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Thank you to all faculty and staff for your thoughtful and enthusiastic engagement in planning our blended learning roll out in last week’s faculty meeting. A special thank you goes out to all the members of the leadership team, and others who shared during the open space technology portion of the meeting.

Given the great diversity in student strengths and interests, in order to reach our goals of increasing achievement for all students, we need to harness the power of technology.  Technology, properly planned for and utilized, will allow us to create differentiated experiences for students by allowing them some control over when, what, and how they learn. It allows us, as educators to become the facilitators of learning, with time to check in on individuals and small groups while all students are engaged in on line or computer assisted instruction.  It can provide us with real time data to analyze student’s needs.

Just like the students, we are all in different places in this journey to blended and personalized learning, and we all have different professional development needs.  There is not one “right” way to implement it, but there are general practices and elements that are important.  The Leadership Team, through Department Chairs, will be creating opportunities for all of us to increase our proficiency in the use of technology for blended and personalized learning. One of the first and most important steps, has been to acquire and deploy the technology so that all students and teachers have equitable access to it. This is what we began last week, with the assignment of teams to share the technology and plan among themselves. Based on your feedback during the staff meeting, we will provide follow up training to all teachers through the department meeting time on Wednesday of this week. As with any new process, there will be ups and downs, however as a creative and dynamic team, we will be able to continually adjust and lift up solutions to the obstacles that arise. Wednesday’s roll out is the next major step in our journey to one to one technology access for our students by 2018!


It is the second week of Advisory 3, and all classes should be engaged with the following steps in the standards based instructional process:

9. The GRASP has been broken down into component parts to teach.  Teacher identifies standard for first component part and teaches the standard, models first part of the GRASPS.
10. The steps are repeated with each component part of the GRASPS.  Classroom time is broken up into a mini-lesson on a key aspect of the standard, a work period for students to work on the GRASPS, and then a closing.


  • Shout out to Ms. Hashem for coordinating Senior Portfolio presentations!
  • Shout out to all teachers for sitting on Senior Portfolio Presentations!!
  • Kudos to all members of the Leadership Team who presented at the Faculty Meeting, and all those who presented in Open Space Technology!
  • Shout out to the Music and Arts Departments for organizing numerous arts events and trips for our students this month!
  • Kudos to Mr. Hernandez for organizing field trips for 400 language students to the Gala Theatre for a bilingual play
  • Shout out to Ms. Stevenson for arranging for students for HD Cooke’s fifth grade to visit CHEC middle school last week!

February 8 - February 12, 2016
January 4-8, 2016
Focus on Instruction
Leadership Team and Other Updates
Shout Outs
Opportunities and Updates
Ambiente, creating a climate for learning
Sports - Griffins Update!
Thought for the Week
Weekly Calendar
Upcoming Events and Activities


Congratulations to the middle school boys’ basketball team who defeated West and Brightwood.  Congratulations also goes out to the middle school girls’ basketball team who defeated Brightwood.  Both middle school teams will play in the playoffs this week.  The varsity girls’ basketball team Defeated Dunbar but lost to Riverdale Baptist.  The JV and varsity boys’ basketball teams lost to Dunbar.

MSGB: 3-4
MSBB: 5-3
VGB:  10-8
JVB: 1-12
VBB: 4-15

MSGB vs. Takoma at 4:45 @ Takoma
MSBB vs. Raymond at 6:00 @ Cardozo (Playoffs)
VGB vs. Carroll at 6:00 @ CHEC

DCSAA Indoor Track Championship at 11:00 @ PG Sports and Learning Complex
JVB vs. Banneker at 4:00 @ CHEC
VGB vs. SWW at 6:00 @ CHEC
VBB vs, SWW at 8:00 @ CHEC

MS playoffs TBD
VGB vs. NCA at 6:00 @ CHEC

Swim Meet at 5:00 @ TBD

No Games

No Games
No Games


Feb 11th 10:15am (8th Grade)


