Peirce Principal News

August 26, 2022

A Message from Ms. Vargas

Hello Peirce Families and Caregivers,

What do you think a new principal does all summer in a relatively empty school building?

A) Roller skate through the hallways

B) Perform songs to an empty auditorium

C) Meet with teachers, district leaders, and the PTO; hire staff; become familiar with school curriculum and routines; participate in and plan for professional development; and more!

Of course, the answer is C. My children, Ella and Julian, have been known for B in past summers. Once they put on a great ukulele concert for an audience of 600 empty seats. You can see these young musicians as well as my husband and me pictured at right.

After a summer of C-- preparing for the school year ahead-- I am so excited that our first day nears. You can expect a weekly newsletter from me going forward. This one includes information about the start of school, lunch, and important events. In future weeks, I look forward to including pictures of your students and their learning as well.


Andrea Vargas

Big picture

2022-2023 Peirce Teachers by Grade Level

In addition to the Bridge program, we have thirteen classrooms this year. Lead teachers and some specialists are listed below.

Kindergarten: Melina Crovo & Megan Luce

1st Grade: Breane Norvell & Erin Tracey

2nd Grade: Nicole Capodilupo & Gennie Salzsieder

3rd Grade: Katie Beaulieu & Amanda Anderson (maiden name Berneberg)

4th Grade: Katie Busk, Laura DiSipio, & Emily Donahue

5th Grade: Anne Carey & Kelly Champagne

Art: Georgia Smith

Library: Morgan Harper

Music: Olivia de Geofroy

PE: Gary Nye

Please visit our school website for a full list of Peirce teachers including special educators and support staff.

Class Placement

Families can now log into Aspen to see teacher assignments for your child(ren). We are not able to provide class lists until all parents/guardians have had the opportunity to review their privacy settings on Aspen. For more information about Aspen, you can visit this link.

Teacher assignments are final. Class placement is a complex process that involves consideration of many factors. All Peirce educators are thrilled to be partnering with families to support the growth and development of all of our students.

School Hours & Schedule

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 6th.

On the first day of school only, all students will meet on the playground and field area. Teachers will then walk each class inside. Parents should remain outside at this time.

For kindergarten: On September 7- September 9 only, parents may drop students off to classrooms through the side doors in the front of the building. By the second week of school (September 12th on) teachers will meet students at these doors and bring them inside each morning. Additional staff will be on hand at the start of the school year to escort children who arrive by bus or car.

School Arrival:

The first bell rings at 8:10. This is when students are allowed to enter the building.

The second bell rings at 8:20.

Students arriving after 8:20 need to check-in at the main office.

School Dismissal:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: School dismisses at 2:50 (Lunch is served.)

Wednesday: School dismisses at 12:20. (No lunch is served.)

Here is the 2022-23 Newton Public Schools Calendar

There are 6 special early release days (5 Thursdays and 1 Tuesday) with a 12:10 dismissal:

September 29th, November 8th, December 8th, February 2nd, March 23rd, May 11th

Voting at Peirce

The first day of school coincides with primary voting at Peirce. Please know that committed parents, school leaders, city leaders, and Newton Police are working to maintain a safe school environment while voting occurs in our school. Plans include:

  • Two police officers will be on site
  • There will be a rotation of Peirce staff to help supervise the hallway and direct voters to adult bathrooms if needed.
  • Only the back door (accessible entrance) will be open.
  • Safety and emergency planning will be reviewed with staff on September 1.

To assist us with safety and to lessen distractions for our students, I ask that caregivers who come to vote at Peirce avoid seeking out their students in classrooms on September 6th. There will be many other opportunities to visit on later dates this year. Thank you for your understanding and support!

School Lunch

As noted in the District Newsletter:

Once again this year, Massachusetts will provide free meals in schools. However, the program this year is different from the last two years. Please read to understand the differences and actions you must take.

What is free?

FIRST meals are free for all students. However, SECOND meals must be paid for with cash or or through the MySchool Bucks account.

What is the cost of a SECOND meal?

The student charge for second meals is $5.25 for elementary studentsWhat do you mean by "all meals must be validated" by student?"

This means that all student meals will be served from the cafeteria and each student must have their meal scanned at the Point of Sale register - even though the first meals are free. Student ID barcode cards will be provided for all K-5 students on the first day of school. The cards will remain at school, and each school will determine how the students will access their cards each day.

How can I pay for SECOND meals?

Please create or check your family MySchoolBucks lunch account to ensure there are funds available if your child purchases a second meal

Financial Assistance:

Families who are determined eligible for free or reduced-price meal support through Direct Certification will receive a letter from NPS stating their benefit eligibility. Notification letters were sent via email to the main household contact/s on file in Aspen for each eligible student on Monday, 8/15 and then as new eligibility may be identified. Please check the Food Services tab on the NPS website to see how Free and Reduced-Price Eligibility is determined through Direct Certification.

NOTE - Students who do have free or reduced-price status are still obligated to pay the full price for second lunches. These charges are the family's responsibility.

Financial Assistance - Waiver Request

Families who are notified of free or reduced-price eligibility through Direct Certification should also visit the NPS website to apply for district-level financial assistance, which can be accessed by submitting a financial assistance and waiver request. Applying for the district fee waiver is a separate and necessary step to receive this additional financial assistance.

Kindergarten Tour and Playground Playdate

Thursday, Sep. 1st, 2:30-3:30pm

Peirce School- front entrance

Kindergarten students and their families are invited to visit Peirce on Thursday, September 1st at 2:30pm. Please meet outside the front entrance at 2:30pm for a tour of your child's classroom. Following the tour, the PTO would like to invite you to the Kindergarten Playground (in the rear of the school) for an informal playdate with new friends and popsicles! No RSVP is required.

New Student Sneak Peek

Thursday, Sep. 1st, 4-5pm

Peirce School- front entrance

Students in grade 1-5 who are new to Peirce are welcome to bring their families and join Ms. Vargas for a school tour on Thursday, September 1. Teachers will not be present for this tour, but students will get to see their classrooms and other popular places in the building. Please RSVP using your child's name below.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

A Message from the Peirce PTO

Save the date! The annual Peirce back-to-school picnic will be on Friday, September 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Stay tuned for more details coming soon from the Peirce PTO.

If you are a new family or are unsure whether you're on the Peirce PTO email list, please contact PTO President Rielle Montague Barnes at to be added to the list for PTO communications.

Mark your Calendar!

September 6- First Day of School (meet teachers on the playground and field)

September 9- Back to School Picnic!

September 8- New Family Welcome Coffee: Library, 8:30-9:30

September 12- Principal Coffee for all Caregivers: Library, 8:30-9:30

September 12- Virtual Principal Coffee for all Caregivers: Zoom, 6:00- 7:00 PM

September 26- School Holiday: Rosh Hashanah

September 29- Special Early Release (Dismissal at 12:20)

October 3- Curriculum Night

October 5- School Holiday: Yom Kippur

Peirce Elementary School

170 Temple Street

Newton, MA 02465

(617) 559-9630