Weekly Update 08.29.16



Weekly Update

Week 4 (8/29/16 – 9/2/16)

4th  Week (out of 9) of the First Quarter

4th Week (out of 38) of the School Year

Days 16-20 (out of 179) of the school year

164 school days left in the school year (incl. 8/29)




Learnapalooza is our biggest fundraiser of the year.  It will take place on Saturday, October 15.  Learnapalooza is an all day teaching and learning festival complete with food trucks, vendors, and amazing classes scheduled throughout the day for all ages and interests.  We will need many volunteers in order to be successful.  More details about how to sign up will be available at our next PTO meeting on Tuesday, September 13.


Highlights From Last Week

Last Wednesday, August 24, two Fulton County Schools Board members, Katha Stuart and Linda McCain (Board President), Deputy Superintendent of Academics, Rob Anderson, and Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Patrick Burke, visited our campus.  They were thoroughly impressed with our campus, our students, and our curriculum.  Wow!

Last Tuesday, August 23, we had LAUNCH! and got excited sharing our different grade level chants. 


Last Friday, August 26, was Final Friday Fun Day $1.00 dress down day.  The theme was Olympic Spirit.  Students dressed in country colors, athletic wear, and, mostly, red, white, and blue.  Each homeroom designed an Olympic event and participated in two or more events throughout the day.  Fun!

After School Signature Programs

Our EMAP (Early Morning and Afterschool Programs) Signature Programs will begin after Labor Day.  Some of the classes available will be Zumba, Swimming, Cheer, Soccer, Piano, Foreign Language, Dance, and Drama.  A complete listing of offerings along with dates, times, and costs will go home at the end of the week next week.


Meal Orders This Week

For the week ahead and thereafter, you will need to pre-order and pay for meals on our Point of Sale (POS) system.  Please aim to pre-order and pay by Wednesday of each week or, even better, order a month at a time.  Remember, you must create and account on our new POS in order to place an order and pay for it.   Please request log-in information from your child’s homeroom teacher early this week if you have not yet received it.


Chick Fil A Fundraiser

We will have sales this Monday, August 29, and Friday, September 2, for adults only, in the left hand lane of the car rider lanes, while supplies last.


Arrival and Dismissal Times

School hours for Kindergarten through 5th grades are 8:30 AM to 3:15 PM.  Early drop off for students begins at 8:00 AM.  Staff members will be on duty to supervise.  Students who arrive between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM will report to the EMAP classroom.  For our new families, EMAP is our Early Morning and Afterschool Program. 
School hours for 6th and 7th grades are 8:00 AM to 3:15 PM.  Early drop off for middle school students begins at 7:45 AM.  Students who arrive between 7:00 AM and 7:45 AM will report to the EMAP classroom.  Siblings of middle school students and those students who carpool with middle school students may attend EMAP from 7:45 AM – 8:00 AM at no cost.


Middle School students who are not in their seats ready to begin their studies at 8:00 AM are considered tardy.  Kindergarten through 5th grade students who arrive after 8:30 AM must be escorted by a parent to the office to sign in as tardy.  Students who are checked out early will earn a full day of attendance if checked out after 11:45 AM.  The last early check out is 2:45 PM unless there is an emergency.


Please call the school at 678-466-7300 if you will be late in picking up (after 3:45 PM) if your child does not attend EMAP.


Permanent car tags are on the way!  (I know!  I keep saying that!)


This Week's Forecast:  Rain possible, low 90s

The forecast is for a chance of rain some days this week.  Please make sure your student has an umbrella (please put first and last name on the umbrella), especially for arrival and dismissal times.  Temperatures in the upper 80s are also predicted.  Please send a re-usable water bottle every day (please put first and last name on the bottle) that can be refilled during the day.


What is a Block Schedule?

CHCS will have a Block Schedule this year.  A Block Schedule is a schedule that has a long  1 ½ hour blocks for specials (art, physical education, science integration, and music) on one day and no specials the next day.  Or, to look at it the other way, long blocks of time for language arts and math one day and a long 1 ½ hour block for specials the next day.  Why a  block schedule?  First, we have 8 grade levels and only 4 specials teachers. Those teachers can’t possibly see all 8 grade levels in a day!  Second, it will allow the specials teachers longer blocks of time to work on projects instead of beginning one day and finishing a day or two later, depending on the schedule.  Third, it will allow longer blocks of instructional time for language arts and math.  Fourth, it will allow teachers longer blocks of planning time when students are at specials. Fifth, the schedule will allow specials teachers one day a week when they don’t see individual classes, but instead get to work collaboratively with teachers in classrooms to plan and implement integrated lessons and units, integrating their specialties with the core curriculum.


