Monday, November 30, 2015

PBIS Recognitions

The North Carolina Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) recognition ceremony was held on November 17, 2015. Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) had 17 of 19 schools recognized by the state as fully implementing PBIS schools.

One of the highest percentages in the state, CHCCS had 15 schools recognized in 13-14 school year. Ten schools earned Exemplar status, which is the highest level of recognition. Of the 37 counties that had Exemplar schools, only five districts had ten or more schools. Most of those districts are considerably larger than CHCCS. Our alternative high school, Phoenix Academy High, increased its level of implementation and was recognized as a model school.

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Delayed Opening, December 3 / Fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, 3 de diciembre

Delayed Opening Scheduled for December 3
The district has approved a plan for schools to operate on a Delayed Opening schedule eight Thursdays during the 2015-16 school year.  Schools will open two hours late, allowing teachers to use the time for collaborative planning or professional development.

On these days, buses will run two hours later than the normal schedule and schools will open to students two hours later than usual. Schools will dismiss at their normally scheduled time.

Elementary Schools begin at 9:50 a.m.
Middle Schools begin at 10:20 a.m.
High Schools begin at 10:45 a.m.

Fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, 3 de diciembre
Las escuelas públicas de Chapel Hill-Carrboro han aprobado las fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, correspondientes a ocho (8) jueves durante el año escolar 2015-2016.  Las escuelas abrirán 2 horas más tarde, para darle a los maestros tiempo para preparar y planificar las clases, así como tiempo para educación continuada.

Esos días los buses recogerán a los niños 2 horas más tarde de lo acostumbrado y las escuelas abrirán sus puertas a los estudiantes 2 horas más tarde de lo acostumbrado. Las clases terminarán a la hora regular.

Escuelas de Primaria empezarán a las 9:50 de la mañana
Escuelas de Secundaria Media empezarán a las 10:20 de la mañana
Escuelas de Secundarias Superior empezarán a las 10:45 de la mañana

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thank You For Your Service

From left to right: Mike Kelley, Jamezetta Bedford, David Saussy
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools community would like to thank Jamezetta Bedford, Mike Kelley and David Saussy for their service as members of the Board of Education. It is a very challenging role, but crucial to the continued success of our entire community. Jamezetta and Mike were elected in 2003, and both have served as Board Chair. David was appointed in 2014 to fulfill the remainder of an open seat.

Jamezetta, Mike and David: Thank you for your hard work. Your impact will carry forward for years to come.

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Triangle Golf Today Features CHHS Student Athlete

Triangle Golf Today Magazine recently featured Gina Kim, Chapel Hill High Golfer and 3A State Champion. 

Gina, who is ranked in the top 50 nationally and was the Carolinas Golf Association’s junior player of the year in 2014, has already made two trips to the U.S. Junior Championship and advanced to the round of 16 this past July. In mid-October, she competed in the AJGA PING Invitational at Karsten Creek in Oklahoma, where she placed 11th.

She says one of her remaining junior goals is to win an AJGA Invitational. As far as high school golf, she would like to lead a school team to the state tournament.

Gina, a sophomore has verbally committed to play golf at Duke University.

See the whole story here.
Gina Kim - News & Observer File Photo
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Global Connections at Smith Middle

Imagine, explore, discover a world anew on Thursday, November 19, from 6-8 p.m. at Smith Middle School. This event is free and open to the public.

Plan on eating dinner in our International Cafe where vendors of various ethnic restaurants will offer $3, $5, or $7 plates. Student exhibits will be everywhere, while a professional musician will host a drum circle in Africa. Community members will provide interactive exhibits and games from Asia to South America to Europe. For the first time in 15 years, the French cafe will be closed in response to the tragic events in France and Belgium. The room will become a Reflection room where visitors are invited to pay their respects to the victims, families and friends in Europe as well as reflect on how they will help create a world anew. A seven-foot canvas, decorated by the eighth-grade French students, will become a message board of condolences for visitors during Global Connections. This canvas will be sent to a school in Paris.

