03-30-2020 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of March 30, 2020
All Departments and SLC’s send individual notifications of their meetings

Monday, March 30, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Virtual Faculty Meeting – 1:00 p.m.
Distance Learning

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning

Thursday, April 2, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning
Friday, April 3, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning

Monday, April 6, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers
Distance Learning

Wednesday, April 8, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers
Distance Learning
8:00 am – ALT Team Meeting

Thursday, April 9, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers
Distance Learning
Friday, April 10, 2020
COVID19 – No In-School for Students, Teachers, and Staff
Distance Learning
I hope all are well, safe and healthy, and finding ways for self care during a time of uncertainty and anxiety.  I also hope that all of your families around the country and around the world are well.  At CHEC, we are an international community, and as such we have connections in many places.  May all of your family members and friends here and abroad stay safe and healthy and persevere through this health crisis.

As we move into the second week of Distance Learning,  we are also entering a more intense and challenging phase of the pandemic in our local area.  We will all feel this increased anxiety, and we know that many of our students reside in precarious economic conditions.  With that in mind, our role as an institution which provides supports beyond academics has increased.  We have always embraced a mission to serve all aspects of our community and now that has become even more critical.

Prior to being confronted with COVID 19, we had already been building our capacity as trauma informed and equity informed educators.  The article  trauma informed instruction during Covid-19 provides a comprehensive lens for viewing our work, and concrete suggestions and strategies for ourselves, our families and our students.  The trauma informed approach is a lens for understanding and viewing our four SMART goals:

100% of students will have access to necessary technology resources in order to engage in distance learning and act as leaders in quest for social justice.

We have distributed over 179 devices, and have two more distribution days, March 31st and April 1st.  If you know of students still in need, please refer them to Mr. Tobias.

100% of students will engage in assigned technology platform tasks  in order to be prepared to succeed in college and civic life as leaders.

Based on data from SLC’s, approximately 85% of students have signed on at one point or another. We are in the process of developing a system to check log-on’s daily.

100% of students and staff members will receive identified SEL resources and services in order to enhance relationships, build community as well as support their own  emotional health.

We know that many students are in need of economic support in addition to mental health support. We have raised $7,000 so far to support families in economic need.  Counselors and Social Workers are reaching out to all students, and as teachers and administrators we are learning to incorporate socio-emotional learning into all of our contacts and approaches.

100% of students, teachers, and administrators will regularly monitor, evaluate, and support student progress towards mastery of standards in order to achieve our goal of developing self-motivated, critical thinkers, and leaders in the quest for social justice.

We have developed a “master schedule” based on teacher availability, student and parent needs.  It will be shared with all on Tuesday, March 31st.  It is flexible, and may be adjusted as conditions will change, and we will learn what works and what doesn’t.  All teachers, counselors, social workers and other educators will provide students and parents with their weekly instructional/counseling/therapeutic goals and activities. We will share the DCPS proposed grading and assessment policy for this unique time, and will develop our own fair and empathetic approach to providing students with feedback for learning (Tuesday, March 31).

We are in the midst of a rapid transformation to complete virtual schooling.  Many of these structures and approaches in our school pre-dated COVID 19, but some are completely new.  We may find many of the new approaches and ways of doing things beneficial to continue after the pandemic is over. The learning and capacity we are building now will serve us well in the future.

I can’t thank you enough for your willingness to take on this challenge, and for your compassion, flexibility, and creativity.  You are an amazing team of educators! Gracias Griffins and Knights!!!


  • Special, special shout outs to all who have come to the school and collaborating with our tech initiative and staffing the building --Pankaj, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Best and Mr. Bueno, are holding it down!
We are still in Advisory 3, and as of today, the advisory will end on April 24.  Each Department is developing weekly instructional plans, based on completing a previous or new GRASPS, and focusing on key standards. The new approach for learning allows a great deal of flexibililty for whole group instruction, small group and individual instruction.  What is termed “office hours,” includes the following modalities of instruction:

  • Whole group instruction (live or recorded) via Zoom or Teams
  • Small group instruction via Zoom or Teams
  • Whole or small group assessments
  • Workshop time -creating student collaborative groups to work on projects or GRASPS
  • Facilitating student breakout groups or seminars via Zoom or Teams
  • Providing feedback and support to individual students or in small groups
  • Reaching out to students and parents who you have not had regular contact with or who have not responded to feedback in order to reengage and provide appropriate support
  • (For Summit) Accepting Focus Area assessments after viewing notes or video conferencing with students to determine readiness
  • Engaging students in SEL check ins
  • Mentoring students on their progress
  • Other Ideas!

