Campus Updates

October 09, 2020

In this update:  

  • Important Upcoming Dates 
  • Admissions Referral Program
  • Friday Folders 
  • Halloween 
  • Fall Festival
  • November Camp Sessions
  • Picture Makeup Day
  • REACH Updates 
  • Specialists’ Newsletter 
  • Reminders 

Important upcoming dates:   

  • October 14th – ParentWiser Executive Function 
  • October 15 – Materials Pick Up (Thursday)
  • October 16 – Fall Festival Celebrations 
  • October 16-29 – Online Book Fair 
  • October 21 – Virtual Middle School Presentation 
  • October 22 – Materials Pick Up (Thursday)
  • October 23 – Picture Makeup Day 
  • October 23 – Professional Development Day for Staff / No School or Childcare for Students 
  • October 24 – Virtual Open House 
  • October 29 – Materials Pick Up (Thursday)

Dear Parents,   

Our mission at Chestnut Hill Academy is to provide an environment where children become educated global leaders, problem-solvers, and lifelong learners.  Our leadership approach is evident in the ways in which we help students learn to communicate effectively around the content that they are learning, how we support them in developing the ability to collaborate and work well with others, and how students begin to manage their time, responsibilities, and priorities in increasingly complex ways.   

But what does it mean to raise global leaders?  And what does it mean to stay true to our mission of raising “global leaders” as that pertains to conversations with children about race and current events?  During our virtual book club conversation today, parents and staff discussed the question of our comfort level in discussing current events with children, and in doing so, raised another question: that of our CHA community’s comfort level (both collective, and parents as individuals) in having these conversations, normalizing these conversations, modeling a willingness and receptivity to learning, and embracing feedback (of all kinds) as information and opportunity for growth.    

The events of this past year have brought no shortage of challenging topics.  Turning on the radio or the television inevitably introduces topics of race, the pandemic, politics, and the upcoming election.  Children absorb what they hear around them and seek to make sense of the information they gather, and they look at us to help make sense of that information.  As we seek to more fully embrace a culture of courageous conversations and to expand our idea of leadership to more fully encompass that global aspect, we invite you to ponder these questions with us and to share your thoughts.  Our next virtual discussion time will be on Friday, November 13th, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM, and we welcome you to the conversation. 

Admissions and Parent Referral Program - Chestnut Hill Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year.  Our application deadline is Friday, January 22nd.  We appreciate parents who have recommended CHA to their family and friends as well as continuing to entrust their children’s education to us.  Parents who made family referrals whose children are accepted will receive a Referral Bonus of $250 per family.  Every family is eligible to participate in the referral program, and it’s simple.  First, refer the family.  Second, make sure the family lists your name on their application when asked how they heard of CHA. Third, the family is accepted in March.  Fourth, the student begins in September.  Finally, referrals are paid out in October through ACH.  If you would like to refer a family to CHA, please direct them to This will give prospective families the steps they need to apply. Thank you for your recommendations! 

Friday Folders – Due to time-sensitive materials being sent home for students to access, Professional Development on October 23 and Halloween, the next three Friday Folders will need to be picked up on Thursday, October 15th, 22nd, and 29th.  Material pick-up is available from 7:30-4:30 downstairs in the garage.  We ask that you do not pull directly into the garage and instead park outside in the lower parking lot and walk in to collect the folder.  We require all visitors to the garage to wear a mask. The garage gate will close at 4:30 for pick-up.  

Halloween - CHA will be celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 30th. Staff members will be dressed in costumes, and students are also welcome to dress up for the day. Costumes are optional for everyone. If your child chooses not to dress up, he or she can wear free dress. When helping your child choose a costume for school, please use the following guidelines:   

  • Masks will be allowed only during class parties.  
  • NO weapons or potentially dangerous props may be brought to school.   
  • NO bloody or gory costumes should be worn.   
  • In-person student costumes must be safe for playing on the playground and comfortable for wearing in the classroom (NO flip flops, cleats, slip-on, or high heeled shoes, please).   
  • In-person student costumes should be appropriate for the weather conditions that day.   
  • Please know that some party activities are messy and children occasionally get their costumes dirty.   
  • Students are welcome to change into costume prior to their classroom party if they’d be more comfortable in free dress throughout the day.   

