09-30-2019 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of September 30, 2019

CHEC Mission Connection for this week Our students develop positive habits that build physical and mental health.  We focus on socio-emotional learning as a key part of the instructional program, and our students demonstrate perseverance, ethics and character in the pursuit of excellence.”

Last year, our average daily attendance rate was 88.2, which was .4 higher than the previous year, yet under our goal of 90%.  Our chronic attendance rate last year was 41%.

This year, our goals for attendance are:
  • Increase daily attendance rate to 90%
  • Decrease chronic absence rate to 36%

Our schoolwide attendance to date is 91%!  Kudos to the 7th grade team with a 96% attendance rate!
9.9 - 9.13.20
9.16 - 9.20
9.23 - 9.27
9.24 - 9.28
Grade Level
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6









Monday, September 23, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Morning SLC Meeting
Guide to Graduation (11th Grade) Parent Meeting 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
SLC Morning Meeting
1st Early Release Day (see Early Release Schedule)
Middle School PLT Competition
NO Departmental Planning Period Meeting
ALT Team Meeting
Back to School Academy Night

Thursday, September 26, 2019
Trinity Washington University Lunch Visit 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Departmental Planning Period Meetings

Friday, September 27, 2019
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) – Writing & Reading a Foreign Language – CHEC Language Academy
While this is great news, we can see a wide gap between middle school and high school attendance.  Please be sure to utilize best practices to improve attendance in your classes:

  • Relationships!!! Talk to students who are absent and let them know you are concerned about their absence, and you miss having them in class.
  • Talk to the students who are frequently absent and find out if there are any economic impediments for arriving to school, and if so, let a counselor or social worker know.
  • Contact parents every time a student is absent.
  • Refer students with attendance issues to your SLC Administrator and contact his/her counselor.
  • Have conversations with your class about the importance of attendance in their lives presently, and in the future.  Help students see the connection between attendance and
  • Provide incentives on a classwide basis for outstanding attendance.
  • Provide individual recognition and incentives for excellent and improving attendance.
  • Chart the attendance rate of each period and set up a competition between periods.
  • When students hear consistent messages from us, they will respond!


  • Shout out to Mr. Perez for taking Middle School Students to a Nationals Game last week!
  • Kudos to MSgt Deschamps for preparing cadets Jessica and Ericka Valencia, who won silver medals at Annapolis high school during a very physically challenging and timed orienteering competition.  They beat out many cadets from about 6 schools to win their awards!!!
  • Shout out to Mr. Talarico, Ms. Patterson, Mr. Henggeler, Mr. Rosenberg and Ms. Shaw for taking seniors on a college trip on Friday!
  • Kudos to Ms. McCulloch, Ms. Weiss, Ms. Bruggeman, Ms. Ermis and Mr. Ellingsen for taking students on a field trip to the Kennedy Center REACH!
This is week 6 of the First Advisory, and by now, students should have  completed, revised, and completed the entry slip for their first GRASPS and it should be placed in the portfolio or on the bulletin board.  The second GRASPS, should be launched this week.

The CHEC 7 are powerful literacy strategies that can ensure that students are engaged in a rigorous classroom experience.  Please see your department chair or SLC administrator if you would like to see any of the strategies in action.

The Impact observation Window opens October 1.  This week assistant principals will be doing calibration observations in classrooms, in order to calibrate the use of the EP rubric.  If you would like to go on an EP calibration walk with an assistant principal or principal, please let your SLC administrator know! Or, if you would like to have colleagues visit your class and provide feedback, please also reach out.

The Instructional Calendar is a living document that houses all of the major curricular requirements, assessments, and schoolwide events.  Please check it weekly, as it changes as events are added or moved. The calendar is curated by members of the Admin team, and Mr. Magee, Science LEAP lead, curates and adds events or items that are submitted by Department Chairs.  If you have an event or item that you think should be added to the Instructional Calendar, please submit it to your Department Chairperson first, and then your Department Chair will submit for inclusion if appropriate.



