We are excited to continue FoodPrints this year with a new FoodPrints teacher, Ms. Courtney Lucente, and assistant teacher, Ms. Allie Davis. Ms. Courtney has a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Johns Hopkins University and over a decade of teaching experience. FoodPrints combines her passion for education and love of food and cooking. Ms. Allie has a degree in Public Health from Dickinson College and comes from a family of teachers. She is excited to apply her knowledge of nutrition in the FoodPrints classroom. They both look forward to gardening, cooking, eating, and learning with Langley students this year!
All Langley students will participate in FoodPrints this year! We are planning monthly sessions for each class throughout the school year. FoodPrints integrates gardening, cooking, eating, and academic learning with the goal of growing healthy students and families. We help students learn about the natural world and how to enjoy eating healthy, whole foods.
We welcome parent volunteers! Parents (or other family members) help our classes run smoothly. Students are so happy to have their parents come in to help, and there is always something tasty to eat. Look for FoodPrints dates from your classroom teacher or reach out to Ms. Courtney for dates.
FoodPrints recipes will be served in the Langley lunchroom on Wednesdays. As part of the
Class to Café program in partnership with DCPS and with the support of Wellness in the Schools Chef Meagan, the Langley cafeteria team will be scratch-cooking and serving some of the same recipes that we are preparing in FoodPrints.
We hope your students will try these new recipes!
Burrito Bowl: Sofrito Rice and Chicken
Warm Bean & Corn Salad
9/25, 10/16, 11/6, 12/4, 12/18
Pasta with Colorful Marinara Sauce
Simple Green Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
10/2, 10/23, 11/13
Red, White, and Green Hot Sandwich (Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Tomato and Spinach)
10/9, 10/30, 12/11
footprints lead teacher
Langley Elementary is proud to welcome the newest members of our school family.
Read all about them below!
Get to know the amazing teachers and staff that have been a part of our community and are joining us for another great year.
Langley Elementary's Baxter O'Brien was honored with the Rubenstein Award for Excellence in Teaching. Pictured above are Baxter O'Brien, from left, pre-K 4 teacher Anna Zinkgraf, Principal Vanessa Drumm and reading interventionist Christina Saavedra as they attend the Standing Ovation award ceremony.
This week, the whole Langley family was bursting with pride and excitement as our own Baxter O’Brien was recognized with one of DCPS’ highest honors! The Rubenstein Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented to just a handful of teachers each year, at a ceremony for DCPS’ finest teachers, leaders, and school staff.
Mr. O’Brien teaches grades 3-5 Communication and Education Support, leading a classroom for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Langley family knows Mr. O’Brien by his dedicated attention to his students, his enthusiasm for family engagement, and by his leadership in implementing socio-emotional learning through Conscious Discipline. Check out his Instagram, or catch a glimpse of him teaching in this WJLA feature!
As Mr. O’Brien explains: “Socio-emotional learning is woven throughout the school day. It is a transition in the way we think about teaching and utilizing moments throughout the day as teachable moments. We teach our students how they can independently work through conflict, both internally and externally whenever it arises. This can be seen proactively through targeted instruction of skills for conflict resolution, breathing techniques, strategies to utilize when overwhelmed, as well as in the moment, providing students with the language to effectively work through daily challenges and hardships.”
Mr. O’Brien says “What I love best about my job is being able to work with students day-to-day - the ups and downs, the daily challenges and successes. Every day is a new day with different challenges that come with it. There is never a dull moment.”
We could not be more proud of Mr. O’Brien, his students, and all of our students, teachers and staff in Langley’s six self-contained program classrooms. We’re so lucky to have you!
Ms. Ashley, at left, and Ms. Shalinee spend time with young students after school.
Parents with packed schedules, Langley's got your back!
Langley offers multiple choices for before and after care, after school enrichment classes and camps. This school year, thanks to Langley's partnerships with Springboard and Flex Academies, the school will also offer care options during all parent teacher conferences and professional development days, as well during both the weeklong February and April breaks and the eight-week summer break. This is a huge plus for busy families and a factor to consider when deciding on which school to send your kids to.
Aftercare is provided by both DCPS and our private provider, Springboard - so unlike many other DC schools, the program can continue to grow with our school and no child is turned away or placed on a waitlist. In addition to before and after care during normal schooldays, Springboard is also providing extended care during camp days during school vacations. Kids have a variety of activities to choose from after school: Flex Academies offers fun and educational enrichment classes such as yoga, music, dance and team sports. Flex will also be running our brand new summer camp this year and plans to hire Langley's teachers to facilitate it. Familiar faces will make the transition from school to camp a breeze for our kids!
