Tis the Season
It is hard to believe that we celebrated Thanksgiving last week. As we transitioned back to school on Monday, the Lake Erie snow machine turned on blanketing the area through the night and into Tuesday providing a snow day this week. Huge shoutout to our maintenance and custodial teams for clearing all the snow for school on Wednesday.
Just as preparing for a snowstorm is important, preparing for the end of the quarter is very important as we close out the semester. Over the last two weeks, I have met with each grade level to best prepare our students for their educational success planning.
Oftentimes, the holiday season can deploy so many emotions as the weather changes, and the end of the semester comes along: the excitement, the beauty, the new beginnings, and the stress. Our response to the season often can act as an amalgamation of all of these feelings all at one time. So, how can you take time this December to prepare and calibrate for the season?
Excitement: Recall the emotions that you had as a child. You were filled with wonder and awe. Life was very simple in your eyes and everything was pure. These feelings remind us that this time of year is about spending time in the comfort of family and friends while celebrating traditions. Recreate these traditions with your family and celebrate each other. Your time together is so precious. As a child, we cherished these moments. Our children need traditions and memories to pass on these celebrations with their families someday. Stop for a moment to reflect on how quickly your time has come and gone with your children. These moments can never be replicated. We all need to pause and be reminded that certain things at work can wait in order for us to celebrate our children.
Beauty: This season is filled with beauty in Ohio. Yes, not all of us love snow. Yet, we cannot ignore its glory around us throughout this season. We know that our lives do not surround the obvious plot twists on the Hallmark channel, but we can pause to see the beauty in the simple things of life. I preach all of the time that we all have a story and together our stories make our community. Take time this month to create new habits for yourself, or even break some tough ones. One of the hardest tasks that dwell deep inside of humanity is being at peace with yourself. As hard as it can be---reduce the noise around you to see the beauty in you. Your life is a gift to be shared and nourished. Take time for yourself to breathe, slow down, and live in the moment.
New Beginnings: Celebrate your relationships. This is nothing new to your vocabulary. Many people are uncomfortable this time of year because of failed relationships, mourning, and hardships. Many of us have a hard time letting go of the past, feelings, and tough memories. How will you ever grow? Will you run from it or learn becomes of it? Seize every positive moment as an opportunity to expand your humility and every difficult moment as an opportunity to expand your territory and influence. Life is too short to hold on to the past as an ornament. Rather, seize the moment and polish your choices from it.
Stress: Without a doubt, this time of year can cause stress. A simple example is to look at our mothers and spouses this time of year. They are stressed because they want everything to be perfect. That's all fine, but if you want your mother or spouse to experience fully the above stated---HELP THEM. This time of year is not to be burdened on the shoulders of one. It is an opportunity to show our love to those that care for us. Besides the stress that our families have during this season, we have our own personal stress. Students have the stress of exams, finals, and projects on top of their job and athletics. Of course, our children love to schedule (without telling us) social gatherings with their friends. Students, take time to check your phone in at the door and converse with your family. The latest post on Snapchat or Tik Tok is certainly not as important as talking to a human face-to-face. Likewise, this time of year is a stressful time for staff as they attempt to do all of the above: preserving the excitement with their families, seeing the beauty in themselves, creating new beginnings, and grading all of their exams and projects. I am grateful to each of them as they work together to create new routines in new places while serving our mission.
With the time constraints of my job, it is so important that I practice what I preach. The students and staff know that they are an extension of my family...but my faith, family, and friends are mission-critical to the daily energy and tasks asked of me as one of the building leaders. Be the best version of yourself to those that matter most and live today with a focus on tomorrow.
