11-13-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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A Day

B day
SLC Morning Meeting
Middle School ELA ANET
LSAT Meeting 3:30 pm

A Day
SLC/MTSS morning meetings
Department Meetings

B Day
9th10th grade ELA ANET
Department Meetings

A Day

Principal: Maria Tukeva

NOVEMBER 13, 2023:


This week the focus is on the phrase from our mission, “We trust one another to continuously improve our practices.”  

As we continue on our design journey, we are developing our capacity to reflect on changes in tne moment, and to adjust and pivot when needed.  For example, we now have anecdotal data from students and staff on how well the  redesign of the master schedule is working in increasing student engagement and sense of belonging. To the extent we can respond to any unintended impacts of the new schedule, we will do so in the second semester of this school year.  This data also is informing our process of planning for next year’s master schedule.  Trust in our processes of design thinking and reflection, and the intentional involvement  of all stakeholders, will be critical to our ongoing change process. We thank the entire CHEC team for your willingness to trust the process.

How Might We Use Design Thinking to Transform our School through Student Voice and Choice?”

As we continue in our journey to increased student voice and choice, it is important to reflect upon why we began this journey.  In our original educational audit in March of 2021, we saw in the data that too many students were failing early on in their high school career (9th grade) and never recovering, eventually leaving school or just scraping by.  In speaking with students, we heard that failure often was a result of their lack of interest and engagement in certain courses, and the feeling that they were not able to take the courses they really want to take.  They also cited needing more responsiveness to their socio-emotional needs, and wanting to be involved in decision making about their lives and futures.  Because of these needs, our Redesign has focused squarely on the themes we heard.

School wide Youth Voice and Choice and Design Thinking
This week, students from the Student Government Association will attend the Admin Team Meeting, to help us reflect on our progress so far this year, and the concerns that students have.  So far, we have had over 80 students attend at least one meeting – we are almost one quarter of the way to our goal of 25%, or 400 students attending at least one leadership meeting.  We are working to create a safe space where students feel their voices are heard.  This can be supported as well in the classroom by making the classroom a place where student talk is prioritized.   Students are developing more confidence in sharing their voices as we provide more ongoing purpose and opportunities for the sharing.

New Sprints, Prototypes and Pilots

The November 15-17 Camp Horizons Trip,  is a pilot that is part of our Wellness pillar, and will focus on involving students who appear to be the furthest from feeling a sense of belonging.  The team has developed a plan and design for this experience to serve as a way to change our approach as staff to the students furthest from opportunity, and to provide them with experiences to build their leadership and feelings of belonging. 40 students and 15 staff members will travel to Harrisonburg Virginia for 3 days to engage in this experiential learning.

Community Development Pilot

All students at CHEC are required to do 100 hours of community service.  Often, students have difficulty deciding what to do for service, and where to do it.  Our Social Issues Class is focused on having students assessing their communities’ needs, and determining a topic they want to explore deeply in order to engage in service learning.  During the PBL training, Mr. Bellido designed this project such that the students in the class will hold a Community Service Fair to engage their classmates in service.

Flex Schedule Pilot

We continue to hear feedback from students, through SGA, on the A day B day schedule.  Please participate this week in the schoolwide survey, and encourage students to participate, so that we can make changes in the second semester in response to student and staff needs. We will also look at First Advisory grades to see the impact of the change in the schedule.

Advisory Pilot

We continue to work on adjusting advisory to respond to student needs.  Some of the key takeaways are:

  • Students and teachers enjoy the Choice Days
  • We need to have advisory days where students can set goals, work on assignments, and get support – self directed learning with support
  • Some lessons need to be made more developmentally appropriate for middle school, especially in terms of vocabulary development
  • Advisory may work better later in the day

The full report of our work is here ..\CHEXQ 23-24\Advisory Redesign Results and Next Steps.docx  We will be surveying students, and SLC’s will provide time to reflect on the curriculum and implementation of the Advisory pilot.           

Co-Designed PBL Pilot

Project Based Learning with authentic audiences and compelling driving questions is part of our focus on meaningful engaged learning for all students.  We now have 16 teachers implementing this enhanced approach to designing and implementing projects.  We will be offering a professional development in co-designing on November 14 at 3:30 provided by Sandra Garcia Pinilla.  



