With winter’s cold now upon us, it’s time to drag out our winter coats. To be sure that everyone stays warm, Amos 2 is sponsoring a warm coat drive from December 2 – January 31. Lightly used or new coats for children, women and men can be dropped off in the main hallway of Amos 2 at 33 Riggs Road, NE, during school hours. New scarves and gloves are also welcomed. Let’s help ensure that everyone has a warm coat this winter.
CAPCS has always viewed its parents/guardians as partners in the education of their children. With an eye towards better serving our parents and promoting greater involvement by school families, Parent Resource Centers have been established in each of our school buildings, including one at the Central Office for CAPCS Online families. Amos 3 and Butler Global will share a Center in their building. Each Center will offer a warm, welcoming environment where parents will have access to a wealth of information from the latest CAPCS news to upcoming assessment dates. Reading and math resources will provide activities and useful tips parents can use at home to help their children with homework or skill development. Other resources will aid parents in identifying their children’s academic needs and how best to communicate them to teachers. A Parental Involvement Coordinator at each campus will work with parents in exploring how they can play an active role at CAPCS and answer any questions parents may have. Flyers and information on community events or opportunities will be posted on display boards. We encourage all CAPCS parents/guardians to visit the Parent Resource Centers and take advantage of what they have to offer.
A new Arts and Humanities Program is in full swing at Amos 1 aimed at improving literacy skills to drive increased academic achievement. The first phase of the program, funded by a grant from Scholarships for Opportunities and Results (SOAR), is focusing primarily on theater, which research shows has the biggest impact on reading. Theater and performance offer creative ways to enhance literary skills such as reading comprehension, sequencing, determining an author’s intentions, and cause and effect. For example, creating tableaux at the beginning, middle and end of a story helps students master the concept of “what comes next” (sequencing), while acting out episodes from a story teaches cause and effect. Children have been reading scripts and reflecting on the story content and the playwright’s intentions. They also have compared a script to a movie or a story or novel. All these activities promote critical thinking and comprehension. The program also promotes social skills (performing with others takes a lot of cooperation), cultural awareness (studying the legends, stories and poetry of Native Americans) and self expression (telling a story with just your body or just your voice or simply improvising). Students in grades 1st – 5th participate in the program for one hour each week. They will also attend at least one play at a local theater during the school year. Click here to see more pictures and a short video of our performers.
The CAPCS Knights of Chess from Amos 3/Butler Global had more success in their latest tournament play, tying for 7th out of 28 Metro area schools represented by over 100 chess players at the Elementary Team Charity Tournament on Saturday, November 23. Giovanne Stovall led the Knights with a 3-1 record, which placed him in a tie for 7th place in the individual standings. Eight members of the CAPCS Knights competed including, in addition to Giovanne, TaiShun and Que-Shon Neal-Clark, Damien Bell, Rashad Adderly, Arthur Young, Nia Brinkley, and Saddique Stephens. Each team member won at least one of their games, and everyone enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. In addition to tournament play, several Knights participated in a class to help improve their strategies. Other chess club members took a class to further develop their knowledge of the rules of the game to prepare them for participating in future tournaments. The second round of the Elementary Team Charity Tournament is December 7 at the U.S. Chess Center. Click here for a full description of Saturday’s events.
CAPCS, like all DCPS schools and most DC charter schools, will be participating in a new online enrollment system called My School DC beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. It provides a common application and lottery for all participating schools. My School DC will streamline the enrollment process for families and make it easier for schools to track applications through the entire enrollment process. Families fill out one application and may select 10-15 participating schools in order of preference. A common lottery will be held and those who do not receive a place in their preferred school will be placed on a waitlist at that school. The My School DC application will be available as of December 16, 2013 at www.myschooldc.org or through the CAPCS website (CAPCS). CAPCS may not accept any application for next year until that date. The deadline for submitting an application is March 3, 2014, for PreK3 – 8th grade. Parents will be notified of the results of the lottery by March 31st and must accept a seat in a school by May 1st. Those currently enrolled at CAPCS and intend to return next year need not submit an application. For more information about My School DC visit www.myschooldc.org.
CAPCS teachers came away with a host of ideas to enrich their classroom experience at the 3rd annual For Teachers by Teachers Conference held on Saturday, November 16. This event has become one of the most popular professional learning opportunities of the year. Not only does it showcase the work of CAPCS teachers, but it allows them to share activities, strategies and resources that have been successful in their classroom teaching. Workshops addressed everything from going beyond the basics in literacy and math to the use of technology and the wide range of apps now available. The conference kicked off with a dynamic presentation by Rawle Andrews, Jr., Esq., Regional Vice President of AARP, who shared his “5 Keys to Victory” to be successful as professionals. They include
The conference was moved from spring to fall after teachers complained they didn’t have enough time to implement the ideas they heard before school ended. This year will be different; teachers were excited at the prospect of making some of what they heard their own. Thanks to all the talented presenters and to the planning staff led by School Performance Officer Ashaki Goodall, who worked so hard to make this a success.
