• Students returning for 3rd quarter!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 1/8/2021 2:00:00 PM
    Thank you to our teachers, students and families for your energy and support this week transitioning to new schedules. We are excited to welcome students back to campus on Monday, January 11th. Please keep in mind these important reminders:
     
    January 11 - February 12: 
    School hours are 8:30-1:00 Monday through Friday 
    • In-Person Elementary school students will return to campus each week.
    • In-Person Middle school students must still follow an alternating week schedule until Governor’s orders allow 3 foot spacing.  
    • Middle school teachers have sent the A/B week assignments for students returning to campus for the first time. Jan 11 is B Week for 6th-8th.
    • Remote students will continue attend class remotely from 8:30-1:00 each day
    • Carpool will run from 8:05 to 8:30 and 1:00-1:30.
    Important health reminders:
    • If your student has had a COVID-19 exposure over the break, please notify our school nurse, Sarah Ipock (nurse@endeavorcharter.com) immediately.
    • If your student has tested positive for COVID-19 over the break, please notify our school nurse, Sarah Ipock (nurse@endeavorcharter.com) immediately.
    • If your student is having any of the following major COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever >100.4, chills, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new loss of taste/smell) DO NOT send them to school. Please reach out to your child's medical professional for advice on how to proceed. Your student must have a NEGATIVE COVID test, stay out of school for 10 days, or have a written alternative doctor's diagnosis to return to school. 
    • If your child is having more than one minor symptom (congestion, runny nose, sore throat, headache, fatigue, or muscle aches for greater than 24 hours) DO NOT send them to school. Please reach out to your child's medical professional for advice on how to proceed. Our Return to School Guidelines state students must be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medications to return.
    Comments (-1)
  • Reflecting on the Good!

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 12/18/2020 1:15:00 PM
    We’ve finally reached the end of 2020. It is so easy to point out all the difficult and stressful and negative parts of this year. So easy!! However, I want to take a minute to reflect on the good that has come from the year 2020 in our community. 
    • Our staff and students have learned how to have a remote learning day. This is something we’d wanted to try for a few years, but never had a good reason. Now we know that in future years when there is a weather concern, a power outage on site, or another such issue, we can easily move into a remote learning day and not lose instructional time. We also know that even most of our youngest students can maneuver through work sites and complete digital assignments.
    • We’ve begun construction on our campus expansion. Things we’ve always wanted for our school - a gym, theatre, and dedicated middle school – are coming! While the timing of an expansion and a pandemic is not ideal, less cars and kids on campus as construction is starting has had its benefits!
    • Our staff and families have all developed a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for one another. We’ve always all been on the same team with the same goals of student learning and success, but never before have we actually shared the day to day job of teaching students. Never before have we peeked inside one another’s homes and talked through student needs and challenges and shared the job of helping our students grow each day.
    • We’ve all had to slow down and spend more time with our families. What a gift that is! As a parent of a teenager and a young adult, I am so very grateful for the time I’ve had with my kids because of our decreased social calendars, working from home, and isolating together. We’ve lost many opportunities, trips, and events, but we’ve experienced this time together. Some days we were productive and baked bread and exercised; some days we watched movies and ate popcorn. Whether productive or not, I will always be grateful for time spent with the ones I love the most!
     
    As we move into 2021 with vaccines being administered and a light at the end of this tunnel, I encourage you to remain vigilant in the things we can control right now – hand hygiene, distancing, wearing face masks, and decreasing time spent with those you do not live with. I wish you all a safe, healthy, happy track out, and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year!  
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    ECS Director
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  • 3rd Quarter Info

