Principal's Message Jan 31 - Feb 4

What a Week!

Dear Peabody and Watkins,


And just like that, we have begun the third term and second half of our school year. Looking at the COVID case rates, vaccinations across the city, and our ability to teach and learn this year, I'm only hopeful that our days will get better and better. We - teachers, staff, caregivers, and students have endured enough changes, disruptions, and other obstacles to resuming the accelerated learning needed to keep our students on track to achieve their goals. I'm hopeful that this new beginning brings that much needed focus back to our work at school.


And what helps is our generous PTA dropping off snacks and refreshments for all of our teachers! This unexpected act of kindness was a lift for our staff. Thank you PTA!

Both Schools

Key Dates

  • Feb 1st - 7pm LSAT
  • Feb 8 - Peabody Open House, 6pm VIRTUAL. (Details below)
  • Feb 9 - Watkins Open House, 6pm VIRTUAL. (Details below)
  • Feb 17 - Watkins Black History Celebration, 6pm. Tentatively in person.
  • Feb 28 - March 4 Peabody Black History Celebration, during school, virtual access

  • 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)

THANK YOU PTA!

This week, the PTA stocked our staff lounges with snacks and drinks. Staff were pleasantly surprised and very appreciative. Thank you!

upcoming open houses

Enrollment season is upon us and we look forward to meeting with prospective families to share everything that Peabody and Watkins has to offer. Please share broadly within your networks.


All Open Houses will take place from 6pm- 7pm. No registration is needed.


Watkins: Feb 9, March 16

Peabody: Feb 8, March 15


Staff and Caregivers:

please share this link to our Enrollment Page on our school website to any and all of the people in your networks.

NEW: School-Based Close Contact COVID TEST REQUESTS

DCPS staff or students identified as a close contacts in a school based COVID case, can now request up to 2 test kits. The steps for requesting a Mail-to-Home COVID-19 Test Kit will be outlined in the guidance close contacts receive.

Quarantine or Testing Questions?

First try https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/


If you don't find your answer, caregivers can email CA-Emmanuel.Mcdaniel@k12.dc.gov, our contact tracer. Please include your school leaders on these emails.

Volunteers and Subs Wanted!

We’d love to have parents volunteer or substitute in our schools! Especially looking for volunteers to support the Watkins library. Please consider giving a day or even a half-day here or there. Or even a more consistent commitment! Any day an extra adult will be a help to our students and staff.




Anyone will have to complete the clearance processes that are involved. Please see the links below for more information.


https://dcps.dc.gov/page/volunteer-our-schools

https://dcps.dc.gov/page/substitute

WATER FOUNTAINS WILL BE TURNED BACK ON- PROCESS DELAYED

After consultation with DC Health, DCPS is working with DGS to turn water fountains back on in all schools. Watkins was originally scheduled for December 20-26 and Peabody for January 10-16; however, this process has been delayed.


We will provide updates as we receive them.

Watkins

Term 3 Changes (new as of Thursday)

There are two other changes (in addition to those below) that came together mid-week.


We're proud to announce that the FoodPrints demonstration kitchen has reopened for Term 3 FoodPrints classes. For the students scheduled for library this term, FoodPrints will lead the learning two days a week in the reopened space. This class will be only for students scheduled for library this term. When the warm weather returns, we'll also resume our FoodPrints lessons in the garden and/or kitchen for all students. Many thanks, again, to the FoodPrints team for offering this suggestion to fill our need during the schedule library time.


Lunch: 1st and 3rd graders all ate their lunch in their classrooms yesterday and today and will continue to do so until we can resume eating outside.


2nd, 4th, and 5th graders all ate lunch in the cafeteria. The entire grade level will eat in the cafeteria. This will not lessen our ability to stay safe – if anything it will help. Yes, we are increasing the students in the cafeteria, but the number of students per table and kids per square foot of the gym is remaining the same. Only 4 kids will eat at one table. There are two huge air filters in our gym, doors are open and the volume of air in the gym per student is way greater than in the classroom, so I’m confident circulation is better.

Term 3 Changes (repeat from last week)

January 26 is the last day of the second term, which means all new specials for Term 3! Please see the following table for your child's homeroom teacher and the associated special class. The days of the week may change, but all students will have two days of PE and three days of their special class.



  • Music - Amuzie, Sheppard, Moxley, Sullivan, Evans
  • Library/FoodPrints - Davis, Josephs, Nover, Phoenix, Lamont
  • Spanish - Stewart, Coleman, O'Neil, Elmusa, Hoover
  • Art - Mooney, McPhail, Parler, Dickinson, Hightower



FoodPrints?! Yes, FoodPrints! Our partners have come through! On Wednesdays and Fridays in place of library students will attend specials for Food Prints instruction. The demonstration kitchen re-opened the demonstration kitchen and robust Food Prints programming for students scheduled to attend library twice a week. We will find sub coverage for the other day in the interim. When the weather improves, we will also resume FoodPrints classes in the garden for all students, as we had scheduled in the fall.


Thank you Food Prints!

Peabody

Weekly PreK 3 and 4 Testing Requirement - Reminder

With many of our youngest learners ineligible to access the COVID-19 vaccine, DCPS is dedicating testing resources to weekly testing of all Pre-K students.


Students in PK3 and PK4 will be sent home with a rapid test each Friday, and will be required to upload their results each Sunday before returning to the classroom here: dcpsreopenstrong.com/testing.



Students will not be able to test at school. Students without a test result the first day of the week will have to return home to test.


Families should test and upload their results by 4:00 p.m.


Additional note: because tests must be taken the day prior to your student's return to school with results uploaded by 4:00 p.m. that day, if your child is not attending school on Monday, next week, they should not test and upload results on Sunday, but on the day before they return. This rule will apply to every week.


Kindergarten students will also be receiving weekly test kits and are highly encouraged to test each week. This is not a requirement. K students will still be randomly selected for weekly asymptomatic testing.


Pre-K families, IMPORTANT NOTE: due to the nature of these classes, if one student tests positive, the whole class will need to quarantine.

Virtual Bedtime Stories with Ms. Bloom

As an extra bonus during our cozy Winter Reading Program, Ms. Bloom is reading bedtime stories virtually with any Peabody students who want to join from 7pm to 7:30pm on three more Wednesday evenings. The remaining dates are: Wednesday, February 2, February 16 and March 2! Let’s BLAST OFF TO READ TOGETHER!!!

The link to join is on the Peabody Library Canvas Page - just click on the black PJ's & Bedtime Story button OR use the link here.

Progress Toward Winter Reading Challenge Goal of 5,000 books in 8 Weeks!

Thanks to the amazing caregiver and staff support, our Peabody students have been BLASTING OFF TO READ during these chilly winter days and as of last Friday, have read 1,460 books! We are on target to reach our 5,000 book total! Keep up the great reading Peabody Panthers! NOTE: If for any reason your reader finishes a reading log and won’t be able to get one at school very quickly, if you have access to a printer, you can find all of the pdf files on the Peabody Library Canvas page – just click on the yellow button and scroll down.