02-22 -2021 - CHEC BULLETIN

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CHEC bulletin for Week of February 22, 2021
The DCPS Budget for 21-22 was released last week, and there are some key new changes and initiatives that have implications for our programming for the coming school year.  The budget is based on the premise that all schools will be open in person next year, and that there will be innovations we will need to implement, as well as learning gaps that will need to be closed. Most significantly, on the positive side, DCPS has received federal funding from the federal stimulus act, and schools will receive additional funding to address needs for acceleration and social emotional learning. There is also an opportunity to re-envision security in our buildings, and to utilize security funding for restorative practices and SEL services.

On the more difficult side, CHEC will receive reduced funding due to a drop in enrollment, as well as increased costs and decreased buying power, of about $500,000.  This will mean making cuts and adjustments to our budget.  The LSAT will be meeting at 4:30 pm on Tuesday to review the budget, and discuss priorities and needs. If you are interested in joining, an invitation will be sent to all.  You can review our budget on the new DCPS website https://dcpsbudget.com.

The school budget is the driver of everything we do – the master schedule, the courses we offer, social emotional supports, services for special populations, professional development, and technology and supplies. We are experiencing the most unique school years of our lives. We have learned a lot, and we have also seen much suffering on the part of our students. As we build a budget for the coming year, we must think creatively on what we will truly need in this new world of education. Please join the LSAT meeting, if you can, or listen to the recording, which will be posted on the CHEC Team Site. Please also share your ideas on the CHEC Team site, or email any of the LSAT members.

Thank you Griffins and Knights, for all you do!


  • Shout out to our Equity Team for coordinating our Courageous Conversations last week! Thank you to this team for providing this wonderful opportunity to build our capacity as leaders in the quest for social justice!
  • Shout out to the Black History Month Committee for planning our month-long celebration and for the amazing Assembly we will experience on Friday!
  • Shout out to Ms. Ferguson for presenting to the ALT Team on our Educational Technology Plan!
  • Kudos to Mr. Heber Diaz, he was named to the OSSE DC Social Studies Standards Technical Writing Committee!
  • Shout out to the entire ALT team for giving feedback and ideas!
  • Kudos to Mr. Athmer for continuing the discussion of equitable and empathetic grading policies!
  • Shout out to the 9th and 10th grade teams for great Honor Roll Assemblies last week!


Columbia Heights Education Campus’s great teachers deserve to be recognized! We’re proud to partner with Honored Schools again this year to do just that! Go to HonoredSchools.org to tell Columbia Heights Education Campus teachers how they’ve made a difference. Please share this with parents and students! Once recognized, teachers get an email with your recognition story and we’ll celebrate them! Last year our very own Ms. Ramirez won the Life-Changing Teacher Award and a $5000 cash award!
All Departments and SLC’s send individual notifications of their meetings

Monday, February 22, 2021
9:30am - CHEC Parent Workshop – in English

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Junior and Senior Awards Assembly – 4:14 pm
4:30 pm LSAT Meeting on SY 21-22 Budget

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
9:30am - CHEC Parent Workshop - en Espanol
Middle School Awards Assembly 1:05 pm
Senior Portfolio Panels – 2:00- 5:00 pm

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Friday, February 26, 2021
Black History Month Assembly


We are beginning the fourth week of the third advisory.   By this week, all students should be about half way through their GRASPS completion.  In the workshop model, every class is focused on a standard and objective aligned to a piece of the GRASPS, and they work on producing a part or parts of the ultimate product.  Throughout the process, students are getting feedback on their projects, and revising them with the use of a rubric.  

Since we are almost at the mid point of the advisory, now would be a good time to review your gradebook, and notice where students are. Notice trends in assignment completion, grades, grades by subgroup.  Which students are failing – can you notice why? Is it a particular assignment? Is it attendance? Once you notice the trends, reach out to those students. Use the independent portion of the class period to call students, meet with them individually or in small group.  Call parents, and get them involved in solving the problem.

Senior Portfolios will start on February 24th, and continue on March 3rd.   Senior portfolios are a culminating event through which students share with the entire community their reflections on their learning over their years in high school. Through the presentation, students demonstrate their understanding of the key content of the content, as well as their personal lens on social justice.    A schedule with details will be sent, and all are invited to sit on the senior portfolio panels.


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, or your SLC Administrator.


Informal observations for teachers have begun and will continue until every teacher has had at least one informal observation. Once you have had an informal observation and feedback, the formal observation will take place.  Cycle 1 Observations end on March 11th.

As a follow up to our IMPACT orientation, we are creating a library of practices and videos to support development on particular EP’s. As we discussed, we are all in a learning curve with virtual instruction and will be learning from each other throughout the year.  If you would like to share a best practice and be videotaped for the video library, please let your SLC Administrator know.

