Moving on to March!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 2/28/2020 3:30:00 PM
February has brought us excessive rain, snow, temperatures in the 20’s and the 70’s, and now the Coronavirus. What a month! Other than the temperatures in the 70’s, I’m not a fan of any of this! Many thanks to your response to our snow day schedule changes. We are always so grateful for your kind words! Thanks also to those of you who’ve endured recess duty throughout the many weather variations we’ve seen this quarter. You are amazing volunteers, and the teachers are so grateful for your support!
As far as the Coronavirus, I am optimistic that it will not cause us significant impact. However, I like to be prepared for all situations. So, we have heeded the advice of the CDC and are making plans for the possibility of a school closure due to future impacts of the virus. We’ve been researching and speaking with schools who hold Digital Learning Days for weather emergencies or teacher workdays. The general idea is that there is a digital platform through which students log in (for attendance), receive and submit assignments, and receive instruction through a video or text. Our plan has been submitted to our Board of Directors for their review.
As with many things, there are good and bad aspects of such a plan. Some of our teachers are already using Google Classroom and could go virtual tomorrow. Others would need some time to prepare. Our older students would find such a change easier than our younger students. Our highest achieving students would be better able to manage school work without normal teacher instruction than would our students who struggle academically. We recognize that any plan for an extended school closure would not be an equal substitute for a regular day, week, or month of school. However, in a scenario where we needed to close school for an extended period of time, we are confident that we could maintain instruction, learning, and community.
To help us do everything we can to prevent such a need, please, PLEASE review and follow our health expectations. We are still finding students who’ve been sent to school on medicine to reduce fever which then returns as soon as the medicine wears off. IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL. To send such a student to school is to blatantly put the other students and our staff at risk. Please don’t do this! Students who’ve run a fever may not return until the fever has been gone for 24 hours WITHOUT medication. Please help protect our students and staff, and do not send your children to school until they meet this requirement.
Flu season generally lasts into May, so even if the Coronavirus spares us, we continue to need all families taking precautions such as frequent hand washing, washing water bottles daily, ensuring students bathe daily, and keeping them home when they are sick. Help us get through this season safely!
Just in case you missed it: IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL.
Did you hear the latest news? IF THE STUDENT NEEDS MEDICINE TO REDUCE A FEVER, HE/SHE SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOL.
I wish you all a wonderful, healthy weekend!
Christi Whiteside, MSADirectorEndeavor Charter School
Winter Returns!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 2/22/2020 8:30:00 AM
We hope everyone enjoyed the winter weather! Thanks for your patience and cooperation on the days when we make weather related decisions. As a reminder, ECS uses WRAL, email, the ECS homepage, Facebook and text to communicate weather-related closings and delays.
SPOTLIGHT: Drama at ECSPosted by Lauren Manfreda on 2/14/2020 3:30:00 PM
We are continuing our quarterly spotlight of our amazing Fine Arts programs and teachers with a Q&A. Included in this Spotlight will be opportunities for parents to support Fine Arts both in and outside of school. Endeavor is so fortunate to have such an incredible Fine Arts program.
This quarter the spotlight is on Mrs. Colvin and Endeavor's Drama Program. Please take the time to read and learn more about what your student is learning in Drama each week! Thank you Mrs. Colvin!
1.What are some of the skills you hope students gain from participation in your Fine Arts class?
In Drama class, I enjoy watching students gain self-confidence, good communication, and teamwork/cooperation skills. The skills they develop here in Drama class are ones that I hope they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Good communication skills are essential for everyday life and are applied through performing in-class plays, improvisation lessons, and doing group scene work. Acting onstage teaches students how to be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences, which also helps them feel confident speaking in smaller group settings.
The willingness to work cooperatively as a group is another skill that I hope students will gain from participating in Drama class. Theatre demands that participants work together cooperatively for a successful final product, or production. Being able to be empathetic to others and accepting others and what they have to offer, both onstage during a scene and off-stage, helps students learn how to work cohesively and successfully with different types of people to reach a common goal. It’s important for students in Drama class to support each other and everyone involved, which is an important life lesson as well.
