Peirce School Newsletter
Greetings Peirce Families & Welcome Back!
As summer comes to an end, Peirce teachers & staff are back to work, engaging in professional development and preparing classrooms for the start of school. We are all very excited to welcome your children into our classrooms on Tuesday, September 3rd.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Back to School Festival Tonight (see below for more information). Please note that our elevator is currently out of order, we have been told it will be fixed on Tuesday morning as the vendor has been waiting on a part to arrive. If you are attending the festival tonight and are unable to walk stairs, please come to the main office so that we can have the teacher come down to greet you - we truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Also, please pardon our dust, the PK Construction is not 100% complete (very very very close to complete) but know that classrooms will be ready for the first day of school - the custodial team is in the final stretch of having our school prepared for the first day of school.
This newsletter will hopefully provide enough information to get you started at Peirce next week - when in doubt, email any one of our leadership team members (found at the bottom of this email).
A Look Ahead
Dr. Jackson, Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer, launched a Fiver Year Vision focused on equity within Chicago Public Schools. This vision is inspiring and has been needed for a long time within our district. How does the district's vision align with what is happening at Peirce? Last year, Peirce went through a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA), the findings of that assessment along with recommendations were shared with the Local School Council and the school administration. This school year, Peirce will have a Racial Equity Leadership Team made up of administration, teachers, parents and community members. The team will meet in early September to set goals, review the recommendations of the REIA and communicate back to staff, parents and community members on the progress of our work at Peirce.
My hope for Peirce is that we eliminate the achievement gap, find value in our differences and continue to develop a sense of belonging and community among all who love our school.
Cheers to a wonderful school year!
First Days of School Information & Logistics
Back to School Festival: Thursday, August 29th, 3:00 - 4:00pm meet teacher/drop off supplies, 4:00 - 6:00pm join parents, students, staff outside for games, activities, fellowship and learn about parent involvement opportunities.
First Day of School: Tuesday - September 3rd - this can be by far one of the most confusing days of the school year - you are not alone - we try as best we can to alleviate the confusion. With 1100 students and families, there will be tons of people on the turf.
Teachers will be outside the first day of school, holding signs with room numbers. We will also have many staff members outside with Classroom Rosters who can help direct families to the right location.
Pre-Kindergarten, teachers will be calling families with modified schedules for September 3rd. Beginning on September 4th, students will meet outside of door #4.
Kindergarten Rooms 101 & 110, meet outside of door #10
Kindergarten Rooms 126 & 128, meet outside of door #5
1st Grade Room 102, meet outside of door #10
1st Grade Rooms 103, 104 & 105, meet outside of door #8
2nd Grade, meet outside of door #6
3rd & 4th Grades, meet outside of door #9
5th-8th Grades, meet on the turf - you will enter with teachers through door #7
*Students enter and exit through the same door number
*Beginning the 2nd day of school, students in 2nd-8th grade will go up to classrooms on their own starting at 7:57am. Teachers will meet students in PK, K & 1st grade at their entry doors at 8:00am.
Traffic & Parking around Peirce
The area around Peirce becomes very congested between 7:45 - 8:10am and 2:55 - 3:15pm - please plan your morning commute appropriately to ensure that children are at school on time.
Bryn Mawr is blocked westbound from 7:45 - 8:05am and 2:55 - 3:10pm.
Clark Street & Jewel Parking lot are generally the easiest places to park - we are fortunate that Jewel has allowed our families to park without issue.
The staff parking lot is not available to Peirce families during the school day - however, when picking up children from the YMCA after care, families are welcome to park for the time it takes to walk in and pick up children.
Emergency Plan & Safety Drills
Safety Drills are not announced in advance but often happen before the middle of October. In the attachment below you will find the different directives given in each of the safety situations. If you have any questions about the safety drills or individual student needs as it relates to drills, please speak first with your child's teacher. If you have any additional questions after that, please reach out to Kristen Munoz, Assistant Principal at KMMunoz2@cps.edu
School Day Hours
8:00am - 3:00pm
Doors open at 7:57 for 2nd-8th Grades
Teachers meet PK-1st grade students at entry door
Specials ClassesThe Specials Class Schedule Rotation can be found here. You can bookmark this link if you are interested in keeping track of which specials class your child has on each day of the school year - this becomes helpful with Gym & Dance classes.
Recess & Lunch Times
Kindergarten: 10:50 - 11:10
1st Grade: 10:25 - 10:48
2nd Grade: 10:35 - 10:58
3rd Grade: 12:32 - 12:55
4th Grade: 11:00 - 11:22
5th Grade: 11:18 - 11:40
6th Grade: 11:23 - 11:45
7th Grade: 12:05 - 12:27
8th Grade: 12:27 - 12:50
*PK & Individual teachers will share their classroom schedules
Welcome to Peirce!
