05-15-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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Pictures provided by Pankaj Rayamajhi and Heber Diaz

MONDAY, MAY 15, 2023

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 2023
SLC Morning Meeting
ALT Team Meeting 3:30 pm

SLC Morning Meeting
Departmental Planning Period Meetings

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2023
Departmental Planning Period Meetings
Visual Arts Showcase – 4-6 pm

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2023

Principal: Maria Tukeva

MAY 15, 2023:
We take this moment to honor all mothers, and all who nurture children. Thank you for creating positive and joyful environments for all of our children!


This week, we focus on the phrase from our mission, “Socio-emotional learning, empathy and restorative practices are the foundations of our school climate and culture.”

The theme of Mental Health Awareness month is, “Look Around, Look Within.”   This theme is so appropriate, as it encourages us to look around to become more aware and attuned to others, and how they might be undergoing a mental health condition, and to look within, so that we are aware of our own mental health, and how we can use self-care.

All of us know someone who has, or have ourselves experienced, mental health challenges.  We all need to first, be open to acknowledge the challenges, second, remove any stigmas or judgement regarding mental health, and third, find out where to get support when we, or someone we know, is experiencing  a mental health condition.

Our CHEC Mental Health Team is made up of Social Workers, Psychologists, Counselors and other professionals who can provide guidance and interventions.  This month, they will be engaging you in activities and events to build our whole school wellness.   We have a Wellness Design Sprint, which is working on a prototype to increase our capacity to support mental health in our school.  We also have a student led group, Mental Health Ambassadors, who are vry involved in spreading awareness and building new approaches.  One such event is this Thursday, when DC’s Youth Mayor will speak to us on Mental Health Awareness. For more ideas pm how to support Mental Health Awareness Month Activities, please see this site https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month.


Our norms are more important than ever during the last advisory of the year. Several of our Design Sprints are focused on building a stronger climate and culture, and we look forward to the prototypes they will be launching.  The key to all of those sprints, is hearing students’ voices.   From May 26-28, we will engage in a prototype of  a culture building retreat. 50 students and 10 staff will attend Camp Horizons for the weekend, and engage in Design Thinking around, “How can we build a greater sense of belonging among all students and staff at CHEC?”  Once these student leaders return, they will have designed a prototype to engage their particular grade or SLC.  

We must continue to improve in making sure students arrive to, and remain engaged in, all classes, every period.  When students leave the classroom, it should only be for clear and approved purposes, such as going to the restroom, to get water, for an approved and written appointment for the nurse, tech, mental health services or counseling.  All of these purposes require a written appointment slip for that purpose.  In other words, if a student says, “ I need to see someone for technology”, if they do not have a written appointment slip, they should not be permitted to go.  All of our professionals have schedules and appointments, and cannot accommodate walk ins.

You have received information from the Climate team on our new color coded pass system, as well as the passes. However, for any system to work, it must be implemented consistently by ALL staff members. Please support our new revised system of passes, so that we can eliminate unnecessary lost instructional time, and ensure that all students are moving safely and with purpose during the entire school day.  If a student or students have misplaced your classroom pass, please reach out to the Culture team for a new one.  To make sure students can own their learning through full and active participation in class, continue emphasizing on time arrival to class, a strong opening and close to class, and minimizing time out of class. Please make your focus on engaging students with ideas and activities that are interesting, aligned to standards,  and relevant to their lives and cultures.  Our project based approach to instruction is a great vehicle, especially when we design the projects with students in mind.


How Might We Use Design Thinking to Transform our School through Student Voice and Choice?”
Thank you to all Design Sprints for leaning into the feedback you got from our Charette, and for continuing to work on your design sprints.

The goal for the faculty meeting was to draw together the threads of the different design sprints, and to provide more coherence to the whole process. In this week’s ALT Team meeting, the ALT team will read the feedback in more detail, and discuss to what extent we met those goals, and what are the learning and reteach implications of this.  One key observation that arose– there is a need to make sure that we are keeping the focus on the students, especially the students furthest from opportunity. This is critical in order to design for equity.

