04-20-2020 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of April 20, 2020
All Departments and SLC’s send individual notifications of their meetings

Monday, April 20, 2020

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
ALT team Meeting 8:00 am

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020
No classes for Students
Teacher Record Keeping Day
Half Day Record Keeping/Half Day PD – Please see separate schedule for the day

I hope all continue to be safe and well.   As we enter the fifth week of Learning at Home,  we now know that we will end our school year in this new mode of learning.  As the Mayor and Chancellor announced, the School Year will officially end on May 29.  What still remains to be determined is when and if there will be summer school, who will it be designed for, and when and in what mode the new school year will start.  Although there is  much that is unknown, we can still plan our instruction within the parameters that are known.  Specifically, there are now six weeks until the school year is over, and we remain committed to work every day towards achieving our mission.  A key part of our mission is, “all scholars will be prepared to succeed in college and civic life as leaders in the quest for social justice.

Considering the interruptions caused by the transition to virtual learning, the extreme hardship being experienced by many families, and the steep learning and logistical curve involved with on line learning, we have had amazing progress.  This is thanks to the dedication, innovation and expertise of the CHEC Team.   We now need to refine our approaches in order to ensure that we are engaging as many students as possible, and that the engagement results in learning.   Many of our students already experience and confront inequities in their life experiences, and education is their most valuable asset in order to eliminate these inequities.  Although some gaps in learning may be inevitable due to the disruption of the educational system by the pandemic, it is in within our power, and our students’ power, to minimize these gaps through student engagement, SEL support, and strategic planning of curriculum and instruction.

Our SMART goals continue to provide a road map for our daily work.  

100% of students will engage in assigned technology platform tasks in order to be prepared to succeed in college and civic life as leaders.
This past week we implemented a new master schedule, which provides both structure and flexibility. We have provided models and explanations of how the schedule works, and have collected data from stakeholders. Please see the results of the survey provided at the Faculty Meeting last week.

At last week’s faculty meeting, we discussed ways of measuring engagement/attendance, and a committee has been established to explore ideas and options to present.

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 300 devices and have one distribution day this week, Tuesday, April 21.   If necessary, we may add one additional day.  If you know of students still in need, please refer them to Pankaj or Mr. Tobias. While we have sufficient devices to provide to all students, we need to ensure the safety of staff and families, and to reduce the number and frequency of contacts and distribution. Going forward, we will establish one to two distribution days per week.

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 continue to raise and distribute funds for our neediest families.  Our daily lunch program is being enhanced by Food Bank Donations which will take place every Friday.  Last week over 2,000 people were served by this initiative.   We continue distributing fresh produce from our CHEC Garden – new crops will be planted May 1st.
Counseling, RJ, and therapeutic supports are being provided on-line, and we will continue to redesign how we can provide SEL supports virtually.

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.

As we now know, we will end the school year Learning at Home.    Our next steps in addressing this SMART goal will include planning backwards from the end of the school year, with a focus on curriculum scope, portfolio presentations, end of the year rituals and milestones, and fair assessment and grading.   DCPS will be providing guidelines for 4th advisory grading and promotion and retention this week.

  • Special, special shout outs to all who have come to the school and collaborating with our tech initiative and staffing the building!!
  • Shout out to Mr. Magee, Ms. Bruggeman, Mr. Stearman, Ms. Ferguson and Ms. McCulloch for developing a plan for virtual PD!
  • Kudos to Ms. Nimer, Ms. Crivelli, and Ms. Carino for finding a way to get the funds to our neediest families!
  • Kudos to the AP’s for coordinating the design of the new schedule!


The Class of 2020 has been faced with so many unthinkable situations.  In spite of this, they are continuing to persevere in applying to and being accepted to college.  A special shout out to Ms. Henry, our counselors, and faculty for persevering with our students in their quest to reach their academic dreams!  

In a history making event,  Meryem Yucel is the first CHEC senior ever to be nominated by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and accepted to the US Naval Academy!! Thank you to Major Wright and Master Sgt. DesChamps for assisting in this quest!

Here is an update on CHEC Scholars who were selected for the first year of American University’s prestigious District Scholars Program:
  • Keyri Rodriguez
  • Bamlak Bahiru
  • Jeffery Williams
  • Mondo Kao
  • Cindy Guevara

In addition, the scholars below received generous grants and schoalrships to AU
  • Andrea Bonilla-
  • Yaquelin Zelaya-Bonilla

For the full list of college acceptances for the Class of 2020, please see the link

Please congratulate our Class of 2020 on their pride, poise and perseverance!
We are still in Advisory 3, and as of today, the advisory will end on April 24.  

