Hurricane Florence Recovery CollectionPosted by Christi Whiteside on 9/18/2018 8:50:00 AM
We were so very lucky to have been spared the brunt of Hurricane Florence. The storm seemed to be aimed straight at us, and we prepared for the worst. This week, as we dry out and recognize our good fortune, we also see our neighbors to the east suffering tremendously. We’d like to help. Yesterday as we discussed how to get involved, I was contacted by one of our parents, Liz Mahoney - CJ(6), Emma (4) and Grace (K), who has been in contact with several local charities to determine their biggest needs. For now, the charities are seeking:
- non-perishable foods (canned fruits, vegetables, meat, and soup - Pop-top cans and low sodium a plus!)
- whole grain pasta, brown rice, dried beans, and cereal
- peanut butter
- for infants: pedialyte, infant cereal, diapers (sizes 0-5), baby wipes, jarred food (cannot be loose, jars must be packaged together, no glass)
- snacks such as: fruit cups, juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, popcorn
- hygiene items
- paper products (towels, plates, etc)
- cleaning products (bleach, disinfecting wipes, etc.)
- bath towels
- new underwear for boys and girls.
If you would be willing to donate any of the items listed above (no other items, no glass containers), Liz will arrange delivery this weekend. ECS Student Council members will be on the sidewalk this week during morning carpool on Thursday and Friday to help carry items from your car. We will also accept items during the Fun Fest on Friday.
Each donation will receive two raffle tickets for Friday's Family Fun Fest!
Thank you for supporting those in need and for setting a great example of service to your children! We appreciate your generosity!
Director, Endeavor Charter School
#OtherPeopleMatterPosted by Christi Whiteside on 9/13/2018 10:00:00 AM
“I can sum up positive psychology in just three words — Other People Matter. Period. Anything that builds relationships between and among people is going to make you happy.” -Dr. Chris Peterson
The Positivity Project is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s youth build stronger relationships by recognizing the character strengths in themselves and others. Their vision is to create citizens and leaders who will enhance our communities and country by internalizing the belief that “Other People Matter.” Positive psychology’s scientifically validated 24 character strengths serve as its foundation. Positive psychology teaches that people have all 24 strengths within them – and that character is not just skills or behaviors, but rather an intrinsic part of each of us. – posproject.org
A few weeks ago, five members of our staff had the opportunity to hear Mike Erwin, President and Co-Founder of the Positivity Project (P2), talk about the science behind positive psychology. While we’d spent last year beginning our adventure with P2, learning about the traits and teaching them to the students, our team had the chance to dive deeper into the idea that through focusing on our character strengths and those of the people around us, we can help build strong, respectful relationships. We talked about the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. We also talked about the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they want to be treated.
We know that healthy relationships are a big part of a healthy life. During our workshop we talked about the care and attention that it takes to build and maintain healthy relationships. We also talked about the challenges that students face today in developing those relationships. Social media provides a false sense of relationships and of ways people should interact. It is so easy to be mean through a screen! One of the changes to P2 this year is a focus every few weeks on #otherpeoplematter. During these weeks we will try to view the strengths through the experiences of real people.
To personalize our focus on the character strengths, each staff member has taken the assessment and we are posting our top three character strengths outside our doors. We hope this will be a way to connect with students, parents, and colleagues alike.
We hope that you will seek opportunities to talk about these character strengths and strong relationships with your students throughout the year and in the years to come! As we assess the impacts of Hurricane Florence this weekend, we will all I’m sure there will be many opportunities for us to show our belief that other people matter!
Director, Endeavor Charter School
School attendance is a predictor of future success.Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/7/2018 2:50:00 PM
School attendance is a predictor of future success.
Last year at Endeavor, there were 70 students with 6 or more unexcused absences - 14% of our population! Last year 20 students of those students had 10 or more unexcused absences - 4% of our population! Those are staggering numbers which represent a tremendous loss of education. Those numbers prompted us to set a school goal focused on decreasing such excessive absences.
Goal: At the end of 2018-2019 less than 10% of our students will have 6 or more unexcused absences.
We recognize that many absences coded as unexcused may have actually been excused, but the school was not notified. This year, please notify your child’s homeroom teacher or the front office if your student is absent for an excused reason. Absences are considered excused for the following reasons:
1. Illness or injury 2. Quarantine 3. Religious observation 4. Death in the immediate family 5. Medical or dental appointment (with a note from the doctor) 6. Court proceedings 7. Absence related to military deployment activities 8. Educational experiences equivalent to what will be missed and that have been approved by the Director two weeks PRIOR to the absence. Please refer to the Family Handbook for more details.
