05-22-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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MONDAY, MAY 22, 2023

TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2023
SLC Morning Meeting

SLC Morning Meeting
Departmental Planning Period Meetings

THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2023
Departmental Planning Period Meetings

FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2023
No Meetings

Principal: Maria Tukeva

MAY 21, 2023:


This week, we focus on the phrase from our mission, “All Columbia Heights Education Campus graduates will be prepared to succeed in college, careers and civic life as leaders in the quest for social justice and anti-racism.”

In a few weeks, the Class of 2023 will embark on one of the biggest transitions of their lives- the transition from high school to college and careers.  At our Decision Day last week, we saw the culmination of four years of high school, and the combined efforts of students, teachers, counselors, college coordinators, and parents, to create the conditions for life-changing decisions.   We heard more students than ever before, proudly announce where they have been accepted to, as well as how much in scholarships and financial aid they have received.

Now, the real financial planning and budgeting begins, and students and families must develop plans for how to meet the many costs that may not be covered by scholarships and financial aid.

The great majority of our students are the first in their families to attend college, and as such they are creating a new economic trajectory for their families.  This means also, that there may not be a lot of resources readily available to cover all of the costs of college.  This is the reason that we created the CHEC Gala Reception.  It is a celebration of our students and their accomplishments, and an event to raise funds to support them in reaching their post secondary goals. Every year, we raise funds to support our students.  This year is our 38th Gala, and our first in person Gala in 3 years! It will be a sparkling evening of food, music, and sharing the stories of our amazing students.   Please come out to support, and invite your friends and family members.  This is our moment to say farewell to our Class of 2023, and to support them in their next steps.

Thank you CHEC Team, for all you do!


Last week was a difficult week city-wide, with schools and communities facing challenges of safety and well-being.  On Friday an invitation was sent to an optional collective gathering Monday morning at 8 a.m. to create a space to process together. In this space we can share our concerns and ask questions.  We will be able to discuss our concerns and generalities of safety issues in the school and community and how to process/address them.

One of the most powerful ways to process is the use of restorative circles. You can make time in the beginning or close of your class, to have circles based on prompts related to culture and climate.  The Culture team is ready to support you should you decide to do this.

Another way to engage with students on this topic, is through SEL check-ins, and listening and observing carefully.  If you see a student seems particularly pensive, you can reach out for a conversation during the work period of class, or after class.

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.  Now that we are in the last weeks of school, it is the ideal time to try an approach you have wanted to try, but have not yet.  Seek out your SLC administrator, Coaches, or Department Chairs to support you.  For example, if you have never tried Reciprocal teaching, but would like to, reach out to get support. Another possibility in line with our redesign, is to reflect on the current GRASPS or project, and ask students to plan an alternative product or topic, to provide more choice as they complete the project.   Another way to provide change and engagement, is to ask a colleague’s class to come and do a mini-exchange presentation, gallery walk, or debate during the class period.  It could either be the same discipline or another discipline for inter-disciplinary connections.

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?”
This past Friday, members of our team presented our final revised proposal and update to a panel of 16 reviewers, including representatives of XQ, DCPS central Office, and national educational researchers and specialists.  Ms. Penn, our Redesign Director, Ms. Garcia-Pinilla, 7th Grade DL teacher who is piloting a co-designed project, Gustavo Rosas Cardoso, 11th grade scholar who is a member of our Food Equity Team and presenter at the American Educational Research Association, and I presented a summary of our journey to becoming a Design Thinking School, with a focus on how learning experiences are being redesigned.  Instructional Coach Heber Diaz created a stunning video that brought the learning experiences to life, and teacher Kenrry Alvarado who was part of the Cat Island Exchange experience, along with scholars Angie Castillo, Ne’Kareo Rawling and Jennifer Arias Pineda, had starring roles as they allowed their participation to be videotaped and shared.  The presentation was well received, and we engaged in a dialogue of question and answer.  In early June we will learn whether or not we have been selected.

