Bulletin-9-4-2017 - CHEC BULLETIN

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On Wednesday, we have our annual Back to School Morning and Night!  You have already received the agenda in a separate email, however I want to encourage you to make the most of this opportunity to establish relationships with parents, and engage them in your classroom throughout the year.  First impressions are important as we set the tone for how we will communicate with parents throughout the year.

Our first step in Back To School Night is to create trust and an atmosphere of collaboration.  We next need to engage parents in setting goals for their children, and then to setting up an ongoing system for parents to communicate with us on student progress and needs.  Every parent wants to feel that his or her child is known well by his or her teachers, counselors and administrators, so take this opportunity to find out from parents what their hopes and dreams are for their child.

With this in mind, please be sure to have information available for parents, to include:

• The course syllabus
• Your contact information, and how and when to contact you
• Aspen log in information
• A brief survey to find out more about the parent and his or her child.  (a sample you can use is attached here)


  • Shout out to all classes for welcoming Chancellor Wilson to our school! He was impressed and pleased with the level of instruction he saw!!
  • Shout out to all faculty and staff for a successful fire drill evacuation!!K
  • Kudos to grades 6 – 10 for welcoming visitors from summit to their classrooms!!

Dear CHEC Community

A message from Unidos (formerly the National Council of La Raza):

As we heard this morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced that the President will eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

UnidosUS is outraged by the Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 announcement that it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, a successful and lawful policy that has helped nearly 800,000 youth brought to the U.S. as undocumented.

We have prepared attached and below some key talking points and resources for UnidosUS Affiliates.


First, see attached and below some important resources to share for those who may be impacted by today’s announcement. We expect this list of resources will grow and we will share additional information as these becomes available.

  • Informed Immigrant has a whole-host of FAQs and other resources
  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center Advisory Note on what to know if DACA ends.
  • American Immigration Council Practice Advisory on screening for immigration relief.
  • Know Your Rights materials.
  • For educators, Stanford Law School and the California Charter Schools Association have published a guide on legal obligations to provide education to undocumented students and actions schools can take to protect the educational rights of undocumented children. Data privacy protections and help schools can offer if a caretaker is detained are among the areas covered.

Dear CHEC Staff,

It has been devastating to watch Hurricane Harvey’s effects on the Houston, Texas area on television, on social media, in the newspaper, and maybe even through friends and family. Like me, you may have wanted to help, but didn’t know how. DCPS is currently coordinating donations in schools and Central Office for uniforms and supplies for Houston students, but I wanted to also ask for your help in writing to the young people in Houston.

Given the ongoing nature of the situation, it is difficult to tell how many people will ultimately be impacted, though they are expecting that thousands of children will be relocated throughout the state. For young people without a home, in a new city and a new school, it can be a frightening feeling, and every small gesture counts. We would love it if CHEC classrooms could collect cards, letters, or notes to send to displaced students to let them know that we are thinking of them, and that people in our city support them.

If you would like to help, forward cards to Robin Winer in the High School Main Office

Thank you for your help in this effort as we all keep Houston in our thoughts.

Maria Tukeva
September 5 - September 8, 2017

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
The high school girls soccer team defeated Capital City PCS but lost to Washington International. The high school boys soccer team lost to Washington International. The high school football team defeated Dunbar.
No Games

No Games

MS VB vs. Hardy at Deal @ 4:30

HS VB vs. HD Woodson at CHEC @ 6:00

No Games

HS FB vs. Richard Wright PCS at Cardozo @ 12:00
Labor Day (Closed)

SLC Morning Meeting
New Teacher Meeting at 3:30 PM

Back to School Morning 9-11am
Back to School Night 6-8pm

Department Meetings
New Teacher Meeting at 8:00 AM

No Meetings
Back to School Night
September 6, 2017
9-11 am and from 6-8 pm

CHEC Latin Jazz Ensemble Performance
2017 AEP Annual Convening at the
Mayflower Hotel (read more)

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
Monthly Faculty Meeting

Congratulations on two great weeks of school!  We are now in week 3, and fully engaged in teaching and learning.  We are developing  “intellectually curious scholars,” as described in our Mission Statement.  One of the elements of our instructional program that contributes to this, is our project based learning approach.  We engage students in developing intellectual curiosity by having them work on projects (GRASPS), that are rigorous, relevant, and related to social justice.  Students and adults alike are more motivated and engaged when they see the connection between learning and something they are interested in or passionate about.

