Forging Your Purpose in Steel
This week was another opportunity to grow at Chardon High School. It is hard to believe that we are rounding third and heading home at the end of a quarter. As Principal, one of the most essential responsibilities is to be an instructional leader. Managing my time is essential. Every day, I have a list of mission-driven tasks and goals to accomplish. There is always the plan, and then there is the reality of the undocumented needs that arrive in my office any given day. We all know that this is all apart of the master plan of leadership. Finding the time to multi/multi-task becomes an essential task in the life of a building administrator. A few years ago, I was teaching and trying to make a difference in the lives of students through learning, service, and athletics. Today, I am blessed to serve 1210 students, and 110 adults in living our mission. I have always been a progressive thinker in education. I am a reflective learner that strives to refine my practice all the time. Everything I do surrounds my personal mission statement, and individual purpose which connects to the vision of Chardon Local Schools.
Our choices are one thing that we can control. Our actions emulate our choices, and our character defines our lives. This mantra helps define our purpose. I am a big advocate of empowering students, and adults all of the time.
One of the biggest questions that our children asked at an early age was "why!?" Why does this happen, Why does this do that, or Why are we going here...to a simple-- why does why, why!
Asking probing questions enhances our curiosity throughout life. Many years ago, you chose Chardon as a place to live. You valued the beauty, community, safety, opportunity, and education. There are many other factors that played a role in your decision to choose Chardon Schools, and you entrust us in preparing your children for college, career, and life readiness.
We are at the dawn of the first finish line. The end of the first quarter is upon us one week from today. Take the time to discuss where your son(s)/daughter(s) are during the first quarter, and ways that we can continue to support their learning. Our teachers are committed to serve, assist, and guide your children in any way possible. Make sure to reach out to them if you ever need anything. The more they know--the better that they can respond.
This was another extraordinary week at CHS. Take the time to check out all of the latest things happening in this week's edition of the Week in Reflection.
Shantytown/ Poverty Simulation/ Chil Cook-Off
Last weekend was an extraordinary experience for our students. On Friday, our Interact Club hosted a Chili Cook-Off which raised nearly $1,000 for a local charity. The next day, our students participated in a poverty simulation similar to the one that our staff experienced on the first teacher day in August. This transformative experience opened the eyes of our students who truly learned what life is like for thousands of people in Geauga County. This experience transitioned into Shantytown. An overnight experience for students at Chardon High School designed to raise awareness about the issues of poverty and homelessness in our community. CHS students engaged with current and former homeless speakers, shared a simple meal, watched a movie regarding homelessness, and spent the night sleeping in the football stadium. The next day, these dedicated advocates returned to school tired, cold, and hungry but with a better understanding of the causes of homelessness and how they can partner with the assets in our community that are working to improve the lives of people without a place to call home.
On October 10, six students with three teacher chaperones left after school to drive to Chicago to learn, serve, and demonstrate our core values to the men and women at Su Casa. The students and chaperones will be doing chores, serving dinner, and working with the local food pantry to expand their outreach. This experience will prepare our students for serving the needs of others in Chardon, Geauga, Lake and Cuyahoga county.
It is important to note that all participants of the Service Learning course and Shantytown raised money for local non-profits engaged in providing support to people who are living in poverty. Recipients include The Salvation Army (Painesville, Ohio), Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, The Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (Columbus), Project Hope for the Homeless (Painesville), WomenSafe (Chardon), Forbes House (Painesville), and the Extended Housing (Painesville).
We are so grateful for the time, energy, preparation, service, and outreach that this class and teacher placed into this meaningful experience! Special thanks to the teachers, parents, and community members who helped out and to Mr. Mizen and Mr. Brown who designed this entire week of learning.
Student Testimonial- Allison Sutton
I would like to talk about my experience at Shantytown! I honestly think that everyone in our school should do it at least one time in their school time career. I honestly had a rough night. My box caved in, so when I woke up I had a smaller amount of room to move. The rain poured that night. When I woke up I was able to ring out my blanket full of rainwater. I think I woke up every 2 hours that night and at 5:30 am I couldn't go back to sleep. Shantytown was supposed to show how homeless people felt. I think Mr.Mizen and Mr.Brown did a fantastic job of making the experience as close as possible to real life. After getting rid of our phones it was a relief from the world. As a family, we sat around our boxes and tents and did something that not many kids do. We talked. We laughed and interacted and talked to kids that we wouldn't normally talk to. Because of Shanty Town I made life-long friends. Shantytown isn't supposed to "insensitive" to homeless people and show "our privilege" but it is supposed to show what is actually happening in the real world. This also gives the kids going to Chicago to go volunteer at a homeless shelter more understanding of the people and what they go through.
Allison Sutton, Senior
The World of Harry Potter
Using the book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, students from Mrs. Newman's Harry Potter class researched various beasts. After answering follow-up questions and drawing their beasts, students completed an enrichment project by creatively designing one of the beasts or writing diary entries as they "followed" the beasts. Students could complete the project in any medium they chose.
