Bulletin-01-30-2017 - Columbia Heights Educational Campus

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Thank you to all who supported our seniors in presenting their Math and Science Portfolios. We were joined by parents, partners, and community members, who supported and probed our seniors as they demonstrated what they have learned in the fields of Math and Science this year. These presentations are a key aspect of our assessment program, and are part of our seniors’ transition to college. We had one of thei highest initial passing rates ever during these presentations, and students showed their pride, poise and perseverance. Thank you!



Due to delay in the arrival of needed materials, this month’s Faculty Meeting has been postponed until Thursday, February 9. The PGT will be continuing their series on Trauma Informed educational practices.

Submitted by Kaitlin Settle Athmer

For every $50 CHEC raises, we can send a student, teacher, or staff member to jump into the ice-cold water on February 3rd, 2017! (10am-1pm)  Please consider donating any amount to our school's fund, taking the plunge yourself, recruiting and sponsoring a student to plunge in your place, or coming along for encouragement or pure entertainment!  Go to our team page (CHEC Griffins and Knights) to donate, and share the link with friends! *There's also a public plunge on Saturday, February 11th at Nationals Park if you can't attend during school hours!

*Contact Kaitlin Settle Athmer in A212 x5105 kaitlin.settle@dc.gov for more information!​


Teachers are needed to work in our Middle School extended day program. The support areas are ELA, Math, and Spanish. The hours are 3:30 - 4:30, Monday through Thursday. Teachers will be compensated for their time. If you are interested or have questions about the program, please contact Ms. Pugh.
January 30 - February 3, 2017

Focus on Instruction
Leadership Team and Other Updates
Shout Outs
Opportunities and Updates
Ambiente, creating a climate for learning
Sports - Griffins Update!
Thought for the Week
Weekly Calendar
Upcoming Events and Activities

The middle school girls basketball team lost to Leckie and Deal.  The middle school boys basketball team defeated Leckie and Deal.  The JV basketball team defeated Banneker but lost to Roosevelt and HD Woodson.  The varsity boys basketball team lost to SWW, Roosevelt, and HD Woodson.  The varsity girls basketball team defeated SWW, Roosevelt, and HD Woodson

Girls Basketball  0 – 5
Boys Basketball 5 – 4

Junior Varsity Basketball 1 – 11
Varsity Girls Basketball 11 – 6
Varsity Boys Basketball 3 – 12


MSBB vs. Raymond at CHEC @ 6:00

JVB vs. Ron Brown at CHEC @ 4:00
VGB vs. Luke C. Moore at CHEC @ 6:00

MSBB vs. Truesdell at CHEC @ 4:45
VGB vs. Capitol Christian Academy at CHEC @ 7:30

MSBB vs. Whittier at CHEC @ 4:45

JVB vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC
@ 4:00
VGB vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC
@ 6:00 (Senior Night)
VBB vs. McKinley Tech at CHEC
@ 8:00 (Senior Night)

No Games
SLC Morning Meeting

SLC Morning Meeting

Department Meeting

Department Meeting

No Meetings


Wendy Pugh

2017 is the year of the Rooster by the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year celebrations begin January 28 through February 24, 2017.

Fun, friends, and food are what all new year celebrations are about.  During the week of February 20th, during the lunch periods, we will host various Chinese New Year activities for the students.  Activities will include a traditional Chinese clothing fashion show, Dragon dance, and Fan dance to name a few.  For more information please see either Ms. Wei Wei or Ms. Pugh

Submitted by Jessika Alvarado

The LULAC council for DC saw the student videos from the International night and requested that our student performers perform at their meeting last Saturday at their national headquarters. STEM students will also be talking about their experience in STEM explorers. The LULAC council donated $3000 dollars to our STEM program this year.

