Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ten-Point Grading Scale

The State Board of Education recently voted to adopt a ten-point grading scale for all high school students beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The ten-point scale will replace the current seven-point grading scale. Additionally, our school district has decided to implement the ten-point grading scale for all middle schools as well.

Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the district’s grading scale will be as follows:

90-100 = A  
80-89= B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
< 59 = F

Grades earned prior to the 2015-2016 school year will not be changed or modified to reflect the new grading scale. Elementary grades will not be impacted by this change.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Honor and Remembrance

Submitted by Robin McMahon
French Teacher/ Belgian Exchange Organizer
Smith Middle School
Seventy-one years ago,  U.S. Navy World War II veteran Ed Chappell beached his Landing Craft Tank (LCT 587) six times on Omaha Beach on D-Day 1944...

With her journal tucked in her arm, eighth-grade student LeAnne Ding kneels quietly where Mr. Chappell landed, reflecting on historical events that included this brave man she had met a year earlier.  Except for the quiet slapping of waves on a peaceful beach, silence reigned as words of reverence, honor and pride were recorded in thirty-one students’ journals.  They will always remember.

When they reached the look-out point of Omaha Beach and gazed over the unremitting rows of white crosses and Stars of David at the American Cemetery, eighth- and ninth-grade students gave thanks to Mr. Chappell and Mr. Sumner (WWII veteran who fought at the Battle of the Bulge) as well as to all veterans whose bravery brought us freedom. Just a few months ago these students participated in Smith Middle School’s fifteen-year Belgian Exchange program and traveled to Belgium to stay with their pen pals and Normandy to learn more about WWII.

Eighth-grade student Zoe Volmer reflects:

Normandy was a tidal wave of emotions. I’ve never felt that conflicted emotionally in my life. Going to Omaha Beach, the cemetery and the D-Day museum in one day, was almost too much. But just almost. Normandy was where I found out the most about myself. When I walked onto Omaha Beach, that’s where it started. As I was walking on the beach, I realized that life was too short. You have one life, and as far as you know, it could end tomorrow. The sacrifices that those men laid out on those beaches is unbelievable. I couldn’t look at the water without thinking of the red ocean and hundreds of thousands of men, boats and tanks. The devastation didn’t seem real until I set foot on those beaches. And the feelings were confirmed when we were in the cemetery. Seeing the length of the rows of graves really hit me.

On May 2, 2015, Ed Chappell passed - just hours after the CHCCS students (who had taken him back to Normandy for the 70th Commemoration Ceremony last June) had visited him at the Durham Veterans Hospital.  Mr. Chappell’s legacy will live on in the stories recorded by the CHCCS teens in a future NC-to-Normandy documentary to be shared with the public this fall. Through their words and actions, it is evident our young people do honor those who sacrifice for our liberty.

Ed Chappell
Mark Sumner

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Jones Named 2015-16 Teacher of the Year at Recognition Reception

Michael Jones of Culbreth Middle, was named the District Teacher of the Year at the Annual Recognition Reception on May 15 at Carrboro High.

Jones is a choral music teacher with 21 years of teaching experience.  He holds a bachelor of science degree in public school music from Norfolk State University.  Jones received a $1,000 check from the Bank of North Carolina, as well as gifts from area businesses.

Two Honor Teachers were also named on Friday.  They are Channing Bennett of Smith Middle and Mariella Mabe of Carrboro Elementary.  They each received a $500 check from the Bank of North Carolina and gifts from local businesses.

Other Teachers of the Year were recognized with $100 checks from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation (PSF) and gifts from local businesses.  They are:  Kim Chamberlin, Ephesus Elementary; Ghada Ramadan, Estes Hills Elementary; Allison Stewart, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Carla Gilchrist, Glenwood Elementary; Kennan Eaddy, McDougle Elementary; Lisa Frangipane, Morris Grove Elementary; Nicole Dixon, Northside Elementary; Gretchen Pegram, Rashkis Elementary; Tamara Edmonds, Scroggs Elementary; Donna Kauffman, Seawell Elementary; Stephen Rayfield, McDougle Middle; Megan Tolbert, Phillips Middle; Kay Johnson, Carrboro High; Jack Watson, Chapel Hill High; and Maureen Galvin, East Chapel Hill High.

