Friday, January 19, 2018

Message from Dr. Baldwin

Greetings. I hope everyone is staying warm and dry as we wait for our snow and ice to melt. I used some of my down time this week to carefully examine a report recently released by the Youth Justice Project. The report is titled the Racial Equity Report Card and can be found here. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share with you about this report and our efforts.
Now, while this report card is well-organized and concisely presented, the information it contains is not news to us. In fact, our school district has suffered from issues of racial disproportionality since the day we integrated schools in the 1960's.
When I arrived in this district, I heard it said many times that we are a great school district - for most of our kids. I very quickly saw the unfortunate truth in that statement. There is indeed a sizable portion of our kids who are not enjoying the same kind of successful school experience...and that is not okay.
To that end, our Board of Education has approved a detailed equity plan that breaks down the issue into three digestable - but crucial - components: culture, curriculum and instruction. For the sake of our students of color, we must address each of these components head on, with no compromises. Strategies within these components include equity training for staff, restorative practices, a strategic focus on leadership development for school and district level leaders, emphasis on mentoring, and intentional efforts to improve scheduling that includes student services support. Please look through the full plan when you get time.
It is worth noting that the news is not all bad. The discipline data represented in the report card is from 2015-2016. Because of deliberate efforts to address those concerns, we recently presented an update to the Board of Education showing progress in the area of equity in student discipline (scroll to page 4 for specific numbers concerning the reduction of ODR's - Office Discipline Referrals). While we celebrate those efforts, we recognize this is just a beginning.
Please know that CHCCS is committed to addressing the racial disparities highlighted in this report. As a school district and community, we need to be comfortable talking about race, and courageous enough to take any action needed. Addressing the needs of all students should always be our top educational priority. 
Thank you for traveling this road with us. Together we will get it right...for EVERY child.
Pam Baldwin

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Make-Up Dates Announced for Jan. 17-19 Snow Days; Activities Canceled for Jan. 20 / Anuncio de las fechas de recuperación del 17-19 de enero; Actividades canceladas el 20 de enero

Make-Up Days Information for Students
All activities scheduled to take place on CHCCS properties on Saturday, January 20 are canceled.

The district calendar includes identified make up days for inclement weather. They are:
  • The January 17 snow day for students will be made up on Friday, March 23, a previously scheduled teacher workday.  
  • The January 18 snow day for students will be made up on Monday, April 2, a scheduled holiday. 
  • The January 19 snow day for students will be made up by canceling three delayed openings (January 25, March 15, and April 19; February 15 will remain a delayed opening).

Información para recuperación de los días de no escuela por causa de la nieve para los estudiantes 
Todas las actividades programadas para el sábado, 20 de enero, en las propiedades de CHCCS están canceladas.

El calendario del distrito incluye días identificados para recuperación de los días de no escuela por causa del clima inclemente. Estos son:

  • El viernes, 23 de marzo, es ahora un día de escuela regular para recuperar el miércoles, 17 de enero, de no escuela por causa de la nieve.  
  • El lunes, 2 de abril, es ahora un día de escuela regular para recuperar el jueves, 18 de enero, de no escuela por causa de la nieve. 
  • Las aperturas demoradas del 25 de enero, 15 de marzo y 19 de abril han sido canceladas para recuperar el viernes, 19 de enero, de no escuela por causa de la nieve (el 15 de febrero sigue siendo un día de apertura demorada).

read more "Make-Up Dates Announced for Jan. 17-19 Snow Days; Activities Canceled for Jan. 20 / Anuncio de las fechas de recuperación del 17-19 de enero; Actividades canceladas el 20 de enero"

Thursday, January 18, 2018

CHCCS Teachers Among the Nation’s Newest National Board Certified Teachers

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) proudly announces that 10 teachers are among the nation’s newest National Board Certified Teachers. These educators are part of a growing community of Board-certified teachers, now more than 118,000 strong across all 50 states. CHCCS joins the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in celebrating these accomplished educators and congratulating them for earning the highest mark of professional achievement.

North Carolina continues to lead the nation in the number of teachers who have earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with 616 additional teachers gaining the endorsement in 2017. Nearly 21,500 teachers in North Carolina have attained national certification, which is based on a rigorous performance-based assessment that typically takes from one to three years to complete and measures what accomplished teachers and counselors should know and be able to do.

More information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is available at

Newly certified teachers, along with those receiving renewals this year, will be recognized at a celebration in May.