As we begin Advisory 2, it is important to reset norms, by reflecting with students on how well we are upholding them as a community.  We are starting to see more students out of class without passes, and this is a reflection on how well students are owning their learning and showing dependability.  When students are out of class without  a clear purpose, it is difficult to maintain a safe and productive environment.  Please take time this week to discuss the norms, and to emphasize the importance of being in class.

It is also important to utilize the color-coded passes. If you need another one, please let the culture team know. You have received information from the Culture  team on these initiatives, as well as how our Culture team will support all staff in maintaining a positive culture.  The norms have been discussed in detail in Advisory over the first four weeks, and it is important to continue to use the language of the norms throughout the school year, in a co-regulatory fashion.

  • Shout out to the whole CHEC Team for an Exemplary Eleventh Week of School!  
  • Kudos to Ms. Marshall and the Counseling Team for Red Ribbon Week!
  • Shout out to Mr. Odom and the Enrollment/Registration team for correcting 518 errors for our enrollment audit last week!
  • Shout out to Mr. Galvan for attending a Recruitment  events at Stuart Hobson middle school last week! Kudos to Mr. Jones, Mr. Pyram and all AP Teachers for registering almost 100% of scholars for AP Classroom and the AP Tests!
  • Shout out to Ms. Bruemmer, Mr. Smith, Ms. Avila, Ms. Kahasay, Ms. Davies, Ms. Phoenix, Mr. Tobias, Mr. Arce, and all of the middle school team for a great Math Assessment last week!
  • Shout out to Mr. Kroma, Mr. Whitney, Coach A, Dr. Barnett, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Onley, Coach Tyson, Coach Alao, Coach Scott, Coach Bellido, Coach Layne, Coach Valdivia, and all who supported our Drone filming last week! We look forward to seeing the video!
  • Kudos to Mr. Odom, all staff,  and the Ops team for the Fire Drill on Thursday! Shout out to the La Cosecha Team - Ms. Vialpando, Ms. Perez, Ms. Charles, Mr. Narvaez, and Mr. Chavez for attending the La Cosecha Conference  last week in Albuquerque!

Week 2 of Advisory 2

We are beginning week 2 of the Second Advisory! Grades are due by November 14, close of business.  Please continue to accept work this week in order to ensure students can achieve to their highest level. Once grades have been issued, please build reflection time into the class so that students can set goals for the current advisory.  Our goal is for all students to succeed and pass all of their classes.

The beginning of the new advisory and new unit should revolve around the launch of the new GRASPS/Project. In order to launch an project that gains student interest and engagement, the launch should center on the driving question, and provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the project and connect to their own interests and passions.  Another lever for engagement is making sure the audience students present their project to, is an authentic audience – for example, and expert in the field, invited representatives of local government, or corporate partners.  After the launch, the project serves as the focus of instruction.  Each day, students work to build understanding of the standards that the project addresses, through their work on the project.  

Coaching Corner
Based on feedback from teachers and staff, the Coaching Team wants to provide more opportunities for teachers to receive PD throughout the school year, so we are making a monthly PD calendar. Each week of every month will have its own topic presented by an expert from within our community. This week the topic is curriculum development and we have two presenters:

  • Ms. Garcia-Pinilla on PBL and Design Thinking (11/14) - This PD will provide information on how Project Based Learning (PBL) can be used in the classroom in combination with Design Thinking. It will provide an example of a project that was already implemented for a Dual Language class for participants to gain a better understanding of the process. Ultimately, the participants in this session will recognize and describe the main components of a PBL classroom project that integrates Design Thinking and walk away with a newly designed project for their own context.

  • Ms. Vialpando-Strickland on Unpacking Standards (11/15) - Standards for Teaching: What are the standards for using in my content? How to use them and unpack them?  Come learn what are standards and how to make them come alive in your classroom by unwrapping their meaning and purpose in the classroom.

Below are all of the PD sessions being offered for the month of November, which can also be found here:

Further information on each PD session and the registration form can be found here:

Want to facilitate a PD session? We would love to add you to our calendar! Email the Coaching Team and let us know: coachingteam@DCk12.onmicrosoft.com

CHEC Testing Corner: November 13 – November 17

ANET ELA is here! Students in grades 6 through 8 will take ANET on November 14th, while students in grades 9 and10 will take ANET on November 16th. ANET is a curriculum-based assessment that measures students’ understanding and mastery of our English Language Arts curriculum. Our ELA teachers have been working hard to prepare their students for their first ANET assessment of the school year. Students will be testing in a dedicated testing environment, which will help prepare them for upcoming assessments like ANET, ACCESS, and DC CAPE. Once scores are released, teachers will have the opportunity to discuss student strengths and challenges during their department data meetings.  