EdTech/PGT Office Hours
Are you trying to find a way to have a source book like you did during in-person learning? Join Mr. Magee during his office hours to learn how to use OneNote Class Notebook as a source book. Office hours and links are below.  

Mr. Magee- Mondays 9:30-11:30 am Click this link to join. How to use OneNote Class Notebook as a source book.

Are you preparing for the combined teaching model? Do you want to talk through what this will look like and what to expect? Join Ms. Ferguson on Wednesday to begin discuss the Combined Teaching Model.

Ms. Ferguson
Wednesdays 4-5pm  Click this link to join - Combined Teching Model
Are you looking for resources for Black History Month, SEL, or other premade lessons in Nearpod? Are you looking to adapt and incorporate a premade lesson from Nearpod? Join Ms. Ferguson on Thursday 12:30-1:15 pm Click this link to join Nearpod Premade lessons

Ms. Ramirez - Office Hours
Will provide support on the following items on the listed days.  
Monday (4-5)- Support students in completing missing work from the previous advisory/term and tech support
Tuesday- (10-11:30 and 4-5) Workshop Creation and tech support.  
Wednesday (4-5)- How to help students feel that they should care and tech support
Thursday (4-5)- Resetting expectations for students who are failing and tech support.
Friday (4-5)- Tech support.

Ms. Zuccarello
Ms. Z is excited to help with aligning Summit project checkpoints and final products for third advisory and rebooting notetaking and workshop creation for PLT.  

Ms. Vialpando’s Office Hours
Ms. Vialpando is having weekly office hours to support our language learners and instructional strategies for reading. Her office hours will take place on Thursdays from 3:30-5 pm


Ms. Nimer and Ms. Carino
Tuesdays 12-1 pm Click this link to join.
This office hour/block will cover how to support students/families who are experiencing transition or who do not have stable housing. We will cover mandates, homeless liaison role, community referrals, and how CHEC/staff community can support our students who are in transition, MTSS supports, and behavior interventions.  

PGT Support w/Various members of the Personal Growth Team
Fridays 9:30-11 Click this link to join.

You can receive support with social/emotional supports, behavioral supports, mandated reporter supports, at-risk students, MTSS supports, and other concerns.

Ms. Ferguson


Sharing this upcoming event with you – for teacher and SLC groups. The Department of Education is hosting a conversation on the diversity of Black English Language Learners.

To register for the event,  please visit the following link:

Symphoni Henry, M.Ed.
Coordinator, College & Career Programs


Congratulations to Mr. Diaz! OSSE has extended to him an offer to serve as a member of the OSSE DC Social Studies Standards Technical Writing Committee. OSSE leadership, together with K-12 educators and stakeholders, will work together February through August 2021 to review and revise the existing K-12 DC Social Studies Standards. This process will be guided by the newly published Social Studies Standards Guiding Principles, which is a document created by the DC Social Studies Standards Advisory Committee.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) and the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) are leading a revision of the current DC social studies standards, which were last revised in 2006. This revision process presents an opportunity for the standards to be culturally responsive, anti-racist, to impart important social studies content in the early grades, strengthen student knowledge of democratic principles and values, and promote civic engagement. Visit the SBOE website to learn more about the revision process for the District's Social Studies State Standards https://sboe.dc.gov/page/social-studies-standards.

Annette Thacker Bartlett



Each February we celebrate Black History Month. Visit the CHEC Resource Hub - Black History Month Resources page for a variety of resources including programming, lesson ideas, articles, and book lists. DCPS Library Programs has also shared its resources. Contact angela.falkenberg@k12.dc.gov for additional support.

Are your students eager to read more manga and graphic novels? Share this Manga on SORA Walkthrough video on your Canvas pages so they can find what they love to read.
Below is the embed code for easier access on Canvas.
<iframe src="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yGfPtRneyYI5fIf2lGJpERP6MGVKIOXI/preview" width="640" height="480"></iframe>

Wondering how collaboration with the school library fits your standards and learning objectives? View the AASL Framework for Learners to bridge content and literacy connections with your school librarian's support. Email angela.falkenberg@k12.dc.gov to incorporate more inquiry, curation, and collaboration.

Confronting Racism Through Courageous Conversations in the Secondary Classroom
Feb. 22nd 5:00 - 6:00 PM
Register for the live session or to receive the recording to watch at your convenience.

Angela Falkenberg
Columbia Heights EC - Lincoln MS


Enriching discussions are happening, and what better way to be engaged with our community, than to be a part of these dialogues.

Join the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and other discussions via zoom:
For all my history buffs...Press Play on History: African Americans and World War I (Educator's Session) | Saturday, February 20, 2021 @ 4 PM- 5:30 PM (EST) Student Session | Tuesday, February 22, 2021 @ 6 PM- 7:30 PM (EST)

"In Voices of Woodlawn, four poets give voice to the erased lives of the enslaved at Woodlawn, a Fairfax, Virginia former plantation that is now a historic site."

