Friday, December 21, 2012

Chapel Hill HS Honors the Newtown Community

Students and staff at Chapel Hill High School decided to offer their deepest sympathy and condolences to the community of Sandy Hook Elementary.  For most at CHHS, December has always been a time of great joy and happiness; however this year, they are also thinking about the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the unexplained act of violence that took the lives of innocent children and adults.

CHHS decided to initiate a letter writing campaign to the bereaved citizens of Newton, CT.  Any student, faculty or staff member was welcome to write their own condolence letter.  The sympathy notes were mailed on December 21.  The CHHS community hope to alleviate the unimaginable pain that the citizens of Newtown are feeling and to show that they are not alone.

Also, after school on December 19, CHHS staff and students packed roses for each of the teachers at their neighbor school, Seawell Elementary.  The roses were delivered to the Seawell teachers on December 20 as a surprise.

Both of these acts of kindness were CHHS's way of showing that the students, faculty and staff have the people of Newtown in their hearts and the Seawell teachers in their thoughts every day.

Roses awaiting the teachers at Seawell Elementary with a note from Chapel Hill HS students and staff

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Volunteers Support Students in Our Schools

The Volunteers and Partners Office has had a busy year.  They placed 798 volunteers this fall, made up of UNC students, community members and retirees, as well as some CHCCS parents and employees.  These volunteers serve throughout all 19 CHCCS schools as PreK-12 grade helpers, School Reading Partners, ESL Helpers, Writing Coaches, AVID Tutors and BRMA Tutors.

In this semester's Volunteer Spotlight, Jean Goeppinger was named the Volunteer Extraordinaire!  She is a School Reading Partners (SRP) volunteer at McDougle Elementary.  Goeppinger is also an ESL Helper and a Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate (BRMA) mentor for a student at Smith MS.

"Jean's relationship with the class and her students is one of the many things that makes her effective," said Linda Poythress, a second grade teacher at McDougle Elementary.  "The students respond to her caring attitude."

Julie Dermody, an ESL teacher at McDougle Elementary said, "We were thrilled when Jean said she'd come back to volunteer in our second grade co-teaching classroom!  She has become a valuable part of our classroom and builds relationships with our students as she patiently supports them."

"Jean also shares her travels with our students," added Dermody.  "Through her postcards and emails, she introduces other parts of our country and the world to our entire class.  We're fortunate to have her volunteer her time working with us."

SRP and ESL Book Giveaway
The Volunteer Office is continuously looking for ways to get books into the hands of children.  At the end of each semester, SRP and ESL volunteers give books to the students with whom they work.  The books are provided by CHCCS and are purchased through a special Literacy Partner grant with Scholastic.  Volunteers love having a semester-end parting gift for students and, of course, the children are happy to receive a book of their own.

Many Volunteer Opportunities Are Available
ESL, SRP, BRMA and CoachWrite volunteers all receive training before working with students.

As an ESL volunteer, English-speaking volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups with K-12 ESL students.  Volunteers work to engage students in simple interactions.  One, four-hour training session is required.

A SRP volunteer is paired with beginning readers in CHCCS schools.  SRPs support reading instruction by giving children opportunities to explore books and language.  A three and a half hour training session is required.

CoachWrite volunteers work one-on-one with students to improve their writing skills.  A one, three-hour training is required.

BRMA volunteers are paired with a student to help foster the full development of a child's academic, physical, emotional and social potential.  Volunteers make a two-year, two-hour per week commitment to their mentee.  Training is required.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer for CHCCS, should contact the Volunteer Office at 919-967-8211, ext. 28281 or email them at  Please visit the Volunteer website for more information.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Board of Education Meets in Closed Session on Dec.17

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education will  meet in closed session regarding student matters on Monday, December 17, 2012, at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Center.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Coretta Sharpless Named Assistant Principal of Northside Elementary

At its December 6 meeting, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Coretta Sharpless as assistant principal of the new Northside Elementary. Sharpless is an experienced educational leader who truly celebrates both the past and the future of Northside – she grew up in the same neighborhood and now has a chance to return in a state of the art school that is sure to be a community hub.

Sharpless has served in multiple roles in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools since 2003 including as an assistant principal, assistant principal intern, teacher, gifted education specialist, intervention specialist, grade level chair and student support team chair. Previously, she worked with Alamance-Burlington City Schools for six years.

“Coretta Sharpless is ideally suited for Northside Elementary,” said Superintendent Tom Forcella. “Her experience in the classroom, in gifted education and as an administrator will be invaluable in creating the standard of excellence we are expecting at Northside.”

Sharpless earned her Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University. She also completed a Gifted Education Certification at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Prior to college, Sharpless attended our own Estes Hills Elementary, Phillips Middle and Chapel Hill High. She will remain at Estes Hills Elementary until another administrator is hired.

Coretta Sharpless

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