All SAT and PSAT scores have been released. Students in grades 9 through 11 will participate in an advisory lesson to understand their scores and set SMART goals for the next time they test – either in the spring for our Juniors, or in the fall for our Freshmen and Sophomores. Students who do not see scores should reach out to their grade level counselors or Ms. Bruemmer.

The Whole Child

This Veterans Day say "Thank you for your service", to a Veteran. Veterans are a wonderful representation of how a teacher should serve to be a Whole Child Antiracist teacher. Veterans serve and protect no matter what.  My husband served as a Navy Veteran and I would definitely say to him Thank you for your service. So to all veterans no matter the branch, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


Ms Planter

Instructional Calendar

The Instructional Calendar is a living document that houses all the major curricular requirements, assessments, and schoolwide events. The Instructional Calendar can be found on the CHEC Corner on Canvas, and you have also received an invitation to share the calendar.   If you have any requests for additions to the Instructional Calendar, please contact Ms. Massoni, Mr. Whitney, or Ms. Bruemmer.

Professional Development

INSIGHT SURVEY – It is time again to share feedback via the Insight Survey.  The Insight survey is an opportunity to provide feedback on  school environment, professional development, leadership, observation, and evaluation.  Time will be provided in one of the SLC meetings this week for teachers to complete this survey.  Your voice and ideas matter! Please take the Insight Survey.  If you did not get a link, please let your SLC administrator know. Thank you!

The ALT team is serving to guide our Redesign and our Comprehensive School Plan, and will be meeting every two weeks.  The fifth  ALT team Meeting was Tuesday, October 31st. Notes can be found here. We need to hear all voices on the ALT and we embrace student attendance and voices. The next ALT Team Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 13th at 3:30 pm in the middle school library. We will continue to look at first advisory data and make adjustments to our practices as needed, we will also begin the process of focusing on collecting data on “small wins” or indicators of what is working.

Local School Advisory Team (LSAT)

The LSAT is composed of teachers, support staff, students, community members and parents, and is charged with developing the schools budget and monitoring the Comprehensive School Plan.  This week’s meeting will be centered on reviewing our Enrollment Projection for School Year 24-25. We will discuss whether to appeal the enrollment projection for next year, which has been set by the district at 1415, a reduction of almost 200 students.  The enrollment projection is the basis for our budget, so as it changes, our budget will change as well.  This is a critical discussion, as we have been projected to have a lower enrollment next year.  If you would like to attend the LSAT meeting, it will be this Tuesday, November 14 at 3:30 in the Cafeteria.  



Katherine exemplifies pride and poise. Careful attention to detail in her work and a calming presence in her learning communities. Katherine is thoughtful, hardworking, and takes the iniative to complete her work! Very mature approach to her education.

Katherine is consistently excellent. She is always respectful and strives to be successful at everything she does. She is currently applying to become part of the Dual Enrollment college program.


"Sindy is such a sweet young lady who greets teachers each morning and afternoon with a smile and kind words. She actively participates in class and does a nice job on her work without needing praise or attention. We can always count on her to do the right thing whether we are watching or not"


"Yadira is a great student who works hard and she sets a quiet example for others to follow. We are so glad to have gotten to know Yadira this year and we can't wait to see what things the future holds for her."


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.

MCIP Sports
Team Boys' Soccer Girls' Soccer DC Scores Boys' Soccer DC Scores Girls' Soccer Volleyball Football
LINCOLN 7 - 5 1 - 5 - 2 3 - 0 - 1 3 - 4 - 1 4 - 8 -
BELL 11 - 3 - 2 4 - 4 12 - 6 7 - 3
Day Games
Team Result
MS BSOC MS BSOC team defeated Browne
HS VB Lost to DCI in the DCSAA playoffs
HS BSOC Defeated Capital City but lost to Washington International in the DCSAA playoffs
HS Football Lost to Anacostia in the DCIAA playoffs
11/08/23 - MS Girls Soccer vs Cardozo. Photos by Josue Ramirez.
11/08/23 - HS Boys Soccer vs Washington International in DCSAA Playoffs. Photos by Lisbeth Olivar.
11/07/23 - HS Boys Soccer vs Capital City. Photos by Lisbeth Olivar.
To participate in sports, including tryouts, students must complete 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.

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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