04-03-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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SLC Morning Meetings

SLC Morning Meeting/MTSS Meetings
Departmental Planning Period Meeting

Departmental Planning Period Meeting
Faculty Meeting 3:30 pm


Principal: Maria Tukeva

APRIL 3, 2023:

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

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

As the high stakes testing season begins in earnest, with PARCC testing for high school English Language Arts beginning on this Wednesday, trust becomes more important than ever.  Students must trust that we will make this process one that builds their confidence and stamina as scholars, and that we will create the most positive and conducive atmosphere possible.   We must trust one another, as we take on different roles, with different students, and a different schedule, with a different activity (testing).  The demands of the testing season are different, and it is a break in routine that has an impact on all of us.  

We need to trust that we have designed a thoughtful and organized process, and that everyone will be called upon equitably to support.  We need to trust that we will support one another when there are glitches, or challenges, as there most certainly will be.   All of us need to trust that when we get the results of the assessment, that we will use them as what they are, information on progress that can give us ideas of what shifts we might need to make in instruction.  Students need to trust that we will work with them to improve their outcomes in all areas and by all measures.

Regardless of our individual views about standardized testing, since they are a requirement of our educational system, our responsibility is to design a process which is equitable and promotes learning, not judgement based on the results.  A question for a future design sprint on testing might be, “How might we design an assessment system that balances standardized testing with more authentic forms of testing, and that uses assessment as a way to promote learning?

I thank you in advance for your flexibility, collaboration, and creativity as we officially enter testing season.  We have been working hard on preparing students, through providing them with a rigorous and engaging curriculum aligned to standards.  We can all enter this process with confidence in our intentions and diligence, and now we must invest our students in the process, and provide them with encouragement and inspiration.

Thank you team, for all you do!  We will rock this year’s PARCC test!!!


Tuesday, April 4 the country celebrates National Librarians Day! At CHEC we are blessed to have two outstanding librarians, Angela Falkenberg and Christopher Stewart.  We thank them for being stewards of our library collection, promoting reading, developing creative and engaging activities for students, holding a safe and quiet space for students, and overall supporting our school mission and culture.

Thank you Ms. Falkenberg and Mr. Stewart! We salute you on National Librarians’ Day!


How might we reinvent how we do school using Design Thinking?”  We have received the feedback on our presentation two weeks ago.  Some of the highlights of the feedback are:

Strengths & Highlights –

Trends Across Reviewers • Increased model coherence around Design Thinking, bringing elements together • Design thinking focus brings an exciting opportunity to promote student voice and choice, and ensures all members of the community are driving the work forward • System-level change is front and center, encouraging shifts for the school, the district, and larger system disruption.

Growth Areas –

Trends Across Reviewers • Clarify the impact of Redesign on daily instruction and approach to PBL with Design Thinking • Provide learning experiences to show how rigor is showing up in student activities • Explain system level engagement, both how the team is currently thinking about it and what additional supports might be needed.

Based on this feedback, to address areas of growth, we will continue our focus on building the rigor and engagement in student learning experiences, as we prototype students co-designing projects with teachers.  For the fourth advisory, there are four teachers working on designing projects aligned to student interest and passion, alongside students.

To build on our areas of strength, the positive feedback around Design Thinking as a way to build coherence, is encouraging, and we will continue to build our capacity to bring it to scale through our design sprints.
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 Ms. Pugh, Mr. Henggeler, Ms. Peddyreddy, and Ms. Penn for our NAF IT And Engineering Academies reaching Distinguished Status!
  • Shout out to the PGT team and Middle School Counselors for their Workshop on Sexual Harassment for all three grades!!
  • Kudos to Mr. Galvan, Pankaj, Ms. C. Lora, Ms. DelCid, Mr. Swinton, and all who helped with our Saturday Enrollment initiative!  We had over 15 families attend and start the re-enrollment process!
  • Shout out to Ms. Yamashita for the Kakehashi Exchange program this past Saturday at CHEC! Over 20 students from Japan participated in activities with CHEC students!
  • Shout out to the Culture Team and whole admin team for our morning Attention! We decreased tardies drastically!  
  • 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 10 of Semester 2 and Advisory 3

It is the 10th and last  week of the Third Advisory! This week PARCC begins with 9th grade ELA.  We will  have a PARCC Pep Rally for 9th and 10th grade only this week during the fourth period. 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

I hope that you are all having a wonderful weekend!  This week will see our 9th and 10th graders kicking off the PARCC exam on April 5th, 6th, and 7th (4/7 will be 10th grade ONLY).  Logistics – including cohorts, alternate schedules, room moves, etc – can be found here.  I will be sending regular email updates, so please stay tuned and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need.

