03-27-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2023

SLC Morning Meetings
ALT Team Meeting

SLC Morning Meeting/MTSS Meetings
Departmental Planning Period Meeting

Departmental Planning Period Meeting

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2023
Enrollment for SY 23-24 Kicks Off

Principal: Maria Tukeva

MARCH 27 2023:

This week’s focus is on the following phrase from the CHEC Mission:

“We trust one another to continually improve our practices.”

Hiring season for School Year 23-24 is underway, and we would like to engage a more diverse set of perspectives in the interview process.  We are excited that our new budget has allowed us to dedicate additional resources to our student centered redesign initiative, and to continue to respond to student voice. Responses to the budget surveys this year from both staff and students, reflected common themes of:

  • More choice and options of courses and programs for students
  • More college and career support
  • More after school activities responding to student interests
  • More social emotional, wellness  and climate support
  • More teachers to reduce class size in core areas and provide more choice in courses

In addition to maintaining almost all positions added last year, we have added 20 new positions for school  year 23-24.  The attached list of new positions are listed in this link, along with their alignment to the Mission and Redesign initiative.

Some of these are totally new positions, and job descriptions are under development.  As we schedule interviews for these positions, we invite all interested staff to volunteer for interviewing. We have a Personnel Committee, and all members of the Administrative Team are involved in hiring, however it is critical to have a wide range of staff involved in the interview process. If you would like to serve on one or more interview panels, please let Pankaj know.  We will also have students involved in the interviews, so if you would like to recommend a student to serve on a panel, please also let Pankaj know. The students who serve should represent the diversity of our student body. We will provide an orientation and training on interviewing to both staff and students who get involved.

If you know of any candidates you would like to recommend for any of these positions, or if you are interested, please let us know. Also, if you have already, to assist our staffing and interviewing planning, please fill out the DINR form to indicate your intentions for next year.

Thank you team, for all you do!


“How might we reinvent how we do school using Design Thinking?”  This week two of our current design sprint teams,  College/Career Pathways and Wellness, will attend another full day off site design experience in collaboration with the DCPS Design Lab.  We are awaiting the feedback on our presentation two weeks ago, in order to further improve our prototypes.

Our redesign approach and strategy is based on aligning all of our innovation and design sprints to the overall big idea of CHEC as a hub of innovation where students and staff design their own learning, and to the three pillars of that overarching design – CHEC designing for the needs of the community, students designing their own rigorous, multicultural learning experiences, and students designing their wellness journey.  Each of our initial sprints – Food Equity, Interdisciplinary Projects, Career Pathways, and Wellness, are aligned to one of the pillars.  Our SLC Design Sprints, while still in the initial phases, are aligned to one or more of these pillars.

In order to  reinvent how we do school, we are making real time improvements in specific areas using design thinking, and in this way reinventing systems and structures for a whole school redesign. This is an organizational process that requires that time, focus and resources be provided to staff and students.  Our budget for school year 23-24 reflects these investments,(please see attachment above)  and one of our next design sprints will be focused on how to provide the time necessary for the work of innovation and strategy.

It is also important in our hiring processes, that we seek diverse perspectives and talents that will build our design thinking capacity.  Ongoing professional development and coaching are  needed.  We are planning for multiple opportunities over the summer to engage as teams in design thinking while planning for the new school year. If you would like to get involved in designing professional development,  please see the Instructional Coach Team.   

There are multiple opportunities to design your learning in relation to Design Thinking.  In addition to  the learning we are doing in SLC’s and different departments, there is a new on line course which builds on the previous one, which was “Design Thinking for the Greater Good.”  The second course is also offered by Jeanne Liedtka of the University of Virginia, and is entitled, “Experiencing Design.”

We will  offer Admin premium of up to 10 hours if you take this course, and will reimburse the certification costs.  If you would like to attend additional courses or professional development opportunities, please reach out to Ms. Tukeva or Ms. Penn. We will also be beginning a book study group on Experiencing Design, The Innovators Journey, by Liedtka, Hold and Eldridge.  If you want to join, please let us know, and we will purchase the book for you. There will be Admin Premium for Book Study Participation.