Congratulations to the following CHCCS teachers who earned or renewed National Board Certification in 2017:

Carrboro High School
Melisa Barry

Chapel Hill High School
Jessica Wallace

Culbreth Middle School
Molly Caudill
William Giblin

East Chapel Hill High School
Sophia Bauers,
Ruth Toro (renewal)
William Vincent

Ephesus Elementary School
Ashley Sherman

Estes Elementary School
Heidi Van Brocklin (renewal)

Morris Grove Elementary School
Stephanie Bruce
Lisa Frangipane (renewal)

Phillips Middle School
Edward Baruch

Scroggs Elementary School
Sarah Cornette

Seawell Elementary School
Julie Halpert (renewal)
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Schools Closed on Jan. 19 for Students & Staff; Make-Up Days to be Announced Soon / Las escuelas están cerradas el 19 de enero para los estudiantes y el personal; Las fechas de recuperación de los días de no escuela se anunciarán proximamente

Schools Closed and Make-Up Information Announced Soon
Due to hazardous road conditions, all schools will be closed for students and staff on Friday, January 19. Information regarding make-up dates will be sent out in a separate email message very soon.

Las escuelas están cerradas
Debido a las condiciones peligrosas en las vías, todas las están cerradas para los estudiantes y el personal el viernes, 19 de enero. Más adelante enviaremos otro correo electrónico con la información relacionada con las fechas de recuperación de estos días de no escuela.

read more "Schools Closed on Jan. 19 for Students & Staff; Make-Up Days to be Announced Soon / Las escuelas están cerradas el 19 de enero para los estudiantes y el personal; Las fechas de recuperación de los días de no escuela se anunciarán proximamente"

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Schools Closed on Jan. 18 for Students & Staff; Board Meeting Date Changed / La Escuela Está Cerrada, el 18 de enero

Schools Closed and Board Meeting Moved
Due to inclement weather and hazardous conditions, all CHCCS schools are closed for students and staff on Thursday, January 18.

The Board of Education meeting scheduled for Thursday evening has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 23 at 7 p.m. (with Closed Session at 6 p.m.).

La Escuela Está Cerrada
Debido al clima inclemente y las condiciones peligrosas, todas las Escuelas de las Ciudades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro estarán cerradas para los estudiantes y el personal el jueves, 18 de enero

La reunión del Consejo de Administración del distrito programada para el jueves por la tarde ha sido reprogramada para el martes, 23 de enero, a las 7 p.m. (con sesión cerrada a las 6 p.m.).

read more "Schools Closed on Jan. 18 for Students & Staff; Board Meeting Date Changed / La Escuela Está Cerrada, el 18 de enero"

