I often wonder how we can connect students every day to one another, to their classmates, to their school and global community, to their families and most importantly to their learning. Recently, we observed Mrs. Shamsen facilitating an integrated Language Arts lesson in which small groups of students led themselves through their learning. It was empowering and inspired a 100% engagement from all students.
The lesson was based on a story that Mrs. Shamsen read had to small groups. As the group discussed each element of the story, such as the main characters, the students dialogued about their importance, and what the problem and solution were in the story. Upon completion of their responses, they utilized the LEGO Story Starter sets to present their retelling of the story. The excitement with which they collaborated and communicated was a clear indication of the learning that was occurring. As students practice collaboration, communication, and identifying strategies and solutions, they are obtaining the skills they’ll need to be successful in the future. Their ability to take an abstract concept and use a pictorial representation to present and share their ideas creates a foundation that will continue to be built on through their years at CHA.
With a recent Harris Poll sharing that 71% of new jobs are STEM-related, that 64% of students will work in jobs that don’t currently exist, and 80% of future jobs will require technical skills, we need to educate for the long game and provide instruction like Mrs. Shamsen’s that incorporates student-driven innovation and pushes their intellectual boundaries. As you may know, I was in Boston this week, visiting Lego Education headquarters in preparation for the launch of our new Lego Lab. The furniture arrives on November 20th. Learning has never been so exciting!
Book Fair - CHAPTER is very excited to bring you the Scholastic Book Fair. The book fair will be open Monday 10/14 through Friday 10/18, including during the Fall Festival. You can find a flyer in your child’s Friday Folder, and all the information you need on our Book Fair webpage here. We need parent volunteers! Please sign up here to help: Book Fair Volunteer Sign Up.
Fall Festival Raffle – Tickets are on sale until next Wednesday, October 15th from the front desk. This is your chance to win VIP Underground Parking during the festival, personal chaperones for your kids, and a dinner and wine pairing in Mrs. Senaga’s office prepared by James Beard award-winning Chef Liam. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the Tukwila SnackPack Program.
Fall Festival Friday, October 18th - The evening will start with a Spaghetti Feed which will take place from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Café. Please RSVP here so that we will have an accurate count for ordering. The Fall Festival itself will begin at 6:00 p.m. and run until 7:50 p.m. At all times, students MUST be accompanied by their parents. In addition, students should bring their own bags for prizes. Attire for the Fall Festival is free-dress but excludes costumes. We will be offering a shuttle service from the Eastgate Park and Ride at the Eastgate Park and Ride (14200 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue). The shuttle will start at 5 and run until the event ends.
Your Feedback – We recognize that parents have choices when it comes to choosing a school for their most precious assets, and we appreciate that you chose CHA. We recognize that there is always room for improvement, which is why we ask for your input. Next week, we will be sending out the 6 Week Survey to families who are new at CHA, and at the end of the year, we will be surveying all our families. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for improvement please let us know. On the other hand, if you are really happy with the education your child is receiving at CHA, we would love you to let other families know! There are several avenues for you to do that, I have listed some of them here – Niche, Private School Review, Great Schools, Yelp, and Google. Thank you!
The Great Washington ShakeOut - CHA will join Washingtonians from all over the state on October 17th for the Great Washington ShakeOut, in order to be better prepared to endure and recover from large earthquakes, and will practice “drop, cover, and hold on.”. More information about this event can be found here. As well as taking part in this statewide event, we wanted to let you know how we plan to keep your children safe in the event of an emergency. At school, we are equipped with emergency supplies including water, food, and communication radios. Students and staff are trained and perform practice drills for all types of emergencies, including fires, school lockdowns, and earthquakes. We take the advice of the Bellevue Police Department when planning for emergency situations. It is also important for families to prepare at home. We encourage everybody to visit shakeout.org/washington for information on how to put together your own emergency supply kit and create a household emergency plan. We also suggest that you have a conversation as a family, as appropriate for your child’s age, with the intention of preparing them rather than scaring them. Here are some suggestions:
Keep discussions factual and age-appropriate. If your child asks about earthquakes, it’s fine to tell them that earthquakes are normal, natural occurrences and that big ones are very rare.
Let them know that you’ve already done to prepare.
Explain that while things could be disrupted for a while (like school being temporarily closed), the important things won’t change. You’ll be together, and eventually, things will go back to normal.
Don’t wait for the worst to happen before you talk about preparedness. Children aren’t so different from us in handling “what ifs.” They want to know they’ll be OK, no matter what.
Keep your tone calm, a matter of fact, and look for teachable moments. If you’re stocking up on batteries, for example, you can say something like, “Remember that time when the lights went out last winter? If that ever happens again, these batteries will keep our flashlights working and we can pretend we’re camping out.”
Letting children add something to your emergency kit can help them feel more in control – even if it’s as simple as choosing the kind of energy bars and snacks you keep.
Emergency Situations - In the event of a catastrophic situation, during which CHA staff are unable to update Jupiter, the school website or Flash alert, you should call the Bright Horizons Ready to Respond hotline on 1-800-420-1970. Please be prepared to provide the following information: Center Number: CHA - 0872, Division -17. Our Primary Evacuation Location is the Large Field. Our Secondary Evacuation Location is Bright Horizons at Sunset - 13808 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 Picking Up Students during an EmergencyListen to local radio and television stations for updates. Should we request you pick up your student, come to the front office. Support staff may not recognize you and will not release your student unless proper identification is presented. No student will be dismissed on his or her own accord. If you are not able to return for your student and you have no alternate person to send, please call the Ready-to-Respond number so we can plan accordingly for those students who may require long-term assistance. If you have any additional questions, please contact the school administrators regarding safety policies.
Kindergarten and First Grade Socials – CHAPTER is excited to host the Kindergarten and First Grade socials at Pro Club on Saturday, October 19th from 1-3 pm and 2:30-4:30 pm. There will be inflatables, nerf fun, soft Lego building blocks and a fun group activity with a parachute. Food will be served and siblings are welcome to attend.
Ski Program Information - We have combined the emails Coach Sturgess sent out about the Ski Program, the new parent ski meeting, registering for lessons, equipment rental, etc into one web page which you can view here.
November Lunch Orders - The form for ordering school lunches in November is now open. You will find it here. The form will remain open until 4:00 pm, Friday, October 25th. If you have any questions about the menu, the ordering process or the billing, please email [email protected]
Specialists Newsletter – Each week we compile a newsletter outlining what your students have been doing in their specialist classes. You can view this week’s Specialist Newsletter here and on the home page of the website. If you have any questions about the newsletter, please email Sarah Morlidge.
Weekly Snack List - You can view the snacks Chef Jose will be offering next week here. If your child will not be eating the school snack, you are welcome to send a nut-free alternative to school in their backpack.
Admissions and Parent Referral Program - Parents who make family referrals whose children are accepted will receive a Referral Bonus of $250 per family. If you would like to refer a family to CHA, please direct them to www.chestnuthillacademy.com/admissions.
Open House - On Saturday, November 2nd, from 9 AM to 11 AM we will be hosting our first Open House of the admissions season.
Middle School Presentation - 3rd - 5th Grade families are invited to the Middle School Presentation on October 23rd, from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Gym. Please RSVP on our Sign-Up page.
Screenagers at EPS - On November 19th, at 7:00 PM, Eastside Prep will be hosting a screening of “Screenagers: The Next Chapter”.