National School Lunch Program

CHCS participates in the National School Lunch Program.  We do not yet have a kitchen or cafeteria in which to prepare meals, so we use a vendor, Lunch For Kids, that prepares the food in their kitchens and delivers it each day to our campus.  Using a vendor like this, of course, costs more, thus, our $4.00 per lunch and $1.55 per breakfast prices.  In addition, we have chosen to transition from styrofoam take-out trays for lunch to more environmentally friendly and biodegradable trays, which involves more cost as well.


If your student or students were enrolled at CHCS or any other Fulton County School last school year (2015-2016) and received free or reduced meals, that status will roll over into August.  You must fill out a new form this month, but free or reduced meals will continue into the first part of August.  Forms are available in the front office.


If your student or students were not enrolled in a Fulton County School last school year (2015-2016), your free or reduced status will not roll over to CHCS.  You will have to fill out a form and submit it to the office ASAP.  Meals will not be free or reduced until the form is received in the office, submitted by the office to the agency, and approved.  Meal costs during the application period are not retroactive and will not be reimbursed. 

If you have never received free or reduced meals for your student, please fill out the application and submit it as soon as possible. 



STAR assessments begin this week.


Monday                B Day; LAUNCH at 10:25 AM in the car rider turnaround

Tuesday               A Day; 

Wednesday B Day

Thursday              A Day

Friday                   B Day; College and Career Free Dress Down Day (wear college

                                      apparel or career apparel)



Our Vision is for students to live meaningful, healthy, flourishing lives through immersion in the arts, agriculture, and the environment.



Our Mission is to inspire all children to the highest levels of academic achievement through a rigorous curriculum that integrates the wonders of the natural world.



Our Goal is for our students to cultivate the capacity to achieve a meaningful, healthy, flourishing life that embodies responsibility, stewardship, experiential engagement with the arts, agriculture, and the environment in informed, imaginative, and rigorous ways.



Our Values are:

The Joy of Learning

Academic Rigor

The Environment as a Classroom

Inclusive Participation




Courageous Excellence

Social Responsibility

Art In Every Facet of Teaching and Learning

Deliberate, Thoughtful Decision-Making

Sustainability in All That We Do



Our Focus is on a hands-on thematic instructional approach that uses the school’s unique rural surroundings as a framework. It positions agricultural, environmental, and artistic themes as lenses through which the Georgia state performance standards will be achieved and exceeded.


Core Beliefs

  1. All students have the ability to achieve academic excellence.

  2. All students thrive in an engaging school environment.

  3. All students deserve outstanding teachers that produce outstanding results.

  4. All students deserve teamwork between parents and teachers.



    We have a culture of “How might we?”.  How might we inspire children with a curriculum that integrates the wonders of the natural world so that it changes their definition of what's possible?


     Please remember….

    Order lunch for next week; even better, next month.


    Students should be walking to their classrooms in the morning on their own. Parents and other family members should drop their students off in the car rider lane and allow them to walk in on their own. 


    Any car in the car rider lane must have a CHCS-issued car rider tag hanging on the rear view mirror or the car will be flagged to park and go to the office for a license check.  We put child safety first, plus it helps speed up the dismissal process.  Thanks!


    Please put on your blinkers when you enter the turnaround for afternoon dismissal and turn them off when your car is loaded.  This helps speed up the dismissal process, too.



    Did you know?

    Our allocation from Fulton County Schools is $4.2 million for 2016-2017.  Out of that allocation we pay salaries, benefits, rent for the property, insurances, utilities, repairs, improvements, equipment, supplies, etc.


    Who are we? 

    Our class size limit is 20 students.  We have 23 homerooms, so we will have 460 students this year!  That's 110 more students than we finished with in May. 


    We have 51 staff members.  That's a ratio of 9 students to 1 staff member.




    Please access your child’s standards at https://www.georgiastandards.org/standards/Pages/BrowseStandards/GPS_by_Grade_Level_K-8.aspx


    Standards are what children need to know, understand, and be able to do.



