Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Conversation Worth Having...

Chapel Hill Carrboro City schools has partnered with The Campus & Community Coalition for a new health education and prevention campaign being launched this fall. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools joins the Campus & Community Coalition, Town of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill, and the Orange County Health Department as part of a community-wide effort to reduce underage alcohol/drug use and experimentation among youth in our community. Throughout the campaign, we will provide parents and guardians with tools, resources, and support to have critical conversations regarding substance use.
Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are six times more likely to develop alcoholism or have problems with alcohol later in life when compared to those who wait until turning 21. Communication is key to prevention, and essential in building and sustaining a positive relationship with our children. Our goal for this campaign is to make alcohol-related harms, along with underage drinking, part of a community conversation, and to help facilitate discussions among families.

Campaign information will be distributed and available in a variety of mediums, including online/social media, printed materials, and a government-developed app that features an interactive simulation to help you talk with children about underage substance use.  We are also working with the PTA, Orange County Health Department, community organizations, and other partners to share and distribute these resources.

Our campaign approach is based on research that shows that parents are the number one influence on a child's decision to use alcohol and drugs. Talking to your children at an early age about drinking is the first step toward keeping them substance-free, and can have a real impact on your child's decisions about using substances. Research shows that children are more likely to avoid substance use when they have a strong, trusting relationship with their parents. It is our hope that this campaign, and the resources we provide, will empower you to have these critical conversations.
Please be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks. If you have any specific questions about the campaign, please contact Scarlett Steinert, Director of Healthful Living & Athletics at 919-967-8211 (ext. 28284).  
Sincerely,

Pam Baldwin, Superintendent
Dr. Dorothy Cilenti, Interim Director, Orange County Health Department
Winston Crisp, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UNC - Chapel Hill
Tony DuBois, Orange County ABC General Manager

Roger Stancil, Town Manager, Town of Chapel Hill

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Schools, District Offices to Close During the Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21 / Escuelas y oficinas del distrito cerradas durante el eclipse solar el 21 de agosto

On Monday, August 21, North Carolina is in the path to view the Solar Eclipse.  This is also the first day back for all Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools staff as they start gearing up for a new school year.  With the eclipse at its maximum at 2:43 p.m. in our area, the district understands that many staff members will want to view this celestial event.  Because this event is so rare, CHCCS wants to provide some flexibility to allow staff to view the event.

To help with this, schools and District Offices will be closed to the public from 2-3:30 p.m. on August 21.

CHCCS also wants to make sure that anyone who chooses to watch the eclipse does so safely.  Below are some safety tips on how to safely view this event, but here are some summary tips from those attachments:

  • Looking directly at the sun is unsafe and should only be viewed through special-purpose solar filters.  Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun.
  • Make sure that any glasses or hand-held devices are certified for use.  Only four manufacturers have been certified.  Please see the attachments below for a this list.
  • Always inspect your solar filter before using it and make sure it is not scratched or damaged.  If there is damage, do not use them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your glasses/solar viewer before looking up at the sun.  Look away before removing your filter.  Do not remove it while looking at the sun.
For more information, please visit these websites sponsored by American Astronomical Society and/or Nasa.

Escuelas y oficinas del distrito cerradas durante el eclipse solar el 21 de agosto
El lunes, 21 de agosto, Carolina del Norte está en el camino para ver el eclipse solar. Este día coincide con el primer día del personal de las Escuelas de las Ciudades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro para prepararse para el año escolar nuevo. Teniendo en cuenta que el eclipse estará en su máximo en nuestra área a las 2:43 p.m., el distrito entiende que muchos miembros del personal querrán ver este evento celestial. Debido a que este evento es tan raro, CHCCS quiere proporcionar cierta flexibilidad para permitir que el personal vea el evento.

Para ayudar con esto, las escuelas y oficinas del distrito estarán cerradas al público de 2-3:30 p. m. el 21 de agosto.

CHCCS también quiere asegurarse que cualquier persona que elija ver el eclipse lo haga de manera segura. A continuación se presentan algunos consejos sobre cómo ver de manera segura este evento:

  • Mirar directamente al sol es inseguro y el sol sólo debe ser visto a través de filtros solares de propósito específico. Los filtros caseros o las gafas de sol ordinarias, incluso las oscuras, no son seguras para mirar el sol.
  • Asegúrese que las gafas o dispositivos portátiles estén certificados. Sólo cuatro fabricantes han obtenido la certificación. En los documentos adjuntos encontrará una lista.
  • Siempre inspeccione su filtro solar antes de usarlo y asegúrese de que no esté rayado ni dañado. Si encuentra un daño, no lo use.
  • Quédese quieto y cubra sus ojos con sus gafas / lentes solares antes de mirar hacia el sol. Mire hacia otro lado antes de quitarse las gafas/ lentes. No los quite mientras mira el sol.