A key piece of feedback from the panel, was that they were able to see from the learning experiences the potential for design thinking  becoming an organic way of learning at CHEC. Gustavo was  eloquently described how his own thinking processes had evolved, and how design thinking can be used for opportunities large and small.  Several panel members were particularly interested in the concept of co-designing projects with students based on student interests.  

With this feedback in mind, we will continue our journey, with the next milestone being our faculty meeting of June 8.  Independent of the selection process, we will have this second charette which will be a learning launch of some of our prototypes.  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. Please see the professional development survey in the PD section of the Bulletin.

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!


  • Kudos to Ms. Penn, Ms. Garcia-Pinilla, and Gustavo Rosas Cardoso for collaborating in our presentation to XQ on Friday! Everyone did an fantastic job and collaborated for a seamless presentation!
  • Shout out to Mr. Diaz for creating amazing videos to enhance our presentation to XQ on Friday!
  • Shout out to the entire Visual Arts Department – Ms. McCulloch, Ms. DeVargas, Ms. Shaw, and Mr. Johnson for their Exhibit Opening on Thursday! The talent of our students is exemplary, with the guidance and support of their teachers! Please check out the work!
  • Kudos to Mr. Schutt, Mr. Whitney, and all who coordinated the Senior Portfolios last week! Seeing our seniors present and defend their work was inspirational, and a representation of our instructional program over the four years of the seniors’ high school career!
  • Kudos to the Instructional Coach Team – Mr. Diaz, Dr. Emilius, Ms. Vialpando and Ms. Warren, for creating our Summer Professional Development Survey, and for presenting and receiving feedback at our ALT Team meeting!
  • Shout out to our Counselors for entering course requests for all of our students and completing all Letters of Understanding!
  • Kudos to the Enrollment team, and to all staff for enrolling over 62% of our students for next year! The 10th going to 11th grade has re-enrolled the highest percentage and  number of students 80%, 181 students!– shout out to Ms. West and team! The 9th going to 10th has enrolled the second highest number of students, at 175! Shout out to Mr. Galvan and Team! The 11th going to 12th has enrolled the second highest percentage of students, at 72%! Shout out to Mr. Jones and Team! Shout out to the Enrollment Team – Ms. C. Lora, Ms. DelCid, Mr. Oliva, Pankaj!  The second benchmark is coming up - 90% by June 6! – let’s see which grades hit it first!
  • Shout out to Mr. Jones, Mr. Pyram and Mr. Magee for continuing with test coordination!

Week 16 of Semester 2 and Week 6 of Advisory 4

It is the sixth week of the Fourth Advisory! Testing is over, and we are engaged in make-ups. We will have a grade by grade plan for make ups.

The gradebook 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. Let students choose and design a field trip experience, and then schedule it! Ask them how they want to support learning your current topic by visiting some place in Washington DC.  Please see additional suggestions in the Climate section on how to try engaging approaches during these last weeks of school.

The Whole Child

It takes a village to teach a classroom.  I am thankful for the community connections that I have made.  It really takes the whole community to teach a classroom. Teachers having community connections will make your teaching so much easier. It will also have your students enjoy going to class.  We had guest speakers to come to my classroom, and my students enjoyed them so much.  Here is a picture showing the community love and support for my Environmental Science classroom.


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

As we approach the final week of PARCC make-ups, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude and give a special shout-out to all those who have assisted in ensuring a smooth testing process. Your dedication and commitment to our students' education have truly made a difference.

This week, I would like to extend a special recognition to Mr. Roman Smith for his exceptional efforts in facilitating make-ups for our 6th and 7th-grade students. Your willingness to go above and beyond to accommodate their needs is greatly appreciated.

If any of you have questions regarding missed preps due to PARCC testing, please reach out to me, Mr. Magee, via email. I will be more than happy to provide any necessary assistance or clarification.

