Principal's Message Dec 13 - Jan 7

What a Year!

Dear community,

It is clear that COVID cases are on the rise in our city and country. Watkins has seen a number of cases in the last week. I urge you to have your children vaccinated if they are not already. I also urge the adults to get a booster shot. Our vaccines will keep us as healthy as possible, ideally prevent severe illness and also keep our staff and our students in school. Please use our city website or other means to find a vaccination site. I did for my 7-year-old daughter and I'm grateful that she is now fully vaccinated. I don't know what this turn in the pandemic will mean for us at school, but I do know that the vaccines, social distancing, masks, and our other mitigation efforts can keep us healthy in the new year.

Both Schools

Key Dates

  • Dec 22 - Last school day of 2021! Pajama Day. Peabody Secret Snow Flake
  • Jan 4 - LSAT
  • Jan 14 - I HAVE A DREAM
  • Jan 17 - Martin Luther King Holiday
  • Jan 26 - End of Term 2. 1/2 Day Records Day, 1/2 Day PD.
  • Feb 1st - LSAT
  • Feb 8 - Peabody Open House, 6pm in person
  • Feb 9 - Watkins Open House, 6pm in person

New Asymptomatic Student Testing Schedule!

Every Friday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

9:15 for Watkins

9:15 for Peabody

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End of Year Celebrations

The holidays are here! We will celebrate the end of 2021 on our last day, Dec 22, in a variety of ways. Homeroom teachers and grade level teams are planning a variety of culturally inclusive events to take place on our last day. Until then, the joyful and rigorous learning will continue!

Peabody families can look forward to a "zoom concert" during their music time in the last days of the month. Please see below for a copy of the scheduled performances. Teachers will also provide the viewing link to parents.

Thank you Ms. Swan for preparing your first Peabody show!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

9:30 am-Ms. Allen-Thompson Pre-K 4

10:30 am-Ms. Syquia Pre-K 3

2:30 pm-Ms. Paige Kindergarten

Monday, December 20, 2021

9:30 am-Ms. Brooks Pre-K 4

10:30 am-Ms. Barker Pre-K 3

2:30 pm-Ms. S. Williams Kindergarten

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

9:30 am-Ms. Doolin Pre-K 4

10:30 am-Ms. Pavlik Pre-K 3

2:30 pm-Mrs. Mcgrath Kindergarten

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

9:30 am-Ms. Friedman Pre-K 4

10:30 am-Ms. Slattery Pre-K 3

2:30 pm-Mrs. C. Williams Kindergarten

Please click here to view the concert. Teachers will also be providing their classroom families with the link.


After consultation with DC Health, DCPS is working with DGS to turn water fountains back on in all schools. Watkins is scheduled for December 20-26 and Peabody for January 10-16.

Please note:

  • Although fountains were turned off at the beginning of the pandemic, the filter changing process continued on-schedule over the past 18 months. Per guidelines, filters were changed, fountains turned on, and water was tested.
  • Custodial teams will be expected to include water fountains in their enhanced cleaning routines in alignment with DC Health recommendations. We will ensure that this expectation is communicated directly.
  • Once water fountains have been turned on, custodial teams will run the fountains for one minute to flush the system.

We have been told that touchless water coolers will remain in schools to support the transition back to fountain use. However, eventually, they will be removed.


Registration for Peabody & Watkins FLEX Enrichment Winter Classes opens on Monday, December 20th at 5:00pm! Registration will close on January 9th and classes will start the week of January 17th. We have some great winter classes lined up and FLEX has switched registration platforms to help us monitor data/enrollment more closely.

Keep your eye out for the class options for both campuses this Monday at 5:00pm!

QR Code - Mental Health Resources

Our amazing Mental Health Team has compiled a vast set of resources for use by caregivers and staff alike. Please use the QR code to browse the files and reach out to our social workers or psychologist with any questions!
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Watkins "I Have a Dream" Speeches Continue at the Lincoln Steps!