January 28, 2016 - Today, DC Public Schools (DCPS) awarded nearly $1.7 million dollars in innovation grants to 16 schools across the city as part of the Empowering Males of Colors (EMOC) initiative. The Empowering Males of Color Innovation Grants will improve academic and social outcomes for young males of color by focusing on academic development, family engagement, and social-emotional supports. “The schools receiving the Empowering Males of Color Innovation Grants have demonstrated a strong commitment to partnerships and innovative ideas that will help our young men of color excel,” said Eugene Pinkard, Jr., Deputy Chief of School Turnaround and Performance at DC Public Schools.  

“I am thrilled that so many schools took this challenge to build innovative programs and supports for our young men of color,” said Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools. “With these targeted programs, we will see more of them reach graduation and be prepared for college and beyond.”

The EMOC Innovation Grants recipients are:
  • Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC) ($225,000) will create a multipronged initiative that includes expanded trauma-informed care services, gang and violence prevention sessions, mentoring, and a unified approach to bonding for males of color. (Click to read more)


December 9, 2015 - CHEC students were delighted to receive Director O'Sullivan at the school and to learn firsthand about the wide range of available career opportunities in the intelligence community. Ms. O'Sullivan, who holds the most senior position of any woman in the U.S. intelligence community, spoke movingly about her personal narrative and aspirations as a young student interested in the sciences in the small town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Ms. O'Sullivan strongly encouraged our students to consider pursuing STEM related careers and to aspire to work for one of the sixteen different federal agencies that she oversees. The agencies are currently looking to expand their ranks by hiring more women and minorities. Accompanying Director O'Sullivan was CHEC's very own Berta Gonzales (Class of '08) who spoke passionately about her time at CHEC, college and working in the intelligence community.


November 23, 2015 – Congratulations to Director Ana Ayala, and the entire staff of the Bell Teen Parent Child Development Center! Our program has achieved a new, five-year term of NAEYC Accreditation by successfully completing the renewal process. The administration, teaching staff, and families of Bell Teen Parent Child Development Center are all to be congratulated for continuing to uphold the mark of quality represented by the NAEYC Accreditation system. The process was extremely rigorous, and involved site visits, and ratings on the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards. Please congratulate Ms. Ayala, her staff and the Bell Babies on this wonderful achievement!!!

Charles Brooks can’t be stopped in Bell’s last-second win over Eastern
By Mark Giannotto October 16, 2015

Considering Bell’s Charles Brooks and Eastern’s Jarome Johnson traded highlights all night long, it only seemed right that the one with the ball last would strike the decisive blow. Except Brooks, the area’s leading rusher entering Friday, ended this thrilling rematch of  (click for more)

D.C. friends win Gates scholarships,
will have college costs covered
By Michael Alison Chandler May 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM

Fernando Umanzor and Abreham Gebre have lived parallel lives. Both came to the United States when they were 4, one from El Salvador, the other from Ethi­o­pia. They grew up attending D.C. public schools, striving to learn English while their parents worked hourly-wage jobs in office buildings, restaurants or hotels and pushed... (click for more)

In a City Desperate for Good Middle Schools, One May Be Hiding in Plain Sight

Sam Chaltain

Like a lot of cities, Washington, D.C., frets about its middle schools -- or lack thereof.

Just over a year ago, then-Councilwoman Muriel Bowser introduced a resolution calling on the city to improve its middle schools or risk continuing to lose its schoolchildren to the suburbs, private schools, or the rapidly growing charter sector. Earlier this year, in her inauguration speech as D.C.'s newest mayor, she reiterated the point: "If you stay united with me," she promised, "we'll transform our middle schools."

Bowser is right to place the (click for more)

At D.C. School, 1,300 Students Stopped to Discuss Ferguson

By: Martin Austermuhle, WAMU
September 11, 2014

On any normal Friday, students in Joe Talarico's AP English Literature at the Columbia Heights Education Campus could expect to discuss Antigone or The Great Gatsby. But on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend, they were asked to reflect on something different: the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. 

