Principal's Message November 8-12

What a Week!

Congratulations students, teachers, staff, and caregivers. We completed our first term in school during this pandemic!


There are so many highlights from these first 9 weeks. I want to bring up a few to share how far we've come and how much we've overcome to reach this point. We deserve to stop and reflect on our successes.



  • Students are learning at school (not home.)
  • Brand-new arrival and dismissal times for both schools! They feel routine now, but the change was major!
  • We have and are still enduring "drying" out from the Peabody flood. We opened on time, kids LOVE coming to school, and the primary business of the school is back to student learning. We're so close to being fully back in operation.
  • WIN time at Watkins. We finished the first cycle and spent part of Friday morning celebrating students' growth and success. That success is clear via a new platform that teachers now use.
  • We've brought on extra Social Emotional Learning supports with our partners at WISE (Wellness in School Environments at Georgetown) and Catholic Charities.
  • We restarted in-person family events such as cultural heritage with Hispanic Heritage month and Back to School Night

Both Schools

Key Dates


  • Nov 11- Veteran's Day. No school for staff or students.
  • Nov 19 - Peabody Family Night (details below)
  • Nov 24-26 Thanksgiving Holiday!

New Asymptomatic Student Testing Schedule!

Every Friday: Asymptomatic COVID testing for students.

9:15 for Watkins

1:15 for Peabody

Community-Wide Equity Audit Launch RECAP

Thank you to the 20+ staff and community members that joined Thursday night. It was great to share in the work to deepen our sense of community and advance equity at our schools.


We want more voices! We will have another meeting in November based off the preferences of our group members - which can still include you. Please complete this form if you are interested.


What is the work? We are gathering to build community and ask ourselves how our schools can be more equitable? What can we do to increase access to challenging work? Ensure all students and all families feel like they belong? We'll have some whole-group time to build community and smaller group time to explore our data in order to develop recommendations for change.

Aftercare Voucher Program Update

FLEX has submitted their application to OSSE to begin approval for the voucher program. This will take many months, but the process is underway. Caregivers can read more about the program, which should make aftercare more affordable, here.

Asymptomatic Testing for Students

Starting this week, asymptomatic testing will move from Thursdays to Fridays. As a reminder, all students are automatically enrolled in the testing program. Caregivers can opt out by returning this form to your school's office.


In order for a valid sample to be collected, students can not eat, drink, or put anything in or around their mouth at least one hour before testing. This includes any food, water, gum, lip gloss, and Chapstick.


For an example of the testing experience, view this video English and Spanish. These can also be used to prepare your student for testing.


How do you get your child's results? Directions are here. If you experience trouble accessing your students' test results, please contact the ST3 Support Line 833-762-0762. If that still doesn't work or if you have questions or access issues, please email DCPSCOVIDTesting@dc.gov.

THE PANTHER FUND IS FOUR DAYS OLD!

The Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA is excited to announce the Panther Fund, an annual fundraising campaign to support our students, teachers, staff,

and families at Peabody, Watkins, and Stuart-Hobson! Between November 2nd and December 1st, the Panther Fund seeks to raise $50,000. Our goal is to replace the income from two fundraisers that had to be canceled due to COVID – the Renovators House Tour and the Mini Capitol Hill Classic. And while we are hopeful that our spring fundraisers – the Auction and the Capitol Hill Classic – will take place as planned, this fund will ensure that our school year’s fundraising goals are met. We are asking families to please consider donating $30, $50 or $100 per scholar. Donations will be accepted through our Panther Fund Greater Giving page: https://tinyurl.com/5wmfuzmp

PTA Meeting Monday

PTA MEETING ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8th AT 8:00pm

Please join us for our November PTA General Meeting at 8:00pm on Zoom!

We will be joined by Eastern High School Principal Sah Brown who will talk about his vision for Eastern High School and take Q&A from parents.

In addition, our campus teams will present fall grants to prepare for community voting next week. We hope to see you on Monday night!

PTA Sponsored SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21st -- SAVE THE DATE

The PTA is working on a Community Event on Sunday November 21st from approximately 2:00pm-5:00pm.


KICKBALL TOURNAMENT!


Please keep your eyes out for more details next week!

Watkins

Cold Lunch Menu

Communications were sent this Wednesday about the emergency evacuation that took place due to a gas smell in the building. Washington Gas has notified us that the gas in our kitchen must remain off for the time being while further testing and evaluation is done to ensure safety. This means we must pivot to offering cold options for breakfast and lunch until further notice. The menu can be found here: https://dcps.dc.gov/page/sodexomagic-cold-menus-page

Watkins Fall Scholastic Book Fair

  • Date: October 29- November 9 (there will no book fair on days that school is closed)
  • Time: 7:30am- 8:45am (parents will be allowed to come into the building and shop with their students)
  • Students will have access to the Fair during one Specials class.
  • Location: Library
  • Payment Options: cash, credit and debit
  • Book Fair Volunteers: sign-up link is in the flyer


Book Fair Flyer Link

Term 2 Specials Rotate!

New specials will start Day 1 of Term 2: November 8th. See below for your child's homeroom teacher and their new special class for Term 2.


Library - Amuzie, Sheppard, Moxley, Sullivan, Evans

Spanish - Davis, Josephs, Nover, Phoenix, Lamont

Art - Stewart, Coleman, O'Neil, Elmusa, Hoover

Music - Mooney, McPhail, Parler, Dickinson, Hightower

Term 2 Lunch Locations Switch

Students will switch their lunch locations on Monday. Students who ate in the cafeteria during term 1 will eat either in their classrooms or outside (weather permitting). Students who ate in classrooms or outdoors will eat in the cafeteria.

WIN Cycle 2 Begins Monday!

With the change in term, comes an end to cycle 1 and beginning to our next cycle. Teacher spent Friday analyzing data and reviewing groups. If you child's group or WIN schedule changes, you can expect communication from your child's homeroom teacher by the end of the week.

Watkins Library Clubs

We will be starting Library Clubs on November 10! These clubs will be from 7:30am - 8:10am. Please use the link to see the club offerings and to sign-up!


Library Club Flyer

Peabody

Health Suite Progress

The Health Suite now has the materials it needs for the inspection. We are waiting for DC Health to confirm the virtual and on-site inspection. We hope there's movement on this very soon. Once the inspection is passed, Children's has assured us a nurse is ready to report.

Flex Aftercare to Begin for K and PreK4

FLEX's staff is finally cleared and ready to start aftercare. Kindergartener's start on Monday. PK4 students start on Tuesday. PK3 is still waiting for staff clearances. There are spaces available. Caregivers can sign up at flexacademies.com

Peabody Family Night - Nov 19

Friday, November 19th -- Join Peabody Families from 6:00pm-8:00pm outdoors at Peabody to celebrate community! The Peabody Executive Team is putting the final touches on a night of food/drinks and a concert with King Bullfrog!