Bulletin-3-(5-16)-2018 - Copy - CHEC BULLETIN

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Spring break always comes just in time!  Even though winter is taking it’s time to leave, we are looking forward to the warmth and green of spring.  I hope everyone has time for rest, relaxation rejuvenation over this break, as we build our strength and stamina for the testing season and the fourth advisory.  Have a wonderful spring break!!


Upon our return from Spring Break, three weeks remain until PARCC Assessments begin, and four weeks remain until AP Exams are administered.  Thank you to all teachers, counselors and administrators for your focus and dedication over the year in preparing our students for their upcoming assessments.  Since the beginning of the year, we have been creating rigorous learning experiences aligned to the standards students need to demonstrate mastery of.

Now, we must start to remove scaffolds, and make a shift so that students see the assessments as something that they are empowered to take and succeed in.  Success is measured by constant progress on an upward trajectory.  A key part of success is the level of engagement and sense of empowerment of the students themselves.  It is important that all students have not only access to their data, but an understanding of what it means in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

By the time they leave for Spring Break, students should have a completed POP sheet, which includes an action plan for how they will improve in their areas of growth.  As we saw in the Data Driven Instruction rubric, we are striving for exemplary implementation:

Any student you speak to knows their specific performance levels on the interims
Students know where they are strong and weak, and they can articulate the specific actions they are taking to improve their performance in specific areas
Students know what mastery looks like
Students know that the interims provide them with feedback they desire on their performance, and therefore engage in the taking of interims fully
Students participate in the creation of their own action plan and tracking their performance

In order to support students in using the POP sheets as a tool for learning, over the next three weeks and up until the exams, all members of the Admin team will be visiting classes, and meeting with individual students to discuss their progress, and to offer additional coaching and support.  We see this as a way to provide an additional adult to support and coach students, especially now that we are differentiating and working in stations.   Please keep the following expectations of all classes in mind:

100% of students in all classes will have a POP sheet with their data,  and will be able to discuss their levels, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their plan to improve
The POP sheet should be used as a tool to assign or prepare Spring Break Packages.  Instead of every student getting one packet, students should select from packets or on line resources that will meet their specific needs.  Students should sign up, identify the resources or goals, and commit to completing them.  Samples of choice Spring packets will be provided before the break.
Upon return from Spring break, continue to use the POP sheets as a way to create stations and differentiate.

Thank you to all!  We are striving for a 10% increase in the number of students scoring proficient in ELA and Math on PARCC, and a 10% increase in the number of students scoring a 3 or above on AP! We are Griffins and Knights, and we can do this!!
March is National Social Workers Month

Every day at CHEC, our stalwart Personal Growth Team Social Workers act as advocates, champions and leaders who make our school a better place for our students to learn.  This month is an opportunity to turn a spotlight on their profession and highlight the important contributions they make in our community.

Our team of Social Workers is always dedicated to enhancing the well-being of others, especially the most vulnerable.  They are present throughout our school, in times of crisis, helping students overcome trauma, fostering inclusiveness, tolerance, and ensuring rights for all.  Our Social Workers bring about some of the most profound, positive changes for the betterment of the entire school community.  Please give them a smile of thanks!

The CHEC Team of Social Workers:

  • Karen Carino
  • Danielle Helme
  • Paula Crivelli Diamond
  • Jennifer Virgo
  • Lucila Trejo
  • Maria Gomez
  • Angelica Garcia–Ditta
  • Tiffany Oscar
  • Eshuana Padilla Lewis
  • Connie Hanlon
  • Aaron Feinstein
  • Lindsey Eidman
  • Kyle Wehrend


  • Shout out to Mr. Jones, Dr. Barnett, Mr. Onley, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Navas, Mr. Jackson, Ms. Farrackan, Mr. Williams, Ms. Bernard, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Shaw, Ms. McCulloch, and all the students and performers who contributed to an outstanding Black History Month assembly!  Kudos to the entire Black History Month Cultural Committee for organizing an inspiring series of events and activities over the month – Mr. Stewart, Ms. Whitaker, Mr. Bufford, Ms. Exantus, Mr. Galvan, Ms. Gonzalez, and Captain Gantt!!!

  • Shout out to Ms. Spinks, Ms. Elmore, Mr. Jackson and all who have supported the CHEC NAF Hospitality Academy! We have achieved Distinguished and Model status for the third year!

