Campus Updates - Incoming Families

May 29, 2020

In this update:  

  • Microsoft Teams 
  • New Family Checklist 
  • PTA 
  • School Website 
  • ACH Payment Setup 
  • Starfall/IXL Math 
  • SPARC 
  • TADS Registration 
  • Summer Camp 

Dear Incoming Families, 

When school is in session, we send a Campus Updates email to all families every Friday. The purpose of this email is to update parents on what’s happened during the week, and what’s coming up the following week, from a school-wide perspective. We will start this tradition with our new families now (although it won’t be weekly), in order to make sure that you don’t miss any of the important information we have been sharing on Teams. We recognize that you are busy people, and maybe don’t need one more set of credentials in your life just at the moment, but we do encourage you to get set up with Teams as it’s a great way to get your questions answered. 

Microsoft Teams - This is the platform we use to communicate with our parents. You should have received an email to the account we have on file for you from Azure AD inviting you to get started. Once you have accepted that invitation, the next step is to establish your credentials. You should be able to log in to the CHA Incoming Parent Team, but our parents report that this works much better if you do it on a tablet or laptop using an incognito web browser (preferably Chrome not Safari) the first time. To get an incognito session in Chrome, press CTRL + SHIFT + N. If you get a message asking you to Open Microsoft Teams, click on ‘Cancel’ and choose ‘use the web app instead. After you have logged in successfully using a web browser, then the phone/desktop apps should work. If you already use Teams at work with a different email address you can use that instead if you prefer - it is easy to flip flop between the two tenants. Please send me your work email address and I can set that up.  You will find a quick start guide to help you get set up on Teams here, please let me know if you have any issues getting logged in. As well as the General Channel, which is where we will share information with you, there are topic channels where you can ask questions, and grade level channels where Monique will facilitate introductions to staff and current families. There is a Files section at the top of each channel. Anytime we upload information there, we will be sure to link to it in a post so that you are aware and can find it easily. There is also an excellent set of Microsoft Teams tutorials here

New Family Checklist - We have created a checklist of key steps to help you with your planning, which you will find the checklist here. You can also view the recording of the New Parent Orientation Meeting here

PTA Announcement - We are excited to welcome you and your family to Chestnut Hill Academy in the fall. CHA’s PTA is called CHAPTER (CHA Teachers and Parents Ensuring Results). As the current CHAPTER Co-Presidents, we would like to take an opportunity to introduce ourselves. As your parent-teacher association, CHAPTER was formed to promote the development of a vibrant community at CHA, while seeking and facilitating opportunities to enhance the educational experiences of our children. Our social and fundraising events include family picnics, our fall Walk-a-Thon, and our annual Gala and Auction. We are fortunate that the contributions to CHAPTER through fundraising and donations have allowed us to reinvest in our community by providing professional development opportunities for the faculty and staff at CHA, expansion of key curriculum, and contributions toward major and exciting capital improvements on campus. In addition to these larger initiatives, CHAPTER funds support field trips, the venue for our musical, fees associated with the winter ski-buses, and artists and writers in residents (subject matter experts that visit our school). If you are interested in being a class rep, please send an email to [email protected] stating your interest and telling us a little about your background and family. We look forward to meeting each of you this fall and welcome you to CHA. 

CHA School Website - We have opened access to the back end of the website for our incoming families. To sign in, please go to Your username will be your email address, and you can click on Forgot Password to get a new one.. When you log in for the first time, I would encourage you to choose your own password here by clicking on the edit tab. On the same page, you can also upload a headshot photo to your account so that other parents can get to know who you are. There are useful links below for your convenience. You will need to be signed into the school website for the links to work. 

