Peirce Update

October 15, 2021

In Memory of Shelly Handschuh

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I am sorry to share that Michelle (Shelly) Handschuh passed away on October 9th, surrounded by her family who she loved dearly. Shelly was a teacher at Peirce for 30 years. After retiring in 2013, Shelly supported the school's library and interventions with students, was loved by many and was known to demonstrate warmth and caring towards adults and children alike. Please keep Shelly's family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Local School Council Meeting & Update

The next Local School Council Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 21st at 6:00pm.

Agenda: A copy of the agenda will be available 48 hours before the meeting

Meeting Link

As a part of our ongoing work to foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable school community at Peirce, we've partnered with Developing Capacity Coaching, LLC (DCC) to focus on improving our relationships with families, staff and the community. These sessions are designed to combine healing from past inequitable experiences, reconciliation, and equity training in an effort to repair harm and rebuild bridges. We welcome all families, staff and community members to come to join us in this work but especially hope those who've felt marginalized within our Peirce community will feel and be welcomed to attend. Our work with DCC will take place from October-December 2021. We will have two racial healing and reconciliation sessions with the goal to create a plan to move forward. One idea that has been talked about, but not finalized, is the creation of an Equity Task Force which could become a sub-committee of the LSC and include family, community and staff members to participate in. If developed and agreed upon, the equity task force will go through their own training and development with DCC to support them to set a vision through an equity purpose-to-practice process. For more details on the sessions, see below:

  • Racial Healing & Reconciliation Session 1: Honoring our Collective Humanity which focuses on setting community norms, open space for community members to speak their truth about their experiences with inequity in the Peirce community and an introduction to healing and reconciliation. Thursday, October 21st at 6:30pm, Virtually through the LSC Meeting Link.
  • Racial Healing & Reconciliation Session 2: Envisioning the Possibilities which focuses on what it means to center Equity + decenter oppression along with consciousness-raising, and a community brainstorm on pathways to create an equity-centered LSC-Community experience. Thursday, November 18th at 6:00pm.
  • Living Equity from Purpose-to-Practice: Self, Us, Stakeholders LSC-School Coherence: New Equity Task Force training.

We hope that you will join us in this experience. We ask that you attend both Reconciliation sessions 1 and 2 because they build upon each other. We encourage you to RSVP here. Please know if you decided to attend at the last minute, that is okay too---we know that you have full schedules.

Previous Family Information Sessions

Special Education Information Session: October 15th

Here is a link to the slides from the October 15th Special Education Information Session. Reach out to Athanasia Kolontouros with any questions at

Restorative Practices Information Session: September 24th

Here is the corrected link to the Restorative Practices Information session that was held on September 24th. You can also reach out to Shelton Jackson with any additional questions at

Virtual Coffee with the Principal

Join members of the school administration virtually on Monday, October 25th at 9:30am to...

  • Get to know your school leadership team
  • Learn about progress made during Quarter 1 with the return to in person learning
  • An update on our Continuous Improvement Work Plan

Meeting Link

Have a question that you would like us to answer? A topic that you would like addressed? Include it here.

FACE2FACE Session: Gender 101

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PYP Behind the Scenes Tour

New Families and all interested families, join the Peirce community for a Virtual Behind the Scenes Workshop: Inquiry into the PYP on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 9:00am via Zoom. Please register for this event using this Google Form, and here is the Zoom link for the workshop. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Mrs. Lebovitz at

Fall Fest: Sponsored by Friends of Peirce

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Peirce families are invited to join us for music, entertainment, crafts, games, activities, snacks & drinks.

About this event

Please join us on the turf for some fall festivities! Peirce Parent Service Organization will be providing music from the amazing DJ Thompson, games, activites, crafts, snacks and drinks.

Friends of Peirce will have colorful pumpkins , Affy -Tapples, Metropolis Coffee and donuts for sale in the Peirce pumpkin patch. 🎃

$1 suggested donation for entry per person. Additional tickets/coupons for purchase at event. Cash Preferred.

