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  • Principal Berkowitz

Students Continue to Amaze


We find ourselves in a place of being so close to a much-needed break while also preparing for another transition as we continue to expand in person learning opportunities for students. We all need a rest and yet there is so much to do in the final days before Spring Break. Our team is working hard to make calls to families with offers, set up new classrooms, and prepare for any students transitioning out of virtual learning. Our teachers are also about to start the report card process as Term 3 comes to a close. There has not been a dull moment this school year!


At the Books and Belonging Class with Berkowitz, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke to our students about her life’s journey and her service to the residents of the District. There were two student questions that have stuck with me and I want to celebrate them because they capture so much of what is great about our thinking Panthers. This question stumped Del. Norton: “if DC becomes a state, what would the capitol be?” Take the politics out of the equation and I see a student envisioning steps beyond “the fight for statehood.” The question goes past statehood – past the goal of Del. Norton – and beings to paint a picture of what life would be like in the 51st state. I appreciated the visionary aspect of that question and it is a reminder to look continue to look beyond our goals and envision the future. Another student made two references to Del. Norton’s biography that he was reading. I want to highlight the connections and knowledge building that this student showed us all. Sure, I read a few websites to prepare for the meeting, but one of our students read an entire biography out of curiosity!


As adults, we can get caught up in the day-to-day and these vignettes hopefully serve as a reminder of why we do what we do as educators and parents. Despite the challenges we face, our students are still thinking, wondering, and inquiring. I hope these stories lift you like they did me. Once again, our students are serving as the rainbows for me.

Updates

  • Enrollment for 21-22 has begun

  • Term 4 Updates

  • Spirit Week

  • Books and Belonging with Berkowitz and Bowser

  • Peabody Earth Super Saver Art Project At Peabody

  • A Friendship Rock for Gideon

  • LSAT Change of Date for April

  • How to Help Children Cope with COVID Anxiety

  • Cluster Auction & Party on Friday, April 23rd


Enrollment has Begun!

Our team is ready to enroll students in SY21-22. Parents should head to https://enrolldcps.dc.gov/ to enroll electronically. We are also participating in a feeder-wide in-person enrollment event at Eastern High School for families that choose to enroll in person on April 24, 9am-12pm.


Term 4 Updates

Ms. Beth Moore will fill in for Ms. Egan when her leave begins after spring break. Ms. Moore prefers in-person learning and we are exploring the possibility of opening a 3rd PK3 classroom. We've been in closer touch with PK3 virtual families and teachers about this idea.


I am thrilled to share that our class size increases, after consultation with in-person staff, have been approved by central office. Our IPL enrollment will grow from 109 students up to 254 students, which is almost 40% of our student body. Much of this increase is also due to our addition of up to 46 PK4 students starting for the first time and a new third 3rd grade class.


Here is the latest:

  • PK4 is almost complete.

  • Mr. O'Neil's new 3rd grade class started Thursday morning.

  • All other grades started this week. The front office staff will do its best to maximize classes before Spring Break. Start dates may be delayed if we are not able to communicate to teachers before April 12, the last day before Spring Break, but offers will continue until classes are full or demand is met.

  • For all expanding classes, we will resume calls from where we left off with our Term 3 selection process. Meaning if we filled a class with student #35, student #36 will get the next offer for that class. One caveat is that we are undergoing another round of appeals based on school-identified academic need and we will honor sibling preferences for students currently attending in person. Please note, having a sibling in person does not guarantee an offer for another sibling.

  • Parents: please answer if we call!


Spirit Week

Spring is here and it’s time to show our Panther Pride! Show your #PantherPride by posting pictures of your class and students on social media. Tag @PeabodyWatkins on Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #PantherPride!


Monday April 5: Mix-Match Day

Tuesday, April 6: Sports Day

Thursday, April 8: Color Day (done by grade - see below)

Friday, April 9: Pajama Day

Colors for each grade:

PreK 3: pink

PreK 4: rainbow

K: blue

1st: purple

2nd: red

3rd: orange

4th: yellow

5th: green


Books and Belonging with Berkowitz and Bowser

Celebrity Alert! To continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, Mayor Muriel Bowser (April 7) will join our class. Students will hear about their journey to influence change and the obstacles they faced along the way. Please join us 11:30 every Wednesday.


Peabody Earth Super Saver Art Project At Peabody

In these weeks leading up to Earth Day, we are learning in library, art and some homeroom classes about being Earth Super Savers every day! As an optional at-home activity, we are inviting students to create a picture or sculpture that shows how they like to be an Earth Super Saver. They may use any materials for their art creation, including recyclables such as newspaper or cardboard. These pictures will be used in a video montage created by Mr. Simmons to be shared with our Peabody community on Earth Day on April 22nd. Families should take a photo of the art project and upload it to the OneDrive folder by going to the link below. The deadline for photo submissions is Friday, April 2. Please upload still photos only and if the photo includes your child, please know that this video will be shared with Peabody families. Feel free to reach out to Ms. Bloom susan.bloom@k12.dc.gov or Ms. Cushman katie.cushman@k12.dc.gov or your homeroom teacher with any questions. Link to the Earth Day photo file.


A Friendship Rock for Gideon

As our community marks the one year anniversary of the loss of Maeve and Gideon McKean, The Cluster School PTA has joined with Gideon’s father, David, to create a memorial to honor Gideon, who was a third grade student at Watkins. In the coming days, David, and Gideon's surviving siblings, Gabriella, and Toby, will place a boulder, or "Friendship Rock" in honor of Gideon in the garden at Watkins. The rock symbolizes the everlasting memory of Gideon's generous, boisterous, and loving spirit. He was a kind, gentle presence, a true friend to all. It is our hope that children will visit the rock to play, to rest, and learn in the garden. Eventually, when it is safe to gather in groups, we would like to hold a small memorial service in the garden for Gideon’s many friends to celebrate his life. Today and everyday, we remember our friend Gideon, and hold him in our hearts.


LSAT Change of Date for April

The April LSAT meeting will be held on April 7, on a Wednesday, not Tuesday. We will share our summer acceleration plans, at a high level and provide any updates that we can to in-person learning.


How to Help Children Cope with COVID Anxiety – Parent Event sponsored by PTA

Please join us on Monday, April 5 at 7:30pm for a special Zoom seminar with Dr. Johanna Kaplan of the Washington Anxiety Center to learn How to Help Children Cope with COVID Anxiety. She will provide an overview on how to identify signs of anxiety/worry in our children, as well as helpful tools on how to support children that might be struggling with anxiety, especially during this challenging time.

There will be a presentation followed by Q&A. We are happy to accept questions ahead of time via this google form.

Time: Apr 5, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) https://ogilvy.zoom.us/j/96546690944 Password: chcs +13017158592,,96546690944#


Cluster Auction & Party on Friday, April 23rd

The Auction & Party is less than a month away on Friday, April 23rd (SAVE THE DATE!). We are looking for parents to harness their creative talent and auction off an experience or service. The PTA also wants to support Cluster family-owned, Black-owned and locally-owned businesses while supporting our schools. If you are able, please purchase gift cards, items or services from one of the businesses on this list and donate them to the Auction!

Ready to donate something? Enter it here! We can't wait to see you on the 23rd!

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