We are excited to share this month’s edition of What’s Happening in Chappaqua’s Schools. Please enjoy these highlights from our schools and classrooms. For more news from the District, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
On behalf of the CCSD faculty and staff, I want to wish you and your family a safe and restful break.
I hope that you are able to take time over the next 10 days to share meaningful memories and moments with your children and loved ones.
Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season and a happy and peaceful New Year!
National Inclusive Schools Week & Unity Day
The Chappaqua Central School District celebrated National Inclusive Schools Week (NISW) from December 5th – 9th. National Inclusive Schools Week is an annual event that celebrates the progress that schools have made in supporting a culture of inclusiveness and providing a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population. This year’s theme was Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Understood, Be You! In partnership with the PTA, all CCSD schools held events and learning experiences to recognize NISW.
Please find highlights from some of our NISW activities throughout the District below, and learn more details about our NISW events on our website here.
- Students throughout the District received a flower petal and were asked to write or draw about what defines who they are. These petals came together on a bulletin board display in each school focused on students and their identities.
- Elementary classes participated in a read-aloud of All The Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans With Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel and third and fourth graders each had special assemblies with guest speakers focused on inclusion.
- Students at Bell and Seven Bridges Middle Schools participated in a series of mini lessons throughout the week focused on visible and invisible disabilities.
- At Greeley, NISW events were held each day of the week. Some of this year’s events included a QR code day featuring information about NISW, a shared move day experience, and Quakerfest, where student clubs joined together to play games and build community.
National Inclusive Schools Week culminated with Unity Day on Friday, December 9, 2022. Members of the Greeley BIPOC Student Union worked with other Greeley student organizations to create a day when their school community could intentionally commit, and recommit, itself to recognizing that every member of our community is valued and that every member of our community belongs. The day concluded in shared learning experiences in all of our schools, including keynote speakers in our middle and high schools.
Read more about our December 9th Unity Day events on our website here.
Seven Bridges Students Share STEAM Journey
At the December 14th Board of Education, Seven Bridges Middle School students presented their STEAM journey. Twelve students, along with Principal Dr. Joe Mazza, Assistant Principal Jessica Rappaport, and STEAM teacher Jenny Gieras, led the Board and District administrators through a tour of their STEAM Center and demonstrated their learning and a variety of projects.
Students greeted the Board and administrators at stations exploring topics like designing augmented and virtual reality models; digital design of infographics and interactive posters; 3D printing to design roller coaster parts; robotic vehicle construction and programming; and using reclaimed wood to create school and garden improvement products using fabrication equipment & machinery. At each station, students led live demonstrations using the tools, technology, and skills.
Dr. Mazza introduced the students’ work with a focus on developing student agency, sharing that it empowers learners so their minds and hearts become the engines that drive the learning. He focused on the growth of STEAM over time at Seven Bridges. Ms. Gieras highlighted the curriculum alignment work that has taken place throughout the technology department and described students engaged in the STEAM Center throughout the day, both in and outside of class. Ms. Gieras shared, “The STEAM Center is a space where kids can explore their interests, learn and apply their understanding through hands-on activities, and develop ideas they can see through to completion, from inception through the design process.”
Thank you to Dr. Mazza, Ms. Rappaport, Ms. Gieras, and our wonderful Seven Bridges students for sharing their learning and experiences with our community.
Elementary Schools Kick Off Mock Caldecott Awards Activity
The Caldecott Medal is one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. Every year, the Caldecott committee members read, examine and critique the best-illustrated children’s books of the year to determine which one deserves the highly-regarded award and which others will receive honorary mention. This year, CCSD elementary schools did the same, holding their own mock Caldecott contest, celebrating some of their favorite books.
“We are so excited to have students participate in the first annual cross-elementary CCSD Mock Caldecott Contest,” explained Suzanne Stolzenberg, Library Media Specialist at Roaring Brook. “Starting the week of November 21st, during Library classes students learned about the history of the award, discussed some previous winners, and then dug into a scoring rubric while closely studying each section.”