Submitted by Angela Martinez and Angela Falkenberg

News from the Library
The dawning of a new semester is a great time to start thinking about how to make your students’ end of semester portfolio presentations authentic and impactful!  Your school library is here to help you in this endeavor.  Here are some useful tools
Canvas (https://dcps.instructure.com) – Organize your class content, manage and grade student work submissions, host discussions amongst students, etc. Students can also upload and organize their work onto digital portfolios using Canvas.  Since students will always have access to their Canvas accounts this is a great way for students to save work from year to year.

NoodleTools (www.noodletools.com) – Website students can use to organize research and create citations.  It’s a very user-friendly website and will help our students become more prepared for college and career level research. Organized research + quality bibliographies = Awesome presentations!

25 Book Campaign Info Page (https://dcps.instructure.com/courses/31610/pages/25-book-campaign) – Information, tutorials, and resources lists created in hopes of making the 25 Book Campaign more accessible and feasibly to all students and teachers.

As always, if you ever have any questions about any of these websites please let your school librarian know (angela.falkenberg@dc.gov or angela.martinez@dc.gov).  We’re also happy to help if you are looking for new or additional resources to teach your class content.

Canvas Spotlight

Mr. Magee uses Canvas to have his students submit assignments. Mr. Magee set up assignments with all the GRASP details, exemplars, and necessary documents, which cuts down the amount of papers he needs to copy for class while also ensuring that students can access the materials easily when they need them.  After students submit their work on Canvas Mr. Magee is able to use the Speed Grader feature to provide specific feedback and comments to student's work and return it to them with the click of a button. Students can then resubmit their assignments as needed. This allows for his students to engage in the revision cycle seamlessly.  It also allows for students and teachers to look back through the revision cycle, which is especially helpful during portfolio presentations when students want to show the progression of their work.

If you would like to set up assignments in your own classes, please talk to your school librarian for more information.


  • Shout out to Mr. Jones for coordinating senior portfolios!
  • Shout out to Ms. Martinez for making the library a warm and welcoming environment for portfolios!!
  • Shout out to all teachers and staff who sat on portfolio panels!!
  • Kudos to Mr. Tobias for his superhuman effort to get the technology ready for the 9th grade one to one!!
  • Shout out to D. Edwards and the whole 9th grade team for transitioning to one to one!
  • Kudos to Ms. Hanlon and Ms. Carino for organizing the girls of color listening session
  • Shout out to Ms. Lopez for coordinating the odni foreign language symposium
  • Shout out to Ms. Montes and Dr. Baker Morales for their culminating event with the Kennedy Center!!!


The Leadership Team will continue to meet every other Wednesday this year, and the Academic Leadership Team (ALT) will meet every other Wednesday. The ALT met two weeks ago, January 18, and our next ALT/Leadership Team meeting will be Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  At this meeting, we will continue and complete mapping out LEAP seminars and department meeting agendas for the next advisory. The notes and minutes from all meetings are available on the CHEC Portal. The Academic Leadership Team is a group of teachers, counselors, and administrators who meet every other week to discuss school needs, and plan for improvements. The Leadership Team designs the school’s comprehensive school plan, and helps in its implementation.  Please consider joining the Leadership Team this year. It is open to all faculty and staff.  We need the involvement and voices of all. Remember, Leadership team meetings are open to all who are interested in schoolwide decision-making and leadership. You can come once, or as many times as you like, but please make your voice heard!
Submitted by Suzannah Weiss


Fifteen 30-Day Challenge Ideas That Will Change Your Life [Excerpt]
by Christina Tiplea

I’ve been a big fan of 30-Day challenges and the positive impact that they can make on your life. It’s said that 30 days is enough time to solidify a new habit that you want to incorporate into your daily routine, or even to subtract a habit that hasn’t been good for your health or well-being.

Matt Cutts did a Ted Talk on this very subject that is totally worth the 3 minutes to watch and gain some inspiration from!

There are so many ways that 30-day challenges can make a huge difference in your life, which include:

  • Gaining more self confidence
  • Feeling empowered
  • Achieving your dreams
  • Becoming healthier
  • Being more adventurous
  • Finding happiness ….amongst many other benefits!

