Principal's Message May 9-13
Dear Peabody and Watkins community,
Happy Mother's Day! I do hope all of the moms in our community enjoy a weekend full of love and appreciation from your families.
I also want to thank our PTA, room parents, and all of our families that showed their appreciation for our teachers and staff this week. Fueled by treats and notes of appreciation, our staff was able to take huge steps forward this week! Our Kindergarteners visited 1st graders at Watkins for a tour . One of the highlights of the visits were the surprise sibling encounters and the long-time reunions between our Peabody Kindergarten teachers and the Watkins students they taught long ago.
Our 3rd and 5th graders finished their regularly scheduled PARCC assessments! Please congratulate these scholars for completing this journey all the while showing Panther PRIDE. Our Dedication to Excellence was certainly on display. 4th graders will start testing this week, and we will continue to make up tests for 3rd and 5th graders that need one.
COVID continues to impact our community. Luckily the cases I'm aware of has only been mild or asymptomatic, but students and are still missing school because of the virus and the quarantine requirement. We all should expect this to continue. Vaccinations offer students and families a less severe infection and continuity of school attendance. Unvaccinated students will continue to have to quarantine when they are exposed in their classrooms. As the year winds down, students will be able to continue to participate in school events, such as 5th grade promotion, step up days, and other fun events so long as they are at school. Unvaccinated students are in jeopardy of missing these events if a covid exposure occurs. I hope no one misses any more days of school and I also encourage all parents to vaccinate their children to prevent losing more days of school.
We are ahead of our enrollment targets at both schools! Let's keep up the re-enrollments! Our budget depends on our enrollment next year more than ever. Shout to to Ms. Turner, Ms. Roy, Ms. Carraway and Ms. Montgomery for leading these efforts!
- May 9 - Kindergarten Meet and Greet w 1st grade teachers (see more below)
- May 10-12 PARCC for 4th graders - Math
- May 15 - Capitol Hill Classic - community fund raiser and race
- May 17-18 - PARCC for 4th grades - ELA
- May 23 PTA meeting
- May 30 Memorial Day
PARCC is back for 3-5 graders for ELA and Math state summative assessments. 5th graders will also take the DC Science assessment. Testing will be complete before Memorial Day.
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)
REMINDER: RE-ENROLL TODAY!
Upcoming PTA COMMUNITY EVENTS AND MEETING DATES
PTA Dates This Spring:
- Sunday, May 15 - 41st Annual Capitol Hill Classic!
- Monday, May 23 - Final PTA General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)
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.
Welcome Ms. Moyo, Watkins New Librarian!
Ms. Moyo will begin by collaborating with the current Food Prints programming. Before the year is out, she will be able to connect with all homeroom classes to introduce herself and build excitement for next year's library programming.
Morning and afternoon library circulation will continue as scheduled for now with Ms. Moyo and our parent volunteers!
Volunteer to Support PARCC Testing
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.
FOR KINDERGARTEN FAMILIES: Prospective 1st Grade eveNTS AT WATKINS
Please see the below flier for a list of upcoming events to welcome you and your student to 1st grade at Watkins.
We look forward to seeing you soon!