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 12/18/2020 10:50:00 AM
    We’ve had a few questions regarding yesterday's email and wanted to add some clarifications:
    • We have recorded family preferences for remaining remote or returning to campus. Teachers will be emailing today to confirm those choices. Remote instruction will continue for students that selected to remain remote.
    • As we announced earlier this quarter, we will not be able to offer childcare on campus this year.
    • Our first week of third quarter (all remote week) is an A week for middle school students who must continue to alternate weeks. Here is a guide to the alternating weeks:
    • Jan 4 - A week (all students remote all week)
    • Jan 11 - B week
    • Jan 18 - A week
    • Jan 25 - B week
    • Feb 1 - A week
    • Feb 8 - B week
    • Feb 14 - A week (This is the week we switch to full days - first day on campus is Feb 18.)
    • Feb 22 - B week
    • Mar 1 - A week
    • Mar 8 - B week
    • Mar 15 - A week
    • Mar 22 - B week
     
    Copy of 12/17/20 email:
     
    Dear ECS parents,
     
    Thank you for the information you provided us in the survey regarding 3rd quarter. It was extremely helpful to understand what our families value and why. Given that information, on December 1 our Board of Directors voted on a plan for the spring semester which had been vetted by a reopening committee comprised of staff, parents, and the Board. Currently, middle school students are held to a 6 foot distance requirement by the state while elementary students are allowed to function within a 3 foot distance. Due to this requirement, middle school students will still be returning to campus on an alternating week schedule in third quarter, while all elementary grades will be returning to campus each week. When/If state guidelines change, we will review and potentially adjust our middle school schedule. To provide time to prepare for our students’ return and to protect our students and staff, we will begin third quarter with a fully remote week. Please read the details below as you prepare for January.
     
    JANUARY 4 - FEBRUARY 12:
    School hours are 8:30-1:00 Monday through Friday 
    • Carpool will run from 8:05 to 8:30 and 1:00-1:30.
     
    January 4: Teacher workday, Asynchronous Remote Learning Day for all students
    • No students are on campus.
    • No live lessons as teachers prepare for third quarter
    • Students will have work to complete during the day at their own pace.
     
    January 5 - 8 Remote Learning Days for all students
    • No students are on campus.
    • Students will participate in live, remote classes following their third quarter schedule.
    • Students will attend class remotely from 8:30-1:00 each day.
     
    January 11 - February 12: 
    School hours are 8:30-1:00 Monday through Friday 
    • Elementary school students will return to campus each week.
    • Middle school students must still follow an alternating week schedule until Governor’s orders allow 3 foot spacing.  
    • Middle school teachers will send out the A/B week assignments for students returning to campus for the first time.
    • Carpool will run from 8:05 to 8:30 and 1:00-1:30.
    Benefits:
    • Additional 6.5 hours of school time per week
    • Fine Arts return for all grade levels
    • Lunch and recess at home decreases exposure risk
     
    January 18: Martin Luther King holiday, no school
     
    FEBRUARY 15 - MARCH 26:
    School hours are 8:30-3:15 Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday on campus, Wednesday will be asynchronous, off-campus
    • Elementary school students will return each week.
    • Middle school students must still follow an alternating week schedule until Governor’s orders allow 3 foot spacing.  
    • Carpool will run from 8:05 to 8:30 and 3:15-3:45.
    • On Wednesdays from February 18 - March 26 all students will have asynchronous work to complete by 4:00. There will be no live classes on Wednesdays.
    Benefits:
    • Full instructional day
    • Modified, distanced recess
    • Lunch on campus
     
    February 15: President’s Day holiday, no school
     
    February 16 and 17: Asynchronous Remote Learning Days for all students
    • No students are on campus.
    • No live lessons as teachers prepare to transition to full days
    • Students will have work to complete during the day at their own pace.
     
    Other important information for third quarter:
     
    Front door:
    Our front door has officially been relocated to the side of the current building in the natural area. This will be the front door for the duration of construction. Banners mark the entrance. This is the only entrance we will use outside of carpool. There is a doorbell which will alert the front office that you are waiting. Do not approach another entrance.
     
    Carpool:
    The shift to our new driveway and new carpool procedure went smoothly this week. While we may tweak as needed, this will be our procedure through the end of the school year.
     
    Recorded Daily Lessons:
    Teachers will no longer be recording daily lessons. Students who must be absent from a class should contact the teacher for support as they would if absent on a regular school day. The time and storage capacity required to post lessons are not sustainable.
     