As per NC Compulsory Attendance Law, families must be contacted when their child’s unexcused absences become excessive. This year, Mrs. White, our Student Assistance Program Coordinator, will contact you if your child reaches 3 or 6 unexcused absences for the purpose of offering support to ensure your child attends ECS regularly. The first batch of those letters goes out today. Our goal in these letters, other than in complying with the law, is to share our concern and offer support.
If a child reaches 10 unexcused absences, I will reach out to schedule a meeting with that child’s family and our new truancy committee. The purpose of this meeting will be to offer the family the opportunity to explain the reason for the excessive absences. The committee will determine whether your child will need to repeat the current grade level, whether we will need to involve the district attorney and/or the director of social services of the county where the child resides, or whether there is an alternative. As a committee, we will also consider whether the absences warrant requiring the child to repeat the current grade level.
Why is it so Important to attend every day?
• Learning is a progressive activity; each day's lessons build upon those of the previous day(s).
• Reading the material and completing work independently does not compensate for the loss of insight gained during class discussion or the loss of competency acquired through explanation or supervised drill.
• Many classes use lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities, and these cannot be made up by those who are absent.
• Relationships with teachers and other students are built through shared experiences. Missing school means missing those experiences.
• Regular student participation in daily classroom activities plays a significant role in a student's school success.
• Regular school attendance patterns encourage the development of other responsible patterns of behavior.
• Students who develop an "on the job" attitude toward school will be more desirable to future employers.
This year as you make decisions about your child’s school attendance, please consider the experiences and opportunities in each school day. Schedule your child’s appointments and vacations for track out days rather than school days. Notify the school of the reasons for your child’s absences.
Look forward to a year of great attendance!
Director, Endeavor Charter School
Rain or Shine!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 8/3/2018 2:50:00 PM
Have you ever seen so much rain? I cannot remember the beginning of a school year ever being so wet! Thank you for being patient and kind to our carpool staff who’ve worked so diligently to keep everyone safe in this crazy weather! To those of you who’ve offered umbrellas and said supportive things, we thank you!
For those of you who are new to ECS, I want to give you a few reassurances.
1. The sun does usually shine on our campus! You just haven’t seen much of it yet.
2. Our carpool staff members do own shoes! They’ve just been barefooted in the recent flood waters.
3. If you and your child have been able to handle these torrential days of carpool, you’ve survived the worst of it!
The beginning of the year is always our slowest carpool, even in good weather. Our kindergarteners and other new students are learning our system. Many new families are also still figuring out carpool. However, the biggest reason that the beginning of the year carpool is slow is that many families have
not yet joined a carpool group. If you are a parent who only drives your own children, please consider joining a carpool! Less cars in our line makes carpool faster for everyone. For help locating ECS families near you, go to the Volunteers tab on our website. Locate the ECS Family Carpools option and the Carpool World choice on that page. Enter your information and you will be matched with families near you.
We are happy that you are a part of our community! Hopefully, we’ll enjoy some sunny days together soon!
Director, Endeavor Charter School
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 6/5/2018 11:40:00 AM
Let's talk about ECS Volunteers - they don't get NEARLY enough credit and thanks! There are MANY volunteers that give countless hours throughout the year - but there are few that truly go above and beyond week after week, behind the scenes and in the trenches! If you see these parents, give them a HIGH FIVE and a THANK YOU!
We're talking to YOU Angie Isaac - for your many years of dedication to Cafe Days - you are the CAFE DAY's QUEEN!! THANK YOU for spending so much time and energy making this program what it is today!
We're talking to YOU Shannon Eddleman - for your commitment to Terracycle, Cafe Days, Lunch Duty and the Parent Ambassadors! Your enthusiasm for helping Endeavor in any and every way possible is inspiring! THANK YOU!
We're talking to YOU Laurie Russo - for your leadership as President of PAWS this year, with many many hours behind the scenes, leading meetings, emails, the list goes on! THANK YOU!
We're talking to YOU Jodi Sheldon - for your time as PAWS Treasurer, crunching the numbers, cutting checks, countless meetings, emails - we know your deep commitment to ECS and it shows! THANK YOU!!