Screen Time: Recalibrating with Intention
I may not be an eye expert, but I've realized that spending too much time in front of screens can affect my eyes. We've been in the Chromebook Era for over 9 years now, and it's hard to imagine the time Before Chromebooks (BCE) when it comes to academics. These devices have completely transformed education, allowing students and staff to do everything needed for teaching and learning. They're incredible tools that support the learning process, especially since we use Google Classroom, Docs, and Sheets, making school more synchronous with instant feedback. Being a 1:1 school has many benefits, but it also comes with the responsibility of teaching digital citizenship and promoting appropriate screen time. Monitoring screen time is crucial.
During the snow day, I checked to see how many students were active online. Throughout the day, we had a peak of 605 users on their Chromebooks. Most students were in Google Classroom, Google Docs, textbooks, and using school resources. It was great to see so many students staying actively engaged on that day. However, it's equally important to slow down screen time when it's not necessary. In our classrooms, we have phone holders, and almost every teacher uses them every period. This has increased attention, dialogue, and engagement.
We all need technology throughout our day, but this message is a good reminder for both us and our children to take a break, decompress from screen time, and let our eyes relax.
The Schedule for Next Week
Planning Ahead: Schedules in December
Fall End of Course Exam: US Government/ Targeted Make-up tests
On December 13th, Chardon High School will be administering the end-of-course exam for the US Government(Regular/Honors), along with testing targeted students who need to complete previous tests. To deploy all of the important tasks that need to be completed--we are going to implement the following schedule on Wednesday, December 13 and Thursday, December 14.
December 13, 2023: Late Start For Grades: 8, 9, 10, AP Gov, 12
-End-of-Course Exam (Reg/ Hon Gov+ Make-ups)
December 14, 2023: Late Start for all grades
Midterm Schedule 2023: December 18--December 210
Over the days of Dec.18-Dec. 20, Chardon High School will be administering a midterm schedule to close out the semester. All students report to their classes for each period except for scheduled study halls. Those periods do not have midterms. However, all study hall periods will be ran and supervised for students who would like to use them to prepare for a test. All Guided Study periods will meet to prepare students for upcoming assessments. If a student has 7th Guided Study--they will not need to report since it is the last period on the last day of the midterm schedule.
Important to note:
Read this section online.
NHS is organizing a raffle event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We will have 10-15 baskets varying in themes! You can start buying tickets the week of November 27 during lunch period, as well as at the first and second Chardon Boys Basketball game (12/5 and 12/9). Raffle winners will be announced at those two games!
$1= 1 ticket or 1 canned good= 1 ticket! Please no expired food.
Basket themes include charcuterie, baking, spa, candy, winter, coffee, and more! Anyone can purchase a ticket.
On Wednesday, Mrs. Yeager's robotics class had a special visit from Mr. Joe Wargo. The students were treated to the fascinating world of robotics including learning about the intricacies of the programs offered at Auburn Career Center. Mr. Wargo's insights provided a valuable glimpse into the real-world applications of robotics, inspiring the students to explore the endless possibilities that lie ahead in this dynamic field. The interactive session not only enriched their understanding of robotics but also ignited a spark of curiosity for the students.
#TopperTicket Recipients of the Week
Jessica Kitchen: Sub Zero Project
Jessica Kitchen, a senior at Chardon High School, is building off the momentum of Clara Giddings project in September and the recent contributions of our football team in running a Sub Zero Mission project of the next two weeks. See her flyer and interview to learn more!
Art Pieces of the Week
Highlights from Mrs. Blaschke's Elements of Art Still Life Project
Images of the Week
Topper Bistro Lunch Menu
Indoor Track Information
If you are interested in being a part of Chardon's Indoor Track and Field team this winter, please do the following:
1) Read the attached Parent Letter and Sign-Off. It will answer many, if not most, of your questions.
2) Sign up for Outdoor Track and Field in Final Forms. You have made no commitment to Outdoor Track and Field by doing this. It simply gives us access to your emergency medical information. We cannot let you practice without being in Final Forms.
2) Fill out the sign-up form: https://forms.gle/GHeQ2cgJhRddfPoL9 Be fill things out carefully. Every year we end up with frustrated athletes, parents, and coaches because of typos in entered information. Take a moment to check your entries, especially email addresses, before finishing.