Smith and Phillips Athletes Compete in CAROLINA BOWL

Imagine you’re a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools middle school student who lives and breathes football, and you’re invited to participate in a bowl game at Kenan Stadium. You’ll even jog through the tunnel, like so many great UNC football players before you, and out on the field. Hundreds of eyes will watch as you compete for the state of North Carolina.
Sounds like a far-fetched dream, perhaps, but five football players from the community - two from Phillips Middle School and three from Smith Middle School - lived that dream in December as competitors for the Carolina Bowl: Isaiah Roberson, Jackson Fortney, Andre Davis, Caleb Smith and Shad Alban.
Andre Davis and Caleb Smith
The Carolina Bowl (formerly the Youth Shrine Bowl) highlights the top youth football players from North and South Carolina. Participants are chosen through tryouts at regional combines, and occasionally through videos and coach recommendations. Coach John French of the Chapel Hill Police Department serves as the coach for the blended Phillips-Smith football team, as well as the Chapel Hill High women’s basketball team. He also runs a mentoring program at Smith for young men. With a keen awareness of talented football athletes in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, French worked hard to get his middle school players onto the Bowl roster for North Carolina.
The motto of the Bowl is “Kids Helping Kids,” and one aspect of the organization is a strong fundraising drive for St. Jude’s Hospital. Each player is encouraged to raise at least $1,000, but it is definitely not a Pay for Play scheme. Any athlete who doesn’t raise funds is still part of the team. As Coach French observed, along with daily service projects before the Bowl game, the focus on helping other children teaches the athletes the importance of giving.
“What I like most about the game is how they tie academics to athletics,” French said. “Kids need to have at least a 2.5 GPA to be invited. They needed to bring their report cards with them before they checked into the hotel.” Coach Jeane Brumley at Phillips, along with Coach Matt Sleeman at Smith, undertook the detailed process of collecting documentation for the five students, which included teacher recommendations.
Caleb Smith, Isaiah Roberson (with MVP trophy), Shad Albon
The district players made a real splash during the week of Bowl preparations, and especially during the big game at Kenan Stadium on December 16. The seventh grade team for North Carolina beat the “other” Carolina 32-0. When asked why that score was so lopsided, Phillips eighth grader Andre Davis didn’t skip a beat. “Because of Isaiah Roberson.”
Coach French proudly described the gifts of all his players, but he said that Roberson has a remarkable, elevated talent. In Kenan, he rushed for over 200 yards, scored four touchdowns and ran a kick-off return for 65 yards. “He played out of this world.” The seventh grader won the Overall MVP for the Carolina Bowl.
Jackson Fortney
Roberson is modest about his own abilities. He cited his speed as an important factor in his success, as well as his dedication to improving in all areas. Coach French pointed to Roberson’s leadership skills as the most important part of his strong performance on the field and off.
In April, French and Roberson will travel to Charlotte for the regional Football University camp, and maybe the Smith Middle School standout will even catch the attention of recruiters for the National Combine in January 2019.
When describing the four days in December of preparing and then competing for the game, Andre Davis continually broke into a smile. “To me, personally, it was great. The experience of traveling as a team, getting up in the morning and going down to breakfast together, just talking. All riding on the bus. I felt like I really knew my team.”
Caleb Smith, Phillips seventh grader, agreed. “It was great meeting different people from across the state.”
The players gathered with their coaches in Raleigh on the Wednesday before the Bowl game, and they spent three nights at a hotel there. Both Davis and Roberson spoke about how quickly their teams jelled and how they made new friends from both states, athletes who they expect to encounter as their football careers progress. French said, “They can make lifelong friends in less than a week.”
At UNC, all of the young athletes gathered in the Kenan locker room to hear from Coach Larry Fedora, as well as from recruiting scouts. Davis said the scouts emphasized the importance of always remembering what you learned the day before, and apply it as you move forward.
Both Davis and Roberson remarked that a high point was running through the Kenan tunnel, though Davis laughed when he said they were annoyed that the North Carolina teams had to use the Away tunnel, instead of the UNC Home tunnel. Roberson said he couldn’t believe how much noise a group of 40 young men can make, inside a football tunnel.
Although this community is hardly known as a football hotbed these days, Coach French believes that could change, especially with such impressive talent in the pipeline, and now the regional recognition for these players.
“We want to make sure we increase excitement for football in the Chapel Hill community. It seems like it’s a dying breed-- kids not really trying out. I’m really blessed I was able to coach Isaiah and Andre and all the other players.” Clearly, French believes this momentum can impact CHCCS football in the years ahead, and he hopes that fans will start to pay attention to these young stars.
The Carolina Bowl (formerly Youth Shrine Bowl) is a non-profit organization based in Hope Mills, NC and Inman, SC. Proceeds from players’ fundraising go directly to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Former Shrine Bowl players include the Detroit Lions’ Eric Ebron who competed in the 2010 game.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Schools Closed on Jan. 17 for Students & Staff / La Escuela Está Cerrada, el 17 de enero

Schools Closed for Students and Staff
Due to anticipated inclement weather conditions, all CHCCS schools are closed tomorrow, Wednesday, January 17 for both students and staff.

La Escuela Está Cerrada, el 17 de enero
Debido a los pronósticos de clima inclemente, todas las Escuelas de las Ciudades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro estarán cerradas para los estudiantes y el personal el miércoles, 17 de enero.

read more "Schools Closed on Jan. 17 for Students & Staff / La Escuela Está Cerrada, el 17 de enero"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carrboro High Hosts Group from Dominican Republic

An international-CHCCS connection that’s now in its fifth year celebrated a new chapter in December as 15 students and staff from the Julian Javier High School in the Dominican Republic spent a week with families and teachers from Carrboro High. Each day was packed with activity, food and conversations in Spanish and English. Alejandra Castillo, a junior at Carrboro High said, “Not only did the students have fun, but the parents and staff also danced, sang, and laughed along with everyone. We had fun the whole time they were here, taking pictures and sharing stories. It was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”

During the summer of 2013, several Carrboro High students traveled to the Dominican Republic with Transcending Borders of the Global Leadership Institute. One of those students was Leah Simon, who now attends UNC, and the trip ignited her passion and commitment to the culture and the people they met. When she and the other students returned to school, they began planning various projects and fundraising efforts, under the guidance - and with tireless energy - from teacher John Hite. Dr. LaVerne Mattocks, principal at the time, offered her enthusiastic support as the core group built bridges with the community of Tenares in Hermanas Mirabal Province.