And it wasn't just them: over 1,300 students across the campus, which encompasses a middle and high school, were asked to do the same. Whether in (click for more)

CHEC Receives Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Planning Grant

April 28, 2014 –
CityBridge Foundation, in partnership with Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), announced that Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) was among an exclusive group of schools to receive a Breakthrough Schools: D.C. planning grant. Breakthrough Schools: D.C. is part of a national initiative called "NGLC Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools." The Breakthrough Schools: D.C. competition was first announced in fall 2013 to encourage (click for more)

D.C.’s Hospitality High to convert from charter to traditional school
By Emma Brown, Published: April 28

Leaders of Hospitality High, a D.C. charter school backed by some of the Washington area’s largest hotel companies, have decided to relinquish their charter to join the city’s traditional school system.  The unusual move - it is the first time a D.C. charter school has converted into a traditional school — allows Hospitality to avoid potential closure by the D.C. Public Charter School Board, which is responsible for approving new charters and closing those that underperform. "Our choice to merge with D.C. Public Schools was in the best interest of our students and the commitment that we’ve made to the District of Columbia to expose them to the wonderful industry that is hospitality (click for more)

CHEC is the #1 non-select school in the DMV
Overall CHEC is #3 in DC and #34 in the region.

Washington, DC, April 8, 2014:
Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC), home to Bell Multicultural High and Lincoln Multicultural Middle Schools, is once again one of DC’s most academically challenging institutions according to The Washington Post's annual rankings.  CHEC is #3 overall in the District and #34 in the metro area when compared to other public schools and public charter schools.  

CHEC has held the position of 34, which is in the top 19% on the index, for the past 3 years.  CHEC is ranked 291 out of 2025 of the top high schools nationally, which is in the top 14% of this exclusive grouping of schools. What is even (click for more)

Principal Maria Tukeva receives
2014 In Her Honor Award

March 25, 2014,
in a ceremony at Howard University, CHEC’s very own Maria Tukeva was a distinguished recipient of the
2014 In Her Honor award from The Emergence Community Arts Collective. The award recognized Maria for making history through an enduring legacy of activism and excellence in the field of education. This grassroots award celebrates significant contributions to (click for more)

First Lady Michelle Obama returns to CHEC to tell students: 'My story can be your story'


By Idit Knaan

When 37-year-old Raquis Petree walks into the Columbia Heights Education Center on a recent Monday, he is the man of the hour. Fellow teachers and staff holler “Great job” and offer warm handshakes. Everyone he runs into seem to be in agreement: Friday’s show, the
(click for more)

Krishunda Pennn is selected to share teacher insights on

June 6, 2013 - BetterLesson selects 8th grade Math instructor,  Ms. Krishunda Penn, as one of 14 new Master Teachers in thecountry who will share their teaching insights and experiences through the BetterLesson site.
The Master Teachers were selected for their exceptional mathematical knowledge, unique ability to illuminate math for their students, as well as leadership in their schools and community. They are an inspiring, dedicated group who are eager to help teachers around the country make the leap to the Common Core.

I’m thrilled to collaborate with teachers across the country to create and share lessons that will help students meet the Common Core Standards!” - Ms. Penn (click for more)

Congratulations to Chris Best,
Rubenstein Award Winner!!

The Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Faculty is one of the District of Columbia Public School’s top honors, and the selection process is very competitive. Chris Best, the Custodial Foreman at Columbia Heights Educational Campus received a Rubenstein Award for 2013-2014 and this well-deserved recognition reflects his lasting impact on our school. Mr. Best is one of only two support staff city-wide to receive this honor - it was said by the DCPS nominating committee that "he stood out among the many candidates as an outstanding asset to DCPS." (click for more)

3101 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20010 / H.S. Tel: 202-939-7700 / M.S. Tel: 202-939-6680 / Fax: 202-576-9145 /

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