The Instructional Calendar is a living document that houses all the major curricular requirements, assessments, and schoolwide events.  The Instructional Calendar has now been updated to reflect the most recent information.

Please view the Instructional Calendar here



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.  The ALT team designs and monitors the Comprehensive School Plan.  All are welcome to attend, either for one meeting or for all.

The last ALT meeting was Wednesday, April 8 at 8:00 am.   The agenda and minutes are posted on TEAMS.  The next ALT team meeting will be Wednesday, April 22 at 8:00 am.  Our agenda will include a follow up on the Needs Assessment for the Comprehensive School Plan.


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


  • We are happy to share that Mandy McCulloch has been awarded a grant of $496.56 for 1 Full color toner set (CMYK) & 2 Extra Black Toner Cartridges in response to her funding appeal to GrantED.

  • We are also happy to share that Joseph Talarico has been awarded a grant of $489.30 for 42 copies of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in response to his recent funding appeal to GrantED.

Thank you!

Julia Bozzolo
GrantEd Foundation, Co-Founder


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.


Celebrate School Library Month & Win Prizes!

Each April we celebrate School Library Month - a time to recognize the impact and roles strong school libraries have in their school communities. The week of April 19th is also National Library Week to celebrate all libraries across the US. WTU and Every Library are partnering for the DCPS Librarians' "I Love My Library Media Specialist" essay contest. Prior to school closing, DCPS school librarians started a movement to encourage the district to rethink the position as optional (25 schools have petitioned away their LMS with a few successfully eliminating the positions for next school year). This contest encourages creative, intentional writing to share the influence school libraries have in students' lives and academics. Reach out to Ms. Falkenberg for questions or support. Share the contest info photos on your social media to spread awareness and use the following hashtags: #DCPSSchoolLibraries #librariestransform #SchoolLibraryMonth

25 Books Campaign

The physical library is closed but the digital collection remains available for you and students to access. As we continue with distance learning, students (and you!) can continue to log what they're reading through Beanstack on Clever or through the app. ELA teachers have received video tutorials and book recommendations to share to encourage the use of DC Public Library and Lincoln digital resources. If you would like these videos or information, send Ms. Falkenberg an email.

Please send any photos of you reading to Ms. Falkenberg to be promoted on social media - encourage students to read by modeling your reading (teachers and admin!). Your CHEC Librarians will share out more reading events and promotions such as read alouds, PBIS incentives, bilingual read alouds, and more. Graphics will be designed and shared for promotion on your social media. If you want to design your own, fantastic! You're encouraged to use the hashtags or tags #DCPSReads #CHECReads #DCPSSchoolLibraries #DCPSatHome @dcpublicschools


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!'



Your teachers now have free access to our entire new product suite through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. That includes Newsela ELA, Newsela Social Studies, Newsela Science, and The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection. All teachers at your district will begin receiving getting started emails from Newsela within 7 days. Please get in touch with your Newsela representative or reply back to this email if you would like to pause emails from Newsela at this time.

We created this distance learning toolkit to help you activate your community for distance learning. For additional support, we invite you to join our upcoming office hours. Register for the time that works for you.

High school students, like everyone else, are cooped up at home. So The New York Times came up with a smart plan to help those students kill time, stay informed and maybe drum up some more readers. Through a deal with Verizon, the Times will offer students and teachers in U.S. high schools free digital access to NYTimes.com. The deal is from now through July 6. (Here are the details to sign up.)
It's from the Poynter news media daily update.


As distance learning becomes the new norm for students across the country, a lot of families are playing an increased role in the day-to-day education of their child(ren).
The home-school connections added to the Ellevation Distance Learning activities allow educators to engage family members to share in the learning process.

Check out this just released instructional activity that allows multilingual learners to benefit from educational opportunities at home.

Your Ellevation Team

Hello CHEC Team,

I hope you and the educators at Columbia Heights EC are safe and well at this time! We know that your virtual classroom environments are essential to the future success of your students, so we have some new resources to share with you. Please pass these along to your team:

Take care and stay safe,

Sarah McGull
Success Manager


Hi team,

I hope all is well with you and your family. Attached are the infographics for this week's extracurricular activities and a brief descriptions/update.

