• Student Successes

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 9/19/2022

    We’ve had a short week, but a great week!  It was so nice seeing so many families on campus and on-line for conferences.  The information our teachers have to share is important!  Thank you for prioritizing this time!  

     

    We are excited to begin sharing some of our student success as captured in our LiveSchool data.  One of my goals for the year is to share the data regarding our initiatives.  We will be posting this information in our front hall.  

     

    The line graph below shows information about our whole school as of today.  Ignore the money section.  We aren’t using that feature!   You can see that, as a staff, we’ve given 40 positive points for every negative lost point.  That shows how fantastic our kids are!

    The chart below shows the top five traits students have received points for.  For a school that focuses on hands-on learning, I am so proud to see that the most points we’ve given are for Active Participation.  Wow!

    Moving forward, we will be looking at this data organized by grade level.  I am excited to start sharing the successes with each grade level.

     

    Thank you for sending us such great kids! 

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  • Campus Projects

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 9/12/2022

    Happy Friday!  This Labor Day week has been a busy one at Endeavor!  Many of you have asked about the projects happening around campus, especially the work on the middle school playground.  No, we are not building an ice skating rink!!  When we reviewed ways to make our campus and our procedures safer at the end of last year, we looked at external and internal risks.  One of the areas we were concerned about was the area where middle school played soccer at recess.  The wear and tear would not support grass growth, which left rocks and sticks continually coming to the surface after each big rain. So we’ve done two things.  First, soccer is being played on our actual soccer field.  This increased usage is taking its toll on that field, but we are working on reconditioning it.  Second, we are putting in a turf area.  This is the small framed area where you see the work currently happening.  Our middle schoolers are patiently waiting to have the area back for use each day.  

     

    You’ll also see some other changes happening on campus.  Some concrete drainage paths have been poured to direct rainwater to the correct spots in the middle school recess area.  Some downspouts are being adjusted. Numbers will soon be painted over each exterior door to support first responders accessing our campus. We are also very eagerly awaiting the installation of our auditorium sound and lights system coming sometime this winter. However, our most immediate change is the library!  What a gorgeous thing to see!!  We are finalizing the process for students to check out books starting on September 19. Students and staff will be trained on how to care for the books (no folding page corners!!), how to check out and return books, and behavior expectations in the library.  We are also training some of our National Junior Honor Society students who will serve as library assistants. 

     

    Thanks for all you do each day to help our campus continue to grow and flourish!

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  • Successful Lockdown Drill

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 9/5/2022

    ECS families,

    We had our first lockdown drill of the year today. Our friends from the Wake Forest Police Department came on site to oversee the drill for us. It was announced over the intercom, and then a slow methodical review of the school took place. This drill lasted significantly longer than previous drills have and….. our students and staff were amazing! The rooms were silent! I truly was not sure if classes were inside the locked rooms. Many of our elective and enrichment classes meet in unique locations, yet none were able to be seen. Two students who were in restrooms at the time of the drill did exactly as they’d been trained and stayed hidden in stalls with their feet up and out of sight. One kindergarten student at the restroom was taken into a nearby class where he stayed silent and calm as well. No one was visible from a window. All exterior doors were locked when checked. The feedback the police provided was very positive. They were impressed with our students and our staff! I hate that we have to do practices such as this, but I am so very proud of the seriousness with which this drill was treated.  

     

    We will continue to have lockdown drills and tweak our procedures. This was the only lockdown drill of the year that will be announced to the staff ahead of time. All others will be a surprise, further ensuring that we are prepared for all scenarios. Even the surprise drills will be announced as “drills” so that students and staff will not be frightened.

     

    As we continue looking at our procedures and see incidents at other schools, we realize that our location can have a traffic bottleneck and we’ve been assured that an issue on a Wake Forest school campus will receive an enormous response from first responder departments. So, if we were ever in a real emergency situation, we would need parents to NOT report to our campus and potentially delay emergency vehicles from reaching us. We are working with nearby businesses to finalize off-site locations for our students and parents to gather if ever needed. We will continue to share information as appropriate. Thank you for the positive feedback you've been sending us as we continue looking at our security measures!