Teacher of the Year gifts were provided by:  A Better Image Printing, Barnes and Noble at New Hope Commons, Chapel Hill Florist, Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, Office Depot and the Spotted Dog Restaurant.

Michael Jones, District Teacher of the Year

Channing Bennett, District Honor Teacher

Mariella Mabe, District Honor Teacher

The Mary Scroggs Award for Excellence in Providing Support Services recognizes one classified staff member from each school and several Lincoln Center departments.  The award recipient is Mark Foushee, a bus driver for the Transportation Department, who also received a $1,000 check.  Two Honor Recipients were named.  They are Teia McCall, a teacher assistant at Ephesus Elementary, and Scott Ursery, the HVAC foreman in Lincoln Center's Maintenance Department.  They each received $250.

Other Classified Staff of the Year, who each received $100, are:  Cheryl Edwards, school secretary, Carrboro Elementary; Turquoise Parker, teacher assistant, Estes Hills Elementary; Angela Tobon, teacher assistant, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Mary Battista, media assistant, Glenwood Elementary; Annie Washington, EC teacher assistant, McDougle Elementary; Debbie Wistner, teacher assistant, Morris Grove Elementary; Lynn Farrish, EC teacher assistant, Northside Elementary; Kim Caddell, receptionist, Rashkis Elementary; Shelby White, teacher assistant, Scroggs Elementary; Michael Allen, food service, Seawell Elementary; Kay Edwards, receptionist, Culbreth Middle; Robert Rudd, custodian, McDougle Middle; Deborah Watson-Baldwin, receptionist, Phillips Middle; Maximo Merida, custodian, Smith Middle; Donna McMillan, media assistant, Carrboro High; Nancy Green, receptionist, Chapel Hill High; Jeff Alguire, theater manager, East Chapel Hill High; Susan Brandt, secretary, Instructional Services, Lincoln Center; and Shawntae McKnight, technician, Information Technology, Lincoln Center.

Beth Murphy, school nurse at Rashkis Elementary, received the Exceptional Children Student Support Services Staff of the Year Award, as well as a check for $500.  The other nominees for this award are: Reyna Rivera, school social worker, Carrboro Elementary; Megan Mueller, school nurse, Ephesus Elementary; Patti Burke, school nurse, Estes Hills Elementary; Kerry Sherrill, school social worker, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Patty Moore, school social worker, Glenwood Elementary; Stacey Radar, EC program facilitator, McDougle Elementary; Angela Snider, school social worker, Morris Grove Elementary; Virginia Fox, school counselor, Northisde Elementary; Emily Serra, school social worker, Scroggs Elementary; Linda Williford, school social worker, Seawell Elementary; Matthew Straub, school counselor, Culbreth Middle; Maryellen Gollnick, EC program facilitator, McDougle Middle; Allison Blue, school social worker, Phillips Middle; Natalie Boylan, EC program facilitator, Smith Middle; Rita Simpson, autism support specialist, Carrboro High; Montez Thomas, school counselor, Chapel Hill High; and Gale Sendzia, EC program facilitator, East Chapel Hill High.

Classified and EC Staff of the Year gifts were provided by:  FSI Office and University Florist.

Other staff awards were also presented at the event.

Darlene Ryan of Glenwood Elementary was recognized as the district's Principal of the Year, while Coretta Sharpless of Northside Elementary was named the district's Assistant Principal of the Year.  Sherri Martin, executive director of high school programs and professional development, received the Award for Excellence in District Administration.

Kendra Suggs-Shealey of Lincoln Center was the recipient of the Jeanette Blackwell Mentor Teacher Award.  Jennifer Michalenok of Chapel Hill High was the recipient of the Exceptional Children's Award for Outstanding Contributions as a Teacher.  Diamond Jones of Northside Elementary received the CHC Public School Foundation Promising New Teacher Award.  Kirsten Venema of Ephesus Elementary was named the recipient of the Elmo's Award for Excellence in Teaching English as a Second Language and World Language. 

The Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate (BRMA) program presented two Excellence in Equitable Teaching Awards.  These award recipients are selected by the students in BRMA.  The middle school award went to Debra Freeman of McDougle Middle, and Dominic Koplar of East Chapel Hill High received the high school award.

