Peirce School Family Newsletter

April 2018

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Principal's Message

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Greetings Peirce Families,

Service and Action are key elements of a high quality IB school. Over the last year we have had several parents, teachers, students and community members engage in service projects to support the beautification of our school. I truly appreciate the commitment that everyone has made in keeping our school looking great - the old building is 102 years old and the new building is 20 years old and both, while in many ways are in great condition, still need some sprucing up.

Over Spring Break, we had a little over 40 family members, community members and staff participate in the painting of canvases and walls, garbage clean up, and a mural by the lunchroom. In addition, parents and students have been active with garbage clean up weekly before and after school, a group of parents have been painting the exterior doors and old building 1st & 2nd floors over the last year during the school day and we have had parents bring in groups of volunteers to support this work as well. The exterior bricolages have contributed greatly to the exterior work. A group of parents and community members are in the process of developing plans for the Gregory Side of the building and little by little, we are making progress and the results are looking great.

We will continue to offer community events to help beautify the school in the future, but if you are interested in lending a hand during the day with painting the 2nd floor old building hallway or supporting the final stages of the mural please reach out to me at and I will connect you with the parents leading the work.

Happy Spring!

Lori Zaimi


Student Walkout Follow Up

On March 14th many Peirce students and families participated in the National School Walkout. As an IB school, we encourage our students to take action on issues which are important to them, and have a responsibility to help students develop social, emotional and civic competencies. This was the first time in my 18 years as a leader/teacher in Chicago Public Schools that I have witnessed a walkout happen, and in reflecting on the events would like to clarify a few points which includes guidance from Chicago Public Schools leadership to school teachers and administrators.

  • School administrators and teachers must remain neutral and not encourage, organize, or recruit students at their schools to protest or walk out. Teachers and school staff are free to participate in activities outside of school time. Teachers must refrain from either penalizing or incentivizing student participation in walkouts.
  • School's have a responsibility to ensure that students are safe during a walk-out and should have staff on hand to supervise the walkout.
  • Any students who chose not to walk out will continue to participate in their classroom activities.
  • The Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct indicates that a walkout should be treated as a 2-3 SCC Violation (Interfering with school authorities and programs through walkouts or sit ins). While this is a 2-3 SCC code, there were no disciplinary consequences for students who participated.
  • One of the grey areas becomes younger children (ex: PK-4th grades) who choose to walkout. I have not had any formal guidance from CPS around this, but ask that families who have younger children participating to please work with the school administration to arrange a plan which will ensure student safety.

There is talk about another school walkout to take place on April 20th. If parents are aware of any organizing efforts happening for April 20th, please reach out to Principal Zaimi to share plans.

Playworks Parent-Student-Staff Kickball Game

Join us Friday May 4th after school (3-5pm) for Playworks Student/Staff/Parent Kickball game! Email Coach Julia ( if you are interested in playing! If you would like to be involved and not play, we are also looking for coaches and refs, and as many spectators as possible. Hope to see you all there!

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Wednesday, April 18th is Parent-Teacher-Student conferences. A letter will come home the week of April 2nd asking for parents to sign up for a block of time that they will come in for a conference. The school will be open from 11:30am - 3:00pm and 4:00pm - 6:30pm. Please reach out to your child's teacher with any questions.

Quarter 4 Specials Classes Updates

There are several changes to teaching assignments for the 4th quarter specials classes as Ms. Moritz & Ms. Buchbinder have already gone out on leave and Ms. Graney will be leaving in the middle of May. Some classes will be taught by substitute teachers during the first 2 weeks of April. Please note the following changes:

K-5th Grade Specials

Students will continue to receive Music, Dance, PE, Art & Spanish instruction, the only changes are to who is teaching the classes.

Ms. McGhan is taking over for the K-5 Art classes that Ms. Buchbinder was teaching

Ms. Migas is taking over for the K-5 Dance classes that Ms. Moritz was teaching

Ms. Pedtke is taking over for the K-5 Music classes that Ms. Thompson was teaching

Mr. Carbahal will take over for the K-5 PE Classes in the middle of May for Ms. Graney

Ms. Sandoval will continue to teach the K-5 Spanish Classes

6th-8th Grade Specials

6th/7th Grade students will receive Art, Music, PE & Spanish for the 4th quarter

8th Grade students will receive Music, PE & Spanish for the 4th quarter

Ms. Thompson will begin working with the 6th-8th grade students for music

Ms. Migas will transition to K-5 Dance and will not work with Middle School for the 4th quarter

Ms. Lenihan will continue teaching Spanish

Ms. Marzullo will continue teaching Art

Student Survey Results

Increasing student voice is something that has been a priority of mine since becoming principal of Peirce. This year a group of students helped create, distribute (via google forms) and analyze a survey that was given to 3rd-8th grade students. This group of students then met with all grade level teacher teams and the LSC to report back on the survey findings (see attachment below). As a staff we reflected on the survey results and set goals to work towards improvement over the next year. One of the most common goals set by staff was around ensuring that all students have an adult that they can share their thoughts, feelings and worries with. Overall, the survey results were very positive, but also gave us insight into where we can make improvement.