Field Trip Office Hours for Trip Sponsor Role (Week of 1/23 and ongoing)
All field trips taking place after January 3, 2023, must be entered via the new Field Trip QuickBase app. The Field Trip QB User Guide and additional resources are available in the DCPS Way Field Trip Folder. Trip Sponsors to attend upcoming office hours for support with the new app: 

Before loading the trip onto the App, please still fill out the CHEC Internal Field Trip Form and get it signed before proceeding.

Thank you!


  • Shout out to the Culture Team and whole admin team for our morning Attention! We decreased tardies drastically!
  • Shout out to Ms. Scott, Ms. Bryant  Ms. Savage and the high school team  for a great Middle School Career Day! Kudos to the counselors for their support!
  • Shout out to Pankaj and Ops for all of their hard work keeping our building clean and safe! Shout out  to all for continuing to embrace our Design Thinking journey!

Week 9 of Semester 2 and Advisory 3

It is the ninth  week of the Third Advisory! This week high school classes will be presenting portfolios, in all classes.  Middle School will present next week.  Please be sure to have prepared students by having them practice presenting in groups with the rubric.  Please be sure you have invited parents as well.  As  you think about your next GRASPS, consider utilizing our new prototype interdisciplinary project rubric, and engaging students in designing the projects.

PARCC Testing begins next week for High School ELA.  Each following week will see a different grade level and subject engaged in testing.  As your class begins the process of taking PARCC, build their investment in the process by reminding them that they are prepared, by virtue of the standards aligned classes  they have been receiving, and their work on Standards Aligned Projects. It is important to build confidence and a growth mind set as students approach this assessment, so that they can give full engagement.  We will be sharing tips for success on test-taking to share with students in advisory lessons

The Whole Child

Spring is here and new beginnings are happening. Take sometime to understand the culture of spring and the new beginnings that are taking place the whole child antiracist initiative reflects on culture and understanding cultural awareness of the whole child.  Take sometime and explore a new culture that will help to understand the cultural differences and diversity of the school. You will be grateful that you did.

Angenette Planter
Whole Child Teacher Lead
Environmental Science Teacher

To Live, To Learn, To Love!

Instructional Calendar

The Instructional Calendar is a living document that houses all the major curricular requirements, assessments, and schoolwide events. The Instructional Calendar is complete for the moment, however changes may be made and will be noted. If you have any requests for additions to the Instructional Calendar, please contact Mr. Magee, peter.magee@k12.dc.gov, maria.tukeva@k12.dc.gov or your SLC Administrator.

Please view the 22-23  CHEC Instructional Calendar here.

Assessment Corner

One last huge thank you to so many of you for helping make ACCESS happen!!  This week’s special recognition goes to Ms. Bruemmer and Ms. Nimer.  Middle school make-ups would not have happened as smoothly as they did without their willingness to support.

While we close the book on the latest ACCESS window, we turn towards PARCC testing – slated to begin with the high school on April 5th.  The coming weeks will see advisory lessons geared towards practice PARCC exams, PARCC Test Integrity training, and a flurry of correspondence regarding logistics.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out as questions arise!

PARCC testing also means that it is time to double-down on ensuring students in all classes are receiving the appropriate accommodations.  This is crucial to learners understanding how utilize the accommodations that they’re afforded.  It stands to reason that if a student is never prompted to use a dictionary in class, they’re not going to know what to do with it on exam day.  Teachers wondering how to leverage accommodations in class should speak to their grade-level administrator to be connected with teachers who can provide examples.

Thanks all!

Pete Magee
Testing Coordinator,

Love & Empathy Page

If you know of students and families in need of assistance, please send the information to our Bulletin, where we will publish opportunities to show love and empathy. Please share these with your networks.

Professional Develoment / Record Keeping Day

The Blue Engine Co-teaching professional development is still going on.

We will be offering professional development in the Wilson Reading method April 11-13.  10 teachers have already signed up.

The Center of Applied Linguistics professional development will also continued with two sessions on March 23, and March 28.

