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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Monday, May 11, 2015

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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