CIWP Parent Survey

The link below will take you to a summary of the School Improvement Planning survey that was emailed out to parents at the end of December/early January. Information collected from the Coffee with the Principal, Parent led focus groups and the survey will be used to help inform our school improvement planning process.

Volunteer Process UPDATE

All individuals who are interested in volunteering (which includes chaperoning field trips) must complete the CPS Volunteer Application. Depending on the level of volunteering you plan to do, you will be asked to complete an application for either a “Level I” volunteer or a “Level II” volunteer. For more info, please contact:

Volunteer Programs

Office of Family and Community Engagement in Education (FACE2)

Phone: 773-553-1544


Friends of Peirce Upcoming Events

Friends of Peirce has several upcoming events, please note the following ways to help raise funds for Peirce Programs such as Arts Partners, Technology, Sports, Field Trip Subsidies, Teacher Stipends and more!

Chicago Wolves - April 7th

Be sure to get your tickets for the Saturday, April 7th Chicago Wolves Game. A portion of all ticket sales will go back to Peirce School. For more information, click here.

Peirce Day at Hopleaf - April 29th

Gather up a group of friends and family and head to Hopleaf on April 29th - 100% of all sales from opening to close will go back to Peirce School! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we are very thankful for the generosity and long term partnership of Hopleaf!

Mattress Sale - May 5th

If you are in the market for a new mattress, join Friends of Peirce on Saturday May 5th in the Peirce lunchroom to view top brand name mattresses - more information to come. A portion of all sales will go back to Peirce School. Delivery is available for all mattress purchases.

Spring Fundraiser - Rock Out!

Early Bird tickets for Friends of Peirce's spring fundraiser, Rock Out for Peirce, go on sale on March 1st! Rock Out will be held on May 19th from 7-10 pm at Fat Cat Chicago. The event will feature appetizers by Fat Cat, an open bar, an auction and raffle as well as a rockin' good time! Save $10 per ticket by purchasing before April 19th! Tickets can be purchased here!

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April 2018

Apr 4 - Small Group Parent Tour, 8:15am

Apr 4 - First Responders Field Day for Kindergarten - 5th Grades, 8:30 - 11:30am

Apr 6 - 7th Grade Trip to Springfield, IL

Apr 6 - PAC/BAC Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

Apr 10 - Friends of Peirce Meeting, Fieldhouse, 6:30pm

Apr 11 - After School All Stars Showcase, 9:00am & 1:30pm

Apr 12 - End of Quarter 3

Apr 13 - No School

Apr 18 - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences, 11:30am - 3:00pm & 4:00pm - 6:30pm

Apr 19 - LSC Meeting, 6:00pm

Apr 20 - Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

Apr 20 - MYP Career Day

Apr 25 - Student of the Month Ceremony, 8:15am

Apr 26 - Fiesta de Arte, 5:00 - 7:00pm

Apr 26 - Magnet Schools Conference Tour of Peirce

Apr 29 - Peirce Day @ Hopleaf

Apr 30 - El Dia de Los Ninos

May 2018

****Teacher Appreciation Week May 7-11****

May 4 - PAC & BAC Meetings, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

May 4 - Parent-Teacher-Student Dodgeball Game, Organized by Playworks, 3pm

May 5 - Friends of Peirce Mattress Fundraiser, Lunchroom

May 8 - Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm, Fieldhouse

May 9-11 - 7th/8th Washington D.C. Trip

May 11 - Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

May 17 - Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm, Gymnatorium

May 18 - Move-A-Thon

May 18 - Progress Reports Distributed

May 19 - Friends of Peirce Fundraiser, "Rock Out" @ Fat Cat

May 21 - 5th Grade PYP Exhibition

May 28 - No School, Memorial Day

June 2018

Jun 1 - Parent Volunteer Breakfast, 8:15am, Gymnatorium, All Invited

Jun 1 - New Kindergarten Parent Orientation, 9:15am, Gymnatorium

Jun 5 - Box Tops Collected

Jun 6 - Student of the Month, 8:15am

Jun 8 - PAC & BAC Meetings, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

Jun 12 - Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm, Fieldhouse

Jun 14 - Local School Council Meeting, 6:00pm, Gymnatorium

Jun 15 - 5th to 6th Parent-Student transition meeting, more information to come

Jun 15 - Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:00am, Fieldhouse

Jun 19 - Last Day of School, Report Cards Distributed