• Principal Berkowitz

Thinking All about Term 2

What is it about the short weeks?  We are in the throes of so much transition right now.  Our leadership team is not focused on instructional leadership and support, which is grating at me.  Instead, we’re doing our best to be fully ready for a strong Term 2 reopening.  In our staff meetings and office hours this week, it’s clear how much these changes matter for teachers, families, and especially kids.  Please know that each of those folks is also important to me and we’re committed to partnering with all to move our schools forward.  And in Term 2, we’ll even be in the same building!  I’m very excited to meet our kids and many of you in person even under these circumstances.

So, the week in review with the leadership team’s values at the forefront.  I will muster the energy... 

Last Friday I collaborated with our PTA leaders, the RCE leaders, central office leaders, and our friends at Kindred to chart the course of our community’s equity journey.  I shared the DCPS equity framework and was thrilled to see it’s full embrace by all our stakeholders.  A big bucket of my work is (always) equity on the many fronts: staff, kindred, and the affinity groups work our courageous parents are leading.  Even after a long week, that work continues to energize me. I hope to complete our equity "road map" soon that communicates how it all aligns.

As we plan and collaborate for a purposeful Term 2 reopening, I can’t help but notice the empathy and connection I’m observing and feeling across and among our staffs.  This is tough stuff and as technical as the planning may be sometimes, it’s also highly personal and emotional.

Despite all the swirl, our City Bridge team at Peabody persevered and maintained their focus on ensuring a connection and intervention for every student in need (a CSP strategy in progress).  We “mapped” each student in the Peabody staff meeting this week to illustrate the extent to which every single student had a connection with what staff members.  It was a creative way to visualize our relationships and a great entry point to even more equity by design work.

Two moments of joy I want to share.  I was kind of obsessed with TikTok a while back. I had to delete it, but now Instagram has Reels, which is basically the same thing, and I can get sucked in.  Well.  My oldest daughter, Annie, is into parkour and sometimes these two interests come together like they did Tuesday and Wednesday. We’re working on a team move we saw on Instagram and between both girls it was hours of them jumping off of me trying to touch the ceiling or the sky (we had to move to the park).  It was just the best.  It led to a socially distanced and random friend leading my girls and two other families in a gymnastics lesson in the park.  It was exactly the opposite of the Operations Manual I spent most of my day on and completely joyful.  Also, this week, Ms. Caraway brought me a huge bag of M&Ms which really enabled my stress eating.  *sigh* I hope you all also found some joy this week too, indulgent or not.



Aspen Parent Portal for K-5 Families

This fall, DCPS is launching the Parent Portal feature in Aspen.  The purpose of this feature is to establish open communication between teachers and families, allowing for each to work together in supporting student’s learning.  The Portal will also allow for parents/ guardians to view student attendance and receive published report cards starting with Term 1. 

Over the next week, the Operations team will be collecting accurate email addresses from parents and adding or updating them in ASPEN.  During the first week of November, parents/ guardians will receive an email from Aspen welcoming them to the Parent Portal along with user guides and video links to complete the next steps and access their account.

Next Steps for Parent/ Guardians by Next Friday Oct. 23:

Kindred Update - We have our applicants and working on making final selections with our parent-stakeholder groups. A final group of 12 will be announced soon!

Mr. Gross is now out on family leave! His virtual classes are canceled for the remainder of Term 1 and students can engage in asynchronous learning.

Peabody Facility Update - the latest was published to our website earlier this week.

Term 2 Updates - the latest was published to our website earlier this week. Please click through to submit feedback on the Operations Overview and In-person schedule.



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:

  1. Schedule your child's annual wellness visit

  2. Make sure your child has received all of their immunizations

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

DCPS Imm Flier
Download PDF • 1.02MB

Online Lunch Application- Please complete

Every new school year, the Office of Food and Nutrition disseminates the Application for Free and Reduced Meals to parents. They ask that our school gets an Application from every family even if they do not wish to participate. Please complete the Application by visiting

Note: The Application will ask for your child’s ID number. Don’t worry, the person that handles the Applications confirmed that parents can submit their form without the number. Please help to make our school the first to have 100% participation! Contact the main office if you have any questions.

Parent Welcome Committee Meet and Greet—Wednesday October 21 8pm-9pm

The Parent Welcome Committee is made up of parent volunteers who want to ease the transition to a new school and make sure that every scholar and family feels at home in the Cluster.

They offer families a chance to:

● Connect with other families and students through virtual meet and greets

● Ask questions and get advice from returning families and students

● Learn about school organizations and how to get involved

The Welcome Committee will host a Meet and Greet on Wednesday, October 21, 8:00-9:00pm on Zoom:

Families can also email with their scholar's name and homeroom teacher so we can match them with a volunteer family.


Log into Canvas each day to be marked present. This should take place between 6am and 11:59pm. Students or parents should log out and back in to ensure the log-in is activated. 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.




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): congrats and thank you to Ms. Griffin for co-chairing!

Cluster Calendar

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