Dragon Tales

News For R.S. Payne Dragons and Families


Principal's Corner

Dear Dragon Families,

Welcome February! I hope that each family has taken a moment to enjoy the lovely sights over the past week. The beautiful, calming, snow covered grass was breathtaking. Additionally, the gorgeous, full moon brightened our night skies. As we continue thorough the long winter months, I hope you take notice of the wonders around us daily. February is the month of love. It is a time to exercise kindness! RSP will celebrate Valentine's Day on Friday, February 12 for Cohort B and Tuesday, February 16 for Cohort A. Please be on the lookout for more information from your child's teacher. Please reach out to your child's teacher or me if we can support you with your child's learning goals.

RSP Vision

We Dream, Believe, and Achieve because we are Respectful, Supportive, and Productive.

RSP Mission

Our team of faculty, parents, and volunteers of Robert S. Payne Elementary School will strive to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for all students to help them become responsible citizens of the community.

Important Dates

Feb. 2- School Board Meeting @ 5:00 pm

Feb. 11- Zoom PTO Meeting @ 7:00 pm

Feb. 12- Cohort B Celebrates Valentine's Day

Feb. 16- Cohort A Celebrates Valentine's Day

Feb. 24- 3rd quarter interims go home

Feb. 24- Picture Day Hybrid Students (Cohort A)

Feb. 26- Picture Day Hybrid Students (Cohort B) and Remote students (1:00 pm- 3:00 pm)

Black History Month

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

Celebrating Black History Month at RSP.

Enjoy listening to staff members at RSP, share some of their favorite read alouds that celebrate and recognize Black History.


Second Step

Hello families! We are continuing to focus on social emotional learning from our students, including through the use of our 2nd Step Program lessons. Students are continuing to practice problem solving strategies. They are able to use their calm down strategies previously taught as they work through solving problems. Students are focusing on STEP. STEP stands for S-Say the Problem (without blame), T-Think of Solutions (safe and respectful), E-Explore Consequences (what could happen if…), and P-Pick the Best Solution (make your plan). As mentioned before, students with stronger problem-solving skills are more likely to be academically successful, socially adjusted, less impulsive, and less aggressive. At home, students can use these steps when they make arts and crafts. For example, provide materials you may already have and tell the child what you would like them to do. They will need to work with their materials and problem solve to determine how to create it. Students can also use movement and create a movement with their bodies to help them remember each part of the S-T-E-P acronym.

Math Talk

Each month in this section we will share a simple routine that you can use at home to engage your children of any age in math conversation. These conversations will help to build both their math skills and their love of math.

Routine #6: Counting Collections

What do you do? Invite your child to count a collection of items in their environment and record how they counted. They can count toys, pieces of food, household items, coins, objects found outside, etc. Notice their strategy and ask questions about how they counted. Some sample questions include:

  • Before - Predict how many you have. After - Was the actual amount higher or lower than your prediction?

  • How many are there? How do you know that’s the actual amount?

  • Is there a tool you could use to help you keep track or stay organized? (Ex. bowls or cups)

  • How did you decide how to group your objects?

  • Can you think of another way to count, arrange, or group your objects?

Below are the collection size goals for each grade level that you might use as a starting point:

  • PreK - up to 10 or 20 objects

  • Kindergarten - up to 100 objects

  • First - up to 110 objects

  • Second - up to 120

  • Third & Up - Several hundred objects

Why try this?

  • Younger students can develop these early number ideas through counting collections:

    • Number names and the order of a counting sequence

    • Counting in groups (such as 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.)

    • Saying one number for each object counted

    • The last number you say when counting is the number of objects

    • Place value: ten ones is a ten and 10 tens is a hundred

  • Older students can develop these more advanced number ideas through counting collections:

    • Becoming more accurate with estimations

    • Place value related to larger numbers

    • Multiplication can be used to add equal groups

    • Using expressions to describe mathematical actions (Ex. 5 groups of 25 can be written as 5 x 25)

Want more?

Watch an RSP Student Counting a Collection

PreK Counting Collections


What is vocabulary? Why is it important?

Vocabulary consists of words that we need to communicate effectively. We communicate using vocabulary words when speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Vocabulary development is critical to a young reader’s development. Listening and speaking vocabularies are just as they sound, and begin at home. Students begin to learn words from listening to their families speak to them, or others. They also learn from having conversations with family members, friends, and teachers. They even learn vocabulary words from listening to someone read, or practicing reading themselves. The more you talk, read, and communicate, the better!

Try it !

  1. Have conversations: Encourage students to share and communicate. How are you feeling? How was math class? What did you do today? Where did you get this new book? What’s it about? Tell me more...

  2. Read Books! We can learn so much from new books. Choose a variety of books about different topics or characters.

  3. Invite your child to cook or garden with you. They will be exposed to new vocabulary words, such as whisk, blender, soil, or pollen.

(Other suggestions: crafting, painting, building, etc.)

