Peirce Newsletter

October 2019

Haga clic aquí para la traducción al español

Greetings Peirce Parents!

What a joy it has been to have your children back at school - I cannot believe that we are already five weeks into the school year! Progress reports will come home on Friday, please follow up with your child's classroom teacher if you have any questions.

Coffee with the Principal

The October Coffee with the Principal date had to be changed - Jury Duty calls! The new date is November 5th at 8:15am. Please complete this survey to provide input around the development of the session.

Budget Update

Peirce School was awarded (1) district funded case manager position, which freed up internal funds that previously were paying for the case manager position at Peirce. During the September Local School Council Meeting, I proposed, and the council approved, a plan for the additional funds to be used for additional staff support in our Kindergarten classrooms as we currently have 30-32 students per class. In addition, the district funded (1) teacher assistant position for our Kindergarten classrooms. We now have a minimum of (2) adults in the classroom for the majority of the school day.

Potential Chicago Teachers Union Strike

Parents have been reaching out with many questions regarding the possibility of a strike - I know that both the CTU and CPS Board of Education are hoping that an agreement can be met, avoiding a strike. I have not heard any plans from CPS in regards to how the district would support families in the event a strike does happen. As I receive information, I will definitely share it - but it is likely that information will be shared at the latest possible moment due to negotiations taking place.

I know that the uncertainty of all of this causes strains on many stakeholders - students, parents and our teachers, but am hopeful that there will be a favorable outcome which will support our students, teachers and the conditions they learn and work in.

I wish you a wonderful October - for members of our community who observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - Shanah Tovah & G'mar Hatima Tova.


Lori Zaimi


Local School Council Parent Vacancy

The Peirce LSC is looking for one parent to fill an immediate vacancy. If you are interested in serving our Peirce community by being a parent representative on the Local School Council for the current 2019 - 2020 school year, please submit your application for consideration by Friday, October 11, 2019​ ​at​ ​3 PM

● Interested parents must have a student currently attending Peirce and cannot be an employee of the Chicago Board of Education.
● This is a position determined by a vote held by current LSC members.
● The new parent representative shall serve on the council until the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year.

For more information see the LSC Vacancy Flyer.

Office Updates

Student Fees

Peirce families now have the option of paying student fees online by clicking here and then selecting the one time payment option. Fees are $50 per student or $100 max for 2 or more children.

Apply to be a volunteer

Parents please apply to become a Peirce volunteer by filling out an application at, it would be of much help to our teachers if you apply to become a Level 1 volunteer. This level of clearance allows you to help our teachers on field trips with the children. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at

Parent Portal

If you have not yet created a Parent Portal account through ASPEN please send me your child's name and your email that you would like associated with the account to .

Note: I have tickets opened with the CPS Help desk in regards to some issues parents are having with accessing their accounts. As soon as these tickets are updated I will forward information.

No Dogs on Campus

Please help us create a safe space for our students as they enter and leave the building - dogs and pets are not allowed on school grounds.

Breakfast/Lunch Menus

The CPS Breakfast and Lunch Menu can be found here, this is updated regularly, so please check back often. These menus are subject to change. Also, please check out the CPS Nutrition Services Website.

Daily Specials Classes

The specials schedule can be accessed here - this indicates the class that your child will have each day of the week (Art, Music, Dance, PE, Spanish).

October Calendar

2nd Race & Equity Parent Group Meeting, Fieldhouse, 6:00pm

4th Progress Reports Distributed

4th Small Group Parent Tour, 8:15am

4th Harbor Night, Friends of Peirce Fundraiser, 7:00pm

9th Student of the Month, 10:15am

11th Peirce Service Organization Meeting, 8:15am, Fieldhouse

11th Primary Years Program (PK-5th) Behind the Scenes Tour, 9:15am

14th No School

15th Metropolis Coffee Orders Due to Friends of Peirce

15th Friends of Peirce Meeting, 6:30pm, Fieldhouse

16th Family Reading Night, 5:00pm

Primary Years Programme Update

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An Inquiry into Sound - What sounds can you discover as we walk the halls of Peirce? (1st Grade)

PYP Overview

Want to know more about the Primary Years Programme at Peirce - check out the PYP page on our website. And join us on October 11th for a PYP Behind the Scenes Tour at 9:15am. Where you will get the opportunity to see PYP in action and learn more about how to support your kids at home.