     

    On another note, I also wanted to thank our parent volunteers. You are truly the backbone of any charter school, especially ours! The idea that we are looking for 20-25 volunteers every single day is monumental! Yet, most days, those volunteers show up and help us keep our kids safe at lunch and recess! Thank you!! Thank you for the many PAWS volunteers who bring us Café Days, cultural arts events, and all the other special opportunities we only have because of PAWS. We don’t always take the time to say thank you, but please know that you are appreciated!! If you haven’t yet found your volunteer niche, please know that PAWS and our Foundation are looking for help. Lunch and recess happen in every grade every day, so that is also an ongoing chance to support our staff and our school.

     

    I hope you all have a safe, sunny, fun Labor Day weekend! 

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  • Curriculum Night

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 8/29/2022

    ECS families,

     

    Thank you for joining us for Curriculum Night! It was wonderful to host this event on campus again! If you didn’t get a chance to come, please review your child’s grade-level Google Slides presentation. This is a great way to stay in touch, understand expectations, and plan ahead! Another great way to plan ahead is to use our master calendar. This calendar can be found on our website in the blue toolbar in the middle of the page. This calendar will let you plan ahead for performances and special events. Mark your calendars now! We have many great events coming this school year!!

     

    Also, as you moved through the building for Curriculum Night, you may have noticed the hall signs describing our noise expectations. Our students have done a great job learning and practicing this system. The volume in our halls has decreased significantly!  

     

    When you are on campus for lunch and recess duty, please use this system. Holding up the indicated number of fingers will provide the students with a visible reminder of the noise expectation. In our elementary halls, the noise expectation is 0. In the middle school halls, the noise expectation is 1. Your consistent support of this system helps our students learn the different volume expectations in different locations. If you are supervising students, saying, “Level 0 voices!” and holding up a 0 with your fingers will generally result in a significant voice drop.  

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  • Successful Second Week of School

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 8/15/2022

    ECS families,

     

    It has been a great second week of school! All students are on campus now, fall sports are underway, middle school clubs will be starting soon, and carpool is running smoothly! That is all great news for day 10 of this year!

     

    Here are a few helpful hints to be sure your year is off to the best possible start!

    1. LiveSchool - If your child is in grades K-8, please sign up! https://www.endeavorcharterschool.com/newsletters
    2. Powerschool - If your child is in grades 3-8, please sign up! https://www.endeavorcharterschool.com/newsletters
    3. Carpool - 
    4. Can you imagine something else you could do during the time it takes you to drive to school twice each day? If so, join a carpool group! Carpool World allows families to locate other ECS families who live near them. Joining a carpool decreases your time in line, allows your child to get to know another ECS student, is good for the environment, saves you gas money, and fewer cars in the line decrease the carpool time for everyone - including our staff! 
    5. When the carpool line moves forward, please try to follow the preceding car without a huge gap. We have approximately 20 carpool groups each afternoon. One additional minute per group means our staff is outside in a 105 heat index for an extra 20 minutes!
    6. When traffic off our campus stops our carpool line from moving, we divert cars into a second exit lane. Thank you for merging back into one line at the campus exit! We appreciate your patience with traffic challenges outside of our control!!
    7. K family info - 
    8. Students are doing a great job following the “Smiley Face Trail” to and from the carpool line. Congratulate them!
    9. They are doing a great job managing their backpacks and lunchboxes as well! 
    10. Please help your child practice getting in and out of the car with a backpack independently. Most can master opening the car door with practice. Just an extra 1 minute of carpool time per K child would add 80 minutes to our total carpool time! The little slowdowns add up!
    11. When asking your child about his or her school day, here are some talking points;
    12. What enrichment class did you go to today? Tell me what you did!
    13. Did you eat your snack today? Was it easy to open? Did you like it?
    14. What was your favorite thing in your lunch? Was anything hard to open or close?  
    15. Did you use letters today? What did you do?
    16. Did you use numbers today? What did you do?
    17. What did you learn today that was new?
    18. Can you remember the names of any grown-ups you saw today?
    19. Who sits at your table?
    20. Who was really nice today? How?

