Flash Fundraiser!
Quick, purchase a raffle ticket (or tickets) for a chance to win an incredible collection of More More! Sit Less swag, all wrapped up in a canvas TPES HERO tote. The proceeds will fund new mobile classrooms (carts) for our Art and STEM teachers. Please note in the Paypal menu that you're donating for carts.

It's time to order TPES and PBES supply kits for next year! 

Each kit contains everything on the school supply list, so no need to shop this summer...AND you'll be helping your PTA!  Additional items available include classroom donation items, backpacks, lunch bags, and more. Paper order forms (coming home in folders) are due June 10 and online orders are due June 17

Order online at www.shopttkits.com
Account numbers
TPES: 32299
PBES: 32289

Kit pick-up will be at Kindergarten Back to School Night (K only) on Aug 25, 7-8pm
AND Open House on Aug 26 in your classroom.
If you are interested in ordering extra kits to donate, please enter "Star Student" in the name field. The school will distribute kits to students who need them.

Nominations are open! Recommend someone for the TPES PTA 2016-2017 Board
Browse position descriptions on the Volunteer page, and use the anonymous form to nominate yourself or another parent.

BOSU Ball Campaign a Huge Success
This spring, TPES teacher extraordinaire Mrs. Croft (2nd Grade), received word that she would be the recipient of a donation of BOSU Sport Balls from the BOSU Company - http://www.bosu.com/shop/bosu/bosu-sport. This donation was a direct result of the "BOSU Power Campaign" that Mrs. Croft and her students, along with parent volunteers from the TPES Health and Wellness Committee, began in the beginning of 2016. The BOSU Company was so impressed by the campaign -- the personal letters from students, photographs and classroom video demonstrating the benefit of BOSU use, that that they sent 25 balls!

When Mrs. Crofts' students found out about their campaign's success, it was like a tidal wave of excitement! They were so proud that their letters had been read and that this company, half way across the country, believed in their stories.

In fall 2015, a TPES parent gave Mrs. Croft her first BOSU ball - it was an immediate hit, and sparked the idea of bringing more in to the classroom - enough for each student. BOSU balls not only make learning fun, but they also help in developing a child's sense of balance, core strength, coordination and sensory abilities.
Congratulations Mrs. Croft and your crew of incredible students! 

Ready to make your Readathon pledge?

You can send donations via the Dolphin Folder, or just click the Donate button below! (Please leave a memo indicating that you are pledging to a Readathon student).

How many minutes can you read in a month?  The Third annual readathon starts Wednesday, March 3rd!  During last year's Readathon, TPES students read a grand total of 173,000 minutes, let's see if we can beat that this year!


Wednesday, March 2 is our official launch, and Dr. Seuss' birthday. Students, faculty and staff are invited to dress as their favorite Dr. Seuss character.

Wednesday, March 9 students will embody their favorite fictional book character.

Wednesday, March 16, dress up like a great non-fiction character from a book you have read! 

Wednesday, March 23, come to school as the lead character from the book you will write. 

The final day to turn in your reading log is April 5th. 

On Friday, April 8, when all the minutes have been tallied, Principal Gadsden and teachers will wow students with a Grand Finale performance—details under wraps.

Helpful Readathon Documents

Ready to make your pledge? 

You can send donations via the Dolphin Folder, or just click the Donate button below! (Please leave a memo indicating that you are pledging to a Readathon student). 

Scholastic Book Fair, February 1-February 6!

Bring the whole family and shop for great books! 
100% of profit goes to buying books for TPES (guided reading books and library)

Shop at the Fair or online! (free shipping to the school, online Fair open until Saturday). Check out the online catalog at 

Store Hours:

Monday: 3:50-7:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30-9am
Wednesday: 3:50-7:30 *special guest reader at 6:30, Karen MacPherson from the Takoma Park Public Library 
Thursday: 8:30-9am; 3:50-5:30pm
Friday: 8:30-9am

TPES welcomed twelve new members of our community! Pictures.

Dolphin Drive 2015!

Our fall fundraising campaign is off to a great start, but we need your help! The Dolphin Drive allows us, as a community, to support academic and enrichment programs in our school.

We still have a ways to go before reaching our goal, and all donations are tax deductible. Click here to go right to the donation page.

Save the Date!

Thursday, December 3rd
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

(food trucks will be at school beginning at 6:00 p.m.)

This year's STEM night will be bigger and better than ever! Some of the MANY activities will include a robotics lab run by students from UDC, real wildlife in our very own classrooms, building circuits, tinkering and construction labs, and so much more!

An event this big requires YOUR help! 

30 TPES teachers have already graciously volunteered their assistance. Now, we're looking for 10-12 more parent volunteers in order to ensure that this annual evening celebrating one of our school's signature offerings is a success.