Representatives of the Public School Foundation (PSF) were on hand to present both new and renewing Teaching Chairs.  Jay Wilson of East Chapel Hill High is the Elmo's Excellence in Teaching Mathematics or Science Chair.  Erin White of Smith Middle is the Zora Rashkis Chair in Middle School Language Arts.  Laura Boening of Morris Grove Elementary is the Upper Elementary Chair for Excellence in Teaching Innovation.

Renewing chair recipients also were honored on Friday.  Jack Watson is the CHHS PTSA Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities.  Candace White of Glenwood Elementary is the Neil Pedersen Teachers First Chair. Ashley Laver of Rashkis Elementary is the Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching in the Elementary Classroom.  Katherine Whittington of Phillips Middle is the Burton Stuart Chair for Promising New Teachers in Math or Science. Ashley Lang of East Chapel Hill High is the Bernadine Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching English.  

Twenty-eight teachers were recognized for earning their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  They join the almost 300 other CHCCS teachers who have earned their National Boards.  They are:  Jennifer Ballew, Chapel Hill High; Katherine Bauer, East Chapel Hill High; Laura Beery, Chapel Hill High; Kristen Bergman, Estes Hills Elementary; Leigh Ann Bianchi, Estes Hills Elementary; Kathleen Blue, Phillips Middle; Robin Bulleri, Carrboro High; Christen Campbell, Chapel Hill High; Tony Carter, Smith Middle; Jami Cauthren, Rashkis Elementary; Courtney Clapp, Estes Hills Elementary; Sherry DelValle, Smith Middle; Catherine Guild, McDougle Elementary; Caroline Hatley, Glenwood Elementary; Dawn Jackson, Culbreth Middle; Virginia Kieckbush, East Chapel Hill High; Brian Link, East Chapel Hill High; Julie McCauley, Morris Grove Elementary; Mark Mosley, East Chapel Hill High; Daniel Murphy, East Chapel Hill High; Gina Pelligrini, Scroggs Elementary; Tiffany Robinson, East Chapel Hill High; Adam Sanders, Chapel Hill High; Justin Seifts, East Chapel Hill High; Megan Tabor, Culbreth Middle; Ray Thomas, Carrboro High; Jack Watson, Chapel Hill High; and Gretchen Westman, Morris Grove Elementary.

Seventeen employees were recognized for retiring from the district this year.  They include:  Roberta Barrett, Lincoln Center; Debbie Bolas, Carrboro Elementary; Rosemary Campbell, McDougle Elementary; Sheila Carrington, Chapel Hill High; Laura "Ann" Collins, Culbreth Middle; Patricia Farrington, Ephesus Elementary; Carol Gaunt, Estes Hills Elementary; Pat Hawkins, Seawell Elementary; William "Chuck" Hennessee, Culbreth Middle; Debbie LaMay, East Chapel Hill High; Sherri Martin, Lincoln Center; Robbie Nadas, Phillips Middle; Eileen Regan, Carrboro Elementary; Floyd Royal, McDougle Middle; Rita Simpson, Carrboro High; Madeline Thomas, Phillips Middle; and Joan Thompson, Transportation.

Employees were also honored for attaining milestone years of service with CHCCS.  Six employees have 30 years of service:  Frank "Coach" Camp, Smith Middle; Samuel Dawes, McDougle Elementary; Donna Gates, Chapel Hill High; Letitia Johnson, Phillips Middle; Regina Seymore, Carrboro Elementary; and Pamela Tedder, East Chapel Hill High.  

Employees with 25 years of service included:  Roberta Barrett, Lincoln Center; Jeane Brumley, Phillips Middle; Sheila Carrington, Chapel Hill High; Cindy Dillehay, Lincoln Center; Terrina Renee Edwards, Transportation; Deidre Foushee, Transportation; Catherine Foust Lane, Transportation; Natalie Gaston, McDougle Elementary; Cornelia Johnson, Scroggs Elementary; Kathy MacKinnon, Seawell Elementary; Devora Mann, Transportation; and Melissa Pearce, Estes Hills Elementary.