    Instructions and log-in information for the parent portal were given out at Open House.  If you did not receive them, please contact your child’s teacher.  The first progress report will be distributed on Friday, September 9.  The first report card will be distributed on Tuesday, October 18.


    We will begin the Fall administration of STAR (Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading) for all grade levels this week.  STAR assesses both reading and math progress.  It is called a “universal screener” because all students will complete this assessment.  Universal screening is a critical first step in identifying students who are at risk for experiencing reading and math difficulties and who might need more time, support, and strategies.  STAR is administered 3 times each year to monitor progress and inform instruction and individual learning plans.  For more information on the STAR assessment, please go to:  http://doc.renlearn.com/KMNet/R0054872491706A8.pdf


    Teachers will also assess students’ reading fluency and comprehension via a guided reading assessment.  Each student meets one on one with a teacher and reads a passage and answers comprehension questions on the passage.  The student then receives a score which gives a reading level.  


    We will begin the Fall administration of MAP in September.  MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments are computerized tests that are adaptive. When taking a MAP® test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions become more difficult. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions become easier. In an optimal test, a student answers approximately half the items correctly and half incorrectly. The final score is an estimate of the student’s achievement level.  MAP is administered 3 times each year to monitor progress and inform instruction and individual learning plans.  For more information on MAP, please visit:  https://www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2014/07/ParentToolkit_0.pdf


    Kindergarten students will be assessed on the GKIDS assessment tool throughout the year.  For more information on the GKIDS assessment, please go to:  https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Assessment/Documents/GKIDS/GKIDS%20Parent%20Brochure%202015-16.pdf


    Writing is an integral part of each student’s education and is integrated into every subject area.  Students will complete one piece of writing through the month and one piece of writing on a common writing day where most of the students on campus will be writing at the same time.  Writing pieces will be scored on a rubric and added to each student’s portfolio which will follow him or her throughout his or her years here at CHCS.  


    Georgia Milestones is the end of grade assessment for 3rd-7th grade CHCS students from April 17-May 5, 2017.  Students are assessed in reading, language arts, writing, math, social studies, and science.  We are awaiting confirmation of a report that social studies and science will only be assessed in 3rd and 5th grades at CHCS this year.


    A student progress recording sheet was part of the welcome packet received at Open House.  Please record STAR, MAP, Guided Reading, report card grades, and Georgia Milestones scores on this recording sheet so you can monitor your student's progress throughout the year.


    The first B Day of each week (weather permitting) at 10:25 AM, the whole school meets in the turnaround around the flagpole for “LAUNCH”.  It’s a community-building time to say the pledge of allegiance, have a moment of silence, hear a motivating word, hear some announcements, and count down to a great week.  Come join us!




    We work hard to dismiss students in a timely way!  We dismiss 300 + students via our car rider lanes each day and their safety is the most important thing.  Please bear with us as this takes time!


    Dismissal begins at 3:15 PM with Mr. Lennert and Mr. Robinson walking through the line and calling numbers on the walkie talkie to the teachers who are supervising students in centralized classrooms where all students in a grade level wait quietly to hear their car rider number called.  When students hear their number, they walk to the appropriate car rider lane, get in the appropriate line (separated by grade levels), and wait for their car.


    This year we’re doing something a little different!  Parents of students in Kindergarten through 7th grade will line up in the right car rider lane and 900 numbers (carpoolers) will line up in the left lane.  K-7 will proceed into the car rider turnabout and 900 number carpoolers will drive across, into the parking lot and into the lane between the playground and the buildings.


    If, for some reason, your child does not come to your car when called, we may ask you to pull aside into a waiting area to allow the other cars to leave the campus.  


    At Open House you received a car rider tag.  If, for some reason, you or your designated driver don't have a car rider tag, please stop by the office in the morning to get one.  If afternoon transportation ever changes during the year, please notify your child's teacher.  If you or your designated driver do not have a CHCS-issued car tag, we will ask you to park and go to the office to present identification and get a temporary pass.  Hand-made car tags will not be honored.  Remember!  Anyone can make a hand-made car tag!  Help us to maintain safety and security for all students!  Please make sure your child knows his or her car rider number.


