Peirce Update

November 20, 2021

Greetings Peirce,

On Friday, around 12:40pm I saw a pop up on my computer for a news announcement, when I opened it, I learned of the not-guilty verdict on all charges in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, and my heart sank. Over the last couple of years we have seen racial uprisings as a result of social injustices happening throughout our nation - we have consistently seen that property matters more than people. People matter, people matter, people matter, property can be replaced - life cannot. There has to be a better way.

Earlier this week Izzy Tichenor, a 10 year old black child living with autism died by suicide in Utah after the Department of Justice released findings of widespread racial harrassment at the child's school. In the coming days we will hear the outcome of the Ahmaud Arbery trial. Our students, staff, families of color continue to be harmed and as a society we must do and be better. We have an ethical and moral responsibility to ensure that we create a loving, just society that embraces the individual identities of those we live amongst.

What gives me hope? Knowing that I am a part of Peirce School, where I have been granted the opportunity to work alongside 1,060 students, over 125 staff and over 1500 family and community members. Knowing that we are committed to creating a racially just school. I know that while our work is not perfect, collectively we have the ability to impact the lives of so many people who will have the ability to impact the lives of so many people, who will have the ability to impact the lives of so many people.... you get the idea.

CPS has shared the two sources below, PDFs of documents for us to think about our children as they experience trauma. Teachers have received these resources as well along with a district guidance tool on how they can prepare to handle difficult conversations in the classroom as it relates to issues going on in society, including the most recent events of the Kyle Rittenhouse and Ahmaud Arbery trials.

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, it is important that we acknowledge the land that we sit on and the Indigenous People who were here before us. Peirce is located on the land of the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Myaamia, Ochethi, Sakowin and Peoria.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Lori Zaimi


COVID-19 Travel Guidance for Families

Domestic Travel

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the City is issuing an Emergency Travel Order applicable to anyone coming into Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19.

Before travel, unvaccinated individuals traveling to a high-risk (orange) state should:

  • Get tested 1-3 days prior to departure.

While traveling:

  • All individuals regardless of vaccination status should wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • In Chicago, wear a mask in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Avoid crowds, try to stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you, and wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

After travel, unvaccinated individuals returning from a high-risk (orange) state should:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 10 days, whether you get tested or not.

All travelers are advised after travel to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms. Students are not exempt from testing or quarantine requirements.

This order applies to returning Chicago residents and out-of-state visitors arriving in Chicago.

Vaccinated persons (returning travelers who live or work in Chicago, or visitors to
Chicago) who have traveled domestically are not required to quarantine if they are:

  • asymptomatic; and
  • fully vaccinated (i.e., are ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID- 19 vaccine series or ≥2 weeks following receipt of 1 dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine).

Fully vaccinated travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must monitor their health for 10 days after travel and if they experience symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate until clinical evaluation and COVID testing.

All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are advised after travel to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they develop symptoms. Students are not exempt from testing or quarantine requirements.

International Travel

If your child traveled to a moderate, high, or very high-risk location, your child must stay home for 7-10 days after travel. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at travelers’ destinations.

If you are fully vaccinated and returning from international travel, get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel & self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. You must remain home if waiting on test results.

If you are NOT fully vaccinated, get tested with a viral test (Either PCR or antigen) 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine at home for a full 7 days after travel.

  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days. If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Vaccination Update

As children become fully vaccinated, please submit proof of vaccination here. Proof of vaccination will be updated in Aspen and be used when we are tasked with quarantining classrooms. Please note that children are not considered fully vaccinated until they are two weeks post the 2nd dose of the vaccine. If you have not yet scheduled an appointment for vaccination, you can check this site for vaccine availability.

Incident Reporting & Suggestion Box

Incident Report Form

Peirce School works to provide an equitable, inclusive, safe, supportive, and secure learning and working environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation, ensuring that all students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors can thrive.

This form is a tool for students, families, staff and community members to report incidents of harm in our school community. Information collected will help us identify issues, develop a plan of support, plan of action and improve steps we are taking to encourage self advocacy.