5 Reasons to Volunteer at STEM night
1. You can get up close and personal with the basics of our STEM program.
2. You can get to know some of our spectacular faculty better.
3. You have been wanting to volunteer and needed just the right opportunity (no long-term commitment and it is in the evening).
4. You want to show your kid(s) that volunteering is fun.
5. You care about our school's STEM program!

No experience or lab coat required!

Volunteers are needed:

1) Day of event: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m or 8:30 p.m 
     Setting-up, Staffing activities, and cleaning-up.

2) Pre-event prep (tinkering):
  • Make a TInkering Donation: Help us prep for tinkering fun! We are collecting  old machines, clocks, toys, etc. that can be disassembled for use in the tinkering room. 

  • Staff the tinkering room: If you fancy yourself a master tinkerer and are available the day of the event, please let us know so that we can assign you to this activity to help the kids tinker. 
To volunteer, please contact Jaime Koppel at jaimekoppel@gmail.com by Friday, November 6th. Questions and ideas welcomed!

School Directory Coming Soon--and we need your help
The PTA Directory Committee is putting together student information for the 2015-2016 School Directory. Due to budget cuts reducing staff hours and resources, this year the school cannot provide any student information as it has done in the past. More than ever we need help filling in contact information for students, reviewing and correcting information for returning students, and removing information parents do not want released. Enter or update YOUR student's information with this online form.

The directory is never published online, and is provided to parents and guardians only, free of charge. You can choose to receive a print copy or an electronic PDF version emailed directly to you. Enter or update your delivery preferences under "Directory Delivery Preference" here.

A New Year! Join the PTA for 2015-2016
You can join online here or print the membership form and return in your child's Dolphin Folder!

Math at TPES
Curious about math groupings and the TPES approach to math instruction? Read a PDF version of Principal Gadsden's power point presentation on the math curriculum, at the link above.

A new year stretches out before us, with all kinds of jobs to do, projects that make TPES the incredible school that it is. Check out the volunteer tab for ways to get involved.

Recent updates
The school supply lists are here! The school supply lists are here! Specifically, here.
2015-2016 School bus schedules added to Documents and Forms.

Move More. Sit Less. Campaign shirts
Don't just sit less there! Move on ordering a great shirt to support purchases of physical education tools for the classrooms.

2015-16 Executive Committee
President: Shana Fulcher (unofficial co-President: Diana McCown)

Treasurer: Anat Shahar

VP Membership: Ariel Woods

VP Fundraising: Loretta Ullrich-Ferguson

VP Communications: Lauren Cooper

Recording Secretary: Carol Threlkeld

Executive Secretary: Allyson Piazza

Composition books available from the PTA
Developmentally-appropriate composition books for Kindergarteners and First graders can be hard to find. The PTA placed a bulk order to assure availability and affordability. You can buy individual composition books (also included in the School Supply Kits) at cost from the PTA during the Kindergarten Back to School Night, All-Student Open House, or via the PTA's School Supplies page throughout the year. Shop Composition Books.

TPES PTA Not yet a member? You can join online here or print the membership form and return in your child's Dolphin Folder!

Record-breaking Readathon!
During last year's Readathon, TPES students read a grand total of 125,000 minutes. This year, we read 173,000 minutes! That's an improvement of 800 hours, or over an hour per kid in the whole school! Way to go kids! Way to go parents who helped with read-to-me minutes!

Sponsor pledges are due by April 2, and we'll hold the raffle drawing for free weeks of camp next week, too.

**If your child participated in the Readathon but was absent or forgot their reading log last Thursday, please send in their minutes to the PTA so we can include their name in the raffle.**

Ready to make your pledge?

You can send donations via the Dolphin Folder, or just click the Donate button below! (Please leave a memo indicating that you are pledging to a Readathon student).

Whew, the Book Fair is over, what's next?

After-school clubs are starting up, the month-long READATHON will begin March 2, and it's already time to start collecting materials for Science Inquiry Night on March 11! Please save any small clean recyclables that could be used artistically, like magazines, paper, bottle caps, yogurt cups, and small boxes, and clean spray bottles for making a homemade green cleaner.

Shop Local! Scholastic Book Fair, February 2-February 9
Support a pop-up local bookstore at Takoma Park Elementary School.
Update from the Book Fair Chair!

The online fair has been extended to Monday, February 9th - you can keep buying books this weekend! Here is our website where you can find a link to our online book fair:


Store Hours
    • The book fair will be open to the public on Monday and Tuesday evening, from 3:30 to 8pm.
    • Snuggle up at a special TPES story time Tuesday at 7pm hosted by Takoma Park children's librarian Karen MacPherson!
    • Early birds can visit and shop on Thursday and Friday morning--join your peers for Parents and Pastries between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.!
    • The TPES Book Fair is also online, and open all hours--but only through Friday, February 6! Go the TPES Scholastic Book Fair Online Store to shop.

