12-03-2018 - CHEC BULLETIN

Go to content
CHEC bulletin for Week of December 3, 2018

As we draw close to the holidays, we want to make sure to keep our classes motivating and rigorous, so that students will come to school and be engaged in learning all the way through Friday December 21. We also want our climate to be joyous and inviting for all students, so that CHEC feels like being “Home for the Holidays.” Our International Dinner is an annual event that brings families and school staff together to celebrate as a community.  This year’s International Dinner will be on Thursday, December 13.  In addition, as a school, we are planning a CHEC Holiday Spirit Week, December 17-21, so that for each day that week, there will be different holiday themed dress down options! Keep tuned to hear from the SGA what each day’s attire will involve!

We also want to create a real feeling of giving and holiday traditions, so on Friday December 21, we would like to offer holiday cookies to all students at lunchtime.  If you are able and willing to make some Holiday cookies, please let me know! Every little bit will help! We are looking for carolers as well.   If you have any special holiday traditions that you would like to share during our Holiday Spirit Week, please let me know!


The academic year is close to the midpoint, and it is important to keep the pulse of student achievement in all key goal areas.  Our PARCC and AP goals are some of our most critical and highly weighted goals, each week we will focus on one of those goal areas.  

Our ANET 1 ELA results show some areas of celebration, as well as some areas to continue to focus on. ELA is a significant area, because it is one which all subject areas can support by focusing on the common core standards and incorporating literacy strategies into their daily instruction.

The schoolwide average for ANET 1, was 39%, as compared to 45% for the entire DCPS network. By grade level, our results were 29% for 6th grade, 50% for 7th grade, 40% for 8th grade, 43% for 9th grade, and 37% for 10th grade.  The weakest standard for grades 6, 8, and 10 was the 6/8/10.1 standard, which is, “Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences.” Going forward, this is a standard that can be reinforced in all content areas, since all students must read and analyze text in their content areas.  The strongest standard in Grade 6 and 7 and 9 was 6/7/9.2.  “Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.” In grade 8, the strongest standard was 8. 6, Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints,” In grade 10 the strongest standard was 10.4, “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.”

We can see from these strong standards the areas where our curriculum and instruction are strong and aligned to key standards in each grade.   By further analyzing as grade level teams, we can determine how to support each other as teachers in each grade. Non ELA courses can also align practices to support these important literacy standards as they delve into content.  Our next ANET will be mid-January, and we will be excited to see how our students have progressed.


  • Kudos to all teachers and staff who came to Saturday Academy this past Saturday to prepare our scholars for success – Mr.Talarico, Mr. Pyram, Ms. Ermis, Mr. Olson, Mr. Rowe, Ms. Emilius, Mr. Schutt, Ms. Whitaker, Mr. Caceres, Mr. Jones and Ms. Henry!!!

Monday, December 3, 2018
SLC Morning Meeting
Winter Sports Banquet

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
SLC Morning Meeting
High School fair for 8th grade in auditorium - 9:43 am - 10:48 am

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Departmental Planning Period Meeting

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Departmental Planning Period Meeting
Monthly Faculty Meeting – PGT presents on SEL strategies for the Classroom

Friday, December 7, 2018
No Meetings

This Thursday, December 6, we will have our monthly faculty meeting.  The PGT will be following up on their surveys and previous professional developments, to provide a session that explores how to incorporate social emotional learning into our practices.


The seventh Academic Leadership Team Meeting took place on November 28th                          

The team reviewed the elements of the new STAR Framework Rating, and discussed how to engage in a discussion of the Framework with the entire school community.  This year, the Team will meet every other week, rotating meetings one week on Wednesday at 3:30 pm, and the following week on Friday at 7:45 am, in order to provide opportunity for those who teach extended day to become involved.

The ALT Team recently received an exciting invitation to participate in a problem of practice with Chancellor Alexander.  The Team discussed our four focus areas, and picked college and career readiness as the area of focus.  On December 11, Chancellor Alexander will come to CHEC, visit classrooms from 2:30 to 3:30, and then meet with the entire staff for 15 minutes, and continue the problem of practice discussion with the ALT Team.  We look forward to this opportunity to engage with our Chancellor!