We're talking to YOU Colleen Icenhower - for your time coordinating picture days, box tops, Terracycle, passive fundraising throughout the years and supporting Cafe Days! We value all of the time and energy you spend on ECS! THANK YOU!
We're talking to YOU Indy Harris - for your leadership of and dedication to Boosters and all of the behind the scenes work you've done year after year for spirit wear, Boosterthon, sports teams, concessions, Sports Awards - it's amazing! THANK YOU!
We’re talking to YOU Susan White – for your enthusiasm, energy and foresight to lead the charge for lunch duty this year! Your tremendous work getting the Parent Ambassador program up and running was second to none! THANK YOU!!
We're talking to YOU Minh Graham & Terri Schaffer - for creating many years of AMAZING YEARBOOKS!! Your beautiful work shines for each student in the wonderful keepsake you pour your heart and soul into! THANK YOU BOTH!
We’re talking to YOU Michael Reinhardt – for your commitment to our building and campus, for being our handy person on call, and for your countless hours spent on Dodads Workdays! THANK YOU!
We're talking to YOU Kim Benton, Christina Arkin, Elle Coe, Christen Stevens, Lisa Fore, Natalie Newell, Kim Kroll, Deanna Munt, Meg Harvey, Marina Adams, Leslyn Kim, Lana Aberant, Missy Lewis - THE LIST GOES ON!! You are truly an inspiration to current and future parents! You continue to go above and beyond for ECS, there is no way we can thank you enough for the MANY MANY hours you've spent giving selflessly of your time for the betterment of our school.
To this year’s 27 PARENT AMBASSADORS (PA’s) – what an amazing year you’ve all given ECS! You’ve served as a liaison between the school and other parents, you’ve helped teachers with events and supplies for their classrooms, you’ve helped the school fundraise in many different ways, you’ve jumped in when needed, you’ve filled the lunch calendars for our teachers, you’ve sent email after email, encouraging your fellow parents to engage, connect and support the school. You’ve all done a fantastic job, and Endeavor is so lucky to have your support!
Everyone listed above, and every single person that serves at lunch duty, or on the Board, or the Development Committee, or Café Days, or Field Trips, events, the book fair, art show, Fun Fest, weekend work days, sports events, teacher luncheons, celebrations – YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE at ECS! All of your selfless acts of kindness and gifts of your time bring life to our school, to our students and teachers – and create this community. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR A FANTASTIC YEAR!
May 16th at ECSPosted by Christi Whiteside on 5/10/2018 1:20:00 PM
On May 16th teachers across the state are planning to attend a rally in Raleigh to advocate for better funding for education. The movement is called Red 4 Ed. Many educators show their support for this movement by wearing red on Wednesdays.
Although some ECS teachers have chosen to attend the rally on May 16, we will have a regular school day at Endeavor. We have many scheduled events that cannot be delayed including opening night of our spring production of Lion King, Jr.
From an educator's perspective, there are many aspects of this movement that align with our school's values:
- We support charter schools and recognize their unique funding challenges.
- We believe all public schools, including charter schools, need increased funding in order to meet current and evolving needs.
- We believe that educators deserve to be compensated in line with other professions requiring their same level of education and time commitment.
- We believe fine arts education is essential for all students.
- We believe small class sizes are important and should be funded as such. We believe appropriately funded public schools are crucial for the future of North Carolina.
We appreciate and support our ECS teachers' choice to attend the rally or to be at school that day. Most ECS teachers will be in place conducting their usual engaging classes. Teachers who attend the rally will go through the process of seeking a substitute and leaving appropriate lesson plans. May 16 will be another great day at ECS!
As with all issues involving our school, please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions. I value your input!
Christi Whiteside, Director
Endeavor Charter School
Field Trip Planning at ECSPosted by Christi Whiteside on 4/27/2018 3:00:00 PM
Field trips are a part of a student’s experience at ECS. Over the years, our teachers have developed an assortment of trips that help teach academic content and/or build team spirit. Students graduate from Endeavor and often recall field trip experiences among their favorite ECS memories. Many of our parents also recall great memories as they’ve attended field trips with their kids.
As our field trip options have grown and changed, so has the world around us. We’ve spent a lot of time this year talking and researching ways to keep our campus safe. Recently we’ve begun to ask some of those same questions about our off-campus events. We are realizing that we need to have an evolving set of guidelines or expectations for our off-campus events as we do for on-campus events. A few of the many questions we are thinking about include:
- What academic or team building qualifications should a trip serve to justify missing in-class time?
