• Principal Berkowitz

Why I'm Thankful

Hello families, I'm trying a new structure this week based on some feedback - let me know what you think! Also, I will not send another note next week. This is it! Happy Thanksgiving.


  • We are launching the Reopening Community Corps - an advisory team to guide Term 3 reopening decisions. First meeting is Monday at 3:30 open to all. Read more below.

  • We have an minor update on the Peabody facility. Read more below.

  • Report card update. Read more below.

  • Learning Supplies Pick up next week! Read more below.

  • Peabody Foodprints starts in December. Teachers will share schedules.

  • Cluster Coat Drive is on! Read more below.

  • Parent Kindred Dialogue group is formed! Scheduling the first meeting is in progress.

Principal's Message

This week I came out from under my reopening much-too-weighted blanket and was able to visit classrooms and meet with small groups of teachers. I’m glad I did, because it helped me to put my “what am I grateful for” thoughts in order as we approach Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for the connection that I feel to this school, staff, and community. Being virtual and having met almost no one in person, it’s feels strange to write this, but it also feels true to me. Despite the barriers, I feel like I have been welcomed in by staff and families and it feels great. I feel a sense of support and sometimes enthusiasm for my purpose as a leader and I'm just so grateful. As I shared that sentiment with folks in our small conversations, I also recognized that I still have a lot of work to do to build relationships with some staff members and many kids. I’m reflecting on how I have and will go about that moving forward. Doing so will help me lead with the level of empathy I aspire to.

I think I’ve persevered this year and I know our staff has too. We have all learned so much and we’ve done it together with multiple sources of leadership, inspiration and support. I’m so grateful for that.

I caught the end of one team meeting this week where something completely unexpected happened. The team completed the agenda and instead of signing off, the teachers just sat back and shared the fun, joyful stories of teaching from the week. It was amazing and I’m thankful that a) I was able to observe that and b) even more importantly – it's happening. It was even late in the day and they just kept on going about how great our kids are... amazing.

Keep in mind that equity is the umbrella of all this work. Our staff Kindred team met last week, and I was able to celebrate them at the end of our first meeting. And our staff equity leaders met this week to plan next month’s session and the energy, enthusiasm and shared leadership is just so much more than I would have expected. I am so grateful for that team.

I hope everyone gets a much, much needed break and has a chance to reflect on all the rainbows in your lives. Despite the challenges, they are there. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Updates and Reminders

Term 3 Planning: Reopen Community Corps

All principals are convening a “Reopening Community Corps.” This will be a representative group of stakeholders that serves to advise school leadership on the model for in person learning and how best to meet the demand of our community. On Thursday, I met with our WTU reps, LSAT co-chairs, and PTA president to preview the purpose of this team and help recruit staff members. Our first meeting is Monday at 3:30 and we plan to have four meetings before winter break. Anyone can join the meeting as a listener. Team members are invited to participate fully in the engagement activities. Access the meeting here.

Peabody Facility Update

Clean-up of the flood damage at Peabody and facility investigation around it continues. The portion of the ceiling that collapsed was removed and crews are also working to remove any damaged acoustical ceiling tiles and light fixtures inside classrooms. While the full scope of repairs has not yet been determined, we anticipate being able to schedule times to allow staff members back into the building to retrieve items. Once a full assessment of the building is complete, we will confirm the scope of work and establish a timeline for necessary repairs. I will continue to update our community as this information is finalized and shared.

K-5 Report Cards

As of this writing (noon, Nov 20) report cards at Watkins have not been published to the Aspen portal. They have been published for kinder. I expect it to happen today, but if it doesn't please be patient. Remember you can reach out to teachers any time for an update on your child's progress. For all K-5 students, we are reversing course and printing and mailing reports for every student. You can expect them to arrive in the mail after Thanksgiving.

Cluster Coat Drive

Give back to your Cluster community this holiday season by donating a NEW COAT (plus a hat and gloves) to benefit Peabody, Watkins, and Stuart-Hobson families. A list of sizes/types is coming soon.

To accommodate social distancing, we will accept deliveries directly this year at Watkins. Or there will be a drop-off box available at Watkins. Monetary donations will also be accepted--just email me (Ms. Wilson) or Ms. Carraway directly.

Contact Ms. Carraway ( or Lisa Wilson ( if you have any questions.


Term 2 Learning Supplies Pick Up

Distribution for learning materials (Eureka, Fundations, etc.) and instructional supply bags will take place next week at Watkins Elementary. All learning materials and supplies are instrumental for effective term 2 teaching and learning. Upon pick-up, a sign out sheet will need to be completed to identify 1) the student who materials were retrieved for and 2) the person who retrieved them.  

Distribution Dates and Times:

  • Monday, Nov. 23: 10am—4pm

  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: 8am—4pm

  • Wednesday, Nov. 25: 8am—4pm

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