In our new instructional setting, we need new norms.  Please see the norms developed by our Middle School Librarian, Ms. Falkenberg:

  • Students will communicate responsibly and kindly with one another, including with teachers
  • Teachers may limit comment features if netiquette is broken
  • Consider social media platforms as an extension of the classroom
  • Reach out to teachers if in need of assignment help or other questions

  • Los estudiantes se comunicarán responsable y amablemente entre sí, incluso con los maestros
  • Los maestros pueden limitar las características de los comentarios si se rompe la etiqueta en línea
  • Considere las plataformas de redes sociales como una extensión del aula
  • Comuníquese con los maestros si necesita ayuda con los trabajos asignados u otras preguntas

We would like to make this section a place to share ideas and strategies.  Please send your contributions to M. Tukeva and R. Winer.  They can be in text or video! Let’s share what we are learning and creating!

The Instructional Calendar is a living document that houses all the major curricular requirements, assessments, and schoolwide events.  Given our change process, we will be updating the Instructional Calendar.  It will be posted as of Tuesday, March 31st.

Please view - TBA


The Academic Leadership Team (ALT) consists of all administrators, LEAP leads, Department Chairs, and any interested faculty or staff.  Meetings are held twice a month, alternating between Early Release Days and morning meetings.  The ALT team designs and monitors the Comprehensive School Plan.  All are welcome to attend, either for one meeting or for all.  
The next ALT meeting will be Wednesday, April 8 at 8:00 am.    Our agenda will include a reflection of distance learning, and its implications for the coming school year.

(PARCC, DC Science, Alternate Assessments, ACCESS for ELLs, HPEA)
Announcements and Key Updates

Dear Test Coordinators and Testing Team Members,

Due to the extended school closure, we want to make you aware of some important updates and next steps around this year's statewide summative assessments.

OSSE has cancelled statewide summative assessments for students in spring 2020. This impacts the PARCC, DC Science, Multi-State Alternate Assessments (MSAA), Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM), Health and PE Assessment, and all remaining ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and Alternate ACCESS assessments.

We are aware that the ACCESS assessment process was interrupted by school schedule changes and there are some students who fully completed this assessment, some who have completed portions of the assessment, and some students who had not yet begun testing. OSSE and DCPS are working very closely with the testing vendor, to determine if there is a way to provide assessment results to students who completed testing for school-based decision making and decisions on exiting services.

The Assessments Team will provide an update to schools on ACCESS close-out, including the return of secure materials, once we have more information. Please continue to ensure that materials remain in the secure location outlined in your approved test plan.

Testing will not proceed for PARCC, DC Science, MSAA, or DLM in spring 2020. This means that all required activities for test administration and test security preparations at the school levels no longer need to occur. As such, there will be no secure materials shipped to schools for spring 2020. Given that statewide assessments have been cancelled for spring 2020, there will be no results released in the summer.

Statewide assessments will resume in spring 2021. DCPS will be working closely with OSSE this summer to prepare for a successful administration next year.

We understand that you may still have questions, feel free to email us at dcps.testing@dc.gov, submit a HelpDesk Ticket, or leave a message on the Assessments Hotline, 202.442.8867.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Contact the A-Team:
For non-urgent items, use the Assessments HelpDesk
For urgent items, call the Assessment Hotline at 202-442-8867
For non-DCPS employees, please email dcps.testing@k12.dc.gov


We hope that you're doing well. In order to best support our school partners in these uncertain times, the DC Collaborative is excited to announce the launch of our online Distance Learning Resource Database. These resources encompass curricular guides, virtual field trips, and other educational activities to enhance students' at-home learning experiences. We hope that you're able to use the resources in your distance learning efforts.

Please feel free to share this resource with other educators and parents in your community. We know this is a challenging time on many fronts and we  will support you and your students in any way that we can. Do let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or additional resources to share.

Stay safe,

Clarissa Heartsfield
Manager of School Partnerships
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8AM - 4PM
#CollectiveImpact #CollaborativeEffect #ArtsAndHumanitiesForEveryStudent
202.470.6467 ext. 1 (p)

Starting Monday, March 16th
DC Collaborative Daily ZoomChats will take place daily at 11:00am to provide arts and humanities education community updates and opportunity to chat with DC Collaborative staff in response to COVID-19: https://zoom.us/j/8531648236


In the midst of recent school closing and unfamiliar online learning adjustments, I have some very exciting and uplifting news to share with the CHEC community.

This year, American University selected Bamlak Bahiru as a recipient of their first-ever " AU District Scholar Award". This prestigious scholarship awards full tuition, room/board and fees to American University.  Bamlak was one of ten DCPS students selected for this amazing opportunity, and I am very proud of his hard and dedication to completing the application and following through with the process. Please see forwarded acceptance letter below.