Fall Festival - this year Fall Festival will be hosted within each classroom on Friday, October 16th. Teachers will be hosting a variety of activities for students to complete. Students will each be receiving a Fall Festival Goodie Bag that contains: 

  • Snack Bag: Juice, Goldfish, and Applesauce 
  • One Cookie, One Frosting Tube, and Sprinkles for Cookie Decorating* 
  • Two Photo Props: Funny Glasses + Halloween Prop  
  • Popcorn Bag to enjoy at home 
  • Candy/Prize Goodie Bag 
  • Trick or Treat: Color your own bag for trick or treating

These goodies bags will be available to pick up along with Friday Folders on Thursday, October 15th. Each goodie bag will be labeled with the student’s name. Please only pick up the one with your child’s name. Next week, Friday folder pick-up has been moved up to Thursday, October 15th to allow students to have their materials for Fall Festival Celebrations on Friday. Teachers will be communicating more specifics around grade level celebrations via their weekly newsletter. If your child is in-person they will be getting their Fall Festival Goodie Bag on Friday, October 16th. Students with allergies and food limitations will be receiving a different cookie to accommodate food allergies and restrictions. 

November Camp Sessions - Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, November 18th, through Friday, November 20th.  The following week, we have Thanksgiving break from Monday, November 23rd through Wednesday, November 25th. There will be no school these days, but childcare will be available for kindergarten-fifth grade from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Campers will be placed into self-contained groups of 15 with two staff members.  Reservations will only be accepted for the entirety of each three-day time period, rather than on an individual daily basis, and priority will be given to families using their School’s Out benefit.  If you will be using your Back-Up Care Advantage or School’s Out benefit to reserve space for your child for the three days, you will submit your reservation directly through the Back-Up Care Advantage System.  If you will not be using an employer-sponsored back-up care benefit, you must sign up here.  If you are an in-person kindergarten/first grade family with an annual or monthly Extended Day package, the cost of the conference days only is covered in your Extended Day package, so you will not be charged, but you will need to sign up in advance so we can best anticipate our staffing needs. All sign-ups must be submitted by Friday, November 13th, at 3:30 PM. If you have any questions, please email Kaylee Strachan at [email protected]

Picture Makeup Day - Vakker Portraits will be returning to CHA on October 23rd from 9 am-11 am to do photo makeups and retakes. They will be stationed in the CHA garage as before. Families will need to park in the lower lot and walk into the garage to meet the photographer, lining up 6ft apart. If possible, students should wear their dress uniforms. Please sign up for a time slot here, and feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions. 

REACH Updates – these are discussed in the CHA Parents / Teams Tips channel and posted to the CHA Website / Tech Tips page when necessary.  

  • Teams Policy Changes - Students can no longer create their own teams (which they were doing to bypass the No Chat policy that’s in place for K-2), and students in K-2 can no longer call each other because they were doing it when they should have been in class. Staff will still be able to call students.  

  • Request for Information – All parents of online students (except K) should receive the weekly Parent/Guardian Assignment Email on Sundays. The message comes from an email account with the address [email protected]. Please add this email address to your contact list to increase your chances of receiving the email this Sunday. In some cases, parents aren’t receiving the email because teachers didn’t create assignments yet, in some cases, it is because the email is going to junk, and in a handful of cases something else is going wrong. I need quality data to report to Microsoft. If you have not received the Parent Guardian Email by 8:00 on Monday morning, please take a minute to complete this form. The form opens Monday morning at 8 and will remain open until 4 on Friday 16th. 

  • Microsoft Workshops – You can see the schedule for October here. There are sessions on Teams for Families on October 15th, 22nd, and 29th that you might be interested in. Click on the RSVP Now link in the flyer to sign up. 

CHA Specialists’ Newsletter – You can view this week’s newsletter here. If you have any questions about the content, please contact your child’s teacher directly. You can find all our teachers here, and you can find information about the individual programs here


  • Previous issues of Campus Updates can be viewed here 
  • Material Pick Up – Please park, enter the garage, share your child’s name with the staff members that are assisting with pick up or find your child’s materials on your own if you prefer.  Masks are required; gloves and hand sanitizer are available.  
  • School Photos – If you had your child’s picture taken but have not ordered the photos yet, you can view Vakker’s flyer here to find out how to do that.  If you have any questions, please email Kaylee Strachan. Thank you! 
  • ParentWiser Parenting Class: Dr. Sharon Saline will give you a deeper understanding of organization, focus and prioritizing and why they’re critical to the learning process. Date:  October 14th, 2020 | Time:  1:00 | Register online:  or Eventbrite. See the flyer here
  • Book Fair – October 16th - 29th. The committee has its own Book Fair web page here and they have lots of fun ideas for engaging parents in promoting student readership via the Parent’s channel. 

Thank you, 

Holly Senaga, Head of School 

Promote to Parents page (My CHA): 
Promote to My CHA