  • Kudos to Ms. Carino and Ms. Helene for taking students to the Women’s Leadership Conference!!!

  • Shout out to all LEAP Chairs and teachers who facilitated sessions during our Choice Professional Development Day – Ms. Malcolm, Mr. Connor, Ms. Penn, Mr. Schutt, Mr. Magee, Mr. Hernandez, Ms. McCulloch, Dr. Barnett, Mr. Aguilar, Ms. Ferguson, Mr. Duvall, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Hinkson!!!

  • Kudos to all teachers and staff who facilitated Open Space Technology at our Faculty Meeting focused on Data: Ms. Exantus, Ms. Penn Pearson & Mr. Morden-Snipper, Ms. Abbondanza, Ms. Chiu, Ms. Ryan, Ms. Chatalian, Ms. Athmer, Ms. Farrackan, Ms. Emilius, Mr. Cohen, and Ms. Malcolm!!!!

  • Kudos to our LSAT Team for participating in Budget Planning Meetings over the past two months!

  • Kudos to Mr. Hunter for reviving our Poetry Out Loud partnership, and coaching Xavier Boone’s participation in the DC Competition of Poetry Out Loud!!!

  • Shout out to Mr. M. Hernandez for organizing a luncheon for the 50 students who will receive the Seal of Biliteracy, and for promoting our participation in this wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our bilingual and biliterate students!!

  • Shout out to the chaperones who took 100 students on an overnight college trip last week – Ms. Spinks Ms. Pugh, Coach A, Ms. Castro, Ms. Elmore and Mr. Jackson!!!!

  • Shout out to all who supported on Parkland Memorial Event on March 14 – Captain Gantt and Master Sergeant DesChamps and the ROTC, Dr. Barnett, Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Onley and the band, the SGA, and the Social Studies Department!!!

  • Kudos to Mr. Hardmon-Fort for organizing our EMOC Induction Event!!!

  • Shout out to Ms. Peddyreddy for bringing professionals from Audi to speak with our young women about STEM Careers!

  • Kudos to Ms. Lopez-Elmore for bringing professionals from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to speak about the multiple careers available in the government!!!

  • Shout out to Ms. Athmer for coordinating our successful Special Olympics Team!!!

  • Kudos to Ms. Hartwill, Mr. Jones, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Hinkson for chaperoning our Ski Team!!!

  • Kudos to our Assistant Principals – Mr. Lessek, Ms. Hinkson, Mr. Jones, Ms. Thweatt, Ms. Edwards and Ms. West for their relentless focus on analyzing data for their entire grade levels through data trackers!!!!

  • Kudos to all teachers for their data analysis, POP sheets, and action plans designed to empower students to take charge of their learning!!!

March 19 - 23,  2018
Focus on Instruction
Leadership Team and Other Updates
Shout Outs
Opportunities and Updates
Ambiente, creating a climate for learning
Sports Update!
Weekly Calendar
Upcoming Events and Activities
Congratulations to the High School Cheerleading team that took 3rd place in the DCIAA Cheerleading Competition!  Congratulations to the Varsity Girls Basketball team on a great season!  The Varsity Girls defeated Roosevelt but lost to Georgetown Visitation in the State quarterfinals.  The Bowling Team defeated Anacostia and Phelps.  Spring sports begin this week.
Girls Basketball – 10 - 5
Boys Basketball – 5 - 9

Boys Baseball - 0 - 0
Bowling - 2 – 2
Boys Rugby - 0 - 0
Flag Football - 0 - 0
Girls Rugby - 0 - 0
Girls Softball - 0 - 0
Tennis - 0 - 0
Bowling vs. Coolidge at Bolling AFB @ 4:00

Flag Football vs. Phelps at Spingarn @ 5:00

Bowling vs. Dunbar at Bolling AFB @ 4:00

Flag Football vs. HD Woodson at HD Woodson @ 5:00

No Games

HS BB vs. Model (Scrimmage) at Gallaudet @ 11:00
College Visits – Virginia State University and Virginia Commonwealth University

9th Grade College Visits – Johns Hopkins and Morgan State University

Black History Month Assemblies 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence Visit – 1:30 p.m. – HS Library

11th Grade College Visits – Catholic University and Howard University
Black History Month Movie Night – Malcolm X

Parent Conferences – No School for Students


It is now Week 8 of the third advisory, and all students should have completed their second GRASPS, and be prepared for exams and Portfolio presentations.  Exemplar GRASPS should be posted in every classroom, and in the SLC hallways, so that we can celebrate students meeting the standards.  Students should also have completed the entry slip for this GRASPS, and reflected upon it, so that they will be ready to present their portfolios with an authentic explanation and defense of their work.  The essential questions of the unit, as well as other higher order questions you develop, also guide students in making connections and developing their own unique perspective on the project. Please be sure students are ready to ask and respond to these questions during portfolio presentations.