     

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    ECS Director

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  • First Week of School

    Posted by Becky Catlett on 8/5/2022

    Wow!  I don’t think we’ve ever had a better first week of school carpool!  Each and every year there is a day during the first week when things are so slow or procedures are not followed, and I have to send an email begging everyone to be patient with our new kindergarteners and reminding everyone of the procedures.  This year, however, I can only say THANK YOU!!  Thank you to every family who has already joined a carpool, every K family who practiced carpool procedures with their little ones, and every family who was on time, but not too early or too late.  Carpool, when done right, is a safe and speedy thing.  This week has exceeded any hope I had of a first week. Our carpool staff celebrated yesterday!  Thank you!!

     

    We’ve spent this week launching our year with specific focus on rules and procedures. Making sure everyone understands how to be safe and successful is an important use of these early days.  We’ve also launched our LiveSchool app.  If you have not yet added the app, please refer to your grade level newsletter.  LiveSchool is the tool we use to track successes and challenges in areas of behavior and relationships.  Each grade will be launching our LiveSchool stores later this month, so stay tuned for that information!

     

    We’ve also launched The Positivity Project for this year.  We have partnered with P2 for a few years now, but have never shared much info with our families.  This year we are including the P2 newsletter in our weekly updates to provide families some resources and language to continue these conversations at home.  We know that social-emotional resilience is essential for future success, so we hope this resource will benefit our families!

     

    Thank you for volunteering for lunch and recess!  Thank you for being on time for morning and afternoon carpools!  Thank you for all the supplies you’ve sent in!  If anyone is looking for a new way to support our school, I have two opportunities to share!

     

    • PAWS continues to offer many ways to serve our community: Cafe Days, PAWS Board positions, and so much more!

    • ECS Foundation: The Foundation is looking for members with facility or facility management experience, anyone interested can email me and I will forward your information on.

     

    Thank you for such a strong start!  I am excited about the year ahead!

     

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    ECS Director

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  • Mask Updates Beginning Feb 22, 2022

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 2/18/2022 11:00:00 AM

    ECS families.

    We’ve taken MANY steps toward normal this year.  Each of them has been a welcome change for some and a really frightening change for others.  At times, we’ve had to step back to a more restrictive plan as our community impacts have worsened.  Through each of these steps, our administration and our Board of Directors have focused on safety and in person learning.  Our guidance has always started with our state guidelines, specifically the StrongSchools Toolkit.  Within this toolkit, there have been requirements (things we have to do) and recommendations (things that we should consider for our community). We have always followed all requirements and have followed the recommendations the experts in our community have felt best met our particular school’s needs. 

    Our school will begin the next step forward on Tuesday. We will begin making masks optional for people on our campus.  The Board’s decision on this issue is in line with the direction we are seeing from our State leadership.  Just yesterday, Governor Cooper encouraged all North Carolina municipalities and school boards to end their mask mandates in the coming weeks.  

    Nevertheless, we know that students and staff members have varying risk factors and varying comfort levels with masking.  We want everyone to feel confident about making this choice with their family.  I encourage each family to think and talk this weekend to make decisions about your expectations for your students on campus.  Our teachers will not be expected to supervise those masking decisions, so it is imperative that students understand their family’s expectations. 

    In keeping with the Toolkit, ECS will still require students and staff members to wear masks on campus for 5 days upon returning to campus after any COVID-19 case isolation.  Families can review the full policy here on the ECS website, but the key points are described below.

    1. Individuals (including staff, students, and/or visitors) may choose, but are not required to, wear a face covering on ECS grounds, including indoors, except in certain limited circumstances;
    2. Individuals are required to mask for 5 days following return to school from isolation due to a positive test and/or symptoms of COVID-19 (masks not required during lunch or outdoor activities);
    3. ECS will keep updated records of student who must mask following isolation, and such masking will be enforced using the honor system. Students found in violation of the 5-day post-isolation masking requirement will be sent home for the remainder of the original 10-day isolation period.

