02-27-2023 - CHEC BULLETIN

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SLC Morning Meetings

Departmental Planning Period Meeting
LSAT Meeting - Focus on Budget - 3:30PM Cafeteria

Departmental Planning Period Meetings (High School Only)
Faculty Meeting – Cafeteria – Courageous Conversations – Part 3

No Meetings

Principal: Maria Tukeva

FEBRUARY 27, 2023:

This week’s focus is on the entire CHEC  Mission Statement, together with the focus of our Redesign,

“We are designers of our Learning and Destinies.”

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.  Our scholars are self-motivated, intellectually curious critical thinkers who value multilingualism and diversity.  We lead with pride, poise, and perseverance, and always exhibit ethical practices within our community. Socio-emotional learning, empathy and restorative practices are the foundations of our school climate and culture.  We foster a growth mindset and find joy and purpose in learning and collaborating.  We value student choice and voice, and a rich learning environment that includes sports, the arts, and extracurriculars. We utilize resources responsibly and respect our environment and community.  We trust one another to continually improve our practices.
It is budget season, and we are making decisions on how to designate resources to support our Mission Statement, and our design thinking process. During the LSAT meeting two weeks ago, we looked at the mission and key areas of Redesign, and teams of students, staff and parents discussed how we should align additional resources to support improved outcomes for our students.  For example, one of our areas of Redesign Focus is improving Wellness and Mental Health Services for our students and families.  We will be engaging in a Design Sprint to determine how to best accomplish this. What additional human resources or other resources could support our design thinking and prototyping?

We need as much creative thought as possible in order to make these budget decisions.  Please be sure complete the Budget Survey in order to provide this feedback.  We will use it in our LSAT meeting on this Wednesday to finalize our budget submission.  Please take the Survey!


Thank you to all for actively engaging in the SLC follow up professional development, as we continue the Design Thinking Journey as a whole school.  Each SLC is scoping an opportunity or challenge, that they would like to apply design thinking to.

As we continue in this journey, we want to remember that there is no end to this process.  Design thinking is a way to transform how organizations operate.  Design thinking, when embraced by an entire organization, leads to the “democratization of innovation,” the idea that everyone is an innovator and should be at the table when design is taking place.  This in turn builds trust and collegiality, as well as the willingness to take risks and “fail forward.”  The learning that comes from both success and failure, is important to a robust design process.   The key is to cultivate the mind sets, values, and habits of mind that allow for honest and empathic exploration of what our users truly want and need.  In the context of a school setting, a major transformation will be including students and parents in the design of what they learn.

Consider the following new perspectives (Chapter Titles) , that are part of design thinking, as described in the book, Little Bets, by Peter Sims:

“Problems are the New Solutions, and Questions are the New Answers.”  If we all approach our learning and work from these perspectives, it will transform our practices.

Design thinking can be used for problems or opportunities both large and small, and may take a short time or a long time.  To emphasize how far we have already come on this journey, we are going to start highlighting the small wins we are experiencing as we continue our Design Thinking Journey.  For example:

  • Sodexo, our vendor for Food Service, has reached out to follow up on our Food Equity Design Sprint – we will meet with them this week to continue designing! They want more feedback from students!
  • Ms. Bruggeman applied design thinking aligned to the Food Equity Initiative, to create a food related project for her World Language Students.  In looking at the engagement and joy in the students faces, it was a successful application of design thinking!
  • The Bilingual Language Arts Team (Middle School Dual Language) is using empathy interviews to find out what students enjoy the most, and would like to change, in our Dual Language approach.
  • The Impact Redesign effort, which included design thinking tools such as empathy interviews and a survey of teachers after cycle 1, resulted in the doubling of positive responses to the three Insight Questions focusesd on.  It also gave us even more critical and important information on how to further adjust and improve in Cycle 2!
  • The Black History Month Assembly was designed by students, with adults acting as support – it was an amazing celebration of their creativity and passion!
  • Our two new Design Sprints have established diverse teams of about 40 students, staff, parents and partners that will work together to design prototypes and gain more knowledge! This week those design sprint teams will spend a Design Day with the DCPS Design lab to share their work and continue to build on it!

