Campus Updates

March 12, 2021

In this update:  

  • Important Upcoming Dates 
  • Parentwiser Event
  • CHAPTER
  • TADS
  • Extended Day Pick-Up
  • Parking Lot Pick-Up
  • New Hire
  • New Channel on Parents Team
  • Friday Faculty Feature
  • Alumni Feature
  • Specialists’ Newsletter 
  • Weekly Snack List 
  • Reminders 

Important upcoming dates:   

  • March 22 – TADS Enrollment Launches 
  • March 26 – Deadline to sign up for Spring Break childcare 
  • March 26 – Deadline for April Lunch Orders 
  • March 26 -  Material Pickup for REACH Students 
  • March 29 - April 1 – Drama Residency  
  • April 2 – Courageous Conversation 
  • April 2 – Material Pickup for REACH Students 
  • April 5 - 9 – Spring Break – No School, Childcare provided 
  • April 16 – STEM Day 
  • April 23 – CHAPTER Spring Flower Basket Pick Up 

Dear Parents,    

Mindset is critical to our growth and success.  Having a growth mindset takes practice in order for it to become a habit.  Growing up on the east side of the state in the small town of Spokane, a school by the name of Gonzaga began to make a name for itself in the basketball world.  Watching March Madness, and in particular, Gonzaga’s Men’s Basketball team year-over-year has always been exciting; especially when Gary Bell Jr. was playing from 2011-2015.  I had the privilege of having Gary in my second and third grade classroom when I was teaching at Thorndyke Elementary in the Tukwila School District.  Watching him grow in his leadership on and off the court can be attributed to his positive mindset. After four years of playing professionally, he has returned to Gonzaga as a graduate assistant.  And now, Eastern Washington University, my alma mater, is making a name for itself in the NCAA basketball world as well.  What do Gonzaga, Gary Bell, Jr., and EWU have in common? 

Their mindset was never one of, “We can’t compete.  Schools not big enough.  We don’t have the same access to players, facilities, the trainers, the programs, the funding that other schools do.”  Right now, children hear a lot of “we can’t”.  How do we shift this mindset from, “We can’t” to “While this isn’t an option, what can we do instead?” and engage them in the conversation? Students need to have the ability to think critically and to problem-solve.  If they believe that obstacles they come up against can never be overcome, they won’t make an effort to work towards a solution and move forward. Encouraging children to verbalize the problem, brainstorm, evaluate options, and work towards a solution supports a growth mindset and moves them from an “I can’t” to an “I can” approach along with the confidence to say, “Here’s how I’m going to approach it.” As John Wooden liked to share with his players, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 

Parentwiser Event - Julie Lythcott-Haims is returning for a second webinar to share her new book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult. Julie offers compassion, personal experience, and practical strategies for living a more authentic adulthood, as well as inspiration from individuals who have successfully launched their adult lives. April 21st, 7 pm Register at, www.parentwiser.org/events  or directly on Eventbrite 

CHAPTER - Thank you to all who have contributed to the Month of Giving! As a reminder, the Month of Giving campaign continues through noon on March 31st. Help make an impact! The donations and sponsorships purchased help fund important initiatives that directly impact the students at CHA. You can find the donation link here. The Month of Giving continues through noon on Wednesday, March 31s 

TADS – TADS Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year will be sent out in the afternoon on Monday, March 22nd. The TADS enrollment forms are a requirement for your child to attend CHA. All returning families need to have the enrollment completed by June 1st. If your child has an allergy, food preference or dietary restriction, or other medical/health needs, please indicate as such on the forms and complete the related paperwork. We require a medically verified immunization record for each student to be submitted as well, even if you have sent one in years’ past. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kaylee Strachan.  

Extended Day Pick-Up – If you are picking up your child from extended day, please park, put on your mask, and walk up to the front door to wait for your child. Once we see you, we will call your child up to the front desk, and they will meet you outside the doors. Students should not be crossing the driveway to parents’ cars without an adult, nor can we accommodate a “car line” pickup for extended day. Please also note that we are not using the MyBrightDay notification system at this time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with pick-up guidelines. 