Read on to get to know two of our wonderful Springboard teachers, Ms. Ashley and Ms. Shalinee. Ms Shalinee is also a DCPS substitute teacher and sometimes teaches regular classes.
Why did you decide to become a care provider?
Ms. Stapley, a student teacher from Brigham Young University, has been a wonderful addition to the kindergarten classroom. She came in excited to help our kids learn. She quickly built positive relationships with the kids and they grew to love her. She took on teaching them letter sounds early on and we have seen the kids grow tremendously in that area! Having another teacher to look to, celebrate with and be loved by has meant so much to our class. We are all going to miss her greatly. She will be moving on to teach preschool in Arlington and is excited to start her official career as a teacher. We are happy that she is still staying close and hope she comes to visit us!
Congratulations, Ms. Stapley, from the kindergarten teachers, students and families.
Q. What is your role at Langley?
A. I am the first through third grade behavioral support education teacher.
Q. How did you become a teacher?
A. I always wanted to be a teacher since I was a very young man attending elementary school in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I only had one male teacher in elementary school. Not only did he look like me, he understood what level I was working on in my studies and made me feel like I was important. I wanted to be that male role model for students too. After learning more about education at Cleveland State University, I decided that my presence was needed more in a special education program. The number of students being diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and other exceptionalities was growing. I wanted to not only be that teacher I mentioned above, I wanted to help in a monumental way.
Q. What is Behavior and Emotional Support and why did you choose to teach it?
A. Behavior and emotional support is teaching and creating a usable tool box for students to use in emotional crisis. Emotional crisis in my classroom can be defined as frustration because of rigorous school work or coming to school with an emotional event that took place last night or this morning still brewing in the student’s mind. I choose to teach behavior and emotional support for two reasons. The first reason is because I want every student I meet to be prepared for the real world. In life people will be upset and feel as if they are overwhelmed. However, we must be able to disengage, take a deep breath, and handle this issue head-on using a technique that works for us. Also, behavior and emotional support in classroom helps the teacher with classroom management and maximizes teaching time.
Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, California. I went to school at the Mission in our town so I feel very connected to its rich history. I attended the University of California - Santa Barbara, for both my undergraduate and Masters degrees. After teaching for one year there, I decided to move to the East Coast where I have taught for another nine years.
Q. How and why did you become a teacher?
A. I have wanted to be a teacher since my first day of kindergarten! I came home and immediately began teaching my stuffed animals. In the summer, my brother and I would hold class every morning for our stuffed animals using our old school books. I originally thought I only wanted to teach kindergarten until I looped with one of my classes while I was at C.W. Harris. I fell in love with the first grade curriculum and the capabilities of 6-year-olds. Students grow more in first grade than in any other year. It is a true honor to be with them as they make such a momentous journey.
Q. What socioemotional skills are important for your first graders?
A. The part of the Conscious Discipline curriculum that has resonated most with me is teaching students how to use their "big voices." I believe that having an assertive tone is an invaluable skill that has to be cultivated over time. When we teach our children to advocate for themselves in their interactions with peers, they will be able to transfer that skill into adulthood. I sincerely believe that I am not just teaching math and literacy; I am also preparing my students to be compassionate citizens in their communities.
Q. How do you help your students learn about science, math, and technology?
Communication and Education Support teacher Baxter O'Brien enjoys a field trip with students.
Q. Where are you from?
A. Originally born in Tampa, Florida, I moved to Herndon, Virginia when I was ten and grew up there.
Q. What class do you teach at Langley?
A. I teach in the Communication and Education Support classroom for grades 3 - 5.
Q. How did you become a teacher?
A. I have always worked in the special needs field but I wanted to see the educational side of things and what work could be done. So much of our students’ development takes part in the school day, I wanted to be a part of that in a public-school setting. To get into the classroom, I went through the DC Teaching Fellows program.
Q. What is Communication and Education Support, and how do you teach it?
A. The Communication and Education Support classroom services students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our students require additional supports in communication and educational needs which looks different for every student. It isn’t quite a "how do you teach it," but rather "how do we support our students to be successful," and for that answer, feel free to stop by whenever! =) We are always happy to have visitors.