So far, the collaboration-exchange between Carrboro High and Hermanas Mirabel has yielded a mural project (and two vivid murals at the school), as well as a major drive for funds and boots-on-the-ground support of a water project at La Cumbre, a small village that had no access to clean water. In recent years, Carrboro High students and their families have raised tens of thousands of dollars for La Cumbre and Tenares, and each year, new students join this ongoing endeavor. Current principal Beverly Rudolph has picked up where Dr. Mattocks left off, providing assistance to ensure that each undertaking runs as smoothly as possible. John Hite led nine Carrboro students on the most recent trip to the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2016.   

The December exchange that brought 15 Dominicans here had been in the works for some time, but plans were scrambled by the succession of powerful hurricanes in 2017. Throughout the months of delays and complications, Hite stayed focused on making sure the exchange could take place. “There were so many moving parts, I had to make sure it all fit together.” 

Teachers Angela McChesney and Nathalie Gaut also pitched in with a group of students. The hundreds of collective hours paid off in an enriching and entertaining experience for both the Dominicans and the Carrboro High community alike.    

Students and their parents hosted visitors, as did McChesney and Gaut. The itinerary was packed between the group’s arrival and departure from RDU: a UNC basketball game, bowling, trips to the Ackland Museum, the Bennett Place and the Planetarium. Karl Naomi, a Carrboro High senior, said, “They loved Chapel Hill and saw a lot of different things than what they have in their country. Just something as simple as leaves falling off the trees and even a little snow was really cool for them to see.”     

The Dominican group, with their student hosts, also toured the campuses of UNC and Duke, courtesy of former Jaguars who’d been involved in earlier exchanges and fundraising: Leah Abrams at Duke, and Leah Simon and Kristen Lee at UNC.      

But the Dominicans also spent plenty of time at Carrboro High during the week, going to classes and other in-school events, as well as attending both a breakfast and lunch hosted by Youth Leadership Institute students. Senior Stephanie Lopez of YLI said, “I learned new things from their culture and what the education system is like in the Dominican Republic and it was a great experience!” On the final day of the exchange, most of the Carrboro High student body gathered during lunch in the Cafe Commons to share songs and dances from both cultures. The Dominican students performed a traditional dance, in full regalia, and a number of Carrboro High students offered their talents as well.           

The parents of the visiting students expressed their gratitude in emails to Hite after their children had returned home. One father wrote, “More than grateful for that great experience my son has lived. You who welcomed them and treated them so well from North Carolina-- thanks to you, students, teachers, professors and high school director. Thank you very much, it was unforgettable for our children.”

“I am from Peru, but I grew up here and so I felt like I wasn't really connected to my Latino side,” said Alejandra Castillo. “I feel like being with them has awakened (that). Having them here not only brought me closer to people from a different culture, but also to other people from the Carrboro High School community. I can hardly wait for future exchanges between Carrboro High School and Liceo Julian Javier!”

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Schools, Offices Closed for Holiday on Jan. 15; Teacher Workday CANCELED on Jan. 16 / Escuelas y oficinas cerradas por día festivo el 15 de enero; Día de trabajo de maestros CANCELADO el 16 de enero

Holiday and Snow Make Up Day Scheduled
Schools and district offices are closed on Monday, January 15 in honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

The Teacher Workday that was scheduled for Tuesday, January 16 has been canceled and school is now in session.  This is the Snow Make Up day for Thursday, January 4.

Día festivo y día de compensación programado
Las escuelas y las oficinas del distrito están cerradas el lunes, 15 de enero, en honor al día festivo de Martin Luther King, Jr.

El día de trabajo para maestros que estaba programado para el martes, 16 de enero, ha sido cancelado y las escuelas tendrán una jornada regular.  Este día recupera el jueves, 4 de enero, día de no escuela por causa de la nieve.

read more "Schools, Offices Closed for Holiday on Jan. 15; Teacher Workday CANCELED on Jan. 16 / Escuelas y oficinas cerradas por día festivo el 15 de enero; Día de trabajo de maestros CANCELADO el 16 de enero"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Reminder: Schools on Normal Schedule on Monday, January 8

All CHCCS schools are operating on a normal schedule on Monday, January 8.  There are no delays.

read more "Reminder: Schools on Normal Schedule on Monday, January 8"