March 26, 2021
Dear Chappaqua Central School District Community,
Spring recess has arrived and I hope you will take this opportunity to pause, relax and enjoy the holidays with your families.
Spring is a season of hope – and as vaccinations ramp up, we are optimistic that better days are soon ahead for our CCSD community.
I cannot thank our staff, students, and parents enough for their continued partnership and support as we head toward the finish line of a challenging year. With that said, we all know we are not out of the woods quite yet. If you decide to travel or spend time with your extended family, please remain vigilant and follow NYS travel quarantine guidelines. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building principal when we return from break.
Enjoy the spring weather, stay safe, and thank you, again, for your commitment to keeping our community healthy.
Christine Ackerman, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
The District’s Community Advisory Committee on Antiracism, Equity, and Social Justice (CARES) is meeting monthly and has identified three focus areas for our work based on student data, research and the personal experiences of members of our school community.
Please watch this brief video from CARES members
CARES Focus Areas
Historical Fiction Book Clubs
An essential element of historical fiction is that it is set in the past and pays attention to the manners, social conditions, and other details of the depicted period. Authors also frequently choose to explore notable historical figures in these settings, allowing readers to better understand how these individuals might have responded to their environments.
In fourth grade, Roaring Brook students are engaged in historical fiction book clubs. Guided by their teachers, students have a voice in selecting their books. Some recent titles include I Survived The American Revolution, Bud, Not Buddy, A Lion to Guard Us, Refugee, I Survived The Joplin Tornado, and the “My America” series.
During the book clubs, students participate and exchange ideas in a variety of ways, such as read alouds, group discussions, Jamboards and Padlets. This enables them to further study the complexity of characters and explore themes while developing skills such as inference and interpretation, reading analytically, synthesizing complicated narratives, and comparing and contrasting themes.
Studies have shown that when students read historical fiction in groups, their comprehension improves, and their ability to spot the connections between their own lives and the lives of people throughout history grows.
Design Process Applied To Ancient Civilizations Study
Students in Beth Reilly’s 5th grade Social Studies class at Seven Bridges have taken their learning about Aztecs and Mayan civilizations to the next level by applying the CCSD Design Process. After learning about the life and culture of these civilizations, as well as the environmental resources available to them, students researched and explored problems these societies faced.
They then brainstormed solutions and designed tools the Aztecs or Mayans could have created using materials from their environment. Next, they constructed prototypes of their tools using materials from the school’s STEAM Center and concluded by presenting their work to classmates.
Ms. Reilly has worked together with Jenny Gieras, 7B’s STEAM Instructor, this year to integrate student-centered, project-based learning in her English and Social Studies classes. Driven by inquiry, these opportunities for students to explore their interests and create have helped keep engagement high while also supporting a deeper understanding of the curriculum.
Writing And Creating New Media
What does it mean to tell a story with images? With words? New media has transformed the way stories are told, and at Greeley a new interdisciplinary course affords students the opportunity to creatively explore the elements of visual storytelling.
Co-taught by Jacqueline Abair (English) and Louise Brady (Art), students in the school’s new Writing and Creating New Media course explore techniques such as imagery, sound, point-of-view, character, and setting, in both film and literature. This dynamic duo first hit it off a few years back during the inaugural cohort of the District’s iFellows when they both expressed a passion for having students take deep dives into the creative process.
This led them to reimagine the school’s media production curriculum as a very hands-on, student-centered experience, complete with group work, film discussions, poetry dissections, making connections between genres, and GLC studio work with state-of-the-art audio/video equipment funded by a grant from the Chappaqua School Foundation. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, most of that work was not feasible, so the two had to reconceive their already reimagined course.
They prioritized building community amongst the class by reading poems about self-portraits and aspects of identity before creating their own portrait poem and working in small groups to provide feedback. Visual presentations of the poem ranged from spoken word performance to video illustrations. They then focused on social justice themes and empowering students to find their voices resulting in the creation of either a screenplay, PSA, spoken word/song, art installation, photo essay, graphic short story, graphic design/infographic, or the perfect tweet/digital activism, to be shared with authentic audiences. Future lessons will focus on exploring different points of view and tackling the dilemmas created by the media.
Non-fiction Research Writing
Third-graders at Grafflin just completed their 2nd writing unit, The Art of Information Writing.
First, students brainstormed their topics, did a little research and fleshed out chapter headings. Next, they organized their information and wrote a draft. After doing a little more research to balance their facts and ideas, they elaborated on what they had and used transition words to link their writing. Then, they made revisions and experimented with different text structures such as cause/effect, pros/cons, problem/solution, compare/contrast, and boxes/bullets, before collaborating on the final revision process.
With a completed manuscript in hand, they were ready to share their work with the world. To do that, they used the digital resource - “Book Creator” - to combine text, images, and audio to publish their books. Their books will be curated online and also shared with second-graders for use as a mentor text when they begin their expert writing unit. The books can also be downloaded and shared with family and friends.
We Shall Overcome
The Middle School Music Department designed and facilitated a lesson around the song, We Shall Overcome, and its evolution over time as an anthem for social justice.
Students at Bell listened to a reading and performance of the book, We Shall Overcome, by Debbie Levy, and learned of the song’s significance to the civil rights movement. In addition, they explored how the song was adopted for social justice movements in other countries.