Employees with 20 years of service included:  Emily Bivins, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Karla Boreiko, Estes Hills Elementary; Marylyn Burnette, Morris Grove Elementary; Keith Cooper, Chapel Hill High; Jennifer Dykes, Ephesus Elementary; Kim Fearrington, Northside Elementary; Tijuana Goodwin, McDougle Middle; Avis Harris, Morris Grove Elementary; Warren Martin, McDougle Middle; Robin McMahon, Smith Middle; Valerie Miller, Lincoln Center; Ramanda O'Kelly Edwards, Rashkis Elementary; Debbie Phelps, McDougle Elementary; Eric Plow, Transportation; Jennifer Sparrow, McDougle Middle; Teresa Washington, Morris Grove Elementary; and Carolyn White, McDougle Middle.

The annual Recognition Reception is hosted in collaboration with the Public School Foundation (PSF).

"We are all inspired by the truly amazing performance of these dedicated professionals," said Superintendent Thomas A. Forcella.  "Recognizing and celebrating them in this public ceremony is one of the highlights of our school year.”

Pictures from the event posted on Facebook (after Monday, May 18).

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Featured Jobs: Instructional Technology Facilitators

Instructional Technology Facilitators


Position Type: Licensed
Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time
Term: 11 month
Continuing or Temporary: Continuing
Position Available Date: 08/03/2015 & 06/01/2015
Level of Benefits: Full
Salary Range: NC teacher salary + 12% local supplement
Minimum Degree Level: Bachelor's degree
Minimum Experience: Previous experience in providing technology support services in an educational setting. Expert knowledge of contemporary instructional technology skills and issues. Experience in developing instructional materials for adult learners and presenting staff development both live and online.

Special Conditions: K-12 teaching licensure required. MA degree in instructional technology preferred. The ITF provides training and support to faculty on technology integration & the NC Computer/Technology Skills curriculum.

Click here to complete the NC teacher application. Choose "Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools" as a desired location. In addition to the online application, candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to two email addresses:
1) secondaryemployment@chccs.k12.nc.us
2) smithmsjobs@chccs.k12.nc.us
3) List "Instructional Technology Facilitator" in the subject line of the message

Special Conditions: K-12 teaching licensure required. MA degree in instructional technology preferred. The ITF provides training and support to faculty on technology integration & the NC Computer/Technology Skills curriculum.

Click here to complete the NC teacher application.Choose "Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools" as a desired location. In addition to the online application, candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to two email addresses:
1) secondaryemployment@chccs.k12.nc.us
2) carrborohsjobs@chccs.k12.nc.us
List "Technology Specialist" in the subject line of the message.
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Featured Job: HR Employee Relations and Compliance Coordinator (ANTICIPATED vacancy)

HR Employee Relations and Compliance Coordinator
Job Description

Position:  HR Employee Relations and Compliance Coordinator

Reports to:  Senior Executive Director, Human Resources

Purpose:  Performs complex employee relations/performance management, and other HR-related work as described below.

Minimum Qualifications:

·        Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree strongly preferred.

·        Prior HR experience (corporate, higher education, K-12) required.
·        Extensive knowledge and experience in HR employee relations.
·        Prior HR experience working in a NC school district preferred.
·        Experience conducting professional development.
·        Thorough knowledge of federal, state and local policies, procedures and standards regarding education.

Performance Responsibilities and Duties:

·        Manages employee relations and performance management work. Must be able to work independently, problem-solve, apply critical thinking as it relates to legally complex employee relations issues;

·        Provides HR-related professional development and training opportunities to school administrators and central office staff;

·        Ensures compliance with local, state, and federal mandates;

·        Assists with staffing and licensure when needed;

·        Collaborates with the Senior Executive Director of HR in supervising HR staff;

·        Works collaboratively with school based and central office staff on individual cases and the interpretation of federal, state and local policies and procedures;
·        Completes various state and federal reports;

·        Leads, monitors, and manages various HR special projects;

·        Prepares and organizes data for NCDPI,  Board of Education, Superintendent, media and other stakeholders as needed;

·        Maintains open communications and uses effective problem solving to diplomatically address and resolve questions, concerns and critical issues;

·        Serves as an information resource, provides staff leadership, and engenders staff enthusiasm, motivation and teamwork;

·        Attends state level meetings with the Senior Executive Director or as requested;

·        Monitors HR laws, rules and regulations;

·        Works as an effective team member with all stakeholders;

·        Serves as a member of the HR Leadership Team by articulating a shared vision of HR services throughout the school system;

·        Completes other related duties as requested by the Senior Executive Director of Human Resources.

