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Murch Movie Night:  Friday, Sept. 19 forward to seeing Mustang families tonight, Friday, September 19 at 7:00 pm for a screening of “The Lego Movie” on the big screen at the soccer field! Don't forget to bring a blanket and a drink, and we’ll keep the popcorn popping


This Week at Murch

Tuesday 9/23
Presentation on the Role of Diversity in Academic and Social Growth 6:00 pm

Wednesday 9/24
8:00 – Student Council Interest Meeting 8:00 am
Future Events

School Picture Day
September 30

Professional Development Day (no school for students)
October 10

Columbus Day (no school)
October 13

HSA Meeting
October 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Coffee on the Playground
October 17 @ 8:45 am

Flu Clinic
October 17 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Murch 5K Fun Run
October 19 @ 7:45 am

Did You Know?

Ben W. Murch, the school's namesake, was a prominent local educator and served as supervising principal of the public schools in Northwest DC from 1916 until his death in 1927.

In the Spotlight

Tashima Hawkins

Tashima Hawkins, Science Specialist
Length of Time at Murch
Returning to Murch (previously taught Kindergarten)
What College/University did you attend? 
George Mason University
Where were you born? 
Washington, DC
Where is the farthest you have been from home? 
Lyon, France
Do you have any pets? 
Yes, 3 dogs & 1 cat
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?  
A Muggin (Miniature Pinscher/Pug), because they are loyal, friendly and loving
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? 
Road trips on the Harley!
What sports teams do you root for? 
Redskins, Wizards and Nats
What superhero power do you wish you had? 
The power to heal
What’s the 1 piece of advice about life you’d give students? 
Don’t worry, be happy!
If you weren’t teaching/working in a school setting, what would your job be?
A pediatric/geriatric nurse


As part of several new school-based initiatives rolled out by Principal C, two staff members are featured each week in our main foyer.  Each spotlight includes a photo, along with kid-friendly facts.  The overarching goal is for our school community to get to know our teachers and staff better. We invite you to stop by and learn more about our teachers and staff!

Straight from Mr. C.

Schoolwide Morning Meeting and Enrichment Clusters

This morning, we held our first schoolwide morning meeting.  It was so enjoyable to be part of this community-building experience.  The students did so well, and I am always so impressed with how they are such a huge part of making Murch a great place to be.  Our second meeting will be held next Friday morning.

Morning meetings are an important component of Responsive Classroom, which we implement schoolwide at Murch.  Responsive Classroom is an educational approach that brings together academic and social learning.  If you would like to learn more about Responsive Classroom, you can find very useful information on the website under the ACADEMIC tab.

Next week, we are excited to begin our first round of enrichment clusters with small groups of 2nd & 3rd graders and small groups of 4th & 5th graders.  As outlined recently on our website, the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) screens students to determine their “interest profile.”  All students in grades 2 through 5 have completed their online interest profile.  Using the results of the interest profiles, Mrs. Presnick will be pulling small groups to work on student-chosen projects based in their interest.

We are also very fortunate to have our Science Specialist, Mrs. Hawkins, to facilitate the 2nd and 3rd grade Science Clusters.  Each round of clusters will last for six weeks:  September 22nd to October 30th; November 12th to December 19th; January 12th to February 20th; March 3rd to April 10th; and April 27th to June 5th.  Every student in grades 2 through 5 will have the opportunity to participate in an Enrichment Cluster during the year.  If your child has been selected for the first round, they will have a letter from Mrs. Presnick in their Friday Folder.  Please see Mrs. Presnick’s Enrichment Website for more information and mark your calendar to attend an upcoming Parent Information Session/Enrichment Night on October 14th.  More details to come.

This coming Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:00 PM, the Murch community is invited to consider the impact of increasingly diverse classrooms on children’s’ development.  The presentation, entitled, “The Role of Diversity in Academic and Social Growth” will be presented by Randolph Carter and Lois Berlin, consultants with the DCPS Inclusive Schools Project.  They will lead attendees through a discussion and work session on the goals of the project and the many ways that schools can build inclusive communities.

A major goal of the evening is to consider the mechanics of community building across difference, including the ways that parents can facilitate greater understanding for their children and their communities.  Diversity in DCPS and a majority of school systems around the nation is not limited to race and ethnicity.  Diversity includes English Language Learners (ELL), gifted and talented children, and students with learning issues, socio-economic differences, and children whose parents are of the same gender.

Realizing that change requires both reflection and action, the facilitators welcome all parents to attend and to help develop Murch as a model multicultural school community.  Babysitting will be provided by the Murch HSA.  Please join us!

News & Highlights

Safety Patrol Starts Next Week trusted safety patrols will be back on the beat starting the week of September 22!   This means parents will be able to drop off their kids, with assistance from our patrols, in the designated zones on Davenport and Ellicott Streets.  To facilitate the smooth functioning of this important service to Murch families, please observe the following rules when you drop off:

  • Do not get out of or leave your car for any reason, not even for “just a minute” (if something is needed from the trunk, we will assist your child).
  • If your child is melting down when you pull up, someone on the patrol staff will help to the extent possible; however, if we are unable to calm your child sufficiently to get him or her out of the car, you will need to park elsewhere and walk him/her in.
  • Students should have their stuff gathered together and be ready to jump out when the patrol opens the car door.
  • Students may only exit the car on the sidewalk side!
  • Pull up as far as possible in the drop-off zone, leaving room for cars to drop off behind you.

Thank you in advance for respecting these rules!

Advertise in the Murch Directory

Do you run your own business or know someone who does? This is your chance to advertise in the Murch Directory, which goes out to every family with a student at the school. Since a percentage of the ad purchase supports Murch, you can help your business grow and help Murch raise funds at the same time. Simply fill out the Murch Elementary order form and return it to A to Z Directories, or contact Wendi Kaplan at A to Z (410-812-7678). The deadline is Wednesday, September 30.

Class Updates & Reminders

Student Council Interest Meeting
September 24 students in 3rd-5th grade who are interested in serving on the student council are invited to attend a Student Council Interest Meeting.  The meeting will be held at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, September 24th in Ben 10 (Ms. Walton’s 4th grade classroom).

Official positions include:

President (5th grader)
Vice President (4th or 5th grader)
Secretary (4th or 5th grader)
Treasurer (4th or 5th grader)
Class Representatives (3rd, 4th & 5th graders)

For more information, click on the Student Council Interest Flyer or contact Ms. Walton at

Mustang Math (Word Problems for September)
As a math focus school, we are excited to roll out Mustang Math for grades 3-5! As alluded to on Principal C’s blog last week, new math word problems/stories will be posted on the math bulletin board (which is just inside the main entrance, across from the breakfast table) every few weeks. So that you can support your child’s learning at home, click Mustang Math Guidelines and Mustang Math Word Problems for September (see page 2 for the 3rd grade word problem). If you have questions or would like more information about Mustang Math, please contact Donnah Robinson or LaTaura Pendleton, our math specialists.

Class Websites Up and Running
Keep track of your child's progress through his or her class website.  All class websites are linked to the Faculty and Staff page on the website.

Copyright © 2014 Murch HSA, All rights reserved.

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