  • The Parent Portal – I encourage you to make yourself familiar with this area of the website, and to read the CHA Website User Guide which explains where to find information. 
  • Grade Level Groups - Once we have graduated our current students, we will be able to add you to the correct grade level groups so that you can access grade level information. For now, you will not be able to see them. 
  • Student Directory – Once current students have moved up/graduated we will also publish incoming students in the Student Directory. For now, you can only see current students. 
  • Carpool / Find a Friend Map - To help you locate CHA families in your locale, we have compiled a private Google map showing where our families live. You will see our current families now; this map will be updated after graduation. 
  • Important Dates - When you log in to the Parent Portal you will be able to view the Key Dates Calendar for 2020-21
  • School Calendar - You can subscribe to our school calendar here to avoid missing out on updates. Look for the ‘Subscribe to Calendar’ option below the calendar. 
  • ACH Recurring Payments Set-Up - You can find instructions on how to set up recurring payments here. The Primary Payer that is currently set-up is that who was chosen through the CHA Tuition Agreement. If you want to switch the Primary Payer, feel free to message me and I can make that change. We request that you have your ACH payments set-up by June 1st, in order to fix any issues prior to the first tuition payment that happens on August 1st. If you run into any issues setting up your account, please don’t hesitate to let me know. 
  • Parent and Student Handbook - This publication outlines all current CHA policies and procedures. 

Starfall – as promised at the New Parent Orientation meeting, we have added incoming students to our Starfall subscription. You can access the site through the Computer Lab Website.  You can find your family’s code in the ‘Files’ section of the Incoming Parents Team. 

IXL Math - We have provisioned accounts for incoming students. You can find a link to IXL on the Computer Lab website. If you need help, please email me at [email protected]. You will see that for REACH, the IXL dashboard also provides access to Science and Social Studies activities for some grades, which your student is welcome to explore. We will share more information about the Summer Reading and Math program June 5th. 

SPARC – We are delighted to announce the Student Personalized Academic Resource Coordination (SPARC) program which was developed to serve students with special and gifted needs. A commitment to differentiated instruction allows us to meet students’ needs as we recognize each individual student as an independent learner.  SPARC provides an inclusive academic setting that enables students to reach their full potential. SPARC will support students who have completed testing through an Educational Psychologist.  Once a student with special needs has been identified and/or qualifies as highly capable, they will receive SPARC support. SPARC has three tiers:    

  • Tier 1:  Student support is met within the class.  
  • Tier 2:  Student support is met within the class and with the aid of the CHA Academic Specialist.  
  • Tier 3:  Student support is met within the class and outside programs.      

Through this program, we support a broad spectrum of learners, from those who need specialized support to those who would benefit from an accelerated structure. This is accomplished through the coordination and monitoring of an educational plan individualized for identified students. The SPARC program seeks to build on strengths while ensuring mastery of the grade-level curriculum and beyond. We are delighted to announce that Marsha Setting will be our SPARC Coordinator. You can read her bio here

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 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 mailto:[email protected]?subject=TADS Registration

Summer Camp – We are moving forward with plans to offer our long-standing K-5 Camp Explorations program, and registration for summer camp is open now. We are planning an in-person program with social distancing measures in place, and each day, campers (ages 5-12) will explore the world around them through varying themed experiences. 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 29th, 2020. Early Bird Discount does not apply to the School’s OUT! and Back Up Care Systems. The Back-Up Care Advantage System is not yet accepting reservations for summer, so we recommend that you submit a reservation through our website, and we can assist with changing the type of reservation once our camp dates have been confirmed. You can find all the information you need here. We look forward to sharing more with you over the coming weeks about the enhanced health and safety guidelines that will support our camp program, such as health screenings at check-in, escorted drop-offs to decrease the number of people entering the building, smaller group sizes with minimized mixing of groups, and increased frequency and depth of cleaning routines. Because parents will not be coming into the building for drop-off, and because the administrative focus will be on conducting health screenings and welcoming campers at drop-off, we are asking all families to complete all necessary paperwork PRIOR to drop-off, and we will not be processing paperwork at the front desk during check-in. Upon completing a reservation for camp, you will receive a confirmation email from Kaylee Strachan letting you know what forms are still needed to complete your camp file prior to your child’s first day.  

All the best,

Sarah Morlidge

Director of Technology and Communication

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