Peirce School Family Newsletter

March 2018

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Principal's Message

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Greetings Peirce Families,

The past months events in Parkland Florida, remind us how important safety of our students really is - not just physical safety but also appropriate mental health supports. Our teachers, staff and school administration continue to work with our children so that every child feels welcome, safe, respected and has an adult that they can go to in any time of need - we are not perfect, but as a school we continue to grow and develop our relationships with the young people in our building.

In January, students in 3rd-8th grades completed a student created survey. 91% of 3rd-5th graders and 89% of 6th-8th graders reported feeling safe at Peirce, 95% of 3rd-5th graders and 88% of 6th-8th graders said that they feel their teachers care about them - these numbers speak volumes to the relationships that are already in place in our building and the safe environment that we have created for our young people, but with that said we still have work to be done - with the goal of 100% of students feeling safe and that their teachers/adults in the building care about them. The results of the entire student survey will soon be shared with the school community.

As parents, please remember that the children we see outside are all of our children, we are a community that must come together to support all of our kids, even in the most challenging situations. Continue to encourage your children to get to know the quiet kid, the kid who sits alone, the kid who does not play with others - we need to continue to make sure that all of our children are visible and not invisible.

I look forward to a strong second half of the school year and am proud and honored to be a part of the Peirce Community.

Warm Wishes,

Lori Zaimi


African American Heritage Showcase

Thank you to Ms. Smith and the AAHS committee for supporting our first ever African American Heritage Showcase! Our students shined brightly as they told the powerful stories of those who came before us in the fight for justice - sharing the work of leaders such as Ida B Wells, Ruby Bridges, Fannie Lou Hammer, Huey Newton, Susan B Anthony and more! We look forward to this becoming an annual tradition.

Women's History Month

March is an opportunity for our students to learn more about the contributions of women in our society. The 2018 Women's History Month Theme is " NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women". Check out this article from the New York Times which talks more about this years theme.

Welcome to Peirce!

Jeremiah Claussen - Special Education Teacher

Hello, My name is Jeremiah Claussen and I’m excited to be part of your child’s education at Helen C Peirce School of International Studies. I obtained my undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a major in history. I recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Please feel free to connect with me and I’d be happy to set up a time to meet.

Patricia Hare - Special Education Assistant

My name is Patricia Hare and I am a new Special Education Classroom Assistant (SECA), working with Kindergarten students. I have worked at Chicago Public Schools for 4 years as a SECA and I’m ecstatic to work with students, parents, and staff at Peirce School of International Studies! I had the pleasure of working with some of your children already and they have been very welcoming. I look forward to getting to know every single one of them and becoming a part of their academic growth at Peirce.

Growing up, my teacher’s had a big influence on me academically and emotionally. I remember running to my teachers for advice any time I had a problem at school or at home. Therefore, I am looking to help your child academically while helping to create a positive environment in which they feel safe to express themselves. I also have a 14-year-old daughter at home and understand the importance of communication and trust with children. Thus, I want to keep encouraging, inspiring, and impacting students so that they realize their potential.

I look forward to meeting you and collaborating with you this school year. By working together, we will create a safe haven for our children where they can express themselves without fear of judgment.

Adolfo Ramirez

Many parents, students and staff have come to know Adolfo through his participation in the Bilingual Advisory Council and his volunteer work at the corner of Bryn Mawr & Glenwood before and after school. Adolfo has recently joined the Peirce Staff to support internal operations during the recess and lunch hours, welcoming visitors to the school between the hours of 10:30am and 12:45pm, a high traffic time for students and parents - if you are in the building, be sure to say hello and introduce yourself to Adolfo.

Peirce Service Day - Wednesday, March 28th!

Wednesday, March 28th

10:00am - 4:00pm

Stay for all or part of the time!

Our school is slowly but, surely getting a makeover! Come help paint; clean; use your woodworking skills; and maybe even your masonry skills in helping make a beautiful transformation happen during our Service Day on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Kids will be welcome as well. We will have some pre-drawn canvases that need to be painted and we can have some adults and all the kids who come create installations! We will be painting and/or installing almost all around the school. There will be room for as many as would like to come and help out.

Sign Up Here

Volunteer Process UPDATE

All individuals who are interested in volunteering (which includes chaperoning field trips) must complete the CPS Volunteer Application. Depending on the level of volunteering you plan to do, you will be asked to complete an application for either a “Level I” volunteer or a “Level II” volunteer. For more info, please contact:

Volunteer Programs

Office of Family and Community Engagement in Education (FACE2)

Phone: 773-553-1544


LSC Elections

The 2018 Local School Council (LSC) Election will be held on Spring Parent-Teacher Conference Day, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 (for elementary schools) and Thursday, April 19, 2018 (for high schools).

Learn more about the LSC, the election and procedures for candidates in English or Spanish.