To provide more clarity on next steps:

  • May 5 – We submitted a revised application to XQ and numerous supporting artifacts
  • May 19 – We will make a 50 minute presentation to DCPS and XQ in support of our application to proceed to Cohort 2
  • June 5 (estimated) – We will be informed if we have been selected or not. If selected, we will receive additional funding, and be able to pilot some of our key innovations.  If not, we will no longer be part of the XQ initiative, however we will continue on our own as a school on our design thinking journey, and advocate for the ability to implement the innovations.  

Independent of the selection process, our continuing journey includes a second charette which will be a learning launch of most prototypes.  This will occur in our last Faculty Meeting of the year, which is June 8.  For this charette, we will want to increase the number of students presenting, as well as the number of students and parents attending.  Each SLC will be asked to identify and bring at least 20 students.

In order to maintain the momentum of our Redesign, there will be a number of opportunities this summer for professional development and curriculum development aligned to design thinking.

Thank you to all, for your active engagement in this journey!


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. Savage, Ops, and the College Blueprint Team for an outstanding Decision Day on Friday! Our CHEC Graduates are going to college and earning lots of scholarships!
  • Kudos to all test administrators, proctors, counselors, and our Testing Coordinators for PARCC and AP, Mr. Pyram, Mr. Jones and Mr. Magee! Shout out to Ms. Bruemmer for supporting!
  • Shout out to our Culture Team for all they do every day!
  • Shout out to all for coordinating and following up on interviews!
  • Shout out to Pankaj, Ops and the District Church for coordinating the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon! Kudos to all for celebrating our teachers in a variety of ways!  
  • Shout out to Mr. Smith and Ms. Pugh for working on our Master Schedule and presenting to Central Office last week!
  • Shout out to the Girl’s Softball Team, Coach Zinzarella and Coach Jaffe, for playing the staff! Shout out to all who played (and won), including Mr. Padilla, Mr. Odom, Mr. Allen, Mr. Molina, Mr. Galvan, Mr. Bellido, and Ms. West for playing and helping the Staff to reach victory!
  • Shout out to all for supporting re-enrollment, special shout out to the 10th grade, for meeting the 60% re-enrolled benchmark by May 9! The 10th grade SLC will receive a catered breakfast!

Week 15 of Semester 2 and Week 5 of Advisory 4

It is the fifth week of the Fourth Advisory! This is the last week of testing and the  next two weeks will be focused on makeups.  We will have a grade by grade plan for make ups. This week 12th graders present their Science and Math Portfolios.  Please use your planning period on Wednesday or Thursday, to be a panelist.  The presentations will be held in the high school library.

The gradebook opens on May 17, and closes on the 24th for progress reports.  Please be sure to enter the progress reports so students know at this critical time what they need to do to be successful.It will be important to maintain the focus in your classes by maintaining student interest and involvement in their GRASPS.  Especially at this time of year, students need to continue to set goals, have work time, and get feedback on their GRASPS, in order to experience success.

The Whole Child

Sometimes in life we wonder about our future. Making sure our future is bright is one thing we strive for.  Keeping every child safe and secure is one thing the whole child hopes for.  This Mother's Day tell a mother Happy Mothers Day and let her know she deserves everything and more. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mother's!

Ms. Planter

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 would like to extend congratulations to Mr. Pyram and Mr. Jones for their successful administration of the AP exams. The dedication and hard work of both AP coordinators and teachers were truly commendable.  Please look out for correspondence from them this week as they complete AP make-ups exams.

I would also like to express my gratitude to all of the staff members who have supported the PARCC testing effort. Your tireless work and commitment to ensuring that our students have the best testing experience possible is greatly appreciated. Your unwavering support and efforts have made a significant difference.

As a reminder, the PARCC window will close on May 26th, and we still have a few days left. Please continue to encourage and motivate our students to do their best, and ensure that the testing process runs smoothly.

Finally, please be reminded that the DC Science Exam will take place on Monday and Tuesday, followed by PARCC make-ups from May 17th to May 26th. Please make sure that you are prepared and ready to assist where necessary.

Following the completion of all regularly scheduled testing, we will begin the make up process for any students who missed the test. We have a goal of 95% participation rate.

Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to our students' success. Let's continue to work together and make a difference.

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

Thank you to all who signed up for the ISTE and PBL Conferences in June!

We will be publishing a survey this week regarding professional development interests for the summer, designed to support our redesign, including retreats, curriculum development and design thinking professional development. Be on the lookout for a survey from Instructional Coaches.