Francisco Alvarez, Security & Student Support
Daisy Arreola - Pre-School Teacher Assistant
Hello, my name is Daisy Arreola I am 24 years old. I grew up in Chicago, but I was born in Mexico. My passion is working with children and watching them grow and learn. I have been working with children for over 5 years at a daycare center. I have loved my experience in the daycare center and have loved every single child that has walked into my life. It has always been one of my goals to work at CPS and I am very excited to finally be a part of this community. I am hopeful for the new school year and very excited!
Kate Bell - 1st Grade
I am so excited to work with the 1st graders at Peirce School! This year will be my 10th year as a teacher with prior experience in Pre-School and 5th grades at another Chicago Public School. I enjoy spending my summers exploring the outdoors with my two sons, Lucas and Theo. I can often be found reading or enjoying the outdoors.
Jonathon Baldwin - K-4th Grade Spanish
Bryan Burda - Pre School Special Education
I am excited to be the diverse learner teacher in the full-day, blended preschool classroom at Peirce. I have been teaching for 18 years with my last four at a South Side STEM school as the general education teacher in the half-day, blended preschool classroom. I have my M.S. in Child Development from Erikson institute and and my M.Ed. from University of Illinois-Chicago in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I have worked in a variety of settings throughout the Chicagoland area including a Head Start with the Abraham Lincoln Center, a publicly-funded preschool in Joliet, and a tuition-based preschool on the West Side. I am eager to continue to grow professionally, particularly related to IB. I live on the North Side with my wife, two-year-old daughter, and two cats. In my spare time I like to cook, read, see live music, and trail run.
Hannah Canale - 1st grade for Ms. Zaander
Nicolás Chudoba Chudoba - 5th Grade Language Arts & Social Studies
Brenna D'Ambrosio - 5th Grade Special Education
I don't remember a time I didn't want to be a teacher, so I am thrilled to get started this year and meet all the students here at Peirce. I graduated from North Park University with my Master of Arts in Teaching and endorsements in Special Education and Middle Grades ELA. When I'm not at school I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction, biking with my family, cooking, and going to White Sox games.
Julia Guerrero - Pre School
Hello! My name is Julia Guerrero and I am very
excited to be your child’s teacher this year. This
school year will be fun, and filled with lots of learning
opportunities, as well as new adventures.
I would like to share a little bit about myself. I am
married and have a daughter who just turned one
this year. I graduated from National Louis University,
where I earned a bachelors in Early Childhood
Education, a Bilingual certification and an ESL
endorsement. This will by my fourth year teaching
preschool and the first thing that students always
learn to appreciate about me is that I am energetic
and passionate about what I do. I know how much you
care about your children and that is why I am
committed to ensuring that they have a wonderful
year of preschool! I believe that each child is unique
in his or her own way and am very aware that some
may learn differently than others, which is why I will
do my best to help your child discover his or her own
individual talents. This school year is going to be
great! I look forward to working with your children
and making sure that this year is a successful one.
Laine Heuer - Art
Hi! My name is Ms. Heuer and I will be covering for Mrs. Zapata during her maternity leave. For the past 2 years, I have been teaching High School Art in Little Village. This school year, I will be able to be closer to home and return to the school where I did some of my clinical hours for student teaching in Fall 2016. It's exciting that things have now come full circle and some of the students I had then, may be ones I get to see again this year! Other than being an Art teacher, I am a mother and a competitive powerlifter. I spend a lot of my weekends with my son and at the gym or traveling when I can. We also like to read books, watch movies, and find new things to do in the city. It's been a great summer, but I'm happy to get back into the classroom and excited to start a new school year!
Jill Layden - 3rd Grade Special Education
Amy Liss - Pre School
My name is Amy Liss. I am so excited to join the preschool team at Peirce Elementary School! This will be my 16th year teaching preschool for Chicago Public Schools. I have a background in the Reggio Emilia philosophy, The Project Approach and nature-based preschool. I am looking forward to learning more about teaching and learning through the lens of the International Baccalaureate Programme.
I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I received my degree in Special Education from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. I graduated from the Erikson Institute with a Master’s in Early Childhood Education in 2010. I have my Early Childhood Special Education approval and an English as a Second Language endorsement. Additionally, I am Nationally Board Certified in Early Childhood Education.
When not at work, you can find me enjoying what Chicago has to offer with friends, practicing macro photography, improving my sewing skills, reading and going to Broadway in Chicago musicals. I also love to travel and went to the Galapagos Islands this past June. It was an amazing experience I will never forget.
