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.
The Miner PTO wants to thank everyone who donated or helped out with the Staff Appreciation Breakfast last Friday. We saw a lot of smiling faces come through! Thank you for helping our staff know just how much we appreciate everything they do for our students.
For anyone interested, instead of a traditional meeting, the Appreciation and Recognition Committee will be hosting a playdate this upcoming Sunday, September 29, at Rosedale Rec Center Playground from 2:30-4pm. The playdate is our effort to build off the success of the Staff Appreciation Breakfast and to get other ideas and feedback for the year. Bring your kids and your thoughts or questions about Miner staff appreciation. Feel free to contact Committee Chairs Justin and Jessica Burniske via text (512-574-9109) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions!
The Miner PTO wishes to thank everyone who donated snacks, drinks, and bathroom supplies for the teachers and staff this week! We also wish to thank Hannah Williams and Chad Lorenz, who helped distribute the donated items! The teachers and staff seemed to really enjoy the treats throughout the day, and the soaps and lotions were a welcome addition to the faculty restrooms throughout the school.
Since this event was such a success, the PTO Appreciation and Recognition Committee would like to continue offering drinks and snacks to teachers and staff on a regular basis throughout the year, around the first of each month. We will send reminders ahead of time, but if you would like to donate any snacks or drinks, or volunteer your time in helping to unpack and distribute the items, you can also contact Hannah Williams (email@example.com).
Thank you again to our Miner community for your help and support!
The Miner Elementary School community would like to give a huge thank you to Century 21 New Millenium, a local realtor on Capitol Hill, for partnering with our school to provide our students and classrooms with an incredibly generous donation of school supplies!
A special thank you goes to Nicole Scott, the Capitol Hill Branch Operations Manger for Century 21 NM, for organizing and coordinating with Miner. Thanks to her efforts, our Mighty Miner Bears will be well prepared with vital school supplies for the start of the school year.
Miner is very fortunate to have friends, neighbors, and partners like Century 21 NM. We are grateful for their support of our students, our school, and our community.
The Miner PTO wishes to express its gratitude to People. Animals. Love. for the three years of after school services provided to Miner’s students, families, and community. PAL has been vital part of our school family since the 2016-2017 school year and we are disheartened to see PAL depart.
PAL brought to Miner a much more structured and rigorous program and curriculum than what existed here before, but one that was also fun, engaging, and focused on the animal world! It has been wonderful to see the joy on students’ faces during the various assemblies with special animal guests - even the scaly ones! And students have loved the opportunity to observe and care for their classroom pets in the “PAL Room.”
Over the years there have been a few bumps, but PAL has worked sincerely with parents and administrators to resolve any issues. But by far the feedback has been positive from students and parents alike, and PAL has really made a difference in so many lives.
The PTO would like to thank past PAL managers Ms. Knudsen and Mr. Greer, and current Miner site director Ms. Branch for their dedication, service, and leadership. The heart of PAL is the teachers, who have been wonderful and loved by our students. We’re especially grateful for Mr. Okesie, a PAL teacher so well loved by older students that he has served as a long-term classroom substitute teacher this year in the 5th grade!
We wish PAL good fortune in their core mission of sharing the love of animals with those in special need, and thank them again for their time with us here as part of the Miner family!
- Miner Parent Teacher Organization
June 11 was Field Day at Miner and our Mighty Bears got to display their athletic skills on a day with nearly perfect weather.
On the main field, blacktop, and gymnasium, our K-5 Bears had fun competing in a number of different outdoor activities, including races, tug-o-war, long jumping, hula-hooping and javelin (pool noodle) toss. But the true highlight was when students got their turn at the dunk tank to try and douse some very brave Miner staff.
Miner's youngest Bears also had Field Day activities. The ECE team and parent volunteers set up a number of fun activities on the ECE playground, and they got to experience the magic of a special guest with some tricks up his sleeve! They even had the chance to dunk Mr. Dovey in the dunk tank!
We wish to express our appreciation to Mr. Robinson, our incredible PE teacher, and his team of volunteers, for planning an awesome Field Day! He organized the whole day for all the kids (and managed to choose the sunniest day of the week). And to top it off, he even took a few turns in the dunk tank! Special thanks also go out to all the teacher, staff, and parent volunteers who were able to support our students. Without you all, the day wouldn’t have been nearly as fun for the kids!
Thank you to everyone who participated in Field Day!
On Thursday, May 30, the Large Group Instruction Room was transformed into a gorgeous art gallery for the first ever Miner Art Show. Some of our incredibly talented Miner Bears exhibited various works of art, and all were excited to show off their amazing projects. The walls and tables were adorned with paintings and sculptures that left parents and staff in awe of the talent of our students.
Huge thanks go to our amazing art teacher Ms. Rosettie for planning the event, and her team of volunteers for setting up the art gallery. This was a new event hosted by the school, but the excitement shared by parents and students alike made it a sure favorite! We are already looking forward to next year's Miner Art Show!
Thank you to all who attended and were able to enjoy the artwork of our Mighty Miner Bears!
Results from the election for SY19-20 PTO Executive Board were announced last night at the final PTO General Meeting of the year. Those elected to the Board are:
Their terms began at the conclusion of the meeting.
Principal Jackson is also a member of the PTO Executive Board.