• Start of 2nd Quarter & Carpool Reminder

    Posted by Christi Whitesdie on 10/23/2020 12:00:00 PM
    We are off to a great start to second quarter! Thank you for all you continue to do to support your students and our teachers.
     
    Next week, we'll welcome back one grade level per hallway as our Hybrid A Week 3rd grade and 6th grade students come back to campus.
     
    Here are a few important reminders for carpool to keep the line moving efficiently during our morning drop off.  
     
    Before pulling up to the sidewalk, please make sure:
    • Carpool tags are displayed
    • Student masks are on
    • Backpack/belongings are at the student's feet ready to go
    • Ready for temperature check, health screening, and exit with a quick goodbye
    • Students should exit from the passenger side only
    For safety reasons, cars should remain in a single file line on the sidewalk until the car ahead of you pulls forward.  Thank you for your patience with your fellow carpool drivers.
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • End of Q1

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 10/2/2020 1:00:00 PM

    Well ECS families, we’ve made it through another quarter in this crazy Covid time! Thank you for all you do every day to support your child’s education.  Thank you for getting them to class on time when it would have been easier not to.  Thank you for reminding them to complete and submit work, study for tests, and do their best when no one would have known if you didn’t.  Thank you for letting them know every day that you value school and that what they do matters now and in the long run.  Thank you!!

    As we look to next quarter and the continued return to campus of additional grade levels, I encourage you to continue to be vigilant in your safety measures.  Please continue to require all family members to wear a mask when away from home.  Please continue to encourage hand washing.  Please be cautious in regard to the places you go and the size groups you will encounter. Please consider getting all members of your family a flu shot.  The healthier we remain, the healthier we will return to school, and the better able we will be to continue moving forward with our return to campus.

    I wish you all a track out of health and rest.  We’ve all earned it!

    track out fall 2020 Christi Whiteside, MSA

    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • Looking ahead to 2nd quarter!

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/25/2020 3:00:00 PM

    We continue moving forward on our path to return to normal school.  On Tuesday our Board of Directors voted to approve the following plan for second quarter:

    Week Of:

    A/B Week:

    Students on Campus:

    Oct 5-16

    TRACK OUT

    none

    Oct 19

    B week

    K, 1, 2 B-week students ONLY

    fall athletic practices begin

    Oct 20 Board meeting 

    Oct 26

    A week

    K, 1, 2, 3, 6 A-week students ONLY

    Nov 2

    B week

    K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 B-week students ONLY

    Nov 5 Board meeting 

    Nov 9

    A week

    All grades A-week students ONLY

    Nov 16

    B week

    All grades B-week students ONLY

    spring semester survey released

    Nov 23

    A week

    All grades A-week students ONLY

    Thanksgiving Holiday

    Nov 30

    B week

    All grades B-week students ONLY

    Dec 1 Board meeting 

    Dec 7

    A week

    All grades A-week students ONLY

    Dec 14

    B week

    All grades B-week students ONLY

    Dec 21-Jan 1

    TRACK OUT

    none

    We recognize that school systems all around us are making varying decisions about returning to campus.  Some are voting to stay 100% remote through the end of the semester while Wake County is pursuing a plan to return all students to campus in non-alternating weeks.  We are continuing to investigate that plan as well.  We will return all Hybrid students to campus in non-alternating weeks at some point this year, but we have not yet determined the timeframe for that additional step forward. 

    As we’ve brought students back to campus these last two weeks, we’ve learned many things about how to simultaneously run an on-campus and an off-campus program.  It has not been an easy transition for our teachers, but we continue to push forward.  

    One thing we need your help with is preparing students to exit the cars in the morning.  We will ask each family whether they would answer “No” to all four screening questions, and we will take a temperature check.  This is a short process. However, we are finding some students waiting for that process to end before they start preparing to exit the car.  This makes our process slow and as more grades return to campus, we need a faster routine.  When you next return to campus, please have your child put on his/her face mask prior to the car stopping.  Please have their backpack and snack pouch reachable by the child.  Please have the child practice unbuckling the car seat and opening the door.   As the adult answers the screening questions, the child should have their mask on, backpack in hand, and be ready to jump out as soon as the temperature check has passed. All of these things will make a tremendous difference when we have nine grade levels back in our carpool line.  

    Thank you for your help with a smooth carpool and for your flexibility as we continue moving toward a normal school year!

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  • Week One and Beyond

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/18/2020 12:30:00 PM
    Week One with Hybrid Week A kindergartners back on campus has been a success!  We’ve managed screening questions and temperature checks.  Our nurse, Mrs. Ipock, spoke with each class about hand hygiene and mask usage.  Thanks to the parents who’ve obviously been teaching and practicing this at home, also!  We’ve taught walking with 6 feet of space between students on the way to and from carpool and the restroom.  We’ve also taught academic content. The students have adjusted to being in a classroom and not at home. What a week!

