• Mrs. Whiteside's Graduation Remarks

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 6/11/2021 12:00:00 PM
    Welcome to graduation: Class of 2021, parents, families, and staff! 
    Before I direct my remarks to our graduates, I’d like to take a moment to recognize the families in this group. 21 ECS families are graduating their last student from Endeavor tonight. The parents in this group have served innumerable lunch duties, chaperoned countless field trips, driven a million carpools, served on our Pride Boosters Board, our PAWS Board, and our Board of Directors. Parents in this group were essential in helping ECS grow into the school it is today. Thank you for your time, your creativity, and your love. Endeavor is more because of you! Thank you!
    I also want to acknowledge the 19 students who are members of the Order of the Pride, the designation we give to students who have been at Endeavor since kindergarten. The order of the pride is indicated by a gold seal on your graduation certificate.  
    As I reflect upon this year and last year, it is still amazing to me that the entire world changed so drastically in such a short period of time. Unlike most big life changes – such as graduating from a school – the changes we’ve seen impacted every single aspect of every single person’s life at the same time across the entire planet. To reuse a word we’ve all heard so much lately – this truly was unprecedented. 
    Despite all the changes that were out of your control you still had lots of your own decisions to make, choices that were mostly within your control. Every day we were in remote learning, you had some level of choice in how engaged you were, whether you showed up for class at all, whether your computer was logged in but you were not. You’ve made choices about how to manage your relationships – relationships with your family when you were all quarantined together, relationships with your friends who felt very far away, relationships with your teachers who couldn’t always tell when you did and did not need help. Throughout all of this, your parents were there to nudge you in the right direction.
    As you begin your freshman year of high school, the number of choices within your control will significantly increase. 
    Many things your parents have controlled for you, will become your responsibility to/control. 
    Your parents will not know your teachers. It will become your responsibility to manage your assignments and your time and when to ask for help. 
    You will make friends that your parents do not know. It will become your responsibility to make those friendships good ones. Good friendships are the ones that build you up and help you move forward. Find those people!
    You will have opportunities to join clubs, play sports, try out for productions, and more. But now getting the information, asking the questions will be your responsibility - and you are ready. You are ready to take responsibility for yourself.
    When you get to high school, as you take on this new responsibility for your own life, remember the lessons we’ve all learned from this pandemic: 
    • Stay close to your family
    • Friendships are important
    • Routine and normal can be really good things
    • Help other people when you can
    • Too much time alone isn’t great
    • Too much time on the couch isn’t great
    • Be there for the people around you, some are suffering
    • Don’t take your health for granted
    • Wash your hands!
    We have all experienced this pandemic, this once in a lifetime event, with the population of Earth. Take that monumental experience and use it to be better, to do more, to change the world, to take responsibility for making your life what you want it to be. 
    I am very proud of the young people you have grown into, the work you’ve accomplished, and all that you’ve learned over the years you’ve been at Endeavor. I wish I’d had more time to get to know some of you, I wish we had a full year on campus to see you shine, but I am glad each of you was with us while you were. I look forward to hearing about what you’ll do next. I hope you’ll stay in touch with ECS.  
    The responsibility is now yours, I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it!  
    Congratulations graduates!
    Comments (-1)
  • End of Year Preparations

    Posted by Lauren Manfreda on 5/21/2021 4:00:00 PM

    The closer we come to June 11, the longer my list of things to do becomes!  I need your help with many of my tasks.  Next week I need your help with returning all of the ECS owned devices we loaned out while students were working remotely.  On Monday, students in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 need to return their devices (including ECS headphones and chargers) in a bag labeled with their name.  Resorting and accounting for all loaned devices is a big job!  The organization provided by the labeled bag will help tremendously! On Friday we need all devices from students in grades 4 and 7. Devices from students still working remotely are due no later than June 1.  Most of these devices will be used for the end of grade tests students begin taking next week.  All other devices must be updated, cleaned, and readied for the 2021-22 school year!

    Also on my list of upcoming tasks is helping administer the end of grade tests.  As information is provided to you about testing dates, please know that we take the assessments very seriously, and we need each student to do the same!  The results from these tests are essential as we plan beginning of year activities and look at which students may need extra support.  They are also a piece of data viewed by future prospective teachers and families.  Be sure your children go to bed (without a device) at a good time prior to testing. Be sure they eat a healthy breakfast with protein to keep them going! Be sure they leave any unnecessary devices at home.  Cell phones, smart watches, etc. are not allowed in the test rooms.

