Digital Learning to Continue in 4th QuarterPosted by Christi Whiteside on 3/27/2020 3:00:00 PM
What a way to end a quarter! If I’d told you in January that with one workday’s preparation we would move to a digital learning school, and you’d become an at-home teacher, you’d have thought I was crazy. And yet, here we are! You have always partnered with us, but never to this extent. We are so grateful for your support. You are our eyes and ears and hands right now. We truly could not do this without you!!
As we head into track out, I wanted to give you an update on our status when we return.
- Track will remain March 27-April 13. Monday, April 13 will remain a teacher workday. Our teachers desperately need a break after a very long 3rd quarter and an exhausting transition to virtual learning.
- Digital learning will resume on Tuesday, April 14.
- We need to make some adjustments to our program in order to move into a full month of distance learning. In April, you can look forward to:
- ECS teacher instruction of new content (live or video) at least 3x per week. Other days may include review or instruction from other sources such as Khan Academy.
- Synchronous morning meeting at least 1x per week. We recognize that some students will not be available due to childcare situations and device sharing. That’s OK.
- Teacher office hours at least 2x per week for students who want some extra support.
- Assignments or a link to assignments posted on the ECS website where homework has previously been posted.
- Honor Code statement for all quizzes and tests reminding students of the expectation for independent work on assessments. It is essential that teachers have an understanding of each student’s actual understanding of their work, so please help ensure your child’s authentic and independent completion of work.
- Teacher adherence to their work hours of 9-12:00 and 1-3:00. The 10 hour workdays they’ve been managing during this transition is not sustainable.
- Some items may need to be picked up from school. We are looking at assignments for our youngest students as well as reading materials.
- We know many students are trying to complete their school work on a phone. This is not a good solution for the long term. Student without access to an appropriate device need to borrow one from ECS now.
We realize that this extended closures overlaps many important ECS events such as Stride for the Pride, picture day, and our spring play. At this point we are evaluating all options for those events and others scheduled for later in 4th quarter. We plan to have an update when we track back in and hopefully have a more clear picture of what the end of our year might be like.
As we move into a longer term digital learning scenario, please refer to the suggestions below for increased success and calm.
- Pick a place that will be your “classroom.” Stock it with paper, pen/pencils, and any school books or materials. This spot should ideally be away from the TV and other major distractions.
- Set a daily schedule for yourself for when you will be “in school” and out of school.
- Schedule your breaks and rewards either by task (“when I finish ___, I will____”) or by time (“every 15 minutes I will stand up and stretch.”)
- Stay connected! Ask questions, send emails, participate in group chats and video meetings.
- Organize your work
- Make a file for all the emails & communications from school
- Keep a calendar of due dates, Zoom meetings, etc.
- Use your agenda to keep track of assignments just like you did in school.
- Keep track of your passwords and logins
- Reach out. Having trouble with tech? With a school topic? With managing life at home? Send a note to your teacher and/or a trusted adult
- Save time each day to move! (get outside, do some yoga, set up your own workout routine)
- Online Etiquette
- When joining digital meetings, keep your mic muted and unmute only when you are speaking. This cuts down on background noise
- Avoid side chats-- they distract yourself and others (just like in class!)
- Don’t eat on camera.
- Dress for class!
- It’s okay to just use audio and not appear on camera, if you prefer. (It also uses less data if you’re not on wifi.)
- THINK before you post/send. It’s one thing to say something inappropriate in class, but online, there's a record and many more people can see your words.
- Stay on task and on topic.
- Help students choose & use a consistent work space
- A solid schedule will be your best friend
- Balance work and break time for all
- Try to keep normal bedtimes and morning routines
- Use timers to help keep track
- Help, but don’t hover.
- Stay connected to teachers and the school, but allow students to take the lead on communication whenever possible.
- Please respect teacher working hours and where possible, avoid contacting staff after “school” hours or weekends.