The ALT meetings are now focused on each team analyzing and presenting data on the key areas of the Comprehensive School Plan, and developing next steps.    The next meeting will be held on December 14th at 7:45 am.  


Globalize DC shares information about free global opportunities open to DC educators, students, and schools. They send information out by email and on their website.  These great global opportunities as a “Global Alert” are included at the following link for sharing within the CHEC community – there are trips and other great programs that may be of interest.


If you have not already done so, consider Donors Choose for funding for any of your classroom projects.  To date, 28 CHEC teachers have done so, as reported here.  We recently learned that there is about $175,000 remaining in a particular fund that has been earmarked for all DC Public School Donors Choose requests (from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation).  Recent project amounts range from $300 - $1,000 – by Ms. Falkenberg (twice!), Ms. Alvarado, Mr. Khafra, Mr. Spoth, Ms. Malcolm, Mr. Talarico, Ms. Warren, Ms. Nunez, Mr. Magee, Ms. Docena, Ms. Patterson, Ms. Peddyreddy, and Ms. Hartwill.  The process is easy – if you would like to create an account to receive project funding, just go to this link:


CHEC Photography teacher Mandy McCulloch submitted a proposal to GrantED and was granted funds to purchase tripods.   Ms. McCulloch would like to share with all CHEC teachers that GrantEd provides DC public school educators with a resource to fund nearly any classroom expense with an accessible way to apply for fast-cycle, micro-grants using their smartphones. https://www.grantedfoundation.org/


Every year, more than 250 DC high school students apply to be the Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) Scholars. Becoming an OSSE Scholar is a tremendous honor and opportunity for students in Washington, DC.  OSSE Scholars provides high-achieving, academically-motivated students who exhibit financial need with the opportunity to attend selective summer college programs. As an OSSE Scholar, students attend top-tier universities across the country for rigorous summer courses. The program offers early exposure to college-level academics, navigating a college environment, and, at certain universities, earning college credit.
The 2019 OSSE Scholars at CHEC are:

  • Cindy Guevara
  • Regan Robertson
  • La’Rissa Dunn
  • Jeffrey Williams
The OSSE Scholar Panel loved a number of the students at CHEC and fought hard for these four!!  Four is actually the highest number selected from any one school and two of those are DCPS schools which we think speaks to the caliber of the students but also the intentional involvement in the process by adults at those schools this year.  Thank you so much for your amazing partnership.


For any students who need assistance to log into Canvas, follow the directions below.  If there are any students that cannot log into Canvas please have them email the Canvas support team at dcps.canvas@dc.gov.

Student Login Information:
Username: Student ID #
Password: Birthdate (MMDDYY) (Note: include a zero in front of single digits. For instance, 01/09/05 would be 010905)


Wilderness Leadership and Learning (WILL) is a holistic 12-month experiential learning, youth leadership and life skills development program for DC 9th to 11th graders. WILL is beginning to recruit for its 15th class. There have been Bell students in WILL every year. Please refer a student to be part of this amazing program to strengthen student's leadership, life skills, cultural awareness, empathy, compassion, and Environmental Awareness.

Contact Ms. Elmore, College and Career Center, A126.  Milagros.Lopez@dc.gov with student referrals.



Friendly Reminder

Please make sure students travel to the library with a pass or you can call ahead of time if you're planning to send a large group to ensure everyone can be accommodated. Lincoln Library should only be used my middle school students. High school students must use Bell Library. Each library has resources that best fit their audience and printing materials can be limited.

If you send items to the middle or high school library printers, remember to pick materials up in a timely manner. Paper is wasted and large quantities can lead to jams. When sending students, send those who are comfortable making copies independently - librarians can help assist but we are not responsible for making copies.

Three Reading Challenges with Rockstar Librarians Across DC Public Schools Webcast

Curious to know why librarians and schools incorporate reading challenges? Register to receive a link to last week's webcast with Ms. Falkenberg and other DCPS librarians to learn how developing a culture of reading can benefit a school community.