The best part of 30-day challenges is that making small changes one at a time (aka focusing on only that one challenge over the course of 30 days), is much more sustainable over the long-term that trying to overhaul all of your habits and routines at once. In the spirit of wanting to provide a little inspiration to you to try a 30-day challenge of your own, I thought I would compile a list of 30-day challenge ideas that you might like to try for yourself. Now, the key is to remember that this list is just full of suggestions, so maybe you will choose one challenge to take on….or maybe you will feel so inspired that you’ll want to try twelve different challenges over the course of the next year. It’s totally up to you! The important thing is that you carve time out of your schedule every single day over the course of 30 days to devote to whatever challenge you choose.

Fifteen 30-Day Challenge Ideas that will change your life:

  1. Quit a bad habit that bothers you - Maybe you bite your nails, smoke, or have a tendency to devour a pint of ice cream every night. If you have a daily habit that bothers you and is something you have wanted to stop doing for a while now, this is your chance to make a change and phase this habit out of your life. You can quit anything for only 30 days!
  2. Get outside - If you find yourself spending most of your days cooped up inside looking at a computer screen and want to experience more fresh air, then making a point to get outside every day might be a great challenge for you!
  3. Become a morning person - Mornings can be rough. As a former night owl…, I can honestly say that life is a lot better when you start your day on the right note.
  4. Start up a side business doing what you love - Creating a side business of your own that you love and are passionate about can bring so much joy into your life! Maybe you’ve had dreams to sell your homemade crafts, run a freelance business, or even start a blog of your own. Take the next 30 days and spend an hour every day dedicated to getting your new side business up and running, and finally make your dream a reality!
  5. Give up TV or social media - While it can be fun to indulge in TV or time spent on social media, it can also be easy to allow ourselves to become addicted to it. If you struggle with how much time you spend watching TV or engaging on social media and think it’s having a negative affect on your happiness, try going without it at all for 30 days and see if it makes a positive impact on your energy and overall state of mind!
  6. Keep a gratitude journal - Life is never going to be perfect, so it can be easy to feel like a bad day means we have a bad life. I know I certainly am guilty of forgetting all of my blessings when things start to go a bit awry. Something that really helps to combat this is to keep a gratitude journal. Every night, challenge yourself to write down just three things you were grateful for that day or that put a smile on your face. At the end of your 30-day challenge, you’ll be left with a list of 90 things you were grateful for that month to look back on when life feels rough. What an amazing resource to have!
  7. Complete an act of kindness or give a compliment - Putting a smile on someone else’s face is always a guaranteed way to put a smile on your face too! Spend 30 days either completing one random act of kindness or giving a compliment to someone every single day and see if making others happy makes you happier too.
  8. Set aside time to devote to your favorite hobby - Too often we fail to make time for the things we most love to do. If you have a hobby that you tend to not always make the time for, try carving a few minutes out of your day for 30 days straight to spend on it. Spending time doing things we love and working on our passions is a surefire way to be happier and feel more fulfilled!
  9. Exercise for 30 minutes - Have you been trying to make exercise a regular habit for years now? Use this challenge as your muse to finally get on board with that habit! Try adding in just 30 minutes of exercise to your day. Make you feel better about yourself.
  10. Read a book just for fun - When is the last time you read a book just for fun? Not because you had to, but just for the sake of enjoying a good book? It can be difficult to carve time out of your day to cozy up with a good book and let yourself get lost in it, but it always feels so amazing when you do! It’s good to let your mind wander and just enjoy a good story or even learn something new. Try reading one chapter of a book every night before bed for the next 30 days and see if it helps you feel more relaxed and maybe even inspires you!
  11. Kick negative thoughts to the curb - Negative thoughts happen to all of us. Sometimes when things are going wrong, it can be difficult to find even one good thing about the situation at hand. Challenge yourself for the next 30 days to see if you can try to find the positive in every single situation you encounter. When negative thoughts start to creep in, try to instead replace them with positive ones. You might be surprised at the end of your challenge to see that you’ve permanently changed your overall mindset and attitude!
  12. Give up sweets or caffeine - If you are a huge caffeine addict or dessert lover (I’m guilty!), it might be interesting to challenge yourself and see if you can go an entire 30 days without consuming your favorite guilty pleasure.Perhaps at the end of 30 days you will still want to have your usual morning coffee or the occasional sweet treat, but maybe you will find yourself cutting back to an amount that you’re more comfortable with and can feel good about!
  13. Don’t buy anything new - If you tend to find yourself purchasing items you don’t actually need on a regular basis, try going for 30 days without purchasing anything new. Obviously you will still need to pay for groceries, gas, bills, etc., but try to go without purchasing things like clothing, gadgets, decor, and other “fun” items. See if taking on this challenge opens your eyes to your spending and consumption habits and if you find yourself enjoying new hobbies other than shopping!
  14. Donate or toss one item every day - If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter and general stuff in your home lately, use this opportunity to ease into the process of decluttering and freeing up space. Try donating, tossing, or selling just one item a day for 30 days in a row. While this might not sound like it will make a huge impact to get rid of one thing at a time, just think about how at the end of the challenge, your home will be 30 items lighter than it was before you started. Small changes have the potential to make a big impact, especially when it comes to decluttering!
  15. Only use your smart phone for actual phone calls - With smart phones being so prevalent these days, it’s really easy to allow ourselves to get sucked into constantly texting, surfing the internet, and playing games on our phones. Spending more time looking at our phones to engage in these activities can cause us to lose sight of what’s actually happening around us in “real life”.