Practices start on Monday, 12/4/23 at 3:00 pm. Please make sure all of this is taken care of before then so you don't miss any practices.
Please mark your calendars for a parent meeting on Tuesday, 12/5/23 here at the high school. No fees are due until that Friday. Note that if you know you will not be doing sprints/jumps/throws you can pay your fee anytime between now and Friday, 12/8/23. This fee CANNOT be paid online. You must bring a check payable to "Chardon Athletic Boosters" with "Indoor Track" on the memo line. If you are going to get shorts, you can add the $25 fee for shorts to the program fee and just write one check.
Let me know if you have questions.
Property Valuation & Reappraisal Impact
To support community understanding of how changes in property values impact property taxes and school district revenue, please review the Chardon Schools Facts Sheet, which includes FAQs, a Screencast and Slideshow. Follow-up questions can be directed to Treasurer/CFO Deb Armbruster at 440.285.4052.
After Prom: Attention Class of 2024 Parents
We need to get the ball rolling on Senior After Prom planning. Don't miss out on the opportunity to help make this event a memorable one for our graduating seniors. If you would like to be included in upcoming After Prom planning sessions and/or want to stay in the loop on ways to be involved, email us at email@example.com.
K-12 Monthly Pledge Contest
Student Leadership Opportunity! Would your K-12 student like to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a Board of Education meeting? Student leaders gain practice at public speaking; meet the Superintendent and Board President; and earn a Portrait of a Hilltopper certificate. Enter our monthly contest today for a chance to win!
Link to: https://bit.ly/leadthepledge23
Chardon Local Schools partners with PublicSchoolWORKS to offer the Stay Safe. Speak UP! student safety and bullying prevention program. This 24/7, confidential reporting tool is available to students, parents, staff and the community. Visit the link to learn about 3 easy ways to report and bookmark access to the tool.
Link to: https://bit.ly/chardonnewssssu
Ohio Law requires that students under 18 years of age possess a work permit for NON-SEASONAL (school year) employment. Forms are also available in the Student Services Office or Main Office. After the parent/guardian, employer, and physician complete and sign the permit, the completed permit should be forwarded by the student to the CHS Main Office along with a Proof of Age document. The CHS Main Office processes the work permit via the State Of Ohio website.
Closing Message : A message for our students
This is an email that I sent to all students yesterday.
We are rounding another milestone of the school year. We just have a few regular school weeks left before we head into the midterm schedule. I have spent much of the last two days working with students. One of the experiences that I enjoy is counseling and advising students.
With all of the emotions that we face as students (and staff) outside of the hours of the school day, we often see you and greet you when you are most tired, and lethargic at 7:15 am. Let's be real, mornings are tough for most of us and we are all feeling stressed. Even for the adults that get to school really early--we all need our internal engines to start...and we all have a story that we are bringing to school.
This time of year can impact us differently without us even knowing it. The hustle of school, activities, and the holidays can catch us when we are not ready. What is really important is prioritizing the little things, writing things down, and doing what we can with the time we are given--in school, in class, and with the responsibilities that we all face.
Always know that you are surrounded by people who care for you and want you to be the most successful that you can be at CHS. It is important to seek out help from your teachers for anything: missing assignments, absences, struggle with understanding, not having the energy, or just having someone to listen to you. Your counselors, coaches, staff, and administrators will make the time to be present for your needs. You just need to ask, or have someone ask for you.
We care for you more than you can understand. Take a few moments to reflect on these words, do a little self-reflection internally, and take a deep breath.
One step at a time, one moment at a time, and one day at a time. Together, and that's the key word--TOGETHER--we will transcend as Hilltoppers.
Oftentimes, I feel that I write to just my internal self since I never know who is reading these emails. It only takes one person to make another feel better in the present moment. With that mantra in my head, I wish you a good night and an even better tomorrow. You are loved!