NC School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Feb. 10-14Posted by CHCCS on 2/14/2020 12:15:00 PM
Every morning, the first people to arrive for work are our bus drivers. Their day starts off warming - or cooling - their buses, and making sure it’s ready to transport their students. They go through their pre-trip and report any issues they may find. Then our bus drivers travel along their routes, picking up students and taking them to their schools.
Yet bus drivers aren’t just drivers. Their role on the bus and in their students’ lives are immense. They help students learn the importance of behaving well on a moving bus, of getting along with those around you, whether they’re your friend or in your grade, of listening to adults and taking their direction seriously, of how to safely get on and off a bus. Most importantly, bus drivers help students remain calm when anxiety levels may rise.
As far as the face of the district goes, bus drivers are the first CHCCS smiles students see each day and the last “Have a great day” as they get off the bus. They work each day as ambassadors for the district, making sure students get safely to the school and back home again. Bus drivers have one of the most important jobs done in any school day.
Bus drivers know all the driving laws. They know how their buses should perform. They know how to keep students safe and they know how to do their job. These are things they’re required to know, but there are so many other things they enjoy knowing. Things like their students’ names, how to tell if a student’s having a bad day, when a student is having a special day. Bus drivers’ most important part of being on their bus is knowing how to show students kindness and respect, and appreciate each student for who they are. Bus drivers strive to ensure students know each of them is special.
And students can tell their bus driver’s caring is genuine. Students know their bus driver sincerely believes in and cares about them. You can see this every day as students high five or hug their drivers, whether they’re getting on the bus or off of it. The bus drivers take the time to build relationships with the students on their bus. Bus drivers are role models for their students.
Bus drivers' days don’t end after the last student has safely left the bus. Once the drivers return to the Bus Garage, they walk the aisle of their buses, making sure no student has been left behind. They pick up any trash, wipe down seats and clean the floor. Then they make sure their bus is still in good condition during their post-trip. When all these things have been done, bus drivers can put their day behind them.
It is my great pleasure to recognize our School Bus Drivers during School Bus Driver Appreciation Week, February 10-14. Our bus drivers are more than someone who sits behind the wheel of a big, yellow school bus. They do what they do because they love their job and they love our kids. Be sure to take a moment and thank your child’s bus driver. As a district, we need our bus drivers to know we support them, we need them, we acknowledge all they do each day.
There is a shortage of bus drivers across our state. If you know anyone who would like to become a bus driver, please encourage them to contact our Human Resources Office and apply. We’ve been working hard at adding incentives for bus drivers.
To our bus drivers, I want to thank them on behalf of myself, the district and our community. We know you do more than drive a bus. We know what you do takes a special person, one who not only enjoys spending their days driving the roads of CHCCS, but who also love the children under their care. Thank you for choosing to do what you do. Thank you for keeping our children safe. Thank you for the dedication you bring each and every day. Thank you. In fact, we can’t thank you enough for everything you do.
School Counselors Are Committed to Helping Students SucceedPosted by CHCCS on 2/7/2020 1:30:00 PM
Did you know we have school counselors in all CHCCS schools? These hard working staff members are a big part of the support schools give students each and every day. Their impact on student success is monumental.
Whenever a student - or a parent - encounters an obstacle, the first person they usually call is the school counselor. Like any good guide, school counselors help students navigate everything from academics to zenith, as well as help students with any specific problems they may encounter. School counselors help parents know about any upcoming educational opportunities, understand their child’s options for this school year, the next and beyond our hallways. School counselors are always willing to help find solutions.
A big part of what school counselors do for students is support the Whole Child, encouraging and supporting students as they grow socially and emotionally. This year’s theme for School Counseling Week is “School Counselors: Helping Build Better Humans.” School counselors do more than help students pick out which courses they should take. They help strengthen students’ self images, enable students to build new relationships, guide them as they learn and grow.
School counselors also help students as they go from elementary to middle school and then from middle to high school. The gaps that accompany student growth can seem overwhelming, so counselors strive to make sure not only the student has a comfortable transition, but the parents do, too. Having seasoned guides who are there every step of the way throughout students’ educational journeys is invaluable.
This was National School Counseling Week, February 3-7, which was created to help everyone know the impact school counselors have on helping students. So on behalf of our CHCCS community, I want to thank all of our school counselors. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to each student, for realizing what a student needs may be no more than someone to listen to them, for understanding what a kind word does to a student’s confidence, and for always placing our students first. Your commitment to students and their education is inspiring. Thank you.
