01-07-2019 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of January 7, 2019
This week we will engage in our second interim assessment of the year, and will receive valuable information on how our students have progressed from Interim 1 to Interim 2.  As we draw closer to PARCC, we want to simulate the testing environment and conditions, so that students will be more comfortable with it when the actual test is administered. There are three important messages we want to transmit to our students during the interim:

  • It is important for students to take the interim assessment seriously and put their full effort and focus into it, not because it will give them a grade, but because it will provide them and us with important information on what standards they have improved on, and which standards they need to focus on.  If they don’t put their full effort and utilize all they have learned this year, the results will not be a valid reflection of their possible performance.

  • Approach the assessment with confidence, and a positive attitude towards testing, and the results will be better than if they approach it with negative feelings.

  • The interim assessment is just the beginning, the results will give them data to use in formulating their own personal action plan, as part of their POP Sheets.

In our tuning of POP sheets at last week’s Faculty Meeting, there was a valuable discussion of how to make them more meaningful for students, by personalizing them and making them a tool students can reflect upon and use to plan their learning.  Please take into account the models and feedback of your colleagues, as you prepare to share the data from Interim 2 with students.  We will provide time and opportunity to work on POP sheets during Department Meetings and our upcoming PD day.

Remember, Marzano’s research shows a 32 percentile growth gain when students track their own data!  This is a game changer in terms of results.  What it requires of us is that we create the conditions for students to become empowered by and involved with their own growth.  Together with students, we can do this!!

Beginning February 1st, no additional field trips during the school day, other than those already scheduled, will be approved.  This will be in effect until May 5 for grades 6 through 10, and through May 20 for 11th and 12th graders.  We have limited instructional days left, and we need to maximize the use of all of them.
Thank you for your cooperation!


  • Kudos to Ms. Crivelli and the PGT Team and ALT Social Emotional Task Force for a great Faculty meeting in December!! Thank you for keeping us focused on all the things we already are doing for social emotional learning!
  • Shout out to the Admin Team for their facilitation of our Tuning Protocol in January’s Faculty Meeting, and a special thank you to those who volunteered to share their POP Sheets!
  • Shout out to Ms. Abbondanza and Ms. Penn for organizing a Middle School Stem Fair in December!
  • Shout out to Mr. Cohen for coaching the Debate Team and helping to organize the city wide meet last month!!
  • Shout out to all who came to EdFest to recruit students for next year – Mr. Jaramillo, Mr. Molina, Ms. Thweatt, Ms. Hall, Ms. Hinkson, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Boone, Mr. Galvan, Mr. Duvall, Ms. Strickland and Ms. Shelby!!!  A special thank you to Pankaj for organizing our booth and participation!!!
  • Shout out to Ms. Abbondanza for her leadership in preparing and sharing best practices for Middle School PLT Reset!
  • Shout out to Ms. Carino and the middle school team for a great Winter Fling!
  • Kudos to Mr. Molina, Ms. Lemus, the ARTS Department, and the Parent Association for organizing a fantastic International Night in celebration of the holidays!!!
  • Shout out AGAIN to the ARTS Department and all supporting teachers for their Winter Concert! Our students have talent!!
  • Kudos to Ms. Weiss, who  was asked to present Yoga and Mindfulness in the PE Classroom at the District PD in January!

Monday, January 7, 2019
SLC Morning Meeting

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
SLC Morning Meeting

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Departmental Planning Mtg

ALT Meeting 3:30pm

Thursday, January 10, 2019
Department Meetings
Exams – Periods 1, 3, 5
National Symphony Orchestra performance for CHEC – Select 6th through 10th grade Arts students

Friday, January 11, 2019
No Meetings
Exams – Periods 2, 4, 6
2019 CHEC Spelling Bee for Middle School Students - 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. - Auditorium
Piano Recital – 3rd Period
No Advisory

Saturday, January 12, 2019
Saturday Academy


Game-based learning is gaining popularity in education as more young people and adults learn from games both in and out of the classroom. Well-designed games motivate students to actively engage in content that relates to coursework and master challenging tasks designed to sharpen critical thinking, problem solving, employment, and life skills. Every year, the ED Games Expo promotes game-based learning though the display of exciting educational games and technology.  On Monday, January 7th middle school students Jennifer Ayala, Timothy Williams, Jeba Chemeda, Royette Tindugan, Gea'Moni Williams, Kaylin Guandique, Me'Kayla Colvin, Isaac Fuentes, Mauricio Solorzano, Calvin Armstrong, John Lemus, Chalore Monk, Selbriah Faulkner, Edwin Castillo Miranda, and Amilcar Iraheta Mendoza attended the Expo for a great experience in educational technology.