    We’ve also seen the reality of doing all of these things while maintaining a solid program for a large group of remote students.  What has been a successful week has also been an exhausting week for our kindergarten teachers and teaching assistants. 

    Next week we bring back Week B Hybrid students in grades K and 1 only.  Please double check your Hybrid week assignment if you aren’t sure!
     
    As we are celebrating our students’ first week back on campus, we saw the Governor’s announcement yesterday that schools now have the option to bring back all elementary students in Plan A.  That gives our staff and our Board of Directors lots to think about.  Some of the things we’ll be considering in the days ahead include:
    • How many students can fit into our classrooms while maintaining a social distance we are comfortable with?
    • How many students are we comfortable with traveling in each hall and using each restroom?
    • How many cars can we manage in carpool morning health screening?  
    • When do we bring grades 3-8 back to campus in an alternating Hybrid plan?
    • When will we be ready to bring elementary grades back without alternating weeks?
    I do know that we will not survey families again until November regarding your decision to remain Hybrid or Remote for the spring.  Decisions for grade levels returning to campus during second quarter would apply to the families who’ve already selected the Hybrid Plan for this first semester.
    So, next week we will see the students who selected the Hybrid Plan in grades K and 1 Week B ONLY.  Thanks for your support during such a confusing time!  Stay safe!
     
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  • A/B Week Assignments

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/4/2020 3:00:00 PM

    Our A week – B week schedule for Hybrid students was released yesterday, and we received a few questions.  I will try my best to answer them here. Please email me if other questions arise!

    1. If the numbers of students who want to return to campus are low, why do the students have to alternate weeks?

     

    Bringing students back on campus is something we have thought about and planned for many months now.  However, we haven’t actually done it yet.  We don’t really know how the teachers or the students will respond to the new protocols we need to follow.  Starting with smaller numbers will make it easier to implement and easier to adjust if needed.  We also know that at any time, the majority of each grade level will be remote, so we need to add this new component of on-campus students carefully so as not to create a significant negative impact on our remote program.  Finally, we know that the smaller number of students moving through a hall, using the restroom, etc. will give us the smallest chance of exposure.

    2. So, K-2 will be back on campus for the rest of the year?

     

    We hope so. However, we continue watching the situation in our state and recognize that the Governor or our Board of Directors could decide that a declining situation might require us to return the entire campus to remote learning.

    3. Does this schedule mean grades 3-8 aren’t returning to campus this semester?

     

    No decision has been made about when grades 3-8 will return to campus, and bringing grades 3-8 back to campus remains step 3 in our 5 step plan to return to normal school.  

    3. What about childcare on campus?

     

    Because the numbers of students returning to campus are still small, the interest does not yet meet the numbers required to bring the YMCA back on campus.  In addition, a multi-grade childcare situation would increase the potential exposure to students across grade levels.  We are trying to keep the students in cohorts within the same grade level.

    4.What happens if there is a Covid case?

     

    Or first step would be to contact the Department of Health and Human Services and to follow their guidance.  Their process would include determining when the student or staff members was last on campus, notifying those who might have met the definition of exposure, and implementing cleaning protocols.  The typical timelines for students returning to campus after various exposures and/or diagnoses are outlined in the ECS Return to Campus Family Plan.  

    Mark your calendars!

    Sept 7 - Monday is Labor Day, and there will be no school.  Of all years, this year we should all truly celebrate those workers who are keeping us all moving forward – especially our essential workers! 

    Sept 11 – Friday is our first Teacher Workday / Remote Learning Day – Due the required number of students days increasing this year and our number of paid staff days not increasing, we ‘ve had to combine our teacher workdays with remote learning days.  Students will still be expected to work from 9:00-12:00.  However, the work will be pre-posted videos and assignments.  There will be no live instruction on Sept. 11.  Student attendance will be taken as students submit assignments. 

    Conferences – We usually hold parent-teacher conferences in September.  This year we are not able to do so.  Instead, teachers will be meeting during the workday on 9-11-20 to determine students at-risk either academically or in other ways.  If they have not already reached out to those families, they will reach out prior to track out to touch base with the parents and find ways to best support the students. 

    Christi Whiteside, MSA

    Director
    Endeavor Charter School
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  • Sorting Progress for A/B Weeks

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 8/28/2020 2:00:00 PM
    It’s been another busy, crazy week of remote learning at ECS!  We finalized and sorted the fall survey data and again found an almost 50/50 split of families who want their children to stay on the 100% Remote Plan (51.1%) and those who want their children to be on the Hybrid Plan (48.9%). 
    Every grade level had a split in the 40% and 50% ranges other than 5th grade and 8th grade who leaned a little heavier on remaining remote.
     