To learn about the AU District Scholars Award and Initiative, please click here https://www.american.edu/media/news/20191218-au-new-district-scholars-program-launched.cfm

Thank you for your time and please stay safe,


Erin Sanchez (12th Grade) earned a Gold Key Award in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  A Gold Key indicates the very best works submitted to local programs and Gold Key works are automatically considered for national–level recognition.  Gold Key works are then judged nationally by an impressive panel of creative–industry experts to receive National Medals, including Gold, Silver, American Visions & Voices, Portfolio Silver with Distinction or Portfolio Gold Medals and Special Awards.

The photograph that won the award is titled Skyview.  


Also this month, the CHEC Arts Department received a GrantEd Award of 496.56 for ink for our laser jet printer.  
Mandy McCulloch


Donors Choose is a great resource for all teachers. You can receive a mini grant to support a special project or initiative.  Please see some of our recent Donors Choose grantees! You can reach out to them for support in obtaining your own grant!

I hope you are staying safe! I am sure you have a lot on your mind right now as a result of this COVID-19 chaos. I wanted to inform you that as a financial consultant with AXA Equitable, one of the approved providers of the supplemental retirement plans for DC, I am doing brief phone appointments with faculty and staff to help them get a better handle on how this market volatility affects their:
1. DC Pension
2. 403b supplemental retirement plan
3. 457b supplemental retirement plan
If you think you may benefit from this information, I have attached a PDF that provides insightful and contextual perspective to all this craziness. If there’s another way I may be of assistance, please let me know!
Kind Regards,
Tyler Manning
Financial Consultant
Equitable Advisors
3141 Fairview Park Drive, Suite #250
Falls Church, VA
C: 240-688-6371

Donors Choose is a great resource for all teachers. You can receive a mini grant to support a special project or initiative.  Please see some of our recent Donors Choose grantees! You can reach out to them for support in obtaining your own grant!

Ms. Eason had her classroom project "Designing SEL Classroom Reflection Space Tool Kits - “7th” Grade" recently funded. The resources for this project include:

  • More Good Vibes Coloring Book (Coloring is Fun) (Design Originals) 32 Beginner-Friendly Uplifting & Creative Art Activities on High-Quality Extra-Thick Perforated Paper that Resists Bleed Through x 5
  • Harmony Mandala Coloring Book: 100 unique mandalas and inspirational quotes x 4
  • Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy! (Design Originals) 30 Motivating & Creative Art Activities on High-Quality, Extra-Thick Perforated Pages that Won't Bleed Through x 4
  • Inspirational Quotes: Motivational Sayings and Positive Affirmations for Confidence and Relaxation Adult Coloring Book x 5
  • An Inspirational Coloring Book For Everyone: Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire x 5
  • Inspirational Quotes: An Adult Coloring Book with Motivational Sayings and Positive Affirmations for Confidence and Relaxation x 5
  • Take It Easy Sudoku: 100 Large Print Puzzles x 7
  • Play-Doh Modeling Compound 36-Pack Case of Colors, Non-Toxic, Assorted Colors, 3-Ounce Cans (Amazon Exclusive) x 2
  • Sudoku Puzzle - Easy - Vol 1 - My Favorite Puzzle Book (My Favorite Puzzle Book - Sudoku) (Volume 10) x 13
  • Kiddokids 24 PCs Sensory Fidget Stress Relief Calming Toys Liquid Motion Timer; Grape Ball; Infinity Cube; Mesh Marble; Mochi Squishy for Kids and Adults for ADHD Autism Anxiety Therapy Toys x 5
  • Crayola Classic Colors Fine Line 10 Markers Per Pack (Pack of 6) 60 Markers In Total x 5
  • Mazes For Teens - Super Fun Activity Book x 13
  • Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self x 13
  • Large Print Spanish Word Search Puzzles (Sopas de Letras en Español) (Volume 1) (Spanish Edition) x 26
  • Be Mindful Card Deck for Teens x 13
  • IRIS USA, Inc. TB-28 Stack & Pull Box, 31.75 Quart, Clear, 6 Pack x 5

CHEC is making a strategic shift with our classroom discipline procedure called the 5-Step Discipline Process. To strengthen Social Emotional Learning (SEL), teachers are being asked to create a space in their classrooms for students to go and self-reflect prior to being given a consequence, referral, or call home. The Reflection Space Toolkit would include all materials needed for each teacher at CHEC and includes mindfulness based activity books, Sudoku books, Crossword puzzle books, figit toys, manipulatives, signage, storage box.

Here is a link for a monthly newsletter from OSSE about PD opportunities for a bunch of subjects/areas.
Please take a look … it may have something they could use!   http://eepurl.com/gBFkKw

It has ELL, SpEd, SEL, H & PE, RTI, literacy, math and more.


