Principal's Message March 7 - 11

Dear Peabody and Watkins,


I hope many of you have had the chance to either hear my reflections link to Feb lsat recording and read my apology for the announcement during spirit week. It is clear to me that many students, staff, and caregivers were hurt and are still hurt. Based on your feedback, we have, and will continue to create spaces for people to talk and process their emotions to support the well-being of all in our community.

I want to thank those who participated in the brave and honest conversation during this week’s LSAT. The issues raised are critical to the strength and wellness of our community. Our equity audit team, the Kindred Leadership Team, and school leadership team are all thinking about ways to constructively address the longstanding concerns we all heard. Anyone who would like to participate or send me feedback is welcome to do so.

Watkins Celebrates Black History Month 2022: Winter of Soul

Key Dates


  • March 7- Watkins revised asymptomatic testing date, due to school closure on Friday
  • March 9- Peabody revised asymptomatic testing date, due to school closure on Friday
  • March 9 in-school field trip "Storm Track" Meteorologists - 3rd grade only
  • March 10 - no school for students - Parent Teacher conferences
  • March 11 - no school for students - staff professional development
  • March 15 - Peabody Open House
  • Mach 16 - Watkins Open House
  • March 21- Watkins Earthquake Drill
  • March 22- Peabody Lockdown Drill
  • March 23- Watkins Lockdown Drill
  • 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 is due to OSSE in the coming weeks and more details will be provided soon.


    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)

Parent-Teacher Conferences - Sign Ups are Open!

Parent Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, March 10.

Click here to sign-up for a parent teacher conference.

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.

Updated Mask Guidance & Quarantine Guidelines

Earlier this week, Chancellor Ferebee shared key updates regarding mask wearing and updated quarantine protocols. Full announcement can be found here: https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/chancellor/safe-return-and-updates-to-our-health-and-safety-policies/

Highlights:

  • NEW! Students, staff and visitors will no longer be required to wear a mask when outdoors at our schools, effective immediately. Masks will continue to be required for all students, staff, and visitors while indoors.
  • NEW! There will be no district-wide limitations on audience and spectators at sporting events, arts performances, or student showcases as of today. Individual schools may continue to set limits as needed for managing any events. Masks continue to be required for spectators for indoor events.
  • As we shared prior to the February break, we are following DC Health’s new guidance for how long an individual should isolate after they test positive. Please see below for additional information.

What To Do If Your Student Tests Positive For COVID-19

Your child’s isolation period may be different based on the severity of your COVID-19 infection and whether you participate in additional testing, regardless of vaccination status.

STUDENT EXCUSE NOTES

Please be reminded that all student excuse notes, including doctor’s note should be provided to the main office or emailed to the below email addresses. This is crucial to ensuring that your child's attendance is accurate.


Watkins: WatkinsESenroll@k12.dc.gov/ Peabody: virginia.turner@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:



  • Monday, March 7th - PTA March General Meeting on Zoom (8:00pm)
  • 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

BOYS Basketball TEAM ADVANCE THROUGH THE PLAYOFFS!

Girls team made it to the playoffs and were so close to making it to the championship!

Boys team won their game this week and are on to next round! Next game is Monday, 3/7 at 4pm at Eastern HS. Please stop by and show them your support!

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

DEBATE CLUB OPPORTUNITY

Time: Fridays- 7:45am – 8:30am

Location: Watkins Library


The Debate club is a student-led and enrichment program. The term 3 program/reading incentive is project-based learning and discussions on climate change. This will include research, speeches, and presentation teams. It will be our in-house enrichment to learn, read, and debate about climate change.


Students in 3rd -5th grade will decide on topics, related to climate change, develop claims and arguments, write reports, and express supported opinion to debate pros and cons. Students will have access to library resources and check out books based on student selected assignments/climate topics.


Please use this link to join the Watkins student-led debate club. https://forms.office.com/Pages/ShareFormPage.aspx?id=7kagKk6zM0qSt5md8rwKMj0yCBHIw2FMucVCqgh_POBUOElPNzBIMTlGN0xMMjJLSFhRUzU1MUpOTS4u&sharetoken=mjqYcXROxU2BqvEX7pZB .

OUTDOOR CAFE RE-OPENS

1st and 3rd grade students will begin eating lunch in the outdoor classroom (weather permitting). The schedule will be based on an A/B Day model, with two classes per grade utilizing it daily. All other grades will continue eating in the cafeteria.


Term 4, 1st and 3rd grade will eat in the cafe and 2nd and 4th grades will rotate usage of the outdoor classroom. 5th grade will continue to eat in the cafeteria.

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

Staff and Families Way to Blast Off to Read Peabody Panthers!

Huge congrats to the Peabody readers and their supportive caregivers and staff who blasted through our 5,000 book goal and read 9,240 books during our winter reading challenge! Read Across America Day was a true book party to celebrate this accomplishment and all students went home with a reading crown, a new book and a pencil!

WATER FOUNTAINS WILL BE BACK ON STARTING mONDAY, 3/7

Starting Monday, 3/7, water fountains will be turned back on for everyone to access and will be incorporated into the enhanced cleaning 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.