If you do not feel comfortable sharing your information in this form, please reach out to any member of our staff/school community so that we can respond to the concern you have.

Lets continue to work together to make this community safe for all of our stakeholders.

Question & Suggestion Box

Please use this form to let us know what is working well and/or what needs improvement at Peirce School. You may submit your comments anonymously, or leave your name and contact information if you would like us to follow up with you. Thanks!

Information gathered from both forms are received by the schools principal.

Racial Equity Parent Group Book Discussion

REP Book Discussion
Unconscious Bias in Schools:
A Developmental Approach to Racism
By Tracey A. Benson and Sarah E. Fiarman

Tuesday, November 23 @ 12:00-1:30
Co-Facilitated by Jill Johnson and Christina Woods

"In Unconscious Bias in Schools, two seasoned educators describe the phenomenon of unconscious racial bias and how it negatively affects the work of educators and students in schools." Two education professionals from our Peirce REP community will facilitate a discussion on this substantial book and its implications for our school. Register here:

Senn High School Principal Forum

The Senn High School Principal Selection Committee & Local School Council invite you to attend the Principal Selection Candidate Forum on Monday, November 22nd from 6:00 - 8:00pm at Senn High School.

The Principal Candidate Forum is an opportunity for members of the Senn Community to meet the candidates and provide feedback to the Local School Council.

A few things to note:

  • Dr. Aquino Candidate Statement in English
  • Dr. Graham Candidate Statement in English & Spanish & Urdu
  • Doors open at 6pm. Enter East side of building Exit 4, West side of building Exit 10
  • Live Spanish interpretation will be provided in person and virtually
  • Those planning to attend in person must present proof of vaccination or a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of the forum. CPS Health protocols will be followed for those attending in person.
  • Have a question that you would like asked at the forum? Enter it here. Due to time constraints, we cannot guarantee that every question will be asked.
  • Join the virtual meeting here: Passcode: 153162
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State of the School

Save the date! Join Principal Zaimi on December 9th at 6:00pm for the State of the School Presentation. This meeting will provide the school community with an update on student achievement data along with progress made towards the school improvement plan. The meeting will be held virtually and you can join by using the meeting link below:


Getting ready for the holidays? Consider using partners and programs of Friend's of Peirce

(FOP). Each purchase you make through them gives a portion of the sale back to FOP. See what we have to offer.


• Poinsettias

Flowers can be delivered or picked up near School PLACE YOUR ORDER by November 29 @ 12pm

• Sweets & More

Place an online order and get some great holiday food options from Edge of Sweetness.

• Kitchenware

Shop in person at Wooden Spoon (5047 N Clark) on November 30 for the cook in your life.

• Jewelry

On December 1 & 2, get your gifts at Kendra Scott. Use the code GIVEBACK-BBYOA when you shop online or in-store.

• Holiday Cards at Minted

Use code FUNDRAISEFRIENDSOFPEIRCE and save 20% when you order cards from Minted.

• Honey Baked Ham

Buy a gift-card from our site and then use it to get a signature ham, tender turkey, or even lunch at one of their stores.

• Games

Games make for great family time together. Shop at the Dice Dojo (5550 N Broadway) from December 4 through December 10

• Peirce Gear

Keep your family stay warm with Peirce hoodies and more.

• Family Sponsorship

Become a sponsor in someone's name and support FOP's mission directly. Thank you for your support.


FOR MORE DETAILS...Check out the FOP Holiday Shopping 2021 guide.

Helen C. Peirce's 179th Birthday Party

Sponsorship Drive and Cold Weather Gear Drive


Helen C. Peirce was a leader in establishing the first publicly funded Kindergartens in Chicago and supporting education reforms. Friends of Peirce's mission is to provide educational opportunities for the students of Peirce and we could not do that work without the help of family sponsors. To celebrate Helen C. Peirce's 179th birthday, please help us achieve our goal of 179 family sponsorships, Your donation is greatly appreciated. Become a sponsor here:

Part of FOP's Helen C. Peirce Birthday Celebration. Learn more at Friends of Peirce Website


