The @chs_dmurray Week in Reflection
The beauty of Spring surrounds us. The birds are chirping, blossoms are seeking the warmth of the sun, and the weather is dawning into a new season. Welcome to the beauty of this short season in Northeast Ohio. Embrace this time, brace the Spring showers for the May flowers will bloom shortly.
Living in this region, we become accustomed to the highs and lows of the weather, but there is one weather pattern we can control...our personal weather.
Everyday, we walk our routines with our words, deeds, and behaviors. We, in turn, carry our own weather. Mr. Armelli is a perfect example of this mantra. He stands outside in the rain, snow, and sun exclaiming to ALL: It's a beautiful day!
Now, more than ever--carrying our own feelings about our autonomy, our place in this world, and connectivity to others need to rise to the surface of those things that we can control. How we feel about our identity can often be hard to express in words. Feeling confident is just the first step, developing the grit to walk with humility and strength can be difficult when walking into a room.
I am not sure if you have seen the film, Inside Out. The film provides the empowering message that we should learn how to understand, connect to, and accept our feelings and memories in a way that is conducive to thriving. Enclosed are some meaningful lessons to reflect upon that connect this film to where you might be on the spectrum of your feelings this year.
Lesson 1: Emotions
Emotions are neither inherently good or bad, and to think of them in such dichotomous terms is to do yourself a disservice. Every emotion tells us something about our inner experience that might be informing our outer experience. This year at CHS, we have taken the time to clearly communicate about the essential happenings throughout the week. In this weekly reflection, the reader is often taken into my mind's eye of what I see, feel, experience, and know. For some readers it is good info; for others it is noise and wordiness. The purpose is to being entered into the emotion that might not be articulated at home each night and to fully include you in the world of your children at school.
Lesson 2: Compass
At one point in the film, Joy tries to keep Sadness away from the young girl. Although the young child felt other emotions, the inability to feel sadness, coupled with her mother’s request for the girl to stay happy, ultimately lead to a cold and numb existence. This state only generated poor judgment and unhealthy choices. It wasn’t until the main character felt sadness that she was able to see more clearly and reach out for support. Everyday, our children feel a whirlwind of emotions and stress. We, too, feel these same emotions at work. The pressures are real and our response to these needs are mission critical for our children. Acknowledging and understanding emotions is much healthier, productive, and adaptive than ignoring their importance. This acknowledgement allows the re-calibration of our compass to lead us in the right direction.
Lesson 3: Filtered Emotional Lens
Just like our present reality is seen through the framework of our past experience, the memories we look back on are colored by our present-moment experience. This is a very powerful idea. What we really need to remember is that our memories are a part of our personal narrative, and that in many ways, we construct the narrative we believe. Because we create the narrative, we can change our story at any time. We can’t delete certain paragraphs that contain with negative facts and daunting realities. We can’t cut out chapters that we would rather not have had—they will always be there, and that’s okay. In retrospect, the actual experiences we have are less impactful than the story we tell ourselves about them. Once we realize this, we can reflect on the truth that we control our destiny and that the past should not control us. We define our tomorrow.
Lesson 4: Communication
The key to our existence is communication. The film's underlying message is the beauty of communication and reflection. Communicating our emotions is hard to do. It is the last thing that we want to do. We often share with others are present realities to the best of our abilities. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it impacts others-negatively. Often times, we need to seek first to understand before we are understood. With a clear articulation of our feelings we are able to better serve ourselves, and others.
Lesson 5: Human Experience
We often see ourselves inside our world. Has your son our daughter ever said, "my life is over, I am going to just crawl up under my covers and die." Hearing those words can relate to a multitude of other talking points: adolescence, maturation, drama, etc. Yet, the lessons learned are often reflected upon later on life when we see our lives within the big picture. We are one of several billion people who have a story. No story trumps the other. Rather, each story reminds us that we are interconnected to the human experience. Whether we are in Chardon or Belize, Madrid or Zaire...we are connected. We are called to serve, understand, and live our story for a purpose. How will you author the last six weeks of this chapter?
'Toppers Take on The BIG APPLE: By Mr. Bandiera
On Wednesday April 5th, a group of 70 CHS choir students and 10 adults boarded busses enroute to New York City. The trip started with a visit to Quaker Steak and Lube followed by arriving at the hotel in Newark New Jersey.
Bright and early on Thursday morning, busses were loaded and we were on our way into the big city! The first stop was the famous Rockefeller Center. A little rain did not slow down the fun students had touring the famous sites and seeing NBC Studios. The groups then moved to tour Radio City Music Hall. This beautiful venue, with its Art Deco architectural style, has played host to performers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran and many more! It is has also hosted numerous NFL Drafts and is home to the world famous Radio City Rockettes. Following this tour, students explored the streets of New York and experience New York eating at its best. The day was far from over, as the choir had their first opportunity to perform at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle. The choirs sounded outstanding in this beautiful cathedral. Following the performance, the group was ready for a night on the town visiting Grand Central Station, Times Square, and Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center).
Friday was all about the music! The morning started with a workshop with the world renowned Westminster College Choir and Dr. James Jordan. Dr. Jordan worked with Mr. Streiff and the choirs to focus on breathing techniques, vowel production, and vocal performance. Following this opportunity, the choir was a guest during rehearsal for one of the choirs. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some Toppers at this school in the future. We left Westminster and made our way back to the city. The students enjoyed a bus tour of Central Park in which they were able to see famous sites including Trump Tower, Strawberry Fields, and The Dakota Building. After leaving Central Park, the music continued as students attended a Broadway workshop with the cast of Aladdin. Students learned Broadway vocal techniques and choreography to the famous opening act of the musical. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some Toppers on Broadway in the near future. The night was capped off with our first Broadway show, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” The students were amazed by the moving stage, phenomenal singing, and the sheer talent of Carole King. The night was made when the cast of Beautiful posted pictures of Chardon Students on their Instagram page.