    In Case of Teacher Absence:
    When a teacher is absent, there will be a recorded lesson and assignment for students to complete. This will be similar to the Remote Learning Day lessons. Remote students will be expected to complete the assignments on their own, while on-campus students will have a substitute teacher in the classroom to facilitate the lesson. 
     
    Turning in Assignments:
    Beginning in January, many grade levels will be changing the time by which work must be turned in on a daily basis. The majority of work can be completed during class time. If you have a specific conflict, please contact your child’s teacher.
     
    On-Campus Attendance:
    Please note that it is important that students who have chosen to attend on-campus are on campus each day unless they are sick or quarantined. Choosing to stay off-campus outside of those reasons is not acceptable and creates an undue burden on the teachers. 
     
    Thank you for supporting your students and our staff as we've moved through this challenging first semester together. We look forward to second semester and continuing our path back to a normal school day!
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director
    Endeavor Charter School
    919-848-0333
     
    Comments (-1)
  • Carpool Update for Monday, 12/14/20

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 12/11/2020 1:00:00 PM
    We’ve just been notified that our new driveway will be completed this weekend!  Starting Monday, December 14, all traffic will be moved to the new driveway.  Please read the important information below.
     
    • Enter campus as usual from One World Way.
    • Follow the new driveway behind the soccer field and move slowly as construction workers and vehicles will be crossing the lanes.
    • The lined outer 2 lanes will be two-way directional lanes for our use.  The inner lane will be for construction traffic only.  Stay in our lanes! 

    driveway lanes

    • The new carpool pick-up and drop-off area will be located in the parking lot beside the current building.  
    • During carpool only, students will enter and exit the building at the parking lot side entrance with the double doors.  Carpool staff will help direct students.
    • At any time of day other than carpool, the temporary front door will be the side door behind the flagpole natural area, into the multipurpose room.  Banners indicating this entrance have been hung on the construction fencing.  A doorbell at this temporary entrance will notify the front office that someone is waiting.

    temporary entrance

    • If your child is late to school, please walk with him/her to the new entrance.  Do not allow a child to wait alone as it will take us a bit longer to let them in, and we do not want a child to be unsupervised especially during construction.
    • Packet pickup will now be located in a shed between the bleachers and the spirit rock (near the dumpster area).  Please be sure to tightly close the doors after you pick up packets.
     
    We recognize that a construction project brings many inconveniences along the way.  This change is a bit of an inconvenience.  However, we are excited to take this significant step forward on our path to the new and improved ECS!
    Comments (-1)
  • December Reminders

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 12/4/2020 1:30:00 PM
    How is it already December? 
    Things are moving very quickly at ECS, and I wanted to update you on a few things.
    1. Thank you for your generosity on Giving Tuesday. Our community is amazing! 
    2. Our new driveway will soon be finished. Once that happens, construction workers and equipment will have to cross the driveway many times throughout the day. Please drive slowly on campus and remain off your cell phone while your car is moving.  
    3. Thank you for your quick survey responses! We'll have more information before track out regarding our plans for third quarter.
    4. Please remember to have students charge their devices each evening!
    5. We have two weeks of important content to cover before track out. Please continue to remind your child to prioritize their school work! Many grades have tests and other assessments still to come, and every day is important!
     
    Thank you for the time you spend each day supporting your child whether on campus or at home. You are making a difference, and we appreciate you!
    Comments (-1)
  • Expansion Groundbreaking!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 11/20/2020 1:00:00 PM

    Endeavor Charter School's Groundbreaking Ceremony for the K-8 Expansion Project took place on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 1:30pm.  In attendance were Endeavor Charter School's Administration, Board of Directors, Foundation Board, PAWS President Alison Blatz, Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones, former ECS Director and Co-Founder, Steve McAdams, members of the construction team from BCCG, as well as several staff members.  ECS Director, Christi Whiteside delivered the opening remarks and a brief history of the school.  Bill Kroll, Chair of the Endeavor Charter School Board of Directors gave an overview of the goals of the expansion, and Michael Reinhardt, Chair of the ECS Foundation Board described the details of the new space.