Please remember to invite parents to Portfolio Presentations before you leave for break, and again when you return.

The Leadership Team will continue to meet on Wednesdays this year. Last meeting, the team worked on the design of the course request format for next year’s master schedule, and gave input into the course offerings.  In addition, the team analyzed the year-long progress of selected students, and discussed ways to increase student ownership of their data.  The notes from the meeting are attached in this link:

The next meeting with be on Wednesday, April 4, and will focus on data analysis of the last interims, as well as preparation for PARCC testing.  The Leadership Team is a group of teachers, counsellors, and administrators who meet every week to discuss school needs, and plan for improvements. The Leadership Team designs the school’s comprehensive school plan, and helps in its implementation.  Please consider joining the Leadership Team this year. It is open to all faculty and staff.  We need the involvement and voices of all. Remember, Leadership team meetings are open to all who are interested in schoolwide decision-making and leadership.  You can come once, or as many times as you like, but please make your voice heard!

Yesterday marked the Bell High School Library's Chipotle Fundraiser!  Thank you for your dedication to the library! We surpassed our goal by $11.30.  Below is a message from Chipotle:

Hi Christopher Stewart,

Guac on! Congratulations on your Chipotle fundraiser on 04/17/2018 at our restaurant located at 3113 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. Your organization will receive a check from Chipotle for $161.30, which is 50% of the sales brought in by your supporters.
Thank you all again! Have a great rest of the week! Please spread the word about our next Fundraising event on May 2nd, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Panera Bread (flyer attached)!

On Wednesday, April 11th the CHEC Color Guard proudly represented at the annual Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Gala.  They met Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen and Caitlyn Jenner.

The Lincoln and Bell Libraries seek to provide students, parents, educators and visitors services that promote Reading Literacy and, programming that encourages a high standard of academia, growth and social justice.  We would like to ensure that each person is welcomed into a space that exudes peace and cleanliness.   If you are meeting in the library during school hours, after school or during Saturday school, please restore the library to it's original clean condition.

Mr. Stewart and Ms. Falkenberg are thrilled to share with you the news that DCPS Library Programs announced the district-wide 3 Million Minutes reading goal was met and exceeded. Moreover, CHEC was listed as one of the top 30 schools to also meet and exceed its school-wide reading goal. As a result, we will receive a kit of 50 new books plus a year subscription to Junior Library Guild to select other titles.

To continue this momentum after the reading challenge ends, we would like to invite students, parents and staff to CHEC Read-in during the May 24th Parent-Teacher conferences. Our hope is that more people will attend the conferences if they also have the opportunity to attend this event.

Below is a list of students who have read and logged up to 20 books.  These students have earned, at least an Out-of-Uniform Pass while many of them have earned the mystery prize and gift card.  The Out-of-Uniform Pass Day and Pizza Party will take place on Wednesday, April 18th.  The students listed below will have a signed Bell Library pass.  Thank you to all faculty for your dedication to the students’ academic and literary success.

Have a beautiful rest of the week!​

Arren Birckett, Ashley Privado, Bill Hernandez- Funes, Cindy Gomez, Clariza Lazo, Daro Samb, Devin Artis, Diamond Alford, Egypt Young, Essence Young, Estephanie Melendez, Franklin Romero, Gabriel Siaw, Gabriel Torres, Gloria Flores, Henry Campos, Jeffrey Williams, Joana Hernandez, Joselin Hernandez, Josiah Shelton, Josue Fuentes Mendoza, Juan Abarca, Kaliah Smith, Kayla Watson, La'Rissa Dunn, Latrell Byrd, Laura Maria Menjivar Hernandez, Linda Wang, MacXimo Delgado- Aragon, Marco Rivas, Marilyn Chica,
Marya- Montez Wallace, Rashard Thompson, Reagan Robertson, Ronald Rivera, Ronny Juma- Feliz, Selina Jones

Annually, school libraries around the country celebrate School Library Month during April. Sponsored by American Association of School Librarians, the event celebrates school libraries' mission to be equitable, approachable, and develop and personalized learning environment to meet staff and students' needs. Your CHEC librarians are thrilled to announce we've been chosen to host School Library Month spokesperson Jason Reynolds on April 24th at 1:30 in the Model U.N. Chat with your librarian about bringing your class or suggesting a student.