Pictures of School Counselors from across CHCCS:
Reaching Our Goals TogetherPosted by CHCCS on 1/31/2020 11:55:00 AM
Well, we’ve made it through the first month of 2020. After 31 days, how are you doing on your resolutions? Even if you’ve slipped here and there, as long as you continue to work towards bettering yourself, it’s a step in the right direction. Remember, it has only been one month out of 12, so don’t expect things to be instantaneous. Worthwhile change is an on-going process.
The important thing about committing to a change is to set small goals within your main goal. This way you give yourself stepping stones to follow along the way, actually making it easier to reach your goal and then maintain it. Another thing to remember is if you need help, always ask for it - you don’t have to do anything alone.
This is the same way we’re looking at how CHCCS is doing with its Strategic Plan. We’re about half way through it - it runs from 2018-2021 - and we want to make sure our community is involved with us as we continue to work on our goals.
In November, we held three community meetings with the purpose of updating everyone on our progress on the Strategic Plan, as well as to get feedback to help guide us as we move forward. I appreciate everyone who took time out of their day to meet with district administrators to help us with our goals as we head towards 2021.
It’s important to me for our community to see the Strategic Plan as a goal we’re all working towards. We know what the end goal is - the success of EVERY child - and I know CHCCS needs our community to work with us to help us meet our goal. As a district, we set small goals to help us get to and maintain our final goal. And when we ask for help from our community, there you are.
If you want to check our progress, please visit our Strategic Plan website, as well as our Progress website for the plan. Just like many of us when working towards a goal, CHCCS has not met all of its smaller goals; however, we are continuing to move forward, working hard towards our goal. We aren’t giving up and, if anything, we’re more motivated for EVERY child. And as we continue our efforts, we will reach out for assistance from our community, too.
Thank you for your continued support as we head towards 2021 and the culmination of our Strategic Plan. Our goal is your goal for your child: the success of EVERY child.
Find Your BalancePosted by CHCCS on 1/24/2020 1:45:00 PM
After coming back from our time off during Winter Break, I know our schedules have gone from relaxed and enjoying family and friends, to revved up again as we rush through our days, getting as much squeezed in as we can. I know how busy life can be - a family’s day can be packed full of after school activities, homework, school projects and time with friends. While it seems impossible, we should do our best to keep parts of our day unscheduled, protecting time for us to do something like read a book, watch a movie or catch up with friends. Try to make a fresh start this January and before you get back into the habit of filling every moment of your day - and your child’s - try scheduling free time into your calendar and balance your days out.
For this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Reach out to Be a Service for OthersPosted by CHCCS on 1/17/2020 12:05:00 PM
On January 20, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His life was spent in service to others. This year, I challenge you to honor Dr. King by serving others, especially on the day set aside in his name. The history of our community runs deep and wide and service is an important part of where our community came from. And in our community, there are many opportunities for us to volunteer to work with those in need either through retirement communities or through churches and hospitals. Think about what you can do to give back to and support those in our community who need it. Just visiting someone in a retirement home can fill their day with light and hope. Going to visit someone in a hospital who has no family to visit them helps ease their worries and makes them know they are not alone. Reaching out to help those in our community who are in need of patience, kindness and happiness will change both their life and yours. And maybe, just maybe, your day of service in memory of Dr. King will turn into something you continue throughout your life.
Creating New Year’s Resolutions TogetherPosted by CHCCS on 1/10/2020 11:30:00 AM
It’s the start of a new year, so I know many people are taking this time to assess their life, their health or their job and are deciding how they can improve as an individual. A lot of resolutions are being made and can be kept with hard work and determination. It’s not uncommon for people to work together on a resolution, like changing their diet. These offer an opportunity for us to encourage and work with others, helping another reach a goal and cheering for them along the way. I propose for CHCCS to work together towards a common New Year’s Resolution. We’re half way through our Strategic Plan’s timeline and I can see all the incredible work being put into our plan by both staff and our community. So let’s resolve together to continue to work to strengthen our district. Let’s resolve together to support our staff. And let’s resolve together to make sure that EVERY child will succeed.
Giving to Others Each DayPosted by CHCCS on 12/20/2019 12:30:00 PM
This time of year, everyone is trying to figure out what gifts to get. Stores are full, packages are exchanged and gratitude is given. Giving and receiving gifts throughout the year is a big part of our culture. We like to give things to others so we can see the person’s joy upon opening our gifts. Giving gifts can be powerful.
The gift of service is one of the most compelling gifts to give. Those who share this gift have made a selfless commitment to another. With this gift, they’re telling someone how extraordinary they are. And there are many gifts of service to share.
We can volunteer to help others, giving of ourselves and our personal time. So many people in our community benefit from this. If you help a neighbor in need, volunteer in our schools, in hospitals, in retirement communities - all of these help not only our community by ourselves.