    We’ve taken this data and sorted all families who chose the Hybrid Plan into A week and B week alternating groups.  This doesn’t sound like a difficult task, but it was!  All students were sorted by special education needs and leveled middle school math needs and then all siblings of those students were added to the correct week to maintain family groups. We then went back and made every effort to maintain a male/female balance in each group in each class at every grade level while continuing to keep all siblings in every family on the same calendar.
     
    Teachers are checking our work to verify accuracy and once any needed changes are made, we will release the weekly assignments to all Hybrid families next week.  We’ve realized that alternating weeks with various grade levels returning to campus on different weeks may lead to some confusion.  We will send a calendar for the remainder of this semester indicating which weeks are A weeks and which weeks are B weeks along with the weekly assignments next week.
     
    Our Board of Directors continues to review the situation in our community and consider plans for next quarter.  At this time no decision has been made about a specific timeline for students in grades 3-8 to return to campus. 
     
    Many thanks to you all for supporting your students, ensuring their cameras are turned on and their mics off, getting them in classes on time, and helping submit work promptly.  You are an amazing support staff for us, and you all deserve a raise!  Have a wonderful weekend!
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • Teachers return, new schedules & update

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 8/21/2020 2:30:00 PM

    We’ve had a busy week at ECS!  All teachers returned to campus and all grades began their new schedules.  With our new schedules, we’ve heard of increased student engagement and student willingness to ask questions since the teacher is available as they work. However, we also know these changes have not been without their challenges!  Some of our youngest students are struggling maintaining focus on-line and in a more compacted schedule. We encourage you to stay the course and give this adjustment some time.  We also know that some of our staff have had technical troubles, and we are working to upgrade some staff laptops whose processors we’ve found to be lacking.  We are also using every possible spot in our building for staff who normally share classrooms and workspaces.  We are, and will continue to be, a work in progress. 

    Tuesday’s Board meeting brought a new goal: a timeline to bring K -2 students back to campus.  The goal, which will be reevaluated at the September 1 Board meeting, is for half of the kindergarten students who chose the Hybrid plan to return to campus on September 14 and to alternate each week with the other half of K students who chose the Hybrid plan. The same will begin for first graders on September 21 and for second graders on September 28. 

    Families will be notified which week their children will return to campus during the week of September 1.  Making these groups is a massive undertaking involving sorting the students with special education needs, students in our leveled middle school math classes, and all the siblings of those groups into a schedule and then adding in all remaining students at every grade level.  Because we must keep siblings together, we must sort the entire school now.  We will not be able to honor family requests regarding their week on campus. 

    Thank you for all you are doing to support your child and to be our at-home assistants.  We know that you are in an impossible position, but we appreciate your devotion! 

    I will end with a request of all our ECS family crafters and builders.  As we prepare to bring our students back to campus, we want to be able to safely work with small groups.  We've found products like the divider pictured below which would allow us to do so, but these products cost $700 or more.  Before we invest in them, does anyone have a more cost efficient idea?

    table dividers

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  • Video Message, Fall Semester Survey and More Details

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 8/13/2020 6:00:00 PM
     
    Endeavor Families,

    As we've worked to develop our plans in light of our changing circumstances, we've realized that while we originally asked families to commit to a first quarter instructional plan, we need to establish a more consistent program for a longer amount of time. We are offering you the opportunity to review our plans in detail, and then make a selection for the 2020-2021 FALL SEMESTER. 
     
    The Endeavor Charter School Return to Campus Plan (pdf) will provide information regarding all aspects of our potential return to campus. Please review all of the information in the Endeavor Charter School Return to Campus Plan and respond to the Family Survey for FALL SEMESTER.
     
    Endeavor Charter School REMAINS IN PLAN C (100% Remote) until the decision has been made to begin the 50% Hybrid Plan.

    Survey Options for FALL SEMESTER:
    • Students choosing the 100% Remote Plan for FALL SEMESTER will follow the schedule below VIRTUALLY (instruction will be live streamed and recorded)
      • 8:30-9:00 Morning Meeting Monday's and Friday's
      • 9:00-12:00 Core Instruction
      • 1:00-3:00 Fine Arts/Fitness & Homework
    • Students choosing the on-campus 50% Hybrid Plan (when available) will follow the schedule below on alternating A/B weeks:
      • 8:00-8:30 Arrival, Health Screening
      • 8:30-9:00 Morning Meeting/Warm Up
      • 9:00-12:00 Core Instruction
      • 12:00-12:45 Afternoon Carpool
      • 1:00-3:00 VIRTUAL Fine Arts/Fitness & Homework
    Each family must complete the Family Survey for FALL SEMESTER by Tuesday, 8/18/20 at 12pm.
     