Watch Jason Reynolds talk about libraries and librarians here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct5DexO-HkM


Tip of the Week: Read books that interest you. While students have books they must read for class, don't forget that reading can and should be fun. Read the classic and the latest comic book. The ultimate goal is to keep reading. Develop those interests. Build reading stamina. Finish that series.


Notice students are struggling with finding resources for a project? Need students to properly cite sources? Want students to showcase research in a format other than essay? Contact Ms. Falkenberg (ext. 4018 or angela.falkenberg@dc.gov) to collaborate on your next class lesson or project. Librarians are your resources for tech tools, information literacy, and more!

New E-books, audio books, and print materials are available for immediate check out from Lincoln Library. Recently purchased E-books and audio books are available for patron access through Destiny Discover app or website (www.destinydiscover.com). Students can log in with ID# / MMDDYY credentials and staff can log in with first.last / 000DistrictID information.


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 Winter 2018 Technology Survey
Please take the CHEC Bell High School Library Technology Survey https://tinyurl.com/yav5bk73. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Christopher A. Stewart, (Bell) Librarian via email: christopher.stewart2@dc.gov.

Bell High School Library Book Club
The Bell Book Club will challenge participants to think outside of the book and confront preconceived notions by having deep discussions and building relationships.  Creating discourse that transcends generations, neighborhoods and households, makes us strong, courageous and intelligent.

Book: Dear Martin
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: CHEC/ Bell High School Library

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.
(Written by publisher)

Books are available in the Bell library beginning. Please let Mr. Stewart know if books in alternate formats need to be ordered (i.e. LP, audio)
Light refreshments will be available.

The goal of the Writing Center is to enhance the preexisting gifts and talents that all students possess. Students will share their drafts (at least 48 hours) in advance and, receive feedback within 48 hours.

The library will assist students 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
Date: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time: 8 AM- 8:50 AM & Lunch Periods
Location: CHEC/ Bell High School Library
Brunch with the CHEC/ Bell Librarian Food, Lit. & Book Discussion

Join us as we deepen the community bond through literary engagement and empowerment, we will discuss books, eat food and share stories that make us laugh, hope and dream.
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Time: 8:00AM- 8:30 AM
Location: Corner of 15th Street and Irving

Join the Bell Library as we discuss new and innovative technologies and create some of our own.

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Time: Lunch Periods
Location: CHEC/ Bell High School Library

High School students unselfishly dedicated their time to spring cleaning in the library and serving brunch at the District of Columbia Public Library, William O. Lockridge/ Bellevue Neighborhood Library.  Check them out @ https://twitter.com/checdc​

Lift every voice and sing / Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, / high as the list'ning skies,
let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, / let us march on till victory is won.

– The Black American National Anthem, a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899, set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1900

As we continue celebrating Black History month, consider these options to support students, to build character, and to reinforce positive behavior in our hallways and classrooms. Also, let’s continue to encourage students to be in school every day and promote perfect attendance!

  • Kindness gramsEncourage students to share with one another things that they respect about one another. Let this be a route to shout out those that we might not normally shout out.

  • Sweat the Small Stuff remember to address relational behavior before it escalates, before a full-blown referral/consequence is deserved. Greet students at your classroom doors and conduct pulse checks to ensure they are ready to learn before they enter your classrooms.

  • PBIS pointsOffer publicly PBIS points to students that make great improvements in their grades or behavior at the end of each week during February, even if they aren’t perfect.

  • PLT Shout-outsAllow students to shout one another out in PLT by having them draw names out of a hat and share one thing that they respect about that person.


Students that are Out-of-Area  
  • We have noticed a number of middle and high school students that are wandering into the wrong school. 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.


A circle flow to encourage critical reflection and honest conversations about police violence and racial justice
Grades: 6-12
Duration: approx. 50 min depending on number of students.