Try spending a whole 30 days only using your phone for actual phone calls – no texting, no email, no internet, and no apps. See if making this change allows you to be more present and in the moment!

Are you ready to take on a 30-day challenge? Which challenge(s) appeals to you most, or do you have any other challenge ideas that you’d like to share with the rest of us? Leave a comment below!

The Black Swan Academy is excited to announce our city wide Black History & Culture "I Have Pride" Writing Contest.   As the world reflects on the legacy of Dr. King, and prepares to celebrate Black History Month; we know that our youth have reason to celebrate their history and culture year-round. Pride, is one of three core values of The Black Swan Academy. We believe that youth should be proud about who they are and where they come from. This writing contest is meant to provide youth with the opportunity to explore the uniqueness of their own history and culture and reflect on the impact that it has had in their personal lives, as well as, the lives of others.

We are hoping you encourage your students to participate. The deadline is February 20th. Contestants will have the opportunity to win prizes, including up to a $500 and present their work at a showcase in March. The specific guidelines are in the following link: http://blackswanacademy.org/writingcontest/


We have started  the  new semester, and for most teachers, this means a new set of student. Please plan to build relationships with your new students, and to build relationships among students as well. Please draw upon the strategies our PGT shared at our last faculty meeting, as well as the Restorative Circles we have learned about. Remember our goal of consistency so that students experience consistent expectations and support. Please also remember our shift to Restorative Justice. Use CHAMPS and PBIS to support your classroom climate!  INVITE MS. CAMPBELL TO YOUR CLASS DOJO SO THAT SHE CAN HIGHLIGHT YOUR GREAT PBIS WORK. The Deans will be chairing the School Climate and Culture Team.  Please join to make your voice heard on the School Climate and Culture.


Please do not cover up the windows to your classroom or office doors. This should only be done in the event of an active shooter drill or event.  Other than that, it is a safety hazard to cover the windows.  Administrators will be checking on this periodically and asking maintenance to remove any windows that are covered.


This IS A REMINDER ABOUT THE Student of the Week Program. Any staff member can nominate a student, for academic or mission related accomplishments. Please send your nominations by email to M. Tukeva.

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