Thursday, September 28, 2017

Roy Wilkins Featured in Public Service Announcement for Living Wage

CHCCS is pleased to have our very own Roy Wilkins, custodian at Ephesus Elementary, featured in a recent public service announcement promoting the importance of the Living Wage.

Thanks to Roy, and all of our custodians, for the important work they accomplish every day. Our schools could not function without them.

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Off to a Flying Start

It’s been exactly a month since our students took their seats in their new classrooms and started the 2017-18 year. Seems like a lot longer, doesn’t it? I spent the first two days visiting each of the 20 schools in our district, and the energy level was inspiring. In every school, on the athletic fields, in the hallways, in learning labs and media centers, you can find examples of those three challenges I raised to the CHCCS community at Convocation: make school fun, take risks, and always encourage everyone.

Already this year, I’ve listened to student voices in focus groups, hallways, classrooms and in school cafeterias. What they tell us is remarkable...very profound.

Plenty of exciting new ideas are being implemented. We’re piloting new courses, new academic support initiatives, and expanding opportunities in CTE, Arts Education and other areas.

State accountability data has already been released. Our schools continue to make progress. Additionally, thirty nine current seniors were recently named National Merit Semi-finalists from our district!
Although it would be impossible to publicize even a fraction of the exciting and creative activities happening every day in our schools, we plan to shine a brighter light on a variety of subjects. We’ll be posting more in-depth stories about students, partnerships and teachers, like the recent articles on the Solar Panel Project students at East Chapel Hill High, Phillips Middle School’s cafeteria manager Ann Morgan’s national award or the upcoming articles on the Hope for Houston fundraising efforts at Carrboro High. Our employee video newsletter "60 Seconds” has roared back out of the video mothballs, and soon we’ll be premiering the first episode of “Five with the Soup”.
Stay tuned! We’ll try to share as much of the good work of our students and staff as possible. Send story ideas our way!
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School Board Filing Period Re-Opens from Oct. 2-6

When long-time Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board member, Annetta Streater resigned her position in early September, a new opportunity to file for school board candidacy arose. Although the regular filing deadline ended on July 21, a re-opened period is required by the Orange County Board of Elections, in order to allow new candidates to file.
The top three vote-getters will be placed in the three vacant four-year terms, and the fourth highest vote-getter will serve the two years that remain of Streater’s four year term.
Any resident interested in running for the school board needs to submit a Notice of Candidacy to the county board of elections, either by mail or in person, between October 2 and October 6. The requirements to run for office in a county election are: Candidate is a registered voter, at least 21 years of age as of the date of the general election, and is not serving an active felony sentence, including any period of probation or parole. A Notice of Candidacy form is available to download from this link:


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

National Recognition for Chapel Hill High Students at Future Business Leaders of America

Four students from Chapel Hill High School received national recognition at the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Awards of Excellence Program this summer, where more than 9,600 students competed at the National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Anaheim,  CA.

The awards were part of a comprehensive national competitive events program that recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas.

Students Riley Johnson and Ian Doerfer competed in Website Design and won second place among all national competitors. John Dews-Flick earned third place in Mobile Application Development and Alan George competed in Cyber Security, bringing home sixth place. Riley Johnson and Ian Doerfer recently received letters from Governor Roy Cooper in recognition of their national honors.

Local chapter adviser, Mary Jones was awarded the Adviser of the Year for the State of North Carolina and was presented with a plaque at the Southern Region caucus held at the conference.

“These students made history for Chapel Hill High School,” said Jones. “This is the first time local students have won a national award in my 17-year tenure as the Chapel Hill High FBLA adviser.” Chapel Hill High led the way in the number of competitive events for the North Carolina delegation. Of the 22 students who placed during the State Leadership Conference held in March of this year, 11
students advanced to compete at the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Chapel Hill High School’s Gabrielle Kmiec was elected to be a North Carolina state officer for FBLA for 2017-2018, and will lead the Triad Region (high schools and middle schools in eight counties) as
Vice-President. While at the NLC, Gabrielle presided over a portion of the state meeting of all FBLA students from North Carolina. Kmiec and the Chapel Hill High chapter will be responsible for hosting the Triad Regional Competitive Events Conference in December.

Students from Chapel Hill were able to travel to the conference with assistance from an Achiever’s Fund Grant from the Public School Foundation. “For many students, the competitive events are the capstone activity of their academic careers,” said Jones.

