02-04-2019 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of February 4, 2019

Black History Month is extremely important to CHEC as a school committed to equity and social justice.  Since its creation in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, Black History month has grown in scope and impact, and is celebrated now in multiple countries around the world.  In our continuous journey to achieve equity in all of our practices, Black History Month calls upon us as educators to build our knowledge, and to celebrate and to illuminate  the history, accomplishments, achievements and triumphs of African Americans in the United States, and throughout the diaspora. History books and curricula never have, and still do not, tell this history in its full scope and importance.  It is our mission to seek new knowledge, and expand our curriculum to fully include African American History for our students and for ourselves.

A month is not enough time to do justice to African American history, however it is a time to redouble our focus, recommit to our search for knowledge, and to use it as a catalyst to continue to build classrooms where our African American students see themselves represented and celebrated in texts, discussions, and activities. Let’s celebrate Black History Month, as a time to continue our critical conversations about race and equity, and to build our capacity as educators committed to social justice.


Thank you to all for actively participating in our discussions about the CSP, Star Rating, and their implications for our School budget. We still have not received our budget, nor indication of when it will be received.  The LSAT will analyze the results of the survey, and be prepared to make recommendations once the budgets are released.  We will keep you posted on the process.


  • Shout out to Coach A, Ms. Spinks, and the Hospitality Academy for a wonderful Fall Sports Banquet!
  • Shout out to Mr. Stewart for arranging for students from Ballou to read their Life Stories in the Library, with Deputy Chancellor Alexander in attendance!
  • Shout Out to LSAT members for leading the discussion on CSP, STAR data, and the School Budget – Ms. McCulloch, Mr. Rahman, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Morden Snipper, Ms. Gonzalez, Ms. Ferguson, Mr. Athmer!!!


Thu. February 7  3:30 p.m.
This month’s Faculty Meeting will be facilitated by our fantastic Librarians, Ms. Falkenberg and Mr. Stewart, and will focus on our Literacy efforts by sharing updates on reading accomplishments, library programming to support literacy, and resources and ideas to highlight Black History month in our classrooms and throughout the school.

Monday, February 4, 2019
SLC Meetings

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
SLC Meetings
Term 2 Report Cards Mailed
MOY SRI Administered

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Department Meetings
MOY SRI Administered

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Departmental Planning Period Meetings
Monthly Faculty Meeting 3:30 pm
Kennedy Center – Alvin Ailey – 11:00 a.m.
8th Grade NAEP Test

Friday, February 8, 2019
No Meetings
Unit 3 Common Lit. ELA Testing Window Closes
MOY Reading Inventory Window Closes
MOY i-Ready Window Closes

Saturday, February 9, 2019
Saturday Academy

Shawn Chakrabarti, a local resident who for many years has taught ESL to adult immigrants in Columbia Heights, and who is currently employed by the Office of Citizenship, invites teachers, volunteers, parent engagement coordinators, and evening adult program administrators to an adult citizenship educator training on March 5th in Virginia.  All are welcome and it should be a great opportunity to network with other immigrant-serving organizations.

Strategies for ELL’s, and STEM strategies. The next ALT Team meeting will be on Wednesday, February 13 at 3:30 pm, and we will analyze Science and Social Studies writing products for alignment to PARCC and AP, and calibrate student work from those departments. Please see this flyer for more details.


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


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:


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.


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.



Technology Knights Are Here to Help!

8th grade students have been selected to serve as technology leaders during second semester. Students have been assigned carts and teachers to provide help as issues arise and assist in inventory or other tech needs. Follow the link below for students introductions and cart assignments. More information will be added periodically.

Black History Month Resources

Thank you for the feedback from last week's staff meeting. Please fill out the survey link so we can better assist you during Black History Month or throughout the school year. Resources to Black History Month lessons, podcasts, and other ideas can be found below.

Articles to Read:

Ten Ways Teacher Librarians Improve Literacy in Schools

STEM Role Models Posters - Nevertheless Podcast

Audiobooks to Listen to During Black History Month

FREE Poster Downloads: Women in Science - Women's History Month


Please click here for the Bell Library January, 2019 Newsletter

Top Bell Library Patrons for the Month of January:

1.  Rashard Thompson
2. Zion Marcellous Caudle
3. Jordan Helena Hopper
4. Armando Abarca-Salvador
5. Miracle Gilyard
6. Robert Myles Hubbard
7. Cora M. Norris
8. Mayra Wallace
9. Cheyenne Miasa Boney
10. Amat Gaye

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.


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!
Culture Update with Middle School Dean – Mr. Bode Aking

“The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish the he might have done you a greater one.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that you were able to honor the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. at some point this weekend as well.  Education is “the civil rights issue of our time,” and this work was begun by Dr. King’s movement and there is still a lot of work to be done. We know this when we speak to, work with and care for our students at CHEC. But we are making progress. And we will continue to make progress if we continue to plan for and to love on our students with consistency.

As I considered the words of Dr. King above, I realized that they reflect the same principle for why we spend so much time talking about celebrating our students and why we need do more celebrating. We celebrate the small stuff (just as we “sweat” the small stuff) so that students will wish to do more of the small stuff. Inevitably the celebrations of the small stuff cause the small steps to turn into big successes.

How will you celebrate the small gains, behaviorally and academically, this week?  Consider the following:

  • Give PBIS points when a student that often has a tough day completes all of his or her work.
  • Recognize when a student gets back on track after a redirection.
  • Honor publicly students who turn in homework, especially when they’ve struggled to do so in the past.
  • Catch students “doing good,” transitioning appropriately, speaking to one another kindly—point them out and give them PBIS points.

Let’s spend these next week’s celebrating the small stuff, the small efforts and the small progresses.

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 Girls Basketball Team defeated Deal and West but lost to Takoma.  The girls are the 2nd seed in the playoffs which will take place this week.  Congratulations to Coach Edmonds and the Middle School Boys Basketball Team on a solid season.  The Middle School Boys defeated Deal but lost to Takoma and West.  Congratulations to the High School Cheerleading Team for a strong showing at DCIAA showcase this past weekend.
Girls Basketball: 10 – 1
Boys Basketball: 6 - 8
Varsity Girls Basketball: 6 – 10
Junior Varsity Basketball: 9 – 3
Varsity Basketball: 9 – 8
Middle School Girls Basketball vs. Whittier at Roosevelt @ 4:00 p.m. (playoff quarterfinals)
Junior Varsity Basketball vs. Phelps at Phelps @ 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Phelps at Phelps @ 7:00 p.m.

Prepare for College Series at CHEC Model UN @ 3:30 p.m.
High School Bowling vs. HD Woodson at Bolling Air Force Base @ 4:00 p.m.

Junior Varsity Basketball vs. Ballou at Ballou @ 4:00 p.m.
Middle School Girls Basketball Semi-Finals @ 4:45 p.m. TBD
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Ballou at Ballou @ 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Ballou at Ballou @ 7:30 p.m.

Middle School Girls Basketball vs. West at CHEC @ 4:45 p.m.
Middle School Boys Basketball vs. West at CHEC @ 6:00 p.m.

Junior Varsity Basketball vs. HD Woodson at CHEC @ 5:00 p.m.
Varsity Boys Basketball vs. HD Woodson at CHEC @ 7:00 p.m. (senior night for boys and girls)

Middle School Girls Basketball Championship at Roosevelt @ 10:00 a.m.
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