    We also know that all students who ride the YMCA bus and the Pride Ride will continue to be required to wear a mask on the bus in compliance with federal regulations.  Those families must be sure to continue packing a mask each day.  

    As with all steps back toward normal, we will continue to evaluate this step and its impact on our community.  We will adjust if needed.  Our Board of Directors will continue to discuss our masking policy at the monthly Board of Directors meetings. I wish you each a wonderful, long weekend and look forward to seeing everyone back on campus on Tuesday!

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    ECS Director

     

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  • Guest Blog - School Nurse, Sarah Ipock

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 1/28/2022 3:00:00 PM
    GUEST BLOG, Sarah Ipock, School Nurse
     
    ECS has recently implemented our "test to stay" program. This program is for mask required settings only, and allows unvaccinated students who are exposed to another positive student while unmasked the opportunity to stay in school instead of quarantining at home. Fully vaccinated students who are exposed are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms consistent with COVID. 
     
    Students who are exposed (meaning 15 minutes or more of close contact in a distance of less than 6 feet) should COVID test on the day of notification of the exposure (may be a home test, rapid antigen test at school, or a PCR test). They should then test again on as close to day 5 after the exposure as possible (must be a rapid antigen test or PCR test). If the tests are negative, and they remain symptom free they may continue to attend school during the 5 day quarantine period. 
     
    Rapid antigen testing is available at school M-F, during normal school hours. Our school nurse can work with you to schedule testing for your student if needed. You can also visit this link to find out where free PCR COVID testing is available in your area. 
     
    We continue to closely monitor our lunch room to determine close contacts for each positive case reported to the school. Please note that if your child sits at a table with or near a positive case, you will only be notified if it is determined that they are within 6 feet of the positive student, and have had 15 minutes or more of close contact. Students not meeting those requirements, even at the same table with the positive case will not be notified. 
     
    Sarah Ipock, RN
    ECS School Nurse
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  • Covid Protocol Update

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 1/15/2022 9:25:00 AM

    ECS parents, 

    This pandemic has dealt us all another blow with the extremely contagious Omicron variant.    We continue to seek ways to comply with all state guidance to keep our students safe while maintaining as much normalcy as possible. Last Friday, the NCDHHS updated its guidance for schools, adding a “test-to-stay” option for individuals who would otherwise be required to quarantine.  NCDHHS implemented this change after seeing results from a study conducted by the ABC Collaborative (a group of Duke University physicians), which followed five North Carolina mask-required school districts that implemented a test version of this program in the fall.  For the six week duration of the study, the group found no documented transmission from a study participant to another person.  Under the test-to-stay program, individuals are exempt from quarantine if they show no symptoms and test negative for covid on the day of exposure notification and five days after exposure.  For now, test-to-stay is allowed in mask-required schools only, but the ABC Collaborative is currently studying the effectiveness of test-to-stay in mask-optional schoosl. As always, we are adjusting our ECS policies and procedures to match the new NCDHHS guidelines.  

    Guidance and ECS procedures that did not change:

    • Exposure is defined as 15 minutes of unmasked time within 6 feet of one another.
    • Fully vaccinated students are not required to quarantine when exposed UNLESS the vaccinated child has Covid symptoms or a positive Covid test.
    • Unvaccinated students are not required to quarantine when exposure occurred in a masked setting.
    • The ECS Covid dashboard will continue to be updated each Tuesday and Friday.  

    Guidance and ECS procedures that did change:

    • Unvaccinated students considered exposed to Covid are no longer required to quarantine IF we follow the following protocol:
      • ECS continues being a mask-required school, except for lunch and outdoor recess.
        • As soon as possible after being notified of an exposure, the student takes a PCR test, a rapid test, or an at-home test.  Rapid tests may be taken on-campus with written or verbal parent consent. If the test is negative, the student may remain on campus as long as he/she does not have Covid symptoms.  Five days (or as close to 5 days as possible) after the exposure, the student must be retested. The family may take a PCR test or a rapid test with our school nurse, but we will not accept an at-home test.  If the student tests negative and continues to be symptom free, he/she will be considered out of the danger zone and may resume normal school procedures.
    • Middle school students will end the simultaneous mask-off time at lunch and return to the  previous 30 minute lunch procedure.  Each student will be encouraged to remask once he/she has finished eating.
    • All grades will resume snack time prior to fourth quarter. Snack time will be brief and students will remask as soon as the eating time ends.
    • We will no longer send grade level emails when a student in a grade has tested positive.  Instead, we will only email the families whose children are considered exposed according to state guidance. We encourage each family to regularly check the Covid dashboard for information regarding Covid in our community.  We also continue to encourage every family to monitor their children for Covid symptoms

