie. Thanks to their leadership, we had one of our most successful events to date!
Miner Elementary School has partnered with Kindred since the 2018-2019 school year to help build relationships across racial lines, and to help improve racial equity and inclusion at our school.
Kindred currently sponsors two parent dialogue groups, and helped Miner to establish an Equity Team to identify, assess, advise, and act on equity and inclusion issues at the school.
Thank you so much for your support!! All because of you, Miner Elementary will provide Thanksgiving support to about 20 families!!
Lastly, if you happen to walk by Ms. Jones or Ms. Loving room, tell them congratulations!!! They are the winners of the non-perishable food challenge by collecting almost 70 items!
Parents, thank you again!
Monica Woodson, MSW
Community School Coordinator
Located at Miner Elementary:
601 15th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
The Miner community has been directing its minds and hearts toward the winter holidays, beginning with its very successful Thanksgiving Food Drive. Students collected several boxes full of nonperishable Thanksgiving foods for the school’s needy families, and the PTO gathered donations to buy Thanksgiving turkeys.
Miner’s Holiday Greenery and Bake Sale is Dec. 6 and 7. Proceeds from the trees, poinsettias, wreaths, and garlands will benefit the PTO. The Friday sale runs 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday hours are 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Greens can also be pre-ordered on the school’s website.
Miner’s family-support team has been offering a host of services to parents and students, including a recent Positive Discipline Workshop, a party to create “calm down” boxes, first aid/CPR training, and a job-readiness session. The school is also participating in Roots of Empathy to teach students emotional literacy and is offering after-school homework assistance for 2nd–5th-graders through YOUR (Youth Organizations United to Rise) Community Center.
While students were off during the Nov. 4 Records Day, parent volunteers stepped in to keep teachers company in the quiet building. They cleaned and organized classrooms and restocked supply cupboards so teachers could get caught up with grading and their backlogs of other tasks.
Busloads of the school’s youngest students journeyed to Sharp’s at Waterford Farm in Howard County, Md., on Nov. 7 for the fall field trip. Preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first-graders got to go on a hayride, pet and feed farm animals, and pick pumpkins to take home.
Miner pre-K students ride a hayrack out to a pumpkin patch during their Nov. 7 field trip to Sharp's at Waterford Farm.
Students from Miner's pre-K class show off their pumpkins during their Nov. 7 field trip to Sharp's at Waterford Farm.
In other news, Miner’s brand new playground is nearly complete. Gleeful students have been playing on the state-of-the-art equipment for the past month while workers complete the sports field, outdoor classroom, and garden features, to be unveiled in mid-December
The walls of Miner Elementary can’t contain all the fun the students and families want to have. Autumn has seen the Mighty Bears out and about in D.C. for a raft of activities. On Sept. 27, the school’s agriculture partner Cultivate the City hosted a garden party at H Street Farms, on the roof of W.S. Jenks Hardware. Everyone got to munch on garden snacks, kids created some special environmental artwork, and families got a seedling to take home.
At least 54 Miner students, parents, and staff gathered with other Capitol Hill schools Oct. 2 at Lincoln Park for the international Walk to School Day. Their morning march from the park to the campus included Council Member Charles Allen and DDOT Director Jeff Marootian and was aimed at promoting healthy walking and safe walkable neighborhoods.
The Mighty Bears have been hustling on the soccer fields around Washington. The school has two teams that compete in the DC Scores league, with afterschool games every week.
Miner officially launched its Equity Team, an outgrowth of dialogue groups facilitated last spring by the Kindred program, which seeks to address the invisible gap between parents that affects their children in school. Miner’s Equity Team -- made up of diverse parents and staff and led by LaShawn Oliver and David Treat -- will work to ensure that everyone at Miner is represented and every voice is heard.
Miner also created an adult literacy initiative called iRead in October. The group, run by school staff and volunteers, will offer classes to parents looking for help in improving their reading and writing skills, computer skills, producing résumés, and homework assistance.
The school ended the month gearing up for its Oktoberfest party on the 31st and preparing preschoolers for their Book-o-Ween party and parade, featuring book-character-themed costumes.
The Miner Elementary community celebrated the return to school with a flurry of events. On Aug. 24, before students even strapped on their backpacks for the first day, many of them and their parents flocked to the campus for the Welcome Back Community Day, which featured a petting zoo, uniform giveaway, yoga, music, games, and treats like cotton candy and popcorn. Parents of preschool students spent the morning working to beautify the garden beside the Early Childhood Education playground while the little ones enjoyed a play date with their new friends.
The first week of school was marked by a uniform drive and appreciation snacks for teachers provided by the PTO. The school celebrated students’ elders on Sept. 6 with a fun and delicious Grandparents’ Day breakfast. For the official Back to School Night on Sept. 11, Principal Bruce Jackson gave parents an overview of life at Miner and the chance to meet teachers and see the classrooms. The PTO offered even more gratitude toward instructors with a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast on Sept. 20.
Among the biggest and most exciting changes at Miner this year is the construction of a new playground on the northeast side of the campus. When complete in mid-October, it will feature five colorful and innovatively designed structures for climbing, balancing, swinging, sliding, and spinning. In addition to a new soccer/baseball field—to be finished later in the fall—the grounds will include an outdoor classroom accented with raised garden beds.
Miner is looking more full than it has in a long time, as the school has already surpassed its projected enrollment of 372 pupils.
Students and parents are looking forward to Walk to School Day on Oct. 2, when they will gather at Lincoln Park at 7:30 a.m. to make a show of their car-less jaunt to the campus.
In the coming days, the PTO will be rolling out its Bear Paw Fall Fundraiser to local businesses. The fundraising priorities this year include increased technology, field trips, garden programming, staff appreciation, family engagement, community events, and more.
Miner Elementary students try out yoga stretches outside the school during its event-filled Welcome Back Community Day in August.
Miner Elementary students make imaginative paintings with their grandmother at the Grandparents’ Day Breakfast in September.
As a result of the racial equity and inclusion work that Kindred facilitated at Miner last spring, the Miner community established a formal Equity Team of parents, teachers/staff, and neighbors to continue these important efforts. The overarching goal of the Equity Team to share ideas and implement actions that will lead to a more equitable and inclusive environment at Miner, one where everyone’s voice can be heard.
The Equity Team will be holding a kickoff meeting on Thursday, October 3 with two identical sessions: one at 9:00 AM after drop off, and another at 3:45 PM after pick up. Both sessions will be held in the Large Group Instruction Room, on the second floor just above the library. Refreshments will be provided, and the afternoon session will have free child care.
This initial meeting will be to establish the “who/what/when/where/why” of the team, and then to share ideas and suggestions for actions to improve equity and inclusiveness at Miner for the benefit of all students and families. The Equity Team has created a short survey to collect initial feedback from those who may not be able to attend in person. A paper form and an online form are both available on the Equity Team’s website: www.minerelementary.org/equity-team.
For more information about Kindred, visit their website at kindredcommunities.org. On September 20, 2019, the Washington Post published an article about the work Kindred has been doing in DC schools, including at Miner: https://wapo.st/2IhMuVn?tid=ss_mail.
More information about the Equity Team, visit their page on Miner’s website: www.minerelementary.org/equity-team.
To be added to the Equity Team email list or for general inquiries, email MinerEquityTeam@gmail.com.