In SLC’s, the focus continues on an introduction to Design Thinking, and its application to some real opportunities or challenges.  In Department, it is suggested that for at least part of the planning time, you use the lens of our Redesign focus on interdisciplinary, relevant projects that provide student choice and voice, as you review and revise GRASPS .

Our Shared Leadership Subcommittee and the Instructional coaches will are further refining the professional development plan. If you would like to join the Coaches Design Team, please see one of our Instructional Coaches.

The ALT Team met  on Tuesday, March 14  to review data, and conducted our MOY Step Back Meeting, with members of the Cluster Support Team.   Each domain group of the team presented a summary of what the data shows in relation to our CSP goals, provide data, and discussed next steps. Please see the front page of the bulletin for details.  The next ALT team meeting will be March 28 at 3:30 pm.  All are invited to the ALT Team meetings!

Top (left to right): Luis Diaz, Kwame Yeboah, Hurley Odom
Bottom (left to right): Andrea Lewis, Evelyn Iraheta, Patricia Ortez Aparicio, Corinne Partelow,  Marianella Castro


Dear CHEC Team:

I hope all are well! As you know we are trying to offer many activities to our students, in order to provide Voice and Choice. We have a great opportunity to partner with LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) to sponsor a club. Some of the activities the Club has undertaken in the past include cleanup projects at the Potomac River, professional development sessions with doctors, nurses, engineers and entrepreneurs, as well as  Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute recruitment for summer interns.  Admin premium will be provided for the sponsor.  If you are interested, please see Mr. Whitney devin.whitney@k12.dc.gov.

Thank you!
Maria Tukeva


Hi All,

Our second KAKEHASHI exchange is done. Thank you so much for allowing us to use your space over the last two Saturdays, and thank you Mr. Best for yesterday. Everything worked out perfectly. I really appreciate it, as well as Ms. Yamashita’s help in making everything work – especially with technology.
Ms. Yamashita may have already shared this photo from yesterday, but to be sure, I’m including it. You’ll find our students, CHEC students, as well as the 20 Japanese students. Fun was had by all.
Have a great week!

Sally Schwartz
Globalize DC


“Everyday DC,” a photography exhibition that visualizes daily life in Washington, D.C., through the eyes of D.C. middle school students citywide, opens on March 30, 2023. The exhibition is open to the public every Monday to Friday, March 30 through June 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The opening reception on Thursday, March 30, is between 5:30pm and 7:30 pm. Remarks will begin at 6:30pm and will be followed by live music and snacks.
The students named below will have photographs in the exhibition. Please come by to see the exhibition and support our middle school artists:

  • Angel Garcia-Giron
  • Zuri Smith
  • Jesus Hernandez
  • Jakelin Salmeron-Sorto
  • Summer Anderson
  • Jason Lopez-Valladares
  • Tyevontay Blackman



My Project
My student -athletes come to practice every day and put their all into every work out. I am requesting planters snack mix, Vitaminwater, Minute Maid orange juice and more to provide the energy they need to get them to perform at their best for the afterschool Basketball and Softball games. Many times, they do not eat the school lunches for whatever reason, so these snacks can help them energize themselves and perform better. Theses snacks will allow me to provide nourishment to my star athletes, not only on game days but everyday during our season.

Not only am I a coach, but also the school social worker.

These snacks can also provide students who are just hungry and need something to make them feel better or feel liked.

This is the last week of Women’s History Month.  Take this week to share history about the contributions that women have made to the world.  Acknowledge one of the wonderful women working hard at CHEC for all the work they do and let them know you are PROUD of them!

Message from Deans:

Please take time this week to focus on the norms and challenge students to own their learning by respecting and adhering to their schedules. The Culture Team will continue conducting several hall sweeps, randomly. Please address or re-direct any student who reports late to class without a pass to a member of the Culture Team or Administrator for a pass. These infractions must be documented with a referral by close of business.  .

As a reminder, WE ARE DESIGN THINKERS and must be creative with how we keep students engaged.  Think of one thing you can change or improve in your classroom management to keep students engaged and excited to come to your classes and remain there until the end.

