Peirce Principal News
January 15, 2024
A Message from Ms. Vargas
Dear Peirce Families,
As I finish this newsletter, my family is busily getting ready to venture to Symphony Hall for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute performed by the Boston Children's Chorus. It's hard to believe, but my daughter has been a singer with this organization for the past eleven years.
As Matin Luther King, Jr. is honored today, I pause in gratitude for the dedication of Peirce teachers, who strive daily to uphold inclusive values in our school community and ensure that each child's identity is celebrated.
Third graders work togther in Techsploration, a CAS program.
Caregiver Coffee: Curriculum Updates in K-2
This year Peirce has adopted the EL Literacy Curriculum in grades K-2. Join us to discuss the curriculum and other updates to literacy instruction. Presented by Brett Aronne, Literacy Specialist; Deana Lew, Elementary Literacy Coordinator; and Andrea Vargas, Principal. Coffee and snacks provided by the PTO.
Monday, Jan 22, 2024, 08:15 AM
Portrait of a Newton Graduate
The district has made a decision to move the Portrait of a Graduate development process to later this spring.
However, we are excited to offer TWO options for the community to learn more about why we want to create a Portrait of a Graduate for our district. Come learn about how the world has changed and why our schools must change with it. You will also have the chance to provide input on what our Portrait will look like once the design team process starts.
Ultimately, the work you help with now will set the stage for developing a shared community vision in our Portrait of a Graduate. The session dates and locations are as follows:
Wednesday, January 17th at 6:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m. at Newton North
Thursday, January 18th at 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Newton South
Please consider attending one of the sessions! You can RSVP using this Google Form:
The sessions will explore the following questions:
What are the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that our community has for our young people?
What are the skills and mindsets that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?
Your voice and input is critical to creating a portrait that reflects our community and the skills our students should have when they graduate. We look forward to your participation.
Summer Program for Academic and Creative Endeavors
Newton’s S.P.A.C.E. is a four-week summer enrichment program run by the Newton Public Schools from July 1st through July 25th. Students entering kindergarten through 9th grade in the Fall 2024 are eligible to attend. We offer two programs - an upper camp (entering grade 5-entering grade 9 in the Fall of 2024) and a lower camp (entering kindergarten-entering grade 4).
LOWER CAMP - Campers are assigned into age appropriate classes led by elementary school teachers, through project based learning, challenges and activities that focus on our camp theme. Each summer a new theme is chosen. Lower Camp has a co-taught model with two teachers and one counselor. Special attention is given to individual students by maintaining a low student to teacher ratio. Lower Campers will also attend various specials throughout the week led by certified staff. In past years, specials have included physical education, art, yoga, and science..
UPPER CAMP - Campers will create their own schedules by choosing from a vast amount of electives to design their own camp program. SPACE Upper Camp has over 50 electives for students to choose from including art studios, performing arts, athletics, STEM activities, and language arts.
A Message from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Chronic absenteeism (missing 10 percent or more of the school year) appears in every type of district – urban, suburban, rural, regional, traditional public schools, career technical schools, charter schools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
We know that there are often valid reasons for students to be absent, but, to a troubling extent, students are missing more school now than they did prior to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, 13 percent of students statewide were chronically absent. Last year, 22 percent of students – close to 1 in 4 statewide – were chronically absent.
Newton Public Schools is not immune to this trend. In all but two of our 22 schools, the chronic absenteeism rate in FY23 increased from FY19. In many cases, it is double or triple what it was in FY19.
As of 12/21/2023, the district’s chronic absenteeism rate K-12 is 10.6%, which means that about 11% of the district’s students (over 1,200 students) have missed 10% or more of the school year so far.
[The chronic absenteeism rate for Peirce for school year 22-23 was 11.7%.]
We are asking you to commit to making daily school attendance part of your family’s routine again. As a leader of your family, you are the best and most important influencer of your child. When you make a point of getting them to school every day, they will understand that it is important for their success.
NPS is committed to partnering with you to find ways to remove any barriers that may be hindering any child from coming to school every day. Please reach out to your student’s school for any assistance or support you might need.
Brighten 2024 with NCE!
Story Starters Winter 2024 Registration is Open Through January 19th
Meet author Kaija Langley at our program kickoff!
Our eight-week Family Conversations Program is designed for parents who want to start and strengthen conversations about race with their young children (ages 3-8). Join our Winter 2024 Cohort and be the first to receive our brand new book bundles, along with updated supplemental book lists!
Our program provides families with:
A bundle of 6 books tailored to your children's ages
5 caregiver guides full of research, resources, and family activities to support and deepen family race conversations
4 curated book lists to support further exploration and conversation
2 in-person family events and 2 virtual caregiver workshops
2 virtual office hours
Support from a network of current families and alumni to lean on and learn from
Special events to facilitate community connection
Mark your Calendar!
January 17- 5th Grade Concert for Families, 6:30-7:30
January 17 & 18- Portrait of a Graduate Input Sessions (see above)
January 19- Kindergarten Early Literacy Screeners available in Aspen
January 22- Caregiver Coffee: Curriculum Updates in K-2 (see above)
February 1- Progress Reports Available in Aspen
3rd Grade ELA- March 25 & 26
3rd Grade MATH- April 29 & 30
4th Grade ELA- March 28 & April 2
4th Grade MATH- May 2 & 3
5th Grade ELA- April 4 & 5
5th Grade MATH- May 6 & 7
5th Grade STE-- May 13 &14
Peirce Elementary School
170 Temple Street
Newton, MA 02465