- It’s okay to ask for help with tech, with emotional support, with academic questions. And with food
- Take care of yourselves so you can be there for your kids
Please continue to follow precautions for social distancing and keeping your family and our community safe. Have a wonderful track out!
Christi Whiteside, MSADirector, Endeavor Charter School919-848-0333
Digital Learning Week 1Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/20/2020 2:00:00 PMWhat a strange and scary week! We’ve seen the switch to a totally digital learning environment happen with very little preparation time, but we’ve done it. The transition has not been easy for anyone. Our teachers are stretching their creativity and their tech skills to the limits. We recognize that becoming your child’s main educator, often while adjusting your own work to an at-home situation, has not been easy on our families either. However, we are all moving forward with the hand we’ve been dealt.We will continue to work under the assumption that our goal is to finish the curriculum for this entire year either in person or virtually. We are also watching the ever changing information that is coming from the state and the federal government. We will adjust our plans if needed.If you’ve been watching the news about schools being used as childcare centers, know that there will be several available if you need such help. ECS is not an eligible site, however, because a working cafeteria is a requirement. Instead, while our building is empty, our custodial service is conducting a deep cleaning to ensure that whenever we are able to return, the building will be ready.Thanks to all who responded to our survey yesterday. Such feedback helps us adjust our plans to best meet everyone’s needs. I hope we can all enjoy the weekend, take a breath and regroup from this week. And remember, keep calm and Endeavor on!For help with food, please email Christi Whiteside at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Learning Begins Tuesday 3/17/20Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/16/2020 3:45:00 PMECS Families,
We've spent a busy teacher workday today finalizing our preparations for a day we hoped would not come, but we are ready. Each grade level will be reaching out today to let you know specifics of their plans to move all instruction to digital learning starting tomorrow. Teachers will be available from 9:00 -12:00 and 1:00 -3:00 Monday through Friday March 17-27. During this window, they will be working with students and responding to email. However, we do not know what volume of emails to expect, so we will respond as quickly as possible within those windows. They will not respond to email outside that window of time, but will try to respond within our typical 24 hour response time.
For the next nine school days, we need your students focused and working hard. We need them to log in every day in order to be counted as present. Please help them stay on track with classroom directions and due dates. Please know that our teachers consider these next nine days just as real as the last nine days. Students must remain engaged. Our fine arts teachers will be reaching out with assignments every other week. Our special education and literacy support staff will be reaching out to families of students they serve. We are ready.
However, things won't be perfect because this is new. Some tech won't be smooth. Some directions won't be clear enough. When those things happen, please reach out and let us know. In a time of social isolation, it is easy for frustrations to grow and for folks to lash out on-line. Please remember that when digital learning is smooth and when it is not, our teachers are working very hard to maintain normalcy for your children. They have every intention of maintaining a quality program to educate our students.
To help consolidate communication, we've set up a new page on our website https://www.
endeavorcharterschool.com/ covid. You'll find the Covid-19 tab on the top of the site. There you'll find directions for the digital platforms, info about who to contact for various situations, and our latest communications. We will continue to communicate with you through this web page, email, Facebook, and the Director's Blog.
I am already longing for normalcy, and I know many of you are as well. If we are feeling the enormity of these world changes and challenges, know that all our kids are feeling it, too. Please give your students some time to talk, some time together as a family, and the structure of some school time. Establish the place in your home where school work will happen and the place other things will happen. These are trying times for all of us. I wish you all safety and health, and I hope to see you soon!
Schedule Changes Due to Corona Virus Email 3/13/20Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/13/2020 10:00:00 PMDear ECS families,
It is out of an abundance of caution and concern for the well-being of our students and staff, Endeavor Charter School will be moving to a digital learning platform due to the growing concern regarding the coronavirus. We didn't take this decision lightly. Our schedule has been revised as follows:
Our digital platform beginning Tuesday, March 17 will include students receiving instruction and submitting assignments digitally. Students in grades 3-8 will utilize Google Classroom. All students in these grades have been provided an ECS email address and have practiced using Google Classroom.
