Peirce School Family Newsletter

January 2017

Ballet Toe Painting

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Principal's Message

Para ver este boletin en espanol click aqui.


Greetings Peirce Families,


As we start a new year, I want to wish you a warm welcome back to school and a very happy New Year! I hope that you all enjoyed rest, relaxation and fun with your families and friends over the winter break and that our students are ready to begin 2017 with hard work, determination and dedication to their work as an IB student.


Please remember that student attendance is important to maintain a consistent program in school and attendance also weighs in at 20% of our overall school report card - we are currently a level 1+. In order for us to receive full points on the school rating in the attendance category we need to be above 96% attendance. As of December 23rd we were at 95.93% - this is the lowest that our attendance has been in at least 5 school years. There have been many days which have impacted our attendance - the potential teachers strike, the Cubs World Series win and the cold weather and snow before winter break. Please help us bounce back and get back above 96% - (our goal for this year is 96.4%) by sending your child to school each day. HOWEVER, PLEASE keep your children home when they are sick and running a fever - by no means do we want children coming to school when they should be resting and getting better.


Enjoy the winter months to come and I look forward to an outstanding second half of the school year!


Warmest Wishes,


Lori Zaimi


December Highlights:


  • Our Winter Concert was amazing - such wonderful dancing and singing to kick off the winter break!

  • Thank you to those that participated in the 50-50 raffle during the winter concerts - we were able to raise $518 to go towards the 7th/8th grade trip to Washington DC. John Azpeitia was the winner of the morning raffle and donated the winnings back to the school and the winner of the afternoon raffled wrote “Donate Back” on their ticket - we are so fortunate to have a very generous parent body - thank you!

  • Thank you to all of the parents who donated to the winter breakfast for our teachers and staff - we truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.

  • Students in Peirce Performers, Junior Choir and Bollywood showcased their talents at the 48th ward winter concert. Peirce visual artists also had their work displayed.

  • Our Kindergarten and 4th grade IB Behind the scenes tours were held - completing our first round! Be on the lookout for more information for PK-5th grade sessions in the second half of the school year.

  • Student Council donated all of the cans received in the canned food drive to Care for Real.

  • Thank you to PSO and FOP for hosting a parent mixer at the Pork Shoppe - it was great to see so many Peirce Families together, getting to know each other and signing up for volunteer events!

  • Students in 2nd-8th grade took the winter MAP Test online - results of those tests will come home with 2nd quarter report cards. Reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions beforehand.

  • Our 5th grade students participated in a phenomenal 1st round of debate on “Should the United States Substantially Reduce Immigration” - students worked hard leading up to the debate with researching their side (affirmative or negative) and pairing evidence to substantiate their arguments. Congratulations to the students in Ms. Leventis’ classroom who won the final debate!

  • Congratulations to our middle school debate team - our teams have continued to grow and we now have teams competing in the novice and junior varsity divisions - they are advancing to more competitive divisions and are performing well. Congratulations to Amelia Harding for placing 1st in the Novice Division and Rachel Nguyen for placing 8th in the Junior Varsity Division!

Congratulations to Amelia (1st Place Novice Debate Speaker) & Rachel (8th Place Junior Varsity Debate Speaker)

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Attendance Last Year VS This Year

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Peirce T-Shirts for Sale

Peirce T-Shirts are for sale for $10 and available in all sizes - the new design has our Peirce Panther on the front and the IB Learner Profile on the back in English and Spanish. T-Shirts can be purchased from the main office.


Arts & School Partnerships

Peirce school believes that the arts and external partnerships are an important component to our students overall educational experience. With the help of Friends of Peirce and external grants, we have been able to offer additional arts programs which are integrated in the classroom and linked to IB units of study. So far this year, 4th grade has completed their partnership with Barrel of Monkeys and a final production of students writing will be performed by Barrel of Monkeys on January 27th. 6th-8th grades have continued their work with Writer’s Theatre and 5th-8th grades continue their work with Les Lynn and Argument Centered Education.


Beginning in January Kindergarten will begin work with the Music Institute, 1st grade with the Raven Theatre and 2nd grade with Dream Big. In addition, Ms. Bencel/Ms. Polk and Ms. Baumgarten’s classrooms will begin work with CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnership in Education).


Later this year, 3rd grade will begin their work with Ms. Louise and the Lookingglass Theatre and 5th grade will begin work with Giordano Dance.


5th Grade Immigration Debate

Urban Gateways - Amazing Africa

On January 11th students in K-8th grades will have the opportunity to view “Amazing Africa” hosted by Urban Gateways. Make sure to ask your children about this!


International Dance Night

Save the Date! January 27th is our International Dance Night/Fundraiser to support our 7th/8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Be on the lookout for ticket sales and event information. The event will take place from 4:30 - 6:30pm and is open to all Peirce families. Families will have the opportunity to sign up for dance classes from around the world and also participate in open dances such as “Family Disco”.


Winter Concert

Sexual Health Informational Session

Each year students participate in a Sexual Health unit taught by their classroom teacher. To learn more about the program/curriculum, parents are invited to attend an informational session on January 12th at 8am in the Library. Parents are also welcome to reach out to Ms. Graney at llevar@cps.edu with any questions.


Friends of Peirce Fundraising Opportunities

Friends of Peirce has a few events coming up to support Peirce School Programs such as arts integration, sports and afterschool programs.


  • Be sure to visit Hopleaf (5148 N Clark) and purchase a drink from the Kegs for Kids menu - 100% of the cost of each drink goes to support Peirce School.


  • Save the Date - April 30th will be our Peirce Hopleaf Day, 100% of all sales will go to Peirce! Last year over $30,000 was raised in one day!

  • Save the Date - Babes with Blades performance at the City Lit Theatre on March 11th at 8:00pm, more information on ticket sales to come! All proceeds will go to support the 7th/8th grade trip to Washington DC.

Local School Council Update

The LSC is currently working on the annual principal evaluation, a parent and teacher survey will be circulated in February - your feedback is important.

Principal Honor Roll Luncheon for 6th-8th Grades

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Throwing Snow/General Safety

While throwing snow can be fun and entertaining we ask that while on school grounds to please refrain from throwing snow - several students have been injured as a result of throwing snow (beginning as an innocent act and then escalating). Also, if you ever notice anything inappropriate happening on school grounds and the school administration is unavailable, please contact the police. Peirce for the most part is a very safe school, however, there are occasionally issues which arise and need to be addressed.


Peirce’s IB Program of Inquiry

The Program of Inquiry for our PYP IB program can be found on the Peirce website by visiting here and clicking on the POI document at the bottom of the page. The POI gives a big picture overview of the content studied at each grade level.


You can also find more information on our IB program - both PYP and MYP by visiting here.


Box Tops

Box tops are collected on a regular basis and bring in additional dollars to the school - please save box tops throughout the year and turn in during the box tops collection time periods.


Join us on Social Media!

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook - Helen C Peirce School of International Studies is Peirce’s official Facebook Site. In addition, the “Peirce School PSO” has a site along with a closed group “Parents of Peirce” there is a lot of information shared on all 3 sites and are great opportunities to share and receive information along with networking with other parents.


Follow us on Instagram at peircecps.


January 2017 Calendar

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February 2017 Calendar

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