November Updates

Please go here to read updates en Español.

Recent PTA activities
Our main Hyattsville Elementary PTA fundraiser – the Hyattsville Zombie Run – was a HUGE success! We had 690 participants this year, which was nearly 200 more than previous years. This would not have been possible without 50 sponsors and over 100 volunteers. Sixteen schools also participated in the individual school fundraising efforts. Thanks to all of this hard work, HES PTA has raised over $20,000 that we can utilize to support your neighborhood school and hardworking staff. Many thanks to everyone, especially the race organizers and HES parents Kevin and Christine Blackerby.

During the first quarter, the PTA has also supported the school in MANY ways! We have been providing supplies to many teachers and the school nurse, purchased new carpets for classrooms and fun furniture for the special education resources room, purchased all of the art supplies for the year, purchased outdoor recess equipment, sold many of our new HES t-shirts and car magnets to help spread Lion Pride in our community, advocated for school needs at PGCPS, and provided food and supplies for the HES Hispanic Heritage Night and ESOL orientation. We are looking forward to a great second quarter!

Upcoming Events – mark your calendars!!!

  • Fall Picture Day (wear uniform): November 8
  • Blacktop painting and update: Nov 8 and 9. (See below for more details and volunteer needs)
  • **PTA Meeting: November 8, 8:00–9:00 am, HES cafeteria**
  • Parent Teacher Conferences: November 11th. Supervision for children in the gym from 8-2, sponsored by PTA.
  • PTA Game Night: November 15, 6:00–8:00 pm, HES cafeteria (see below for volunteer needs)
  • PTA Meeting: December 3, 6:30–7:30 pm, HES media center
  • Franklin’s Fundraiser: November 16, all day
  • Check here for up to date PTA News and Events

Upcoming Volunteer Needs
Friday November 8, 2 – 4pm: Prep the blacktop surface for painting on Saturday. Bring a cordless leaf blower, push brooms, and dustpans if you have them.
Saturday November 9 11am- 4pm: Help paint designs on the blacktop that have already been laid out. No kids please. Stop by for an hour or more – anything would be helpful! Email if interested, or just show up.
Friday November 15: PTA Game night! Sign up to volunteer:
Help the HES Library: Volunteers are always needed to help with shelving, check out etc. Contact Ms. Woodley at
Volunteer in the school: Lots of opportunities and needs! High priority need is to help from 10:30 to 11:30 am (1st grade lunch and recess time) and from 12:30 to 1:30 pm (Kindergarten lunch and recess time). Contact Mr. Durkin at
Ongoing PTA volunteer needs are posted here:

Reminder of Great Resources!
Want to help with classroom needs? Visit the ‘Teacher Wish Lists’!!!!
School related concerns? Visit the PTA Advocacy and Outreach page for additional guidance.
Early Holiday shopping? Please remember to support HES PTA through the Amazon Smile program by using this Amazon Smile link:
Missed our last PTA meeting? Notes are found here:

PTA Committee Updates

Beautification Committee
After successfully finishing the front office and painting the temps, we are focusing on the blacktop/recess area. Parent Kat Schooley is leading a very exciting project with her architecture firm to re-imagine the paved play area with painted games, murals, and learning activities. To take advantage of the plentiful paved area, volunteers will be able to create an imaginative playscape that encourages movement, helps to designate various activity areas, and offers learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Volunteers are needed on Friday November 8th and Saturday November 9th (see above). Please help if you can! Coming up – we will also be working on cleaning up the water retention garden on the blacktop.

Social Events Committee
We are busy planning the 2nd annual PTA Game Night on November 15th. Volunteers are needed on November 15th to help out during this fun event! We are also starting to plan Spring events.

Communication and Outreach Committee
We are looking for someone to manage the PTA’s Instagram account, maintain the front PTA board, and help with Spanish translation needs . If you’re interested, please reach out to PTA secretary Jen Hanna–

Advocacy Committee
A priority for public education is to ensure that the Maryland Assembly to pass the ‘Kirwan Recommendations’. Follow Strong School Maryland ( for more information and to find out how you can help.