  1. Go for a walk: Explore nature and talk about different types of flowers, trees, or notice animals and surroundings. Don’t be afraid to use BIG words they might not know. Children are curious and you can encourage them to be “word detectives” to figure out the meaning of a new word.

  2. Play Word Games! (see the examples and links below)

The Question Game:

Pick a category such as superhero, animals, sport, etc.. Start off with yes or no questions. The student may ask one open ended question during the game. Ask questions without naming the chosen vocabulary word.

Example PreK-2: The category is animals. Does the animal bark? (no) Does it fly? (Yes) Is it a bird? (Yes!)

Example 3-5: The category is mammals. Is it a land mammal? (yes) Does it live in a really cold climate? (no) Is it dangerous? (yes) Is it a meat eater/carnivore? (yes) Where does it live? (grasslands, savannahs, or rain forests) Is it a tiger!? (yes!)

Need More:




News from the Library

Hello Dragon Families! I have a new resource to share with you. It is World Book Online. It can be accessed from the Destiny Discover page or through Google Classroom for grades 3 through 5. Your child may be familiar with World Book Online if they have completed any of the choice board activities for Library in the Resource Google Classroom. The username is rspes and the password is dragons. You can then choose Early Learning, Kids, or Student depending on the age of your child. The Early Learning and Kids have activities and games that appeal to younger students and the Student is more for researching topics for older students. Give it a try!

Please continue to look for any library books you may have at home. You can return books from any school to R. S. Payne and I will be sure they get to the school where they belong.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or I can help in any way.


February is Black History Month as recognized by every President of the United States since 1976, which was initiated officially by President Gerald Ford. Each year there is a theme with this year’s theme being “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”. In honor of this theme, we need to emphasize the power of FAMILY for the month of February. The Family Unit has evolved over time to become something beyond traditional but yet remains in the classic mode of a foundational, love based unit, conditioned with loyalty and identity. Members of a FAMILY usually accept the unselfish responsibility of doing for another that which the individual cannot do for his or herself. FAMILY conditions its members to share traditions, heritage, and a proud history. This powerful unit naturally teaches survival techniques for perseverance and preservation based on experiences, beliefs, wins, failures and even fears. FAMILY is usually connected by blood and no choice, but it has truly moved beyond genetics when involving true love and kinship at this point in our lifetime.

Well of course we have discovered that FAMILY is not always perfect and sometimes it is “downright a hot mess (In the words of my 80 year old Aunt Lois!).” There is a need in 2021 after the battles of 2020 and the January that has followed, to secure, strengthen, and steady our families. Sometimes FAMILY is a safe, peaceful sailing journey but other times the winds become boisterous and there is a need to just keep the boat afloat. I just want to suggest a few things by using FAMILY as an acrostic.

F- Forgiveness over Fault-finding

A- Adapting over Arguing

M- Motivating over Manipulating

I- Initiative over Ignoring

L- Lifting over Limiting

Y- Yielding over Yelling

Hopefully, this will help us focus on our great families in this great month!


Health Reminders

Parents or guardians should notify their school administrator or school nurse in the event that their child shows symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19. LCS staff will work with the local health department for contact tracing and notify any staff and parents or guardians of any student who may have been exposed. Any exposed areas in which a symptomatic individual or an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will be properly cleaned and disinfected, and LCS staff will consult with the local health department to determine if closure of facilities or school buildings is warranted, and if so, for how long. Daily updates of new positive COVID-19 cases reported can be found on the LCS homepage.

CDC COVID-19 Symptoms:

-Fever or chills


-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


-Muscle or body aches


-New loss of taste or smell

-Sore throat

-Congestion or runny nose

-Nausea or vomiting


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Tech Support

The LCS I.T. Department is happy to announce our new evening I.T. support program for parents and students called Tech After Dark. Starting February 2, 2021, we will be at E.C. Glass High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Parents and students can call (434) 515-5395, during this time, to receive technology assistance with broken devices, accessing the Infinite Campus parent or student portal, account issues and other questions about software like IXL, Seesaw and Google Classroom.

As an additional reminder, please note that LCS has T-Mobile Internet hotspots available for students with internet access needs, available at no charge. Families should call either their school principal, email itsupport@lcsedu.net, call the Tech After Dark phone number (434-515-5395), or fill out the Student Tech Assistance Form to request an internet hotspot.

Technical Assistance

If you are experiencing issues with the tools and resources above, please contact your teacher and they will direct you to the appropriate person. If you are experiencing technical issues with the Chromebook (not charging, missing keys, etc.) please call 515-5090 or fill out this form.


Fundraising Update

Thank you for supporting our Jersey Mike's Restaurant Night. The RSP PTO earned $315.88 which will provide needed items for our dragon students and staff!!
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Our next PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, February 11th at 7:00pm via Zoom. ALL RSP parents and guardians are welcome! Please click the link to RSVP and receive the Zoom link by email prior to the meeting.