Criteria 1 - The illustration technique is well done (collage, watercolor, drawing, etc.)
Criteria 2 - The illustration technique is a good match for the mood and themes of the story
Criteria 3 - The illustrations are critical to understanding the story
Criteria 4 - The illustrations make me want to pick up the book and read it
For our CCSD contest, Westorchard Library Media Specialist Andrea Schaber and Assistant Principal Alissa Stoever curated a short list of titles that met this criteria and students will be voting on the winners in January, right before the actual Caldecott selection. Their list was inspired by the annual Mock Caldecott list created by educators and authors Colby Sharp and John Schu.
Mrs. Stoever shared, “I love hearing how students are thinking critically about the artistry and how illustrations contribute to the mood and theme of the story.”
CCSD Winter Concerts
Chappaqua’s schools are fortunate to have a music education program that includes amazing classes and curricular opportunities in all of our schools and a robust schedule of concerts for our school community. Throughout December and January, our secondary students are performing in seven concerts featuring a range of student groups.
This winter’s concert series kicked off with Bell and Seven Bridges Middle Schools. Each school hosted an evening concert featuring performances from their orchestra, band and choral groups. Then, Greeley’s symphony, string and chamber orchestras took the stage, followed by the concert, symphonic and stage bands. On Wednesday, the chorus and both the Madrigal and Treble Choirs performed. After the recess, Greeley’s Acapella Concert will take place on January 6th and the series will conclude with CCSD Sings on January 18th, featuring 8th grade and high school choral ensembles.
Learn more about the CCSD music education program on our website here. Below, enjoy some highlights from this winter’s concert series.
Introducing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
This year, Chappaqua’s schools have implemented a new framework for supporting our students called Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, commonly known as MTSS. This District-wide system focuses on improved outcomes for all students through tiered levels of support to address students’ specific academic, socioemotional or behavioral needs. MTSS is intended to maximize instruction for all students by engaging in a continuous process of problem-solving based on data.
MTSS is the next generation of response-to-intervention (RTI) and was a recommendation of last year’s Special Education Audit. At the December 14th Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Jamie Edelman updated the Board on this year’s progress implementing MTSS. A District leadership team has been meeting regularly to guide the launch of this system and our elementary schools have recently held two joint faculty meetings focused on MTSS. At the middle and high schools, MTSS meetings happen regularly between our counselors, clinicians and assistant principals to develop systematic plans to support students.
Chappaqua Continuing Education
Winter Session ~ Registration Is Open
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” ~ Thomas Huxley
We are happy to announce that CCE has an exciting line-up for the winter. Our program will be a hybrid of in-person classes, which will meet at Horace Greeley High School (unless otherwise noted), and online classes via Zoom, which can be taken from the comfort of your home!
Art / Art Appreciation / Art Virtual Tours ♦ College Prep ♦ Culinary ♦ Exercise ♦ Finance ♦ Photography / Technology ♦ World Languages
- Classes begin January 9, 2023.
- Register early to ensure your spot because many classes sell out quickly.
- We do cancel classes for lack of enrollment, so don’t delay in expressing your interest.
Please visit www.chappaquaschools.org/cce for course descriptions and to register, or call 238-7201 ex. 2318.
Winter Break Office Hours
District offices will have Winter Recess Hours in effect from Tuesday, December 26th through Friday, December 30, 2022.
During this time, our administrative and school building offices will be open Tuesday through Friday from 7:30am to 3:30pm. All buildings will be CLOSED on Monday, December 26th and Monday, January 2nd.
This will enable us to have a consistent operations schedule across the District and at the same time allow our custodians to prepare our buildings in a more efficient manner for when students return on Tuesday, January 3rd.
Please note that these adjusted office hours will not affect any winter recreational programs that use District facilities.