    Please remember that there are no left turns into the car rider lane or into the main entrance during arrival time and dismissal time. Also, there are no U-TURNS on Rivertown Road or Cochran Mill Road at any time. CHPD will be issuing tickets for violations.  We are required to go down South Fulton Parkway, make a right onto Cochran Mill Road, and then make a right onto Rivertown Road.  The City is working on a plan to add a passing lane by the car rider entrance to allow left hand turns.  We’ll keep you updated.


    Sixth and seventh grade students (and their siblings or car pool friends who may go to Building B for EMAP -  no charge) may be dropped off in the turnaround from 7:45 AM - 8:00 AM.  (All other grade level students should line up in the car rider line.)  EMAP staff will watch from the Administration building as 6th and 7th grade students walk from their cars to Building B or to Building M to get their breakfast.  Students will wait in Building B until middle school teachers finish their morning staff meetings.


    Please do not pull into the open gate near the administration trailer as there will be no staff present to supervise students in that area.


    We are trying hard to speed up the car rider lane!  Please help us:

  1. Please pull all the way up so we can get as many cars as possible in the lane.

  2. In the morning, please stay in your car and allow the staff to help your child out of the car.

  3. Please do not park and drop your child off in the morning.  Please get in the car rider line.

  4. Please do not park and bring your car rider number to a staff member in the turnaround in the afternoon.  We will not be able to accommodate your request.

  5. In the afternoon, please hang your car rider number on your rear view mirror and leave it there until your child gets in the car.

  6. Please put your blinkers on when you enter the lane and turn them off when your child gets in the car.

  7. You may want to wait to get in the afternoon dismissal line at 3:30. The line is moving much more quickly at that time.




    After the third week of school, any student who does not pre-order a meal will be given a sandwich, fruit, vegetable, and milk as Lunch For Kids will only deliver as many meals as were pre-ordered.  The fee for these meals will be invoiced.  Meals must be ordered a month in advance.  Please make sure you checkout and pay (if applicable) or your order will not be completed and a meal will not be delivered for your child.  Meals must be pre-ordered whether the meal is free, reduced, or full price.  Please order meals for a month at a time.


    Even if you don’t plan to use the school lunch program, please set up an account anyway, just in case. The POS system will be used for fundraisers, field trips, etc. as well.  There is no cost to set up an account.


    If you have any difficulties, please let us know.  We can walk you through the process on our computers in the office.


    Please remember that we are a peanut-free and tree nut-free campus.


    We will have a school-sponsored Chick Fil-A fundraiser on Mondays and Fridays beginning the second week of school.  We will sell Chick Fil-A chicken biscuits for $3.00 and drinks for $1.00 to parents only.  We will not sell biscuits or drinks to students as per federal and state guidelines. We encourage use of our Lunch For Kids breakfast option for our students.  Supplies will be limited each day.


    Please save BOXTOPS FOR EDUCATION!  Box tops are a great way for our school to earn free money.  We are currently collecting box tops through September 2nd.  After that, we will continue to collect for the next submission date.  There is a collection box in the front office.  There will be a prize for the homeroom with the most box tops!


    Thanks for supporting CHCS!




    School uniforms are expected the first day of school.  If you are encountering any problems, please let your student's teacher know.  Shirts are ordered from Land's End and bottoms may be purchased from any vendor or store.


    School uniform is a navy blue school logo shirt for K-4th grades and an evergreen school logo shirt of 5th-7th grades.  Bottoms (pants, shorts, capris, skorts, dress with school logo, jumper with school logo) can be brown, black, blue, or khaki.


    Please make sure your child has an extra uniform outfit at school in case of an accident or a fall in the mud (It happens!).


    Please make sure your child has a raincoat and an umbrella on rainy days.


    Please make sure your child has a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf on cold days as we will be outside!




    The first PTO $1.00 Dress Down Day will be Friday, September 9.


    The next Final Friday Fun Day $1.00 Dress Up or Down Day will be Friday, September 30.



    The next School Board meeting is Monday, September 26, at 7:00 PM in Building F1.  Each meeting provides an opportunity for stakeholders to speak.  (Subsequent meetings will be:  10/27; 11/7; 12/5; 1/9; 2/6; 3/6; 4/3; 5/8; 6/26)


    The CHCS charter and application, work, committees, policies, and draft policies can be found at governance.chatthillscharter.org .


