October 25, 2020
The 100% Experience: A Look At Grades K Through 8
This past summer, we struggled to envision what school would look like in the fall as we grappled with the reality of reopening schools in the midst of a global pandemic. On October 5th, thanks to the herculean efforts of our faculty, staff, students, families, and administrators, the Chappaqua Central School District transitioned to 100% in-person learning for grades K-8.
With Chappaqua being among a small number of districts in the region with students attending school full time, reporter David Zweig of NY Magazine visited Grafflin Elementary School in early October.
He was able to witness, firsthand, the innovative use of outdoor spaces, indoor classrooms and common areas to provide our students access to a safe learning environment. In addition to maximizing the physical spaces, Mr. Zweig also observed how our faculty and staff were leveraging technology to engage students, facilitate learning and operate at full capacity while keeping everyone socially distanced. His story, entitled, “Inside The Schools Open Full Time Right Now,” appeared in the October 19th edition of the Intellegencer.
Bell 7-Grader Takes Home The Top Prize
On October 21st, the Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced that Ishana Kumar, currently a 7th-grader at Bell Middle School, won the coveted $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize. It is the top award in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation's premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.
Her journey began in September, when she was named one of the Top 300 MASTERS based on her spring 2020 project, Color Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Role of Retinal Fatigue on Imaginary Fechner Colors. This honor placed her among a select group chosen from 3,476 entrants throughout the United States.
On September 16th, Ishana became 1 of only 30 masters selected for the finals where she virtually presented her research and demonstrated her 21st-century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.
Ishana’s remarkable achievement was recently featured in a press release submitted to yahoo!finance.
How To Create Engaging Instructional Videos
“When created well, instructional videos can be a highly effective medium for supporting instruction in remote, hybrid, and flipped or blended learning environments,” explains Jenny Gieras, a STEAM and math enrichment teacher at Seven Bridges Middle School. “Effective instructional videos are concise--no more than six minutes if possible, as that is the proven drop-off point for attention--have a clear purpose and focus, and, above all, are interesting and engaging.”
In an October 15th article appearing on Edutopia, an online resource that shares evidence- and practitioner-based learning strategies to improve K-12 education, Jenny shares her best practices for creating videos that encourage interaction and engagement. She says she's found success creating instructional videos that fall into three broad categories--screencasting, explainer videos, and live demos--and her article explores some key benefits and offers some suggestions for producing each type of video.
Political Polarization & Politics Today
The AP U.S. Government and Politics at Greeley offers students the opportunity to see how individuals and their ideas can shape the world in which they live. Texts from the American Founding and Supreme Court provide a basis for understanding current issues and debates illustrating government and politics as a dynamic process. Command of the Constitution lies at the center of the course, focusing on questions of liberty and justice. Economic principles, particularly fiscal and monetary policies, are also embedded in the curriculum.
With a presidential election now less than ten days away, it was a perfect time to virtually host HG alum and former student council president David Helfenbein (2004) to speak on the topic of political polarization and politics today, and to answer students’ questions.
David Helfenbein is a strategic communication and public policy expert with a law degree who is focused on crisis and litigation communication, government relations, and public affairs. Under President Obama, David was appointed social media coordinator for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and special assistant to the Secretary in the Office of White House Liaison, both at the U.S. Department of State, where he helped to rebrand the State Department’s web and social presence. He has also worked in Hillary Clinton's Senate and campaign offices, for MSNBC’s Morning Joe, DKC PR, and The Brookings Institution. David speaks frequently about political polarization and the relationship between public figures, politics, and the media. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Washington University School of Law.
Greeley Sports Boosters Seeks Donations For A Training & Development Fund
Greeley Sports Boosters (GSB), the parent organization that supports all Chappaqua Central School District (CCSD) interscholastic sports (grades 7-12), announced the creation of the GSB Training and Development Fund (the Fund). Horace Greeley High School (HGHS) coaches are invited to apply for grants for team development.
The grants, each of which has a maximum of $4,000, can be used for skills training sessions, workshops, professional development, leadership training, athletic equipment, and technology. Coaches are encouraged to think strategically about their program and teams and assess how grants can impact performance, teamwork, and leadership in order to provide positive outcomes for student athletes.
Successful grants will directly support student participation in athletics and enhance the student athlete and team experience. They will also align with GSB’s vision to promote a thriving athletic community centered on high-quality athletic programs for students, athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, and community members.
“We have created the Fund in response to feedback from last year’s Athletic Department Planning Survey conducted by CCSD. Respondents overwhelmingly asked for high-quality training opportunities for athletes,” GSB President Jennifer Bergin said. “Investing in our JV athletes with skill training to ensure they achieve their athletic potential is a priority in the initial years at HGHS. At the varsity level, respondents valued investment in our athletes in order to compete at high levels in the section and state, and to do so in a positive environment that fosters teamwork and leadership skills. We created the Fund to help coaches achieve the desired outcomes articulated by our community,” Bergin added.
“The Fund is a valuable asset for CCSD. Coaches can access funds that provide training opportunities outside of the district budget. It aligns well with the Athletic Department’s goal of creating a high-quality, high-performance athletic experience at HGHS,” said CCSD Athletic Director Jason Semo.
For details about the Fund, including how to donate or the application process, please visit greeleysportsboosters.org/tdf.