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  • Principal Berkowitz

Committed to Equity

Updated: May 31


We made tremendous progress with our equity work this year. By no means are we done, but we’ve laid an important foundation on which to build. We’ve normed on key vocabulary terms (equity, marginalization, oppression and others) and more importantly developed and deepened relationships through honesty and vulnerability. I’m so proud of our commitment to our small-group dialogues and asynchronous reading and reflecting on Black Food. White Appetite.


I want to again shout out our equity leaders of small group discussions: Ms. Taylor, Ms. Brooks, Ms. McPherson, Ms. Judy, Ms. Williams, Ms. Bloom, Mr. Denton, Ms. Langhorne, Ms. Hollis and Mr. Boisvert. You all showed such courage and leadership to take on this work. We also had other leaders contribute to the formation of our equity audit. Those folks include Ms. Brooks (our team leader), Ms. Harrell, Ms. Irving, Ms. Moxley, Ms. Sullivan, and Ms. Friedman.


Here are some of the highlights of staff comments from this week’s year-end reflection and celebration.

  • I shared my truth!

  • More aware of equity issues and privilege at work and personal

  • Speaking out as an advocate for disadvantaged students and families

  • Checking my privilege

  • I have become more patient with misunderstandings. I have been even more intentional about relationship building with students.

  • These conversations have helped me think about what more I can do to give Black and Brown students a bigger voice in the classroom.

  • I push for understanding with my families instead of making assumptions.

  • Naming it and allowing these big topics to live outside of these meetings. It’s more than just talking but are we living it within the community now.

  • Making sure to celebrate each student and making sure they each get to share whatever they would like about their day.

  • I’ve learned the value of acting on our beliefs in equity, not just talking about those beliefs.

  • We have to understand people’s backgrounds and experience and be patient with the process.

Updates


  • Enrollment is Underway

  • Watkins Debaters are Champions!

  • Step-Up Events

  • Surprise! New Playground for Peabody is Approved!

  • Internet For All Families

  • Final LSAT Meeting of the School Year

Enrollment is Underway!

We want you back! Parents and caregivers should head to https://enrolldcps.dc.gov/node/71 to re-enroll in Peabody and Watkins. Please do so today!

Watkins Debaters are Champions! Huge kudos to Ms. Jurkowski, Ms. Lamont and Ms. Sullivan for leading our great Panther debaters to the pinnacle of debate! The Stuart-Hobson and Washington Urban Debate League sponsored the first elementary school debate with Watkins v. Ludlow Taylor. Watkins' normal battle of the books was transformed with a policy debate frame.  Watkins included students from 3rd-5th grade, who completed 3 rounds of 1-hour long debates on Saturday, May 22, 2021. They have made DCPS debate history to participate in an event normally reserved for middle and high school students only. Congratulations Panthers!

Step-Up Events - June 9

We are wrapping up this year and we’re also planning to begin our SY21-22 with a “Step-Up Day” for all students looking forward to next year with our schools. The purpose of the event is to say goodbye to your current teachers in person and say hello to your new teacher teams for next year. Students and parents will have opportunities to meet the teams for their students next year. Important note: this will take place at the team level – individual student-teacher assignments are finalized in August. We understand that not all team members will be available, and we are thankful for the staff members that are able to participate.


The location will be on the Watkins playground and the schedule for this event is as follows:

9:00-9:30 - rising PK3 - newly enrolled only with PK3Teachers

9:45-10:15 - PK3 current and newly enrolled students with PK3 & PK4 Teachers

10:30-11:00 - PK4 current and newly enrolled students with PK4 & K Teachers

11:15-11:45 - K current and newly enrolled students with K & 1st Grade Teachers

12:00-12:30 - 1st current and newly enrolled students with 1st & 2nd Grade Teachers

12:45-1:15 - 2nd current and newly enrolled students with 2nd & 3rd Grad Teachers

1:45-2:15 - 3rd current and newly enrolled students with 3rd & 4th Grade Teachers

2:30-3:00 - 4th current and newly enrolled students with 4th & 5th Grade Teachers


Surprise! New Playground for Peabody is Approved!

Yes, it’s true! Please see this attachment from DCPS Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Davis. TLDR version: a new playground is slated for SY22-23.


Internet For All Families

DC's Internet for All program provides ONE YEAR of FREE home internet service to District families with school-aged children who need home internet service. Interested? Text INTERNET to 69866 for more information.


Final LSAT Meeting of the School Year

The Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) will hold its final meeting of the school year on Tuesday, June 1st at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.  The meeting agenda and link to join can be downloaded by clicking HERE. For more information and past meeting minutes and recordings, please visit https://www.capitolhillclusterschool.org/lsat

Reminders


  • End of Year Events for Students!

  • Rock the Red Parade – June 23

  • Comfort with a full Reopening Next Year

  • Before and Aftercare Next Year

  • Peabody Stabilization Updates from the SIT Team


End of Year Events for Students!

  • June 18 5th grade promotion. In person and virtual.

  • June 22 Kinder promotion. At school for IPL students, virtual for families.

  • June 23 Rock the Red Parade!


Rock the Red Parade – June 23 We want to continue to find ways to have fun with students and celebrate the end of a very tough school year.  We are planning a Rock the Red Parade for June 23.  All students, families, and staff to take a year-end victory lap around Lincoln (Watkins) and Stanton (Peabody) Parks while rocking our Red. More details to come – parents and caregivers, please save the date!

  • 9am at Stanton Park for Peabody students and families.

  • 11am at Watkins field, parading to Lincoln Park for Watkins students and families

Parents will be required to escort their students.


Comfort with a full Reopening Next Year

We are also hosting a community event designed to provide information and context to what school is like in person. Our target audience is the over 200 families that declined an in-person seat this year and any other parent who would like to feel more confident in our reopening for next year. We will have parents that are doctors, teachers, and students prepared to speak to our community members about their experiences in person in an attempt to prepare our families for a full reopening in August. Please save the date, June 15, 6pm.


Before and Aftercare Next Year

The Chancellor recently announced that before and aftercare will be available for families next school year. The COVID-related details and restrictions have not been published yet, however we have reached out to our partners so make sure these programs are fully in place to support our full reopening.


Peabody Stabilization Updates from the SIT Team For the latest updates, please visit here and Peabody ES Project Resources and Meeting Materials.


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