Teacher Appreciation Committee
Last month we recognized the Kindergarten team for all of their hard work so far this school year.

Stay engaged and support your PTA!
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Membership is only $5 per person, each year. Make sure you renew each year! Sign up at PTA meetings or online here (
Sign up for updates on our website:
Questions or suggestions? Contact the HES PTA at

Volunteers Needed Friday and Saturday – Nov. 8th and 9th

HES parent Kat Schooley is leading a very exciting project with her architecture firm to re-imagine the paved play area with painted games, murals, and learning activities. Volunteers are needed to come AFTER SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY from 2-4 to help prepare the blacktop surface. Please bring a push broom, dust pan or cordless leaf blower if you have one.

Volunteers are also needed this SATURDAY, November 9th, from 11am-4pm to help Grimm and Parker Architects with painting designs on the blacktop that have already been laid out. No kids please. Stop by for an hour or more – anything would be helpful! Email if interested, or just show up. Volunteers may also be needed an hour prior to the start of painting for additional sweeping and clearing of debris.

PTA Meeting – Friday November 8th, 8 am

Please join us at our next PTA meeting on Friday November 8th from 8:00 until 9:00 am. This will include time to meet in committee groups, summary of Zombie Run, and updates on the PTA-led blacktop project. More details coming soon.

The Zombies are Coming! October 5th

Mark your calendar for October 5, 2019, for the fourth Hyattsville Zombie Run 5K. The Halloween themed 5K race is USATF certified and timed, and the 1 Mile Kids’ Challenge and 1K Family Fun Run are opportunities for everyone to participate. Dress up as a zombie or any Halloween costume to add to the fun! All races will start and finish at Magruder Park.

This event is hosted by the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA and proceeds will support HES, including the purchase of art supplies, musical instruments, coats for students, field trips, teacher professional development, and more. This is the PTA’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

How can you be a part of this fun event?
Run in the race!
Volunteer to help!
Make a donation!
Sponsor a kid!

Become an individual fundraiser and help HES even more!

When your child registers to run in the Hyattsville Zombie Run, you can also set up a fundraising page that allows your friends and family to sponsor your child. Every dollar raised through this fundraising page goes directly to the HES PTA.

For every $10 your child raises by noon on October 4th, your child’s name will be entered into a raffle to be held on race day.

1st prize is a bike from Arrow Bicycle, valued up to $500! (prize is non-transferable)
Several other prizes will be awarded as well!

Special thanks to Arrow Bicycle for their generous support of this project to help all local Hyattsville schools.

How to do it:
—Sign up for the Zombie Run now here.
—When you register, it will ask if you would like to become a “Fundraiser”. Click on the Fundraiser banner.
—Follow the directions to complete the online form, making sure that you select Hyattsville Elementary School from the dropdown box under “Fundraiser Type.”
—Please include a personal message about why this is important to you and that the money raised will go to your school’s PTA. Upload a picture if you can!
—After you complete registration, you will receive an email with your unique website. Share this link with everyone you know and start training for race day!


Some roads will be closed and parking will be restricted along the race route on the morning of the race, from 6:00 to 11:00 am. To see which streets are affected, visit here.

The race day schedule is:

8:45   1K Family Fun Run
9:05   1 Mile Kids’ Challenge Run
9:30   5K Zombie Run

Questions about the Hyattsville Zombie Run? Visit our website or email Race Director Kevin Blackerby at .

Upcoming Back to School Events

Take note of the following events coming soon!

  • Saturday Aug 17th, Kindergarten meet and greet at 10am, Robert J. King Memorial park (on Gallatin Street)
  • Thursday Aug 29th, 11:30am Kindergarten/Pre-K Orientation at Hyattsville Elementary School
  • Tuesday Sept 3rd, 7:45 am. First day of school coffee and PTA meeting
  • Thursday Sept 12th, Back to school night
  • Tuesday Sept 24th, 6:30 pm PTA Meeting
  • Saturday October 5th, Hyattsville Zombie Run

Time to Send Some Letters!