To apply: 

Apply online by completing the NC online application, accessible from the CHCCS "careers" webpage. Additionally, candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to two email addresses: administrationemployment@chccs.k12.nc.us AND kuber@chccs.k12.nc.us. List "HR Employee Relations Coord" in the subject line of the message.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Job posting: Public School Foundation - Executive Director

Position Title: *
Executive Director, Public School Foundation

Position Description: *

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation (PSF) is the only independent, non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing community support for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS). PSF aspires to “spark a love of learning in all students” by creating opportunities for students and teachers in every school in the district. We believe that all students deserve the best possible education; that excellent teachers ignite learning and are our most valuable resource; and that high quality public education is fundamental to a vibrant community.

PSF supports these beliefs by partnering with the community and raising funds to support student grants, teacher awards and other innovative educational projects that positively affect the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Events such as the annual Teacher Supply Store and the Walk for Education benefit all schools in the district.  PSF fosters opportunities for feedback from parents, teachers and staff about PSF-sponsored projects and about the CHCCS district in general.

PSF takes its fiduciary responsibilities and obligations seriously and manages its funds with the highest degree of ethical standards. PSF is staffed by one (1) full-time Executive Director, one (1) part-time Program Services Manager, one (1) part-time Foundation Assistant, and one (1) part-time Bookkeeper.  Contracted services may be employed on an as-needed basis for specific projects. These positions are contingent upon approval by the Board of Directors. The PSF Board of Directors is both operational and governing in nature and is comprised of 28 members. PSF projects and programming continue to expand as it pursues its mission to provide a variety of support and services to students and teachers in the district.

Description of Responsibilities

The Executive Director (ED) of PSF works closely with the Board of Directors to shape the mission and vision of the organization and execute its strategy. The ED directly reports to the PSF Board of Directors. He or she supervises all staff and contracted employees, and works with Board members to oversee volunteers. With the counsel of the Board, he or she provides direction for PSF fundraising, marketing, programming, events and other activities.

He or she staffs all committees (Allocations, Executive, the Communications/Marketing, Community Connections, the Development, Finance, Support) and others the ED and the Board of Directors deem necessary. The ED supports the work of and helps to facilitate action items generated by these committees.

The ED serves as the public representative for PSF. A successful candidate will demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills that will ignite enthusiasm about the organization and inspire participation.  He or she will also serve as the conduit between the PSF and the CHCCS district and so must demonstrate a willingness to work respectfully toward like goals while nurturing and growing this mutually beneficial relationship. 

The ED will work to raise funds to support the organization through grant writing, fostering partnerships with other foundations, and cultivating relationships with corporate and private donors. PSF has been able to contribute steadily to an operating endowment, but it is a goal of the Foundation to build this endowment to a level that will sustain operations on an ongoing basis. A successful candidate will demonstrate strong and successful grant writing abilities as well as a talent for fundraising though direct contact with donors.


Financial Development and Fundraising
·         Oversee special events and fundraising campaigns
·         Maintain established relationships with businesses, foundations and individual donors
·         Create and capitalize on opportunities to enhance corporate and individual support of the Foundation
·         Research and initiate new fundraising opportunities, including writing grant proposals to corporate and foundation giving programs

Publicity, Marketing and Community Relations
·         Promote understanding and awareness of the Foundation’s mission and goals by making connections throughout the community
·         Develop written materials that promote and publicize the Foundation
·         Develop and disseminate materials promoting PSF special events (i.e. Walk for Education, Teacher Supply Store, 5K for Fitness, Teachers’ First Breakfast and Roses)
·         Develop appropriate publications and information to be utilized on the Internet and other social media as appropriate
·         Seek connections within the CHCCS district and within the community that will increase public awareness about the PSF and that may lead to support of the Foundation, either in-kind or monetarily
·         Seek new ways to report to the public positive information about the Foundation and the projects it supports
·         Provide information about the Foundation and its activities to corporate sponsors
·         Maintain close communications with CHCCS system administrators
·         Oversee the production and distribution of the Foundation’s promotional publications, including newsletters, annual reports and brochures