- Monday, March 16 will now be a teacher workday. On this day, the building will be available from 10:00 am -12:00 noon for any student who needs to pick up materials or medications.
- We will follow a digital learning platform from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27.
- Our track out will remain as originally scheduled, March 28 through April 12.
Students in grades K-2 will use alternate means of receiving and completing work. Each of these grade levels will provide information to their families.
A virtual school day is not the same as an in-person school day because the day moves according to the students' pace and priority rather than the teacher's schedule. During a typical school day there are movement breaks, restroom breaks, lunch and recess, etc. During a virtual school day, the pace is determined by the child. Some students will find themselves moving quickly through assignments and will complete their work earlier than expected.
We request your assistance in ensuring our students don't utilize digital learning as days off. We are prepared for these to be genuine learning days with assignments to be graded. This work will impact report card grades, and attendance will be taken daily.
We recognize there will be challenges in our transition to digital learning. Please ask questions! Our staff is committed to make this transition as smooth as possible, but we are navigating this new territory for the first time, and ask for your patience and understanding. Look for more information following Monday's Teacher Workday.
It is also important to remember the purpose of this closure is to keep our students safe, and away from large groups of people. We discourage play dates, and outings within the community. We recommend you take this time to enjoy nature, read a book, and spend some quality time with your family while allowing this virus to pass by.
If your family needs support with food over this closure, please email me, and we will do everything within our means to help you. If we can offer other support, please let me know.
Our hope is to re-open on April 13 as planned. However, we will continue to monitor conditions and recommendations from the public health authorities. We will communicate if additional changes are necessary. Considering the current environment, we are postponing the Town Hall and will update you on all relevant school announcements after track out.Please take every precaution to keep your family safe. I truly hope to see you all soon!Christi Whiteside, MSADirectorEndeavor Charter School919-848-0333
Town Hall Meeting March 23rdPosted by Christi Whiteside on 3/6/2020 3:30:00 PMECS families,Please mark your calendars for Monday, March 23. That evening at 7:00pm the ECS Board of Directors and ECS Foundation will be holding a Town Hall in the Multipurpose Room to provide information on the progress of our future plans. While this is a parents-only event, the YMCA will be providing child care to current Endeavor students beginning at 7pm. If you plan to attend and/or need child care, please RSVP on this SignUp Genius Thank you!Christi Whiteside, MSADirectorEndeavor Charter School
Moving on to March!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 2/28/2020 3:30:00 PM
February has brought us excessive rain, snow, temperatures in the 20’s and the 70’s, and now the Coronavirus. What a month! Other than the temperatures in the 70’s, I’m not a fan of any of this! Many thanks to your response to our snow day schedule changes. We are always so grateful for your kind words! Thanks also to those of you who’ve endured recess duty throughout the many weather variations we’ve seen this quarter. You are amazing volunteers, and the teachers are so grateful for your support!
As far as the Coronavirus, I am optimistic that it will not cause us significant impact. However, I like to be prepared for all situations. So, we have heeded the advice of the CDC and are making plans for the possibility of a school closure due to future impacts of the virus. We’ve been researching and speaking with schools who hold Digital Learning Days for weather emergencies or teacher workdays. The general idea is that there is a digital platform through which students log in (for attendance), receive and submit assignments, and receive instruction through a video or text. Our plan has been submitted to our Board of Directors for their review.
As with many things, there are good and bad aspects of such a plan. Some of our teachers are already using Google Classroom and could go virtual tomorrow. Others would need some time to prepare. Our older students would find such a change easier than our younger students. Our highest achieving students would be better able to manage school work without normal teacher instruction than would our students who struggle academically. We recognize that any plan for an extended school closure would not be an equal substitute for a regular day, week, or month of school. However, in a scenario where we needed to close school for an extended period of time, we are confident that we could maintain instruction, learning, and community.
