Superintendent's Blog

  • Our Commitment Is to Our Students

    Posted by CHCCS on 1/18/2019 2:00:00 PM

    Everyone who has worked in a school district knows teaching and learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom.  There are many people who help students who aren’t even in the actual school. There are people across CHCCS who work every day to ensure students and staff have what they need to make quality education a reality.  There are also those in our community who are involved, like our parents, grandparents and volunteers - just to name a few. We have come to the same understanding: when we all work together for our students, they will thrive, they will grow, they will do amazing things.  We see it happen every day.

    AuthorVanessa Brantley-Newton & Students

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  • Building Together in 2019

    Posted by CHCCS on 1/11/2019 11:30:00 AM

    Welcome to 2019!  This year is going to have many opportunities, learning experiences and moments of inspiration.  I know in this new year, teachers are invigorated and remain ready to make sure students are at the top of their learning potential, and students are going to reach and stretch and take their educational journey further.  As a district, we are going to continue to work on making sure all of our students are where they need to be in their learning, and for any who may be falling short, we will work even harder to help them improve. Making all of these strides takes everyone in CHCCS, not just our teachers and students.  Support needs to come from administrators, parents, guardians, grandparents, community members - all of us. I’m positive in 2019 we will all work together to make sure our students learn, strive and achieve while we empower, inspire and engage!

    4 students

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  • It’s a Time for Celebration

    Posted by CHCCS on 12/21/2018 12:00:00 PM

    Every year, superintendents across the nation sit down to write their annual letter of inspiration for Winter Break to share with staff and families.  The most common theme is for everyone to make sure they rest and relax during their break, to take these next two weeks to get ready for the second semester.  This is great advice - which we should all take - but there is more I’d like to share with you.

    There are plenty of high expectations in our district.  I have them and our Board of Education and community expect a lot, too.  I know we are doing amazing things throughout the district - things that can’t be added to a spreadsheet or quantified in a report.  Every day, there is a student who has learned something for the first time: how to read, multiply, speak another language, identify something under a microscope.  Every day we have teachers make learning in their classroom a fun experience.

    There are things we need to work on as a district, but there are so many more things we need to celebrate.  We have the most incredible educators in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools - the best I’ve ever worked with.  We have dynamic students, so full of heart, awe and energy, they want to learn all they can. Our schools and buildings are full of people who want to do their best, learn something every day, and use their talents to better our community.

    It is impossible for me to list each memorable moment, each incredible instance, but to me, they’re like fireworks bursting in the sky.  Our accomplishments are big and bright and whenever we see them, we always say, “Ooo!” If you want to know what’s going on in the district, there are several ways to keep in touch:  the new, improved website; the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages; the district’s app (available in iOS and Android); and the Weekly Update newsletter emailed out every week.  The next time you wonder what CHCCS is celebrating now or what stellar things are happening in our classrooms, be sure to look and discover for yourself.

    It is so important for all of us to remember there’s more to education than test scores or grades.  Measurement standards are important, but teaching and learning comes from the heart. I will continue to shout out all of our successes, while still monitoring where we need to improve.  After all, isn’t that what we all expect of one another?

    And please spend some time resting up over Winter Break so we’re ready for the second half of the year.  We all deserve to enjoy our time away from CHCCS. We’ll have plenty more to celebrate in 2019!


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  • Our Classrooms Empower Students

    Posted by CHCCS on 12/14/2018 11:30:00 AM

    What do you know about learning in CHCCS classrooms?  Have you taken the time to ask staff members what they have done to engage all of their students?  Have you asked any students what they learned at school or what was their most fascinating moment in school?  Making sure our students are focused on learning every day is something all of our teachers do. Whether it’s August, December or May, we want to make sure all students are empowered and learning, and we want students to know when they are in their schools, they are discovering, exploring and accomplishing.

    Phillips MS orchestra students

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  • Ten Days of Engagement

    Posted by CHCCS on 12/7/2018 1:45:00 PM

    With Winter Break fast approaching, it doesn’t mean we stop our focus on learning.  This is a common misconception about what happens in schools during the “winter season.”  There is so much going on this time of year, it’s easy to get distracted - we’re only human - but learning is always the priority in our classrooms.  CHCCS is filled with incredible educators who share fun, innovative learning in their classrooms all year, even in December.  So instead of counting down the days until Winter Break, let’s count how many days we have to engage to our students.

