Peirce School Family Newsletter

December 2016

5th Grade Musical - "Wright"

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Principal's Message

Para ver este boletin en espanol click aqui.

December 1, 2016

Greetings Peirce Families,

This time of year is an opportunity to reflect and set goals for the future. In my own personal reflections, I continue to realize how fortunate I am to be the principal of such a supportive and diverse school community. It is an honor each day to work alongside some of the most talented staff in the city, watch new learning happening with our young people and participate in the many community events that our Peirce Families host to support family and community engagement. Each of you make Peirce the community that it is - thank you for choosing Peirce and trusting us with the education of your child(ren).

As we close out 2016 and prepare for 2017, Peirce School will continue to offer a quality education which balances academics, the arts and social emotional learning. In the spirit of IB, we will continue to support student inquiry, action and service.

Enjoy the winter months to come and I look forward to an outstanding second half of the school year!

Warmest Wishes,

Lori Zaimi

November Highlights:

  • Our Scholastic Book Fair was a success! Thank you to the parents and staff who helped organize. This year, the planning committee has decided to donate $2,000 of the profit to support student scholarships for the 7th & 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.!

  • Scott Anderson visited with our MYP students through the Pulitzer Center. Scott talked about his work on "Fractured Lands," published in NY Times Magazine article from a few weeks ago on the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

  • Our IB Behind the Scenes Tours were a huge success - thank you to those parents who attended in PK, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades. Our Kindergarten and 4th grade sessions will take place in December.

  • Our Student Council held their Installation Ceremony with our next group of leaders ready to make a positive impact on Peirce School and the Community. Their first activity was to hold a Canned Food Drive, benefiting Care for Real - thank you to everyone who contributed!

  • The 5th grade musical was another opportunity to showcase Peirce’s commitment to the arts - and what a fabulous performance! Thank you to Ms. Thompson & Ms. Leander for their vision and creativity.

  • All families in Kindergarten-5th grade participated in student-led conferences, it was exciting to see students sharing with their parents about their learning!

  • Students in K-8th grades celebrated their learning through the end of quarter learning celebrations.

  • Thank you to Cecilia Bocanegra, Ella French & Kate Polgar for coordinating our annual Fall Tour/Open House for prospective families. Also, thank you to the parents who attended to share their experiences with other families.

  • 30 students received a pair of free glasses through the Princeton Vision Clinic - thank you to Ms. Choe for organizing!

Student Council Installation Ceremony

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Parent Mixer - December 8th

When: Thursday December, 8 at 6:00 pm

Where: Pork Shoppe

5721 N. Clark St.

Chicago, IL 60660

The PSO would like to invite Peirce parents and guardians, new and “old,” for a fun evening at a favorite local establishment! Come eat, drink, mingle, and learn more about the organizations that help Peirce succeed: the PSO, PAC, and Friends of Peirce.

Light appetizers will be provided at Pork Shoppe, courtesy of Friends of Peirce.

Free babysitting will be available at the Peirce Fieldhouse from 6pm until 8 pm with the option of a cheese pizza dinner for a $5 fee. To register your child for babysitting (and pizza), please visit here.

Talking to your children about school

Throughout our IB Behind the Scenes tours, one of the most common questions is around getting students to talk about their day at school - children often do not communicate to parents what is happening, what they learned, etc and this becomes frustrating for parents who want to be involved.

Check out this article on “15 questions to replace “How Was School Today?” for a few tips.”

IB Behind the Scenes Tours - Kindergarten & 4th Grades

Our first round of IB Behind the Scenes tours have gone very well - parents who have attended have said that these sessions have helped develop a better understanding as to what is happening in the classroom and how to support their children at home.

Our final two sessions are Kindergarten and 4th grade.

Kindergarten - Thursday, December 8th from 8:15 - 9:30am

4th Grade - Monday, December 5th from 8:15 - 9:30am

The focus for 4th grade is on the use of Second Step & Restorative Approaches to Discipline. Kindergarten will focus on their current IB unit.

Peirce’s IB Program of Inquiry

The Program of Inquiry for our PYP IB program can be found on the Peirce website by visiting here and clicking on the POI document at the bottom of the page. The POI gives a big picture overview of the content studied at each grade level.

You can also find more information on our IB program - both PYP and MYP by visiting here.

4th Grade Barrel of Monkeys Partnership

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MAP Testing

Our winter MAP Test session will begin on December 12th and continue through January, a more detailed schedule will be shared later with classroom testing dates. Students in 2nd-8th grade take the test two times a year in Reading and Math and data is used to support differentiated instruction. The end of year test will be administered late May/early June. Please note that student data from the MAP test is currently used to determine our school rating.

Friends of Peirce Fundraising Opportunities

Friends of Peirce has a few events coming up to support Peirce School Programs such as arts integration, sports and afterschool programs.

