Principal's Message Jan 24 - Jan 28

What a Week!

Dear Peabody and Watkins,

Wednesday marks at the half-way point for the year!

Both Schools

Key Dates

  • Jan 25 - NAEP Assessment - 4th grade only. What is NAEP?
  • Jan 26 - End of Term 2. 1/2 Day Records Day, 1/2 Day PD. No School for students.
  • Jan 26 - 7pm Equity Audit Meeting #3
  • Feb 1st - 7pm LSAT
  • Feb 8 - Peabody Open House, 6pm VIRTUAL
  • Feb 9 - Watkins Open House, 6pm VIRTUAL
  • Feb 17 - Watkins Black History Celebration, 6pm (hoping for in person - TBD)
  • Feb 28 - March 4 Peabody Black History Celebration, during school, virtual access

Asymptomatic Student Testing Schedule!

Every Friday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

9:15 for Watkins

9:15 for Peabody

Asymptomatic Student Testing Schedule!

Every Friday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

9:15 for Watkins

9:15 for Peabody

upcoming open houses

Enrollment season is upon us and we look forward to meeting with prospective families to share everything that Peabody and Watkins has to offer. Please share broadly within your networks.

All Open Houses will take place from 6pm- 7pm. No registration is needed.


February 8:

March 15:


February 9:

March 16:

NEW: School-Based Close Contact COVID TEST REQUESTS

DCPS staff or students identified as a close contacts in a school based COVID case, can now request up to 2 test kits. The steps for requesting a Mail-to-Home COVID-19 Test Kit will be outlined in the guidance close contacts receive.

Asymptomatic Testing Results - Close Contacts will Receive Emails

We all know the asymptomatic testing results usually come back on Saturday. In the spirit of self-care, students that are close contacts of the asymptomatic positives will receive an email over the weekend. Our weekend phone calls are not long sustainable for our leadership team. Families of students that test positive will still receive a phone call.

Quarantine or Testing Questions?

First try

If you don't find your answer, caregivers can email, our contact tracer. Please include your school leaders on these emails.

Volunteers and Subs Wanted!

We’d love to have parents volunteer or substitute in our schools! Please consider giving a day or even a half-day here or there. Or even a more consistent commitment! Any day an extra adult will be a help to our students and staff.

Anyone will have to complete the clearance processes that are involved. Please see the links below for more information.

Equity Audit Meeting #3

The painful incident that was reported recently has only reinforced the need for the comprehensive equity work in which we are engaged as a community. We know that oppression in all its forms, including racism and antisemitism, is taught and learned. It is not innate or inherent to who we are as human beings. We also know that if we are not naming and having courageous conversations about the ways that oppression shows up in and impacts our community, we are only serving to perpetuate the status quo of an inequitable society that does not support all of us in thriving.

To interrogate the inequitable status quo and cultivate a safe, loving community in which we all feel a sense of belonging and can fulfill our greatest potentials, we must continue to prioritize our shared equity work.

Our community-wide equity audit process will continue and is a critical component of this work. The ultimate goals of this process are to develop:

  1. A shared vision of equity for the Peabody and Watkins community
  2. Aligned, data-based recommendations that will catalyze progress toward the shared vision
  3. Deepened relationships, trust, and community

During our first two audit sessions, we launched this multi-phased process, engaged in community-building conversations, and began to brainstorm a shared vision of an equitable, anti-racist, and inclusive Peabody and Watkins community. The last communication about the audit is here. I will provide a more robust recap (and our homework assignment) of our second meeting later over the break. We can look forward to the following meetings

  • January 26, we will create inquiry teams and begin our data analysis
  • March 7, we will share reflection on our data and begin to craft recommendations for change
  • March 28, we will integrate our teams and have inter-team sharing

More meetings will be scheduled soon. All occur at 7pm and include community building dialogues.


This work can only be done well if the people doing it represent our students

COVID Communications - Sequence of Events

With all of the anxiety around COVID and the notification, we can share some details about how the process unfolds.

  1. The positive case becomes known to school leaders from parents, teachers via parents, the asymptomatic testing (usually on Sundays), and recently the parent portal.
  2. School leaders start contact tracing almost immediately upon receipt, even on weekends and evenings. We talk to homeroom teachers, specials teachers, special educators, before and after care, we check the breakfast logs, and talk to anyone else that may have information about a possible exposure. Principal Berkowitz and Ms. Montgomery do this for both campuses. The APs support their campus only. These are the only staff leading this work.
  3. We make phone calls to caregivers right away and explain the exposure and the quarantine period. We'll follow up with email if necessary.
  4. We'll also make the report in the centralize system so DC Health, and DCPS can begin the office communications processes.
  5. New since late December - we can send form letters for close contacts and the impacted homerooms before downtown processes the report.
  6. Finally, the official community letter is furnished by downtown and shared with all staff and families. Since December this has been happening within 12-18 hours of us completing the report in the system. As the community letter states, by this point in the process everyone connected to the exposure has been in touch with a school leader.