Hello CHEC family, we hope you all are well. As the Culture Team, we have a few RJ updates and next week's SEL Extracurricular Activities calendar to share. This week we heard from some students, and they are doing their best to adjust to the new schedule and develop a routine. We have seen a slight decrease in student participation in the RJ check-ins. However, we have seen an increase in student participation during Instagram Live. Please continue to encourage our students to participate in our RJ check-ins. We want to hear from more students and fill the need. Next Wednesday, April 22nd, Mr. Duvall will hold two RJ check-ins for MS and HS students. Remind the students to send an email to Ryan.duvall@k12.dc.gov to join the conversation. Last but not least, follow us on IG @checdc!

Leala Bowens


During the COVID-19 crisis, restorative practices can help
Written by Gina Baral Abrams and Joshua Wachtel
Published: March 24, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens across the country and around the world, most of us are settling into a life characterized by physical distancing and sheltering in place. The IIRP has been receiving numerous inquiries and requests about how restorative practices can be applied to help. Overall, we know that people are the experts in their own communities; in fact, we look forward to people sharing their experiences so we can all learn. (Our social media platforms are already available as a place to share, and we are currently developing other meaningful options.) However, we would like to share some principles derived from restorative practices that might help us frame appropriate responses in our families and work, and with our friends and community.

While the coronavirus is a medical issue, a large part of what we are experiencing is a social crisis. Therefore, the relevance of consciously being relational becomes even more important. As many restorative practitioners understand, restorative thinking and practice isn’t just reserved for the workplace. We take restorative practices wherever we go. Now that so many of us are confined closely with our nuclear families, we can really focus on how to interact with our loved ones using a restorative lens, as we navigate this crisis together.

Keeping the social discipline window in mind can help. We need to continue to engage WITH people – including those we work with and our community, even if we are all working in isolation. During times of stress, we may be more inclined to default to other quadrants of the social discipline window, doing things TO or FOR people, or even withdrawing to the NOT box. We need to be aware when that is happening and make a conscious decision to step back in the WITH box as much as possible.

There are many ways to connect – in person with our families at home, but also using email, phone, texts, video calling, conference calls and social media. Circles can happen virtually, and we have already been hearing about teachers using circles online with students in Google Hangouts or Zoom meetings. These can be sequential or non-sequential, even fishbowl format, just like when people meet in person. Ultimately, it’s about creating opportunities to speak and listen to one another in an atmosphere of safety, decorum and equality.

As always, it is important to ask good questions, whether one-on-one or in group settings. The questions we choose often demonstrate our willingness to hear what others are thinking, feeling and experiencing. Remember when doing so that you are following the affect theory blueprint for community – by allowing the free expression of affect while attempting to maximize the positive and minimize, without inhibiting, the negative. When we share in each other’s expression of affect, we support one another to strengthen communal bonds.

Finally, from a leadership standpoint, let’s remember how important fair process will be in these anxious times, especially when people are working remotely and may not be able to communicate as directly and easily. As a leader, you have a responsibility to help employees manage the greater levels of stress they may be feeling. Plus, remember that you may have access to a wider range of information than they do. Be sure to engage with people and get their input on decisions, and share information widely and often. When you do make decisions, be sure to spell everything out so that your expectations are clear. And always provide an explanation: Remember, people will tend to respect your decisions and consider them fair when they understand why a decision was made a certain way.

Obviously, we are all adapting rapidly to circumstances that change daily. Stress levels are high. We may be making quick decisions, and we are going to make mistakes. As a leader, it is really important to be humble and be able to admit mistakes. You may say, “I may not be at my best, but I’m going to stay reflective about it.” Ask people for feedback and be willing to reflect humbly on what they tell you.

Naturally, this is only the beginning of the conversation; it is not possible to cover everything in a short blog post. But we believe it is worth sharing these ideas and trust that restorative practices will prove useful for developing resilient responses in these trying times.

Gina Baral Abrams, DrPH, EdM, LSW, MCHES®, is Director of Research and Program Evaluation and Assistant Professor at the IIRP Graduate School. Her background is in community health. Joshua Wachtel is the IIRP's Communications Specialist and earned a Master of Science in Restorative Practices from the IIRP in 2015.
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