Helen C. Peirce was an immigrant, leader, activist and philanthropist. This year, in honor of her 179th birthday, please consider donating your gently used warm weather gear to help keep our kids safe and warm during recess and outdoor lunch. Coats, hats, gloves, snow pants, and boots — for all genders, sizes and ages — can be dropped off immediately before and after school between November 30 and December 3 in the community garden near Door 10. New donations can also be purchased via this Amazon wish list and will be delivered straight to the school. Items in excess of what the Peirce community needs will be donated to Care for Real. Thank you for your support! For more information, please contact Rene Ryan at or Kate Polgar at

Part of FOP's Helen C. Peirce Birthday Celebration. Learn more at Friends of Peirce Website


Join us on Sunday, December 5 (Helen C. Peirce's birthday) from 12pm-2pm on the Peirce Turf for treats, hot drinks, music and community. We will be accepting Winter Clothing at the celebration. Part of FOP's Helen C. Peirce Birthday Celebration. Learn more at Friends of Peirce Website

COVID Updates

COVID Case Update

There have been a total of 8 classrooms quarantined this school year and 10 reported cases of COVID at Peirce, 8 of which were actionable. CPS has released an updated district data monitoring tool that can be found here.

COVID Testing

Shannon Jiamachello, Resident Principal, is coordinating COVID testing at Peirce and is in collaboration with CPS. You can reach out to Shannon with questions related to testing by email at

If you have not yet signed up your child for testing you can do so by either:

  • Complete the COVID-19 Testing Consent Form that was emailed to all parents and guardians from on Friday, August 27, 2021 if you want your child tested.
  • If you did not receive the email from CPS, you can complete the paper version and return to your child's teacher.

Click here for the online registration form

Click here for the FAQ Guide on Testing

Updated Sick Student Protocol

CPS made the following update to the Sick Student Protocol:

  1. Under new ISBE guidance, if the sick individual is tested within 24 hours of symptom onset, siblings/household members do not need to be sent home unless there is high suspicion the sick person has COVID-19.

    1. Examples where ”high suspicion” exists = sick individual is a known close contact or loss of taste or smell.

    2. Siblings/household members can remain in school and must wear masks both indoors and outdoors.

    3. If the sick individual tests positive, unvaccinated siblings/household members should be sent home immediately.

If testing doesn’t occur within 24 hours of symptom onset, unvaccinated siblings/household members must be sent home until the sick individual has test results.


If your child is sick with any COVID-19 Symptoms please do the following:

Call your child's healthcare provider and get the child tested for COVID-19. Your child should stay home while waiting for results. If you are unable to get your child tested, your child must stay home until they are symptom-free without medication for 24 hours.

  • If the child is negative student should stay home until...
    • Illness is over
    • Symptoms have steadily improved
    • Fever-free for 24hrs without medication
    • No uncontrollable cough
    • No vomiting or diarrhea for 24hrs
  • If a child is positive
    • COVID-19 case must isolate for 10 days from the start of illness; non fully vaccinated household members must Quarantine 14 days (from date of last contact or end of case’s isolation)
    • ** CPS Cases should SELF-REPORT to Parents or guardians report on behalf of their own children.

Mask Wearing at Peirce

Please be reminded that all students, staff and visitors to the school campus should wear masks while on school grounds. Students and staff wear masks at all times when they are indoors, unless eating. Students are able to remove their masks during breakfast and lunchtime.

Students can also remove their masks outdoors when they are able to maintain at least 3 feet of social distancing and are within their same cohort. Please know that there are few instances when this is applicable, therefore, many students will keep their mask on the duration of the day.

Upcoming Calendar Dates


24th-26th Thanksgiving Break, No School

30th Picture Re-Takes


1st Open House & School Tour for Prospective Families at 9am

7th Make Up HS Admissions Test for 8th Grade

9th State of the School Presentation, 6:00pm

10th Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:15am

13th Virtual Coffee with the Principal at 9:30am

14th Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm

15th GO CPS Enrollment Applications close at 5:00pm

17th Progress Reports Distributed

Winter Break from December 20th - 31st

Classes resume on Monday, January 3rd

Common Documents