    The recording of the Groundbreaking Ceremony is available on Endeavor’s YouTube Channel.

    The 3-D animation video of Endeavor's Expansion project can also be viewed on Endeavor’s YouTube Channel.  The expansion will include a gymnasium, a 300-seat performing arts theater, a dedicated middle school space, an expanded elementary school space and will allow for expanded elective courses and year-long courses in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.

    Here are the remarks from Mrs. Whiteside, Mr. Kroll and Mr. Reinhardt at the Groundbreaking Ceremony.

    Mrs. Whiteside’s Remarks:

    “Welcome!  My name is Christi Whiteside, and I am the director of Endeavor Charter School.

    In 2006, Steve McAdams, Maija McAdams, and I were hired to write the academic proposal for Voyager Academy, now a successful charter school in Durham.  The following year we tried again and were again successful in writing a charter school application – this time for Endeavor Charter School, a school for our community here in Wake County.  Endeavor was the 198th charter approved by the state of North Carolina at a time when there was a legal cap to be no more than 200 charter schools.  We believed then that we’d be one of the last new charter schools in North Carolina. 

    We quickly faced a series of daunting hurdles starting with the news that while previous schools had been provided $200,000 of start-up funds, we would receive $0.  However, things began to turn in our favor.  We received a $12,000 donation, the total amount we would use to rent a facility, connect all utilities, secure computers for staff and students, and purchase all furniture and all supplies for opening day.  We were able to purchase 2 semi-trucks full of used furniture for only $300, less than the rental fee for the trucks.  And applications began to pour in. We interviewed teachers in churches, office buildings, and homes.  We held information sessions for curious families and educators.  We held our first student lottery, terrified that no one would accept a seat. And on the day our dirty, used furniture was delivered, in 100-degree heat, so many volunteers showed up and they put our school together.  On opening day, July 28, 2008 a red carpet and paparazzi marked the entrance for our wonderful students and staff who were all taking a chance on this new, untested charter school.

    We learned and developed so much in those early years including an ECS teaching philosophy, rich fine arts courses, a competitive athletic program, and a community with a shared vision, all while bursting at the seams in the tiny rented building on Forum Drive with the copy room in the men’s restroom and the playground in the parking lot. 

    Even then, we knew that site was temporary and that our permanent home would offer more to our students and staff.  Almost immediately, our Foundation started the search for this site, and after visiting more than 100 sites, they came here and saw 29 gorgeous, wooded acres and they found a new home for the school we built together.  We opened the doors here in 2014 to a larger staff, more students, more teams, dedicated classrooms for our fine arts teachers, and a real playground. Our 10-year anniversary brought a big party, a community effort to break a Guinness World Record, and a new vision for Endeavor.  Led by the question – What more do we want for our students and staff?  a new vision for Endeavor became clear. Thank you for being here today as we break ground for the next step in the story of Endeavor Charter School.

    Mr. Kroll’s Remarks:

    Good afternoon, my name is Bill Kroll and I am the Endeavor Board Chair.  The summer of 2019, which really seems like a lifetime ago, the ECS Board held its annual retreat and started it off like we do every Board meeting by reciting our Mission Statement: to engage K-8 students by integrating a challenging, hands-on academic program with multi-faceted fine arts courses in a familial environment.