Books for Everyone

The book fair features fiction and non-fiction, award-winners, favorite series, books in Spanish, and graphic novels. The catalog includes books for everyone, from infants to high schoolers. Most books are under $10, and many are under $5. There are also boxed sets and "megapacks" for all ages.

Why Shop the Book Fair?
All profits from the book fair are invested right back into books for Takoma Park Elementary, providing new library books and guided reading books for the classroom. It is one of the best opportunities to shop local and directly benefit your community. Stock up for the March Readathon, take care of your holiday shopping (very) early, and enjoy talking about and choosing books with your children.

Go on, Indulge Your Inner Librarian!
Kids in all classes need help making their wish lists, and the Book Fair committee needs help setting up shop, and taking it down at the end of the week, as well as store-keepers during the week. Most shifts are just two hours. Find out more, and sign up, on the Book Fair Volunteer Page. (Younger siblings are welcome at TPES before and after school, but not during school hours).

TPES School Meal Satisfaction Survey
from the PTA Wellness Committee

The Takoma Park Elementary School Health and Wellness Committee urges parents to complete this short survey on the TPES meal program. You'll be able to provide input on parent satisfaction with the meal program, and include suggestions for topics the Wellness Committee can address. Take the survey here!

We’re especially interested in hearing from parents whose children eat school meals regularly!

Did you miss the PTA Meeting?
Read the Meeting Minutes from the last meeting, and all other meetings held this year. December meeting minutes posted.

Winter Social, Thursday, December 18
Join TPES families for a warm winter meal, holiday crafts, and charitable giving:

    Make toys for dogs and cats in shelters (Please bring that sock that never found its match, or an old t-shirt you can part with!)
    Make Paper Lanterns for winter. 
                               Eat minestrone soup (with a gluten free option)

Safe Routes to School Parent Survey and Teacher Tally
from Lucy Neher

[Surveys are now closed. Thank you!] Twice a year we are required to collect data from parents on the Takoma Park Safe Routes to School program. Out of the 4,000 students served by the Safe Routes program in Takoma Park, only 20 (twenty!) parents have responded. 

School Directory Notes
The print copies are out, and the PDFs are emailed. Read more about the 2014-2015 Directory here.

2014 Dolphin Drive is Complete!

You can donate via the Dolphin Drive envelope that came home in the Dolphin Folder, or by clicking the Donate button below! (Please leave a memo indicating you are donating to the drive).

TPES School Directory Coming Soon!
This year the TPES School Directory, made possible by the TPES PTA, will be available in paper and digital formats. Please choose paper or digital here! Soon you will receive a proof of your student's information as it will appear in the directory). You will be able to correct any errors by filling out a quick online form, right here.

Politics & Prose Fundraiser for TPES
The annual TPES fundraiser at Politics and Prose bookstore is happening Sunday, October 26, from 10am to 6pm. Request a TPES voucher when you check-out, and 20% of your purchase will be donated to TPES. Volunteers are needed! If you would like to spend part of your Sunday in a snuggly bookshop, please contact coordinator Loretta Ullrich-Ferguson.

Meet the TPES Teachers and Staff!
The staff of Takoma Park Elementary put together a wonderful PDF directory of everyone at TPES including photographs! Get to know your teachers!

(Download the PDF for best quality)

Joining the PTA: Members with Benefits
Of course the biggest benefit to joining the PTA is supporting your children and their school. But, there is more! The National PTA partners with other organizations and companies to offer special member benefits and discounts. The list includes Hertz, Staples, and Sylvan Learning. Find out all the ways your membership dues can save you money, here.

After-school Club Volunteers needed! from Leslie Sluger

Hello! A big, hearty thank you to the TPES community for all the suggestions for classes and clubs this year! Your recommendations have been so positively fantastic (and numerous) that we need to move some of them to Winter/Spring! We are finalizing the list of classes and clubs and hope to start sending the selection forms home soon. 

We have a great, wide ranging selection of programs (art, science, dance, karate, languages, Lego) for which we are seeking Parent Coordinators (liaise with instructors/parents, help with enrollment forms), Kindergarten Escorts (meet Kindergarteners at their classrooms upon dismissal and walk them to their class/club), and Parent Volunteers (help with clubs). 

Click here to read description of the roles (and benefits - like priority enrollment for your child(ren) in the class/club of their choice) for Parent Coordinators. Kindergarteners can only participate in after school programs if they can be walked from their Kindergarten classroom upon dismissal to the after school program classroom. Children of Parent Volunteers (for clubs) can join the club at no cost or receive priority for other clubs/classes. Please let Leslie know if you're interested in helping! Email: hiwals@hotmail.com

Lunch Menus are Posted
Download copies, in English and Spanish, on the MCPS website, or browse them on the TPES PTA Facebook page.

