Principal's Message Sept 7-10

What a Week!

We have finally reopened our schools and I couldn't be more proud. Students are so excited to connect with old friends, meet new ones, and begin their next journey. I think what's impressed me most is that despite the tremendous effort to ready our schools, especially Peabody, and ourselves after so long, our teachers are still so energized and excited to be with our students. The relationship building and expectation setting that I'm seeing across our schools this week and next tells me that we have reopened strong.

Of course, not everything has been perfect, and I want to appreciate the flexibility that our teachers and families have shown in light of a tropical storm, HVAC uncertainties, and the overall reopening of Peabody. Thank you all for making our fist week back a great one.

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Key Dates

  • Sept 6 - Labor Day - no school
  • Sept 7 - Before and After Care begin at Watkins
  • Sept 9 - BOY testing begins. Grade level newsletters will have more specific info.
  • Sept 10 - New Family coffee with the Principal
  • Sept 21 - Peabody Back to School Night
  • Sept 23 - Watkins Back to School Night

Every Thursday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

Campus Updates

Both Schools

New Family Morning Meet Up 8-9am Sept 10

Are you new to the cluster? Please join the PTA and RCE Welcome Committee in the Watkins garden (weather permitting) to connect with new families, parent leaders, and Principal Berkowitz.

New families: please email and let us know your child's grade level to have a Welcome Committee member contact you to make a connection and answer any questions. BYO coffee and questions - granola bars will be provided.

The Capitol Hill Cluster School values every student and family in our community, and we're excited to welcome you to the CHCS family!

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.


Before and After Care at Watkins Starts Sept 7

  • FLEX before care beings. 7am - 8:10am for before care. 3:30 - 6pm for after care. Questions? Caregivers can email Enrollment is ongoing.
  • DPR after care also begins on Tuesday. 3:30 6pm. Questions? Caregivers can email Enrollment is closed.

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.


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.