Please review and use the following CPS Covid-19 Health Screener Questions prior to entry

Face masks required.

Registration Recommended

Halloween Parade

This year our Annual Halloween Parade returns on Friday, October 29th.

Main Building Parades

Families are invited to stand around the turf, socially distanced and with masks.

  • 9:30am 7th & 4th Grade

  • 9:45am 1st & 6th Grade

  • 10:00am 8th & 2nd Grade

  • 10:15am 5th & 3rd Grade

  • 10:30am PK AM Rooms 121AM, 122 & 123

  • 2:00pm Kindergarten

  • 2:15pm PK121PM

PK Branch Parades

Families are invited to stand along Magnolia street from Berwyn to Balmoral, socially distanced and with masks.

  • 9:45am Rooms 101 & 103
  • 10:30am Rooms 102 & 104

Guidance for Costumes

  • COVID Masks required

  • No full face masks

  • No Weapons

  • Be aware of cultural appropriation when selecting costumes. It is important that our children recognize and understand the importance of wearing culturally specific clothing as not a costume, but as showing an appreciation for the culture that it represents.

  • Please know that costumes are optional and not mandatory.

The articles below provide meaning on Cultural Appropriation and Halloween.

COVID Updates

COVID Case Update

There are 3 classrooms in quarantine and 5 reported cases of COVID at Peirce, 4 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

The results we are seeing from this testing are encouraging. Fewer than 0.2 percent of those tested district-wide - less than two out of every 1,000 CPS students and staff - have tested positive for COVID-19, confirming that schools are not a significant source of spread for COVID. I am very much in favor of this weekly testing, as it is helping us keep the number of COVID-19 cases in our school low and is assisting us in preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in our classrooms.

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

Quarantine Guidelines

The district has made great strides in contact tracing, with nearly 93 percent of reported cases now being fully investigated within 48 hours. As parents, I know how important it is to know quickly if your child has been exposed to COVID-19, so CPS will continue adjusting this process until that 48-hour timeframe reaches 100 percent.

If your child has been quarantined, your first concern is obviously their health. But from the conversations I’ve had with many families, I know you are also concerned about the impact being away from school will have on their education. I share that concern, and am always eager to get students back in the classroom as quickly as possible. So I was glad to learn that effective Saturday, October 9, CPS is shortening the quarantine timeline for students and staff impacted by COVID-19 from 14 to 10 days.

This decision was made in accordance with advice from trusted public health experts, including the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and puts CPS in line with other large school districts around the country. We will always base our decisions on the science, and this change is no exception. The science is telling us that when there is a COVID-19 case, 98 percent of those identified as close contacts do not go on to develop COVID-19.

Lottery Application Window Opens October 13th

2022-2023 Application Window
Opening October 13th, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the application window for students applying to schools for the 22-23 school year will open on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 at 10 a.m. Please let families know they can sign up for updates on the GoCPS website at

Who needs to apply through Go CPS?

  • Students whose neighborhood school is not Peirce
  • This includes siblings of students currently enrolled
  • This includes current PK students who do not live within the Peirce attendance boundary

Sick Student Protocol

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.

  • Siblings should stay home until a negative test result or alternative diagnosis is received for the symptomatic child.
  • 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


19th PYP IB Behind the Scenes: An Introduction to the PYP, 9:00am

21st Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm

23rd Fall Fest by Friends of Peirce, 12:00 - 4:00pm

25th Virtual Coffee with the Principal, 9:30am

29th Halloween Parades


4th End of Quarter 1

5th No School - Professional Development Day

9th & 10th: Picture Days, schedule to be shared

9th 8th Grade High School Admissions Test

9th Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm

11th No School - Veterans Day

17th Report Card Day - No School for Students

18th Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm

24th-26th Thanksgiving Break, No School

30th Picture Re-Takes

Common Documents