Caroline Lacey, an artist, educator and native Washingtonian has lived and worked in El Salvador with Laberinto Projects, an arts and education non-profit. This past summer Laberinto Projects held a pilot for a professional development program in El Salvador for educators in the MD/DC/VA area and were thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response to the course, an incredible and intimate learning experience on the ground in El Salvador. Laberinto Projects is officially launching four dates for 2019 and they wanted to share those with you. (PFD attached for printing and sharing).

Here is a link to the course and our organization http://laberintoprojects.com/educa-professiona-development/

The course, Visual Literacy as a Tool for Cultural Proficiency in the Classroom: El Salvador as a Case Study, is a professional development pre-immersion, in-country travel and post-immersion, 3-credit course for teachers in the Washington, D.C. area. It promotes teacher collaboration and applies standards-aligned tasks with direct impact on classroom learning, while fostering cultural proficiency and academic excellence. Teachers will acquire the tools needed to integrate the diversity of cultures and experiences that are represented in their classrooms through the exploration of a Central American art archive and through object-based learning, visual literacy skills and global competency. The course will be taught by Muriel Hasbun, a long time professor of the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art + Design. The 3-credit course is accredited through Washington Trinity University.

For more information, contact Caroline Lacey at coolacey@gmail.com or 240.418.6276. www.laberintoprojects.com


Give Ms. Garcia-Carmona a high five! Her classroom project "Bring Tech to CHEC" was recently funded by Donors Choose. The resources for this project include:  Three Lenovo N42-20 Chromebooks - 14' - Celeron N3060 - 2 GB RAM - 16 GB SSD and an Insignia - USB Keyboard.


If you have not already done so, consider Donors Choose for funding for any of your classroom projects.  To date, 28 CHEC teachers have done so, as reported here.  We recently learned that there is about $175,000 remaining in a particular fund that has been earmarked for all DC Public School Donors Choose requests (from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation).  Recent project amounts range from $300 - $1,000 – by Ms. Falkenberg (twice!), Ms. Alvarado, Mr. Khafra, Mr. Spoth, Ms. Malcolm, Mr. Talarico, Ms. Warren, Ms. Nunez, Mr. Magee, Ms. Docena, Ms. Patterson, Ms. Peddyreddy, and Ms. Hartwill. The process is easy – if you would like to create an account to receive project funding, just go to this link:


CHEC Arts is beyond thrilled to share that the National Symphony Orchestra has chosen CHEC as a site for their annual NSO In Your Neighborhood program.  As part of this program, they will be performing for selected CHEC students and classes on Thursday, January 10, at 2 pm, and offer another free performance for the community at 7 pm.  You are welcome to bring your friends and family to this event.  We hope you, your family, and your friends are able to benefit from this exciting opportunity.


CHEC Photography teacher Mandy McCulloch submitted a proposal to GrantED and was granted funds to purchase tripods.   Ms. McCulloch would like to share with all CHEC teachers that GrantEd provides DC public school educators with a resource to fund nearly any classroom expense with an accessible way to apply for fast-cycle, micro-grants using their smartphones. https://www.grantedfoundation.org/


Globalize DC shares information about free global opportunities open to DC educators, students, and schools. They send information out by email and on their website.  These great global opportunities as a “Global Alert” are included at the following link for sharing within the CHEC community – there are trips and other great programs that may be of interest.