In addition to competitions, students immersed themselves in interactive workshops, visited an
information-packed exhibit hall, heard from motivational speakers on a broad range of business topics, and had a fun evening at Disneyland.
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Morgan Named Chartwells K12 National Associate of the Year

Ann Morgan, the café manager at Phillips Middle School was named National Associate of the Year for Chartwells K12, the foodservice provider for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.  This award recognizes associates who go the extra mile in their school cafes.  Morgan has demonstrated her commitment to her students and her school time and again during her 20 years as the café manager at Phillips.

Under Morgan's leadership, Phillips café has:

  • allowing classes to create their own pizza recipes, vote on their favorite and eat the winning pie during lunch; creations such as "Mac & Cheese Pizza" and "Fruit Pizza" are still served;
  • celebrating National Nutrition Month (in March) by having students create edible garnishes around Chartwells' Asian noodle bowl, even providing gift baskets out of her own pocket for the winning teams; and
  • involving her school in many activities, which shows in meal participation at Phillips - everyone loves to eat at Phillips Café; students sample many new foods, from sweet potato medley (three colors of sweet potatoes) to a wheatberry black bean salad.
"We are so pleased that all of Chartwells K12 now knows what we do - that Ann's excitement, fun and caring for her school and students is second to none," said Liz Cartano, director of child nutrition.  "She is never without a smile and a suggestion about how to improve what we do every day.  She pushes us to be better and has great ideas that she is willing to implement."

Morgan's nomination had to consider her contributions to her associates, school, community, and, most of all, her students.  Some excerpts from her nomination state:
  • Ann Morgan's mind never stops working and that is no more evident than with her creative ideas to improve menus, recipes and promotions.
  • She is a phenomenal trainer for new staff.  She provides her associates with knowledge and confidence for them to succeed.
  • Ann Morgan's number one goal is to provide healthy, nourishing food for her middle school students.  She effortlessly combines her knack for creativity, friendliness with everyone, and never-ending enthusiasm and zest for her school in all that she does.
"Ann Morgan embodies the Eat.Learn.Live philosophy [Chartwells K12's motto] in all that she does.  Our promotions are stronger, our menus are healthier, and our associates are better trained because of Ann's ability to impact so many people through her enthusiasm and good deeds," Cartano added.

As the national award winner, Morgan will attend the Compass Night of Stars in October and receives an all-expenses paid three-day trip to Disney World to celebrate her success.

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National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Thirty-nine seniors from Carrboro High, Chapel Hill High and East Chapel Hill High are among the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
This year the academically talented students will be competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded in spring 2018. The scholarship awards are worth more than $32 million. Nearly 90 percent of the Semifinalists attain Finalist standing, and of those, approximately half will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the title Merit Scholar.
In order to advance to the next round of scholarship competition, students must fulfill several requirements, including the submission of a detailed application which includes information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in extracurricular activities, honors and awards received and demonstrated leadership skills. Students must also write an application essay and submit a letter of recommendation from a high school official.
The Semifinalists are selected from the 1.6 million high school juniors who took the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). This group of Semifinalists comprises fewer than one percent of high school seniors in the U.S. The award winners will be announced in four national news releases between April and July. More than 330,000 other high-achieving seniors have earned the Merit Scholar title since the program was established in 1955.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. Scholars are selected without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.

CHCCS Semifinalists are:

Hope B. Anderson
Jackson L.  Asaro
Katherine F. Brownstein
Andre F. Javan
Elena K. Peot
Arjun Shankar
Sophia D. Therber

Silas R. Buckner
Andrew M. Campbell
Garrett F. Chappell
Lena A. Cohen
Anne Crabill
Sayali Gove
Douglas Heine
Jerry W. Ji
Benjamin D. Rampel
John Rich
Maggie Weber
Li-Anne W. Wright
Eric Xu
Tyler D. Yandrofski

Thomas A. Brodey
Yixuan Cao
Katherine H. Characklis
Dawn E. Culton
Kevin Day
Joie Y. Dong
Vincent Y. Du
Martin A. Hito
Alexander Hoerler
Finley S. James
Kelly D. Lin
Frances O’Grady
Jack C. Phillips
Jennifer H. Qian
Mian A. Qin
Sarah E. Stevens
Albert Tsui
Victor Q. Zhao

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Apple SWIFT at Chapel Hill High

Apple SWIFT Arrives at Chapel Hill High’s
Academy of Information Technology

Chapel Hill High School is one of only three public high schools in North Carolina to introduce a new course, “App Development with Swift,” this year. The free 45-lesson, full-year course is available through iBooks Store, but it’s taught as part of the Academy of Information Technology by academy director, Garrison Reid.