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.  At the last ALT meeting on September 25, the team did a deep dive into the CSP, and prepared to present a summary of the CSP to all staff, at our October Faculty Meeting, and to engage all staff in becoming involved in an area of the CSP that interests them.

The next ALT meeting will be Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 am.


On September 21st Jessica and Ericka Valencia won silver medals at Annapolis High School during a very physically challenging and timed orienteering competition.  They beat out many cadets from six other schools to win their awards. MSgt Deschamps prepared the cadets for this competition.


Dear CHEC Staff,

We would love your support to keep our students warm this winter. From now through January we are taking donations for winter coats (lightly used) to share with them and their families if possible.
If you want to find out more ways to help our community please contact Ms. Nunez in room C231


  • On September 14, the CHEC Drum Line under care and musical direction of Ivan Navas proudly represented at the DCPS Block Party.  They were on the stage with Mayor Bowser and Chancellor Ferebee as they celebrated all DCPS has to offer for our students.

  • On September 18, 60 of our sixth grade students attended the REACH Outreach Festival at the Kennedy Center to celebrate its opening and to recognize the opening of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Students participating in art making workshops, watched a performance by Gala Hispanic Theater, participated in workshops with Alysia Lee and Spanish Dancers.  One of the highlights of the day were that Ms. Menendez's friends and colleagues were leading the Spanish dance workshop, and she had a chance to show off her talents to our students.  Mr. Navas also joined in with his percussionists.

  • On September 27, the Austrian Embassy is sending us CID RIM (aka Clemens Bacher), an Austrian electro-jazz drummer based in London.  He will be working with Mr. Navas and our 6th grade percussionists to offer them a master class.

  • On October 2, Ms. Warren will be taking 50 students to see Cats through our Kennedy Center Partnership.


CHEC Arts is proud to announce their upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month Performance entitled El Ritmo de las Americas.  El Ritmo de las Amerias es una celebracion of Latin American, Carribbean, AfroCuban, and indigenous music and dance.  La Familia de Arte de CHEC will be showcasing ritmos highlighting the cultural influences of their Spanish and African raices con mucho swing y sabor.

As a member of CHEC Familia Unida which includes teacher, students, administrators, and staff, we would like you to share sus talentos de musicales, bailes, autores, y poetas.  We also would love for maestros to contribute to the celebration in regards to curriculum development so that we can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, not just during September and October but throughout the entire year.

The assemblies this year will take place on 2 pm and 6 pm on Thursday, October 24, and at 9 am and 10:30 am on Friday, October 25.  Mr. Navas, Ms. Menendez, and I are so excited to collaborate with you, our wonderful familia.  Please complete the following form if you are interested in participating:


  • October 11 Howard Homecoming - CHEC Marching Band
  • October 18 Women in Jazz at the Kennedy Center
  • October 18 CHEC Homecoming - CHEC Marching Band
  • October 24 Hispanic Heritage Assembly, 2 pm, 6 pm
  • October 25 Hispanic Heritage Assembly, 9 am, 10:30 am
  • October 27 Marine Corp Marathon - CHEC Marching Band
  • November 14 National Women's Democratic Club - CHEC Jazz Band
  • December 12 International Night Performance & Dinner
  • December 17 CHEC Music Department Winter Concert

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. Garcia-Carmona had her classroom project "Pieces for Our Peace Corner" recently funded by Donors Choose.  The resources for this project include:

