Peirce School Family Newsletter

September 2017

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Principal's Message

As I watched our young people and their families come back to campus this morning , I was so excited to see the energy that flowed - the smiles on faces, some nervous looks, welcome back hugs, a few tears and a lot of excitement to get back into the swing of things.

At the Back to School Picnic, several families commented on choosing Peirce as their home school because of the diversity that we share as a community. Peirce School and the Edgewater Community are true representations of the world, we are fortunate to be in a community where our children can go to school with other children who speak a different language, are differently abled, celebrate a variety of family cultures and traditions, come from families with two moms or two dads, mom & dad, single parents, working parents, adopted parents, and the list goes on - we have a lot to learn from the differences that we bring, and the identities that are formed. Please continue to support your children as they face diversity in every sense of the word - our children will ask us a lot of questions, how we respond is key in developing acceptance of others who are not the same.

As an International Baccalaureate School we pride ourselves in preparing our children to be ready to face the world and the first step is in the celebration of diversity.

Looking forward to a wonderful school year!

Lori Zaimi,


The Green Star Project & New Bricolage Coming to Peirce

Ms. Buchbinder along with The Green Start Project are beginning our next bricolage on Gregory - with a focus around the school's garden. More information will be coming home with opportunities for families to get involved. A huge thank you to Alderman Osterman, Friends of Peirce and long time Peirce Supporters - Michael & Louise Roper, owners of Hopleaf for financing the project! The installation process will run fast, with the hope that it will be completed by the beginning of October.
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New Traffic Pattern - September 6th

Please help us keep Peirce students safe during morning drop off and afternoon pick up.
  • All students should enter through the Gregory side of the building.
  • Door #7 will remain open until 8:10am - we have changed that from 8:05am last year.
  • The intersection of Glenwood & Bryn Mawr will be closed to West Bound Traffic from 7:50am - 8:10am to help with traffic flow going east. This area has been very congested in the past with many buses that stop to pick up students. Families will need to adjust accordingly during those times.
  • Be mindful of students crossing at all cross walks, but especially at the corner of Glenwood and Gregory, do not park in the crossing area of the street.

Restorative Approaches to Discipline

Peirce school was selected to participate in a Restorative Practices cohort with the Chicago Public Schools. Through the cohort, Peirce staff and administration will participate in on-going professional development, coaching and support with implementing a restorative approach to discipline. With changes to state laws over the years came changes to the ways that schools approach disciplining students - as an educational system, we have moved from a punitive only system to one which focuses on repairing harm when harm has been caused. This is a huge shift in mindset for many of us, as most of us grew up in a system which focused on the use of detentions and suspensions. Here is one article that may be helpful for parents Don't Suspend Students. Empathize., also visit our counseling page on the website for additional materials. We will continue to update with more information for parents.

Local School Council Parent Vacancy

From Joe Dunne, LSC Chairperson:

As we look to begin the school year, we have a mid-term vacancy on the Local School Council for a parent/guardian representative. We would like to fill this vacancy as soon as possible in order to have full membership on the Council. Applications for the vacant seat should be filed at the school office and must be received by September 20th at 3pm.

The LSC will vote at our September 21st meeting, 6:00pm in the gymnatorium, to select a candidate to fill the remainder of the term. Current LSC terms expire at the end of this school year.

As you may know, the Local School Council is an elected body that has three main responsibilities:

  1. Approving how school funds and resources are allocated
  2. Developing and monitoring the annual School Improvement Plan
  3. Evaluating and selecting the school's principal.

Interested candidates may pick up the application forms the school office or download them at: All candidates must provide two forms of identification and must file the following forms:

  • Form 1-16 Candidate Nomination Form
  • Form 2-16 Candidate Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form
  • Form 3-16 Candidate Telephone Number Disclosure Form

Should you have any questions, please contact me at

Specials Class Rotation Schedule

Ever wonder what day your child has PE, Dance, Art, Music or Spanish? Check here for a day by day breakdown by class. Check back regularly as this calendar will be updated with any changes.

Meet our Recess & Lunch Team!

Julia Dornbusch - Playworks Coach

Julia will be joining us as a full time Americorps member with Playworks Illinois! Originally from Boston, she recently graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa where she studied Sociology and French with a minor in Global Development Studies. Here at Peirce, she will be at recess everyday, leading weekly class game times, organizing the junior coach program, and helping with several leagues throughout the year. Outside of school, you can probably find her playing frisbee, looking for a dog to pet, or eating ice cream. Julia cannot wait to join the Peirce community--feel free to reach out to her for questions or more information on her new role!

Sandra Kifarkis - Recess & Lunch Coach

My name is Sandra Kifarkis. I am a suburban girl from Elk Grove Village but moved to the North side of Chicago four years ago. I currently attend Northeastern Illinois University and I am working to earn my Bachelor's degree in English/ Secondary Education. My hopes for the near future is to be working in CPS as a high school English teacher! I am currently a babysitter and have been a babysitter/nanny for about 7 years total. I have worked with children from ages 1-12. I look forward to joining the Peirce Elementary community!

Michael Judd

Michael Judd was raised in Chicago, on the northwest side. He grew up playing many sports and further developed his passion and skills playing in the backyard with his three siblings. After graduating St. Vincent’s grammar school in 1999, he attended Fenwick High School where he played basketball and soccer. After playing soccer for four years, he earned his varsity letter as a starter his senior year.

After graduating from Fenwick High School in 2003, Michael attended Wilbur Wright College where he became certified to be an EMT-Basic, first responder in 2006. Michael also attended The Soma School of Massage therapy, while working full time as an au pair, helping raise three infant boys. In 2012, Michael graduated and earned his professional massage therapy and bodywork license and has been practicing massage therapy, with a focus on sports rehabilitation since then.

For the last 5 years, Michael has worked in various capacities for several different outfits running sports camps, providing instructional lessons in the sports of soccer, baseball, tennis, basketball and golf, and coaching young children in after school programs within the Chicago Public School system and charter schools, private sports camps, and instructional lessons within the Chicago Park District. He has also served as a Recess Monitor, organizing recess activities in the school setting. He has worked for the following programs: Stretch N Grow, We Got Game and HotShots. He has also worked at the following schools and facilities: Sayre School, Walt Disney School. He is very familiar with coaching children of all ages within many different settings. With his educational background, Michael understands that health and athletics play a very significant role in a child's development. He is also very cognizant that while he is providing coaching and instruction in sport, he is also proving vital life skills like teamwork, competiveness, and discipline. Most importantly, Michael stresses to his kids that while sport can be challenging, everyone must be able to participate and have fun.

Since 2016, Michael as worked with the Chicago Park District as a recreation leader in the Edgewater neighborhood at the Broadway Armory. He enjoys walking his dog and playing basketball and golf and is an avid Chicago Sports fan.

Fuensanta Gonzalez

My name is Fuensanta González, I am from a small town in the Northwestern part of Spain. I live in Rogers Park with my family, my husband my two children (both former Peirce students) and our dog Odin. I like to crochet and knit among other things, what I love the most is spending time with my family. I am very happy to be part of the recess and lunch team!!

More Recess Coach Introductions to Come...

September 2017

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October 2017

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