This is where our projects (GRASPS) are so powerful and crucial to student engagement and curiosity.  There is a large body or research which points to the importance of application as a way of gaining and retaining knowledge. Each GRASPS a student works on allows that opportunity for productive struggle, cognitive development, and application of knowledge in new and unfamiliar settings.  

With this in mind, it is important that in this third week, and throughout the advisory, all students are actively engaged in their projects, and that class time provides ample work periods for students to do the heavy lifting in terms of thinking, reading and writing, aligned to the GRASPS.  In order to support all classes in making the connection, this week during walk throughs and visits to classes,  members of the leadership team will be asking students higher order questions about their GRASPS, and what they have learned through the process of working on the project.  We will also be looking at student work related to the GRASPS.  Below is the timeline for the standards based instructional process, which should be in place in all classrooms. By the end of this week, steps 1 through 11 should be complete.

Attached please find the Walk through document we will be using to give feedback this week.  Please let your SLC admin or Leap Leader know if you have any questions.  

We look forward to visiting your classes! Have a great Week 3!!

The Leadership Team will continue to meet on Wednesdays this year. The next Leadership team meeting will be on Wednesday September 13 at 3:30 pm in the High School Library and work on the Comprehensive School Plan. We have surveyed teachers regarding the design of the Early Release Day, so the Leadership Team can discuss and plan for the format for those days. The Leadership Team is a group of teachers, counselors, 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!

Submitted by Angela Falkenberg

Attention High School teachers: Until a HS librarian is found, please contact Angela Falkenberg if you need to reserve the Bell Library for class usage or need to use technology like iPads or iPods. Bell Library will also be open during lunch on Tuesday / Thursdays. Passes will be made for students to use.

Looking for E-books and/or audiobooks? Visit DestinyDiscover.com or download the app to search what's available in the school library collections. Your username is first.last and your password 000employeeID (Ex. 00012345 - can find on PeopleSoft). Students can also access these collections using their student ID and birth date.

Submitted by Kristen Whitaker

To date, we have had 4 home visits completed by 3 teachers! Kudos to Mr. Aguilar, Ms. Alvarado and Mr. Arabian! Kudo's also to the 9th and 10th grade teams!!

*Helpful Hints*
  • Back to school night is a wonderful time to talk to parents and invite them to participate in home visits!
  • Offer incentives to students to encourage their parents to have home visits!
  • If families are hesitant to have you go to their homes, offer to meet them somewhere in the community, BUT NOT AT THE SCHOOL!!!!

If you have any questions or concerns, please see Ms. Gonzalez and Ms. Whitaker for support!!

Submitted by DeMario Hardmon-Fort

"Members of the CHEC family and community met early Thursday to discuss purpose and goals of the Empowering Males of Color initiative SY 2017-2018. One goal is to create restorative spaces for staff and students. In our work, challenges come from many directions. Restorative circles facilitate overcoming our challenges as a learning community, from within. A subcommittee will be formed to plan achieving this goal. If you are interested in being a part of this, please email Program Coordinator, DeMario Hardmon-Fort at dhf@speaklight.org"


CHEC PARENT WORKSHOPS ----- beginning in October!
Who? any & all 6th-12th Grade CHEC Parents --- please inform & encourage them to attend!

  • in English, Thursdays @ 9:30 -11am
  • in Spanish, Wednesdays @ 9:30-11am

Please encourage parents to sign up during Back 2 School night.

PGT has a dynamic team of school based social workers, a school psychologist and community partners (Marys Center & DBH) here to support students in need of tier 2 & tier 3 level supports!
Anyone can refer students to us!
Please keep an eye out for our at-risk students that will need more supports.....and feel free to consult with us if you are unsure!
PGT Referrals have been emailed out at the beginning of the school year and paper referrals are also available in the MS & HS mailroom, "PGT Referrals Box".

Did you know that the PGT team can provide classroom workshops around important social-emotional topics?

In fact, thanks to a request we recieved, PGT had the opportunity to visit Ms. Fergusons Health classes during 2nd & 4th Periods last week where students participated in stations with topics including self-care/mindfulness, self-harming behaviors/suicide previention as well as healthy relationships. We collected pre & post surveys and will be providing feedback soon to Ms Ferguson's classes!