To help us do everything we can to prevent such a need, please, PLEASE review and follow our health expectations. We are still finding students who’ve been sent to school on medicine to reduce fever which then returns as soon as the medicine wears off. IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL. To send such a student to school is to blatantly put the other students and our staff at risk. Please don’t do this! Students who’ve run a fever may not return until the fever has been gone for 24 hours WITHOUT medication. Please help protect our students and staff, and do not send your children to school until they meet this requirement.
Flu season generally lasts into May, so even if the Coronavirus spares us, we continue to need all families taking precautions such as frequent hand washing, washing water bottles daily, ensuring students bathe daily, and keeping them home when they are sick. Help us get through this season safely!
Just in case you missed it: IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL.
Did you hear the latest news? IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL.
I wish you all a wonderful, healthy weekend!
Christi Whiteside, MSADirectorEndeavor Charter School
Winter Returns!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 2/22/2020 8:30:00 AM
We hope everyone enjoyed the winter weather! Thanks for your patience and cooperation on the days when we make weather related decisions. As a reminder, ECS uses WRAL, email, the ECS homepage, Facebook and text to communicate weather-related closings and delays.
SPOTLIGHT: Drama at ECSPosted by Lauren Manfreda on 2/14/2020 3:30:00 PM
We are continuing our quarterly spotlight of our amazing Fine Arts programs and teachers with a Q&A. Included in this Spotlight will be opportunities for parents to support Fine Arts both in and outside of school. Endeavor is so fortunate to have such an incredible Fine Arts program.
This quarter the spotlight is on Mrs. Colvin and Endeavor's Drama Program. Please take the time to read and learn more about what your student is learning in Drama each week! Thank you Mrs. Colvin!
1.What are some of the skills you hope students gain from participation in your Fine Arts class?
In Drama class, I enjoy watching students gain self-confidence, good communication, and teamwork/cooperation skills. The skills they develop here in Drama class are ones that I hope they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Good communication skills are essential for everyday life and are applied through performing in-class plays, improvisation lessons, and doing group scene work. Acting onstage teaches students how to be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences, which also helps them feel confident speaking in smaller group settings.
The willingness to work cooperatively as a group is another skill that I hope students will gain from participating in Drama class. Theatre demands that participants work together cooperatively for a successful final product, or production. Being able to be empathetic to others and accepting others and what they have to offer, both onstage during a scene and off-stage, helps students learn how to work cohesively and successfully with different types of people to reach a common goal. It’s important for students in Drama class to support each other and everyone involved, which is an important life lesson as well.
2. What are you most excited about that students will be working on this quarter in your classes?
During 3rd Quarter, I am really excited about working with students on grade-level performances and the 7th and 8th Grade Spring Musical: Frozen Jr!
This quarter is filled with lots of rehearsal days for Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 4th Grade students. I enjoy helping them understand the rehearsal process for a performance, and letting them experience the process as a whole: casting, line memorization, rehearsal, and the final performance. I’m always blown away by how much students enjoy performing! I also love hearing from parents after performances and celebrating their child’s on-stage achievements!
Our spring musical, Frozen Jr, is another very exciting part of this quarter. We had auditions back in the fall, and now the cast is working together, during their 7/8th elective on Monday through Thursday, to build this fun and magical show! We are working hard on choreographing dance numbers, memorizing lines and songs for this production. We can’t wait to share with you the final performances of Frozen Jr on May 14-16th!
3. What do you want parents to know about Fine Arts?
I would love for parents to know how much I love teaching Drama to their children! I am lucky enough to see Kindergarten through 8th grade students at least once per week and I love having that opportunity! Although I am not seeing your child as regularly as their homeroom teacher, I do enjoy creating a relationship with each of them and hearing about things going on in their lives, such as dance performances, sports achievements and even losing teeth!
4. How can parents support you? How can they support their child’s Fine Arts education beyond your classroom?
If you are a parent who has a passion and/or knowledge of the theatre arts— whether on stage, in set or costume design, film or editing experience, or sound operating— I would love to hear from you and have a chance to utilize your talents in the classroom with us.