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) course offerings in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are expanding every year to better meet the demands of industry. “This is the first year CTE has offered any type of programming,” said Kathi Breweur, director of CTE. “The decision to move CTE in this direction came from a discussion at our IT advisory board meeting. Our business partners conveyed the need for this type of middle and high school course content.”
For the Swift launch at Chapel Hill High, Mr. Reid opened the class to students across the high school grade levels, so they’ve enrolled with varying degrees of prior knowledge and experience in coding. The current class has 15 students, and they work both independently and collaboratively to cover the Apple-designed lessons which help students learn Swift application design and then how to code, test and deploy apps to prepare them for internships and future jobs. Tonia Aldridge, regional Apple representative said, “The Chapel Hill-Carrboro CTE department has been a leader with Swift.”
The call for all students to learn coding is gaining momentum nationwide. Ali Partovi, co-founder of said, “We feel that coding is the new American Dream and should be available to everybody, not just a lucky few.”
"It seems that people who are not computationally literate will have to rely on others to help them navigate their lives, " writes Annette Vee, author of Coding Literacy: How Computer Programming is Changing Writing. “Because programming is intertwining with writing, it’s changing what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Computer programming is re-coding literacy.”
During a recent day in Mr. Reid’s Swift class, students followed along as their teacher led them through an exercise in combining variables of a common theme using structures. The atmosphere is relaxed but focused as students look from their own screens to the overhead screen that illustrates the steps.
By the time the course wraps up next spring, students will have created Apple’s sample apps as well as apps of their own design. All students will gain critical job skills, as well as developing a “computational mentality.”
As the feeder school into the IT Academy at Chapel Hill High, McDougle Middle School now offers a semester-long course on coding for eighth graders, taught by Anderson Wyatt. The introductory Apple Swift course uses the Playground app and the curriculum "Learn to Code 1."  Mr. Wyatt will integrate activities that he designs, as well as those that are provided in the "Everyone Can Code" teacher guide. “Each student has an iPad that's assigned to them and they will use them to work through 'Learn to Code 1,'" he said.
The exercises and lessons in “Learn to Code” aim to demonstrate basic concepts through topics like “Intro to Debugging” and “World-Building.” Quizzes are framed as Playground Labs, so it’s easy for students to lose sight of the complexity and rigor, and focus instead on the fun.
Ben Kern, a freshman in Mr. Reid’s class, has been interested in computers his entire life. He smiled broadly as he said, “I can definitely see doing this as my career.”
Another freshman, Chloe Elbogen, first studied computing as a sixth grader, the only girl in her class. Although she participated in the program Girls Who Code, Chloe said, “This is the first real time I’ve sat down to make whatever I want…this is learning a new language. I really enjoy coding.”
“This is an ongoing effort to introduce programming concepts to CHCCS students,” Mr. Reid said. “This is a recognized gap by industry partners on our advisory board, but also at the state and national levels.”
For more information about the need for employees with higher level programming and coding skills, see the website Promote Computer Science: Currently, the site indicates that there are more than 15,000 unfilled computing jobs in North Carolina.

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Delayed Opening, Oct. 19 / Fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, 19 de octubre

Delayed Opening Scheduled for October 19
The district has approved a plan for schools to operate on a Delayed Opening schedule eight Thursdays during the 2017-18 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, 19 de octubre
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 2017-2018.  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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Monday, September 18, 2017

Mary Andrews Named National Family Teacher of the Year

Mary Andrews isn’t sitting still in retirement. On the contrary, she’s building on her 40-year teaching career by expanding family literacy programs throughout the Chapel Hill community. Today, Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) surprised Andrews during a reading event with local families with the news that she is the 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year.

Andrews and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation also received a $20,000 check to further Family Reading Partners (FRP) program outreach.

“Mary’s dedication to working with families to change the academic and life trajectories of vulnerable parents and children is impressive,” said Dr. Joshua Cramer, vice president, NCFL. “Her work is in alignment with NCFL’s mission to eradicate poverty through two-generation education solutions for families. We are proud to recognize her as our 2017 Toyota Family Teacher of the Year.”

Andrews’ FRP and READ2ME programs are designed to model and encourage reading together as a family. Facilitators teach parents how to interact with their children to promote kindergarten readiness and reinforce that parents are their child’s first and most important teacher.