  • Color Cute Coloring Book: Perfectly Portable Pages (On-the-Go Coloring Book) (Design Originals) Extra-Thick High-Quality Perforated Pages; Convenient 5x8 Size is Perfect to Take Along Wherever You Go x 1
  • Fortnite Coloring Book: Premium Unofficial Coloring Book for Kids and Teens x 1
  • Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set - Ultrasonic Diffuser & Top 10 Essential Oils - 300ml Diffuser with 4 Timer & 7 Ambient Light Settings - Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils - Lavender x 1
  • Junovo Round Fluffy Soft Area Rugs for Kids Girls Room Princess Castle Plush Shaggy Carpet Baby Room Decor, Diameter 4ft Gray-Purple x 2
  • Supla 6 Pcs Assorted Potted Succulents Plants Decorative Artificial Succulent Plants Potted Faux Cactus Aloe with Gray Pots Artificial Topiary Plant Potted x 1
  • AAKARSHAN 32" Mandala Floor Pillow Cushion Seating Throw Cover Hippie Decorative (Green) x 1
  • Aakarshan 32" Mandala Floor Pillow Cushion Seating Throw Cover Hippie Decorative (Lavender) x 2
  • Aakarshan 32" Mandala Floor Pillow Cushion Seating Throw Cover Hippie Decorative (Blue) x 1
  • Teacher Created Resources (20759) 3 Minute Sand Timer - Medium x 1
  • 28 Pack Sensory Toys Set, Relieves Stress and Anxiety Fidget Toy for Children Adults, Special Toys Assortment for Birthday Party Favors, Classroom Rewards Prizes, Carnival, Piñata Goodie Bag Fillers x 1
  • 32 Pack Sensory Fidget Toys Set,Stress Relief Hand Toys for Adults Kids ADHD ADD Anxiety Autism, Perfect for Birthday Party Favors, School Classroom Rewards, Carnival Prizes, Pinata Goodie Bag Fillers x 1

As the school year begins to unfold, many of my language learners are finding themselves stressed or filled with anxiety. The pressure of fitting in, completing many tests, and even changing to a new school has them needing a mindful moment throughout the day. Currently, my classroom does not have a peace corner or a reflection space where students can spend a few minutes taking a mind break until they are ready to return to classwork.
The items I am requesting are essential to building a space where students feel comfortable reflecting and even taking a moment from the stress of the school day.

The timer is essential to remind students of when it may be appropriate to reintegrate to class. Many articles suggest that adding plants, pillows, rugs and essential oils aid with feeling calm and at peace. The sensory toys are to promote relaxation for students who need to have something in their hands while also working on classwork. Finally, the coloring books are to give students an activity to complete while at the reflection space.
I also plan on including some brain break activities so that students feel productive while taking some time for themselves. Teaching our students early that self-care is important can impact their quality of life as they become adults.

Mr. Aguilar had his classroom project "Speak Louder!" recently funded by DonorsChoose.

The resources for this project are:
  • Egghead EGG-IAG-1007TRSS-10-PK-SO Mobile-Ready Multimedia Headset with Volume Control, Black/Silver (Pack of 10) x 6
Part of learning a new language is being able to master the four domains (listening, speaking, reading and writing).  These headsets will help each student practice their oral abilities in English as part of our daily lessons; not only in English, but also in Dual Language classes.  The headphones are intended specifically for students to record themselves holding a conversation with each other in English or responding to a pre-recorded open ended prompt. This will allow me to effectively grade their proficiency level when they respond or engage in a real life talking situation. Having their voices recorded will also allow us to have a measure of their start, mid-year and end of the year progress in Speaking proficiency.
Another plan for the headphones is to use duo lingo more often as part of our daily lessons. With headphones students are able to practice pronunciation that is tailored for them without disturbing their other classmates. Students will get a chance to interact with the target language at their own pace with the ease of headphones.
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.

Curran Chopra and Akshar Patel are forming a team of volunteers who plan to tutor seniors for all aspect of college applications and college access during this fall.  Presently, they are recruiting a cohort of college student volunteers from Howard University, Trinity Washington University, American University and Georgetown.

Mr. Chopra began this project the DC Learn and Serve program, to provide low-income DC high school students with the resources, motivation, and mentorship to perform to their capabilities on standardized testing required for college and navigate through the college application process.  His vision is to connect undergraduate students with high school juniors so the college students who have the experience of taking the SAT/ACT and applying to college can offer their expertise and knowledge to their younger peers.
Thanks for your continued support of Special Olympics, and especially of our Unified Sports events!