There are so many ways to offer gifts of service and I would say our educators offer this gift every day. I see many staff members who work through lunch and stay after school to help students with school work or to sponsor a club or athletic team. I see staff members at plays, concerts, athletic events and other competitions, supporting their students long after a school bell has rung. I see staff members volunteering in our community, showing their students the importance of giving to others. I see how much of themselves CHCCS educators pour back into their schools, loudly cheering for their students, bringing their own families in on the support.
I don’t have to tell anyone in our community how our educators work in a field where their pay isn’t a reflection of the importance of the job they do. We know that. I don’t have to remind anyone we don’t have an approved state budget. Our community knows what’s going on in education. But I do want to remind everyone, regardless of any negative factors which may be out there, our teachers, staff and administrators are continuing to do what they do: give of themselves to make sure every child is learning.
As we head into Winter Break, please make sure you get plenty of rest and enjoy time with loved ones. Be sure to unplug and de-stress - all of us have earned the opportunity to enjoy this time away from school. Then be prepared to come back on January 6 energized and ready to finish the school year strong in 2020!
Working Together to Give BackPosted by CHCCS on 12/13/2019 10:25:00 AM
Have you thought about where CHCCS would be without all those who volunteer in our district - without those individuals from our community who give their time throughout the school year? Have you thought about all the different types of volunteers we have? In addition to all our individual volunteers, we also have groups of people who volunteer to work together to better the district. Our Equity Advisory Council (EAC) and Business Advisory Council are both examples of community members volunteering their expertise and voice to elevate and work for students. There are many positive ways to give back in our district and not only the students will benefit from your time. I promise, you will get more back than you put in.
The Power of MentorsPosted by CHCCS on 12/6/2019 2:15:00 PM
Mentors are some of the most influential people in our lives. I am proud of the mentors in my life, as well as the opportunities to serve as a mentor to others. In our district, we have many kinds of mentors and not just those who mentor our students. We have teachers mentoring other educators in their schools, administrators who mentor people in the district and throughout the state. We also have students who are mentoring other students. And mentoring isn’t always something organized. Many mentors don’t even realize they’re mentoring someone - they view it as just helping another. When you look at all those who give of themselves in the district, it is truly inspiring. If you aren’t a mentor, please think about taking that step. During this Season of Giving, there are many ways to give.
With My Deepest GratitudePosted by CHCCS on 11/26/2019 11:55:00 AM
For my November blog posts, since this is the month of Thanksgiving, my theme has been gratitude. And there is much to be thankful for in CHCCS.
As a community, I am grateful for everything our members bring to CHCCS. No request goes unfulfilled. No call to action is ignored. Instead, whenever there is a need, our community jumps right into the fray, ready to help out whoever is in need.
Our district is full of incredible staff members and administrators. From the people who answer the phones, support our administrators, drive our students, guide our instruction and manage our resources, CHCCS has some of the best people in those roles. Not only are they assets to their school or department, but to the district as a whole. They see things big picture and are always working towards solutions and efficiency. When they work together, I know there’s nothing they cannot accomplish for our students.
When I think about the teachers and educators in CHCCS, I can’t help but be motivated. The dedication, knowledge and inspiration they bring into their classrooms ensures the future of our students’ education. I visit schools, go into classrooms, talk to students and parents and am proud of the level of learning. Our students have welcoming learning spaces where they feel safe to explore and take responsibility for their educational journey. I have very high expectations for our teachers, and in return, know they have high expectations of our students. Because of these circumstances, CHCCS students will leave our hallways more prepared to face the world outside their school.
I’m passionate about our students. As I interact more and more with them, I see nothing but potential. Our students are curious, open, anxious, fearful, brave and honest. They are our North Star, the reason we do what we do. Every child. Students have a way of being so forthright about what they see, it’s humbling to talk with them. Our students know how to make the most of their education, how to support their peers, as well as their teachers, how to keep digging for knowledge. Everyone in our community knows the power every child holds.
We have such dedicated and supportive families in our district. They understand the importance of school and education and want to make sure their children have the best. By recognizing what it takes to ensure their child’s success, our families volunteer, participate in classes, attend meetings and listen to guest speakers. Parents in CHCCS are always willing to stand up for not just their child’s education, but to make sure every child’s education is stellar.
CHCCS is made up of more than just parents of students or staff members. We also have community members - with no other ties than they live in Chapel Hill and Carrboro - who want to share their knowledge. Every day, they volunteer in our schools, enriching the hearts of our students.
Every person in our community has my gratitude and my humble thanks. This is an extraordinary district to be a part of and CHCCS wouldn’t excel without every one of you. I am thankful for what you give back to me.
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