Whitney Beorn - cupcake puffskeins
Sydney Murray -clay moon calf
Anna Gerstner - lego ashwinder
Sara Conway - lego thunderbird
Elizabeth Kirouac - drawing of basilisk heir
Ohio Scholastic Media Association
On Thursday, October 3rd students from the MultiMedia and Newspaper classes attended OSMA’s (Ohio Scholastic Media Association) workshop at Kent State University. The 22 students who attended from CHS were able to choose from over 50 sessions to attend. Topics included legal and ethical situations, copyright law, finding story ideas, using big data to tell a story, grammar mistakes and how to avoid them, photo issues, interview techniques, and fake news, just to name a few. Experts in the field of journalism, photography, and law from Youngstown State, Kent State, Ashland University, and local school districts were some of the pros who presented to the students. Students and advisors, Mrs. Eby and Mr. Lichtinger, came away with several fresh ideas and tools to apply to the school newspaper and video announcements.
Originally conceived by Language Arts teacher Dawn Weaver, Language Arts Live! is a speaker and resource program which provides students with examples of how the knowledge they acquire in the classroom translates to the professional world and life beyond high school. The objectives are for students to be able to better understand the various reading, writing and communication skills they are currently learning and to then be able to apply these skills meaningfully to their lives.
The key to the success of this series is parental and community involvement which reinforces our CHARDON core values. Parents and community professionals come into our classrooms and participate in a panel discussion regarding the use of language and communication skills in various settings. Our seniors, in preparation for college and career readiness, will be exploring technical and career writing with the help of mentors currently in the professions to which the seniors aspire. The variety of professionals explain to the students the importance of effective communication skills, ideally motivating them to be effective communicators themselves. On October 4, Heather Biernacki and Lynn Monaco welcomed Allison Zeiger, Kevin Farina, Mary Beth Rus, Madelon Horvath, and Regina Rosace into their senior ELA courses for this year’s speaker panel.
PSAT/Pre-ACT: October 16
To Parents/Guardians of Sophomore and Junior students:
On Wednesday, October 16th, all Junior and Sophomore students will be taking a practice version of a college entrance exam with the intent of giving your son or daughter the opportunity to experience a timed, national test. The results of these assessments will provide you with content-specific information on areas to improve prior to taking the actual test.
Testing will begin promptly at 7:20 AM (which results in no late-start on this morning for these students). Students need to plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to locate their testing location and to be prepared to take the test.
All Juniors will be taking the PSAT/NMSQT. This is a practice test for the SAT, an entrance exam that many colleges utilize to assess a potential student’s academic strengths and readiness for college. This test also has a scholarship component through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Juniors who score in the highest percentiles may be given the opportunity to advance in this scholarship program. Students were assessed the typical registration fee at the beginning of the school year for this test ($16.00- the base price). The results from the test can be used to determine if students are currently on track for college-level coursework and offer an interest inventory that gives students some additional tools to use when determining a future career.
All Sophomores will be taking the PreACT. Another practice test, the PreACT simulates the ACT testing experience within a shorter test window on all four ACT test subjects: English, Math, Reading, and Science. This test, geared toward 10th-grade students, can be used to predict future success on the ACT and offers an interest inventory that also provides students with a personalized view of interests and college and career alignment. Students were assessed $12.00- the fee that is charged by ACT to score their results, at the beginning of this school year.
School Counselors have already visited 11th-grade students during their English classes and provided a student guide that includes a practice test with information for test day. Sophomores will be notified of what to expect and bring on test day, as well. Both tests give students the opportunity to opt into college and scholarship search programs by providing their address and email address during registration. Students should come prepared with an email address where they would like to receive notifications (if they would like to opt into this service), as well as #2 pencils and a calculator for test day. Any questions or concerns about the test can be directed to Timothy Hurlbut (email@example.com).
PSAT Practice Test
Preparing for the ACT
October 16: PSAT/Pre-ACT Schedule October 16
Logistics for the day: Online Schedule
Testing 7:20 AM-11:00 AM; Classes commence 11:33 AM-2:26 PM (adjusted schedule)
Thursday, October 17
The schedule is posted below.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Registration
College Board has changed the procedures and timelines for AP Registration. Starting this year, AP Registration will take place in the Fall, as opposed to the Spring. AP Exam fees will be due November 1st. Students will be assessed the $94/exam fee to their school fees. These fees will be uploaded and available for payment starting October 21st. These AP Exam fees must be paid by Nov 1st in order for the exam to be ordered for your child.
Thanks to support from Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly, and the Ohio Department of Education, eligible low-income students AP Exams will be FREE this year. If you feel that your son/daughter qualifies, please have them reach out to Tim Hurlbut, AP Coordinator, in the Counseling office.
Whether you are planning on college, a technical school, the military, or you are just not sure yet, the ASVAB Career Exploration Program can put you on the right path towards a satisfying career.