Here are few ideas:
  • Try playing music during the opening activity or transition from activity to another. This could set the tone and pace of the class while also building relationships and rapport with students.
  • Consider letting a student lead part of your lesson or groups within the class.
  • Create a game for your Exit Ticket to assess level of skill mastery or making things more engaging (Include some kind of tangible or real time incentive).
  • Re-engage families with positive phone calls weekly.
  • Celebrate student success daily!

School Culture Updates, Reminders and Shoutouts

  • Thank you to all those who supported the Culture Team with the recent “Attention” Initiative to address the tardy issue with our students arriving on time. We saw positive impact on attendance in the first period.  By Friday, we only had 47 students tardy to school. Teachers - Please support punctuality by starting every class on time, with a clear opening that is engaging and reflects the importance of what students are learning.

  • Shoutout to the Girl’s Flag Football, Softball, and Baseball teams in their Season debuts this past week. There are many students on these teams as first-time athletes, and they are doing an amazing job!  Great job coaches!

  • Shoutout to Mr. Galvan and the 3rd floor staff and team for resetting the culture of 9th grade by heavily enforcing tardy sweeps.  

  • Shoutout to Mr. Whitney in taking the lead on PBIS incentives.

  • Please remember to give passes to all students for every request to leave the classroom (Bathroom, Nurse, Water, see another staff, go to lockers etc.)  


(Please note that this schedule is tentative and is subject to change at the discretion of Culture Team Leaders.)

MARCH 27thCell Phone Students with over $500 in Kickboard for the last three weeks have received another free cell phone pass.  (MS students should have been given a pass on Friday)

PBIS Reminders and Celebrations

Teacher All-Stars (500+ Highest Interactions from 03/20--03/26)

  • Andoni Bujan (1,565)
  • Latrice Quickley (797)
  • Keegan Brush (739)
  • Shaun Loria (664)
  • Dwight Simon (664)
  • Shamia Wells (594)
  • Katelynn Reyes (593)
  • Erika Harris (550)
  • Alexandra Hall (547)
  • Justin Johnson (546)
  • Maria Borrego (525)

Kickboard norms reminder
Currently, we have less than 50% participation in staff rewarding students with Kickboard points. Remember, Kickboard helps to build positive classroom culture and should be integrated in your classroom incentives, norms and strategies to manage your classroom.  
  • 15 interactions per class and 45 interactions per day (minimum)
  • DO NOT deduct student dollars  
  • Do not attempt to inflate the day of the incentive
  • Use the first 15 and last 15 of class to give dollars  
  • Create in-class incentives (Do not deduct dollars)  


Restorative DC Professional Development Opportunities:
Student Support Forms:

Reminder: Please bookmark this link for future behavioral referrals:  

Use this form to recognize students for Student of the Week and Month:


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.


TENNIS: 1 - 1
The HS softball team defeated Eastern and Coolidge.  The HS baseball team defeated Ballou and lost to Coolidge.  The HS flag football team lost to McKinley Tech.  The tennis team defeated Eastern but lost to Roosevelt.

HS Tennis vs. Banneker at Ft. Lincoln @ 4:00
HS Flag Football vs. Anacostia at Eastern @ 5:00

HS SB vs. Jackson Reed at Guy Mason @ 4:00

HS BB vs. Ron Brown at Maury Wills @ 4:00
HS Tennis vs. Jackson Reed at Fort Reno @ 4:00
HS Flag FB vs. Ballou at Anacostia @ 5:00

HS SB vs. HD Woodson at CHEC @ 4:00

HS BB vs. Dunbar at Turkey Thicket @ 4:00

No Games
To participate in sports, including tryouts, students must complete participation paperwork and upload their physical via https://www.thedciaa.com/participation-forms.  Anyone with questions, should contact the CHEC athletic director, Coach A in room D236, or via email at desmond.alexander@k12.dc.gov. It is too late to join fall sports. Spring sports practice have begun.

Desmond Alexander, CAA
Athletic Directo.  
Columbia Heights Educational Campus
Bell/Lincoln Multicultural Schools

(202) 939-7700 Ext: 5207 (office)
(202) 576-9147 (fax)

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