Getting Ready and Welcome     
Circle keeper arranges chairs in a perfect circle. Places centerpiece and talking piece(s) in the center of the circle. Gets everyone seated and ensures that everyone can see each other without moving. Welcomes everyone by saying it is Black Lives Matter week and we will be having a circle to explore this as a topic.
2Opening ceremony
Circle keeper: have a quote, poem, or musical selection ready (some sample quotes below).
Welcome everyone back.
Ring a bell, use a mindful moment/breath. Read a quote or poem or play a musical piece.
3Explain Centerpiece and Talking Piece
Circle keeper and talking piece
Tip: Take care to choose a talking piece that has personal significance and relates to the topic in some way
Explain how talking piece works and the significance of your chosen talking piece. Note the centerpiece usually sits in the middle of the circle on the floor, to help center the focus of the participants, while the talking piece helps everyone to listen to and focus on only one person talking at a time. Emphasize that passing is OK.
4Review Guidelines
Circle keeper
Norms or guidelines     
If you have developed them, remind the group of your classroom values and/or guidelines. If not, have everyone right down a value that is important for talking about this topic on a piece of paper and place it around the centerpiece. Then get consensus around the guidelines: 1) Respect the talking piece; 2) Speak and listen from the heart; and 3) Maintain confidentiality.
5Opening round
The circle keeper prompts the round with a question and can model the length and depth of responses by going first before passing the talking piece to their right or left.
Prompt: Say your name and share "How do you feel in your body as we start a conversation about this topic?"
Storytelling  Round
The  circle keeper prompts the round with a question.
Prompt: Share a time when you saw  or experienced an injustice.
Reflection  Round
Print and cut out the #LastWords  and scatter around the center of the circle. Circle keeper explains them and prompts the round with a question.
Explain: Shirin-Banou Barghi created this series of graphics dedicated to those killed by police officers.
Prompt: What comes up for you seeing these?
Closing  Round
The  circle keeper prompts the round with a question.
Prompt:  What has moved you in our circle?
Closing  ceremony
Circle  keeper. have a quote, poem, or musical selection ready (some sample quotes  below).
Say  a quote, read a poem or play a musical selection, ring bell.

Found at https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/lastwords-tribute-victims-police-brutality-jvinc/

Sample Opening and Closing Quotes:
“If you want peace, work for Justice” – Pope Paul VI

“Justice is what love looks like in public” – Cornell West

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” – Benjamin Franklin

“If you want to join the fight for social justice you may win or lose, but just by being part of the struggle, you win, and your life will be better for it” – Howard Zinn
Join CHEC Yoga Wednesdays
Dance/Yoga Studio
EveryBODY Welcome.

Food for Thought

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Yoga

• • • • • •

I’ve played competitive sports since I was barely old enough to see over a soccer ball. In recent years, I’ve opted for cycling, the occasional 10K and lots of group-based high-intensity interval training — all things that let me channel my competitive edge. In short: I like to win.

I first tried yoga several years back with the goal of improving my flexibility. At the time, I considered it a chore, a functional activity to be endured for health reasons. I had no idea it was such a rich, multifaceted workout. Or that it could be so challenging. Or that I’d learn to love it.

Turns out, I didn’t know much of anything. So below: seven things I wish I knew before starting yoga. May they help you on your path to yogic enlightenment … or your first class.

Ashtanga, Bikram, hatha, vinyasa. Those are just four of the many styles of yoga, each incorporating different postures and sequences. For example, Ashtanga yoga is meant to feature the same poses in the same order, while vinyasa — often referred to as “flow” yoga — is often set to music, features smooth transitions between movements and will likely vary from one day to the next. There’s a lot of variety within yoga, so it’s worth experimenting with multiple styles to find the ones that suit you best. And while same-named styles may vary slightly from studio to studio, they’re based on established principles and should feel familiar regardless of where you practice.

Yoga is a lot more than twisting poses and downward-facing animals. The discipline itself dates back thousands of years and has strong roots in spiritualism. Physical movements and postures are one part of yoga, with other important factors including breath, meditation and mindfulness. After the end of a yoga class, it’s common to feel rejuvenated, both mentally and physically.
Sure, my favorite pose is probably savasana, a resting pose where you literally just lie down on your back with your eyes closed. But yoga can incorporate challenging sequences, test your balance, require considerable strength and leave you dripping with sweat — often at the same time.