We have students that are considered "homeless/ displaced/ unaccompanied" at CHEC..... please refer the names of any students that you believe may be living on their own, doubled up with other families, or living in shelters, etc... to:
MIDDLE SCHOOL HOMELESS LIASON ----  Ms Karen Carino karen.carino@dc.gov
HIGH SCHOOL HOMELESS LIASON ----- Ms Paula Crivelli paula.crivelli-diamond@dc.gov
(even if you are unsure of a students living situation, please email us!)

Purposes: To introduce the talking piece, to begin practicing using a talking piece and to explore the concept of Circle.

Materials: Talking piece, paper, markers (one for each person in the circle).

Prep: Arrange chairs in a Circle.

Welcome to the Circle:

Mindfulness Moment: Pause. Breathe. Listen to the sound (Bell or breathing)

Suggested Opening Ritual: Quote –

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.

--Black Elk Speaks : being the life story of a holy man of the Ogalala Sioux

Introduce a “ROUND”: A "Round" is a pass of the talking piece around the circle. The keeper poses a question and, as a participant, may answer first. The keeper then passes the talking piece to the person to his or her left or right, indicating which direction the talking piece will continue to move around the circle. On the first round, participants are invited to say their name as well as respond to the question. Remember it is OK for participants to pass.

Introduce the Talking Piece: Explain how the Talking Piece works and introduce the actual TP that you chose and its significance, story or meaning.

Main Activity: Responding to Political Climate (DACA Decision) in the classroom

R1: Regarding the DACA decision, how are you feeling today?  (What’s on your mind?  Whats on your heart?)

R2: What do you worry about or think of the impact on you family or other families is?

R3: What might be a strength or character value that can help guide you as you navigate this news?

R4: What is one action you can offer to yourself or someone else impacted by this news to feel more hopeful?

R5: If you are impacted yourself or feeling worried for others, what is one support you could reach out to feel more supportive of yourself and your community?

R6: How was this experience for you?

Contact: Robin Winer
(202) 939-7703


The grant establishes the first mobile Lab at Lincoln Middle School

Washington, D.C., (June 28, 2017) - The HITEC Foundation announced that the Multicultural Career Intern Program (MCIP) is the recipient of a $30,000 grant for the purchase of portable laptop learning devices for the 440 middle school students at Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC).  The grant is part of the HITEC Foundation’s mission, to shape the technology of tomorrow through cultivation of the leadership potential of today’s Hispanic youths and to increase their representation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related pursuits.

“It is a privilege to partner with Freddie Mac to establish the first mobile lab at CHEC,” said Frank DeArmas, chairman of the HITEC Foundation. “We are committed to cultivating an early interest in STEM, especially among underserved middle and high schools with high Hispanic populations and improving their access to technology. Our goal is to give young people the opportunity to obtain the skills they need to pursue their aspirations in today’s information economy.”

“Freddie Mac recognizes the importance of providing students with access to educational opportunities, particularly as it relates to technology,” said James Dalton, Vice President of Application Services in IT at Freddie Mac. “Computers open up a world of possibilities and can spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are proud to do our part with the HITEC Foundation to help these students discover the wonders of STEM education.”

CHEC is a DC Public School that serves over 1,400 students from grades 6-12.  The Campus is rooted by a community-based, 36-year history of open enrollment access to education aimed at propelling students to college.
“This is such a thoughtful and innovative opportunity to provide deeper personalization of learning for our students,” said Maria Tukeva, principal of CHEC. “Our community is very committed to addressing the issue of the need for technology in education to impact underserved students.  We will use this grant to extend our global approach to education and look forward to embracing new strategies and platforms to engage students in anytime and anywhere learning.” Tukeva added, “We are grateful to the breathtaking vision and generosity of the HITEC Foundation and Freddie Mac.”

About the HITEC Foundation
The HITEC (Hispanic IT Executive Council) Foundation is committed to early academic engagement of Hispanic youths, as well as their persistence through degree completion. At the middle-school level, it provides grants so that students can attend technology-based programs. It also awards scholarships to Hispanic high school students who have demonstrated interest in and talent for STEM. In order to retain college and university students, the HITEC Foundation provides internship and mentorship opportunities with its corporate partners, thereby ensuring a smoother transition into technical careers.

About Freddie Mac
Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we've made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac's blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

Great Opportunity to Support Fundraising for New Furniture in the Library

J.Crew at the Chevy Chase Pavilion (5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW) is hosting a Shop & Share opportunity in support of the CHEC Library on Saturday, September 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  J.Crew has just added new product to their store and to celebrate, they are partnering with CHEC for this special event.