    PTO meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month except for October, November, and February when the second Tuesday falls on a day off for students (October and November) or on Valentines Day in Feburary.  The next PTO meeting will be held Tuesday, September 13, at 6:30 PM.  Subsequent meetings will be held on the following dates:  10/18, 11/15, 12/13, 1/10, 2/21, 3/14, 4/11, 5/9. 


    The next Oz Pizza Spirit Night will be September 20, from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM at Oz Pizza in Fairburn.


    Check out the new PTO website at www.chatthillscharterpto.org.



    The next days off for students are Monday, September 5, for Labor Day, and Monday and Tuesday, October 10 and 11, for Columbus Day and Teacher Workday.





    Please like our Facebook page (Chatt Hills Charter School).  As I'm able, I will post pictures during the day.  


    Please sign up for our REMIND text service.  We will send reminder and alert texts during the week. To receive these texts, please text: @chcbuttler to the number 81010.  You will receive a welcome text from Remind.  If you have trouble with 81010, try texting @chcbuttler to (678) 249-3787.


    Please sign up for our Mail Chimp Emails.  We will send reminder and alert emails during the week, as well, and a weekly update on Sunday evenings with news, events, dates, times, etc.  You don’t want to miss these communications!  To receive these Mail Chimp Emails, please email Jessica Denton at Jessica.Denton@chatthillscharter.org.  In the subject line, please type, SIGN ME UP!, and include your email address in the text box.


    Also, please visit our website!  The student and family handbook posted there is the best around!


    Cell Phones

    Students may have cell phones at school, but phones must remain in the off or silence mode and in backpacks. Cell phones may be used during the day only for class assignments and only with teacher permission. CHCS will not be responsible for cell phone damage or loss.




    Each family is required to volunteer 15 hours per year (20 hours if you have 2 or more students enrolled.)  One hour is awarded for attendance at each PTO meeting.  Other volunteer opportunities include walking trail volunteers, lamination to be cut out, science journals to be stapled, and printable books to be copied, cut, and stapled.


    Please volunteer to help serve lunch to students each day.  Please follow the link in order to sign up:  https://doodle.com/5tbh8s4krk57cv9




    Mid-Year celebration days will be by invitation and will be held Thursday, January 12, 2017, for 5th, 6th, and 7th grades and Friday, January 13, 2017, for K-4th grades in one classroom per grade level.


    End of year celebration days for all students will be held in individual classrooms on the following dates:  K/1, May 22; 2/3,May 23; and 4-7, May 24.


    Field Days will be:  K/1, May 15; 2/3, May 16; and 4-6, May 17.  May 18 will be the rain date.  


    The last day of school is Thursday, May 25.  It will be a half-day, ending at 11:30 AM.  There will be no after school EMAP the last day of school. 




    Each parent will receive a background check form.  Background checks must be completed in order for someone to volunteer on campus.  Simply fill out your form and return to school as soon as possible.  The forms will be stored at the CHPD building and not returned to the school.




    09/02          FREE College and Career Dress Up Day

    09/05          No School – Labor Day

    09/09          PTO $1.00 Dress Down Day

    09/13          PTO Meeting 6:30 PM

    09/16          Lifetouch Picture Day     

    09/19-23     Pollution Awareness Week

    09/20          Spirit Night at Oz Pizza from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

    09/21          Title 1 Parent Workshop 7:15 AM and 4:30 PM

    09/26          Board Meeting 7:00 PM

    10/10          NO SCHOOL – Columbus Day

    10/11          NO SCHOOL – Teacher Workday and Parent-Teacher Conferences

    11/8            NO SCHOOL – Teacher Workday

    11/21-25     NO SCHOOL – Thanksgiving Break

    12/23-1/8    NO SCHOOL – Holiday Break

    1/9              1st Day of the Second Semester

    1/16            NO SCHOOL – Dr. King’s Birthday

    2/17-20       NO SCHOOL – President’s Holiday Weekend

    3/10            NO SCHOOL – Teacher Workday

    3/13            NO SCHOOL – Teacher Workday

    4/3-4/7        NO SCHOOL – Spring Break

    5/25            LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (HALF DAY – 11:45 AM RELEASE – NO EMAP)


    *February17, March 10, and May 26 may be used as inclement weather make-up days, if necessary.

    Please let me know how I can serve you!  

    Email me at Walter.Buttler@chatthillscharter.org or call the office at 678-466-7300.

Have a great week!