Principal's Message May 16-20

Dear Peabody and Watkins community,

This week feels like we are back to the Covid surge we experienced in December. I'm certain that every grade level and most homerooms have experienced a case in the last two weeks. Thankfully, almost all reports from our community members have described mild symptoms.

The current policy in place has resulted in unvaccinated students missing significant amounts of school. Our job at the school is to enact the policy, however we all can do more to mitigate the spread and keep all of our students in school. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Vaccinate your children. This is best for their health and their attendance at school.
  2. Encourage your children to wear a mask all the time. The optional mask policy is in place (unless there is a case in your child's class, then masks are required for ten days) but our kids are used to masking and it will help everyone if we all wear a mask. Our teachers are almost all masked and do a great job modeling that safety practice.
  3. Keep your children at home when they are sick. In the last week or so, many students who reported feeling unwell ended up testing positive for Covid a few days later and exposed their classmates. The Ask-Ask-Look screener that we do at school can be done at home and feels even more relevant right now.

When students are in quarantine, families can expect communication from teachers by the end of the 2nd day away from school. All assignments and learning can be made up and hopefully done at home. Families that need a device can notify the main office and collect one from the school.

There are so many fun events coming up at our schools (see calendar below). We want all students to be able to attend them and that will only happen if they are not in quarantine.

Key Dates

  • May 15 - Capitol Hill Classic - community fund raiser and race
  • May 17-18 - PARCC for 4th grades - ELA
  • May 23 PTA meeting
  • May 27 - Last day for PARCC testing
  • May 30 Memorial Day
  • June 2 - Peabody and Watkins Staff vs. Stuart Hobson staff basketball game, 5pm.
  • June 3 - Popsicles and Pizza at the Watkins playground, 3:30 - 5:30 sponsored by the RCE group.
  • June 7 - LSAT - new member elections (see below)
  • June 9 - Embassy Adoption Capstone Event (5th grade only)
  • June 10 - Peabody field day
  • June 14 - Watkins field day
  • June 15 - step up days at Watkins 1st - 4th graders
  • June 17 - Watkins 5th grade Promotion at Stuart Hobson
  • June 17 - Peabody Dance: Glitz and Glow Sticks
  • June 20 - No school, Juneteenth Observed
  • June 21 - Kindergarten promotion
  • June 24 - Last day of school for students

      Asymptomatic Student Testing Schedule!

      Every Friday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

      9:15 for Watkins

      9:15 for Peabody (Kindergarten only - PK students all test at home weekly)

both schools



PTA Dates This Spring:

  • Sunday, May 15 - 41st Annual Capitol Hill Classic!
  • Monday, May 23 - Final PTA General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

LSAT Wants You... to nominate a representative

Our Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) is recruiting Parent Representatives for each of our school campuses (Peabody, Watkins, Stuart-Hobson). The LSAT is a group of elected parents, teachers, and staff charged with advising the principal on matters that promote high expectations and high achievement for all students. Please CLICK HERE to submit a nomination. All nominations should be submitted by Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Next Year: Instructional Model Change for Kinder and 1st Grade

Our leadership teams at both campuses have been in ongoing conversations with our Kinder and 1st grade teams about "un-departmenatlizing" each grade level for the upcoming school year. This means that for Kindergarten and First grades next year, students will only have one homeroom teacher who will teach all subjects. Students will no long transition to a new teacher and classroom for the second half of the day and instead stay in one place all day with one homeroom teacher.

The benefits we’ve discussed include emphasizing student-teacher relationships with one homeroom only, minimizing transition time, targeted co-teaching for students with IEPs, and schedule adjustments that enable the necessary time for early literacy instruction. Of course there are drawbacks to this change and we’ve talked through solutions with the Kinder and 1st grade teams.

I appreciate the teams for their willingness to consider a different model and their forethought into what’s needed to prepare. We have been and will continue to work closely with these teams to set them up for success next year including, but not limited to, ordering the materials they don’t have yet, supporting with professional learning with a less-familiar content area, and even class visits this year to see the opposite content areas.


PARCC Make Ups

We are almost done with our regularly scheduled PARCC testing. Students that missed their test will be called for make ups. Our mandate is to test all 3-5th graders and we will call students to complete testing over the next two weeks.

Summer School Principal: Ms. Hightower!

Congratulations are in order for Ms. Hightower! She will lead the summer programming at Watkins this summer. She is leading recruitment and selection for our staff and be a familiar face for the Watkins students that are enrolled. Thank you Ms. Hightower!

Volunteer to Support PARCC Testing - Last Call!

PARCC is back! Watkins 3rd – 5th graders will take the PARCC ("Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College") assessment - DC's annual math and ELA assessment - again this spring. Please see above for the 3rd – 5th grade testing schedule.

We are asking for your help on and before testing days to support critical aspects of the testing administration! We’d love to have 3-6 caregivers' support on testing days; and 1-2 caregivers' support on prep days. While not necessary, we're hoping that volunteers will sign up for multiple time slots. These are in-school volunteer experiences and you do not need to have a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student to volunteer.

Sign up here

5th Grade Year-End Events in June

Our team has been busy planning the end of year fun for our 5th graders. Caregivers, please take note of these exciting events in June!

  • 7th - Stuart Hobson Middle School Step Up Day 9:30-11a and Rita’s Ice Social at 2pm
  • 9th - Six Flags Field Trip
  • 15th - Promotion Practice at Stuart Hobson
  • 16th - Spring Dance on the Spirit of Washington
  • 17th - Promotion at Stuart Hobson
  • 24th - Last day of school for all students.


No updates this week