All LSC applications must be turned in to Peirce School by 3pm on March 2nd.

Friends of Peirce Upcoming Events

Jerry's Sandwiches in Andersonville is donating 20 percent of all proceeds to Friends of Peirce on March 8th! Visit for lunch, get carry out or go for dinner before/after STEAM night to help our school!

Mom's Night at Bar Roma is back! Join us on March 19th from 6-8 pm for this fundraiser for Friends of Peirce. Tickets are available here and are expected to sell out early.

Early Bird tickets for Friends of Peirce's spring fundraiser, Rock Out for Peirce, go on sale on March 1st! Rock Out will be held on May 19th from 7-10 pm at Fat Cat Chicago. The event will feature appetizers by Fat Cat, an open bar, an auction and raffle as well as a rockin' good time! Save $10 per ticket by purchasing before April 19th! Tickets can be purchased here!

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PARCC Testing

Dear CPS Families,

We are writing to let you know that PARCC testing begins Monday, March 5, 2018. At Peirce, 6th-8th grade students will take the test on March 6th-9th and 3rd-5th grade students will take the test on March 12th & March 14th-16th.

The PARCC assessment is administered to students in grades 3-8 each spring to evaluate how well we are preparing CPS students for success in college and career. We know there is some debate about the value of standardized tests, so we want to share why CPS believes this assessment is a critical component of your child’s education.

PARCC was developed to align with the Common Core State Standards and more accurately gauge student understanding of the crucial concepts that students need in order to be successful in the 21st Century. In addition to assessing math and reading skills, PARCC also evaluates students’ writing, problem-solving and critical thinking. According to five independent studies, PARCC is rigorous, grade-level appropriate and aligned to best practices in teaching.

In accordance with state requirements, PARCC testing is mandatory for CPS students in grades 3-8. Although you may hear people talk about not participating, please know that refusing to participate in PARCC may have a real impact on your child’s school and the District as a whole. If 95% of CPS students do not take the exam, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the U.S. Department of Education can withhold millions of dollars in funding from CPS. This could mean even fewer resources for the schools that need them most, which would be especially devastating given our already insufficient state funding.

As we near the beginning of testing, we want you to know there are resources online to provide you with additional information on the assessment and how it’s used in our schools. For additional information, please visit our PARCC website at and national-level resources at and

As always, we thank you for your active involvement in your child’s education. No assessment can fully capture the talents, skills and potential of your child, but by utilizing the best tools at our disposal we can shed new light on our students and schools to better understand their needs and advance the education of every child in Chicago.


Dr. Janice K. Jackson

Chief Education Officer

March 2018

Mar 1 - African American Heritage Showcase, 8:30am & 1:00pm

Mar 2 - LSC Applications due by 3pm to the main office

Mar 7 - Senn High School Parent Tour, 9:00am - 11:00am

Mar 8 - Jerry's Sandwiches Friends of Peirce Fundraiser

Mar 8 - STEAM Night, 5:00pm

Mar 9 - Progress Reports Distributed

Mar 9 - PAC & BAC Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

Mar 13 - Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm, Fieldhouse

Mar 14 - Student of the Month, 8:15am

Mar 14 - PI Day, 3.14159....

Mar 16 - Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

Mar 19 - Mom's Night Out at Bar Roma, 6:00pm

Mar 20 - International Day of Happiness

Mar 20 - Box Top Collection

Mar 21 - Papa Johns Fundraiser

Mar 22 - Papa Johns Fundraiser

Mar 22 - Spring Concert, 9:00am & 1:30pm

Mar 22 - LSC Candidate Forum, 5:00pm

Mar 22 - LSC Meeting, 6:00pm

Mar 23 - Student Council Spirit Day

Mar 28 - Peirce Day of Service, 10am - 4pm

Mar 26-30 Spring Break

****Bernie's Book Bank Collection****

February 26th - March 16th

April 2018

Apr 4 - Small Group Parent Tour, 8:15am

Apr 4 - First Responders Field Day for Kindergarten - 5th Grades, 8:30 - 11:30am

Apr 6 - 7th Grade Trip to Springfield, IL

Apr 6 - PAC/BAC Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

Apr 10 - Friends of Peirce Meeting, Fieldhouse, 6:30pm

Apr 11 - After School All Stars Showcase, 9:00am & 1:30pm

Apr 12 - End of Quarter 3

Apr 13 - No School

Apr 18 - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences, 11:30am - 3:00pm & 4:00pm - 6:30pm

Apr 19 - LSC Meeting, 6:00pm

Apr 20 - Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

Apr 20 - MYP Career Day

Apr 25 - Student of the Month Ceremony, 8:15am

Apr 26 - Fiesta de Arte, 5:00 - 7:00pm

Apr 29 - Peirce Day @ Hopleaf