The book fair is in the media center and is Smith’s major fund-raiser. It will be open for business during Global Connections - please stop by the media center. You can also order books online until November 21. The link is available on the school’s homepage.
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Chapel Hill High Honored at 2015 North Carolina Theatre Conference High School Play Festival

The Theatre Department at Chapel Hill High School has much to celebrate, as they brought home honors from the 2015 North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) High School Play Festival, held at Wake Forest High School on November 6. The theatre program, led by Thomas Drago, made the school and community proud with their presentation of “Selfie” at the Festival, and is thrilled to bring home the following awards: “Selfie” – Rating: Superior; Excellence in Projection Design; Excellence in Acting – Samantha Lane.

For more than 30 years, the NCTC High School Play Festival has strengthened arts education in schools by bringing curriculum to life, challenging students to do their very best work, and contributing to the development of future audiences for live performing arts. The program was named one of the “Top High School Theatre Festivals” by Stage Directions Magazine, is the largest high school theatre event in the Southeast, and has been replicated in nine other states. This year, 3,000 students from 90 schools performed 118 plays!

Each fall, professional theatres, colleges and high schools across the state host a regional Festival, and the top two outstanding productions from each of the eight sites advance to the NCTC State High School Play Festival, November 19-20 at Greensboro College. Winners there go on to represent the state of North Carolina at the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s annual convention, which will be in Greensboro in 2016.

The atmosphere at the Play Festival is positive and exciting, and students are filled with energy as they watch shows, learn from their peers and make new theatre friends. Schools travel with theatrical sets and load-in to a 10’x10’ backstage area. Before their 45 minute time limit begins, students eagerly await hearing the starting phrase, “Your time begins NOW!”, to which they respond with an enthusiastic reply. The 45 minute time limit includes setting up, performing the play and clearing the stage. Following their performance, students join their peers in the cheering audience to receive feedback from professional actors and directors with Broadway and Hollywood credits. Actors, designers, writers, directors and teachers are celebrated, and bring home awards that are displayed beside school sports trophies.

The NCTC High School Play Festival is made possible with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources; The Beattie Foundation; Lincoln Financial Group; the Moore County Unrestricted Endowment Fund; and Barbizon Lighting Company.
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Friday, November 13, 2015

ECHHS Field Hockey Wins Eighth Consecutive State Title

The East Chapel Hill High Field Hockey team won their eighth consecutive state championship on Thursday, November 12! Congratulations to Coaches Susan Taylor, Kristen Amato and the entire team for representing the school, the district and the community with integrity and excellence both on and off the field. Eight years in a row is truly amazing! 
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ryan Ellefsen - NC Eastern Regional Orchestra Teacher of the Year

Please join us in congratulating East Chapel Hill High's very own Ryan Ellefsen for being elected as the North Carolina Eastern Regional Orchestra Teacher of the Year. Mr. Ellefsen is highly
regarded by students, parents and colleagues. This award is certainly well-deserved.

Ryan is pictured on the right along with Western Regional winner Donny Walter (left) and NC Orchestra Section Chairperson, Margot Holloman (center).
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Teacher Workday, Thanksgiving Holiday Nov. 25-27; Lincoln Center Offices Close Early Nov. 25 / Día de trabajo para maestros, Días festivos de Acción de Gracias del 25 al 27 de nov.; Oficinas en Lincoln Center cerrarán temprano el 25 nov.

Schools and Offices Closed
Wednesday, November 25 is a Teacher Workday for students and Lincoln Center will close its offices at 1 p.m. that day.  Schools and district offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday, November 26-27.  Schools will resume as usual and district offices will be open on Monday, November 30.