Blocks, straps and other helpful props are available for a reason, and should be used liberally. Struggling to settle into a pose, and then staying there uncomfortably, can compromise form and even lead to injury. So put your hands on those blocks or employ a strap as needed. Another alternative: take a break. Drink some water, towel off or sink into child’s pose — there’s no shame in resting, and doing so keeps you fresh for what’s to come.

Yoga is a total body, low-impact workout that combines flexibility with strength. From chair pose, which is akin to holding a mini squat, to chaturanga — which moves your body from a high plank to low plank, working your core, chest and arms — several movements and postures increase muscular endurance and strength. The point is: You can get ripped doing yoga.

That’s why it’s called a yoga “practice.” You can’t win at yoga, so drop your competitiveness at the door. That person next to you who’s nailing all the postures and flipping up into a handstand … she’s likely been practicing for years. Everyone must start somewhere, so don’t get discouraged. Like anything else, you’ll get better at yoga the more you do it, and there’s always something new to learn.

It took me awhile to really embrace this mindset. Yoga is in-the-moment and adapted to the individual. What’s right for you might not be right for me. What works for my body might not work for someone else’s. There’s no right or wrong. A successful yoga practice takes into account what your body needs at that particular time — whether it’s a deep, challenging stretch assisted by the instructor or a few quiet moments to regain your breath.
A team of CHEC AP Studio Art students have created a striking and collectible 2018 calendar – this beautiful work of art is available in the Art Department (please see Mandy McCulloch) for $10 each.  Here is this month's page:

I hope everyone is doing well. I am having a great experience over here, even though I really miss CHEC. I've been able to visit lots of schools, work with professors on my project, and learn about the European approach to language acquisition through an interdisciplinary lens. I've also started working with refugees, which has been very powerful. I'll be traveling soon to conferences in Finland and the Netherlands. I'm looking forward to returning to CHEC and sharing my findings.

In more exciting news, Biyeshi Kumsa won the Coca Cola Scholarship! She is one of only 150 students in the entire country to win this $20,000 scholarship that she can use whenever and however she wants over the next ten years. She was the only student from DC to receive the scholarship.  

We are thrilled to announce our 30th class of Coca-Cola Scholars!

150 Coca-Cola Scholars have each received a $20,000 college scholarship and joined a family of alumni who are leading positive change in their communities and around the world. The entire class of Scholars will attend the 2018 Scholars Weekend April 19-22, 2018, for a time of inspiration, fun, and camaraderie. Scholars will be honored at our 30th annual Scholars Banquet and participate in our Leadership Development Institute, an intensive leadership training during Scholars Weekend that challenges them to develop an inside-out leadership philosophy.

Share in their celebrations and follow their Scholars Weekend experience with #2018CokeScholars.
Biyeshi Kumsa – Washington, DC --- Columbia Heights Educational Campus
​On February 2nd, nine students and two staff braved the freezing temperatures and high winds to jump into ice cold water for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge! Jessica Amaya, Jocelyn Cruz, Jose Villatoro, Noelia Aguilar, Jahad Shaw, Omar Mendoza, Chen Ye, Meryem Yucel and Elvir Berisha were up to the challenge. Thank you to all the teachers and staff members who donated directly or indirectly through the Special Olympics Unified Club's snack sale. Our fundraising efforts paid off--we were neck and neck with Woodson until the end, but CHEC came out on top for the fundraising challenge! All funds raised go to Special Olympics providing Athletes with sports and social activities that promote healthy lifestyles and inclusive friendships.

Special Olympics Hill Day

Jennifer Garcia was chosen to represent DC for Special Olympics Hill Day, a day where Special Olympics delegations from across the country come to the District to speak to their representatives about the importance of Special Olympics and what Congress's funding means for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities--access to not only sports, but to social inclusion and healthcare. Along with SODC President/CEO Nicole Preston and Athlete Ambassador Novie Craven, Jennifer met with Eleanor Holmes Norton's staffer for health and education issues. In that meeting, Jennifer shared how Special Olympics has encouraged her to exercise by playing five different sports and helped her to make new friends through Unified activities at school and on the bocce court. After the meeting on the Hill, we headed to the Capitol Hill Club for lunch with Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, and Darrell Green, legendary cornerback for the Redskins. Jennifer got to try on his Super Bowl and Hall of Fame rings--they were so heavy!
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