2. What are you most excited about that students will be working on this quarter in your classes?
During 3rd Quarter, I am really excited about working with students on grade-level performances and the 7th and 8th Grade Spring Musical: Frozen Jr!
This quarter is filled with lots of rehearsal days for Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 4th Grade students. I enjoy helping them understand the rehearsal process for a performance, and letting them experience the process as a whole: casting, line memorization, rehearsal, and the final performance. I’m always blown away by how much students enjoy performing! I also love hearing from parents after performances and celebrating their child’s on-stage achievements!
Our spring musical, Frozen Jr, is another very exciting part of this quarter. We had auditions back in the fall, and now the cast is working together, during their 7/8th elective on Monday through Thursday, to build this fun and magical show! We are working hard on choreographing dance numbers, memorizing lines and songs for this production. We can’t wait to share with you the final performances of Frozen Jr on May 14-16th!
3. What do you want parents to know about Fine Arts?
I would love for parents to know how much I love teaching Drama to their children! I am lucky enough to see Kindergarten through 8th grade students at least once per week and I love having that opportunity! Although I am not seeing your child as regularly as their homeroom teacher, I do enjoy creating a relationship with each of them and hearing about things going on in their lives, such as dance performances, sports achievements and even losing teeth!
4. How can parents support you? How can they support their child’s Fine Arts education beyond your classroom?
If you are a parent who has a passion and/or knowledge of the theatre arts— whether on stage, in set or costume design, film or editing experience, or sound operating— I would love to hear from you and have a chance to utilize your talents in the classroom with us.
Another way to support the Drama program is by helping out during Spring Musical season, in May. We always need extra hands to build set pieces, help with lighting design, make costumes, sell tickets, run the concessions stand and hand out programs during our performances. If you are interested in helping in any of those areas, I would love to hear from you and have your extra support during this time of year.
I absolutely love the support our families provide our Fine Arts team! We really appreciate all the supplies and support that comes our way throughout the school year. Thank you for all you do to help our programs grow!
Please feel free to reach out to me at any time throughout the school year with questions, ideas or ways you can support the Endeavor Drama program at email@example.com.
Caitlin Colvin, Drama Teacher
Germs! Help us fight the good fight!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 1/31/2020 4:00:00 PM
We are fully into cold and flu season. This week, we’ve seen a little bit of everything in our health room. Please know that we are doing extra cleaning and are encouraging more handwashing than usual. However, to really make a difference in keeping our kids healthy, we need your help!
Several kids have come to the office this week around lunchtime running fevers. We’ve found that they were given medicine to rid them of fever in the morning and then sent to school. Please know that this is not okay! Your child is going to infect others in the classroom and throughout the school if you do this. The medicine masks the fever, but does not cure the illness or make them less contagious. A child “must be fever free for 24 hours WITHOUT the use of medication such as Tylenol or Motrin before returning to school” according to our handbook. Please, please do not send a student to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication. We need to keep our healthy students healthy, allow our sick students to rest and heal at home, and keep our teachers well enough to teach our students each day.
Please also consider doing some extra sanitizing this weekend. Lunchboxes and water bottles are exposed to so much! Coats and backpacks could also benefit from some washing. Students who carry cell phones should sanitize them daily. I would recommend having students wash their hands as soon as they get home and make sure no one misses a nightly shower. Until this season of sickness passes, we all must work together to avoid the germs, and as much as we value excellent attendance, please keep your sick students home until they meet our criteria to return. Have a wonderful, healthy weekend
Christi Whiteside, MSA
Endeavor Charter School
Endeavor's Public Open HousePosted by Lauren Manfreda on 1/24/2020 3:30:00 PM
This weekend we hold our public Open House. Every year we offer interested parents this opportunity to step inside the school, learn about our program, and speak with staff members. We are always very proud to talk about our community, and always sad thinking about how few of the eager families will be able to find a spot off our lengthy wait list. However, some folks will get in, so we encourage every interested family to apply. Each year at this time we also look back to earlier years when many of you were the eager faces at our Open House. We are so grateful that you came and explored your child’s educational opportunities and made the decision to become a part of our little world. It certainly takes a village, and we’re glad you are a part of our village!