Parking Lot Pick-Up – We appreciate everyone’s patience and partnership as we welcomed back every grade level and adjust to new routines and a busier parking lot.  For families picking up in the lower parking lot, for 1st-3rd grade students, we ask that you not arrive significantly early, as our kindergarten families are picking up between 3:00 and 3:15 PM.  At 3:30 PM, we will be opening two lanes for pick-up in the lower lot, and we suggest that you move into the lane that reflects your subsequent turn lane.  Utilizing the sign provided at our drive-through event with your child’s name and grade level on it is additionally helpful as we work to identify cars, family members, and caregivers from a distance.  Please exercise caution when driving through to help us ensure the safety of our staff and students.  

New Hire – Please join us in welcoming a new staff member to our community, Sarah Whitehead, who is bringing her background in education and Bright Horizons teaching experience to benefit third grade in her new role as an Instructional Assistant.  You can find out more about Sarah, as well as the rest of our staff, on our website here

Friday Faculty Feature - If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of getting to know Kayla Rafferty, please allow us the pleasure of introducing her to you!  Mrs. Rafferty is a substitute teacher, and in a year that requires flexibility, adaptability, and creative problem-solving, there is no greater model for those values than a person who is willing to step into any classroom or grade level at a moment’s notice, with a smile on her face and an appreciation for tackling new and different challenges on a daily basis.  Her role has been instrumental to our success this year, and we are deeply grateful for the spirit of cooperation and helpfulness that she brings to our team! 

Q: What is your favorite thing about CHA?  A: My favorite thing about CHA is our school community.  I’ve enjoyed being a part of our many different celebrations so far this year. These events have been wonderful opportunities to get to know our staff, students, and families better.

Q: If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  A: It would be the best field trip if I could take students on a hike around Paradise at Mt. Rainier.  I love to hike in my free time, and Paradise is one of the most beautiful locations in Washington.  It would fill me with such joy to share my love of nature with students.  

Q: Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?  A: I always try to model the Golden Rule for our students. It is so important to “treat others the way you want to be treated”.  

Alumni Feature - We love hearing and sharing updates on our amazing alumni. Once a member of the CHA community, ALWAYS a member of the CHA community! It’s great to hear in students’ own words what they are up to, what they are learning, and what they remember from their time at CHA. Read below about alumni Evan… . we think Lakeside is lucky to have him and are so glad to hear he is doing well.

Hi, my name is Evan, and I started CHA in Kindergarten until 4th grade. I enjoyed my time at CHA. My teachers at CHA pushed me to do my best and taught me the importance of being proactive and advocating for myself. I am now at Lakeside and have been here since the 5th grade. It is a totally different environment, but I am getting used to it and am now comfortable with the school and the kids. I think CHA helped me reach out to people more and kind of get myself out there. I am still playing soccer with the same club, skiing and golfing when we have time and just hanging out with my family and friends. I have been doing lots of homework, playing games, and just working hard. I hope CHA is doing well, along with all the students, teachers, and staff.”  

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

Weekly Snack List - You can view the snacks Chef Liam will be offering to in-person students next week here at the bottom of the page. If your child is not eating the school snack, you are welcome to send a nut-free alternative to school in their backpack.

Reminders: 

  • April Lunch Orders due March 26th  - https://www.chestnuthillacademy.com/lunches  
  • Return to In-Person - You will find the information you need here https://www.chestnuthillacademy.com/Return. Q’s: Email [email protected] 
  • Summer Camp – Camp Explorations information is available, and it is time to register!   Everything you need to know about summer camp can be found here. Take advantage of the Early Bird Discount by registering prior to May 14, 2021!  Q’s: Email [email protected] 
  • Spring Flower Basket Sales is back!  - Order online here.The Sales Period is March 5-31.  Plants Pick Up: Friday 12-5pm, April 23rd in the CHA garage.  Q’s: Email Grace Guan ([email protected]) or Zhiyan Cao ([email protected])  
  • Spring Break Plans – If you are planning on traveling out of state for Spring Break, an email to [email protected]  will be much appreciated so that we can switch your child to REACH. 
  • Spring Break Childcare - There will be no school on April 5th through 9th. If your employer has the back-up care benefit, we do accept BUCA and Microsoft SchoolsOut reservations, sign up through the back-up care portal. Otherwise, you should sign-up here. This sign-up site closes Friday, March 26th at 4:00pm. Q’s: Email Kaylee Strachan.  
  • Yearbook Photo Submissions - Please submit the photos with a brief description here and use the access code: chestnut.  
  • 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