Escuelas y Oficinas Cerradas
Miércoles 25 de noviembre es un día de trabajo para maestros y las oficinas de Lincoln Center cerrarán a la 1 p.m.  Escuelas y oficinas del distrito estarán cerradas por la Fiesta de Acción de Gracias el jueves y viernes, 26 y 27 de noviembre.  El Lunes 30 de noviembre, escuelas reanudará actividades como de costumbre y las oficinas de distrito estarán abiertas.

read more "Teacher Workday, Thanksgiving Holiday Nov. 25-27; Lincoln Center Offices Close Early Nov. 25 / Día de trabajo para maestros, Días festivos de Acción de Gracias del 25 al 27 de nov.; Oficinas en Lincoln Center cerrarán temprano el 25 nov."

Friday, November 6, 2015

McPeak Wins NCHSSA Scholar-Athlete Essay Contest

Meghan McPeak, a junior at Carrboro High School, won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's (NCHSSA) fourth annual Scholar-Athlete Essay Contest for the female entrants.

The NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete program, sponsored by the North Carolina National Guard, recognizes excellence in the classroom, as well as on the playing court or field.  There were 65 submissions from 38 different North Carolina high schools.  Students-athletes had to submit a 400-word essay answering the question, "What challenge(s) have you overcome to develop as a Scholar-Athlete?"  One male and one female winner were selected from the entries.

McPeak, who is captain of the Women's Golf Team at CHS, wrote her essay on her choice to stop playing soccer after numerous injuries and to take up golf, learning to depend on her own mental toughness to overcome bad rounds versus playing as a team member in soccer.  Please see McPeak's entire essay below.

As the contest winner, McPeak received a Fitbit Flex fitness wristband and a gift pack from the NCHSAA.

Jordan Fitzpatrick of Carrboro High School, was a finalist in the male entries, but Garner Fleming of Eastern Alamance High School won that division.

"We have received excellent responses from our student-athletes regarding our NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete Essay Contests," said NCHSAA interim commissioner Que Tucker.  "Congratulations go to both Meghan and Garner, as they did an outstanding job with the essays they submitted."

McPeak also took ninth place at the North Carolina 1A/2A State Golf Tournament last month.

NCHSSA Application
by Meghan McPeak

I have always been a competitive athlete, playing multiple sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, track, and most recently golf. Early on, I gravitated to soccer quickly excelling enough to make the top level club team and picked for the NC Olympic Development Program. However, my freshman year, I suffered three concussions. The last, was disabling enough to sideline me from the field, but more frightening caused problems academically.  I suffered headaches, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, focusing and difficulties reading. The room spun if I turned my head too sharply. I remember one of my coaches, Cindy Parlow, speaking about how concussions and chronic headaches had ended her career for the US team. I realized that I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with headaches.
For months after my resignation from the team, I experienced feelings of depression and loss. I would no longer be able to play a sport I loved and had played since age three. Then one day, my dad brought out the golf clubs. He reminded me that I had enjoyed myself at summer golf camps when I was younger. This would begin a perilous journey of constant practice, and devotion to a sport that was comparatively polar opposite of soccer.

Golf is a very different sport from soccer. I had to face an uphill battle with feeling hesitant and unconfident. It’s safe to say that during my freshman year, I was entirely unprepared for the mental toughness one needed to get through a round of golf. I had never had to compete on such an individual level. Moments of pure frustration and hopelessness would settle in rounds of poor performance, and I would realize that while I was on a team, I was essentially competing against myself and the course. Along with continuing to perfect my skill, I would also have to begin sharpening my mental toughness, so I could overcome bad rounds, and begin leading teammates on how to do the same.

Today in my junior year, I am a captain of the Carrboro High School’s varsity women’s golf team. Completing the NFHS captains course, I hope to instill in my teammates the same dedication and respect towards the game of golf, athletics, and the academic prospect that comes with being a student athlete. It is our team goal to continue to grow the golf program, and have community involvement.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

FPG Live!

Frank Porter Graham Elementary had a problem...until now. Students who eat breakfast in the school cafeteria were missing the morning meeting program that takes place in the gym. However, with the help of their PTA, who paid for 90% of the needed infrastructure, the morning meeting is now streamed into the cafeteria. All students are now included in this important part of the school day.

