REACH Online Learning

Campus Updates

October 16, 2020
In this update:  
  • Important Upcoming Dates 
  • Car line Drop off & Heating 
  • Fall Festival Highlights 
  • Book Fair 
  • Applying Out 
  • Middle School Presentation 
  • CHA Library 
  • School Readiness Panel
  • The Great Shakeout 
  • Emergency Alerts 
  • Yearbook Photo Submissions 
  • November Lunch Orders
  • REACH Updates 
  • Specialists’ Newsletter
  • Reminders 
Important upcoming dates:   
  • October 16-29 – Online Book Fair 
  • October 16-22 – Reading Week 
  • October 16-29 – You’ve Been Caught Reading 
  • October 21 – Virtual Middle School Presentation 
  • October 22 – Materials Pick Up 
  • October 22 – Dress Up As Your Favorite Character Day (or Free Dress Day) 
  • 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 
  • November 5 – Materials Pick Up  
Dear Parents,   

With the looming question, “When will we return to school in-person full time?”, I thought I’d share with you one of the sources of information I refer to regarding decisions to return students safely to school.  The Public Health—Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Schools and Childcare Task Force sector helps determine where we are in the process of bringing more students back to campus.  While some parents and students are anxious for the opportunity to return, others remain anxious about returning and prefer to remain online. Currently, we have 48 out of 60 kindergartners in-person, and 22 out of 50 first graders in-person. Our recent poll of second graders resulted in 25 out of 44 students wanting to return in-person.  As other schools are finding, running dual modalities is complex. Adding to our complexity is how we provide instruction. Teachers in grades 2nd-5th provide subject specific instruction, our students rotate, and all students now need to access technology on a 1:1 basis.

As numbers have continued to increase (see King County data below), we will pause in returning additional grades to campus. Should the numbers decline and maintain under 75 cases per 100,000 for 14 days, it is recommended we wait for two weeks after that to ensure the numbers remain lower than 75 to bring additional students back to campus.  Looking at our current timeline, should numbers drop and remain below 75 for the next month, we would look to bring back second grade students who prefer in-person for the second trimester beginning November 16. In preparation, we are upgrading our Wi-Fi and internet bandwidth to support the additional devices with the return of more students.  The following data provides key indicators of COVID-19 activity in King County aligned with key indicators of COVID-19 activity outlined in the Decision Tree for Provision of In Person Learning among K-12 Students at Public and Private Schools released by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). The following is data as of October 14, 2020. This data is available and regularly updated on the PHSKC COVID-19 data dashboard webpage.  

Early testing remains one of our best tools for preventing COVID-19 from spreading in our communities. Public Health recommends that anyone who has a sign/symptom of COVID-19 or close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away. They should home and away from others while waiting for test results.   

Car Line Drop-Off & Heating – As the weather gets cooler, your cars are getting warmer! The warm cars are affecting the temperature readings in the morning, and we recommend that the heat is turned off and windows are rolled down when waiting in car line for your health check. This will allow our health checkers to get an accurate temperature reading the first time. We appreciate your patience and partnership, as we keep CHA safe and healthy!  

