Principal's Message March 14 - 18

Dear Peabody and Watkins,


I hope everyone had a chance to connect meaningfully with teachers and parents around the success and supports for our students yesterday. For our PreK families, our teachers worked hard to finalize the mid-year progress reports and those will be sent home in the coming days. Way to go PreK!


Today, the Chancellor announced big news about our health and safety practices regarding COVID-19. I hope everyone had a chance to read his announcement from earlier today. My initial big takeaways are:


  • Some students and staff will continue to wear masks, and some will take theirs off. As always, we will show respect to everyone.
  • Contact tracing will be very different. In a sense, all classes will be treated like the old PreK process (test-to-stay is still in place for PreK), in which everyone will be considered a close contact. Unvaccinated people of a class where this is a positive case will have to quarantine, which may result in more students in quarantine per case than we’re used to. Also, all members of a homeroom will receive a close contact notification in the scenario when there is a positive case in the class. School leaders will request the vaccination status of students in a class where there is a confirmed positive case from caregivers. I highly encourage all caregivers to vaccinate their children to stay healthy and stay in school.
  • The quarantine period for people that have tested positive and close contacts has been reduced, which is important to note.


Please be mindful that although these changes are happening across the country, these changes will land differently for each staff member and family. Just like we teach our students, it’s important to continue to respect each other’s opinions on this and any matter. These changes are not just for Peabody and Watkins but are DCPS-wide decisions. Schools do not have the autonomy to follow or not follow DCPS policies.

Both Schools

Key Dates


  • March 15 - Peabody Open House
  • Mach 16 - Watkins Open House
  • March 21 CSC reflections due (not required)
  • March 21- Watkins Earthquake Drill
  • March 22- Peabody Lockdown Drill
  • March 23- Watkins Lockdown Drill
  • March 24 - Equity Audit Session #4, 7pm
  • March 25- Peabody Earthquake Drill

April 19 the PARCC window is open. Yes, 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. Our test plan was approved and will be sent to OSSE ahead of schedule!


    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)

upcoming SAFETY DRILLS

The week of 3/21 will be safety week at both Peabody and Watkins. We will be conducting earthquake and lockdown drills on the below dates. Additionally, we have our monthly unannounced fire drill.



  • March 21- Watkins Earthquake Drill
  • March 22- Peabody Lockdown Drill
  • March 23- Watkins Lockdown Drill
  • March 25- Peabody Earthquake Drill



More information, including the script that will be shared with students prior to the drill is forthcoming.

Elementary Summer Acceleration

Elementary Summer Acceleration will run from July 5 – August 5, five days per week, from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.* for students currently in grades PK4 through 4th. Space is limited, and families will be directed to the school in their assigned neighborhood feeder pattern when registering online. Visit https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/summer/#ESA to register beginning Wednesday, March 9 at 9:00 a.m.



Please note, while we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity now, your child is not required to attend Elementary Summer Acceleration at this time.


For more information, visit https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/summer. If you have additional questions, please contact dcps.summer@k12.dc.gov.

Upcoming PTA COMMUNITY EVENTS AND MEETING DATES

Two of our biggest and most amazing PTA community events are coming back this spring and we need your help!


Save the Date: 2022 Cluster Auction & Party


Join us on Friday, April 22nd from 8-10pm for a “Starry, Starry Night” as we gather together for an outdoor event with drinks, food and auction items. In response to our community survey where 80 percent said they would attend if the event was held outside, we will be hosting our annual fundraiser at The Brig - an entirely outdoor venue on Capitol Hill. Book your babysitters now and stay tuned for more details to come. Want to help plan the event or have an auction item to donate? Email our Auction Chairs: Kristi Lowe at ClusterAuctionChair@chcspta.org and Laura Odato at laura.ordato@gmail.com to get involved!


The Capitol Hill Classic is BACK -- please mark your calendars for Sunday, May 15th!


The CHC is truly one of the best community events on Capitol Hill but it takes a

huge amount of work to put together. If you would like to join the Capitol Hill Classic Team, please email Race Director Jason Levine or Lona Valmoro. (jason@queso.com, lvalmoro@yahoo.com)


PTA Dates This Spring:



  • Sunday, March 20th - Kickball Tournament on the field at Stuart-Hobson (Price of admission -- canned/non-perishable item for our Cluster Food Drive!)
  • April Tbd - 2022 Spring Auction!
  • Sunday, May 15th - 41st Annual Capitol Hill Classic!
  • Monday, May 23rd - PTA May General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)

Caregiver Panorama Feedback Survey

DCPS has a vision that every student feels loved, challenged, and prepared to positively influence society and thrive in life.


Your voice is important in making sure that this vision is becoming a reality for every one of our students.