There are probably many more small wins to celebrate – please share them so we can celebrate together!

There are multiple opportunities to design your learning in relation to Design Thinking.  In addition to  the learning we are doing in SLC’s and different departments, there is the  on-line course we have offered. If you would like to attend additional courses or professional development opportunities, please reach out to Ms. Tukeva or Ms. Penn. We will also be beginning a book study group on Experiencing Design, The Innovators Journey, by Liedtka, Hold and Eldridge.  If you want to join, please let us know, and we will purchase the book for you. There will be Admin Premium for Book Study Participation.


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.

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 the the Arts Team and the Student Performing Arts Group for an amazing Black History Celebration, culminating in an evening performance and celebratory meal! Kudos to all who coordinated, assisted and supported – Mr. Whitney, Mr. Onley, Dr. Barnett, Ms. Blankson, Ms. Menendez, Mr. Brush, Atheo Fussell, Kyando Baylor, Mohamad Korobo, Dayra Flores, Arjaye Davis and so many more!
  • Kudos to the Ninth Grade Team (Mr. Galvan, Mr. Aguilar and Ms. Belton) and Mr. Magee for a successful ACCESS for ELL’s administration before the break!
  • Shout out to the Custodial Team for cleaning the building and getting it ready for return!
  • Shout out to all SLC’s for engaging in Design Thinking! Kudos to the two new Design Sprint Teams – Career Pathways and Wellness!
  • Shout out to Ms. Thweatt, Mr. Hearn and the CTE Team for submitting a proposal for a Business and Finance Academy – it was approved and we will implement it next year!
  • Shout out to the LSAT team for meeting and conducting follow up empathy interviews in order to get input into our budget submission for next year!

Week 5 of Semester 2 and Advisory 3

It is the fifth week of the Third Advisory! All students should be completing their first GRASPS by the end of this week.  Please be sure you are allowing for student voice and choice in the production of the project.  As you work towards Portfolio Presentations, please provide opportunities for students to practice their presentation skills the article below describes a new feature in Powerpoint which includes presentation coaching. It provides feedback on areas such as voice pitch, speech pacing, repetitive language, and even feedback on the use of inclusive language. After each rehearsed presentation, it provides data insights on those key areas.  Please check it out and incorporate it into your preparation process!

Progress reports will be due soon, so please make sure you are providing feedback to students on an ongoing basis, and reaching out to parents.

The Whole Child

Known for the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier, ws harrassed and suffered bombing of her home. She to became one of the first black students to attend Central High School in 1960. She wrote a book about the experience: A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School.She was also president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation which creates equal educational equity for all students. This supports the whole child antiracist movement by supporting equality for all without discrimination for all children.

Angenette Planter
Whole Child Teacher Lead
Environmental Science Teacher

Whole Child Teacher Lead

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

Greetings to all!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful February break!  This week will see ACCESS testing for the 10th grade on Tuesday and Thursday and SAT for the 11th grade on Wednesday.  Things will be hectic to say the least – as such please watch your inbox for updates!!

Testing Coordinator,
Pete Magee

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

The Blue Engine Co-teaching professional development is still going on.

We will be offering professional development in the Wilson Reading method in March, please see Ms.Ameyaw, if you are interested.

In SLC’s, the focus will on an introduction to Design Thinking, and its application to some real opportunities or challenges.  In Department, it is suggested that for at least part of the planning time, you use the lens of our Redesign focus on interdisciplinary, relevant projects that provide student choice and voice, as you review and revise GRASPS .

Our Shared Leadership Subcommittee and the Instructional coaches will dig into the data from our Empathy Interviews in ALT team, to further refine the professional development plan.