Additionally, the program works to address the 30-million word gap many low-income children face upon entering kindergarten.

“Mary’s work with Chapel Hill and Carrboro families makes a visible impact on our school system and our community,” said Superintendent Pam Baldwin, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS). “We are grateful for her continued work to support families in our district. She is building a legacy of family literacy that is contagious and inspiring.”

Andrews’ literacy programs began on a small scale during her teaching career and were later adopted district-wide. Once retired, she expanded programming to reach more low-income community members with young children, including:

     • Teenage parents: high school students join Andrews monthly during lunch to complete an FRP session and receive books for their babies;
     • Recovering mothers: monthly in-home sessions are held through the UNC Hospitals’ HORIZONS program;
     • Refugee families: In partnership with the Refugee Support Center, Andrews finds bilingual books and hires interpreters to spread the message;
     • Parents of newborns: Andrews visits low-income parents referred by Orange County Health Department and, upon invitation, returns every six months with new books until the child reaches kindergarten;
     • Early Head Start: Andrews meets families at Early Head Start centers for FRP lessons and book giveaways; and,
• Family Success Alliance: a county-wide collaborative using a multi-generational approach to overcome poverty for families.

The Toyota Family Teacher of the Year award, a national honor now in its 21st year, recognizes families play a crucial role in the success of children, and salutes educators who are exceptional at using intergenerational approaches to engage students and their families in education.

Andrews and runner-up Fernando Gonzalez, of Tucson, Ariz., will be recognized for their accomplishments at the annual NCFL Families Learning Conference in Tucson on October 9. The conference convenes the nation’s most progressive experts in education, policy, and family and parent engagement to discuss and share the latest information regarding multigenerational approaches to learning.

“We’re proud to recognize Mary Andrews as Toyota Family Teacher of the Year for the dedication to countless children and families through her unique literacy programs,” said Mike Goss, general manager, social innovation, Toyota Motor North America.

Gonzalez, a family literacy specialist with Make Way for Books in Tucson, was chosen as the Toyota Family Teacher of the Year runner up. Gonzalez works to empower parents to embrace their role as the first, best and most important teacher in their child’s life, as well as to become advocates for their children’s education. With this recognition, Make Way for Books received a $5,000 grant to continue Fernandez’s work engaging families through six-week programs that meet families where they are – in apartment and mobile home communities, social service agencies, and neighborhood centers.

Goss added: “The work of Mary and Fernando will increase children’s upward mobility and ability to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. This will pay dividends for these students, their families, their schools and their communities for generations to come.”

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is a national nonprofit organization working to eradicating poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources from the classroom to the community that empower and raise families to achieve their potential. For more information on NCFL visit

Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold nearly 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. 

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Teacher Workday, September 21 / Día de trabajo para maestros, 21 de septiembre

Teacher Workday Scheduled
There is a Teacher Workday scheduled for Thursday, September 21.

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SOLAR KICKOFF at East Chapel Hill High

