Student ShowcasePosted by Becky Catlett on 1/23/2023
This weekend we host our first in-person Open House for prospective families in three years! It is so nice to spend some time freshening up our bulletin boards and trophy cases. We are so lucky to have such an excellent facility! I am eager to show it off!
As part of these preparations, we decided to do a trial run of something our Culture Committee had been thinking about for a while. We’ve decided to highlight some of our excellent students in a showcase in the main hall. We considered the subjects and core values we utilize and then the teacher teams each chose someone they felt best represented those categories.
So, without further ado, here is our Student Showcase.
If you see these students around campus, please congratulate them!
Welcome Back to Third QuarterPosted by Becky Catlett on 1/9/2023
Welcome back for the third quarter! It was so nice to see the smiling faces return on Wednesday. So many students seem so much taller since December! This quarter there are many special events. Be sure to read the weekly update each week to stay informed. This week I want to highlight three important events for this quarter.
- Our first middle school dance of the year will be held on January 27! Ticket sales will begin soon. Students must maintain a good behavior record in order to be eligible to attend.
- Next week we will begin piloting a new opportunity for our students. Teachers will be able to schedule appointments with students during morning office hours. These appointments will primarily be for the purpose of reteaching and making up missed tests/quizzes. The office may also use this time in cases where detention has been assigned as a disciplinary consequence. When a teacher needs to meet with a student, he/she will email the family for consent. On the appointment date, the family will drive in our middle carpool lane, pass the waiting cars, and pull into the gym/auditorium parking lot. A staff member will open this door from 8:05-8:15 ONLY. Student appointments will be verified and those students will be allowed to enter the building. The siblings of students with appointments may also be dropped off at the appointment. No students without appointments will be allowed to enter through this door.
- January 20 will mark the return of Coffee and Conversations, a time for parents to come to campus, meet one another, and learn more about our school. The focus of this session will be getting to know our guidance counselors. Mark your calendars for Jan 20 at 8:45!
On behalf of our entire staff, thank you for the outpouring of love and appreciation that you showed us before the holidays and with our back-to-school lunch this week. The ECS parents are truly the best!
LiveSchoolPosted by Becky Catlett on 12/5/2022
Have you set up your LiveSchool account? If not, please go to your grade level’s newsletter, and find the link at the top of the page. This will take you exactly where you need to be to set up a LiveSchool account. This tool is the staff’s easiest, most immediate way to inform you about your child’s behavioral successes and challenges. Every staff member has access to every child in the entire school, not just in their grade level. So a child might be caught doing something great in an enrichment or elective class, at recess, or in the hall and be awarded a point by a staff member they do not typically see. As of today, our students have collectively earned 296,000 points. They have collectively lost 7,420 points. I love that they have earned 40 positive points for each negative point lost!
Looking at your child’s LiveSchool data can provide you with information about many things. Be sure to celebrate areas your child has had success with. These are usually great examples of our core values: respect, responsibility, relationships, and resilience. If your child is showing a pattern of losing points in a particular area, this can provide topics of good conversation at home. Please know that when a child loses a point, they have almost always already been spoken to by an adult, so tread lightly if a child makes a single mistake here and there!
We help the students stay motivated to earn and not lose points through three types of LiveSchool stores.
- Our K and 1 classes have in-class treasure boxes students get to shop from.
- Our grades 2-5 classes have a store of coupons that visits their grade every other week during morning carpool. I have the privilege of seeing the students at the store each week and helping them celebrate their success! The options vary by grade, but some examples of coupons include: no shoes in class, visiting the treasure box, saying the morning announcements, leading the morning meeting game, bringing a stuffed animal to school, and eating lunch with a teacher. The kids are so excited for each other as they make their purchases! Our Student Council members enjoy helping me run this store!
- Middle School students shop at the end of each semester at the LiveSchool Extravaganza - an assortment of items they can bid on or purchase. This semester, students were able to bid on options including playing in the staff vs. kids basketball game, the staff vs. kids volleyball game, painting the spirit rock, and choosing the last song of the January Middle School Winter Dance. Winning bids will be announced on Monday. They could also purchase options including hot cocoa at lunch, s’mores at lunch, lunch with a teacher, choosing their own carpool room for a week, and much more.
We love these moments that allow us to celebrate the great things our students do each day! If you have items that you could contribute to one of our stores in grades K-5, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher for more information. Our middle school students would love the opportunity to bid on items such as gift cards and passes to entertainment/adventure locations. Donations of those items can be made through Ms. Calabrese, our Middle School Counselor. Thank you for partnering with us as we prepare our students for success and happiness at ECS and after!
ThanksgivingPosted by Becky Catlett on 11/22/2022
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! As a classroom teacher, I spent time each year teaching the truths and dispelling the myths. No, Pilgrims did not wear buckles on their hats, belts, or shoes! (Some uninformed artist of the past took liberties with those details, and the buckle idea stuck!) Yes, they did eat a big meal with the neighboring Wampanoag tribe who had helped them survive the brutal winter.