The ALT Team met and participated in a Gallery Walk to look at the responses of students in Empathy Interviews. Members of the team highlighted responses that resonated with them as a need for professional development.  The Team will meet again on Tuesday, March 7  at 3:30 pm and the focus will be on a Middle of Year (MOY) data stepback preparation for our Step Back meeting on March 14th. All are invited to the ALT Team meetings!



DCPS is invested in growing and supporting Latino/x leadership for our school district.  In partnership with The Canizales Group, a 4-month fellowship will be facilitated for those who aspire to become school leaders ranging from teacher-leader to Asst. Principal and Principal. Apply to be part of the second cohort of the Latino/x Leadership professional learning community that will focus on culturally responsive practices, owning your leadership testimonio, and being in community with other Latino educators across the city. Additional information is on this   flier.  Interested candidates can apply HERE.  Applications are due by March 2nd! You can contact Dr. Tynika Aleibar at Tynika.young@k12.dc.gov if you have questions.


Dr. Tynika Young-Aleibar
Director, Wallace Initiative
Office of Deputy Chancellor, SEAD
District of Columbia Public Schools
1200 First Street N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002



My Project
As a School Counselor who used to be a classroom teacher, I found that snacks help students stay on task and are a good incentive for getting them to class on time and keeping them engaged. We have a large population of immigrant students, and sometimes sharing snacks is a good way of developing trust for students having trouble adjusting to their new environment. Thank you so much for supporting our students so we can continue to feed their minds!!!



My Project
Due to limited resources, most of the novels we possess are canonical works by white men. Britt Bennett's acclaimed book, The Vanishing Half, will expose students to a diverse, contemporary voice and an exciting, genre-bending style unlike any text they have ever read. In addition to an AP essay that analyzes Bennett's development of one complex relationship in the novel, students will interview a family member about their story and write a short story based on the interview. Students will then share their stories in a public forum and experience what it is like to be a real author

This week we welcome back students and staff from a much appreciated, weeklong break.  Before the break, the CHEC community had the pleasure of enjoying an amazing Black History Program. BRAVO to all the performers and staff who collaborated to put on an amazing show!

As we close out the month of February and celebrating Black History Month, we encourage everyone to take some time remember all the Black Lives that were taken over the years and the trauma that is embedded in many of our students, their families and Black communities.  We cannot change history, but what we can do is keep our promise to give ALL Students the love, support and education they deserve.


Good-bye February, Hello March!

This week we challenge everyone to continue sharing or creating dialogue around the positive contributions to history from the African/Black American Culture. How have these contributions impacted your life or way of thinking?

School Culture Updates, Reminders and Shoutouts

  • Yearbook Photos will be on Tuesday, February 28th.  Please refer to the email sent out from Mr. Whitney regarding logistics.
  • If there are any teachers who would like to sponsor any student club/org. you can do so by sending an email to Mr. Whitney (devin.whitney@k12.dc.gov). There is a stipend available for student activities!
  • Remember, any students without passes will be sent back to classes immediately. PLEASE PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH PASSES.
  • There should not be any passes given during the FIRST 15 AND LAST 15 MINUTES OF CLASS or during Advisory. (Emergencies Only


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

MARCH 10th – Cell Phone Students must have $350 in Kickboard

PBIS Reminders and Celebrations

Teacher All-Stars (500 + Highest Interactions from 02/11 - 02/18)

  • Sandra Garcia-Pinilla (1701)
  • Allison Bruemmer (742)

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  
  • 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.
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.


Over the break, the HS wrestling team competed in the DCSAA State wrestling championships, where we placed 4th.  Kenai Rivera and Kavon Hill placed 1st in their respective weight classes.  Congratulations to Coach Alvarado and the wrestling team on a great season.  

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HS Bowling at AFB @4:00

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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. It is too late to join fall sports. Spring sports practice begins February 15th

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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