    As we move into these last three weeks of the school year, I know you also have many tasks to complete!  As you plan your schedules, please continue to ensure that students are on time to school and that they remain for the entire school day.  We’ve lost enough time together on campus this year and the teachers are eager for every teaching moment possible! 

    I appreciate your flexibility and support this school year!

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    Director, Endeavor Charter School

    Comments (-1)
  • Fun Friday Finale!

    Posted by Christi Whitside on 5/14/2021 4:00:00 PM
    What a great day for a Fun Friday Finale Field Day!! Despite the chilly start, the weather was beautiful, and the kids were excited. Morning carpool right beside the inflatables and all the excitement started everyone’s day just right! It was wonderful to have parent volunteers back on our campus! Many thanks to those who were able to come and share the fun! We’ve missed you! Thanks to PAWS and the D’Elia family for funding the special events and popsicles. A BIG thank you to PAWS President, Allison Blatz for planning and coordinating the games and volunteers.  Thanks also to Mr. Burt and Mr. Manfreda for braving the icy dunk tank ALL DAY LONG! We even had one of our volunteers, Mr. Keys, take a turn in the dunk tank! Special thanks to Mrs. Manfreda for planning and managing this event and all the Fun Fridays. In a year where fun has sometimes felt hard to find, she brought it to our campus again and again. 
    We are nearing the end of this school year, but we have much more to come. Information is coming out about End of Grade tests. Please be sure your child is preparing for those by continuing to be present every day, doing all homework, and staying engaged. Mark your calendars to ensure your child is present for each of his/her test days.
    We know that the world is starting to open back up again and schedules are becoming busy. Please help keep school a priority. Please also keep our school hours in mind. We know we’ve changed them repeatedly this year, but for the remained of the year, students need to enter our building between 8:05-8:40. Students should leave campus between 3:15-3:40. Please be on time. Please plan to arrive on campus no later than 3:30. We appreciate your support! 
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)
  • Changes to Recess and Lunch

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 5/7/2021 4:00:00 PM
    For what seems like the millionth time this year, I have some changes to share! Our staff and Board have reviewed recent changes to the local guidelines for safe schools to determine which of these changes make sense for our community. We have decided to implement the following changes:
    • Starting Monday, students will have the option to pull their masks under their nose and mouth when they are outside. This includes recess, afternoon carpool, and any time a class is held outside. The mask is not to be entirely removed, but may be pulled down for the duration of the outside time. Students who prefer to keep the mask on my certainly do so. 
    • The exception to this rule is that we will continue to ask students to exit their cars in the morning already wearing over their mouth and nose so they can enter the school prepared for indoor expectations.
    • Starting Monday, students will also be allowed to enjoy the full playground with all of their grade level peers. There will be no separation of homerooms at recess. 
    • Starting May 17, students will be allowed to talk during the entire lunch period. They will be required to put their masks back on once they’ve finished eating, but will be allowed to talk while their masks are off.
    These steps back toward a normal school day, and our other precautions continue to meet or exceed state expectations. We continue to have no community spread on our campus. We’ve been pleased to see the number of adults vaccinated in North Carolina, and are encouraged to hear of the upcoming options for children aged 12-15 to also receive a vaccination. For parents interested in learning more about vaccine availability for themselves or for their children (once they are an option), please go to https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)
  • Stay the Course.

    Posted by Christi Whitesdie on 4/30/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Stay the course! That is my message for today! We have endured and adjusted and powered through all the things for 13.5 months since the beginning of Covid. Things have gotten better, people have gotten vaccinated, our students have learned, and as a community we’ve relied on one another – and it has been good. However, we are not finished yet. With each change made by others, we consider our policies. At this point, we are not changing our guideline of all students and staff wearing masks on campus at all times INCLUDING recess. The state has not yet released school specific guidance, and so we stay the course. We continue to always err on the side of caution and follow the direction of the experts. When such guidance is released, we will determine whether to adjust our school policies. We have committed to doing all within our power to keep your children safe while they are in our care, and we will continue to do so to the best of our ability. So while I know we are all ready to throw the masks away, give each other hugs, and go to a concert, on our campus we will stay the course, focusing on the learning and the safety of our community. I am so eager for a school year where I can see faces not half-hidden under masks, but I can be patient and wait a little while longer!