Fall Festival Highlights - Today students participated in CHA’s Mini Fall Festival Celebrations in their classrooms. Students each received a fall festival goodie bag that contained a snack bag, cookie decorating mini kit, photo props, popcorn, candy/prize goodie bags and trick or treat reusable bag (color your own). Students enjoyed decorating fall-themed cookies with their classmates and teachers. Students had snack time together. Teachers hosted an array of different classroom games such as BINGO. To finish off students and teachers took silly pictures with their Halloween props. We hope your child enjoyed their Mini Fall Festival Celebration. Don’t forget to enjoy the popcorn together as a family and watch a movie together. Thank you to our Spanish teacher, Vanessa Suarez, and her helpers, who made this possible.
Book Fair - The Scholastic Book Fair is back starting Friday, October 16 – Thursday, October 29!  You will find a packet of information in your Friday folder. For detailed Book Fair information, please visit the Book Fair Homepage or the Teams Book Fair Channels. The Book Fair benefits CHA by adding more books to the classrooms and to the library. This year we have two options to help support our reading program: 
  • Scholastic Online Book Fair: 25% of your purchase will be credited to CHA to purchase books for classrooms. Happy Shopping! Books must be purchased through the CHA Scholastic Store for CHA to receive credit. Shop the CHA Scholastic Book Fair 
  • Book Fair Fund:  With the Book Fair being exclusively online this year, we are unable to implement the “Teacher Wish List” program. In its place, we have created the Book Fair Fund. Your donation to this fund will enable the school to purchase books for the classrooms and library. Any amount you are able to contribute would be greatly appreciated. Donate to the Book Fair Fund 
Teams Book Fair Channels:  If you don’t see these channels on your CHA Parents Team, check under “2 hidden channels” at the bottom of your channel list. 
  • Book Fair Information – here you’ll find information about the book fair, announcements, link to book fair homepage, Scholastic Store, and donation page. You’ll also be able to post your own questions. 
  • Book Fair Fun – here you’ll find book trivia questions and “You Were Caught Reading” challenge. You’ll be able to comment with trivia answers and post photos of your child being caught reading. 
Special Book Fair Events:   
  • Reading Week (October 16-29) – The Librarian will host story time featuring books from the Scholastic flyer, author video preview, etc. 
  • You Were Caught Reading (October 16-29) – We’ll have a daily post on the Book Fair Fun channel where you can reply with a photo of your child reading. The posted photo enters your student in the “You Were Caught Reading” contest. We’ll draw 2 names every evening, and winners will be given a special prize. 
  • Dress Up As Your Favorite Character Day (October 22)  
Applying Out – If your child is applying out to other schools this year, please send all record requests to Kaylee Strachan, and she will submit their transcripts for you. All requests for teacher recommendations should be sent directly to your child’s current homeroom teacher prior to Thanksgiving break. Please note that we do require parent signatures or written parent permission in order to send any paperwork to other schools. If you have any questions, please direct them to Kaylee. We are happy to help in any way we can and wish you all the best with the application process!  
Middle School Presentation –  Join Holly Senaga and guests on Wednesday, October 21st from 6PM to 8PM to learn best practices to apply out for 5th and 6th grade.  Please pre-register for this virtual event here.  Mrs. Senaga will be joined by the following Directors of Admissions and CHA Alumni Parents who will host break out rooms to share more with you about their school:
  • EPS:  Director of Admissions, Cheryl Miller, CHA Alumni Parents, Dianne Melling, Dorian Bell, Tami Cheung and Gautam Babbar 
  • Eastside Catholic:  President, Gil Picciotto, Director of Admissions, Bobby Kubacki, Assistant Director of Admissions, Steve Rudolf, CHA Alumni Parents, Shannon and Steven Daly, Traci Williams, Marsha and Ryan Setting 
  • Overlake:  Director of Admissions, Lou Sabino, Parents, Maria and Vernon Hui, Zori Miltcheva 
  • Forest Ridge:  Director of Admissions, Elizabeth Ayers, CHA Alumni Parent, Masako Yap 
  • Lakeside:  CHA Alumni Parents, Latosha Smith, Anita Varghese, Rahul Sundaresan  
The Director of Admissions at Lakeside, Wellesley Wilson, also invites you to visit their virtual admissions program for prospective students and families to connect with Lakeside students, faculty, staff, coaches, and the admissions team this year, and  encourages interested families to join one of these events. Lakeside, along with other PSIS schools, will participate in the Puget Sound Independent Schools Fairs virtual fairs on October 20 and December 2, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. on both evenings. The virtual fair will be another opportunity for families to hear school presentations and ask questions. You can find out all about them here.  

CHA Library - The remodeled Library is now open! Picture and Fiction books are available for student checkout. Parents can find the CHA online catalog here and students can also access on Clever. In the catalog you can search for the title, author, subject, or series of book(s) students are interested in reading and exploring. Please note that books found in the catalog may not be on the shelves.  Mrs. Whalen will do her best to locate. Once students know the book title and author there will be two options for placing your orders. As a parent, you can go to the CHA Parent Team Library Requests channel (please remember to tag her!), and Mrs. Whalen will show students how they can place their requests in their Library Teams. Mrs. Whalen let you know if the book(s) are available and place them in Friday Folders for pick up. Another option for library book checkout is KCLS – The King County Library System. If the CHA Library does not have the book(s) students are looking for then please try KCLS here to see if it is available at your local library. The KCLS is open for Curbside to Go, holds, and book returns. Did you know you can check out e-books from KCLS using Overdrive? We have included a link to the children’s section here.
School Readiness Panel – Have a younger sibling looking ahead to kindergarten next year?  Or friends beginning their research on kindergarten options for their child?  We’re welcoming families to join us for a webinar panel event with Mrs. Bernal, Ms. Roberts, and Ms. Lindy, a beloved Kindergarten Prep teacher from Bright Horizons at Redmond.  These fabulous teachers will be sharing their expertise for our “School Readiness: What Teachers Want You to Know” virtual event on October 23rd, 12:00-1:00 PM, and attendees can pre-register here
The Great Shakeout – CHA participated in the Annual Great Shakeout event on Thursday.  Earthquake drills provide us with the opportunity to practice how to be safe during an earthquake.  “Drop, cover, and hold on” is recommended by emergency preparedness teams as the best way to protect yourself in most incidents during earthquake shaking.  It’s important to think about how you’ll protect yourself wherever you are and practicing allows muscle memory to kick in when you are faced with a stressful situation.  Students followed the Shakeout with a monthly fire drill lead by first grader, Claire who was our Safety Inspector yesterday.  