The family survey is critical in providing feedback to DCPS Central Office and your child’s school leadership.


Make your voice heard here.

Watkins

Chancellor's Letter and PARCC Schedule Parcc

April 19 the PARCC window is open. Yes, 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.


Read the letter here


Testing Schedule


DC Science (5th grade): April 20-22

3rd and 5th grade Math: April 26-28

3rd and 5th grade ELA: May 3 and 4

4th Grade Math: May 10 -12

4th Grade ELA: May 17 and 18


Make up testing will take place throughout the testing window. All testing will be in the morning and completed before lunch and recess. Students will attend lunch and recess on schedule and attend specials each day during the testing window.

Corrective Teaching around the Holocaust

It was great to see some of our community members at last week's Hill Havurah's "Three Generations of Survivors" event, co-sponsored by our PTA and Race, Class and Equity group. There were many powerful stories full of present-day themes shared by the survivors. With their permission, the Hill Havurah welcomes anyone to watch or listen to the recording of the event here. Password: D&5Xu0PD. Note: this event's intended audience was adults - please use your discretion before sharing with your children.


We have also been working with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum around some age-appropriate lessons for students. The USHMM team welcomes all Peabody and Watkins caregivers to watch survivor Susan Warsinger's program on their youtube channel going live on March 16. The USHMM recommends these first person resources when watching with young people. We (staff, students, families) also have the opportunity to engage with Susan in a live, virtual Q&A if there is enough community interest. Next week, we will survey families for their interest before scheduling this event.

Parent engagement group- March 16

Please RSVP to attend the March parent engagement group hosted by Catholic Charities' School-Based Mental Health program. This month's focus is on emotional regulation. We will discuss and reflect on what it is, and how to promote it in our children!

The meeting is on March 16 from 5 pm to 6pm. The meeting will be over Zoom and you will be provided login information via email prior to the event. Your participation is greatly appreciated, and there will be a RAFFLE for those who attend!

BOYS BASKETBALL FINALS MONDAY!

We are in the finals! Please come to support our boys team! 6pm at Coolidge High School.

Water fountains are Back On!

As of this week, water fountains are back on for everyone to access and will be incorporated into the enhanced cleaning routine for our maintenance team. Prior to fountains being turned back on, the pipes were re-piped, filters were changed and the water was flushed. Classroom fountains will be turned on at a later date, pending DGS review.


What does this mean?

  • Everyone will now have to access to water via the fountains AND water bottle fillers
  • We will no longer be distributing cups to students
  • Around March 18, all touchless water coolers will be picked up by the vendor

SOCCER & TRACK TEAM SIGN-UPS- For 4th and 5th Grade Only!

Soccer and Track Season is upon us! The Soccer Team is co-ed and there will be separate Track teams for girls and boys. Only 4th and 5th Graders are eligible to participate. Practice Schedules and Tryout Dates are TBD.


Eligibility for Participation:

Parents must complete this form which requires for you to upload your child's UHC form or physical. If this form is not uploaded with the packet, your child will not to cleared to try-out.


Contact Coach Drakeford at latavia.drakeford-allen@k12.dc.gov with any questions regarding the eligibility and clearance process.


Soccer

Coach: TBD



Track

Girls Coach: Coach Harvey (kwari.harvey@k12.dc.gov)

Boys Coach: TBD

Track Meets:


  • 4/20 1pm @ Spingarn HS
  • 5/2 1pm @ Spingarn HS
  • 5/24 12pm @ Spingarn HS

Join Girls on the Run: For 3rd- 5th grade Girls only!

  • WHO: 3rd and 5th grade girls only
  • WHAT: A non-competitive running program that helps girls build life skills and prepare for a 5K race in June
  • WHERE: Watkins ES
  • WHEN: Practices are 2x a week from 3:30-4:45 PM
  • 5K Race June 5th
  • HOW: Register online by going to https://www.gotrdc.org/Register-Now by March 3rd
  • HOW MUCH: Fees are on a sliding income-based scale

Peabody

Ready for Pre-K! Sessions Hosted By Dr. Traci Baxley 3/16 & 4/20

ECE families: please join the ECE Team for upcoming sessions of Ready for Pre-K! Hosted by Dr. Traci Baxley on March 16, and April 20. Sessions with Dr. Braxley begin at 6:00, are free, and open to parents and caregivers of young children interested in raising anti-racist, compassionate, and justice-minded children. Families can register here.

POC: Drue.Docie@k12.dc.gov

WATER FOUNTAINS are BACK ON!

This week, water fountains were turned back on for everyone to access and enhanced cleaning was incorporated into the routine for our maintenance team. Prior to fountains being turned on, filters were changed and the water was flushed.


Around March 18, all touchless water coolers will be picked up by the vendor.