|CAPCS Board Trustee Robert Hagans, Jr., Founder Kent Amos, Head of Schools Brenda Bethea, and keynote speaker Rawle Andrews, Jr. greet teachers at the conference.|
|Amos 2 Kindergarten teacher Emily Mamdelman shows how to “Maximize Your Literacy Block with Project Work”.|
|Amos 1 5th grade teacher Eric Christopher asks “EnVision Math: So You’ve Got the Basics. Now what?”|
|Director of Instructional Technology Kyle Williams led teachers on an exploration of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) including creating content on Google Drive for students.|
Students at Amos 1 had a lot more than candy on their minds as they went Trick or Treating on Halloween. They were determined to help children around the world who lack sufficient food, clean water or medicine by collecting for UNICEF, a UN organization that has helped millions of children over the years. Their Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF collection boxes were soon loaded with coins. Amos 1 had set a goal of raising $500 in this community project, but in the end they more than doubled their goal, raising $1,110.38. The money has been earmarked for a school that will receive a pump to provide clean water and enough vaccines to protect 50 children from diseases. That beats a Snickers bar any day. For raising the most money ($144), students and parents of Ms. Henry’s 4th grade class received a catered meal from Chipotle. All other classes received a Super High 5, individual High Fives for the school store and a UNICEF certificate. A community project at Amos 1 means everyone participates, including those in the business services office. Mr. Staples and Ms. Green joined Ms. Parrilla in feeding all those coins into a Coin Star machine for over an hour. Congratulations to Amos 1 for undertaking such a worthwhile project.
Building on the success of last year, students at Amos 3 and Butler are mastering the intricacies of chess and are ably representing CAPCS in chess in local tournaments. In addition to the 11-member Knights chess team, more than 20 students participate in a beginners chess club. Both groups are coached by Amos 3 Second Grade teacher Alexander Frawley. Seven Knights team members competed in the Washington International School Chess Tournament on Saturday, November 2. Que-Shon Neal-Clark , Damien Bell, Giovannne Stovall, and Xavier Jones competed in the highly competitive Under 1100 division, while Tai-Shun Neal-Clark, Nia Brinkley, and Rashad Adderly made their tournament debuts in the Under 300 division. All players won at least one of their games. Tai-Shun Neal-Clark took 3rd Place among a field of 25 competitors with a 2-0-2 record. They are looking forward to the start of the Elementary Chess Team League in mid-November followed by the Elementary Team Charity Tournament on November 23rd at the US Chess Center in downtown DC.
The beginners club meets every Friday after school to learn the rules of the game and practice their moves under Mr. Frawley’s guidance. Team members act as assistant coaches and look forward to the beginners soon joining the team and competing. The Knights meet each Wednesday. There is a great deal of excitement among Amos 3 and Butler families about chess and the opportunities it’s offering to students. All of CAPCS is proud of their efforts and their success.
There is a lot going on with STEM education at Amos 3. Now in phase two of the development of a robust STEM Education program for all of its students, we opened a dedicated space within the building to give students an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities with a project- or problem-based approach to learning. This new area is affectionately called the "STEM Lab" by staff and students. The formal name of the area is the F.C. Young Pre-engineering Laboratory, named in honor of Frederick C. Young who provided funding and the inspiration for the lab. Mr. Young received the equivalent of a STEM education at the original Armstrong Vocational High School (now home to Amos 3) in 1933. Our new training lab is equipped with an abundance of scientific hardware, materials, supplies, and current technology to engage students in learning the engineering design process and scientific inquiry to solve problems.
Amos 3 is an official Project Lead the Way (PLTW) School. PLTW is the major partner under which an exciting new elementary STEM pilot curriculum is being field tested this year. Community Academy is the only elementary school in this region to pilot this new STEM curriculum in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Another important partner in our STEM education is Let's GO Boys and Girls Inc. which offers the LET'S GO WeDo Lego® Robotics and Robotics Academy programs. Amos 3 2nd and 3rd graders use software to design and build a working model of a robot while developing STEM skills, as well as language and literacy skills. In the LET'S GO Robotics Academy 5th graders solve problems through a series of self-paced sequential robotic activities. In weekly, in-school sessions students learn how to build and program a robot.
The third tier of STEM education is the Engineering Is Elementary (EiE) curriculum which integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. The STEM lab has 20 units that integrate an elementary school science topic with a specific field of engineering. Each unit begins with a short story about a young main character from a variety of world cultures and backgrounds who introduces students to an engineering problem. Students are then challenged to solve that problem along with the main character.
To learn more about what CAPCS students will experience in STEM please visit www.pltw.org and to learn more about Engineering is Elementary visit www.eie.org. A special section has been established on the Amos 3 campus page where regular updates on STEM activities will be posted. Click here to see what's new and be sure to visit often.
Amos 1 Instructional Coach Natasha Parrilla may have started out with the idea of creating a handy electronic instructional resource for CAPCS teachers but she is reaching a much wider audience. LiveBinder, the company where Ms. Parrilla placed her Instructional Coach Teacher Resources, has selected it for its Feature Binder Page in education, describing it as “relevant and comprehensive”. LiveBinders makes it easy to gather and organize resources in one place and can eliminate all those paper notebooks and binders
Check out www.livebinders.com/shelf/featured or www.livebinders.com for more information. You can obtain Ms. Parrilla’s Instructional Coach Teacher Resources LiveBinder by clicking on the graphic in the gold box of the CAPCS home page. Congratulations to Ms. Parrilla!
CAPCS is undergoing the regular re-accreditation process of the Middle States Association which occurs every 5 years. Stakeholders with first-hand knowledge of CAPCS’ compliance with the Standards for Accreditation/Re-accreditation may submit comments to Middle States. Submissions are due no later than November 1, 2013. For information on submitting comments.
The Eckstine and Ellington Theatre (learn more)