    As Christi said, we all asked what more can Endeavor offer its family while staying true to our mission?  After discussion with our stakeholders, we prioritized what we value about Endeavor:

    • High quality staff
    • Small class size
    • Fine Arts and electives options
    • Hands on learning opportunities
    • Performance space

    From this we developed what more we wanted for our Endeavor family and what we would need to improve:

    • First was a recognition that middle school is a unique stage of life, not an extension of elementary school
    • Second was an ability to reach more families
    • Third was ability to expand educational offerings with more Fine Arts, electives options, and year-long science and social studies
    • Fourth was a facility to house performance space and physical education/athletics

    While we are expanding, family remains central to each step we are taking.  Central to this expansion are maintaining:

    • Small class size
    • Community building activities
    • Parent involvement

    By expanding, we are excited that:

    • A larger population will provide:
      • More social options at each grade level
      • The opportunity to serve more students and be a better reflection of our community
      • More classes allow us to provide teachers with expertise in every subject
    • A gym:
      • will be used for PE classes and electives
      • boys’ and girls’ basketball and volleyball teams will practice and play on campus
      • special events and assemblies will be held for the entire school
    • A theater:
      • will be the new home for drama classes and all future performances
      • students will graduate on our campus
    • Both of these will be a source of rental revenue for ECS and a resource for the broader community

    Before I hand the mic over, I need to thank my fellow School and Foundation Board members and the ECS staff for never wavering in their commitment to this expansion.  If you can recall 2019, COVID was never a consideration and, in March/April and then again in July, there were critical moments when we needed to decide to pull the plug or march on.  Every single person saw this expansion as a beacon of hope and I hope that as you drive by Endeavor now that the expansion is more than just some architectural drawings, it provides you the same lift it has provided us.

    Mr. Reinhardt’s Remarks:

    Good Afternoon, I am Michael Reinhardt, and I Chair the Foundation Board. I would like to thank all the foundation board members, school board members, the school’s administration, the school’s staff and the ECS community for their contributions to getting us to this groundbreaking ceremony today. I would also like to thank BCCG and their trade partners not only to help get us to today but to take us to the ribbon cutting in June. It is my pleasure to talk about the scope of the expansion project and to point out some of the highlights.

    The 56,466 square foot expansion will have a tilt-up concrete architectural wall panel exterior and think of it to consists of 3 main sections:

    • Section 1 is the new middle school space and is highlighted by 15 middle school student sized classrooms with a dedicated science room for each grade. This 2-story section will also feature the school’s new main entrance with an extended exterior canopy for the rainy-day carpool. Another special feature is the glass vestibule that looks out to the middle school outdoor space.
    • Section 2 is the new home of the Pride’s indoor sports teams. The full-size gymnasium will have all space needed to keep our students active regardless of the weather conditions. 6 basketball hoops, a retractable divider screen and telescoping bleachers provides functionality for hosting competition or conducting Physical Ed class. The dedicated locker rooms will also be a great benefit to this space.
    • Section 3 is the new performing arts theatre. There will not be bad seat in the house. There will be over 300 seats sloping down toward the stage. The elevated stage is approximately 2100 sq ft. Back stage there is lot of storage, changing rooms and a large roll up door for accessibility. Another incredible feature of the theatre is the raised Audio Video control room.

    There are 2 common areas that I would also like to point out. The first is the Gym/Theatre lobby. This open and inviting space consists of 3 glass walls and will act as a formal welcome to our hosted events.  There is also a large common area connecting section 1 to section 2 and 3.  The potential of this space is endless. It will serve the students as an eating area, a space to meet in small groups for project work or as an artist exhibit space.

    I am very excited to see this all come together in the months to come and again I want to thank the entire Pride community for the contributions toward this project.

     

     

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  • Thank you!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 11/13/2020 2:00:00 PM
    Thank you!  I’m a little early for a Thanksgiving post, but I am feeling especially thankful today! It has been so nice to see so many students back on campus! I am thankful for the many ways they have adjusted to new expectations! Our students of all ages have adjusted well to keeping masks on and spreading out when in transition. Our athletes are managing the new expectations for their sports well, and our sports season is off to a great start. We’ve also appreciated your patience in morning carpool as more students on campus means the screening process is taking a little bit longer. I am thankful for the students who have become more comfortable asking questions in class and reaching out to teachers for extra help. I am thankful for the teachers who have found ways to notice struggling students through the screens and space that separate them.
     
