Principal's Message March 21 - 25

Dear Peabody and Watkins community,

We made it through half a week with our new masks-optional policy. It’s been amazing to see the full faces, especially the smiles, of students learning and playing at school. I’m sure it’s also been uncomfortable for some of our students, staff, and caregivers navigating the differences in masking, especially for those people choosing to keep their masks on. The good news that I can report is that I’ve seen and heard that only respect is being shown to everyone around this issue, and I expect that to continue. That was our messaging to students before the policy went into effect and will continue to be the expectation.

Both Schools

Key Dates

  • March 22- Peabody Lockdown Drill
  • March 23- Watkins Lockdown Drill
  • March 24- Watkins Earthquake Drill *New Date*
  • March 24 - Equity Audit Session #4, 7pm
  • March 25- Peabody Earthquake Drill
  • April 11- 15- Spring Break

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 *NEW* weekend testing is now strongly recommended, not required as of March 11.)


As a reminder, next week we will be conducting “Safety Week” to ensure all members of our school community are aligned with expectations and procedures in the event of an emergency. During this time, we will practice a lock down and earthquake drill, both mandated by DCPS. Dates and times for both campuses will be:

  • March 22- Peabody Lockdown Drill
  • March 23- Watkins Lockdown Drill
  • March 24- Watkins Earthquake Drill *New Date*
  • March 25- Peabody Earthquake Drill

Teachers will explain the drill to students in advance, using age-appropriate language. Parents may also wish to discuss the drills with their children, emphasizing that they are for practice, just like fire drills. Our earthquake and lockdown protocols, as well as sample language that will be shared with students prior to the drills can be found in this document: SY 21-22 Lockdown and Earthquake Drill Protocols.pdf

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 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 If you have additional questions, please contact


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 and Laura Odato at 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. (,

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.


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.

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 with any questions regarding the eligibility and clearance process.


Coach: TBD


Girls Coach: Coach Harvey (

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 by March 3rd
  • HOW MUCH: Fees are on a sliding income-based scale


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

ECE families: please join the ECE Team for upcoming sessions of Ready for Pre-K! Hosted by Dr. Traci Baxley on 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.