As an extension, students heard performances of the song by Louis Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson--along with additional songs such as We Are The World by USA For Africa, Redemption Song by Bob Marley, and Imagine by John Lennon--and investigated their roles in the promotion of social justice.
Students were also invited to record themselves singing We Shall Overcome or playing it on their instrument.
Flat Stanley Really Gets Around
After traveling more than 45,000 miles, Flat Stanley is safe and sound back in the first-grade wing at Westorchard.
His adventures first began when students read the chapter book Flat Stanley, which is about a young boy who is accidentally flattened. The story goes on to tell how Stanley discovers some real advantages to being flat. He can slide under doors, go into sidewalk grates, and even fold himself up small enough to fit into an envelope and be mailed to California for an exciting vacation.
In a literacy-based project that included elements of writing and communication skills, social studies, geography, and creativity, students had their flat Stanleys mimic his travels by sending them off to visit friends and relatives all over the world. They first needed to write a letter introducing Stanley and explaining what the recipients should be doing with their new flat friend. The Stanleys returned with letters, pictures, postcards, maps, souvenirs, and interesting facts about the locations visited.
Sending Stanley to different places, be it in our community, across the country, or around the world, helps students see what life is like for families everywhere.
Town of New Castle Form Based Code DGEIS
The Chappaqua Central School District is an Interested Agency with respect to the Town of New Castle’s Form Based Code zoning proposal, and the required hearing process in connection with the Town’s Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS).
In accordance with the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Board of Education, as a fiduciary of CCSD, submitted written comments within the public hearing process and has requested further analysis on possible impacts to the school district.
While we welcome feedback from our community on all CCSD-related matters, at this time, any further comments related to the FBC or the DGEIS should be directed to the Town Board.
Thank You Chappaqua PTA!
The Chappaqua Central School District is very fortunate to have strategic partners in education that provide for a variety of programs and projects that the District might otherwise not be able to pursue.
The Chappaqua PTA strives to enhance the partnership among parents, the school, and the community and provide programs that benefit children in all schools and supplement the curriculum.
Like our teachers, our PTAs had to pivot during the pandemic to support the special programming that we have come to know and love. Programs such as back-to-school and new family events, theater productions, story walks, cultural enrichment, dance parties, game nights, and author days. Take a look at a few of the amazing opportunities provided for our students during the year due to the hard work of our parents, with many more to come.
Young Writers Conference - Moved to an online event with 50+ students writing fiction, memoirs, comedy and more.
After School Music - A new program was launched with 80+ students (grades 4-8) participating in virtual group instrumental and voice lessons.
The Show(s) Must Go On - Since live shows are not allowed, CPTA Theater went virtual offering combined elementary school (Charlotte’s Web) and middle school (Elf Jr.) productions.
CPTA STEM - 100+ students participated in a remote Weekend of Code, both MS Science Olympiad teams advanced to state-level competition, and the 7th Annual STEMFest was a huge success.
Health Screenings & Immunizations Needed For The 2021-2022 School Year
Incoming K | 1 | 3 | 5 | 7 | 9 | 11 | 12 | New
As we begin to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, our primary concern remains the health and safety of our students. To that end, please be aware of the following health screening and immunization requirements needed in order for your child to start the new school year in September:
Health Screenings and Immunizations Needed For The 2021-22 School Year
1DUE MAY 1, 20211
NYSED has mandated health appraisal forms (physicals) for our students be on file at the health office.
- 1st Grade
- 3rd Grade
- 5th Grade
- 7th Grade
- 9th Grade
- 11th Grade
- All students who are new to the District (regardless of incoming grade level)
Physicals are valid for one year: any physical performed by a New York State physician on or after September 1, 2020 will be considered current.
For those students who have physicals and/or immunizations scheduled after May 1, 2021, please notify your school nurse of the appointment date. All health forms must be submitted and processed in order for your child to attend school in September 2021. You can access the Certification of Immunization form here. We also ask that you submit other pertinent medical forms (Emergency Allergy Procedure form, Asthma Action Plans, medication form) before the start of the school year. You can find the links for various health-related forms below:
OTC/Prescription Medicine Authorization and Self-carry Attestation Form
OTC/Prescription Medicine Authorization and Self-carry Attestation Form
6th Grade / 11 Yrs. Old
No student entering 6th grade who is 11 years old prior to September 1, 2021 will be permitted to start school without first receiving this vaccine as required by New York State Law. Documentation that your child has received this vaccine should be submitted to his or her School Health Office by May 1, 2021. If your child will not be 11 years old by September 1, 2021, s/he is required to receive this vaccine within 2 weeks of their 11th birthday or s/he will be excluded from school.
No student entering 7th grade will be permitted to start school without first receiving one dose of this vaccine as required by New York State Law. Please forward this documentation (or scheduled appointment date) to your child’s School Health Office by May 1, 2021.
No student entering 12th grade will be permitted to start school without one vaccine administered AFTER their 16th birthday as required by New York State Law. Please forward this documentation (or scheduled appointment date) to the Greeley Health Office by May 1, 2021.
Please contact your school’s Nurse if you have any questions.
Douglas Grafflin ES
Robert E. Bell MS
Roaring Brook ES
Seven Bridges MS
Horace Greeley HS