Emergency Alerts - In the event of power failures, snowstorms, earthquakes etc., school opening and closing times may change. On days when you suspect a possible late start or closure, check the school website, local radio and television stations for weather service updates, look out for text messages from Jupiter, or you can register with, a free service which will alert you via phone and text. For those of you already registered with Flash Alert, you may have received a message from them which starts with ‘You have a FlashAlert Messenger account to receive news (such as weather closures or other news) from Chestnut Hill Academy and 4 other organizations. Please read on to continue using this free service..’ It is a genuine message and action is required by you to keep your subscription active. If you have any questions about the message, please contact them directly at [email protected].
Yearbook Photo Submissions - We are seven weeks into what will likely be one of the most memorable school years ever! Classes through Teams, mask wearing, pets in class with you, etc. are just a few of the unique experiences that we are all sharing. The yearbook is basically a history book of CHA for 20-21. Our yearbook editors, Ms. Whalen and Ms. Gorski, are excited to tell the story of our year. They will periodically be asking for your help throughout the year. They are looking for pictures (a lot of pictures) that will help us create some creative pages. Here are the topics we are looking for this trimester:  
  • Summer highlights (travel, hikes, beach visits, back yard hammock time, etc)  
  • Quarantine projects (gardens, art, etc)  
  • Facemask fashion (any cool masks)  
  • First day of school pics  
  • Rock the Walk  
  • Fall Fest  
  • Halloween  
  • What is your virtual school set-up?  
  • Virtual Team backgrounds – send us some examples of these  
Please submit the photos with a brief description here and use the access code: chestnut. You may also download the submission site as an app by searching for “Walsworth Yearbook Snap.” You can submit as many photos as you would like. We are hoping to get widespread participation from families across K-5. If you have any questions please contact Ilene Gorski [email protected] or Charis Whalen [email protected] 
November Lunch Orders – The November Lunch Order form is now open here for parents of online students. Lunches cost $4.50 which includes milk. For those parents who choose not to order before we close the form at 4 pm on Friday, 30th October, and send their child to school without a packed lunch, the price of the meal we provide for your child will be $9. Monthly payment will be drafted by ACH on the first of the following month. You will receive an email confirming the meals you have ordered which you can print off for your records. If you have any questions about the menu, the ordering process or the billing, please email [email protected] 

REACH Updates – these are discussed in the CHA Parents / Teams Tips channel and posted to the CHA Website / Tech Tips page.  
  • Checking Assignments - Teachers are encouraging the students to get in the habit of checking their Assignments when they log in to Teams. If students do not see it in their ‘Me Space’ (the left sidebar), click on the ellipsis and drag the Assignment icon out to the sidebar. If there is a red dot on the assignment icon that means there is an overdue assignment. There is no way to set up notification emails, so your help in supporting the students as they learn to become more independent is much appreciated. 
  • Parent/Guardian Assignment Email on Sundays – I only got 2 Responses to my request for information so it looks like the previous problem has resolved itself. I will reach out to the two parents individually to trouble shoot.
  • A parent asked, ‘Could we have after hours Teams calling time for younger students?’ - Unfortunately, the teachers and Mrs. Morlidge do not have the bandwidth to monitor the ways in which calling is being misused by some students; a situation compounded by the lack of granularity in Teams’ policies and controls. Having set expectations with students, which are not being met by some, we have to focus our resources on the primary purpose of Teams at CHA, which is for classes.  
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

  • Picture Makeup Day - Vakker Portraits will be returning to CHA on October 23rd from 9am-11am to do photo makeups and retakes. Families will need to park in the lower lot and walk into the garage to meet the photographer, lining up 6ft apart. Students should wear their dress uniform. Please sign up for a time slot here, and email [email protected] if you have any questions.  
  • November Camp Sessions - Wednesday, November 18th, through Friday, November 20th and Monday, November 23rd through Wednesday, November 25th there will be no school, but childcare will be available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  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 plan staffing. 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].  
  • Friday Folders – Material pickup will happen on Thursday for the next three weeks – October 22nd and 29th, November 5th.  Material pick-up is available from 7:30-4:30 downstairs in the garage.  Please park outside in the lower parking lot and walk in to collect the folder.  Everyone is required to wear a mask. The garage gate will close at 4:30. 
  • Admissions and Parent Referral Program - Chestnut Hill Academy is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year.  Our application deadline is Friday, January 22nd.  Parents who made 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 Thank you for your recommendations! 
  • 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. If your child chooses not to dress up, he or she can wear free dress. Please refer to CU 10.9.20 for costume guidelines. 
  • Previous issues of Campus Updates can be viewed here  
Thank you, 
Holly Senaga, Head of School
Promote to Parents page (My CHA): 
Promote to My CHA