Another way to support the Drama program is by helping out during Spring Musical season, in May. We always need extra hands to build set pieces, help with lighting design, make costumes, sell tickets, run the concessions stand and hand out programs during our performances. If you are interested in helping in any of those areas, I would love to hear from you and have your extra support during this time of year.
I absolutely love the support our families provide our Fine Arts team! We really appreciate all the supplies and support that comes our way throughout the school year. Thank you for all you do to help our programs grow!
Please feel free to reach out to me at any time throughout the school year with questions, ideas or ways you can support the Endeavor Drama program at email@example.com.
Caitlin Colvin, Drama Teacher
Germs! Help us fight the good fight!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 1/31/2020 4:00:00 PM
We are fully into cold and flu season. This week, we’ve seen a little bit of everything in our health room. Please know that we are doing extra cleaning and are encouraging more handwashing than usual. However, to really make a difference in keeping our kids healthy, we need your help!
Several kids have come to the office this week around lunchtime running fevers. We’ve found that they were given medicine to rid them of fever in the morning and then sent to school. Please know that this is not okay! Your child is going to infect others in the classroom and throughout the school if you do this. The medicine masks the fever, but does not cure the illness or make them less contagious. A child “must be fever free for 24 hours WITHOUT the use of medication such as Tylenol or Motrin before returning to school” according to our handbook. Please, please do not send a student to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication. We need to keep our healthy students healthy, allow our sick students to rest and heal at home, and keep our teachers well enough to teach our students each day.
Please also consider doing some extra sanitizing this weekend. Lunchboxes and water bottles are exposed to so much! Coats and backpacks could also benefit from some washing. Students who carry cell phones should sanitize them daily. I would recommend having students wash their hands as soon as they get home and make sure no one misses a nightly shower. Until this season of sickness passes, we all must work together to avoid the germs, and as much as we value excellent attendance, please keep your sick students home until they meet our criteria to return. Have a wonderful, healthy weekend
Christi Whiteside, MSA
Endeavor Charter School
Endeavor's Public Open HousePosted by Lauren Manfreda on 1/24/2020 3:30:00 PM
This weekend we hold our public Open House. Every year we offer interested parents this opportunity to step inside the school, learn about our program, and speak with staff members. We are always very proud to talk about our community, and always sad thinking about how few of the eager families will be able to find a spot off our lengthy wait list. However, some folks will get in, so we encourage every interested family to apply. Each year at this time we also look back to earlier years when many of you were the eager faces at our Open House. We are so grateful that you came and explored your child’s educational opportunities and made the decision to become a part of our little world. It certainly takes a village, and we’re glad you are a part of our village!
We are sometimes criticized for not holding Open House during a school day. Visitors would like to see the school in action. We understand this wish and recognize that some schools offer this option. However, we can’t imagine a time that we’d be comfortable opening our doors to hundreds of adults we don’t know and don’t have background checks for while our students are in the building. That is way out of our comfort zone! Instead, we offer tours during a school day only for families whose child was selected in the lottery. This allows us to personally escort the family and answer their questions while ensuring that our students remain safe and our school day is not disrupted.
At Open House, we are also proud to offer parents a chance to speak with some of our Student Council members to get a student response to some of their questions. Student Council is open to students in middle school who meet an academic and behavior eligibility requirement. Interested students complete an application and present a speech in front of their peers. Generally, five students from each middle school grade are elected to join Student Council. In this role, members plan and decorate for all school dances, help at school events such as field day and Stride for the Pride, and run their own fundraiser/service project each year. This year’s group also began quarterly community building events such as National Cookie Day, started a peer mentoring program with Mrs. White, and will be helping with the Art Show/Book Fair this spring. I am proud of all their hard work and hope many of our younger students will apply for Student Council in years to come!
Christi Whiteside, MSA
Director, Endeavor Charter School
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