Articles Worth Reading



Great media coverage of a CHEC Library initiative…

Street Sense Media
November 29, 2018
Zachary Headings

At the corner of 15th Street and Irving Street Northwest on a cold November morning, a man stands by a cart laden with granola bars, fruit, bottles of water and books. As people hurry by on their morning commute, he calls out, “Good morning! Free books! Free food!” His name is Christopher Stewart and he tries to do this every month.  Stewart is the librarian at Bell High School/Columbia Heights Education Campus, which serves 1,400 students from sixth grade to 12th grade.

Whether it's PARCC, the SAT, ACT or simply because you want to be the best you--according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Kids connect with Robot Reading partners  and reading friends which in turn enhances their desire and enthusiasm to read and learn. Educators please identify students who you believe would benefit from a reading partner or buddy! These students will be paired and the reading fun will begin!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach Mr. Stewart via email: christopher.stewart2@dc.gov or call: (202) 939-7700 Ext. 5118

Bell Library Reservations

The CHEC Bell High School Library would love to invite teachers and staff to reserve library space via our new platform, Skedda (https://reservechecbelllibrary.skedda.com/booking). Once booking your first reservation you will be prompted to create a quick login.  Users will be able to see when space is available and when space is unavailable.  This will allow for transparency and comfort in knowing that the time that you have requested, is available.  There is also a space for *notes.  If you would like to request AV material (i.e. projector) I can have that available and set-up for you.

Bell Library Writing Center

Days:  Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time:  8 AM- 8:50 AM & lunch periods
Location: Bell High School Library

We all need help! Great authors and writers have editors...the library will assist with:
Interpreting a writing assignment
Creating ideas
Locating and sharpening a thesis statement
Organizing ideas and research
Developing a logical argument
Identifying recurrent errors and strategies for revising.

*Please email papers you would like to be reviewed, at least 48 hours before the due date.  Email address: christopher.stewart2@dc.gov.

CHEC Library Brunch

"The Brunch" held, once a month starting Monday, November 5th [beginning of hypothermia season] has been a great way to connect to the community through books and food (all free)!  In our Nation's Capitol we have an epidemic when it comes to poverty and homelessness, including heightened illiteracy rates for several populations.  Street Sense, a District of Columbia based newspaper that employs formerly and currently homeless individuals and, provides articles that touch on important issues concerning the homeless population will be interviewing me about the Brunch with the CHEC/Bell Librarian: Food, Lit. & Book Discussion program my work on ending homelessness and poverty in the District of Columbia and beyond, including the home for the homeless (no more) that I am opening this winter.


Setting the Stage: Why Family Engagement?

A strong body of research shows that family engagement matters for student success.
Students do better in school and in life when their parents are engaged in their education. Family engagement contributes to a range of positive student outcomes, including improved student achievement, decreased disciplinary issues, and improved parent-child and teacher-child relationships. Emerging evidence also suggests that family engagement can have important benefits for the inner-functioning of schools, including school staff having higher expectations for students, more shared ownership and trust across their faculty, and, ultimately, stronger school performance.

All families can be capable guides, partners, and advocates in their child’s education.
Regardless of a parent’s circumstances, family engagement is not a static enterprise - with the right interventions parents can change their behaviors in relationship to their child’s education. In focus groups conducted in 2009, District parents in all wards were clear that they cared about and wanted to support their child’s learning but needed additional skills and knowledge to do so. Furthermore, they pointed out that they wanted schools to be more welcoming and responsive to their involvement.

Families play specific roles that support student achievement.
Although there is widespread consensus about the importance of family engagement, there is a diversity of opinions about what, exactly, family engagement means. Research about the impact of different types of family engagement help address this challenge. Meta-analyses find that, when it comes to how strongly parent involvement predicts student achievement, a parent’s participation in school itself is a blip on the radar screen compared to a parent holding high expectations and setting goals for their individual child, monitoring progress and holding them accountable, and supporting learning at home, among other things. Although many of these forms of family engagement are difficult for school staff to see, schools still play an important role in affecting them.