    covid protocols 2022

    (PDF version of 2022 Covid Respons Protocols)

    Thank you,

    Christi Whitside, ECS Director

    cwhiteside@endeavorcharter.com

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  • Second Semester Updates, Hello 2022!

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 1/7/2022 4:00:00 PM

    Happy New Year!  I am counting on 2022 being more friendly than 2021 was, but snow and ice impacting our first day back wasn’t friendly at all!  Thanks to everyone for being so flexible yet again!  

    I have a few updates for our ECS community as we begin our second semester.

    Lunch: Our elementary students have been eating lunch while seated at separate desks, silent for their 15- 20 minute unmasked eating time, and then remasking. This works for elementary students who enjoy the videos they watch and don’t seem to mind the brief silent time too much, and the elimination of talking while unmasked decreases their risks.  We do not need to change this procedure at this time.

    However, we knew that the elementary plan was not developmentally appropriate for middle school students. Instead, they sit at tables in groups facing one another. They talk while they eat and have that social time that is so essential for adolescents.  When Omicron numbers increased dramatically over track out, we had to consider our options for decreasing that risk during middle school lunch.  We looked at what a lot of other schools are doing. Some eat in total silence, some sit in rows all facing the same direction, some just have a normal lunch like in previous years. Some schools only allow students to be unmasked for 15 minutes to silently eat while unmasked.  

    We decided on a combination of a few of those plans:  Our middle school students stay masked until all students are seated and ready to eat, unmask for 15 minutes of eating and talking, and then all who are finished go outside while those who need to finish stay inside.  Ensuring students are only unmasked for 15 minutes decreases our requirement to quarantine anyone who has been unmasked near a student who tests positive. All students are seated with friends and can talk through this entire lunch and recess time.   Their total lunch/recess time has not changed.

    We will monitor our students and adjust if needed and hopefully relax these procedures soon when Covid statistics in our area begin to decrease.   We are posting the start and stop times for the 15 minute eating period to help students manage their time and eat! Middle school parents should note that it might be beneficial to adjust breakfast and lunch foods to ensure what is eaten is especially healthy and very filling while we are following this lunch procedure.

    Covid protocols: The state is also providing updates to the Strong Schools toolkit located at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/media/164/open.  The guidance is scheduled to be updated again within the week, but there is one significant change everyone should know about. The required quarantine period for someone exposed to Covid but unvaccinated has been decreased to 5 days off-campus. In some specific cases, the person would be required to follow the 5 day quarantine with another 5 days back on campus but masked at all times (for us this would mean masked at recess).   While I wish this was the last change, I’m certain there will be more. 

    We asked PAWS to put out an SOS asking for a group of parents who would be willing to serve as emergency substitutes for their child’s class or grade level in a situation where we could not get a substitute and other options would significantly compromise our school program.  Please know that one of our biggest worries is that an outbreak among our staff would force us back into remote instruction.  We’ve seen this with other schools and want to ensure that it does not happen to us.  Preparing for worst case scenarios allows us to maintain the integrity of our core classes, our enrichment and elective classes, our student support programs, and the logistics of our lunch, recess, and carpool.  While we hope to never need these willing helpers, we are so incredibly grateful that we have more options moving forward!  Anyone willing to join this list or interested in joining our regular substitute list should email Janet Van Hall, jvanhall@endeavorcharter.com.

    Thank you for all you continue to do for us during this on-going unprecedented time!

    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director
    Endeavor Charter School
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