This past weekend, more than 120 teams from across D.C. and Prince George's County gathered at Greenbelt Middle School for the Julia Burke Invitational. After the tournament, more than 250 members of the WUDL community received tickets to the kickoff of Michelle Obama's I Am Becoming Tour at the Capitol One Arena.  In Varsity, Eric Clarke was the 2nd overall speaker in the division.  In Novice, Angel Guzman and Jason Vasquez broke out and wrote themselves a 1 way ticket to JV. Angel and Jason placed 8th overall, and took home the 10th and 7th place speaker awards, respectively.
Congrats to the team, and keep up the good work Coach Cohen!


For any students who need assistance to log into Canvas, follow the directions below.  If there are any students that cannot log into Canvas please have them email the Canvas support team at dcps.canvas@dc.gov.

Student Login Information:
Username: Student ID #
Password: Birthdate (MMDDYY) (Note: include a zero in front of single digits. For instance, 01/09/05 would be 010905)


Wilderness Leadership and Learning (WILL) is a holistic 12-month experiential learning, youth leadership and life skills development program for DC 9th to 11th graders. WILL is beginning to recruit for its 15th class. There have been Bell students in WILL every year. Please refer a student to be part of this amazing program to strengthen student's leadership, life skills, cultural awareness, empathy, compassion, and Environmental Awareness. Contact Ms. Elmore, College and Career Center, A126.  Milagros.Lopez@dc.gov with student referrals.



Friendly Reminder

Please make sure students travel to the library with a pass or you can call ahead of time if you're planning to send a large group to ensure everyone can be accommodated. Lincoln Library should only be used my middle school students. High school students must use Bell Library. Each library has resources that best fit their audience and printing materials can be limited. If you send items to the middle or high school library printers, remember to pick materials up in a timely manner. Paper is wasted and large quantities can lead to jams. When sending students, send those who are comfortable making copies independently - librarians can help assist but we are not responsible for making copies.

Letters about Literature Writing Contest
The Library of Congress and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have partnered for a writing contest for Grades 4 - 12. In 400 - 800 words, students write a personal letter to the author of their selected piece of literature (fiction, nonfiction, short story, poem, essay or speech - NO song lyrics) explaining how the work changed the student's view of themselves or their world. The letter's aim is to create a conversation with the author in which the student expresses thoughts, feelings, and / or ideas inspired by the author's writing, as well as its impact on the student's life.

Due date is January 11th. National Prize is $2000 cash award. National Honorable Mention Prize is $500 cash award. Winners will be posted in late spring 2019. Middle school students may visit Ms. Falkenberg in Lincoln Library for help or more details.

Education Chats on Twitter
Curious how educators use Twitter? Looking for new ideas to implement in the classroom? Need some inspiration? Consider following or participating in Education Chats on Twitter. Weekly chats occur among all educational roles across the US and world through the use of specific hashtags. Follow the link to explore hashtags on your own time or to plan to participate in discussion with fellow educators.


"Dr. Ellis will be joined by educators in several diverse urban schools as they speak to their efforts around increasing student interest and success through a culturally responsive approach that engages cultural, linguistic, and communal knowledge."

"In this webinar, Panorama will present new research on the connections between students’ social-emotional learning and critical student outcomes. Panorama’s research team will provide recommendations for districts to approach and monitor social-emotional learning in ways that are responsive to key district priorities. "


Please click here for the Bell Library January, 2019 Newsletter

Top Bell Library Patrons for the Month of December:

1.  Jordan Helena Hopper
2. Isiah Thorne
3. Honey Asfaw
4. Diana Burruca
5. Zion Caudle
6. Marcos Deleon-Guzman
7. Rosa Gutierrez-Hernandez
8. Angelica Hernandez-Vasquez
9. Jason Leiva-Martinez
10. Jessica Lopez

Please reserve using the Bell library via our reservation platform, Skedda:
(https://reservechecbelllibrary.skedda.com/booking).  Once booking your first reservation you will be prompted to create a quick login.  Users will be able to see when space is available and when space is unavailable.  This will allow for transparency and comfort in knowing that the time that you have requested, is available.  There is also a space for *notes.  If you would like to request AV material (i.e. projector), please let Mr. Stewart know.

For Black Lives Matter Week and Black History Month--on February 5, 2019 Ballou High School student authors will join us to discuss their book, Our Lives Matter.  If you and your students would like to attend this Bell Library event, 10:15 AM- 11:45 AM, please let me know.  Each participant will receive a copy of the book that will be signed by the authors-- limited space, please reserve soon! December's author talk with students from the LAYC entitled, Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth was amazing with CHEC students asking prudent and deep diving questions.