Event Co-Ordination, Program Oversight and Program Support

  • Monitor progress of all Board and staff projects and activities
  • Assist with implementation of PSF programs, including Student Enrichment Grants, Teachers First, teaching awards, etc.
  • Create new or offer improvements for ongoing projects and activities, including large fundraising events such as the Walk for Education, Teachers First Breakfast & Roses, and the 5K for Fitness
  • Work within the community to ensure the success of large events (i.e. work with UNC Campus Police and the Chapel Hill Police Department to arrange Walk for Education event, etc.)
  • Ensure that all programs and events adequately support PSF’s missions, goals and values
  • Ensure that all programs and events align with CHCCS district goals
  • Work in close collaboration with Event Committees to plan and implement large events such as the Walk for Education, 5K for Fitness and Teachers’ First Breakfast
  • Provides hands-on support as needed to help implement Board Committee action items
  • These tasks vary based upon need and range from coordinating mailings and tracking event data to high-level interactions with CHCCS teachers and community agencies

Board and Staff Relations:
  • Ensure the financial integrity of the Foundation
  • Report to and be accountable to the Board of Directors; keep Board informed of issues important to the PSF and keep staff informed of Board decisions
  • Take responsibility for and have a thorough understanding of the PSF’s budget and finances and reporting requirements to donors, auditors, the Board, local, state and federal authorities
  • Assist Board President with committee formation, provide direction and monitor committee work
  • Coordinate Board and committee meetings
  • Supervise and evaluate office staff, while creating a culture of support and an environment conducive to a positive work experience for all
  • Maintain the history of the organization

Position Number: *

District - Site: *

Position Type: *

Full-Time/Part-Time: *

Term: *
12 month renewal contract

Continuing or Temporary: *

Position Available Date: *

Position End Date: *

Level of Benefits: *ne

Salary Range: *
Starting $60,000

Vacancy Closing Date: *

Minimum Degree Level: *
Bachelor's degree required, Masters’ preferred

Minimum Experience: *
·         Work with another non-profit is a plus
·         Knowledge of, or experience in, the field of Education is preferred

General Position Comments: *

·         Strong written and oral interpersonal and communications skills are a must; ability to form strong connections with Board members, volunteers, staff and members of the community is essential to the health of PSF. Must be comfortable in front of large groups and able to connect with individuals
·         Proficiency with technological tools and communication is required
·         Proven ability to raise funds through grant writing and through cultivating relationships with corporations and private donors is important
·         Must have familiarity with the operational procedures of a non-profit or a business, including a thorough understanding of budget and finance procedures and reporting requirements to donors, auditors, the Board, local, state and federal authorities
·         Strong organizational skills, including the ability to oversee several large projects at one time, are essential
·         Must have proven competence as leader of staff and volunteers and have the desire and ability to motivate and engage paid staff and volunteers in the mission of the organization
·         Flexibility, energy and a sense of humor are a must
·         Exhibiting a collaborative nature and a willingness to work in various capacities to reach a common goal is essential

Special Conditions: * The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Contact Information

Applicants should send cover letter, resume and writing sample by email.
Applications received by May 15, 2015 will be prioritized.

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Second Annual All-High School Fiction and Poetry Contest

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ high school creative writing students recently took part in the district’s second annual All-High School Fiction and Poetry Contest Reading and Award Ceremony.

Fiction Finalists were judged by local fiction writer, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at UNC, Daniel Wallace. Poetry Finalists were judged by local poet, and UNC creative writing professor, Jeffrey Beam.

Local resident Chris Kubica is passionate about supporting the art of creative writing in our schools. As President of Application Architects, LLC, Kubica has created an opportunity for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ creative writing students to showcase their talents. This is the second year of the contest. Students at our local high schools have worked on submissions throughout the school year.