- Everything is getting more expensive. What amount is our maximum money limit for a year of trips?
- How many overnights (consecutive nights or through a year) are too many or not enough?
- Many of our chaperones are not fully prepared for getting groups of kids to sleep, handling emotional needs, 24 hours responsibility, etc. Is there some type of training we could provide to support their success?
The Board of Directors began committees this year comprised of teachers, parents, and Board members. One of those, The Student Life Committee, has agreed to tackle these issues. They are currently seeking parents and staff interested in serving on a focus group which we anticipate running through first semester of next year. This group will discuss, research, and develop a set of guiding principles by which current and future field trips will be evaluated. If you are interested in working with this group or sending feedback, please contact Kim Keith at email@example.com.
As we’ve begun talking about these topics, the rumor mill has grown through our community about how such guidelines would impact specific favorite trips. I understand this concern. I don’t know yet what the final set of guiding principles will look like, so I don’t know how our current field trips will be impacted. However, I do know that in order to reserve optimal dates at many of our preferred destinations, we need to book field trips for next year now. For that reason, trips such as Space Camp, Haw River, Jamestown, and more will continue for next year. As we go through the next few months, if those guiding principles indicate that some trips should be changed for future years, we will communicate those changes to you and keep you informed. I am confident that next year, after developing and applying such guiding principles to our trips, our community will be even more reassured about the value, safety, and purpose of every trip we attend.
Director, Endeavor Charter School
10th Anniversary SpeechPosted by Lauren Manfreda on 3/15/2018 3:00:00 PM
Mrs Whitside's 10 Year Anniversary speech from March 9, 2018:
To make our world record attempt official, we needed some special guests to serve as observers. I’d like to introduce our special guests:
State Senator John Alexander
Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones
Dave Machado -Director of Office of Charter Schools
Joel Medley, Director of NC Virtual Academy and our original Office of Charter Schools consultant
Tom Miller, founder of Leaders Building Leaders, our former Office of Charter Schools consultant
Cory Draughon, CEO of Charter Success Partners
Paul Davis, regional Accountability Coordinator with the Dept of Public Instruction
Liz Simpers, Associate Branch Director for Youth Programs with YMCA and a new Commissioner for town of WF
Ross McVeigh, a Youth Director for YMCA
Ralph Whitehurst & Shawn Southard, Whitehurst Strategic Partners
Jeff McCarthy, Nicole McCarthy, and Samuel Perrin from Mathnasium
I would also like to recognize Steve McAdams and Maija McAdams with whom I am very proud to have founded this wonderful school.
Thank you all for helping make Endeavor great! This year we celebrate 10 years, a decade, of excellence at Endeavor. Every one of you here today has been a part of our success! More than 425 Endeavor graduates are in high schools and colleges across the state and the country – Endeavor Alumni please wave to the crowd! Almost 100 educators have served the students of Endeavor – current and former Endeavor staff - please wave!
Hundreds of volunteers – Board of Directors, PAWS, Boosters, Foundation, lunch/recess support and field trip chaperones have helped create our culture– please wave! And of course our wonderful 510 students. You are why all of the adults here do what we do! During our 10 years together we have educated around 1000 students. Together we have created a school known throughout the county and across the state as a place of excellence. This year we had 1437 applications for around 15 open seats for next year. If we had a time capsule from our first year to open today, we’d see the beginning of Endeavor. We’d see a small rented building with a parking lot for a playground. We’d see tiny classrooms. We’d see families and teachers scrubbing the 2 semi-trucks of used furniture we were so happy to purchase. We’d see the entire ECS community coming together to figure things out. How could we offer hot lunches? Could we have sports teams? What fine arts courses were best to offer? Would anyone apply to teach here? Would any students apply?
Now, 10 years later we know how all of those things turned out. And we are proud! Now we embark on our next 10 years, and I can’t wait to see what they bring! But for now, we will leave some memories of life in 2018. Today we will dedicate a time capsule of what life is like right now at Endeavor and in our community.