Please remind students to log their books for the 25 Books Campaign and Winter Challenge via Clever.  If you have any questions please let me know.

Whether it's PARCC, the SAT, ACT or simply because you want to be the best you--according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Kids connect with Robot Reading partners  and reading friends which in turn enhances their desire and enthusiasm to read and learn. Educators please identify students who you believe would benefit from a reading partner or buddy! These students will be paired and the reading fun will begin!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach Mr. Stewart via email: christopher.stewart2@k12.dc.gov or call: (202) 939-7700 Ext. 5118

Bell Library Reservations

The CHEC Bell High School Library would love to invite teachers and staff to reserve library space via our new platform, Skedda (https://reservechecbelllibrary.skedda.com/booking). Once booking your first reservation you will be prompted to create a quick login.  Users will be able to see when space is available and when space is unavailable.  This will allow for transparency and comfort in knowing that the time that you have requested, is available.  There is also a space for *notes.  If you would like to request AV material (i.e. projector) I can have that available and set-up for you.

Bell Library Writing Center

Days:  Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time:  8 AM- 8:50 AM & lunch periods
Location: Bell High School Library

We all need help! Great authors and writers have editors...the library will assist with:
Interpreting a writing assignment
Creating ideas
Locating and sharpening a thesis statement
Organizing ideas and research
Developing a logical argument
Identifying recurrent errors and strategies for revising.

*Please email papers you would like to be reviewed, at least 48 hours before the due date.  Email address: christopher.stewart2@dc.gov.

CHEC Library Brunch

"The Brunch" held, once a month starting Monday, November 5th [beginning of hypothermia season] has been a great way to connect to the community through books and food (all free)!  In our Nation's Capitol we have an epidemic when it comes to poverty and homelessness, including heightened illiteracy rates for several populations.  Street Sense, a District of Columbia based newspaper that employs formerly and currently homeless individuals and, provides articles that touch on important issues concerning the homeless population will be interviewing me about the Brunch with the CHEC/Bell Librarian: Food, Lit. & Book Discussion program my work on ending homelessness and poverty in the District of Columbia and beyond, including the home for the homeless (no more) that I am opening this winter.


Setting the Stage: Why Family Engagement?

A strong body of research shows that family engagement matters for student success.
Students do better in school and in life when their parents are engaged in their education. Family engagement contributes to a range of positive student outcomes, including improved student achievement, decreased disciplinary issues, and improved parent-child and teacher-child relationships. Emerging evidence also suggests that family engagement can have important benefits for the inner-functioning of schools, including school staff having higher expectations for students, more shared ownership and trust across their faculty, and, ultimately, stronger school performance.

All families can be capable guides, partners, and advocates in their child’s education.
Regardless of a parent’s circumstances, family engagement is not a static enterprise - with the right interventions parents can change their behaviors in relationship to their child’s education. In focus groups conducted in 2009, District parents in all wards were clear that they cared about and wanted to support their child’s learning but needed additional skills and knowledge to do so. Furthermore, they pointed out that they wanted schools to be more welcoming and responsive to their involvement.

Families play specific roles that support student achievement.
Although there is widespread consensus about the importance of family engagement, there is a diversity of opinions about what, exactly, family engagement means. Research about the impact of different types of family engagement help address this challenge. Meta-analyses find that, when it comes to how strongly parent involvement predicts student achievement, a parent’s participation in school itself is a blip on the radar screen compared to a parent holding high expectations and setting goals for their individual child, monitoring progress and holding them accountable, and supporting learning at home, among other things. Although many of these forms of family engagement are difficult for school staff to see, schools still play an important role in affecting them.

Please join us in giving every student the gift of Family Engagement! Please reach out to your family engagement team, Jessica Gonzalez and Kristen Whitaker if you have any questions or concerns! We look forward to supporting you in this work!