Contact tracing is an imperfect process. There have been a few times when the sequencing described above is off, but I'd say we've been very consistent. If you have questions about any cases, please let us know.

More information here:


After consultation with DC Health, DCPS is working with DGS to turn water fountains back on in all schools. Watkins was originally scheduled for December 20-26 and Peabody for January 10-16; however, this process has been delayed.

We will provide updates as we receive them.

Year 2 With Kindred - Advancing Equity at our Schools - Partners Wanted!

Are you interested in advancing equity at Peabody and Watkins? New Kindred dialogue groups launching soon!

The Cluster’s Partnership With Kindred: Kindred supports communities in collaborating toward the creation of an anti-racist and liberated society. The Cluster began partnering with Kindred last year to bring caregivers, staff, and leaders together to advance educational equity and racial justice in our community. This work took the form of two diverse dialogue groups and the ongoing development of an equity team. This year, our partnership will include three new dialogue groups to grow the community of caregivers and staff working together to cultivate a Cluster culture in which everyone experiences a sense of belonging and can thrive.

More About This Year’s Dialogue Groups: Recruitment has begun for two new caregiver dialogue groups and one new staff dialogue group. Over the course of ten sessions, participants will come together to build trusting relationships, examine their own and learn about each other's multifaceted identities and histories, and explore how racial inequity shows up in our society and our school community. After the dialogue experience, group members will join the Kindred Equity Team. This team was formed by members of last year’s dialogue group and represents a space for equity-driven collective action, as well as for continued community building and identity processing.

How To Get Involved: If you are interested in joining one of the dialogue groups, please reach out to Ryan Jones ( or Meredith Morelle ( from the Kindred team to schedule a one-on-one conversation and learn more about the dialogue process.


student lost and found items: Claim by friday 1/28

Students' lost and found items are stored in the main lobby- see pics attached. After next Friday, 1/28, any unidentified items will be donated. Parents: During the upcoming week, please come to the lobby at anytime during the school day to claim items your student may have misplaced.
Big picture
Big picture

Term 3 Changes

January 26 is the last day of the second term, which means all new specials for Term 3! Please see the following table for your child's homeroom teacher and the associated special class. The days of the week may change, but all students will have two days of PE and three days of their special class.

  • Music - Amuzie, Sheppard, Moxley, Sullivan, Evans
  • Library/FoodPrints - Davis, Josephs, Nover, Phoenix, Lamont
  • Spanish - Stewart, Coleman, O'Neil, Elmusa, Hoover
  • Art - Mooney, McPhail, Parler, Dickinson, Hightower

FoodPrints?! Yes, FoodPrints! Our partners have come through! On Wednesdays and Fridays in place of library students will attend specials for Food Prints instruction. We are hoping to re-open the demonstration kitchen soon and have fully robust Food Prints programming for students scheduled to attend library twice a week. We will find sub coverage for the other day in the interim. When the weather improves, we will also resume FoodPrints classes in the garden for all students, as we had scheduled in the fall.

Thank you Food Prints!


New Weekly PreK 3 and 4 Testing Requirement

With many of our youngest learners ineligible to access the COVID-19 vaccine, DCPS is dedicating testing resources to weekly testing of all Pre-K students.

Students in PK3 and PK4 will be sent home with a rapid test each Friday, and will be required to upload their results each Sunday before returning to the classroom here:

Students will not be able to test at school. Students without a test result the first day of the week will have to return home to test.

Families should test and upload their results by 4:00 p.m.

Additional note: because tests must be taken the day prior to your student's return to school with results uploaded by 4:00 p.m. that day, if your child is not attending school on Monday, next week, they should not test and upload results on Sunday, but on the day before they return. This rule will apply to every week.

Kindergarten students will also be receiving weekly test kits and are highly encouraged to test each week. This is not a requirement. K students will still be randomly selected for weekly asymptomatic testing.

Pre-K families, IMPORTANT NOTE: due to the nature of these classes, if one student tests positive, the whole class will need to quarantine.

Virtual Bedtime Stories with Ms. Bloom

An extra bonus during our cozy Winter Reading Program, Ms. Bloom will read virtually with any Peabody students who want to join from 7pm to 7:30pm on four Wednesday evenings. The dates are: February 2 and 16, and March 2! Let’s BLAST OFF TO READ TOGETHER!!!

Link to join is forthcoming.

Welcome Ms. Prezioso - New Peabody Social Worker

We were thrilled to welcome Ms. Prezioso to Peabody this week. Here is a note she'd like to share with the community:

Hi, I am Annabella Prezioso. I am a master's student at Catholic University. I will be interning at Peabody for my last semester as a social work intern through Catholic Charities’ School-Based Mental Health Program (SBMH). I will be providing direct services to all students in general education at Peabody including individual and group counseling, observations, assessments for behavior problems, referrals, and community support. I will also work with teachers to implement social-emotional learning (SEL) components in their classrooms. I will be at Peabody on Tuesdays (10 am- 3:30 pm) Wednesdays (10 am- 3:30 pm) and Thursdays (10 am- 1 pm) until late April! I can be reached at