Dear Community,

Both Hyattsville Middle and Hyattsville Elementary have been identified in the latest amendment to the PGCPS Educational Facilities Master Plan for replacement in cycle 1. Hyattsville Middle will be part of a package of schools to be built using the new alternative construction financing model, with a request for proposals advertised this summer. Unfortunately, Hyattsville Elementary will be replaced later in cycle 1, with planning slated for 2023.

Nevertheless, this is a HUGE win for our school communities. Now we just need the Board of Education to approve the plan. The vote will take place at the June 6th board meeting, and we need them to hear from you on the importance of #followingtheplan!

Please customize and send the letter below to the ENTIRE board and Dr. Monica Goldson, interim CEO.

Dr. Alvin Thornton, Chair,
Edward Burroughs, Vice Chair,
David Murray, District 1,
Joshua Thomas, District 2,
Pamela Boozer-Strother, District 3,
Patricia Eubanks, District 4,
Raaheela Ahmed, District 5,
Belinda Queen, District 6,
K. Alexander Wallace, District 7,
Sonya Williams, District 9,
Paul Monteiro, appointed,
Sandra Shephard, appointed,
Curtis Valentine, appointed,
Amanya Paige, student member,

Dr. Monica Goldson, interim CEO,

Thank you for your support!

Hyattsville Elementary School PTA and Hyattsville Middle School PTSO

Subject line: Keep Hyattsville Middle and Elementary in the FY20 EFMP Amendment!

Dear Board of Education Member,

I am a [insert personal information here: concerned community member, parent of a student at, etc.]. I am writing to request that Hyattsville Elementary School and Hyattsville Middle School remain in Phase 1 of the FY20 amendments to the 2017 Educational Facilities Master Plan, and that Phase 1 remain as proposed—although we do ask that planning for Hyattsville Elementary School begin sooner than 2023. These neighborhood public schools serve a diverse community and are both Title 1 with large populations of English-language learners.

The Educational Facilities Master Plan is the result of a comprehensive, objective look at the school system’s facilities and projected growth data. Those studies have objectively determined that the greatest need for modernization and new construction is in the northern part of the county.

Consider Hyattsville Elementary, built in 1935 and updated in 1979 for 406 students on two acres of land. There are now 521 students, which has required the placement of five temporaries on the already too-small playground (if you count a blacktop open area and one play structure as a ‘playground’).
Consider Hyattsville Middle, built in 1938 and expanded in 1973, with a state-rated capacity of 829 but currently housing 940 students—and that is with a partial realignment of the 6th grades from the feeder elementary schools. This incomplete realignment has led to educational inequities for students in the community as the Creative and Performing Arts program at Hyattsville Middle is only available to 7th and 8th graders and capped at 200 students.

In both buildings, the overcrowding has stressed already failing spaces. The bathrooms and public spaces are not adequate for the number of students. The necessary use of ‘temporaries’ (not so temporary as they have been in place for many years now) requires students to go in and out of the main building in all types of weather and poses a safety issue during lockdowns.

The outdoor spaces and recreational fields are limited. Deferred maintenance and system failures render classrooms unsafe with mold, mildew, burst pipes during cold weather, and serious HVAC issues that include classrooms that are stifling hot all year long or simply have no working air or heat. Nevertheless, with no extra space available, students and staff are forced to remain in those classrooms. Not only do these persistent issues detract from learning, but they also pose health threats.

Thanks to the innovative new approaches to tackling this backlog developed by the PGCPS capital programs office and our elected officials, we FINALLY have the opportunity to get the educational facilities our children deserve.

The Educational Facilities Master Plan and its FY 20 amendment are not based on politics. They are based on the data. Your decision to approve the FY 20 amendment should also be based on that data.

The Hyattsville Middle and Elementary School communities have been anxiously waiting for years to have safe, functional facilities. We look forward to finally getting them. Thank you for your service and your commitment to our children and staff.



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