5 Tips to Support Inquiry Learning at Home:

  • Ask about what your child is learning in class.

  • Support and encourage interest and curiosity by following up with activities at home.

  • Encourage and practice good communication skills such as starting conversations and debates about current events.

  • Help your kids develop research skills online and from text.

  • Enjoy building projects together in the home.

Learner Profile

Click on this link to watch a video and learn more about the IB Learner Profile Attributes.

“The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.” (from:

Asking questions after school

When you pick you child up from school the first thing you want to ask them is, “How was your day?” And most of the time students will respond with one word answers, or not give any reply at all. Instead check out this list of questions to ask!

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Reading in the Primary Grades

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Ms. Gibson’s first grade students working on phonemic awareness

Essentials for Reading Success in the primary years focuses on developing 5 essential areas to reading success

The five components of reading success are:

  • Phonological Awareness

  • Phonics

  • Fluency

  • Vocabulary

  • Comprehension


Phonological awareness skills: the ability to manipulate the sounds that make up spoken language

  • Phonological awareness is important because it requires readers to notice how letters represent sounds. It is print awareness

  • The sounds of the English Language are represented in 250 different spellings (e.g. /k/ as in c, k, ck, ch, que)


  1. Listening

    1. For example: Playing the game “Do You Remember” by having them perform tasks and then increasing complexity. “First, throw away your food and then put dish in the sink.”

  2. Rhyming

    1. This can be accomplished with songs, books, or rhyming phrases

  3. Words and Sentences

    1. Use index cards to represent words. Clap out the words, compare and contrast word order, length and meaning. Uses phrases like:

      1. Pam ran.

      2. Pam ran fast.

      3. Did Pam run?

  4. Awareness of syllables

    1. Students should be able to analyze (break apart) and synthesize (put together) syllables.

      1. Use clapping, placing hand under chin or pounding lightly

  5. Manipulate sounds

    1. Take away analysis: say “hear” and take away /h/. What is left? “ear”

    2. Add a sound -synthesis: say, “an.” What would happen if we add a new sound at the beginning of the word such as /m/? “Man”

  6. Phonemes:

    1. One activity is phoneme deletion

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According to a report by the National Reading Panel, “Teaching Children to Read,” concluded that for children to become good readers, literacy instruction can and should be provided to all children at the beginning of kindergarten. The research stated that, “in order to become good readers, literacy instruction must develop phonemic awareness, phonics skills, fluency, and the ability to apply comprehension strategies consciously and deliberately as they read.”

To view the entire report, click here: the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read

Middle Years Programme

The Middle Years Programme here at Peirce is off to a strong start this year. We are happy to welcome our new team members; Ms. Ocampo, Ms. Navarro, Mr. Calderon, and Mr. Vazquez. To keep families in the loop this year, each grade level (MYP Year 1-Year 3) will be sending out newsletters containing information about what is happening in the classroom and how you can support your child’s learning at home.

Our partnership with Senn High School will also have a new face this year, as Ms. Lauren Luchessi joins us as the MYP Coordinator at Senn. To maintain our strong partnership, we will be meeting with Senn Teachers several times throughout the year to working on vertical alignment of our curriculum, observe teaching and provide feedback, and ensure the implementation of IB standards and practices.

Math at Peirce

Two 1st grade students show different ways of representing 4 + 2 + 3.

One of the eight “Effective Teaching Practices” according to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is: Use and connect mathematical representations. What does this mean? Well, a representation is any method for making a mathematical idea more accessible or understandable. When a student draws a diagram, uses blocks, or even explains an idea verbally--these are all ways of representing mathematical situations.

This month, kindergarten students are learning that a situation involving, say, 4 birds can be represented by setting up 4 math blocks. In 3rd grade, students are showing their understanding of multiplication expressions by forming equal groups of counters to match them. In the MYP, we see students drawing number lines and labeling them with directional arrows to represent the addition and subtraction of positive and negative numbers.

