From the Principal-Feb 3, 2021

Dear Peirce Families,

I hope that all of you enjoyed the snow day yesterday.   It looks like we are in for some more cold and potentially snowy weather in the days leading up to February Vacation!  Thank you for remembering to send appropriate snow gear (coats, snowpants, boots, hats, and gloves/mittens) with your children each day that they come to the school building.  

At our staff meeting today, the Peirce team engaged with the poem “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman, which she recited at President Biden’s inauguration last month.  We reflected on how this poem informs and inspires our teaching by calling us to imagine that our nation “isn’t broken but simply unfinished” and that there is “always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”   Hearing the call to be “light,” in our “unfinished” world, we began Black History Month by sharing books, poetry collections, videos, and museum resources to help us celebrate Black joy and include more Black voices in our classrooms and school.   We look forward to sharing more about the ways these voices are shaping our teaching and learning in the weeks and months ahead.  

I hope to see many of you at the Parent Coffee next Tuesday morning, February 9th. (Zoom information is below).  Superintendent David Fleishman and members of the Newton School Committee will join us, and they look forward to hearing from the Peirce community as we think about next steps for Newton Public Schools.  

With Best Wishes,

Mark Chitty

Please see the following information about Out of Assigned District requests:  

Please see the following information about Kindergarten Registration:  

Progress Reports:  The February 2021 Progress Report, which will be available to families on February 10th, maintains expectations from previous years for each grade level with consistent benchmarks defining “proficiency.”  The progress report measures performance against priority standards for each grade level.  As we assess students’ current performance and plan instruction, our goal is for students to grow in reference to these benchmarks.

Our instructional priority is on safety and well-being, as we believe this is the first step toward helping all students reach academic goals.  We recognize that not as many students are reaching these expectations  due to the school closure and reduced instructional time.  This looks different for each child as they have been impacted in individual ways.  If your child receives a “2,” we are monitoring their progress and providing interventions to support their growth.  With educators and families across the country, we recognize that the pandemic has had a significant impact on students’ learning, and we anticipate that there will  be more “2’s” this year than in previous years.  

“N/A” will be used to indicate standards that have either not yet been a focus of instruction or areas where we do not have sufficient data to report for an individual child due to attendance limitations.    Our professional team is committed to understanding the gaps that exist in children’s learning and working creatively to help students grow academically, socially, and emotionally.

We are grateful to our families for your partnership with us in supporting your children’s growth during this unusual year.  By assisting them with learning at home and providing us with helpful feedback, you have been strong collaborators during this time of crisis.   We intend that this progress report will be a useful tool for the conversations you will have with your child’s teacher as we transition into the second half of this school year.  The spring conference season in early April will be another opportunity for families and teachers to communicate about students’ progress.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher with concerns or questions.  

Save the Date!    Dr. David Fleishman, Superintendent of Schools, and members of the Newton School Committee will be visiting Peirce at the Parent Coffee on Tuesday, February 9th, 8:30-9:30 a.m., as a part of their annual tour of Newton schools.  They look forward to speaking with members of the Peirce community.  Come join us for coffee and conversation!; Passcode: 988612

Important Note About Attendance:  All students are expected to attend the Morning Meeting and participate in all of the teacher-assigned, synchronous and/or asynchronous learning activities on each school day, including special subject classes such as Library, Art, Music, and PE. There is no minimum number of classes students are permitted to attend and per MA DESE regulations, students who miss 10% or more of days enrolled (e.g., 18 days absent if enrolled for 180 days) are defined as being chronically absent. As part of the Hybrid Learning model, students are expected to participate on all days (both in-person and remote days) and cannot selectively opt out of certain classes, including those in the special areas, even if they are participating in a private pod.

School Photo Dates (for DLA and Hybrid Families): We have decided to postpone our School Picture Days until the spring due to the pandemic.  Please mark your calendar with the following dates:

Tuesday, 4/13 – Cohort A Photos

Wednesday, 4/14 – DLA Photos (Start time 1:00PM)

Thursday, 4/15 – Cohort B Photos

Absences (For DLA and Hybrid Families):  If your child will be absent from school for any reason on either in-person or at-home days, please call the Student Absence Line at 617-559-9650 before 8:00.  Also, please be sure that teachers have accurate information about dismissal routines for your child.

Conference and Progress Report Schedule for 2020-21:

Progress SharingDates
Mid-year Progress ReportWed, Feb 10 
Spring ConferencesMon, Apr 5    2:00-3:15
Thurs, Apr 8  2:00-3:15
Wed, Apr 14  1:15-3:15
End-of-Year Progress ReportLast week of school in June.  (Currently the week of June 18th).