      Under a sunny sky on the freshman hill at East Chapel Hill High, students gathered to celebrate the hard work and risk-taking by four of their fellow Wildcats. The Solar Kickoff on Wednesday, September 13 represented the official announcement of a Duke Energy Carolinas/NC GreenPower Schools Going Solar grant to install solar panels at the school. The award also includes monitoring equipment, training for teachers and a curriculum for students.
     “The kickoff was both a culmination, celebrating the work of Megan, Emily, Connor, Michael and the Solar Panel Project participants, and also just the beginning of moving towards a renewable energy future at East and CHCCS,” said Dan Schnitzer, District Sustainability Coordinator.
      The grant application was competitive. More than three dozen schools sought the grants; East Chapel Hill High was one of seven winning schools. “The students have led the charge from day one,” Schnitzer said, “finding the grant, organizing themselves, showing up, working hard and not being deterred or distracted.”
     The four students came together during the spring of 2016. Emily Liu and Megan Doherty had participated in UNC’s Institute for the Environment program Climate LEAP where they first discussed sustainability with CHCCS school board member Annetta Streater. Connor Diaz and Michael Swers were members of Eastainability, an East club who joined forces with Liu and Doherty to create the Solar Panel Project. As Doherty said to the kickoff audience, “We were a small club with huge dreams.”
       Streater, who also spoke at the kickoff event, directed the students to Schnitzer. He first asked the students to conduct an energy audit at ECHHS and then shepherded the grant-writing project to its completion. He claimed he had little more to do with the grant application than checking for grammar and providing the tax ID number, but the students laughed at their mentor’s modesty. “He gave us energy and motivation,” Doherty said. They had reviewed examples of professional grant proposals, but Schnitzer encouraged them to look at well-written student proposals as models. “He was so knowledgeable about how to write grants.”
         Once the panels are installed in 2018, students will be able to monitor energy production and consumption at East, gathering real-time input data. Representing Duke Energy, district manager Indira Everett congratulated the project participants, and shared news about the expansion of renewable resources in North Carolina. The state currently ranks second in solar energy installations, after California, and Duke Energy has invested over five billion dollars in solar and wind projects.
       Vicky McCann, vice-president of NC GreenPower, shared her excitement about the impact their nonprofit can have on North Carolina schools and students who use the technology. NC GreenPower piloted a Solar Schools program in 2015 and collaborates with Duke Energy to provide the grants and panel installations.
         Superintendent Dr. Pam Baldwin said that when she was a science teacher, this was the kind of experience she longed for her students to have every day. Learning from the sustainability initiative will be “relevant, engaging and fun,” she said. “Too often What If’s prevent us from doing what is truly amazing.”
        “This project has definitely influenced my college field of study,” said Liu. “I want to go into environmental science and the STEM field.”
       “Thank you for setting the bar,” Mayor Pam Hemminger said to the four students. "This is truly a great example of our young people leading the way toward a renewable energy platform for our community."
         The students said they hope that the solar panels will provide a model of sustainability for CHCCS and the community, and show that youth voices can and will be heard. As one of them noted, every time future students walk by the panels, hopefully they’ll think about what they can accomplish.

      “They embody the mindset of creating the change they want to see,” Schnitzer said. “I’m extremely proud to have worked with these students and the staff throughout the school and district that supported this project.”

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MSAN Kickoff

During the first week of the school year, 26 high school students gathered at Phoenix Academy for an evening kickoff meeting of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN). In little more than two hours, the young people shared introductions, ate dinner, reflected on the past year’s accomplishments and began looking ahead to the many activities already planned for 2017-2018. Representing newcomers and veterans, the three larger high schools and all four grade levels, the students laughed and joked together, even as they worked steadily through a full agenda.

Niya Fearrington, student body president at Carrboro High School, is a passionate advocate for MSAN. “It’s truly been a catalyst for my life… learning how to advocate for student voice.” She says her friends in different Triangle school districts ask how they can develop MSAN groups, too, but for now, CHCCS has the lone chapter in North Carolina.
The national MSAN mission, embraced by the district’s chapter, is “to understand and change school practices and structures that keep racial achievement gaps in place.” MSAN school districts tend to share a tradition of high academic achievement with connections to university communities: Madison, Cambridge, Evanston -- and Chapel Hill-Carrboro.
One of the national goals of MSAN is to create and share professional development activities for teachers and administrators, with a clear equity lens. Last year the CHCCS group developed a workshop for teachers and staff called “Classroom in Color,” which they rolled out in June at the Summer Institute for Professional Learning. Plans for this year’s activities include new venues and audiences for “Classroom in Color;” one version will be delivered in Spanish during the Dignity in Schools National Week of Action.
Niya says that she and her fellow scholars are excited about finding bigger stages for sharing the workshop. As a CHCCS “lifer,” kindergarten through senior year, Niya says she and other presenters found it especially rewarding to recognize former teachers, assistant principals and principals in their audiences. “It was exciting to show off our progress over the years.”
Last fall this student organization hosted the national three-day conference at the Chapel Hill Sheraton. The high school participants from 19 districts nation-wide evaluated last year’s conference as highly successful and inclusive.  This October, a dozen scholars will travel to Cleveland, Ohio to attend the annual conference and to reconnect with friends in the network, as they hone their action plans for the coming year. The theme is F.O.C.U.S. - Fighting Our Cause Unified in the Struggle.

Advisor Lorie Clark says, “Our students understand the concepts of systems but have learned to use their voice to fight for equity and a quality education for all students.”
Lorie Clark and Marlow Artis of Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocates supervise the district MSAN group, under the direction of Equity department’s Dr. Sheldon Lanier. To find out more about MSAN, visit

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Streater Resigns from Board of Education

Annetta Stokes Streater, who has served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education since 2006, has submitted her letter of resignation. Her last board meeting will be on Monday, September 18, 2017.