Time: Wednesday’s after-school from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Beginning October, 2019)
Length: The workshops begin first week of October and end by Christmas Break
Location: Room A204
Students: 25 to 30 students

Volunteer Duties: Volunteers will provide essay writing support – Common App Essays – helping decide structure, students have stories to share but need help capturing stories in an essay.

Additional Info: There is no need for curriculum/books, but college student volunteers will bring their applications, essays to share with students. A collection of sample Common App and supplemental essays will be provided.

Students will be working to apply to a list of 5 schools they have developed with CHEC College Counselor. Ms. Henry.


Follet Book Fair: October 7 - 11
Lincoln Library's Book Fair arrives soon! The Book Fair will be held in C205 October 7th - 10th from 9:00 am - 4:45 pm. Special hours October 11th from 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Parent-Teacher Conferences Day). All funds raised will help improve the middle school library programming, including STEM materials, popular books, and more.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 by celebrating the cultures and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Events will take place around DC and more resources can be found here.

Upcoming Local Events
"Pushout: Criminalizing Black Girls in Public Schools"  Film Screening - October 10th @ 5:00 pm
Brookland MS
Register here

Look Both Ways - Jason Reynolds in conversation with Rion Amilcar Scott - October 15th @ 7:00 pm
Politics and Prose
Union Market
1270 5th St NE
Info and pre-order his new book here

"Same God" Film Screening - October 17th @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
The film explores issues of Islamophobia, religious freedom, academic freedom, race, theology, white evangelicalism and politics.
Documentary Theater, Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
RSVP here

DCPL Educator Cards
Last week DC Public Library renewed or issued Educator Cards to use throughout the school year.
If you did not receive a card or unsure of your Educator Card number, please contact Angela Falkenberg (angela.falkenberg@k12.dc.gov).
HS staff can contact Christopher Stewart (christopher.stewart2@k12.dc.gov).

Educator Card Benefits:
  • Access DCPL databases (perfect for research, professional journals, content videos, etc)
      • Go to www.dclibrary.org/research/databases. User # is card #, PIN is the last 4 digits of card #.
  • Check out up to 100 books & materials for nine weeks from any DCPL location
  • Borrow with no overdue fines for JUV or YA material

Databases to Try:

Britannica School
Breaks down information by grade and age level; this one will be the most user friendly for students first getting start in using the databases:

Britannica Escolar
Online is entirely in Spanish and is designed for ages 6-12:

GALE Research in Context
Provides research tools and materials specifically for grades 6-8:

Khan Academy
Offers homework help for children and teens. You have to make an account but there is a portal for teachers, students, and parents with a multitude of subjects and grade levels:

NoveList Plus K-8
Includes fiction and nonfiction titles that teachers can use in the classroom, and the learning center shows teachers how to best use this resource:

Provides videos, lesson plans, quizzes, and a few other tools under the Teacher Resources tabs, and it has videos and homework help for students on a lot of different science topics:

Library of Congress Primary Sources
We are fortunate to have so many resources around us, including the Library of Congress. They have a portal for educators with lesson plans, access to primary sources, professional development opportunities, and more. Some materials are also available in Spanish. Contact Ms. Falkenberg if you would like help incorporating primary sources into your curriculum.

I already see this being one of the most incredible school years, yet!   The CHEC/ Bell High School Library would love to invite teachers and staff to reserve library space (check out the pictures) 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) I can have that available and set-up for you.   The first space is the main library and the second space is Peace & Love Room/ Makerspace.  

We have some amazing things planned for the 2019-2020 school year! Please check out the Bell Library Website with new programming, resources for students and parents and new faculty webinars.  