Click here to see students dancing along with the show while in the breakfast line. Click here to see a sample morning meeting.

Many thanks to the school staff and to the FPG PTA for making this solution a reality!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chapel Hill High Teacher Writes SAT Subject Test Review Book for Barron’s Publishing

Now available following a worldwide release, author and teacher Bill Melega is sharing his unique and effective storytelling instructional method to increase student engagement and prepare them for success on the SAT World History Subject Test

Melega has written and published the newest edition of the SAT World History Subject Test Review for Barron’s Educational Publishing (New York).  It is available at all major booksellers and online vendors, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Melega, who has spent his 20-year teaching career in the North Carolina Public Schools, was asked in July 2013 to submit a book proposal to Barron’s by editor Kristen Girardi, who heard Melega speak about the importance of Higher Order Thinking at the 2011 National Advanced Placement (AP) World History Conference in San Francisco.

“It was a great achievement to be selected as the sole author for the book project,” says Melega. “It is even more exciting now that I have completed the book and can share my love and knowledge of history to help students around the globe excel on the SAT World History Subject Test.

The SAT Test, administered by The College Board, is one of two primary assessments used by colleges and universities to make decisions about admissions and possible scholarships. The SAT Subject Tests, offered at the same time as the SAT, are available for any student who excels in a specific subject and wishes to boost their overall SAT score in that subject.

“For students who excel in the Humanities – history, English, literature, languages, communications – this is a test they could take to show their expertise in world history,” explains Melega.  “The test incorporates factual recall questions with queries and essays that require the ability to synthesize data using critical thinking and persuasive arguments. I wrote the review book so students could achieve that higher level of thinking.”

The Barron’s World History Subject Review book is written using an easy-to-understand storytelling style, incorporating “Fun Facts” and “Dinner Table Talk” topics into the factual information. It covers world history from the prehistory era through modern day, and includes a diagnostic test, three full practice tests, and Quick Quizzes every 2-3 chapters.

Another primary focus of the book is Global Connections. “History didn’t happen in a vacuum,” says Melega. “Everything that happens around the world reverberates somehow in other cultures.” 

Melega has also collaborated internationally to write educational materials on World War I for the American Battlefields Monument Commission (Meuse-Argonne, France). Entitled Bringing the Great War Home: Volume IV, it is presented free as an iBook. Melega also partnered with Bloomsbury Publishing (London) to write inquiry-based lessons on Winston Churchill, which are available free online via the Churchill Archives for Schools.

Melega’s teaching honors include:

-    Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Educator of the Year, Washington D.C.
-    Korean Studies Workshop for American Educators Teacher of the Year, Seoul, Korea
-    VFW State Teacher of the Year, North Carolina
-    OAKS Foundation World History Education Grant Recipient, Zurich, Switzerland
-    Chapel Hill Historical Society/ Public School Foundation History Education Grant Recipient
-    Chapel Hill High School Teacher of the Year
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Veterans Day Holiday, Wednesday, Nov. 11 / Día de los Veteranos, miércoles, 11 de noviembre

Schools and Offices Closed
All schools and district offices will be closed Wednesday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.  On November 12, schools will operate on their usual schedule and district offices will be open.

Escuelas y oficinas cerradas
Las escuelas y oficinas del distrito estarán cerradas el miércoles, 11 de noviembre, en honor al Día de los Veteranos. El 12 de noviembre, la escuelas tendrán su horario de costumbre y las oficinas de distrito estarán abiertas.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Pumpkins Sold to Support United Way

Becky Springer's Fifth-Grade Art Club at Morris Grove Elementary just completed its 4th Annual Pumpkin Auction for the United Way. They were able to raise $1,300.00 this year for the organization! Club members created 33 hand-painted pumpkins. Laurie Williamson of the United Way came to meet the students and see their pumpkins. 

Thanks to the fifth-grade teachers and Mrs. Renner for working with the busy artists to get the job done. Also, a big thanks goes out to Elizabeth Whortan, Angela Snider, and Cedric Bush for their help setting up the auction.

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