    Ephesus Principal and Students

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  • How Much Learning Remains in 2018?

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/30/2018 11:00:00 AM

    As we move from November into December, we may start thinking the year is already half over, when actually, we don’t finish the second quarter until January.  Sometimes we may find ourselves counting down the days until winter or spring break. After all, having something to look forward to is only human nature. So we have three weeks of learning left in 2018.  That is 15 school days to fill with enthusiasm, encouragement and energy. While there isn’t much remaining in 2018, there is still more than half a school year to look forward to.

    Superintendent and Student

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  • CHCCS Offers So Much to be Thankful For

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/20/2018 12:00:00 PM

    As I reviewed my weekly blogs for November, I realized they all had to do with things for which I’m thankful.  This makes sense since this is the time of year when most people start to look at their lives and realize what they have.

    One of the things I mentioned in my blog - and am profoundly thankful for - is how rich in resources CHCCS is.  We have unbelievable staff, students, families and community members.

    I’m thankful our district has a wide range of people with a wide range of skills.  Our administrators and principals are the foundation of CHCCS. They are hard working and dedicated, bringing a deep devotion to their schools, staff and students.  They all work together to strengthen how our schools and district run, sharing their wisdom and incredible know-how.

    Our teachers and educators are nothing short of inspiring.  What they accomplish in classrooms every day is amazing. Classrooms are full of learning made fun, students who are involved in their education and an atmosphere that cultivates curiosity.  Our teachers work hard to make sure students have a high caliber education and hold themselves to high standards.

    Our students have had such an impact on me.  I walk through schools and am greeted with so much enthusiasm.  CHCCS students understand what they learn in the classroom isn’t for their teachers, but for them.  I see students who realize it’s up to them to put something into their classes. Empowering students to take control of their educational journey is what learning is all about.

    Our families and community members are unbelievable.  They’re all willing to help make their student’s school and CHCCS the best it can be.  We have so many people who volunteer, taking time out of their busy lives to help a student, teacher, class, school or the district.  To have such people willing to give and give and give is remarkable.

    At the beginning of this school year, the district launched its 2018-21 Strategic Plan.  Our goal is to empower, inspire and engage. I am thankful to be able to lead a district where this is what education is about.

    Superintendent Pam Baldwin & students

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  • Inspiration Is Found Across CHCCS

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/16/2018 2:00:00 PM

    CHCCS is a district full of resources.  We have amazing teachers, staff and administrators.  We have dedicated students who want to learn, to further their education.  We have parents who are always willing to pitch in and make sure the schools have what they need.  We have community members who share their knowledge with students and staff. When I look at all the positive things we do every day across CHCCS, it is inspirational.  While there is still much to do, we have so much to build on.

    Volunteers at CHCCS Family Engagement Summit

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  • Remember to Ask, What Did You Learn?

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/9/2018 11:30:00 AM

    Growing up, one of the things my mother always asked me and my brothers was, “What did you learn today?”  While this may seem cliche, it’s something we can and should ask our students. Classrooms across CHCCS are filled with some amazing learning experiences.  Just last month, we had national poet and author Kwame Alexander visit East Chapel Hill High School. He inspired me, so I can only imagine the impact he had on the students who heard him talk and who interacted with him.  Find out what is happening at your student’s school, in your student’s classroom - you’ll be amazed at what you find out. No cliches here.

    Kwame Alexander with Culbreth students

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  • CHCCS Celebrates Learning All Year Long

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/2/2018 3:00:00 PM

    We are about to enter what many people refer to as the “holiday season.”  Our busy lives tend to get busier as we add more events to our lives.  Over the next few months, there are many reasons and opportunities to celebrate.  In addition to the usual celebrations, let’s also be thankful for all we’ve accomplished in our classrooms. Our students have been working hard to learn vocabulary words, multiplication tables and science theories.  Our teachers have been helping students learn every day they are in classrooms. So even though there are holidays to celebrate, CHCCS celebrates learning every day.

    students celebrating

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