Our 5th graders will be resuming the fantastic Watkins tradition of reciting Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 1pm on January 14th. Our students began rehearsing weeks ago as staff worked out the logistics with the National Parks Service, buses, meals and other important details.

5th Grade families will receive permission slips to attend the event, the ceremony program, and further details soon. We're very excited to take our first field trip since COVID began!

Unlike the past, this will NOT be a school-wide event. We are working on ways for our students back in school to connect with this event and will have that information soon.

New Aftercare Program at Peabody and Watkins: Music Kids

Music Kids offers:

  • Weekly 30 min lessons on site
  • Lessons on guitar, piano and violin
  • Small group lessons (2-3 students)
  • Students can participate in Spring Recitals
  • Rental instruments included

If you are interested and would like more information please visit their website at or contact their office at

Accepting applications now until January 2022

Year 2 With Kindred - Advancing Equity at our Schools - Partners Wanted!

Are you interested in advancing equity at Peabody and Watkins? New Kindred dialogue groups launching soon!

The Cluster’s Partnership With Kindred: Kindred supports communities in collaborating toward the creation of an anti-racist and liberated society. The Cluster began partnering with Kindred last year to bring caregivers, staff, and leaders together to advance educational equity and racial justice in our community. This work took the form of two diverse dialogue groups and the ongoing development of an equity team. This year, our partnership will include three new dialogue groups to grow the community of caregivers and staff working together to cultivate a Cluster culture in which everyone experiences a sense of belonging and can thrive.

More About This Year’s Dialogue Groups: Recruitment has begun for two new caregiver dialogue groups and one new staff dialogue group. Over the course of ten sessions, participants will come together to build trusting relationships, examine their own and learn about each other's multifaceted identities and histories, and explore how racial inequity shows up in our society and our school community. After the dialogue experience, group members will join the Kindred Equity Team. This team was formed by members of last year’s dialogue group and represents a space for equity-driven collective action, as well as for continued community building and identity processing.

How To Get Involved: If you are interested in joining one of the dialogue groups, please reach out to Ryan Jones ( or Meredith Morelle ( from the Kindred team to schedule a one-on-one conversation and learn more about the dialogue process.


Multipurpose Room Divider Out of Order

Yesterday, we made the decision to open the gym/cafeteria divider and keep it open until it can be fixed. The divider has been used more this year than ever, I'm told, and it's not keeping up and we are concerned that keeping the divider in place will turn into a safety concern. Lunches will continue in the cafeteria as scheduled. The overall student density in the cafeteria will not change. We took pictures today of what the cafeteria looks like with the door open and posted them to Instagram (link above).


The Fall Basketball season is now slated to begin in January, not December as previously communicated. See updated schedule below.

New this year: due to social distancing requirements, we will be distributing and collecting tickets in order to manage occupancy in the gym. Be on the lookout for more information to come about this process.

Home Basketball Games:

Wednesday January 12, 2022

Thursday January 13, 2022

Thursday January 20, 2022

Friday January 21, 2022

Friday January 28, 2022

Friday February 4, 2022

Monday February 7, 2022

Tuesday February 8, 2022

Away Basketball Games

Monday January 24, 2022

Thursday January 27, 2022

Monday January 31, 2022


Aftercare Fully Open for PK3, PK4, and K

Flex has fully staffed each grade level's aftercare. PK3 will start Dec 14. There are a few spots left. Sign up here. (click the orange "enroll now.")


Due to supply chain issues, we have not received some of the materials we ordered as a replacement for our dramatic play centers. If you have gently used or new extra play items, we are asking our school community to consider donating these items to classrooms for use in our dramatic play centers in December/January. These items may include but are not limited to:

Doll beds, child-sized wooden stove, sink, ironing board, iron, carriage, stroller, high chair, dress-up clothes, hats, shoes, boas, jewelry, pots, pans, dishes, other kitchen equipment relevant to different cultures, dolls representing different ethnic groups, child-sized broom and mop, toy telephones, pocketbooks, briefcases, plastic food, empty food boxes relevant to different cultures, doctors kit.

If you have any questions, please contact AP James at Peabody.