In our Nations Capital and all over the world we have literary deserts that have prevented many from exploring the beauty of equitable literacy.  I had the pleasure of being a part of a Summer Curriculum Development Institute at CHEC taught by Mr. Darry Strickland.  Each participant developed a UbD (Understanding by Design), a framework used to improve student achievement.  Because of the amazing feedback from all involved in the institute and students as well as new teachers, Bell Library's finished project is Building Through Community Relationships: Providing Opportunities to Literary Deserts.  We have developed a new partnership with Christ House, a medical facility with "comprehensive and compassionate health care to sick, homeless persons in the District of Columbia, and to assist them in addressing critical issues to help break the cycle of homelessness." (christhouse.org)

The Bell Library along with students and educators will replenish their living room library and create a library in their 52-bed residence known as Kairos.  "The Kairos Program participants are capable of living independently, but due to chronic illness, are unable to hold full-time employment. Volunteer service is a key element of the program and each member serves based on his gifts and abilities. They escort Christ House patients to medical appointments, staff the clothing room, work in the kitchen, and assist with mailings and other administrative activities. Some participants also work part-time jobs at Christ House or in the neighborhood." (https://christhouse.org/services-2/kairos-program/)  Students will complete empathetic interviews and create a collection that will be sure to rival University of Michigan's- Cook Research Library.  If you are interested in helping expand and create a library, please reach out to me!

DCPL Educator Cards will be in within the next few weeks.  For new educators or educators who would like a new card, please email me.

Educator Night Out at the International Spy Museum is Thursday, October 3, 2019, 5 PM- 8 PM and FREE!  Tickets are usually $22.95

I look forward to seeing you soon for a library tour and, serving you well.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call, email or drop by the library- A205!

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. Here is the link: https://conta.cc/30lyPCU

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!'
Below is the Google Survey/Referral link that the entire CHEC school community will be using to send behavior referrals. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your appropriate Dean directly.

High School - Dean Boone - dewayne.boone@k12.dc.gov
Middle School - Dean Avila - kathrine.avila@k12.dc.gov

Student Culture Intervention Form - Behavior Referral: Please use this link to send any behavior concerns after using the 5-step discipline process and any care system you have in place to support your student's social-emotional learning. You may also use this link to bring to the Dean's attention the need for a restorative circle and/or when students are tardy to your class more than three times. The Dean Team will actively monitor this live document to support all teachers.


Students that are Out-of-Area  
During the past school year, we noticed a pattern of middle and high school students wandering into the wrong school. For this new year, please be mindful that Middle School students should not be in the High School at all, and certainly not without a pass. High School students should only be in the Middle School on the Lincoln 3rd floor. The route for High School students to the 3rd floor Lincoln is through the Bell 2nd floor and on to Lincoln 2nd floor landing and up the stairs to the 3rd floor.  They should not use the 1st or 2nd floor Lincoln to get to the 3rd floor Lincoln. Students that are not complying should be written a referral, so they can earn a consequence.

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 Boys and Girls Soccer Teams defeated Brookland.  The Middle School Volleyball Team defeated Sousa but lost to Deal and Johnson.  The High School Boys defeated Roosevelt and DCI and tied EL Haynes.  The High School Girls Soccer Team lost to SWW.  The High School Football Team lost to Coolidge.  The High School Volleyball Team defeated Dunbar and Eastern.  Congratulations to the High School Girls Cross Country Team, which took 1st place at the Jenkins Invitational. Let's go Knights and Griffins!
Archery: 0 – 0
Boys Soccer: 2 – 1
Girls Soccer: 1 – 0
Volleyball: 3 – 2
Boys Soccer: 5 – 0 - 1
Girls Soccer: 2 – 2
Football: 2 – 3
Volleyball: 8 – 4
Monday, September 30, 2019
Bell SHS Boys Soccer vs. Capital City Charter School @ Capital City @ 4:00 p.m.
Middle School Volleyball vs. Brookland at CHEC @ 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Middle School Archery vs. Brookland at Brookland @ 4:00 p.m.
Bell SHS Volleyball vs. Cardozo at CHEC @ 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
No Games

Thursday, October 3, 2019
Bell SHS Girls Soccer vs. Capital City Charter School @ Capital City @ 4:30 p.m.

Friday, October 4, 2019
Bell SHS Football vs. McKinley Tech @ McKinley Tech – 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 5, 2019
Middle School Cross Country at Kenilworth Meet @ 9:00 a.m.
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