“I have had the honor and privilege of serving the children and staff of this district for the past 11 years – and what a rewarding commitment it has been,” said Streater. “At this juncture in my life, I find it necessary to be responsive to increasing family and work commitments. I’m confident the Board and administration will continue on this path of improving instruction and operations with a student-centered approach through an equity lens.”

During her time on the Board, three new schools were constructed and several others have been renovated. Her support of the district’s sustainability efforts resulted in two of the schools receiving Platinum and Silver LEED certifications. Both the dual language Spanish and Mandarin programs were expanded, including the district’s first magnet school, Frank Porter Graham Bilingue Elementary. Specialty academies were created at the high schools, and the district’s alternative school received its designation as a high school.

Most recently she voted to add specific language to the Board’s bullying policy that specifically bans the display of the Confederate flag and other threatening symbols from our campuses.

“I hope our community has benefitted from their decision to elect me as a Board member,” said Streater. “I will certainly miss the work, including the passionate dialogue that goes into overseeing our public schools. But you’ll see me in other arenas continuing to advocate for high quality education.”

“Ms. Streater has been a tremendous asset to our school district and our community,” said Board Chair James Barrett. “She has worked tirelessly for the benefit of students and families. We are all grateful for the opportunity to have served with her in this important work.”
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Growth Rates and School Performance Grades Improve

State Releases 2016-17 Accountability Data

School accountability data was released earlier today to the State Board of Education. Student achievement results in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools remain among the highest in the state in all major categories.

“I am delighted to receive confirmation that the hard work of our students and staff is producing a quality return. It also speaks to the amazing support of our parents and community,” said Superintendent Dr. Pam Baldwin. “While it is nice to see comparably high scores, we still have individual students who are not succeeding and, therefore, our work is not even close to being finished.”

In 2016-17, 94 percent of schools in the district met or exceeded expected growth in 2016-17. This number is up from 83 percent the previous year. Statewide, 74 percent met or exceeded expected growth last year.

School performance grades, required by state law, are based primarily on overall proficiency rates on the state’s standardized end-of-grade tests, and to a lesser extent, the growth students make during the year, irrespective of performance level. Eighty percent of the grade is based upon the percentage of tests earning a score considered grade-level proficient. Twenty percent is based upon growth, measured by a statistical model that compares each student’s predicted test score, based on past performance, against his/her actual result.

In Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, 94 percent (17 out of 18) of our graded schools scored an A or B last year, compared to 35.8 percent of traditional public schools statewide. Additionally, two of our schools moved up one letter grade with Frank Porter Graham Elementary moving from a C to a B, and Carrboro High moving from a B to an A.

Two schools, Glenwood Elementary and East Chapel Hill High, earned an A+. The “+” is added when the school’s achievement gap is less (better) than the state average.

Graduation rates remained mostly level. The four-year cohort graduation rate for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools dropped slightly from 90.2 to 89.6 percent. The state rate reached a new high at 86.5 percent. The five-year cohort graduation rate for the school district was 91.9 percent, a drop from the previous year’s 92.2 percent. The five-year cohort rate for the state is 87.5 percent.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has posted a variety of data reports on its website. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education will receive a full report at its October 19 meeting.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Delayed Opening, Sept. 14 / Fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, 2141 de septiembre

Delayed Opening Scheduled for September 14
The district has approved a plan for schools to operate on a Delayed Opening schedule eight Thursdays during the 2017-18 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, 14 de septiembre
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 2017-2018.  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

read more "Delayed Opening, Sept. 14 / Fechas para apertura demorada de las escuelas, 2141 de septiembre"

Friday, September 1, 2017

Convocation - You'll Want to See This!

I recently attended my first CHCCS Back-to-School Convocation. This is an annual event held a few days prior to the start of school. It was truly amazing. I was not prepared for the magnitude of what I was about to encounter. Many staff members have told us this was the most impactful Convocation they have attended, and have asked for the links to the video. While this is designed as a staff event, I thought parents and community members might be interested to check out this amazing event. 
My favorite line was when Niya Fearrington, our emcee (and student body president of Carrboro High) commented, "I didn't know Dr. LoFrese could be so funny. We'll see how funny he is the next time he redistricts my neighborhood!"
You will notice a three-part challenge I have issued to our staff. Please consider taking on this challenge along with us…also hold us accountable. I know it is a long video, but I’m sure you will find it worthy of the investment of your time. Be prepared to laugh, ponder and maybe even shed a tear along the way.

read more "Convocation - You'll Want to See This!"