For missed plannings due to AP testing, please follow up with Mr. Jones and Mr. Pyram. They will be able to address any concerns or issues related to scheduling and planning.

As we approach the end of the year, we understand that there may be an increased need for technology in your classrooms. However, I kindly request that you remain cognizant of the fact that PARCC make-ups will continue to take precedence through Friday, 5/26. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Thank you once again for your remarkable efforts during this demanding time. Your dedication to our students and their academic success is truly inspiring. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact on their educational journey.

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!

The Insight Survey is open now, and will close on May 26.  We use the results of the Insight Survey to set improvement goals, and adjust our practices to meet the needs of the staff. We need at least 40% responses in order to get a report, and we are currently at 10%.  Please fill out the Insight Survey! You have your own personal link in an email from TNTP.

The Instructional Coaches have put together a Summer Professional Development Survey, in order to offer time and compensation for learning and planning.  The survey will be sent out in a separate email.

Thank you!


The ALT Team met  on May 16  to plan for summer professional and curriculum development to support our Redesign process.  We also discussed design criteria for next year’s master schedule.   All are invited to the ALT Team meetings!  The next meeting will be Tuesday May 30  at 3:30 pm in the Middle School Library. The agenda will include a follow up on the master schedule, and PD opportunities for the summer to support Redesign.

Additional pictures provided by Ms. Mandy McCulloch


Please share with students of Ethiopian and Eritrean descent,


I hope you are doing well. My name is Amenti from Egna Le Egna Mentorship program (ELE). We are a group of college students based in Silver Spring, Maryland, working with high school students across the U.S. from the Ethiopian and Eritrean diaspora communities. The ELE Mentorship program provides Ethiopian/Eritrean high school students in grades 9-12 with academic enrichment and resources to succeed in high school and beyond. This program offers free virtual tutoring, mentoring, ACT/SAT preparation, and educational and career guidance, including college preparation, free of charge to assist students and guide them toward their goals.  

The current academic year, 2021/2022, was our first year of entire operation. During this time, we have worked with over 125 high school students and have helped students gain admission to multiple colleges and scholarships. We are currently in the process of recruiting the incoming class. We will recruit students enrolling in 9-12th grade in the 2023 to 2024 school year. I invite you to share the mentee application and flier below with any of your students who would benefit from this mentorship program. Please visit our website at ELE Mentors Website, which we constantly update, to learn more about our program.

As we are currently recruiting the next cohort of students to work within the 2023/2024 academic year, the main goal of this letter is to see your willingness to help us reach out to our target population by sharing the application form that can be found in our website to any Ethiopian/Eritrean high school student who might benefit from this program. We would appreciate your putting this info on a schoolwide system so that all parents can know about our organization. We are also happy to send one of our mentors to speak with your students or faculty about our program and share what we do.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Best regards,
Amenti Bekere
ELE Mentors

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).


Message from Deans:

Keep up the momentum...We are almost there!!

We are just 4 weeks away to the end of the 2022-2023 school year!!! Keep pushing and being productive!  How we end the year will set the tone for next year.  Every day and moment counts. 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.
  • 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.)

Our next incentive is an Ice Social that has been rescheduled.  The date is TBD. Stay tuned!

PBIS Reminders and Celebrations

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

  • Latrice Quickley (1102)
  • Eduardo Reyes (860)
  • Keegan Brush (749)
  • Simon Dwight (532)

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.
The HS track team had a strong showing at the DCIAA Outdoor track championships.  Almera Carter was named to her 2nd consecutive ALL league team.  The middle school softball team lost a nailbitter to Jefferson and tied Eliot-Hine.  
SOFTBALL: 0 - 5 - 1
TENNIS: 2 -  7

MS SB vs. Deal at CHEC @ 4:00

No Games

HS Track at DCSAA Championships Day 1 at Dunbar @ 3:00

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

No Games

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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