Para obtener más información, visite estos sitios web patrocinados por la Sociedad Astronómica Americana y/o la Nasa.




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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Health Requirements for Rising 7th Graders and New In-Coming Students for 2017-18 / Requisitos de salud del 2017-2018 para estudiantes entrando a 7mo grado y estudiantes nuevos 

Tdap and Meningococcal Vaccinations Required for 7th Graders
Rising seventh grade students in 2017-18 will need to receive the required Tdap and Meningococcal vaccinations before the child starts school.

The Tdap and MCV are available at your child's family doctor's office.

For further information about these vaccinations, visit the district's Health Services website.

Students New to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Have Additional Health Requirements
For new, in-coming students to CHCCS, students need a complete record of required immunizations to attend schools.  If a student is new to NC Public Schools, they will also have to show a completed Health Assessment.  For help finding health services, click here.

Parents Please Note:  For students who start on the first day of school in 2017, the 30th day is September 26.  Please ensure all records are submitted to avoid your student being excluded on September 27.

For additional health requirements for in-coming CHCCS families, please go to the Health News and Alerts site.

Las vacunas Tdap y Meningococo son obligatorias para los estudiantes de 7mo grado
Los estudiantes que entran a séptimo grado en el 2017-2018 necesitarán recibir las vacunas Tdap y Meningococo antes del inicio del año escolar.


Las vacunas Tdap y MCV están disponibles en la oficina del doctor de su hijo(a).

Para obtener más información sobre estas vacunas, visite el sitio web de los servicios de salud del distrito.

Estudiantes nuevos a las Escuelas de las Ciudades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro tienen requisitos de salud adicionales
Los estudiantes de CHCCS nuevos necesitan un registro completo de las vacunas requeridas para asistir a la escuela. Si un estudiante es nuevo en las escuelas públicas de Carolina del Norte, él/ ella también tendrá que presentar una evaluación de salud completa.  Si necesita ayuda para encontrar los servicios de salud haga clic aquí.


Padres de familia, por favor tengan en cuenta:  Para los estudiantes que inician la escuela el 30 de agosto, la fecha límite para presentar estos documentos es el 26 de septiembre. Por favor entregue toda la documentación antes de esta fecha para evitar que su estudiante sea excluido de la escuela el 27 de septiembre.

Para requisitos de salud adicionales para las familias de CHCCS entrantes, por favor vaya al sitio de alertas y noticias de salud.


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Monday, July 24, 2017

Board Approves Three Administrative Appointments

The CHCCS Board of Education approved three administrative appointments at its July 24 meeting.


Pamela McCann
Pamela McCann was named principal of Estes Hills Elementary. She is currently the assistant principal of the same school, arriving in 2016 from Durham Public Schools. In Durham, McCann served as an assistant principal at both Creekside Elementary and Githens Middle. Additionally, she worked as an academic coach and classroom teacher, with experience in Social Studies, Language Arts and Behavior Intervention. Her teaching career included time in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Durham Public Schools and Orange County Public Schools (Florida). McCann completed her Bachelor of Arts and her Master of School Administration from North Carolina Central University.



Monica Bintz
Monica Bintz was named principal of Culbreth Middle. She is currently assistant principal of Phillips Middle, where she has worked since 2015. Prior to that, Bintz worked as a principal intern and teacher in Durham Public Schools, and as a Language Arts teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her experience also includes serving as a teacher and dean of students in Brooklyn, New York, and as a teacher and basketball coach in Washington, DC. Bintz completed a Master of School Adminstration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Education from the City University of New York, Hunter College, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Mary Washington.




The Board also approved the appointment of Tiffany Cheshire as assistant principal at Phillips Middle.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Board Approves Seven Administrative Appointments

The CHCCS Board of Education approved seven administrative appointments at its meeting on Tuesday evening.

Beverly Rudolph
Beverly Rudolph was named principal of Carrboro High. Rudolph has been the principal at Culbreth Middle since 2011. Prior to that, she served as assistant principal at East Chapel Hill High from 2007-2011. She also taught English/Language Arts in Edgecombe, Buncombe and Cabarrus County Schools. Rudolph earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina – Asheville, her Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in School Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia.
Drew Ware

Drew Ware was named principal of Phillips Middle. He has been the principal of Estes Hills Elementary since 2013. Prior to that, he served as a principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher in the Wake County Public School System. Ware earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is currently working toward his Doctorate of Educational Leadership.