Please join us in giving every student the gift of Family Engagement! Please reach out to your family engagement team, Jessica Gonzalez and Kristen Whitaker if you have any questions or concerns! We look forward to supporting you in this work!

Kudos to Jessica Alvarado and Omar Lopez for conducting the first home visit of the 2018-19 school year!! Thanks for getting us started!
De-escalation Tool Kit
We will be doing further training for all staff to further improve our school culture and climate. The following are suggestions as we go forward that will help us to keep student safe and accountable and promote consistency in and out the classroom.

  • Build Positive Relationships
  • Follow the CHEC 5 Step Process
  • Proximity
  • Utilize Restorative Justice
  • Stay in constant communication with student and parent (Give positive praises and updates)
  • Restitution Speeches (Involve Culture Team)
  • Tap into student’s interest (Sports, Performing Arts, etc.)
  • Tap into school resources (Social Workers, Mary’s Center, etc.)
  • PBIS and/or in class incentives
  • Utilize a plan for success

Please make sure to use the new updated referral sheet that is attached to log behavioral infractions.

Please don’t lose sight of the following:
Please do not lose sight of each of the following below, as they are crucial to maintaining and improving the culture that we desire:

Please share these important reminders with students and parents.
  • Sweaters/jackets – if they are out of uniform, they should be in lockers all day or confiscated.  Lincoln and Bell sweaters can be bought from the Deans or the Main Office. Lincoln and Bell sweaters $21 and sweaters with the zipper $27.
  • Please call parents when you see students out of uniform and refusing to get in uniform to ensure it is very clear that they should be in full uniform at all times. Refer any further questions to Dean Aking, Dean Boone and Dean Galvan.

  • Detention is a first intervention we have for students to check and correct their behavior in your classrooms. Students being informed of this consequence is vital to the effectiveness of the consequence.  Remember to use our 5 step process with fidelity so that our students will not earn a greater consequence of ISS and thus lose valuable class time.

  • We always need more support at dismissal from 3:15pm until 3:35pm (High School), 4:15pm until 4:35pm (Middle School). Please follow students all the way out to the front of the building. Students should be encouraged to move on toward their bus stops/metro quickly. Teachers and staff that can make themselves available to stay out front will be greatly appreciated.

Cafeteria Support
  • All lunches have their ups and their downs. We always appreciate additional supports in the cafeteria on days that teachers are available. Check-ins with students build relationships and adult presence supports our daily procedures in lunch.
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 our High School Indoor Track Team for a strong showing at the opening DCIAA Invitational.  Congratulations also goes out to our High School Boys and Girls Basketball Teams who both defeated IDEA Public Charter School in their respective season openers.  Home games start this week for Middle and High School basketball.  The first two High School home games will be free for students.  Middle School Basketball games are always free for spectators.  Please come out and support your Knights and Griffins!
Girls Basketball: 0 - 0
Boys Basketball: 0 - 0
Varsity Girls Basketball: 1 - 0
Junior Varsity Basketball: 0 - 0
Varsity Basketball: 1 - 0
Varsity Basketball vs. EL Haynes at CHEC @ 6:30 p.m.

Middle School Girls Basketball vs. Walker-Jones at CHEC @ 4:45 p.m.
Middle School Basketball vs. Walker-Jones at CHEC @ 6:00 p.m.

Varsity Girls Basketball vs. Don Bosco at CHEC @ 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Basketball vs. Don Bosco at CHEC @ 6:00 p.m.

Junior Varsity Basketball vs. CMIT Academy at CMIT Academy @ 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Boys Basketball Wheatley at CHEC @ 6:00 p.m.
Varsity Girls Basketball vs. CMIT Academy at CMIT Academy @ 7:00 p.m.

Varsity Boys Basketball vs. Edmund Burke at CHEC @ 5:00 p.m.

High School Indoor track at Ed Bowie Classic at PG Sports and Learning Complex @ 9:00 a.m.
Middle School Wrestling at DCIAA Meet #1 at TBD @ 9:00 a.m.
Back to content