Kudos to Jessica Alvarado and Omar Lopez for conducting the first home visit of the 2018-19 school year!! Thanks for getting us started!
De-escalation Tool Kit
We will be doing further training for all staff to further improve our school culture and climate. The following are suggestions as we go forward that will help us to keep student safe and accountable and promote consistency in and out the classroom.

  • Build Positive Relationships
  • Follow the CHEC 5 Step Process
  • Proximity
  • Utilize Restorative Justice
  • Stay in constant communication with student and parent (Give positive praises and updates)
  • Restitution Speeches (Involve Culture Team)
  • Tap into student’s interest (Sports, Performing Arts, etc.)
  • Tap into school resources (Social Workers, Mary’s Center, etc.)
  • PBIS and/or in class incentives
  • Utilize a plan for success

Please make sure to use the new updated referral sheet that is attached to log behavioral infractions.

Please don’t lose sight of the following:
Please do not lose sight of each of the following below, as they are crucial to maintaining and improving the culture that we desire:

Please share these important reminders with students and parents.
  • Sweaters/jackets – if they are out of uniform, they should be in lockers all day or confiscated.  Lincoln and Bell sweaters can be bought from the Deans or the Main Office. Lincoln and Bell sweaters $21 and sweaters with the zipper $27.
  • Please call parents when you see students out of uniform and refusing to get in uniform to ensure it is very clear that they should be in full uniform at all times. Refer any further questions to Dean Aking, Dean Boone and Dean Galvan.

  • Detention is a first intervention we have for students to check and correct their behavior in your classrooms. Students being informed of this consequence is vital to the effectiveness of the consequence.  Remember to use our 5 step process with fidelity so that our students will not earn a greater consequence of ISS and thus lose valuable class time.

  • We always need more support at dismissal from 3:15pm until 3:35pm (High School), 4:15pm until 4:35pm (Middle School). Please follow students all the way out to the front of the building. Students should be encouraged to move on toward their bus stops/metro quickly. Teachers and staff that can make themselves available to stay out front will be greatly appreciated.

Cafeteria Support
  • All lunches have their ups and their downs. We always appreciate additional supports in the cafeteria on days that teachers are available. Check-ins with students build relationships and adult presence supports our daily procedures in lunch.
Athletics are an integral part of the educational program and a means to accomplish the goals of education. Our athletic program exists for the welfare of students and the contributions it makes to their educational experience.  Athletic participation builds self-esteem and confidence and provides the necessary tools for success.  The interaction between individuals on the fields of sport teaches students the value of teamwork, while developing the proper competitive spirit, combined with a sense of fairness.
The Middle School Wrestling Team finished fifth in the 3rd DCIAA meet of the season. The Middle School Boys Basketball Team lost to Oyster Adams. The Varsity Girls Basketball Team lost to Banneker.  The Varsity Boys Basketball Team defeated Banneker.  Please come out and support your Knights and Griffins! The Middle School Wrestling Team finished fourth in the 2nd DCIAA meet of the season.  The Middle School Boys Basketball Team defeated Brightwood and lost to Truesdell. The Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Team defeated School Without Walls and Eastern. The Varsity Girls Basketball Team defeated School Without Walls and lost to Anacostia and Eastern. The Varsity Boys Basketball Team defeated School Without Walls and Anacostia and lost to Eastern.
Girls Basketball: 4 - 0
Boys Basketball: 1 - 4
Varsity Girls Basketball: 5 - 5
Junior Varsity Basketball: 5 - 0
Varsity Basketball: 8 - 4
Junior Varsity Basketball vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC @ 4:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC @ 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC @ 7:30 p.m.

Middle School Boys Basketball vs. Raymond at CHEC @ 6:00 p.m.

High School Indoor Track at PG Sports and Learning Complex @ 3:00 p.m.
Junior Varsity Basketball vs. Wilson at Wilson @ 4:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Wilson at Wilson @ 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Wilson at Wilson @ 7:30 p.m.

Middle School Wrestling DCIAA Meet #5 at Jefferson @ 4:00 p.m.

High School Swim Meet #1 at Woodson @ 5:00 p.m.
Junior Varsity Basketball vs. Dunbar at Dunbar @ 4:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Dunbar at Dunbar @ 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Dunbar at Dunbar @ 7:30 p.m.

No Games
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