Test Integrity training!! This Tuesday we’ll have a Test Integrity training in the Model UN during SLC for middle school teachers and any high school teacher who missed last week’s training.  For anyone who still needs to make up the training after 4/4 we’ll host one more session the week of 4/10.  Please look out for an announcement sometime in the middle of next week.

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. 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!



Dear Columbia Heights Educational Campus Academy of Information Technology,

At this time each year, NAF celebrates our academies doing an outstanding job of supporting student success and is thrilled to share some good news and shine a spotlight on our 2023 Katherine Blasik Distinguished and NAF Model academies!
After a thorough review of academy data and information, NAF has determined that your academy meets the necessary criteria to earn the quality level of Distinguished. This is an incredible accomplishment and testament to all the work your leadership team, teachers, counselors, advisory board members, and other stakeholders have demonstrated to ensure that the next generation of leaders are Future Ready!


Jessica D. Williams
(646) 896-3889
Assistant Director, Academy Development | NAF
Orlando, FL
NAF.org | @NAFCareerAcads


“Everyday DC,” a photography exhibition that visualizes daily life in Washington, D.C., through the eyes of D.C. middle school students citywide, opened on March 30, 2023. The exhibition is open to the public every Monday to Friday, through June 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.  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.

Message from Deans:

As we enter the Spring and warmer, beautiful days, we are preparing and anticipating that it may become more difficult to keep students engaged and focused. With that said one initiative that Culture Team has been leading in focusing on and adding more “attention” to is morning arrival. Our goal is to help ensure more students are on time for school and first period. You may notice that students arriving late to first periods will have a signed “tardy pass”. Please be sure to document the tardiness accordingly in your attendance records and as an added way to hold students accountable and own their own learning time, make sure contact the parents of students late to your first period daily.  

As a reminder, WE ARE DESIGN THINKERS and must be creative with how we keep students engaged. START CLASSES STRONG AND END STRONG.   
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. The goal is to help remind students the importance of being on time and that every moment counts!

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

  • PARCC testing is upon us! Monday, April 3, 2023, we will have our PARCC Pep Rally hosted by SGA at 2:30 pm. Please look out for an email from Mr. Whitney with more details regarding logistics.
  • Shoutout to all teachers and staff who helped students complete the Panorama Survey. As of Friday, 3/31 CHEC had a completion rate of 80.72%!
  • Huge thanks to the Mental Health team for leading and having a town hall for our middle school students on the Topic of Sexual Harassment Prevention.
  • 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.)  
  • Culture Teams members and APs will continue hall sweeps and contact parents accordingly. Please also support addressing the culture of students being held accountable and also engaging parents with informative calls about student attendance and challenges in your classes.  

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

The Top 20 students from each grade who have accumulated the most Kickboard points throughout the year will be going to DMV Skate Social on Thursday, April 6, 2023!!!!

PBIS Reminders and Celebrations

Teacher All-Stars (500+ Highest Interactions from 03/27--04/2)

  • Maria Borrego (1,288)
  • Latrice Quickley (842)
  • Shaun Loria (630)
  • Erika Harris (591)
  • Desepe De Vargas (518)
  • Dwight Simon (512)

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 - 3
The HS softball team lost o Jackson-Reed and HD Woodson.  The HS baseball team defeated Ron Brown and lost to Dunbar.  The HS flag football team defeated Anacostia and Ballou.  The tennis team lost to Banneker and Jackson-Reed.

HS Tennis vs. Dunbar at Ft. Lincoln @ 4:00
HS Baseball vs. SWW at Maury Wills @ 4:00
HS Flag Football vs. Coolidge at Cardozo @ 6:00

No Games

HS Outdoor Track DCIAA Developmental Meet at Spingarn @ 1:00
HS BB vs. Eastern at Taft @ 4:00
HS Tennis vs. Cardozo at Newark Park @ 4:00
HS Flag FB vs. SWW at Roosevelt @ 5:00

HS Tennis vs. SWW at Ft. Lincoln @ 4:00

HS BB vs. Jackson-Reedr at Maury Wills @ 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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