Composition books available from the PTA
Developmentally-appropriate composition books for Kindergarteners and First graders can be hard to find. The PTA placed a bulk order to assure availability and affordability. You can buy individual composition books (also included in the School Supply Kits) at cost from the PTA during the Kindergarten Back to School Night, All-Student Open House, or via the PTA's School Supplies page throughout the year. Shop Composition Books.

Summer Homework Packets
Summer homework assignments are available on the school website, in English and Spanish, here.

2014-15 School Year Info
Find the supply lists for each grade and more helpful information for the 2014-2015 school year on the School Info page.

Not yet a member? You can join online here or print the membership form and return in your child's Dolphin Folder!


  • It was an awesome Parents vs. Teachers Basketball Game!
    Thursday evening, April 24, the Parents vs. Teachers basketball game was held in the Blair HS gym!
    Check out the Program: Takoma Park Elem. 3rd Annual Parents vs. Teachers Basketball Game
  • The TPES field is getting a make-over. Follow the improvements (and get a heads-up on temporary obstacles) here: TPES field pictures.
  • Volunteers needed for the TPES Art Show!  The art show will be on May 6, and art installation will be ongoing in the week leading up to the big day. Please sign up here to help out! Contact Ms. Ward for more information: Amy_E_Ward@mcpsmd.org.
  • Live Outside the Box! TPES will be participating in a screen-free week, coming soon! Keep your eyes peeled for more information, and check out this classic (updating "TV" to TV, phones, iPads, games...): The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV.

(March 2014) 

Ready, Set, Read! TPES is holding its first ever Readathon! When it's too cold to go back out in the snow, and the socks are still drying, it's a GREAT time to curl up with a book and log some marathon minutes. Reading time is counted as reading, OR being read to. Snuggle up!
See how the Readathon works, read the letter to parents, and download copies of the Readathon Calendar and Sponsor form here!

Every Friday children will bring in their Reading Calendars, and a volunteer will add up how many minutes the whole grade has read. When grades reach milestone numbers, they get rewards like extra recess and dance parties!

What to read?

If your child is in any danger of running out of books to read, consider selections from these great lists:
Reading Rockets Book Lists organized by theme
ebooks available free or cheap
    Anyone able to access this page can also read ebooks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or best yet, our local libraries!
Takoma Park Library Freading site for young readers (requires library card)
Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium young reader section (requires library card)
Amazon books for readers 6-8, sorted by cost (starting at free)
Barnes & Noble books for readers 6-8, sorted by cost (starting at .99 cents)
  • Thank you for a fantastic Scholastic Book Fair!
  • Weigh in on the issue of new Bell Times in Montgomery County. Learn more about Superintendent Joshua P. Starr's recommendations and the Bell Times Working Group, then contribute to the conversation by email.
  • Watch Principal Gadsden's presentation to parents on the reading curriculum at TPES.
  • Explore the incredible works of TPES artists! Bookmark the TPES art rooms on Artsonia and ShutterFly today (see the TPES PTA listserv for details).
  • Watch Principal Gadsden's math presentation to parents! Click here, and turn on your audio: TPES Math.
  • Check out the current TPES PTA Newsletter!
  • Room Parent sign-up! Sign up here to volunteer as a room parent with your child's teacher, or favorite specialist.
  • TPES Summer Parent Letter.  The school posted its letter to parents and other important information about the next school year on its website.
  • Quick Reference for School Contact Information
  • President's Letter, 2013
  • Join the PTA 
  • Volunteer!

Spring 2013

  • Thanks for Three Spectacular Events!  April was a jam-packed month for TPES, with International Night, the Second Annual Parent vs. Teacher Basketball Game, and the TKPK 5K Safe Routes to School Challenge.  Thanks to MANY volunteers, we learned about other cultures, got some exercise, danced, raised money, and had a blast watching the basketball game of the year! The PTA would also like to thank two local small businesses, Roger Miller Restaurant (donated wonderful African food!) and Pizza Roma (provided big discounts on their pizza for many of our school functions).  
  • New Dolphin Gear is here.   The PTA is excited to introduce two new high-quality Dolphin Pride products - BPA-free water bottles and hot/cold drink tumblers.  We've also replenished our supply of TPES T-shirts, so if your child's size was missing before, we have it now!   You can order online here - delivery through Dolphin Mail.
  • The PTA's Social Services Committee is sponsoring a gift card drive to help families in the TPES community. Gift cards allow a family to purchase the food, toiletries, clothes, and other items that they need the most. Our school counselor, Ms. Golden, will distribute the cards on an as-needed basis. See the flyer for more information on how to help.
  • Thanks to the PTA Development Committee 
    (Jessica Kessler, Natascha Blain, Caroline Fernandez, and Fred Azcarate), TPES has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Takoma Foundation for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) activities.