  • Be sure to visit Hopleaf (5148 N Clark) and purchase a drink from the Kegs for Kids menu - 100% of the cost of each drink goes to support Peirce School.

  • On December 7th - Giordano's Pizza, 5207 N Clark will donate 15% of all proceeds to Peirce School. This event will not require a flyer and revenue can be generated from non-Peirce families.

  • Save the Date - April 30th will be our Peirce Hopleaf Day, 100% of all sales will go to Peirce! Last year over $30,000 was raised in one day!

  • Save the Date - Babes with Blades performance at the City Lit Theatre on March 11th at 8:00pm, more information on ticket sales to come! All proceeds will go to support the 7th/8th grade trip to Washington DC.

Thank you to Tim Cottini and Fork Restaurant for supporting a food tasting event with proceeds going to Peirce School! Also, thank you to Giordano’s Pizza on Clark for supporting Peirce School with the October/November fundraiser days.


Peirce’s attendance has made some improvement over the last month but we are still lower than we were last year at this time. Be sure to have children at school daily and on time, but please keep children home when they are running a fever/are contagious to the school environment.

Magnet Lottery

The deadline for families to apply to Peirce through the Options for Knowledge program for the 2017-2018 school year is December 9th. For parents applying to grades K-8 via the Options for Knowledge Application, here is the online link to the application website: Peirce's school code is 5360PI. Please share this information with anyone you know who may be considering Peirce as their school and does not live in the attendance area. Families who have siblings at the school but Peirce not being their attendance area school also must apply through the Options for Knowledge program.


For parents applying to our Preschool - please visit the CPS Early Childhood: Birth to Pre-K Programs website at: and read more about the Early Learning programs and application process. You can also call their hotline at 312-229-1690.

5th Grade Debate

Join the 5th grade students as they demonstrate their work with Argument Centered Education and participate in their first grade level debate of the year. The question that will be debated is “Should the United States substantially reduce immigration”. The event is open to families and will take place at 1:30pm on Friday, December 16th in the gymnatorium.

Peirce School Winter Concert

Students in Kindergarten-5th grade will showcase their talents in our winter concert on Thursday, December 22nd at 9:30am and 1:30pm. All K-5 classrooms will perform in both shows for songs, however only some classrooms will participate for the dance portion of the event. In addition, Peirce Performers will be in both shows.

9:30am - Dance showcase from 3rd grade classrooms 321 & 322, 4th grade classrooms 203, 204 & 208

1:30pm - Dance showcase from 3rd grade classrooms 323 & 324, 4th grade classrooms 203, 204 & 208

4th grade room 209 has worked on a separate project with Loyola University and will have a video showcase.

48th Ward Winter Concert

Join the 48th ward for a community winter concert on December 19th at 4:00pm, Senn High School. Peirce singers and dancers will showcase their talent alongside local schools and organizations.

Box Tops

Box tops are collected on a regular basis and bring in additional dollars to the school - please save box tops throughout the year and turn in during the box tops collection time periods.

Join us on Social Media!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook - Helen C Peirce School of International Studies is Peirce’s official Facebook Site. In addition, the “Peirce School PSO” has a site along with a closed group “Parents of Peirce” there is a lot of information shared on all 3 sites and are great opportunities to share and receive information along with networking with other parents.

Follow us on Instagram at peircecps.

Save the Date!

Upcoming Dates


1st No After School All Stars Programs - Teacher PD after school

Bilingual Advisory Council Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

2nd Small Group Parent Tour for prospective parents, 8:15am

7th Giordano’s Pizza Fundraiser (5207 N Clark) - 15% of all proceeds go to Peirce

8th Volunteer Recruitment Event, Pork Shoppe, 6:00 - 8:00pm

9th Parent Advisory Council Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

12th MAP Testing Begins, More information to come

13th Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm, Fieldhouse

15th Box Tops Collection

Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm

16th Peirce Service Organization Meeting (PSO), 8:15am, Fieldhouse

5th Grade Debate on Immigration, 1:30pm

19th-22nd Classroom Spelling Bees

19th 48th Ward Winter Show, 4:00pm, Senn HS

22nd Winter Concert, 9:30am & 1:30pm

December 26th-January 6th - Winter Break

January 2017

9th School Resumes

Progress Reports Distributed

11th Student Assembly Day - Amazing Africa by Urban Gateways

12th Spelling Bee, 8:30am 1st/2nd grades, 10:00am 3rd-5th grades, 1:30pm 6th-8th grades

13th Parent Advisory Council Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

Small Group Parent Tour, 8:15am

16th No School - Martin Luther King Jr Day

18th-20th 7th Grade trip to Laredo Taft

19th Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm

20th Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

*Please visit our school calendar on the Peirce website for more events happening throughout the year - please note that some dates/events might change throughout the school year.