Campus Updates

March 27, 2020





In this update:  

  • Important Upcoming Dates 
  • Student Lighthouse 
  • Middle School Admissions 
  • TADS Registration 
  • REACH 
  • Teams Training and Access 
  • REACH Resources 
  • CHAPTER Updates 
  • Summer Camp 
  • Reminders   

Important upcoming dates:    

Dear CHA Community,   

Today had we been at CHA we would have honored Mr. Joe as he heads into retirement.  It seemed appropriate to celebrate him on National Cup O’Joe Day with everyone wearing blue jeans, a blue zip-up polo, and a blue hat.  We’ll look forward to celebrating Mr. Joe and his time at CHA upon our return.  In the meantime, if you’d like to send your favorite memories of your time with Mr. Joe or something you appreciate about him; I’ll compile it into a book to gift to him. 

Student Lighthouse - The Student Lighthouse Leaders would like to add some fun to REACH and connect our CHA community with a Virtual Spirit Week. 

  • Monday, March 30 – Make It Monday: Post a photo of something you’ve made (Lego builds, artwork, food, etc.) to your 3rd - 5th Grade Teams Fun channel or the K – 2nd Grade parents’ channel! 
  • Tuesday, March 31 – Tropical Tuesday: We all wish we were on vacation, so let’s dress for one! Post a photo wearing your tropical vacation clothes to your 3rd - 5th Grade Teams Fun channel or the K – 2nd Grade parents’ channel! 
  • Wednesday, April 1 – What’cha Reading Wednesday: Post a photo of yourself and a book you’re currently reading, or an old favorite, to your 3rd - 5th Grade Teams Fun channel or the K – 2nd Grade parents’ channel! 
  • Thursday, April 2 – Thankful Thursday: Write notes or emails, call, or find another way to say “Thank you” to someone who’s helped you (or community helpers) during the past couple weeks 
  • Friday, April 3 – Furry Friend Friday: Post a photo of yourself with your favorite stuffies or pets to your 3rd - 5th Grade Teams Fun channel or the K – 2nd Grade parents’ channel! 

Please also add your photos to the “REACH Photos” folder in Parents Channel / Files if you’d like your picture to be considered for use in the yearbook. 

Middle School Admissions - Please join us in congratulating and celebrating all of the 4th and 5th grade students who diligently and thoughtfully engaged in the middle school admissions process this year.  So much goes into the admissions process, including a strong application, scores on their ITBS, ISEE, and SSATs, teacher recommendations, student visits, and student and parent interviews.  Depending on the grade level and the school, some of these programs may only offer 16-36 available spaces, highlighting the difficulty of the admissions decisions that these elite preparatory schools are faced with and the competitive nature of this process.  We are incredibly proud of all of our students who demonstrated the growth mindset, dedication, and focus required by the admissions process, and we are pleased to share the following results with you, keeping in mind that they are still subject to change as students are pulled from the waitlist to being offered spaces.  Congratulations to our 4th and 5th grade students who applied out to these schools, and best wishes for the amazing adventures in store on the next steps of your educational journey! 

 

TADS Registration – A huge thank you to everyone for returning re-enrollment contracts so quickly this year! The next step in the process of getting ready for the 2020/21 school year is to invite you to update your registration forms. TADS is the site we use to collect this registration information, and there should be an email coming to you from them on Monday afternoon. Please can you add [email protected] to your email contacts to be sure that communication reaches your inbox. We are requiring that families complete their ‘paperwork’ before July 1st To submit your registration paperwork, please go to https://secure.tads.com. The first time you visit the site, you will need to create a new account, the easiest way is by following the link sent to you via the email from TADS. The process should be reasonably straightforward, especially as you are not new to this process, but we have prepared some instructions for parents, which you will find here. If you don’t have the email from TADS by Tuesday morning and need a ‘set up code’, please email [email protected].

REACH (Remote E-learning At Chestnut Hill) – Hopefully, by now, you have signed on to Teams and have been helping your student prepare for success with our online learning program! As we said when we started this endeavor, this is breaking new ground for us. As we have worked through the last two weeks, we have been very grateful for your feedback and support. REACH is evolving in ways that we are all excited about as we better understand the capabilities of the technology, the requirements of our families, and the skills of our faculty. Across all grades, you are hopefully seeing more interactive lessons and opportunities for students and families to connect as we seek to address the social and emotional needs of students, as well as the academic ones. Much as we would like to, we know that we can’t make all of you happy all of the time, but we will strive to make most of you happy most of the time! Please reach out to @Holly Senaga and @Sarah Morlidge in Teams if you have questions, comments, and suggestions about the program. 