Hello CHEC Family!

We hope you all are well. The Dean Team would like to share a few shout-outs and friendly reminders.

Teacher Spotlight:
Today the spotlight shines on Ms. Suzannah Weiss and Ms. Deirdre Hand!

Ms. Weiss is our Physical Education Teacher English. She has impacted the lives of many students within her seven years of service at CHEC. When asked how do students earn badges in your classes? Ms. Weiss responded saying, ”I give badges for all kinds of engagement. When kids attend Live PE classes, that’s an automatic badge and then they can earn more by turning cameras on and communicating through chat or actual conversation. In PE, engagement opportunities also include leading discussions and leading movement practices. I definitely also throw in more badges if the kids spontaneously interact with one another to encourage and acknowledge each other. ” Ms. Weiss shared the following when asked how has using restorative practices in your class has helped you during virtual learning, “Any and all restorative practices I’ve used in virtual school have enabled us to create a family in each class. I try to provide as many moments as possible during each class for the students to reveal themselves. We talk at the beginning of every class about everything from Netflix and TikTok to breakfast and birthdays. It’s restorative in that is makes things a little less virtual. One of my favorite activities we do on Fridays is a choice board (I pictured one below). EVERY single kid shares something and a lot of times there is overlap and kids find that they have things in common with others. One kid said he made more friends in PE class than he ever made in live school. Lastly, I just want to say that breathing, meditation, and movement are inherently restorative. Kids only take 2 9-week PE classes in high school, but we try to create an experience that shows them that they will for evermore have these skills to make themselves feel good.  ” Thank you, Ms. Weiss, for your commitment to your students and team.

Ms. Hand is our 6th -8th grade ESL teacher. She is also impacting the lives of many students at CHEC. When asked how do students earn badges in your classes? Ms. Hand responded saying, ”Students can earn badges by participating (sharing aloud or in the chat), having cameras on, and using new vocabulary in sentences.” Ms. Hand shared the following when asked how has using restorative practices in your class has helped you during virtual learning, “Using restorative practices like community-building circles has been a great way for students to connect with each other as well practice their English in a safe environment.” Thank you, Ms. Hand, for your commitment to your students and team.

Everyone, please shine your light on Ms. Weiss and Ms. Hand this week!

CHEC Happening:
What's happening at CHEC?  We made it to WEEK 4 of in-person learning. Hugh shout-out to all staff and students who are participating in IPL (In-Person Learning). This week all IPL students will start with IPL Curriculum: Understanding COVID and Symptoms. We are continuing our Black History Celebrations with daily informative facts. Next week we have Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater- Revelations, Voice of Woodland( four poets give voice to the erase lives of slave) and much more.  Check out the Activities and Trips Tab to the Canvas hub. https://dcps.instructure.com/courses/206982
Student Name                 
Isia Nash
Samir Espinal-Mendoza
Jose Casarrubias
Miracle Fortune
Nemuel Ndanga
Timothy Williams
Noel Mendoza-Umana
Lainez Arias Miguel
Olbin Cabrera
Please celebrate these students for their high earnings of PRIDE points!

Student Support Forms:
Also, we have created a padlet which has the student support form and the behavior referral form. Please bookmark this padlet for future reference: CHEC Student Support Guide. Feel free to connect with the Dean Team if you have any questions.

Peace & Love,
The Dean Team
Are you missing the spirit of competition because you haven't been able to compete on the playing field yet?  Then join our Esports team!  CHEC is putting together a Rocket League team for the spring.   Rocket League is entirely free to play, and it is a cross-platform game, which means it can be played on a PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch.  We are looking for at least 3 players to join our inaugural team, which must be put in place by February 26th.  All you must do is be a CHEC student and be at least 13 years old.  If you are interested in Esports (even if you don't have a PlayStation 4), reach out to Coach Duvall at ryan.duvall@k12.dc.gov.

What is Rocket League? – PlayVS
Rocket League is a fantastical sport-based video game, developed by Psyonix (it’s “soccer with cars”). It features a competitive game mode based on teamwork and outmaneuvering opponents.
R... playvs.zendesk.com

DCSAA Spring Sports Season Scheduled to Begin March 18

The DCSAA has scheduled a spring sports season beginning on March 18.  Per the Mayor of the District of Columbia, extracurricular sports activities and competitions are suspended for DC public schools, public charter schools, private schools, and parochial schools during the Public Health Emergency.

At this time, all DCPS athletic activities (skill development workouts, practices, and competitions) remain suspended.  Please remember that all school campuses remain closed for preseason workouts and athletic activities.  Coaches and Athletic Directors should continue to virtually engage with student-athletes and encourage them to continue working out and practicing at home if they can do so safely.

Targeting the March 18 start to the spring sport season, DCPS Athletics will publish the athletic calendar for practice and competition dates for all spring sports in the coming weeks.

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