• Principal Berkowitz

All About Re-Opening

Updated: Jan 10, 2021


  • Open House for Prospective Families

  • Peabody Update with DCPS Facilities

  • Timeline ahead of Term 3 for Virtual and In Person Learning

  • Peabody and Winter Reading Info (reminder)

Principal's Message

For a small window of time this week, there was an overwhelming sense of joy. I’m obviously channeling Nana’s advice to CJ to find the rainbows among the clouds as I sit to write this week’s message. Amid everything that happened, we welcomed some staff to Watkins for a building tour. The purpose was technical – for staff to learn what the school looked like this year and how things would be when we reopen in February for some students and staff. However, the outcome for me and I think many, was emotional. It was joyful. The students in our CARE class met their teachers in person for the first time. Peabody staff reunited with their former students. And colleagues talked together as they once did in our school building.

These small but significant reconnections not only warmed my heart but also remind me how powerful our relationships are with our colleagues, students, and loved ones. One staff member was brought to tears when she stepped into the classroom with kids. This emotional connection drives our work at school and at home because we care about each other and when we show that we care, it matters.

This week, our staff showed that we care. Despite the overwhelming emotions of fear, disappointment, and anger over the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, our staff answered our students’ questions, they listened, and they shared. Our Mental Health team also answered the call. I am grateful to all our staff who continued to serve our students and families throughout this very trying week. Thank you.

On Wednesday morning, I felt proud. In addition to the moments I shared above, I also took time to reflect on the fact that Georgians elected their first African American Senator. I believe I shared that sense of pride Wednesday morning with millions of Americans. Rafael Warnock’s election is a significant step forward in America’s story of equality.

Then there was the insurrection at the Capitol and that sense of pride was immediately replaced by shame. America’s hypocrisy is on display for all to see. I think it is our responsibility to contrast what we are seeing this week with what we saw this summer. We saw two very different versions of first amendment expression and two very different responses. When I look at this week’s events through the lens of race and privilege, it does not feel like the arc of history is bending toward justice right now. How will we respond individually and as a country to create a more just, fair world for our kids and for ourselves?

I don‘t have an answer right now, but when I think how our staff cares for and loves our kids, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful our relationships and pursuit of justice will provide healing for ourselves and our country.

I hope you all have a safe and restful weekend. And here’s hoping for a better week come Monday.

Updates and Reminders

Open Houses for Prospective Students

We are hosting open houses for prospective students on Feb 16 and March 16 at 4pm. We are also organizing a K-1 mixer for current families on January 26 at 8pm. Please mark your calendars for now.

Peabody Update with DCPS Facilities

DCPS Facilities will join the Jan 11 PTA meeting at 8pm. Access the meeting here. Department of General Services will not be attending the meeting.

Timeline ahead of Term 3 for Virtual and In Person Learning

  • January 8th- Staff notified of Term 3 assignments. Families notified after staff (this is delayed due to a last minute HR adjustment. Update expected Jan 11).

  • January 11th - In-person learning offers made to families. Office Hours available for families receiving an offer. Those families will be contacted directly.

  • January 13th- Professional Development (virtual) for Teachers and Staff Returning in Person

  • January 18th 20th – MLK Holiday, No School for Students & Teachers, and Inauguration Day

  • January 27th– Classroom set-up day for all teachers returning to in-person work

  • January 28th- In-person school-based PD for returning staff; half-day classroom set up. Only teachers and staff returning to in-person roles will attend the PD. Teachers and staff remaining virtual will host virtual community building and welcoming activities with Term 3 classes to welcome any new students and begin to build relationships. A more detailed schedule for the day is forthcoming.

  • January 29th—End of Term, half-day records day, half-day school-based PD or classroom set-up

  • Feb 1 – First day of IPL for K-5

  • Feb 4 – First day of IPL for PK

Additional PK Timelines- Check out the ECE Re-Opening Guidance here

  • · Feb 1 – Virtual Home visits

  • · Feb 2 – In Person Learning play dates at Watkins

  • · Feb 4 – First day of PK in person learning

Martin Luther King Jr I Have Dream Speech Event

Our 5th grade team is hard at work making the 2021 version of the Watkins cherished tradition meaningful for our students and community. Right now we have a virtual version in the works that should be ready in January. We are also working on an in-person plan for later in the Spring. Stay tuned and we're so proud of the 5th grade team's creativity and persistence!

Developmental Milestone Parent Workshop---Open to ECE Families & All Staff (to families)

The DCPS Early Stages Office of Elementary Schools and Peabody ES cordially invite you to attend our Developmental Milestone Workshop. In order to empower and inform our parents during distance learning, this workshop provides an overview of typical developmental milestones for children between the ages of three and five in the following domains: communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social emotional and cognitive development. It includes sample activities that you can do at home to help support your child reach milestones in each developmental domain. Given the goal of engagement with our families and the differentiation for participant questions, the session will not be recorded. Please see workshop details below:

January 27, 2020 8:15-8:45am

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 202-539-1291,,174874077# United States, Washington DC

Phone Conference ID: 174 874 077#

Peabody’s Winter Reading Challenge is UNDER WAY!!

Our Peabody students are “winding their way through a winter reading wonderland!” and have already read 1765 books since December 21! Our hope is for each student to log at least 10 books a week or 100 books over the 10-week challenge, allowing us to reach our school goal of 22,000 books read by “Read Across America Day” on March 2nd! To find out all the details about how easy it is to log your student’s reading on a smart phone or a device, CLICK HERE to go to the Peabody Library Canvas home page. Any questions, email our librarian Ms. Bloom,

Last chance to sign up for Peabody’s Winter Virtual Parent/Child Chapter Book Club

Ms. Bloom & Ms. Houghton are leading a 4-session chapter book club (4:15-5pm on Tuesday January 12 & 26 and February 2 and 9) and the title is “Juana & Lucas” by Juana Medina, a wonderful story about a young girl and her dog who live in Bogota, Colombia. We not only learn about her life in Bogota, but we learn how perplexed she is when her teacher announces that they’ll start learning English in class. Email Ms. Bloom to sign up:



Visitor Protocol

The following visitor management protocols have been put in place to health and safety of our school community, minimize the number of visitors and actively monitor who visits our school.

  • When possible, all meetings will take place virtually. If an in person is required, all visitors must be scheduled at least 24 hours before the requested appointment

  • To schedule an appointment, please contact the school’s main office. Someone from the administration team must approve the visit for it to be confirmed.

  • Visitors without a scheduled appointment will not be permitted entry into the building.

  • All visitors will be required to complete the “Ask, Ask, Look” protocol prior to entry, have their temperature taken, wear a face mask at all times on the school grounds, inside the school building and adhere to social distancing guidelines

Log Into Canvas Daily, Including Wednesday

Families should log into Canvas every day, including Wednesday to be marked present. It is very important to note that although live instruction does not take place on Wednesday, students still need to log-in. Daily log-in should take place between 6am and 11:59pm. If you miss a day or something prevents you from logging on, email our attendance team.



Submitting excuse notes: During virtual learning, all excuses notes should be emailed to our attendance teams. All DCPS legal excuse reasons remain the same as last school year.



Immunizations and Required Health Forms

All students must be up to date on their immunizations before returning to in person learning. Follow these three steps to guarantee that your child is ready and see the below flier for more information:

  • Schedule your child's annual wellness visit

  • Make sure your child has received all of their immunizations

  • Submit immunization documents to your child's enrollment/ attendance team


Community Messages

Click on the following to link to our website pages for updates on the following community groups:

Parent Teacher Association

Race, Class, and Equity Group

Local School Advisory Team (LSAT)

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