We are sometimes criticized for not holding Open House during a school day. Visitors would like to see the school in action. We understand this wish and recognize that some schools offer this option. However, we can’t imagine a time that we’d be comfortable opening our doors to hundreds of adults we don’t know and don’t have background checks for while our students are in the building. That is way out of our comfort zone! Instead, we offer tours during a school day only for families whose child was selected in the lottery. This allows us to personally escort the family and answer their questions while ensuring that our students remain safe and our school day is not disrupted.
At Open House, we are also proud to offer parents a chance to speak with some of our Student Council members to get a student response to some of their questions. Student Council is open to students in middle school who meet an academic and behavior eligibility requirement. Interested students complete an application and present a speech in front of their peers. Generally, five students from each middle school grade are elected to join Student Council. In this role, members plan and decorate for all school dances, help at school events such as field day and Stride for the Pride, and run their own fundraiser/service project each year. This year’s group also began quarterly community building events such as National Cookie Day, started a peer mentoring program with Mrs. White, and will be helping with the Art Show/Book Fair this spring. I am proud of all their hard work and hope many of our younger students will apply for Student Council in years to come!
Christi Whiteside, MSA
Director, Endeavor Charter School
Social Media and Cyber CivicsPosted by Christi Whiteside on 1/18/2020 12:00:00 PM
I am continually grateful that I did not have to grow up with all of the challenges and temptations that our children are growing up with today. I just had to worry about not getting caught passing notes! My father always said, “Don’t put anything in writing that you don’t want the whole world to see.” Back then that was a big exaggeration, but not anymore.
We often try to help families navigate situations created through poor decisions their kids or their kids’ peers make on social media. Students write hurtful things they would never say in person with little regard to the reader. Kids write mean things about one peer and a third party will share it with that peer. Ugly words and images are screen captured, and then they are out in the world forever. It is so much pressure and potentially such long lasting pain, yet we expect our students to navigate this incredible challenge with little to no supervision. We supervise and protect our kids from so many things, yet we leave them alone with the entire world wide web.
I encourage you to sit with your child this weekend and ask him/her to show you their social media accounts. Look through them together and talk about what you see. What messages are they sending? What messages are they receiving? How do all of those words and images make them feel? If you see messages or images that don’t feel right to you, help your child figure out what to do. I also beg you to remove your child’s devices from their bedrooms at night. Please charge devices in another room so that they can get that desperately needed sleep without being bombarded with messages and temptations throughout the night. When we first made this move with my daughter years ago, I was stunned by the number of texts and emails she received well after midnight even on school nights.
Our middle school students are participating in a course called Cyber Civics to help them learn more about technology, social media, and using those tools to their advantage. It is a great addition to the education we provide. However, there is no replacement for your continued support of your child in navigating scenarios that are often way more complicated and way more mature than they are ready to handle.
I also want to encourage you to consider your own use of social media. We’ve had a surprising number of issues created by parent postings recently. Words that hurt our teachers or hurt other families have been posted on public forums and in email/ text chains, again with little regard to who might read those words or how painful they might be. Please remember the words of my father and never put anything in writing that you don’t want the whole world to see!