The preschool years are so important. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to spend my days learning, enjoying stories and nature with this inquisitive age. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new for the classroom community. Families are a child’s first teacher. I am thankful for the opportunity to partner with you in helping your child grow as a learner, leader and member of the Peirce School community.
Anavelia Mauricio - Pre School
Hello! My name is Anavelia (Ani) Mauricio. I am a proud third generation migrant farm worker so I consider myself to be from both Del Rio, Texas and Princeville, IL. My pursuit towards a higher level of education brought me to Chicago in 2009. The constant moving as a child made me understand how crucial a welcoming learning environment can be when entering a new setting. I hope to provide that warm, welcoming environment to our preschool students as they begin their own journey as students. My personal instructional philosophy is student-centered, multicultural and inclusive so student inquiry, creativity, and critical analysis can thrive. I look forward to meeting your family and having a fun-filled year watching each child develop and grow!
Lisa Navarro - 7th Grade Language Arts
Kimberly Ocampo - 5th-8th Grade Spanish
Rekha Singh - Pre School
My name is Rekha Singh, and I am a member of the new Preschool team at Peirce Elementary School. This will be my first-year teaching here and I cannot wait! I have taught Preschool children at many Head Start programs in the city for more than a decade. I graduated from Northeastern University with a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education and ESL from National Louis University. Prior to that I got my undergrad in Textile Designing and a second undergrad degree in Education from India. I was born and brought up in India and moved to Chicago 17 years ago. When I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling, painting and cooking new recipes. I love to try food and clothes from different cultures. I believe learning never stops and that’s why I always seek new things to learn about. I live by the philosophy of Albert Einstein -“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Joseph Vasquez - 8th Grade Special Education
Key Contact List
The information below indicates the leadership team at Peirce - if you have questions about something not listed, please reach out to Lynn or Sally in the main office so that they may put you in contact with the correct team member
Lynn Carro, Office Manager
Enrollment, Building Rental, Schedule meetings with administrators, Lunch & Recess, General Questions
Sally Suarez, Office Manager
Enrollment, Volunteering, Schedule meetings with administrators, General Questions
Lori Zaimi, Principal
Oversees all school operations
Kristen Munoz, Assistant Principal
Talyia Riemer, Assistant Principal & MYP Coordinator
Kim Lebovitz, PYP Coordinator & Instructional Coach
Joshua Lerner, Bilingual Lead Teacher & Math Instructional Coach
Anne Park, Counselor
School Counseling, High School Transition, Climate & Culture
Shelton Jackson, Restorative Practices Coach
Restorative Practices, Student Behavior & Supports, Recess & Lunch, Climate & Culture
Athanasia Kolontouros, Case Manager
Special Education Services, IEPs, 504 Plans
Brook Thompson, After School Program Coordinator
Fee & CPS Funded After School Programs
Student Fees - Pay Online/Tarifas para estudiantes - Pagar en línea
Las familias de Peirce ahora tienen la opción de pagar las cuotas de los estudiantes en línea haciendo clic aquí y luego seleccionando la opción de pago por única vez. Los honorarios son de $ 50 por estudiante o de $ 100 como máximo para 2 o más niños.
No Dogs (Pets) on School Grounds/ No perros (mascotas) en los terrenos de la escuela
Ayúdenos a crear un espacio seguro para nuestros estudiantes al entrar y salir del edificio; no se permiten perros ni mascotas en el recinto escolar.
Breakfast & Lunch Menus/Breakfast & Lunch Menus/Menús de desayuno y almuerzo
El menú de desayuno y almuerzo de CPS se puede encontrar aquí, se actualiza regularmente, así que por favor vuelva a visitarlo con frecuencia. Estos menús están sujetos a cambios. Además, consulte el sitio web de CPS Nutrition Services.
Daily Specials Rotation/Rotación de especiales diarios
Se puede acceder al programa de especiales aquí: esto indica la clase que tendrá su hijo cada día de la semana (Arte, Música, Danza, Educación Física, Español).
Parent-Student Handbook/Manual para padres y alumnos
El manual para padres y alumnos se puede encontrar aquí. Por favor revise para familiarizarse con las políticas y procedimientos de la escuela.
Student Code of Conduct/Código de Conducta Estudiantil
La Escuela Peirce utiliza Prácticas Restaurativas que están alineadas con el Código de Conducta Estudiantil de las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago. Esta guía proporciona información sobre cómo se admite el comportamiento de los estudiantes en CPS. Haga clic aquí para acceder al Código de Conducta Estudiantil. Cualquier pregunta relacionada con las Prácticas de Restauración o el Código de Conducta del Estudiante puede dirigirse a Shelton Jackson por correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org o por teléfono al 773-534-2440.