Everyone from the CHEC community will have a 20% off their purchase of $125 or more and the store will donate up to 15% of the event proceeds back to CHEC!

Can't Attend?
Donate here.


4:30-5:30PM IN ROOM E205

CHEC Is Now a Restorative School
As we move into a new school year we would like to reintroduce one of CHEC’s existing programs as it aligns to our Chancellor’s new SEL focus; Restorative Schools. As you may know Chancellor Wilson hails from the Oakland Unified School District (Bay Area) where the schools are fully immersed in restorative practices.

Here’s Where We Fit In
CHEC is in our third year of DCPS’s similar initiative of becoming a district of fully restorative schools. For the past two years we have trained staff, introduced circle practices, resolved conflict, and explored new ways to build relationships, climate, and culture. We all understand the importance that school climate plays in student achievement, creativity, and social justice and so does DCPS as a whole. Many of you have been involved in one way or another and we thank you for your early and enthusiastic commitment. As we move steadily into the school year, all the members of the CHEC family will be touched by this effort.
With that said, we are ramping up our RJ/RP presence and over the next nine months, we will be putting people and practices in place, planning related projects, and working with existing programs that are naturally aligned (EMOC, PGT-Programs, ISS, etc…). We invite you to bookmark and revisit this page to find additional information, a directory of restorative justice team members, and many resources to use for RJ/RP in your classroom. Additionally, you can discover training opportunities, projects in which you and your students may want to get involved, or suggest a project.

Here’s What We’ve Got On-Going
Circles are introduced as a non-punitive response to conflict by the deans and other members of the administration. Teachers and students at all grade levels are using Circle to build relationships, strengthen community, and explore content. The 11th and 12th grade advisory is using restorative practices to explore college readiness, social justice, and climate in the upper grades. The administration and other staff in the school are also using restorative practices to improve communication and relationships schoolwide. Athletic teams use restorative practices to strengthen their teams, deepen their commitment to sportsmanship, and CHEC as a whole. Race and culture will also continue to be explored by the EMOC through restorative practices.

Here’s Our Restorative School Team
Please send your interests, questions, and comments to chec.restorativejustice@dc.gov

Here’s who you’ll be working with this year

If you have questions, ideas, desire more learning, want coaching, want to get involved or need a Circle run with your class, please email us at chec.restorativejustice@dc.gov.  And please check back here to take advantage of the resources we will provide.
We Are Ready to Circle Up!!

The Power and Challenges of Circles in Schools (Exactly WHAT is being practiced in Circles?)

Circle Agreements to post in your room are attached and reiterated here:

General Agreements for Keeping Circles
1. Speak only when you have the talking piece.
2. Listen from the heart.
3. Speak from the heart.
4. What gets said here stays here, what gets learned here leaves here.
5. You have the option to pass.

WEEK 3 - Making Talking Pieces
For week 3, your students will actually make Talking Pieces.

MATERIALS - for making Talking Pieces; a wide selection of materials to construct a talking piece, for example feathers, pieces of driftwood or small branches, ribbon, yarn, buttons, shells, beads, rocks, markers, popsicle sticks, strips of felt or leather, glue etc.

CIRCLE - After giving the students several minutes to construct their unique Talking Pieces, set up your Circle and each person can explain the meaning behind their TP.

ENDING - Collect the Talking Pieces and keep them in the room so that you can use them each time you do a Circle.

Flow: Making Talking Pieces

Letter from Shanice Abrams, DCPS DCIAA Assistant Athletic Director
August 31, 2017

Hello All,

I would like to formally thank each and everyone one of you that attended the soccer clinic yesterday. It was a HUGE success. This was the first soccer clinic the DCIAA has had and seeing so many participants not only learning, but enjoying their time at the clinic made our department very happy. I would like to personally apologize for the rush at the end as we lost track of time and the field was permitted to another time right after our clinic was scheduled to be finished.

Coaches if any of your participants did not receive a t-shirt please inform me so we can make arrangements for them to receive one.

Also if any of your players need shin guards, goalie gloves, or even a soccer net for your field I have some of those available at the office on a first come first serve basis. Please contact me for more information

Once again thank you soooo much for being flexible yesterday and the clinic will only get bigger and better. I have attached pictures for your pleasure.

Shanice M. Abrams

Assistant Athletic Director, DCIAA
Soccer, Cross Country, Indoor & Outdoor Track and Field
District of Columbia Public Schools
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