Christi Whiteside, ECS Director
2020 Video Message from Mrs. WhitesidePosted by Christi Whiteside on 1/6/2020 2:20:00 PM
One Week Until Track Out!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 12/13/2019 4:00:00 PM
We’ve had a great week at Endeavor Charter School! With only one week until track out, we are still working hard and seeing students do great things. This week, students in grades 2,3,4,5, and some first graders participated in the Hour of Code to experience computer coding. Kindergarteners had an adorable performance singing songs from a variety of holiday celebrations. Students in grades 6 and 8 went on field trips this week to the art museum, science museum, and the Governor’s mansion. Our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are practicing and competing.
Next week holds great events as well! Please help us try and maintain normal school days all the way until track out. Please try and maintain normal bedtimes and homework routines. Several grade levels have tests next week, and students may need support in preparing for those. Don’t forget those lunches, snacks, and coats. One more week, folks! We can do it!!
Christi Whiteside, MSADirector
Endeavor Charter School
SPOTLIGHT: Visual Arts at ECSPosted by Christi Whiteside on 12/6/2019 3:30:00 PMAt Endeavor, we are so fortunate to have such an incredible Fine Arts program. Our Fine Arts teachers are amazing and what our children are learning is so valuable. Throughout the rest of this school year, we will be highlighting each Fine Arts class and teacher with a Spotlight Q&A. Included in this Spotlight will be opportunities for parents to support Fine Arts both in and outside of school.This quarter we are spotlighting Ms. Tatum and our Visual Arts program. Please take the time to read and learn more about what your student is learning in Visual Arts each week! Thank you Ms. Tatum!What are some of the skills you hope students gain from participation in your Fine Arts class? In the art room I believe the most important thing I can do is to help students discover the joy of making art. I have a passion for creating and making learning fun, meaningful, and relevant. Through teaching art, I focus on ways to encourage each student’s confidence, self-appreciation, happiness, compassion, and empathy as well as their ability to visually communicate with the world. In the art room, students learn specific artistic techniques, the life and history of the artists themselves, historical setting and events, world cultures, and most importantly the Studio Habits of Mind. These habits are developing craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, and understanding art worlds. Using these habits allows the art room to be a community of artists learning from each other and creates an inclusive space for students to express themselves. Art gives students a way to think about the world differently, to make connections, and to contemplate their place within it. Thinking like an artist helps them develop habits that they’ll use no matter what they go on to do. In addition, visual arts education teaches collaboration, creative problem-solving, courage, appreciation of beauty, confidence, and visual literacy and communication skills.
What are you most excited about that students will be working on this quarter in your classes? I really enjoy working with and teaching students about fiber arts and artists. In 3rd quarter, we begin exploring fiber arts in all K-4 art classes and in certain elective courses. I find that students are really engaged in working with fibers and and the tactile experience. In the past, I have had lots of students who beg me to take their weavings home to work on and of course, I can’t say no! I find that introducing students to fiber arts by exploring paper weaving, circular weaving, and loom weaving is a great start. In 7/8th grades, I teach a Fun with Fibers course that allows students to further explore how artists express themselves by learning about techniques such as needle felting, wax batik, silk painting, advanced tapestry weaving, basket making, and more. I am also interested in exploring E-Textiles and hope to create a lesson plan and purchase materials at add this into our curriculum.
In the 4th quarter, the art room will transition into what is called a TAB classroom. T.A.B. stands for teaching for artistic behavior and is a choice-based art curriculum that allows students to assume the role as the artist. They will choose their theme, art material(s), size, and time spent on each project. Students have learned and practiced lots of skills throughout 1st and 3rd quarter and now students will use those skills to explore and express their original ideas and thoughts. For this quarter, students will have the option of choosing a “studio” to work in such as painting, drawing, sculpture, fibers, and architecture. Some of their work will just involve them exploring and experimenting and a few will end up as completed projects, but both are extremely valuable in the artistic process and helps develop a growth mindset. When we allow students to make real choices about the shape their learning takes and by tapping into their individual interests, we help them to cultivate their personal voice. I’m excited to see how they will use their artistic knowledge and creative ideas!