Arrica DuBose
Arrica DuBose was named principal of Seawell Elementary. She has been the principal of Creekside Elementary in Durham Public Schools since 2012. She has also served as a school improvement specialist for Title 1 schools, parent involvement district coordinator, summer school administrator and teacher for Durham Public Schools. She also spent five years as an assistant principal in the Wake County Public School System. DuBose earned her Bachelor of Science from Winston-Salem State University, her Master of Education from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Educational Leadership from East Carolina University.

Two assistant principals were named. Michael Brown will serve at Morris Grove Elementary and Tomeka Ward- Satterfield will serve at Carrboro High.

Dr. Elaine Watson-Grant, currently the school district’s coordinator of dual language and world language, has been named Director of Elementary Education. David Bouldin, currently of Chatham County Schools, has been named Exceptional Children’s Compliance and Educational Programs Coordinator.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Board Candidate Information Session

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools understands the value of strong leadership. And for a school system, that leadership starts with the Board of Education.

With the candidate filing period underway, the school district is planning an information session for any community members who might be considering a run for the Board.

The session will take place on Tuesday, July 18 from 4-5 p.m. at Lincoln Center – the school district’s central office, located at 750 South Merritt Mill Road. All interested are welcome to attend.

“We wanted to offer an opportunity for potential candidates to learn more about the future direction of the school system and how Board members can move the district forward,” said Superintendent Pam Baldwin. “This is a non-committal meeting for the purpose of providing information and answering questions.”

Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP to Jeff Nash, Executive Director of Community Relations, at jnash@chccs.k12.nc.us.
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Friday, June 30, 2017

MSAN Presentation: “A Classroom in Color”

The week after classes ended for students, many CHCCS teachers went right back to school - at the Summer Institute for Professional Learning. Among the many workshops teachers could choose from, one stood out as the only option led by students: “A Classroom in Color” from our district’s Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN). The nine MSAN members, eight of them from our high schools, and one Chapel Hill High graduate who’s UNC-bound, led four sessions of their group-designed workshop. The reviews from those who attended were full of enthusiastic and reflective praise. The feedback was so positive, in fact, that superintendent Dr. Baldwin asked the students to present the workshop once more, this time to dozens of district administrators during Leadership Week. That session closed with a standing ovation from participants.
     
The content of the Classroom in Color workshop draws from discussions and brainstorming the students engaged in during their annual MSAN retreat in the mountains last winter. Throughout the year, they analyzed the CHCCS Student Code of Conduct, and they shared their experiences with microaggressions in various school contexts. With support from members of the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate staff Marlow Artis and Lorie Clark and Director of Equity Sheldon Lanier, MSAN presenters addressed strategies to provide more equitable solutions to the disparities in instruction and discipline that students of color encounter. As Artis tweeted after the initial sessions, “Our #MSAN students are not afraid to ask the tough questions at the @CHCCS Summer Institute.”
     
Not only did they tackle the tough questions, but they designed a workshop that kept district staff engaged, starting with three essential questions:
      
“In what ways will you examine and analyze challenges that impact minority students?”

“In what ways will you change your approach to instruction and discipline to eliminate disparities and predictability based on race?”

“How will you collaborate with students and stakeholders to acknowledge and embrace their voices?”
     
Participants jotted down answers on Post-It notes and students led a brief discussion before moving on to a Prison to Pipeline PowerPoint and then a competitive game to check for understanding. Though the pace was fast-moving, it’s likely that teachers will revisit those essential questions, perhaps again and again, when they return to classrooms in August.
     
The workshop closed with a student-led restorative justice circle. Nearly everyone shared at least one observation or realization. Students described the challenges that shape their experiences as the sole student of color in Advanced Placement classes - or being told that an A.P. or honors class “isn’t a good choice for you.” One young woman noted how often she feels called upon to “speak for a whole race” when she’s the only African-American student in a class. Several presenters spoke about their priorities as MSAN members, to advocate for other students who believe their voices aren’t heard - and to make classrooms more welcoming and fair.
     

Tiffany Newsome, who has just completed her principal internship at Smith Middle School said, “I was very moved by the experiences that the MSAN students shared. They reminded me of the call to action that every educator has to do whatever it takes to see all of our children succeed. I learned from this session that we can have the best of intentions, but if our students don't feel supported, then we have missed the mark!”

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Superintendent Column June 2017

Pam Baldwin

Greetings to all my new friends and neighbors. Thank you for welcoming my family to this wonderful community. These past two months have been a whirlwind, to be sure, but I think we are off to a flying start.