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    Director, Endeavor Charter School

    Comments (-1)
  • Moving Fast Through 4th Quarter & Carpool!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 4/23/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Fourth quarter always moves at a speed that makes no sense to me.  The school day is the same length as it was last quarter.  The days still have 24 hours, and yet it just moves so quickly!  Our carpool switch last week alleviated our worries about families being stuck on One World Way with the giant trucks roaring by.  Thank you for helping us adjust!  The change also created new best practices.  Please read the tips below and share them with others who drive your children.

    • Please pull close to the car in front of you while on campus.  Too much space between hundreds of cars will leave many cars out on the street.
    • If you’ve noticed some cars coming in the construction entrance in the afternoon and skipping to the front of the line, these are the carpools for our athletes. They must get our quickly to make it to games on time!
    • If you arrive on campus in the morning after we’ve ended carpool, please walk your student to the temporary entrance (marked with the large banner at the parking lot sidewalk) and ring the doorbell.  A staff member will come and let your child in. Please do not ever drop a child off alone after carpool has ended. 
    • Our music classes will be meeting outside some days.  The large shade sail is for them.  Please do not assume the music teacher can check in a tardy child.  Use the front entrance!
    • Our new carpool arrangement is not well suited for rainy days.  On days with rain in the forecast, please send a rain jacket with your child. Please do NOT send an umbrella.  The sidewalk does not provide enough space for umbrellas without students poking one another! 

    Thank you, thank you for staying up to date on the MANY changes we’ve made this year to schedules and procedures.  It has been a crazy year!

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)
  • 4th Quarter Moves to Plan A

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/13/2021 9:00:00 AM
    ECS Parents,
    As we approach fourth quarter, we are pleased at the steps we’ve taken back to normalcy.  We have had no community spread on our campus since Covid began. We have gradually added students to campus and added hours to our days, and we have seen the benefits to our students.  Our students need to be together and need to be with their teachers to get the most academic and social growth possible. We are eager to continue that path forward and have two significant changes to our current plan for fourth quarter.
    • Our middle school students will return to campus on non-alternating weeks in fourth quarter. They will join the elementary students on campus every week.
    • Our expectation for fourth quarter is that all students return to learning on campus unless they provide documentation (Click Here for acomodation form) that the student or a household family member is deemed at increased risk by a physician.
    Please know that we do not take these steps forward lightly.  We are eager to have all students back learning in person each week with their teacher. We have seen time and again the difference being together makes academically.  However, we are equally concerned about the social-emotional development of our students. Participating in a classroom each year provides students opportunities to grow in their ability to work independently, manage their own materials, and grow their social skills by interacting with their peers.  Such changes are significant, and there are many developmentally critical years in the K-8 range.  The idea of a student leaving campus last year as a first grader (in a self-contained class with a teaching assistant) and returning next year as a third grader (switching classes, managing their own materials, taking EOGs) is a giant leap.  Likewise, a student who left campus as a fourth grader last year reentering campus next year in middle school is equally worrisome. No matter the excellent academic support a family may be able to provide, they cannot duplicate the daily interactions of a student and a class of peers developing together.  We want the best for all of our students and believe returning to campus is the best option.
    Fourth quarter plans: 
    • remote learning remains an option ONLY for students/families that are identified as at increased risk by a physician
    • lunch and recess continue on-campus
    • fine arts and elective classes transition to in-person classes
    • elementary school students come to campus every week 
    • middle school students come to campus every week
    • teachers transition to more traditional classroom instruction, not directed at the screen
    • K-2 classes no longer post assignments on Seesaw.  Instead, packets are available to print or pick up.  Completed assignments are returned to campus each week.
    • students in grades 2-8 switch classrooms as a cohort rather than teachers switching classrooms, desks will be sanitized between groups
    • expectations for distancing will align with state guidance
    • continued masks for all students and staff at all times other than specified breaks such as lunch and snack
    • continued focus on hand hygiene
    • antigen testing for symptomatic students begins on campus with parental consent
    Plans for 2021-22:
    • all K-8 students return to campus every day
    • expanded grade levels and expanded staff 
    • expectations for hand hygiene, distancing, and masks will align with state guidance
    • facility expansion opens on time
    ECS Parents - Please see your email for link to the survey.
    • Please make sure you click SUBMIT at the end of the form.
    • A response is due for each student by 12pm on Tuesday, March 16th.
    Thank you,
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    ECS Director
    Comments (-1)
  • Updates for 4th Quarter Survey