This year's prize winners include the following:

3rd place poetry: Katherine (Katie) Heuser, CHS, Why I Don’t Write Today - $100

3rd place fiction: Sabrina Sholomon, CHS, Uncomfortable Living - $100

2nd place poetry: Aatia Jaine Davison, ECHHS, yourorifices - $250

2nd place fiction: Liana Zalutsky, ECHHS, King of Fruits, - $250

1st place poetry: Samatha Flaugher, CHS, Icarus Takes a Bath - $500

1st place fiction: Linnea Van Manen, ECHHS, Milk- $500

We would like to offer a big thank you to Chris Kubica, Daniel Wallace, Jeffrey Beam and everyone involved.

Top contest winners in Fiction and Poetry received monetary prizes plus the opportunity to read their work to the community.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Opportunities Offered Through Community Schools Department

The CHCCS Community Schools Department offers several programs for district students throughout the year.

Right now, they are registering students for the Summer Camps and Summer Youth Enrichment (SYE) and After-School.

The Summer Camp is open to rising 1st through 6th graders.  There are six weeks of camp and each week has a different theme, including Fitness, Fun and Fashion, Cruising the Continents and Sizzling Science   Summer Camps also offer field trips, guests and performers and experienced, trained staff.  The cost per week is $180, plus a registration fee.  Summer Camp runs from 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. 

SYE offers enrichment opportunities for students of any grade.  There are Art and Theatre courses, Science and Computer courses, Reading and Writing courses, Sports and Fitness courses, and Crafts, Cooking and Sewing courses.  There are 35 courses offered throughout the summer, ranging in student ages and prices, where students can spend a week learning things like drama, computer programming, storytelling, baseball, basketball and cooking.

The After-School program is a five-star licensed school-age care program offered at each of the district's 11 elementary schools.  The program provides a balance of structure and free-choice activities designed to stimulate the students' social, emotional, intellectual and physical development.  Students receive theme-related activities in various areas, including arts, music, science and language arts.  They also have homework and quiet time, guest presenters and performers and field trips.  After-School begins at 2:30 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m.

For more information on any of the Community Schools programs, click here or call 919-967-8211, ext. 28266.

Students enjoy a day playing in water during Summer Camp

Students learn during a Mad Science SYE course

After-School students having fun

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Phillips Orchestra Wows General Assembly

Anne Daaleman recently brought the Phillips Middle School Orchestra to the North Carolina General Assembly. They provided a beautiful thirty-minute concert. Dozens of legislators and others watched. Sens. Phil Berger and Tom Apodaca even looked on for a good fifteen minutes and heard Ms. Daaleman talk about the importance of arts education. Several students spoke about the positive impact Orchestra has had on them.

This event was arranged by Representative Graig Meyer. His office has received numerous expressions of appreciation regarding the performance. State Senator Josh Stein is a Phillips Middle School Alumnus, and he was especially pleased to have the performance. Everyone was impressed by the quality of the performance.

Congratulations to Ms. Daaleman and the Phillips Orchestra.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Names CHCCS a 2015 Green Ribbon School District

“Green Ribbon schools are an inspiration,” says Arne Duncan

Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce that Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees. 

CHCCS was nominated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The entire application can be found here. The district was selected due in large part to its waste reduction, energy conservation and sustainability education integration.

“We are very pleased to be awarded the Green Ribbon as a school district,” said Superintendent Tom Forcella. “It is the direct result of much creativity, collaboration and hard work of many people – all under the leadership of Dan Schnitzer, our Sustainability Coordinator.”

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, nine colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. One other North Carolina school district, Cherokee County Schools, was selected as a Green Ribbon school district. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC. 

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

Regarding the local efforts of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Sustainability Coordinator Dan Schnitzer commented that while the school district has seen a significant reduction in energy costs, from day one it has been about much more than saving money. “Our goal is to help students create a sustainable paradigm that includes healthy habits and lifelong sustainability skills that benefit their health, their community and the environment.”

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges.  

For more information about sustainability efforts in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, please contact Dan Schnitzer at dschnitzer@chccs.k12.nc.us or by phone at 919-967-8211 (ext. 28322).

Dan Schnitzer teaches sustainability to middle school students

Board of Education, principal and architects receive Platinum LEED award
for Northside Elementary in September 2014

McDougle Middle unveils its new solar panel in October 2014

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