Oyster Campus

Engaging our Families as Partners

Oyster-Adams has a deep commitment to parents in counting on them to support the academic and social- emotional development of students. We believe that the most important way for all parents to contribute to the success of their children is: uphold high expectations for your child and discuss why a bilingual education will benefit your child in the future; read with your child every day and make sure your child has access to Spanish and English books; follows a consistent routine; and participate in school and classroom events and activities.

At Oyster-Adams, we enjoy a richly diverse community, and we believe that students’ families play an integral part in a child’s education. We believe that every family has something positive to contribute to our school community and that it is our responsibility to reach out to families and ensure that they feel welcomed at our school. As a school we must work diligently to:

  • Develop and use strategies that engage all families meaningfully in their child’s educational journey;
  • Give families the resources and tools to support their children;
  • Hold parents accountable in their roles in their child’s education;
  • Respect and develop relationships with all families

Oyster-Adams has developed a culture of close collaboration with parents and many teachers have learned the power of home visits, showcases, mix and mingle, newsletters, STEM fair, etc. Parents can expect to receive a weekly newsletter with key instructional information, relevant dates, and reminders. Oyster-Adams educators and staff follow a 48-hour email policy to respond to any parent’s email. We encourage families to keep informed about school events and classroom key information by reading the Classroom Weekly Newsletter that your child’s teachers will email you in both languages every week. We also roll out a system to communicate with families called Remind.

Mr. Pineda and AP Berrocal-Phillips organize the Mix and Mingle at the beginning of the school year. We invite families to attend the Mix and Mingle that are scheduled on September 5 and 6, details will be shared in the classroom newsletter and school family communication). The purpose of the Mix and Mingle and Cafecitos is to establish strong relationships with families, keep you informed, and create the most resilient and caring learning environment for every tiger. We are Oyster Adams School Family! Also, we have Monthly Cafecitos to get together and listen to the Oyster Adams community. The Monthly Cafecito invitation is shared through the classroom weekly newsletter and school family communication.

We celebrate our children’s success in class-wide, academically focused, and reflective showcases for families throughout the school year. Teachers will invite families through classroom newsletters. Also, room parents will help us organize these events to celebrate our children’s journey of learning.

Student Growth Team, Rosa Berrocal-Phillips, Carmelita Naves, Erin Druelinger, Jennifer Cardenas, and Wilmer Garces Carrascal invite families to weekly office hours. The weekly office hours' purpose is to support the socio-emotional growth of our children. Please meet with Rosa Berrocal-Phillips, Carmelita Naves, Erin Druelinger, and Jennifer Cardenas on the Oyster veranda or blacktop. The schedule will be provided in the classroom newsletter.

Also, we conduct DCPS Parent-Teacher Conferences, PTC, (October 19, 2023, and March 14, 2024). PTC will be scheduled during school hours 8:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Conscious Discipline: A Journey of Kindness and Compassion

Conscious Discipline (CD) empowers us to be conscious of brain-body states in ourselves and children. It provides us with skills that help us manage our thoughts, feelings, and actions. With the ability to self- regulate, we are able to teach children to do the same. By doing this, we help our children who are physically aggressive (survival state) or verbally aggressive (emotional state) become more integrated so they can learn and use problem-solving skills (executive state). When we understand the brain state model, we can see the importance of building our School Family (and Classroom Family) on the core principles of safety, connection and problem-solving. Conscious Discipline was created by teachers for teachers. When we integrate social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation, we spend less time controlling behaviors and more time teaching vital life skills.

We recommend families read Creating the School Family and Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey.

