American Education WeekPosted by CHCCS on 11/15/2019 1:15:00 PM
The week of November 18-22 is American Education Week (AEW), which was created to help communities better understand their public schools. As part of AEW, we honor two groups of hardworking educators: Education Support Professionals (Nov. 20) and Substitute Teachers (Nov. 22). All of these educators are necessary to make sure learning continues every school day.
To our Education Support Professionals: Thank you for all your hard work and efforts - what you do doesn’t go unnoticed. Education Support Professionals are our administrative assistants, secretaries, bookkeepers and data managers at both the district and school levels. And we all know they’re consummate professionals. If something needs done, our Education Support Professionals do it quickly and efficiently. They’re asked to help with every aspect of the school, from standing in for a teacher, to helping students get on a bus, to comforting an upset child or staff member. If you ask a principal, they always acknowledge who actually runs their school. Our schools and offices wouldn’t and couldn’t run without our Education Support Professionals - and they know it!
For our Substitute Teachers: Thank you for being there to help in our classrooms. Substitutes are crucial to our district and can be overlooked. Subs help ensure there is no interruption in learning, which is so important for our students. In our district, many substitutes are teachers themselves, whether retired or choosing not to work full time, they are valuable classroom resources.
Please make sure you let our Education Support Professionals and Substitute Teachers know how grateful we are as a district to have them. They bring so much talent and expertise to CHCCS.
Veterans Day: A Time for GratitudePosted by CHCCS on 11/11/2019 8:30:00 AM
Reflecting on Veterans Day has always been very personal for me, as I come from a military family and have family members currently serving. Honoring our nation’s veterans can help shape a generation.
November is traditionally a month for gratitude and I believe we need to share as much thanks as we can with our veterans. We owe them our thanks, along with their families, they put our country and its safety ahead of their own lives. The men and women in the armed forces stand up for us.
So this year on Veterans Day, November 11, be sure to share your gratitude. Our community is full of veterans who have served in wars from the current conflicts to as far back as the World Wars. If you know a veteran, or their family, please extend your hand to them, please help them with whatever task they may need help with, please make sure you show them respect. And please do these things knowing our veterans will not ask for help, but will take it with their deepest appreciation.
If you don’t know a veteran, please take the chance and get to know some. There are many volunteer opportunities throughout our community and we have a VA right next door in Durham. There are so many ways to show your gratitude for what a veteran has given for our country and community. If nothing else, listen to them and their stories. Veterans are living history . . . history you won’t always read about in books or see in movies. Time spent listening to a veteran will always be more inspirational and interesting than whatever you planned on streaming that day.
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the veterans in our CHCCS community. Many take the time to volunteer in our classrooms and schools. We also have many staff members who are veterans and what they bring to their students is irreplaceable.
Veterans have a way of making all of us proud to be Americans. Veterans stand up for others, help those in need, give back to their communities - and for all our veterans do and more, I’m grateful.
Let Others Know You’re ThankfulPosted by CHCCS on 11/8/2019 10:45:00 AM
I’m sure you interacted with a lot of people today - some you know, others you don’t. Did you leave those interactions with the other person knowing they were a benefit to you? As I go through my day, I try to make sure everyone knows I’m thankful for them. When I visit schools and see the hard work all the staff are putting into the day, I want them to know I appreciate what they do for every child. I want students and staff to see me in their schools, in their classrooms, at their extracurricular events. I want them all to know how appreciative I am for each of them. I want them to know how proud I am of the exceptional learning going on throughout our district. I want our community to hear me tell every student and staff member: Thank you for all you do. You are, each of you, my motivation.
Work Towards a Positive End for 2019Posted by CHCCS on 11/1/2019
It seems like this time of year always leads to self reflection and evaluation. We’re nearing the end of a year, getting ready to start a new decade, so it’s a good time to look at where we are and where we want to be. Professionally, I look at the strides we make in classrooms every day and know we’re on the right path. Don’t let others discourage you - it can take time to see the fruits of hard work. As we continue the work for every child, I revel in seeing the growth CHCCS is making and want to acknowledge those who help me every day. Thank you to all the staff, teachers, administrators who help elevate the learning in our district. We all rely on others to help us reach our goals and knowing I’m surrounded by solid people in my life makes a difference. Be sure to look at the people around you and make sure they are there to build you and others up, to inspire you to keep going, to keep you honest, to work towards being the best you. Life is always better when surrounded by positive people and I am grateful for all they inspire in me.