Above, notice how two 1st grade students show different ways of representing the same situation. Imagine the discussion that might follow as a result of their initial work!

Restorative Practices

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We have been working to add a Restorative Practices page on the Peirce School website. Thanks to the help from Paisley Peterson we were able to get it up and running this week. It is located under the “Parents” tab. Please take a look to learn a little more about how we are using RP at Peirce, how you can use strategies at home, etc.

Also, please add our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can receive a monthly video of our work with RP. You will hear from Students, teachers,This month we will be tackling the question


Counseling Department

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CPS offers an opportunity for students to apply to International Baccalaureate High Schools, Magnet High Schools/Programs, Selective Enrollment High Schools, Military Academies, and College & Career Academies. These schools run special programs for students who show academic talent in various areas. All students who are interested in applying must complete the GoCPS application process.

While this is a great opportunity, the application process can be confusing. This information sessions will walk you and your child through the process and help you figure out which schools could be a good fit for your child.

If you were unable to attend the High School Application Information Session on September 26 during Open House Night I will be doing additional information sessions during the school day for our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Parents are welcome to attend any of these sessions. The information presented will be the same on all 3 dates, however the focus of the presentation will be tailored towards that grade level.

Important Dates:

Oct 2- 8:15-9:15am, Peirce Auditorium, 6th Grade HS Info Session

Oct 3- 8:15-9:15am, Peirce Auditorium, 7th Grade HS Info Session

Oct 4- 8:15-9:15am, Peirce Auditorium, 8th Grade HS Info Session

Oct 22- 6:00-7:30pm, High School Fair, Hosted by Senn High School

Oct 27- 12:00-1:00pm, Senn Open House - IB Information Session

Oct 27 - 1:00-3:00pm, Senn Open House


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Cps Score offers a variety of sports for grades 5th-8th throughout the school year. Fall sports students can participate in are boys and girls cross country, boys soccer, girls volleyball, and Coed Softball.

If a student is interested in any of the falls sports there is an online form.

You can also fill out a paper packet if needed. All paper packets should be given to Mr. Carbajal or Mr. Leighton. Practices for fall sports are as following:

Cross country - Monday and Wednesday beginning September 9th. First meet is September 19th.

Boys Soccer- Monday and Wednesday starting September 23rd on the turf.

Girls Volleyball (7th and 8th)- Monday and Wednesday starting September 23rd in the lunchroom.

Girls Volleyball (5th and 6th)- Tuesday and Thursday starting September 24th in the lunchroom.

Co ed Softball (5th-8th)- Tuesday and Thursday starting September 24th on the turf.

Starting October 15th all fall sports will practice from 4-5pm. Any other questions reach out the Athletic Directors Mr. Carbajal and Mr. Leighton.

Key Contact List

The information below indicates the leadership team at Peirce - if you have questions about something not listed, please reach out to Lynn or Sally in the main office so that they may put you in contact with the correct team member

Lynn Carro, Office Manager

Enrollment, Building Rental, Schedule meetings with administrators, Lunch & Recess, General Questions

Sally Suarez, Office Manager

Enrollment, Volunteering, Schedule meetings with administrators, General Questions

Lori Zaimi, Principal

Oversees all school operations

Kristen Munoz, Assistant Principal

Kindergarten-4th Grades

Talyia Riemer, Assistant Principal & MYP Coordinator

5th-8th Grades

MYP Program

Kim Lebovitz, PYP Coordinator & Instructional Coach

PYP Program

Joshua Lerner, Bilingual Lead Teacher & Math Instructional Coach

Bilingual Program

Math Instruction

Anne Park, Counselor

School Counseling, High School Transition, Climate & Culture

Shelton Jackson, Restorative Practices Coach

Restorative Practices, Student Behavior & Supports, Recess & Lunch, Climate & Culture

Athanasia Kolontouros, Case Manager

Special Education Services, IEPs, 504 Plans

Brooke Thompson, After School Program Coordinator

Fee & CPS Funded After School Programs