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/12/2021 3:00:00 PM
    ECS Families, 
    This weekend, we anticipate sending out our final survey regarding student learning options for the 2020-21 school year. While it is hard to believe the fourth quarter is almost here, I am very proud of each step forward that we've made. Please read the survey carefully as there are significant steps back toward a normal school day in our plans for fourth quarter. 
    The first huge step forward is returning all middle school students back to campus every week. Starting on April 13, we will no longer alternate weeks for middle school. 
    Secondly, we will look for all students who do not fall into the increased risk group to return to campus. It is essential for our students who are able to come back to campus and learn together to do so. 
    When you receive the survey, please review the information provided and submit your response. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)
  • First Week of Full Days!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 3/5/2021 2:45:00 PM
    We did it!  A full week of full days of school!  It has been one week less than an entire calendar year since we have had a full week of full days on our campus. How is that even possible? We've talked a lot this week about our memories of last year at this time.  Then, we were just starting to see Covid in North Carolina.  Schools were just starting to talk about possible closures and how to keep learning happening.  We were asking our teachers to practice using Google Classroom and Seesaw with their classes - just in case! Had you told me then that it would be an entire year before we returned to a normal school day, I would never have believed you.  I thank each and everyone of you for being on this crazy/unbelievable/awful/unprecedented journey with us.  I certainly didn't wish for this year, but if I had to go through it, I'm glad you were the folks I went through it with!
    This week, I have been so happy to see a few more faces return to campus! The laughter and joy radiating from the playground has been a wonderful thing to see.  Lunch has been different, but it is working well.  Great things are happening on our campus! I got to watch a science class do dissections and the band elective outside playing together for the first time.  All of these little steps forward feel like huge triumphs! It has been a great week!
    I want to let everyone know that there are also some exciting steps forward in our construction project.  This weekend a very large crane will be assembled on campus.  On Tuesday,that crane will be used to  start raising and putting wall panels in place.  The building is going vertical!  This is a huge milestone and yet another indicator that our construction schedule is still on track despite all the recent rain. 
    Is it the sun or the normal schedule or all the good things happening on campus?  I'm not sure what it is, but it has been a great week to be at ECS!  Have a great weekend!
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)
  • Many Thanks & Info for Full Days!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 2/26/2021 2:00:00 PM
    Many Thanks!
    Before I start my info for the week, I want to share my deep appreciate for Travis Holshouser of Falls River Pharmacy who came to our campus this morning and gave our staff their first dose of the Covid-19 Vaccine. Mr. Holshouser was contacted by a former ECS parent at my request, but he does not have any other connection to our school. He did not have to help us. Nevertheless, he gave our staff the best possible gift today – peace of mind! I am so grateful! I do not ever use this forum to endorse a business – until today. Support Falls River Pharmacy!! When you are there tell Mr. Holshouser that all of Endeavor appreciates him!
    Next Week
    Next week is a big milestone for us! We will return to full days on campus for the first time in almost a year. It is hard to believe! This return also brings back lunch and recess to our campus. While these are great steps back to normalcy, they are both areas for which we want to be overly cautious. As we assess how students are managing these expectations and how conditions in our community progress, we anticipate being able to loosen our requirements. For now, we will follow the procedures outlined below. Please review with your child this weekend!
    Lunch: Each grade level will have a 30-minute lunch in their classrooms. We’ve hired lunch supervisors who will primarily remain in the classroom doorway to maintain a safe distance from students. Each class will be expected to follow the same rules:
    • Students remain seated at all times.
    • Students will only remove masks while eating.
    • No speaking will be allowed while masks are off – at least the first 15 mins of lunch.
    • All students will be required to clean hands before and after eating.
    • All trash will go back in the lunch box and return home.  
    Recess:  Each grade will have 30 minutes on the playground.
    • Recess for grades 1-8 will be supervised by Mr Burt and Mr. Manfreda. 
    • Recess for Kindergarten will be supervised by the Kindergarten Teaching Assistants. 
    • Masks will be required at all times on the playground. 
    • Classroom teachers will ensure that students sanitize hands before returning to the classroom. 
    Indoor Recess:  In the case of inclement weather, recess will be held in the classroom. Classroom teachers are expected to supervise during this time. The following rules will apply:   
    • Students remain seated at all times.
    • Masks will be required at all times. 
    • Students may talk to each other, but must maintain social distance. 
    • The teacher may choose to lead a game such as Scattergories, use a digital version of a game or activity, play quiet music or show a video during this time. Students may choose to read a book, play solitaire with their own cards, or color/draw during indoor recess. 
    Thank you for your continued support during these transitions!
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Endeavor Charter School
    Comments (-1)