Thank you, Principals, for Serving Our Students Every DayPosted by CHCCS on 10/28/2019 12:10:00 PM
Every October districts across the U.S. use this month to honor principals. These school leaders not only work hard during the school day, but they’re usually the first to get to their school and the last to leave. Their level of dedication to their staff, students and families is above and beyond. Every day.
CHCCS principals have high expectations placed upon them from district administrators, teachers, parents and our community. They are aware of this coming into the district. Everything they do is and will be scrutinized, knowing everyone won’t always agree on a situation’s outcome. Our community expects a lot from our principals, but it isn’t without appreciation.
Knowing their days include equal parts joy, understanding and patience with a little strife thrown in, our principals are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. A principal’s day is never quiet or boring, it’s never rote. And that’s the way they like it. Principals are natural problem solvers, listeners and counselors. Principals thrive on things that would make the average person give up. They are miracle workers.
No one is more proud of a school than the principal and no one appreciates all the quirks each school has like its principal. They set the tone of their school for staff, students and families. The principal is the soul of the school.
As we go through the school year, please try to remember principals are people, too. They make mistakes and can be misunderstood. They work long, difficult hours to make sure students are getting the best education offered. Not only do they make sure teachers are putting their best into the classrooms, they also make sure the school is clean and students are well fed and receiving all the necessary supports throughout the school year. Principals share the same goal as parents: to ensure every student is prepared for life after they leave their hallways and ultimately graduate.
Here are all the CHCCS principals. When you see them, please thank them, whether it’s in or out of their schools, because without these dedicated individuals, our district wouldn’t flourish. I’m sure we can all agree that principals have earned our appreciation throughout the year, not just during this month. On behalf of the entire district, I want to thank you publicly. We see your hard work and we appreciate all you do for your students, staff and school.
- Jennifer Halsey, Carrboro ES
- Eric Taylor, Ephesus ES
- Pamela McCann, Estes Hills ES
- Emily Bivins, FPG Bilingüe
- Channing Bennett, Glenwood ES
- Aisha Howard, McDougle ES
- Amy Rickard, Morris Grove ES
- Coretta Sharpless, Northside ES
- Janice Croasmun, Rashkis ES
- Crystal Epps, Scroggs ES
- Arrica Dubose, Seawell ES
- Monica Bintz, Culbreth MS
- Robert Bales, McDougle MS
- Drew Ware, Phillips MS
- Robin Buckrham, Smith MS
- Beverly Rudolph, Carrboro HS
- Charles Blanchard, Chapel Hill HS
- Ken Proulx, East Chapel Hill HS
- John Williams, Phoenix Academy HS
- Marny Ruben, UNC Hospital School
Superintendent Pam Baldwin and Principal of the Year Bob Bales with his Family
McDougle Middle Principal Bob Bales, 2019-20 Principal of the Year Celebrates the Announcement with his students
Find Ways to Be a LeaderPosted by CHCCS on 10/25/2019 2:05:00 PM
As I walk through classrooms, schools and offices throughout the district, I’m always looking for leaders. There are many types of leaders and, like most heroes, they aren’t always easy to spot. Many leaders stand out and stand up. You can find them advocating for their peers and their students. Others are quiet, leading by example, giving advice when asked or lending a helping hand. Heroes aren’t always just adults. I see middle school students visiting a near-by elementary school, reading to classes. I see high school students volunteering at local non-profits, even when they don’t need the service learning hours. I see elementary students reach across a lunch table and include someone who needs a friend. As you visit schools and buildings in CHCCS, be on the lookout for all the leaders and be sure to thank someone you see taking a leadership role. Being a hero is never easy.
Disability History and Awareness MonthPosted by CHCCS on 10/18/2019 10:45:00 AM
As a leader, it’s always interesting to look back and see all the changes made to education since becoming a teacher. One of the changes is how we serve our most fragile students. October is Disability History and Awareness Month, giving us all the opportunity to learn more about our students with disabilities. For those who may not know, this month was established in 2007 by a Senate Bill. There are online resources, showing the timeline to learn about the history. It’s important to continue to educate all members of our community, to help families learn where to turn for resources and how to navigate and advocate for their children with disabilities. I want to take this time to thank our dedicated EC staff who encourage, strengthen and foster positive learning environments for their students every day. Having educators like you in our classrooms, committed to helping students learn, is why our district thrives.