Teams Training and Access - For the duration of REACH, Teams is our preferred communication platform. Moving forward, we will be sending out Campus Updates via Teams. If you have not already set yourself up, now would be a great time to get started. Here is the information we shared on our REACH web page

  • If you don’t already have Teams, you can get it for free here. You will need to set up a Microsoft account to access Teams. Usually, you can use a Gmail, Yahoo email address, etc. to do this. If it is not the same address we have on file for you, let me know because we must invite you to be a guest on our Azure AD. 

  • Once you are set up with Teams, and we have your email address set up as a guest, you can sign in using this link and you access the CHA Parents Team directly here. 3rd - 5th Grade students have their own Office 365 accounts which include access to Teams; they do not need to use your account. 

  • K through 2nd Grade students have a private channel for each student that you will be invited to so that you can easily upload work via email or the Teams Mobile App. You also have the option to upload using the desktop and web apps using the Teams files. In addition, there are grade level channels and class teams that you have been invited to as appropriate. 

  • We have prepared a CHA Teams Etiquette Guide for staff which you are welcome to use as well. Microsoft has a set of short video tutorials that are very helpful if you have not used Teams before. You can find them here

  • If you have any Teams related questions, please address them to @Sarah Morlidge

REACH Resources for Parents – Now that her work rolling out Teams to the CHA community is calming down, Mrs. Morlidge is turning her attention to the resources available through the Computer Lab website. She will be adding new resources to the ’Resources‘ page, aimed at giving parents other educational options to keep their students occupied while they are trying to get their own work done. Options added today are Outschool and Code Break. If you have site suggestions, please send them to @Sarah Morlidge. Additionally, some of the sites we already use at school are extending the range of services available. One such is IXL, which has added Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies to our subscription. Your CHA student can access these tools through the IXL button on the Computer Lab Website Math page. 

CHAPTER Updates - We are so grateful for the hard work of the CHA faculty and staff and are thankful to be a part of this supportive community. We wish you health and happiness during this challenging time. With sadness and regret, we announce that we will be unable to fulfill Spring flower basket orders. This fundraiser has brought much joy in the past, and we are so very disappointed that we will not be able to continue in this tradition this year. If you have placed an order, a refund is pending to your original form of payment. If you do not receive the refund within two business weeks, please let us know. 

The transition to REACH learning and the extended physical absence from our school has predictably led to some significant changes in the CHAPTER budget for 2019-2020. With the cancellation of several key events, including the Spring Musicals, CHAPTER continues to re-evaluate its funds, and how they can be best used to support our community. Your CHAPTER Board has been hard at work over the past week, in partnership with the school, to identify and fund key areas of enrichment for our students, while at the same time seeking opportunities to ease any hardship for staff and families. We are excited to announce two key initiatives that have been overwhelmingly approved by the Board of Directors: 

  • It was recently brought to our attention that there is a shortage of computing devices available to support staff and families during the REACH program. CHA has placed an order for 10 Microsoft Surfaces… however, 10 won’t be enough. CHAPTER has agreed to match CHA’s investment in Microsoft Surfaces and will be purchasing 10 additional devices, alongside CHA, to be deployed by the school where they are most effective, just as soon as we get supply. 

  • CHA has elected to purchase the Singapore Math, Primary Digital online learning program to support REACH objectives and supplement the current math curriculum. This program is a comprehensive K-5 digital curriculum based on Singapore Math that offers extensive online resources, testing, multimedia lessons, and other key components to support the exceptional lesson content that CHA teachers are already delivering to our children. This item was understandably not in CHAs 2019-2020 budget, so the CHAPTER board has elected to fund this curriculum for the remainder of 2020.  

Summer Camp - Registration for summer camp (Camp Explorations) is open now! Whether you are a returning camper or new to Camp Explorations, this summer will be sure to deliver a rewarding experience. Each day, campers (ages 5-12) explore the world around them through varying themed experiences.  Activities, workshops, and guest speakers all help ignite curiosity and the explorer in each of us. Our camp program is staffed by seasoned childcare professionals that create a positive environment for growth throughout the summer. CHA families will receive a 10% Early Bird Discount on enrollment (not including the registration fee or Extended Day) for registration forms submitted by May 15th, 2020. Early Bird Discount does not apply to the School’s OUT! and Back Up Care Systems. You can find all the information you need here.  

I wish you an enjoyable weekend, 

Holly Senaga, Head of School 

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