It is relatively common practice for new superintendents to begin work on July 1, coinciding with the advent of a new school year. At first, I was slightly concerned about starting this job on April 1, and wondered how that might play out logistically in terms of planning and decision-making. However, as I start to get settled into the role, I am now thinking the April start date was rather advantageous.

Experience has taught me that before any significant planning and decision-making can take place, I will need to devote a considerable amount of time to listening and questioning. That has been, and will continue to be, my primary focus.

To that end, I have been touring our schools, meeting with teachers and principals, talking with students and parents, participating in media interviews, pouring through data, soaking up the history and trying to get a handle on the hot topics that are important to our community.

This crash course in Chapel Hill-Carrboro culture, has been both interesting and enlightening. Every day brings an energizing “a-ha” experience. I am eager to continue.

While I obviously have a long way to go, there are a handful of trends that I have already noticed as I make my rounds. These have been very easy to spot, and I want to share a few now.

First, I have no words to describe how impressed I am by the compassion to help one another…particularly our most vulnerable children and families. I cannot count how many people have mentioned the need to ensure EVERY child succeeds. That has been my mantra, and I came prepared to rally the troops to get public buy in. However, this community is already on board. Equity is clearly a common priority, and that will ensure our work brings life-altering impact.

Next, we have amazing educators, starting with our school principals. They are quite savvy. I get the impression they have mastered that tricky balance
between casting vision and leading implementation. Too much of one, and not enough of the other, results in either stagnation or frustration on the part of their employees. This is a group that really understands that challenge.

Our teachers are innovators. They inspire students to think both more and differently. They understand their mission and come to work prepared. They work well into the evenings, utilizing data to meet the specific needs of their students. True professionals.

Additionally, never have I seen a central office collaborate as effectively as this group I have inherited. They truly enjoy working together and encouraging one another. When I walk through Lincoln Center, I hear laughter, but also intense professional discussions. They welcome new challenges and readily acknowledge their role in ensuring the success of our schools. Refreshing indeed.

Another trend I have noticed is the immeasurable community support offered to our schools. I feel like this community has truly adopted its schools. What a great feeling for a new leader! From the PTA Council to the Public School Foundation to the Chamber of Commerce to the local businesses, non-profits, university staff and faith communities, everyone is invested in the triumph of our students.

Our parents put in more collective time and energy than any I have ever known. The Volunteer Office is hitting home runs with their recruiting, training and placing of talented and dedicated helpers. Our partnerships are producing tangible, measurable results.

All of this sounds very positive, and it should, but I also recognize we have many issues needing to be addressed. We have crumbling buildings, new staff in key positions, legislative challenges, and a teacher shortage that is impacting schools nationally. However, the single biggest problem is the disparity in performance among the different groups of children. Once EVERY student reaches her/his potential, then we can celebrate. Until then, we will roll up the sleeves and dig in.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.
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Turnip the Beet Award for CHCCS!

N.C. Summer Nutrition Program Sponsors Receive

First-Ever Turnip the Beet Awards


Buncombe County Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Rockingham County Schools and the YMCA of Western North Carolina are among the first summer nutrition program sponsors nationwide to receive the Turnip the Beet awards. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors the award to recognize outstanding summer nutrition program sponsors that work hard to offer high quality meals that are appetizing, appealing and nutritious.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services Section Chief Lynn Harvey said that the state’s summer nutrition program sponsors work hard to ensure that North Carolina public school children don’t go hungry when school is not in session. “It’s exciting to see four of our program sponsors’ efforts recognized by the US Department of Agriculture with the Turnip the Beet award. We know they work hard to provide meals that are nutritious and appealing to children, and to ensure that those who need these meals the most are aware of their availability,” she said.

Buncombe County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools received a Gold Turnip the Beet award. The YMCA of Western North Carolina received a Silver Turnip the Beet award, and a Bronze Turnip the Beet award was given to Rockingham County Schools.

The goal of Turnip the Beet award is to showcase sponsors who go above and beyond to ensure their meals are both nutritious and appetizing. States volunteered to participate in the recognition program, and all sponsors participating in the one of programs were eligible to apply. Applications were evaluated on a list of criteria, including serving local foods, variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low fat or fat free dairy products, and culturally-appropriate meals. Recognized sponsors demonstrated excellence in a variety of ways including providing fresh fruit daily, serving a variety of whole grains, conducting taste tests with the children (and incorporating the feedback into the menus), and offering nutrition education activities along with the meals.