National Bullying Prevention MonthPosted by CHCCS on 10/11/2019 1:30:00 PM
One of my favorite things about CHCCS is the passion our students show when getting behind something they believe in wholeheartedly. One of those things is bullying prevention and we have student leaders in all of our schools helping to make their peers aware of the consequences of bullying. With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, it’s a chance for students to really showcase all they do to stop bullying in their schools. Among the things planned for this month, every CHCCS school participated in “Start with Hello” Week, developed by the Sandy Hook Promise, using simple strategies for students to reach out and share activities. I am so proud of how hard our student ambassadors work to help other students understand the importance of reaching out to other students who may feel isolated or lonely, of the power of just saying “Hello” to someone not in their friendship circle, of getting out of their comfort zone to make sure they connect to someone who needs to feel accepted. There are many leaders in our schools and I am proud so many leaders are our students.
Leadership Comes from All LevelsPosted by CHCCS on 10/4/2019 11:25:00 AM
Among other things, October is National Principals Month. While this allows us to acknowledge everything our principals do - and it is a lot - it also allows us all to pause and think about our education leaders and their dedication to the work, to look at where principals and other education leaders come from. In our district, more than 73% of our teachers have 10+ years of experience, with the state average being about 57%. This means we have teacher leaders from the classroom to the principal’s office, which is very important. Our principals and district administrators want to encourage and build upon educational leaders in our schools. Having leaders throughout the school helps our students’ educational experience be the best, which is always the ultimate goal.
2018-19 CHCCS Principal of the Year, Emily Bivins
Our Work Continues as We Start a New School YearPosted by CHCCS on 8/23/2019 2:00:00 PM
As the days of summer speed by, we are looking at the beginning of a brand new school year! For me, I find myself anxiously awaiting the First Day of School and as the day gets closer, my anticipation grows. After all, a new year offers new beginnings.
There are many new things this year, but our work continues in many ways. We’re entering our second year in our Strategic Plan. Among other things, please be sure to check out our Strategic Plan website, as well as its dashboard, which will keep our community updated on our progress. Our Strategic Plan has four goals - Student Success, Family and Community Engagement, Employee Experience, and Organizational Effectiveness. As we work towards succeeding in all our goals, we also continue to empower, inspire and engage all students, staff, families and community members.
I would like to welcome all our new families and staff to CHCCS. If you haven’t figured it out yet, we have an incredible community and we frequently look to one another for support. It is only by working together we can make sure all students reach their potential. Be sure to get involved in your student’s school and our community. If you’re unsure what needs done, check out our Volunteer Office.
As a family, please make sure you empower, inspire and encourage your student and one another every day. Be involved in your student’s daily learning - for example, you can ask your child what they most enjoyed about their school day or what was the favorite thing they learned. It’s important to let your student know you have confidence in them, their school and their teacher. Don’t be afraid to contact teachers or school administrators when you have questions or concerns. Every student’s success is what is important to all of us.
As a student, whether you’re new or not, you hold the key to your learning. Remember there are plenty of teachers and staff members at your school who are there to support you and help you, no matter what problems you may have. Even if you feel alone, you never are. As you start this new year, look for any familiar faces and be sure to make some new friends, too. Remember to offer a hand to those who may need it. Even if you feel like you have a lot of expectations on you to learn, study and grow, we know you can stretch and go beyond anything you thought you could. Stay focused on your education - you own it.
As teachers, it doesn’t matter if you’re new to teaching or a 20-year veteran, you are where learning begins. You are here to help students navigate their way through. They need you to build a foundation for all of their learning. And don’t forget: when you need help, we have many levels of support for teachers, too. There are other staff members, PLCs, as well as administrators at the school and district level here for you. It’s also important to remember to help other teachers - not just at your school, but across the district. By supporting other teachers, we make ourselves better educators.
For all our staff, we need you to continue to support all of our students, staff and families. Schools are more than just teachers and administrators. Schools include all of our support staff. All of us working together help make a student’s learning journey successful.
I hope as we go through the school year, all of us keep the level of excitement we have on the first day. We all know every day is important and by striving to build on each day, to show up prepared each day, to work hard each day, we will earn all of this year’s potential.
As we get ready to begin a New School Year, I know we will all work to empower, inspire and engage one another. It’s how CHCCS will succeed in 2019-20.