We have been implementing Conscious Discipline since 2018! We are proud of our journey! Every year we get stronger in our practices and in the establishment of the most caring and compassionate learning environment. We launch in every learning space the following structures/rituals during the first weeks of school and practice them throughout the school year:

  • Greetings, Connections, Commitments, and S.T.A.R (Brain Smart Start)
  • Safe place
  • Wishing Well
  • School & Classroom Family
  • Visual Routines and Meaningful Jobs
  • Assertive language that is focused on the behavior we want to see by cultivating the use of Big VoiceNoticing, and DNA (describe, name, and acknowledge)
  • Two Positive Choices and Parroting Technique
  • Time Machine

Counseling lessons

Oyster Student Growth Team (SGT) is composed of Rosa Berrocal-Phillips (AP), Carmelita Naves (social worker), Erin Druelinger (counselor), Jennifer Cardenas (school psychologist), and Wilmer Garces Carrascal (behavior tech). We work to maximize student success, promoting access and equity for all students. Erin Druelinger and Carmelita Naves create a school culture of success for all by providing monthly counseling lessons. The purpose of the counseling lessons is to support children to develop decision-making, a sense of belonging, communication, and life skills. Students also begin to explore their own character, identity, create positive peer relationships, learn about teamwork, and the power of self-regulation and executive skills.

The counseling lessons scope and sequence for SY2023-24 are as follows:


  • Welcome tigers
  • Welcome OA families (Mix & Mingle)
  • Lesson focus: Safe play


  • Kindness Walk / S.O.M.E. (Food drive)
  • Lesson focus: Consent & safe body


  • Thanksgiving (Grocery cards)
  • Coat Drive
  • Lesson focus: Big voice & Time Machine


  • Amazon wishing list

January - February

  • Welcome tigers
  • Somos amigos
  • Lesson focus: Empathy (Valentine cards)


  • Lesson focus: Upstander


  • Summer program
  • Treat Yourself-Teacher Celebration

May - June

  • Talent Show
  • Placement meetings
  • Move Up day

Details about counseling lessons will be shared in the weekly classroom newsletter to encourage parents to use the language and scenarios at home. If you want to reach out to Oyster social worker, [email protected], counselor, [email protected], school psychologist, [email protected], and behavior tech, [email protected]


What is DCPS Becoming?

DCPS Becoming is a collective journey to become a whole child-centered and antiracist school system. As we know DCPS still has significant disparities in opportunity and outcomes, particularly for students of color. DCPS combines this commitment to eliminate the predictability of outcomes, along with the science of learning and development that shows that every child’s potential can be unlocked if they are found in environments that are safe, supportive, and rich in relationships.

DCPS Becoming Purpose

DCPS is the fastest improving district in the country, yet still has significant disparities for students of color, special education students, and English language learners. Those disparities are not the result of inherent deficits in students, so we must transform our system and practices to support students furthest from opportunity so they can reach their full potential

To do this we are:

  • Embedding Whole Child-Centered (WC)/Antiracist (AR) practices in DCPS systems
  • Codifying school level practices that create supportive learning environments and developmental
    relationships, in order to build a strong sense of belonging and academic engagement.
  • Building staff capacity to embed WC/AR practices in their work

DCPS Becoming will invest in 4 main strategies:

  • Development of capacities of all
  • Systematization of the lens of becoming
  • Planting shoots and test points
  • Involve our community

The Whole Child

The process of educating the whole child includes considering the full intellectual, emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being of each student within DCPS at each level of their educational journey. Demonstrate how science underpins a student's emotional intelligence, relationships, self-concept, and ability/inability to access the full spectrum of learning. We suggest reading 8 Things to Remember About Child Development - Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2016)

The Connection between Equity and Anti-Racism

Equity in DCPS means creating an environment in which we eliminate opportunity gaps, interrupt institutional bias, and remove barriers to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. The vision of DCPS is that every student feels loved, challenged, and prepared to positively influence society , and thrive in life. Integration of an anti-racist, whole-child approach requires continuous effort. At DCPS, we believe anti- racist educators and staff must commit to taking individual, and action to dismantle systemic racism. To achieve this, staff in DCPS must affirm our students’ culture and communities, incorporate social-emotional learning and culturally responsive practices, increase access to rigorous academic content and financial resources, and change policies to promote equity and remove barriers. We suggest reading Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain,” written by Zaretta Hammond.




2801 Calvert St. NW
Washington DC, 20008
(202) 671-6130
(202) 671-3087




2501 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 673-7311
(202) 673-6500

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