    It is very easy to see all the things I am NOT thankful for right now. However, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I am going to focus on the many things I am thankful for in this crazy time. I hope you will do the same and focus this season on those you love, the many good times you share, and the health we are all working to maintain. It is not a season I’d care to repeat, but if I have to go through all this, I am so glad to navigate this time with all of you. ECS is a special community, even in 2020!!
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • ECS Expansion Update & Groundbreaking Ceremony!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 11/6/2020 1:00:00 PM

    Comments (-1)
  • Important Update - Returning to Campus

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 10/31/2020 8:45:00 AM
    Happy Halloween everyone! 
    There is a lot going on at ECS this quarter:
     
    Construction
    Early site work has begun on our campus, and we are planning an official virtual groundbreaking for November 12th.  Be on the lookout for more details about how to view the live-streamed event!  You can expect to see a lot of changes on our campus every week moving forward!
     
    Hybrid Students Re-entering the School
    We've been excited to welcome Hybrid Plan students from grades 3rd and 6th back to campus this week.  We are looking forward to students from all other grades returning in the next few weeks. We want to encourage every family with students returning to campus to review the Family Return to Campus Guide we sent out in August.
     
    A few reminders for coming back to school to ensure we maintain a safe and healthy environment for our entire community:
    • Face coverings must be worn on campus at all times unless eating a snack or drinking.  This is non-negotiable.  If your family is unable to follow this policy, we need you to remain in virtual learning.  
    • Gaiters are not approved face coverings.
    • Social distancing will be required while students are on campus.
    Face coverings and social distancing are in line with the guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. We will continue to remain diligent to ensure everyone can return to school!
     
    Looking Forward
    As we look toward the spring semester, we have had numerous conversations on how we can continue being the very best school in Wake County for both in person and virtual students.  We have formed a reopening committee to plan for the spring, and are working on configurations in different grade levels.
     
    We are excited to share a few grade levels are piloting new ways to do a combination of remote and on-campus students while maximizing learning for both groups.  
    • Grades K, 2, 4, and 5 will be emailing their families today to share changes we're implementing for Quarter 2 focusing on a non-alternating return to campus.  These trials are essential for us as we prepare spring plans for all grade levels, and will provide benefits to the entire school. 
    • Why are we only making adjustments in some grades? These pilots are strategic to the grade levels with varying numbers of in person and virtual students. Again, this will benefit the entire school as we'll learn how to safely bring more students to campus in a non-rotating schedule. These grades will allow us to continue to work out the most efficient processes for hallways, restrooms and carpool safety. 
    • Grades 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 will maintain the alternating week schedule for second quarter to best meet their students' needs.
    Survey
    A new survey will be sent to parents in mid-November regarding choices for the spring semester. The reopening committee is considering the varying needs of our students and staff and will make recommendations regarding moving forward.  The committee will have representatives from our Board of Directors, our staff, and our parent community so we can be sure all perspectives are heard. 
     
    Thank you for working with us as we continue to navigate what's best for our school during these times. Stay tuned for further information! It is an exciting time to be a part of Endeavor Charter School! 
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director
    Endeavor Charter School
    919-848-0333
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  • Start of 2nd Quarter & Carpool Reminder

    Posted by Christi Whitesdie on 10/23/2020 12:00:00 PM
    We are off to a great start to second quarter! Thank you for all you continue to do to support your students and our teachers.
     
    Next week, we'll welcome back one grade level per hallway as our Hybrid A Week 3rd grade and 6th grade students come back to campus.
     
    Here are a few important reminders for carpool to keep the line moving efficiently during our morning drop off.  
     
    Before pulling up to the sidewalk, please make sure:
    • Carpool tags are displayed
    • Student masks are on
    • Backpack/belongings are at the student's feet ready to go
    • Ready for temperature check, health screening, and exit with a quick goodbye
    • Students should exit from the passenger side only
    For safety reasons, cars should remain in a single file line on the sidewalk until the car ahead of you pulls forward.  Thank you for your patience with your fellow carpool drivers.
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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