Saturday was the final day of the trip and we weren’t slowing down. The morning began with a ferry ride on the Staten Island Ferry. From this boat we were able to see many sites including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, it was on to Wall Street and an impromptu concert on the steps of Federal Hall. After lunch, we had the opportunity to tour the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The students were amazed to hear the stories of the survivors and of those that lost their lives on this tragic day. Like true New Yorkers, we hopped on the subway to make our way to dinner in Chinatown and pick up souvenirs. After dinner, it was back to Broadway for the show “Aladdin.” Another amazing musical performance with a meet and greet with the cast following the show.
I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to travel with these 70 wonderful students. I was amazed by their singing abilities and positive attitudes. What was even more amazing was the Character shown by these students on the trip. They were a true testament to the Chardon Core Values! I personally want to thank Mr. Streiff and all of the Chaperones for giving of their time to support the students on this trip.
AIR Test: Next Up-US. History/Gov
As we enter April, we have proactively continued our preparations at Chardon High School for the AIR tests. Once again, students will take the end of course exams on the assigned date if they meet the criteria defined below.
We previously communicated the testing dates to you via connect-ed message. On the designated days, students will report to their assigned testing classroom that will be clearly posted in the school building. It is imperative that your student is at school on time on their assigned testing day. Once again, the assigned testing dates are…
The late start bell schedule for All Testing Dates will be exactly like this past week with regular classes beginning at 10:34 AM.
Please note that testing will begin promptly at 7:30 AM.
When you arrive back at Chardon you will report to the cafeteria for attendance and where you will stay until the end of 4th period. You will then report to your 5/6th period class.
You will be excused from your Chardon classes on these AIR testing dates. If you are enrolled in 2nd semester US Government you must report for the AIR test on Wednesday, April 19th and then be able to leave after testing.
Please Note: Transportation will run at normal times on testing days. If a student is not testing on a particular day and needs transportation to school, they will be picked up at the normal time and report to school. We will supervise these students in the cafeteria until the regular school day begins.
Student Example 1: (A freshman student enrolled in algebra 1 and English 1). This student will report to CHS at the normal time on April 5th and April 26th for English and math testing. They are not required to report to school until 10:34 AM on April 12th and 19th since they will not be taking the Social Studies or Biology test.
Student Example 2: (A senior student currently enrolled in 2nd semester US Govt. not 1st semester US Govt.) This student will report to CHS at the normal time on April 19th for testing. They are not required to report to school until 10:34 AM on April 5th, 12th, and 26th since they are not testing on those dates.
When students report to school for their assigned test they will be required to bring their chromebook fully charged as well as a pair of headphones. We will provide extra sets of headphones if students are unable to procure them. We will continue to pass along relevant information to you as the testing dates approach. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Chardon High School Guidance Department at (440) 285-4060.
Sports Nutrition students spent the week determining their overall physical wellness. Through measurement and calculation, each student determined his or her percentage of body fat, ideal weight, water weight, BMI, etc. Next, students will develop personal action plans based on the strengths and weaknesses of their individual findings.
Leadership Training Day
Current and future Teaching Assistants engaged in a fully interactive group gaming experience. Teamwork, time management, problem solving, effective communication, creativity, and resourcefulness were all an important part of our day spent together.
All students registered for an AP (Advanced Placement) Exam, MUST attend a pre-administration prior to the exam. These sessions will be held on Wednesday mornings during the late start for AIR testing.
Last Name: A-L: Wednesday, 4/19, 9:30am
Last Name: M-Z: Wednesday, 4/26, 9:30am
These are MANDATORY sessions. Students MUST attend a pre-administration session.
Save the Date: April 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
"The Crisis In Our Own Backyard"
The ASAP (Active Substance Abuse Prevention) student group, along with Teen Institute is hosting this important event. The evening will offer a series of break out sessions on substance abuse prevention, stress management, social media among other topics
The Chardon High School Dance Team performed at Quickens Loan Arena for the Cleveland Monsters on Thursday April 13th. These girls are SO talented!
In this world of turmoil and strife, with struggles everywhere across our nation and around the globe, there has never been a greater hunger for simple words of encouragement. Excessive stress, lack of control, academic/athletic pressure, uncertainty about tomorrow—these are all taking their toll on people’s emotions, health, and morale.
However, there is hope. There is one indispensable ingredient that can transform and inspire individuals, improve life, grow a positive attitude, build self-esteem, and enhance relationships. That ingredient is encouragement. Your heartfelt and positive words can make a difference in a person’s life, which could lead to a change in the community, nation, and world.
Here are some positive ways to encourage people with your words.
1. Offer praise for ordinary accomplishments. Look for the little things that most people take for granted. Make it personal. Look the other person in the eye, pause, and share your words with real meaning.
2. Show appreciation. Watch for the slightest improvement in someone--especially your peers. Be specific. Avoid clichés like, “You’re doing a great job.” Instead tell the person exactly what it is that you appreciate about him or her.
3. Offer words of encouragement for someone depressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed. A timely encouraging word can give a person that is ready to quit the fuel to keep going.
4. Compliment someone when they aren’t expecting it. Look for something that other people may have overlooked. Tell them what it is and why you think it was worthy of notice.
5. Always say please and thank you...especially to your parents.
Your supportive actions and words of encouragement don’t just enhance the lives of others; they enrich your life as well. The simple act of showing you care strengthens your relationships, builds trust, and increases your influence. Your gift of encouragement has the power to change lives!
Enjoy the company of family and friends this weekend! Celebrate each other!
Douglas Murray, Principal
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