The teachers have gathered and contributed items on display here. Mrs. Rogerson, Mrs McConnell, Mrs. Ketchum, Mrs Haught, Mr Burt, Mrs. Gaines and Ms Mosca contributed items about Endeavor including ECS shirts, photos of our campus, space camp souvenir, an audio of kindergarten students talking, posters from the art show and book fair, ECS team photos, a class photo, a basketball uniform, and a copy of last year’s yearbook. Officer Graham contributed a DARE shirt and bear. Mrs. Dalton, Mr Ezzell, and Mrs McAdams contributed items about Wake Forest including maps, newspapers, restaurant menus, and brochures. Mr Raitano, Mrs Carson, Mrs Clemmons, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Dougherty, Ms Nielsson, and Ms Comstock contributed items about the world around us including world news, current technology, transportation, sports winners and music favorites. Mrs Hester, Ms Starkey, Mrs Johnson, Mr Clemmons and Mrs Rafferty contributed items about fun and entertainment including an entertainment magazine, a fidgit spinner, Pokemon cards, Mickey Mouse ears, current music favorites, and pictures of students traveling. Ms Keune and Ms Mueller contributed items representing daily life including current clothing and photos of student homes. We invite you all to join us on or around March 9, 2028 when this time capsule will be opened and students 10 years from now will see what life was like at Endeavor in the year 2018.
I will now turn the time over to Lauren Manfreda, our talented Director of Development to help us with an aerial photo to commemorate this occasion. At the conclusion of our photo, we will disperse, so this is my final opportunity to thank you all for what you have helped us build here together.
Lock-down Drills and Walk-outsPosted by Christi Whiteside on 3/1/2018 4:00:00 PM
The world seems to be moving very quickly lately. As we look for ways to keep up, we find comfort in clarity. We spent some time as a staff Monday afternoon discussing our lockdown drill procedure and reviewing new guidelines sent by the Department of Public Instruction. In preparation for this drill, the teachers walk a fine line between preparing students for the drill and not scaring them about the reasons for such drills. Our goal as a staff is to ensure that we have thought about many different scenarios and how we’d respond to each. When we hold our lockdown drill tomorrow we will “lockdown in place” which means each classroom will be secured, darkened, and students will be moved to the safest spot within the room to sit silently. We will announce this as a drill over the speaker, so all in the building realize that we are not in danger. Some students will be in a fine arts class, the book fair, or the restroom when this happens. They will be directed how to respond in each situation. We fully expect that Endeavor will never encounter the type of emergency that would require a real lockdown. However, we want to prepare our students for all situations. If any of our students or staff are ever in such a situation at our school or out in the big wide world, we want them to be prepared!
As I am discussing our school response to recent events, I also want to talk about our student response. A group of our 8 th graders approached me about finding a way for our school to support the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida who experienced last month’s horrible attack. That horror took place during the same week that our 8 th graders were hearing about their acceptances or wait list status at charter and magnet high schools, so it felt very close to them. After hearing the student wish to show support and be involved in making the world a better, safer place, the teachers and I worked with them to make a plan. So, on March 14, our 8 th graders will participate in the national walk-out. Our walk out will be little bit different than some others. Our group is not walking away from something; they are walking toward something. The 8 th grade teachers and students will walk outside together to meet with a panel of local experts. Our experts are still being confirmed, but we’ve reached out to a guidance counselor, mental health professional, DARE officer, and high school administrators. Next week, the week prior to the walk out, morning meetings in 8 th grade will focus on ways students can change the world, become involved in a charity, be an advocate, etc. The message we hope they take from this experience is that they have powerful voices individually and collectively; and that they absolutely can make the world a better place. We hope this may begin a tradition of speaking with our 8th graders about making their mark on the world. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Endeavor Charter School
A message from Christi WhitesidePosted by Christi Whiteside on 2/23/2018 2:55:00 PM
The news out of Florida last week has weighed on our staff as much as I know it has weighed on every parent in our nation. The horror experienced by those students and that community is more than I can bear to think about. However, please know that we ARE thinking. Monday’s staff meeting will focus on re-examining our lockdown procedures in light of new recommendations. We will hold our annual lockdown drill soon and will begin holding them more than once a year starting next year.
As you are in our building, if you see vulnerabilities in our security or have ideas for increasing the safety of our building, please email me. I appreciate fresh eyes! I also encourage you to be engaged in your students’ social media and speak to them (or us) about any concerns that arise. I believe in our staff’s ability to respond to an emergency. I also believe in your children’s ability to respond to urgent directions. Please know that the staff and I will never stop examining our practices and seeking ways to be ever vigilant. We love your children and appreciate your support!
Director, Endeavor Charter School