Peirce Update

January 31, 2022

Happy Lunar New Year!

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COVID Testing: Update from Ms. Jiamachello

Greetings Peirce Families,

I want to start with addressing the concerns that I have heard from multiple families over the past week with the testing process and amount of students being tested.

As stated in the previous update, with the testing resources that have been allocated to Peirce, we are able to test around 30% of the student population on a weekly basis. We cannot guarantee that 100% of students who are registered will be tested weekly as we do not have the human resources to do so. In an attempt to promote equity, we track classrooms that were tested weekly, and prioritize the ones that were not for the following week.

At this time we have 631 students and 103 staff members signed up to be tested. This week we prioritized PreK students and classrooms that were not tested during the prior week. Today we were able to test 51% of students and 47% of adults registered at the main campus.

We continue to have scheduling conflicts with the contracted company, Thermo Fisher, and there was not a tester sent to the branch campus today.

I have escalated the issue to the district and Thermo Fisher and have asked that a makeup day be scheduled.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to advocate for the students and families of Peirce.

-Shannon Jiamachello, Resident Principal

Click here for a COVID Protocols FAQ Document

COVID Testing Sign Up Numbers

58% of students are signed up for weekly testing

70% of PK students are signed up for weekly testing

COVID Testing Numbers

Week of January 3rd: 216 students, 53 staff (Main Campus and Branch, 9 total hours)

Week of January 10th: 92 students, 20 staff (Work Stoppage, 12 total hours)

Week of January 17th: 304 students, 52 staff (Main Campus and Branch, 5 total hours)

Week of January 24th: 243 students, 50 staff (Main Campus, 12 total hours)

Week of January 31st: 319 students, 48 staff (Main Campus, 12 total hours)

COVID Vaccination Rates

60% of the entire school is fully vaccinated

66% of all eligible students are fully vaccinated (and climbing)

73% of students have at least one dose

Actionable Cases & Quarantine

*Actionable cases mean that COVID positive case was present in a CPS facility during the contagious period.

January 13th - 25th: 16 students and 3 staff, 88 unvaccinated close contacts in quarantine

January 26th - 31st: 8 NEW students and 2 NEW staff, 64 NEW unvaccinated close contacts in quarantine

Health Screener Survey

Safety Committees that were formed as a result of the CPS-CTU agreement must take a vote on whether or not to re-institute the online health screener that was used last school year. The safety committee would like input from families to help inform their decision.

Please complete the survey by Thursday, February 3rd at 5pm.

If you have any questions as it relates to the survey, please reach out to Geri Baumgarten, chairperson of the Safety Committee at

Change to 5 Day Quarantine

Dear CPS Families,

Since the start of the pandemic, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has followed the science when making decisions about how to create a safe learning environment for students and staff. As we learn more about COVID-19 from trusted public health partners like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), we use this information to adjust our safety protocols and guide our response.

Recently, CDC, IDPH, and CDPH have all recommended shortening the isolation/quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days for those who test positive for COVID-19 and unvaccinated close contacts.

CPS will be adopting this change, and it will go into effect for all CPS students and staff on Tuesday, February 1.

According to the CDC, this change is being recommended because the majority of COVID-19 transmission “occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.” Furthermore, shortening the isolation/quarantine period will provide more certainty to parents, students, and staff, and will allow impacted students to return to their classrooms more quickly for the in-person learning that gives them their best opportunity for success.

Here’s what the change to a 5-day quarantine/isolation period will mean for your family:

  • Children who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, will need to isolate and learn at home for five days rather than 10. If the child still has symptoms after Day 5, they should continue to isolate at home for the full 10 day period. If the child no longer has symptoms after Day 5, the child will be free to return to school on Day 6 with the following precautions in place:

    • From Days 6 - 10, students will keep their masks on at all times, including while outdoors, except when eating or drinking.

    • When masks must be removed for eating and drinking, these students will maintain six feet of social distance from others wherever possible.

  • Children who are not yet vaccinated or are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, and who have been identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, will need to quarantine and learn at home for 5 days rather than 10.

  • Children who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, and who have been identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not have to quarantine at all.

Getting your children vaccinated is not only the best way to keep them in school — it’s the best way to protect them from being infected with COVID-19, and the best way to prevent severe symptoms if they do become infected. Visit for a complete list of vaccine opportunities that are available weekly for your family.

Students who are directed to isolate or quarantine by the Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) will continue to receive direct instruction from their teachers while they are learning at home.

I thank you for your continued support and urge you to direct any questions regarding the shift to a 5-day quarantine period to your school principal.


Pedro Martinez

Chief Executive Officer

Chicago Public Schools

Order Free COVID Test Kits

The US Government is offering two free at home test kits to all families, you can order yours by clicking the link below - I ordered mine and it was quick and easy!

Local School Council Equity Committee

The selection committee invites all members of the Peirce community to complete the questionnaire below to indicate their interest in joining an equity subcommittee. Interested community members will be invited to participate in a 30 minute interview to discuss your interest in joining the LSC equity subcommittee. For information on the formation of LSC committees at Peirce visit:

Please submit your responses no later than Wednesday, February 9th and send any questions to

English Version form

Spanish Version form

The Selection Committee is made of the following members:

Aisha Noble - LSC member

Sandra Kifarkis - LSC member

Samuel Lee - Assistant principal

Bilingual Advisory Council Update

Bilingual Advisory Council (BAC)

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

5:00 pm


Please join us for our next meeting where we will get a report from last month’s network BAC info session, learn about the upcoming ACCESS Test for ELs at Peirce, share important community resources including assistance in registering for free in-school COVID testing, and hear a brief report from Principal Zaimi.

ACCESS Testing

Dear Peirce Family,

Every year, Chicago Public Schools administers federally-required state assessments that not only demonstrate how our students are growing academically compared to their peers across the state, but also help us determine where additional school support and resources are needed. As we continue to navigate our response to COVID-19, please know that our top priority is keeping our students and educators safe.

This winter, your child will take the ACCESS assessment, which we use to measure their progress in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. Students will take ACCESS between January 30 and February 22, 2022. Students who are in quarantine during their normal testing time will have up until March 4 to take the test.

To ensure the health and safety of students and staff during in-person testing, we will follow these protocols at our school:

  • We will clean and disinfect computers and other equipment using the provided wipes in each classroom.

  • We will ensure students are seated three feet apart in rooms with no more than 50 people (if the room is large enough) and at no more than 25 percent capacity.

  • During testing breaks, students will remain in their testing room and maintain strict social distancing.

  • We will implement restroom break procedures to ensure all students entering a restroom are socially distanced, wearing cloth face coverings, and cleaning their hands.

Please reach out to Joshua Lerner at or (773) 534 2440 with any questions about ACCESS. Thank you for your commitment to your student’s academic success.


Joshua Lerner, ELPT

Local School Council Nomination Period

SY22 LSC Election Nomination Period Opened - The SY22 Local School Council Election nomination period opened on January 3, 2022. You may find electronic copies of candidate applications and supporting documents and judge applications and supporting documents on the LSC Website.

  • Candidate applications are due to the school where you seek membership on or before March 4, 2022.

  • Judge application, IRS W-9 Form, and CPS Vendor request forms are due via email to on or before March 8, 2022.