What do you want parents to know about Fine Arts? One of the most shocking things we discovered a few years ago is that over the course of a school year your student has each Fine Arts class for just a little over ONE full day! This number doesn’t account for things like students missing school due to sickness, appointments, half-days, testing, etc. In our 5th-8th elective classes we see students twice a week for 45 minutes per semester, which averages to a HALF day. It is truly amazing how much our students absorb and create through such a short amount of time every year.
I also want parents to know how much I LOVE seeing your children each week in the art room. Not being a homeroom teacher means that I don’t have the opportunity to connect with parents as much as I would like, but having a relationship with each student is very important to me. Being able to watch students grow, develop their own voice, creativity, interests, and skills from kindergarten to eighth grade is one of my favorite parts of teaching art! The smiles and hugs from the younger students and the stories middle schoolers share of their adventures, excitement, and humor are priceless!
How can parents support you? How can they support their child’s Fine Arts education beyond your classroom? I encourage any parents who have an artistic passion of any kind to reach out and share their knowledge with our students! Students love to see people in our school community who are practicing professional artists, hobby artists, and even those who are in the process of learning a new medium or technique. Come join the fun and inspire us with your creative passion!
Another important way that parents can support the arts is by making sure our students know that you don’t have to be able to draw realistically to be an artist! Many students get caught up in the fact that they feel like they “can’t draw” and I always tell them it is not true! There are so many types of art and ways to create that there is room for all of us to create . Drawing is an art skill that is developed with practice, just like playing an instrument or riding a bike! Please encourage our students to find ways to express themselves visually, find their voice, use their imagination and creativity, and have confidence in knowing that we are ALL artists!
We are very lucky to have the North Carolina Museum of Art a short drive away! If you have not been in awhile, take your children and check out all of the amazing FREE exhibits they have on display. The recent Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibit was spectacular and well worth the ticket as well! The art museum hosts many events for kids of all ages and have a special program for 12-18 yr olds.
Check out their upcoming FREE event:
NCMA Duke Energy Family Night: Winter around the World
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2019 5:00 PM
EAST BUILDING AND MUSEUM PLAZA
Experience “winternational” celebration of the season! Discover family traditions from North Carolina and around the globe. Create art, enjoy free access to Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism, and have a special visit with Santa.
Event is free, but tickets are required. Visit NCMA Winter Around the World to get tickets.
Thank you for your continued support in the Visual Arts program! I appreciate those of you who reach out to make sure I have all of the supplies I need each quarter, those who offer to help organize art materials,, and those who share their appreciation and excitement for what their child is learning! Please feel free to reach out with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Tatum, ECS Visual Arts Teacher
Middle School Dance Time!Posted by Christi Whiteside on 11/15/2019 3:55:00 PM
It’s that most wonderful time… middle school dance time! Tonight is the first middle school dance of the year! Our Student Council has surveyed students about details and themes, made decorations, and turned our multi-purpose room into a wonderland! The theme for this first dance is “Beyond the Clouds” which is an outer space theme.
We held our first ever dance preparation meeting with the sixth graders on Wednesday to help them prepare for what a school dance is like. One detail unique to ECS is that phones are banned from the MPR. Phones are only allowed at the photo booth and are otherwise relegated to the coat room which is supervised by staff members. Photos and video create too much pressure and stress!
We talked about group dances which are lots of fun for everyone with or without any dance skills! We also talked about slow dances. This is a stressful part of a dance! It is important for us that all students know that it takes courage for anyone to ask someone else to dance. This courage is to be respected! We also explained that everyone has the choice of whether to accept or decline a dance invitation, but that this should also be done with great respect and kindness. We need all our students to be empowered to not agree to a situation outside their comfort zones, but we also need everyone to be kind.
Middle school is such a tricky age full of new experiences and opportunities. We are proud to offer students a chance to experience a school dance under our close supervision in our familiar environment. Mark your calendar middle school families - the next dance is February 7, 2020!
Christi Whiteside, MSA
Endeavor Charter School
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