The simple story of the Pilgrims is that they came to the New World for religious freedom. The real story is more complicated, as real life usually is. They actually left England several years before the trip on the Mayflower and moved to Holland. There they found the religious freedom they were seeking. However, in Holland, they could not move forward in any other way. They were only able to work in low-paying industries and could not find financial stability. So, they came up with a new plan and set their sights on the New World. There, they hoped they could have their religious freedom AND make a good life for their families. So, the trip on the Mayflower to the New World was their second try. It was a second attempt to get what this group wanted for themselves and for their families.
I sometimes think that this is the most important part of the Pilgrims’ story. Not that they wanted something and went for it, but that they tried and then tried again. Working so hard and risking so much for an outcome that wasn’t all they thought it would be must have been devastating. I am amazed by the courage it took for them to save up and take a second journey that literally risked all their lives with the hope of something more.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the Pilgrims’ story that still apply to us today.
- It’s okay to keep trying if something doesn’t work out the first time.
- It’s good to take time to celebrate good fortune and life and family and friends.
- Changing your future and carving a new path is not easy.
- Having enough food is important.
- Thanking those who help you is important.
So, building on those lessons, I want to thank you. Thank you for helping us - through your time, your donations, being patient in carpool, sending a kind note to a great teacher, volunteering through Lend a PAW/our Foundation/our Board of Directors, and thank you for helping your child do homework and stay organized. Thank you for supporting our efforts to feed our community through the gleaning field trips and the Thanksgiving food collection. Thanks to our substitutes who have literally allowed us to keep our doors open over the last few weeks. Thanks also to our amazing teachers and staff who work every day to give our students the best day and year and future that we can envision for them. Thank you all!
Second Quarter BeginsPosted by Becky Catlett on 10/21/2022
What a crazy, busy first week of the second quarter! In just this first week back at ECS we had field trips in kindergarten and fourth grade, our Fall Sports Awards Ceremony, and our Middle School Opening Ceremony. Winter Sports have begun, and all classes are now in the second half of the first semester!
This quarter brings us all the following: additional field trips including grades 6-8 Gleaning at NC farms to help support local food banks, our Middle School production of Annie Jr, Middle School Fear Factor Day, DARE, and our Family Fun Fest. We will continue our elementary treasure boxes and LiveSchool store for our Elementary students, and Middle Schoolers will participate in our LiveSchool Extravaganza in December.
Please know that this quarter, we need all families to help our students be successful in the following ways:
- Watch the weather! Students will be outside for recess unless precipitation falls or the ground is unsafe for play. Please be sure your child dresses appropriately for the cold days ahead. We know the NC weather can fluctuate rapidly, so please check the forecast daily!
- Many school supplies were used up last quarter. Please be sure your child has a good supply of papers, pencils, etc.
- This quarter has fewer days than most. This means that one zero or one very low grade can be difficult to recover from. Please help your child meet deadlines all quarter!
- Second quarter assignments may get significantly more difficult. The beginning-of-year reviews are finished, and all classes are moving forward. Please be aware of your child's struggles and help them power through difficult work rather than giving up.
- Check Powerschool and LiveSchool to stay current on missing work, behavior issues, etc.
As we move into this busy time of year, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for helping your children and our school be successful. When you come to lunch and recess duty, chaperone field trips, volunteer for PAWS/Board/Foundation, or come to Lend a PAW, you are helping our entire community. When you help your child complete homework or study for a test, you are helping not just your child, but our entire community. When you take a moment to send a positive note to a staff member, you are helping our entire community. When you send in tissues and cleaning products and emergency lunch food, you are helping our entire community. With each action you do to invest in our school, you are lightening the load of someone else. Thank you for making those decisions! You are making a difference in more ways than you know.
End of First QuarterPosted by Becky Catlett on 9/29/2022
Well, the first quarter certainly ended with a bang! Hurricane Ian messed up our last-day plans and started our track out a bit early. We hope everyone is safe and sound and weathering the storm.
We are very proud of the work we’ve done together this quarter. I reviewed our LiveSchool data today and was so impressed! Our students earned 161,000 points this quarter. They lost 4,091. That is a ratio of 39 positive points earned to every point lost. Our elementary school students have spent 54,802 LiveSchool points in our grades 2-5 Liveschool Store and K-1 classroom treasure boxes. Middle school students are earning points towards our winter LiveSchool Extravaganza! Please take some time over the break to look at your children’s LiveSchool accounts and praise them for the behaviors they are earning points for. We’ve got really great kids!
Over the break, please clean out their backpacks, replenish school supplies, and help your kids relax. We want them all to be well-rested and ready to start the second quarter strong! Be sure to mark your calendars for our annual Fall Fun Fest! It’s going to be a great second quarter!
Student SuccessesPosted 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!
Campus ProjectsPosted 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!
Successful Lockdown DrillPosted by Becky Catlett on 9/5/2022
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!
Curriculum NightPosted by Becky Catlett on 8/29/2022
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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