For 2016, 49 sponsors from across the country earned Bronze, Silver or Gold Turnip the Beet awards. All awardees will receive a certificate and will be featured in USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Summer newsletter. Gold and Silver awardees will be highlighted in a USDA blog post, and Gold awardees will be identified as Turnip the Beet winners on the FNS Capacity Builder website.

Summer meals are critical in the lives of millions of our nation’s youth, whose risk of food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. North Carolina Summer Nutrition Programs serve meals at no cost to children and teens, ages 18 and younger, at almost 3,000 locations across the state. North Carolina Summer Nutrition Programs work with sponsors, local education agencies and community partners to help feed hungry children by serving meals to students when school is out.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services administers the state’s Summer Nutrition Programs using federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Citizens and organizations interested in more information about getting involved as a site provider or volunteering at a summer meals site should contact NCDPI Summer Nutrition Programs Manager Cynthia Ervin.


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Friday, June 23, 2017

Paw La La - 2017 Curtis Scholar


Paw La La arrived in North Carolina when she was seven, unable to speak English and worried about her far-flung family, many of whom had precarious futures. She had never left the Thai refugee camp where she was born, and she struggled to make sense of her new American culture, especially the social and educational expectations for a first grader at Frank Porter Graham Elementary.
     
Paw’s full name means “unique miracle flower” and in her adopted community, she mirrors that image in much of what she does. Late in May, Paw received a phone call that seemed like a miracle-- a representative from the organization Global Citizen notifying her that she is one of six American winners of the 2017 Curtis Scholarship. The year-long mentorship will send her to South Africa for ten days this summer, to a major rock concert in Central Park, NYC in September, as well as provide frequent opportunities to engage with the other Curtis Scholars and to build her skills and awareness as a human rights activist. Although her parents speak little English, they understand that they have given permission for Paw to explore the world. She smiles when she says, “My father just says, ‘Present yourself well. Behave.’”
    
At Carrboro High School, where Paw just completed her freshman year, she has already developed a powerful presence as a leader and creative thinker who is committed to connecting the racial and ethnic groups in a very diverse but sometimes segregated high school community. Paw speaks proudly of CHS, “It’s an amazing school. There are so many great relationships.”
    
What she doesn’t say is that she’s already been instrumental in bridge-building herself.  Her AVID teacher, Melissa Zemon, says that Paw “is always considering how to improve the lives of others… Her long-term plan is to provide additional safe havens for Burmese refugees. Paw wants to create a stronger bond between the Carrboro High student body and the newcomers and English as a Second Language students.” With that goal in mind, she and several AVID classmates planned and hosted a breakfast for students in the Newcomers class this year, and they intend to replicate and expand with similar initiatives next year.
     
As a student, Paw can be both relentless and voracious. “I want to be really open-minded,” she says. When she reflects on possible career plans, such as international public health, journalism, public policy, she understands that the road to college and graduate school will bring challenges. “I don’t give up easily. Even when I have it hard, I just try and see what I need to do to succeed.”
         
Matt Cone, who recommended Paw for the Curtis Scholarship, is a Carrboro High social studies teacher and a fervent advocate for the young woman and her role in the school community. Although he has not yet taught Paw in a class, he selected her as one of a small group of students to travel to a documentary film festival in Missouri last fall. Beforehand, he gave the participants ideas for books to read in preparation for the festival. “Whereas most of her peers treated my suggestions as suggestions,” Cone says, “Paw was dogged in tracking down this work.  Whether I was exposing the students to lectures about Black Lives Matter or articles about healthcare in rural settings, Paw was determined to soak this material up…On our drive to the airport in St. Louis, I asked Paw what she took away from the film festival. She turned to me and said, ‘I became brave!’”
        
The notion that attending a film festival made Paw brave is ironic, listening to her describe the frequent drills in Thailand when she and others in the refugee camp had to hide in the jungle for long periods. Memories of those early years now feel like “fading dreams,” but she loves going to the farmland at Transplanting Traditions outside Carrboro, where she can sit in a bamboo hut on the property because it allows her to connect to her childhood again. Melissa Zemon says, “Paw's childhood experiences are her anchor and her wings all in one.”
      
Mostly she looks to the future, and as she prepares for her trip to South Africa, she eagerly follows the daily Curtis Scholar updates and links from Global Citizen; the weeklong citizen action challenge in June, #StandwithRefugees, could not be a more perfect fit for this young refugee “miracle flower.” Nelson Mandela’s book Long Walk to Freedom is at the top of her reading list, with many others to finish before her travels begin. So much information, so many calls to expand her activist horizons.
      
“I look forward to growing a lot,” Paw says.
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