    We had originally planned to ask for a year-long commitment but recognize that many of you were concerned about this request.  We've responded by asking for a fall semester commitment only.  Families will be surveyed about their wishes for spring semester in November.

    Please email questions to Christi Whiteside at cwhiteside@endeavorcharter.com.
     
    Thank you for your patience, and your continued support of our students and teachers.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • Five Step Plan to Return to Normal ECS School Days

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 8/7/2020 3:00:00 PM
    ECS Families,
    Happy first full week of school!  Our teachers and students have gotten our year off to a great start, and it’s been a tricky one!   Thank you to all of you for managing school us at your homes!  We appreciate and recognize the challenges remote learning creates for our families. We’ve been busy continuing to develop our plans for the 2020-2021 school year to best serve our students, and we have some information to share.  We have developed a five step plan to return to normal ECS school days.
     
    Step 1: Teachers return to campus starting August 17.
    • All students continue to learn remotely.
    • Morning Meeting will be held each Monday and Friday from 8:30-9:00
    • Teachers will live-stream core classes (Plan C - 100% Remote Instruction) from 9:00-12:00.  
    • Fine Arts and Fitness classes and homework will take place in the afternoons.
    Step 2: Students in grade K-2 who’ve selected the 50% Hybrid Plan (Plan B) return to campus on alternating weeks. 
    • We hope to move to this step later in first quarter.  
    • Students in grades 3-8 will remain in 100% Remote Plan (Plan C) for all of first quarter.
    • Before and After Care are not guaranteed and their availability will be determined by the number of students returning to campus who are interested in these services.
    • For students returning to campus the school day will be as follows:
      • 8:00-8:30 Arrival/Health screening
      • 8:30-9:00 Morning meeting (live-streamed to remote students)
      • 9:00-12:00 Core classes (live-streamed to remote students)
      • 12:00-12:40 Dismissal 
    Step 3: Students in grade 3-8 who’ve selected the 50% Hybrid Plan (Plan B) join K-2 students on campus on alternating weeks.  
    • We hope to move to this step at the beginning of second quarter. 
    • Athletics will resume when middle school students return to campus.
    • Before and After Care are not guaranteed and their availability will be determined by the number of students returning to campus who are interested in these services.
    • For students returning to campus the school day will be as follows:
      • 8:00-8:30 Arrival/Health screening
      • 8:30-9:00 Morning meeting (live-streamed to remote students)
      • 9:00-12:00 Core classes (live-streamed to remote students)
      • 12:00-12:40 Dismissal 
    Step 4: All students return to campus on Plan A (requires Governor’s order). 
    • Minimal social distancing is in place
    • Decreased opportunities for crowding (no assemblies, etc.)
    • Modifications to lunch, recess, volunteers/visitors on campus, assemblies, etc.
    Step 5: ECS returns to a normal school day (requires Governor’s order).
    • Lunch and recess resume a traditional schedule
    • Assemblies resume 
    Next week you will receive a detailed Endeavor Charter School Return to Campus Family Plan.  This guide will outline our plans for academics, health and safety, social distancing, and how we will respond to suspected or confirmed COVID cases.  

    ECS has engaged Dr. Sarah Lewis, MD, MPH, to serve as a medical consultant for the school, to review this protocol for compliance with NCDHHS and CDC recommendations, and to share best practices based on the unique set up of our school.  Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University and a member of Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Program for Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology. Her review of our plans will be completed and recommendations implemented before any return to campus.  We look forward to sharing this information with you next week.

    Along with the Return to Campus Family Plan, families will also be provided a link next week to a new survey asking each family to make a NEW CHOICE about 100% Remote or 50% Hybrid for the entire year in light of our detailed plans.  We recognize that this is a long-term commitment and have tried to gather all possible information about our plans to help you in your decision. We will reassess our plans at the end of this semester and hope to be able to offer families the option to change their choice at that time depending on space and the circumstances in our community at that time. 
     
    We appreciate you and all that you are doing to support your child’s learning.  This is such a difficult time, but it will eventually get better.  Eventually we will be able to welcome our entire community back to campus to celebrate together. Stay safe, and wear a mask!
     
    Christi Whiteside, MSA
    Director, Endeavor Charter School
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  • Video Message from Mrs. Whiteside

    Posted by Christi Whiteside on 7/26/2020 6:45:00 PM

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