Principal's Message Sept 14-17

What a Week!

Routines are happening! Our drop off and dismissal procedures are smoothing out, even with our youngest learners at Peabody. Our students learn quick! Lunch has been on time, is at full service at both schools and my hope is that our students, staff, and families are beginning to feel the comfort of routines in school again. Doesn't it feel good? Remember how much kids like school?

We are also pivoting our emphasis towards content learning. We have a lot of catching up to do. Students and families should expect full days of learning math, reading, writing, science, social studies, and more. Our WIN (what I need) time is still being used for SEL and routine building, but will soon transition to intervention and intervention. Our teams will be getting organized next week, reviewing data and making groups at Watkins. With Peabody's delays, this process is slightly behind.

One highlight for me this week is our inclusion practices, especially around Special Education. Our co-teachers have had their relationship-building conversations with each other, scheduled planning times, and in some cases, we're already seeing some of the team teaching and other high-yield strategies to ensure all students have access to rigorous learning experiences and feel like they belong in the challenge.

Big picture

Key Dates

  • Sept 14 - LSAT
  • Sept 17 - 2nd Annual Cluster Cup Scavenger Hunt
  • Sept 21 - Peabody Back to School Night
  • Sept 23 - Watkins Back to School Night
  • Back to School Night will be in person and asynchronous. Details to come.

Every Thursday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

Items for Parent Newsletters

Both Schools

SHARED SNACK REQUIREMENTS, including birthday celebrations

All snacks brought into the school for the purpose of sharing it with a classroom must be prepackaged and individually wrapped. Please also be reminded that our campuses are nut free- no snacks with nuts should be brought into the school. If parents want to offer something to their child's class, it should be coordinated with the teacher.

Asymptomatic Testing for Students

Asymptomatic testing for students will take place at Peabody and Watkins on Thursdays. We successfully completed our first round this week! You can read more about this year's test here.

All students are automatically enrolled in the testing program. Caregivers can opt out by returning this form to the school. Please send the forms to the school's office.

More information about DCPS health and safety practices can be found here.

How do you get your child's results? Directions are here. This first week hasn't been smooth for all parents. For what I've heard, trying both schools and all parent info has worked.

2nd Annual Cluster Cup - September 17-19

The Cluster Cup Scavenger Hunt is a completely FREE event for all current Cluster families, administration and staff, sponsored by the Cluster PTA.

We aim to build community and strengthen school spirit, all while running around DC to complete missions and tasks through Goose Chase!

Last year, we had 112 families join us -- can we top that this year?

And PRIZES! Our Top Ten Finishers will receive GIFT CARDS from local businesses in the area.

More details to come -- we hope you will join us for our 2nd Annual CLUSTER CUP!

Hot Lunch and Breakfast Service

Lunch and breakfast are served daily each day at both schools. Both meals are free to all students. Students can come to school a request either meal any day.

We still encourage families to apply for free and reduce lunch, as that information has important implications for our school. Please complete this form and return to either schools.

Our school menus can be found here.


False Fire Alarm Today

The fire alarm went off accidentally today. We did not dismiss and there was no danger or emergency. Classes resumed after a few minutes of the disruption.

Student Dismissal at Watkins

The 2nd day adjustments will continue throughout the rest of the school year. When the weather co-operates, students in 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades will meet caregivers outside. 3rd and 4th graders will still be called down via radio. When there is rain, we'll do an all-radio dismissal as we did on Wednesday. The good news is that with aftercare in session, there will be over 150 fewer students to call as they will transition to their after care locations. This will mean that not all teachers in 1st, 2nd and 5th grades will come outside, however one member of your child's teaching team should always escort both homerooms outside.

Dismissal will start at 3:15. It's been a few minutes earlier to give us time to learn our routines, but 3:15 - 3:30 is the dismissal window moving forward.


FLEX Before and After Care at Peabody

FLEX is signing up families on their website,

Peabody families interested in a partial or full scholarship should complete this form.

The start date is not yet determined, but the Building Use Agreement is underway.