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program can help you take steps now toward finding a career that’s right for you. You can benefit from the ASVAB CEP regardless of your plans for after high school.
CHS will be offering the ASVAB on Wednesday, November 13th at 7:30 am. Students in grades 10-12 can sign up in Guidance to take advantage of this exclusive career exploration today!
Topper Times are NOW AVAILABLE for Q2
Students, click on this link to explore 2nd quarter Topper Times.
MathCounts Information for Chardon H.S.
Do you enjoy working on challenging puzzles? Do you enjoy working with others to problem solve? Would you like the opportunity to represent Chardon Schools in a Local, State or National Math Competition?
If so, then MathCounts is for you!
MathCounts is a national program that provides students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to compete in live, in-person contests against and alongside their peers.
The Chardon High and Middle School MathCounts Club will begin meeting once a week starting in October.
The Math Counts group is looking for 8th grade students and their friends who are interested in working together in groups of four to solve challenging puzzles. Don’t worry if you are a group of 1, 2 or 3, if you love solving math problems, we will find a group for you!
If you are interested in joining MathCounts, please see Mr. Francis or Mrs. Mysyk at Chardon M.S. or contact them via email to sign up.
Here is a link to the Math Counts website just as FYI:
Please click on the link below to sign up for PT Conferences.
Tuesday, October 22 (4:30-8:30 pm)
Thursday, November 21 (4:30-8:00 pm)
Sign up here.
Vaping: The Health and Legal Risks presented by Dr. Mendeszoon and Chardon Schools SRO Officer Carlson and Mrs. Bell, Ravenwood.
** Mrs. Bell will be available to speak with any student or parent who would like strategies or assistance in quitting vaping**
Ending the Silence presented by NAMI of Geauga County is designed to increase awareness and decrease the stigma of mental illness through education and the use of personal stories.
Healthy Habits for Teens: Sleep, Nutrition, and Social Media presented by Dr. Leone
LGBTQ+: Raising Awareness and Addressing Challenges presented by Mrs. Grantham, Mr. Herner, and Chardon students.
A Journey of Hope and Recovery told through personal stories with Lake Geauga Recovery Center clients and staff
Social Media Safety presented by Rick Warner, Geauga County Prosecutors Office.
**This presentation is for adults only and will provide information that can be used help keep youth safe online**
Piece of the Week
Images of the Week
Mrs. Joanne DeShetler's Book Project for her Chardon High School English I Honors students with Park Elementary's Kindergarten students.
Video of the Week
Tours of CHS
In the interest of providing community members with an up-close view of the building-related challenges at Chardon High School, the Chardon Local School District extends an invitation to all interested community members to attend a guided tour of the high school (151 Chardon Avenue).
The following three (3) District-led tour dates are open-to-the-public events with opportunity for Q&A
For those who have online access, facility photos can be found on the District's Twitter and Facebook pages under hashtag #TopperFacilities. We also invite you to visit the Facilities Plan page of the District's website, which includes a FAQs document for commonly asked questions pertaining to Bond Issue 21.
Questions? Facility-related questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest and for sharing the tour dates. We hope to see you there.
Twitter- Follow @chs_dmurray and @chardonhs
Remind 101- Text @TopperUp to the following number 81010
Chardon High School Google Calendar
Chardon Athletics Sports Calendar
Chardon Athletics Website
Video Announcements: Link for the Morning Announcements
Chardon High School: Program of Study
Chardon High School Bell Schedule
Google Document of our bell schedule
Chardon High School Student Handbook
Teacher Resources for CHS Students ( LIVE by the 1st quarter)
Chardon Goes to the Musicals
Back by popular demand, Chardon Goes to the Musicals is selling tickets for the upcoming season. Please include the attached two fliers in your newsletters - Irving Berlin's White Christmas and Mean Girls. Both have money due to Munson PTO by Tuesday, October 29, so there is no need to advertise after that.
Thank you in advance for another year of helping to promote the arts at Playhouse Square, the second largest theater district outside of Broadway. Chardon Goes to the Musicals has sold over 500 tickets. A reminder this is not a fundraiser, but simply a way for community members to obtain tickets at discounted prices.
Several students have asked me about Halloween. I felt that it was important to share this communication with you now as you prepare for lessons and student experiences.
Thursday, October 31 is Halloween. However, with all of the excitement leading into the week- the Chardon Crazies and the CHS Administration are moving the traditional costume day to Friday, October 25 to align with the theme for the night.
This is has been the plan for the last several years.
Our students have traditionally dressed in appropriate costumes at school for the day. All Students will be permitted to dress this year, as long as the outfit properly follows the guidelines below.
Staff and administration will be extremely diligent to ensure that all costumes are school appropriate and not a distraction to other students in their classes. Some things to consider when creating your costume:
On Thursday, October 31, students will dress in regular attire and NOT in costume. Students may certainly dress in Halloween shirts, sweatshirts, etc on this day.
Have a beautiful weekend with family and friends!
Douglas Murray, Principal