The ALT Team met  on April 25  to further clarify the role of the ALT team in our Redesign process. We developed criteria for new design sprints and also Professional development opportunities for the summer.Please see the notes here.. All are invited to the ALT Team meetings! The next meeting will be Tuesday May 16 at 3:30 pm in the Middle School Library. The agenda will include a follow up on PD opportunities for the summer to support Redesign.



We have an improved, delicious, and fresh menu.

Here is the link for teachers to set up an account for school lunch. Your individual identification number will be how you pay for meals at school.

Georgetown University’s Equity and Excellence for English Learners Professional Development Certificate

A Professional Development Certificate for In-Service Teachers

The English Learner population in DCPS and DC public charter schools is increasing, but there is a lack of ESL-certified or trained teachers who can teach equitably in ESL/Dual Language programs. The goal of Georgetown University’s Professional Development Certificate Program is to train effective teachers across general education, ESL, and dual language settings, paying special attention to increasing the pipeline of bilingual teachers in DC.

If you are an experienced DCPS school teacher without prior preparation in the effective education of English Learners, our hybrid certificate program can help you better serve your culturally and linguistically diverse students.

All applicants to the Equity and Excellence for English Learners Professional Development Certificate will receive scholarship to help cover the cost of the program. Funding for these scholarships is provided by Project ELEECT (new window).



My Project
Traditionally teaching mathematics is not very exciting, but once we get scissors, construction paper, and glue involved, we can transform mathematics into something fun for our students. This kind of hands-on math learning means students need to also learn how to take responsibility for themselves and their classroom environment. Our custodians work so hard to maintain our school, and as a class, we want students to take ownership and accountability of their space. Part of our school mission is to ensure students are good citizens of their community and environment and this is a great way to apply it to our classroom.

Message from Deans:

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers at CHEC!!!

We are just 5 weeks away to the end of the 2022-2023 school year!!! Although we are sure that some have already begun the countdown to the last day of school, there is still much more work ahead.  Please remember to hold students accountable for our norms and core values

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!

School Culture Updates, Reminders and Shoutouts

  • In the next weeks, Culture Team members will begin meeting with teachers to conduct empathy interviews around the design sprints to address “Engagement and Conflict Resolution”.  Please look out for an open invitation to meet with a team member soon.
  • Shoutout to Ms. Savage for organizing an amazing “Decision Day” for our Seniors. Thank you for your hard work in ensuring that every Senior has a plan and pathway post-secondary education.  Congratulations to all the future Class of 2023!
  • Please remember to follow the protocol for the new pass system.
    • Students should not be in the hallways outside of transition without this pass.  They will be sent back to your classes.  Hand-written passes will no longer be permissible.
    • If you need another pass for your classroom, please let a member of the Culture Team know and a new one will be provided.
Best Practices
  • Please make sure you give passes at all times
  • Always write students’ Time Out and Return Time
  • Only one student should be out of class at a time
  • The 15-15 Rule

Reminder:  Hall sweeps that will be conducted during PLT, 2nd, and 4th Period during the first 15 and last 15 minutes.

Thank you in advance for your support and partnership as we work to build a rich culture of high expectations of students.

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

On Friday, May 19th, students with at least $500 Kickboard (from 5/8-5/17) will be eligible for an ice cream treat!!!  

PBIS Reminders and Celebrations

Teacher All-Stars
(500+ Highest Interactions from 05/08 - 05/14)

  • Latrice Quickley (853)
  • Keegan Brush (606)

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.
Congratulations to the HS flag football team on a great season.  The HS flag football team lost to Banneker in the quarterfinals of the DCIAA playoffs.  Congratulations to the tennis team on a great season.   The HS outdoor track team will participate in the DCIAA outdoor track championships this week.  The middle school softball team lost to Eliot-Hine..    
TENNIS: 2 -  7

No Games

No Games

HS Track at DCOAA Championships Day 1 at Spingarn @ 3:00
MS SB vs. Jefferson at Jefferson @ 4:00

HS Track at DCOAA Championships Day 2 at Spingarn @ 1:00
MS & HS golf at Potomac Golf Course @ 2:00

MS SB vs. Eliot-Hine at CHEC @ 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. 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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