Important Articles about School Libraries, Teacher-Librarian Collaborations, & Education
 Is Your School a De Facto Book Desert?

Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute
"The Library of Congress (LOC) is accepting applications for its week-long summer institutes workshop for K-12 educators. This professional development opportunity provides educators from all disciplines with resources and strategies to effectively integrate primary sources into K-12 classroom teaching."
  • June 15-19, 2020 - STI Session 1 (Open Session)
  • June 22-26, 2020 - STI Session 2 (Open Session)
  • July 6-10, 2020 - STI Session 3 (Science, Technology and Engineering Focus)
  • July 13-17, 2020 - STI Session 4 (Civics Focus)

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Teaching Humanities through Art
"Be inspired this summer! Attend one of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s week-long institutes in the nation’s capital. Join a community of educators from across the country for an exciting exploration of the connections among American art, social studies, history, and English/language arts.
Through interactive sessions with museum professionals, you’ll gain skills and comfort in using American art to make interdisciplinary connections, foster critical thinking skills, and develop visual literacy. You’ll walk away with a tool kit of practical strategies for integrating art into your curriculum, as well as lesson ideas developed by your cohort that you can immediately put to use in your classroom."

  • Week 1: Monday, June 22–Friday, June 26, 2020 (Middle and High School Teachers)
  • Week 2: Monday, July 13–Friday, July 17, 2020 (Middle and High School Teachers)
  • Week 3: Monday, July 27–Friday, July 31, 2020 (New for Elementary Teachers)

Applications are due March 30, 2020

#WinterRead2020 Challenge
Welcome to the third annual Winter Reading Challenge! We join hundreds of other schools and libraries across the United States as participants in this exciting event. We challenge you to read at least 5 books during the month of January and track those books here in Beanstack. Share your progress on social media using #WinterRead2020! Iconic publishing imprint Penguin Random House (PRH) is sponsoring this third annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge in support of public libraries, school systems, and YOU achieving your reading goals! Last year’s Winter Reading Challenge enrolled 65,323 readers nationwide, who logged over 150,000 books and 13.5M minutes of reading. Top-performing libraries and schools will earn the Golden Penguin and Random House awards. PRH pledges to donate $50,000 in prizes, including author visits and new books, to be shared among the winners.

Let's light up the mind this winter! Happy reading, LINCOLN KNIGHTS!

Staff Technology Lessons
Do you want to implement more technology in your projects or with your departments but are unsure what to use? Are you wondering how to create or navigate using the tools shared by your school librarians? Contact Ms. Falkenberg (angela.falkenberg@k12.dc.gov) or pop by the library to schedule technology lessons. Lesson ideas include Office 365 apps, PPT alternative tools, book talks, video creations, podcasts, DC Library databases, and more. Library media specialists are both your instructional partners and technology navigators, engineers, and cheerleaders. When you are more confident using tech, students will be as well.


How are you?
Please don't hesitate to call, text or email doing this current health climate: christopher.stewart21@k12.dc.gov.         
Check out the new tab on the Bell Library website entitled, Virtual Learning Tools; offering Free courses from Harvard University, Virtual Tours and pictures from Museums, Parks and even the Cherry Blossoms, Free books, and so much more!  Also, please remember to check out the COVID-19 tab with global and DC specific resources including, food resources.

Are you or someone you know being financially impacted by COVID-19? Rent relief and mortgage help is available! If there are any unique resources you would like to add to your virtual toolkit or if you would like me to visit your online class via zoom or other platforms to present or lecture, please let me know.  Please find attached COVID-19 and Bias one-pager highlighting the importance of combating discrimination and hatred during this time and DCPS' Social Media Policy.

Let's celebrate access to information!  The Bell Library website increased its traffic by 311%.  I have heard from our colleagues at neighboring District schools and educators in Maryland, Virginia and even California, who have visited the site!

I had the pleasure of visiting several of our students and their families.  It was beautiful to see that they were all doing well and managing.  Students, their siblings and parents/guardians received new books, bookmarks, water, a snack and a disinfectant wipe.  Each book was properly sanitized!  The goal is for our students to know that they are victorious and conquerors!  This isn't Distant Learning, this is Virtual Learning.  Our encouragement, goal-setting and empowerment has to be even stronger than before...they need us more now, than ever before.  
You all are loved!

Office Depot has a Give Back to Schools program that provides 5% credit from people's purchases to help schools buy supplies throughout the year. Below is more info and our school ID numbers that people can share at in-store or online check out.  The site provides graphics to share online as well.

Lincoln: 70020154
Bell: 70229484
CHEC: 70020156

'Simply make a purchase of qualifying school supplies, provide your school ID at checkout and your school will receive 5% back in credits for FREE supplies!'
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.
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