Features

Coach’s Corner (Updates from our CHS Instructional Coach, Ms. Cammarata)
The past few months have been an especially busy time as we tackle the continuous task of studying the quality of our instructional practices at our school and supporting the professional development of our teachers. In March, I attended the NYS Next Generation Standards Conference in Rochester, NY. At the conference, we learned about the upcoming changes to the NYS Learning Standards, how these standards relate to the current standards, and a timeline for implementation. I’ve had the opportunity to share this with administrators and some teachers during common planning time. I will be sharing more information in this regard as we get closer to implementation dates. Right now the state is in the Phase I – “Raising Awareness” of implementation, with Phase III – “Full Implementation” of the new standards happening in September 2020.

The school’s first educational book club met last month and we discussed a chapter from A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. This book was referenced multiple times at an MYP conference I attended, and we focused on the chapter dealing with students and building questioning skills in the classroom. Teachers who attended the book club received one hour of CTLE credit toward their certification requirements.

Quill, Schoology, and BPS Instructional Priorities have been the main focus of coaching with teachers during the 3rd and 4th quarters. Quill is a literacy/writing improvement program that all teachers, grades 5-12, have access to and can assign supplemental activities. I had specialized training sessions with the ELA Dept and grades 5/6 to introduce Quill and how our students can benefit from it. Since then, many teachers have signed up and Grade 5 has been completing hundreds of activities! Schoology is a Learning Management System that allows teachers to upload classroom work and create/grade assignments/activities all in one place…it is an exciting glimpse into the future of education. On the last Early Release Day, I had a the opportunity to walk through Schoology with every single teacher, in addition to Office 365 and eDoctrina, which will continue to be useful as our school expands to full 1-1 technology implementation. Our City Honors Schoology group has 80 members consisting of teachers, administrators, and teacher assistants/aides. I use this group to communicate initiatives (like the BPS Instructional Priorities), helpful resources, and it is a one-stop shop for all of our data/assessment information. I have also been meeting bi-weekly with our building’s district technology liaison to help answer questions and learn new programs which I can turn-key to teache

Parents: Unstructured time, unoccupied homes due to family travel, empty cottages and college students home for the recess all increase the likelihood of underage drinking events during school breaks. Please set up systems to closely monitor your home if you are away and string accountability for your child if they are out with friends. Your vigilance helps our city and helps our children stay safe while they are still developing! There is a chance your child may begrudge you in the short term for this good parenting, but they will definitely respect and love you more in the long-term when they understand the world better.

As noted at the bottom of every Hilltop Notes: Children are endangered by underage house parties and underage drinking. Concerned adults, teachers, students and friends can call 24 hours a day in Erie County to report planned underage drinking parties; underage drinking parties in progress or other activities that may be harmful to the health, safety and welfare of young people. The tip line (1-800-851-1932) is ANONYMOUS, CONFIDENTIAL and free. Erie County now has a “Social Host Law” that holds adults accountable for allowing minors to drink. Learn more at http://www.eccpasa.org 

IB Diploma Program:
More than 11,000 former IB students who graduated between 1979 and 2017 completed a survey that gives us further insight into the impact of the Diploma Programme (DP) in life after IB. Are IB learners fulfilling our mission—to create a better world through education?: http://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2018/02/09/alumni-define-the-impact-of-the-ib-diploma/

February is a busy month in the IB Diploma Program. It is the month our 10th graders decide whether they want to be IB Diploma Program Candidates (full diploma) or IB Diploma Program Course Candidates (take IB DP courses, but not enroll in the full diploma program). Mrs. Banas presented in all six of our AP Lit classes the first week of February and will be presenting to our sophomore parents on Tuesday, February 13th at 5:30 pm.

Another reason February is busy is that our full IB DP seniors are conferencing with Mrs. Banas about their Theory of Knowledge essays and also participating in their final meeting with their Extended Essay supervisors. This mandatory meeting, called the viva voce, serves as a check on plagiarism and malpractice in general, as an opportunity to reflect on successes and difficulties in the research process, gives an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned, and as an aid to the supervisor in writing his/her comments about his/her supervisee’s essay.

Finally, seniors in our IB Diploma Program Literature course upload their Works in Translation papers and those in senior year IB Mandarin, IB French, or IB Spanish are also uploading their Written Assignments. From there, each teacher checks the uploaded work of each student to make sure it is the final version, and that it is, in fact, the student’s own work – while the coordinator oversees the entire process to make sure all students have uploaded and everything is in place by the final deadline in March.

IB Middle Years Program:
We are approaching our 5 year evaluation for the MYP at CHS and we want your input! On Wednesday, March 21st at 6pm on the hilltop, Mr. Moses will be holding a focus group for interested parents of students in grades 5-10.  The focus group will participate in discussions and surveys to help ensure we as a school community are meeting our goals for the IB in terms of accessibility and visibility as a program. If interested, Mr. Moses would love to have you join the discussion.  To attend, please email Mr. Moses at jamoses@buffaloschools.org with your name and the grade of the child you will be representing.

Grade 10 Parents: We are just about 6 weeks away from the final due date for the MYP Personal Project. Today, your children had a workshop with Mr. Moses as he prepared them for how to finish the project and explained when everything is due.  Please note, the Personal Project will be due on Friday, March 23rd! To see what was covered today at the meeting, please follow this link below for the presentation: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Xlbmc2fORbofRq1E7IfQFLJsgWKRyzv

The International Baccalaureate Organization is turning 50! City Honors School has been a part of the IB for the past 29 of these years! Take a moment to view this brief 50th anniversary video and timeline explaining the evolution and goals of the IB.

http://www.ibo.org/50years/#1968

Middle Years Program (MYP): This year’s grade ten IB Personal Projects are off to a great start. Our students are working hard on their projects with their supervisors as they now begin to move from the research phase to the actualization of their physical projects! If you are the parent of a grade ten student and would like “Remind” group message updates from Mr. Moses, Project supervisor, please join by doing the following:

  • Text this number: 81010
  • Text this message: @7g928a
  • When confirming, please choose “parent” and reply with your full name!

Diploma Program (DP): The IB DP seniors have turned in their extended essay drafts and their supervisors have received them. Students are now making appointments to meet with their supervisors BEFORE winter break. Their final extended essay papers are due January 17-19, 2018.

All juniors and seniors, and their parents, are reminded to consult the Grade 11 & 12 Assessment Calendars to confirm when major assessments are due. To view the calendar, go to: cityhonors.org, click on Academics, click on Grade Level Assessment Calendars.

Parents driving their child to school are reminded that first period now starts at 8:08. Students learn more and see more success when they are here on-time each day! Parents should target 7:55 as arrival time for their child so they have plenty of time to get settled and to class on-time.

Our yellow and metro bus configuration at dismissal has been modified this year to increase student safety. Parents are asked to exercise patience and expect delays if navigating an automobile on Fosdick Street at dismissal. Reuniting our full original campus as a part of the Fosdick Field Restoration Project promises to help separate different forms of traffic and will increase curb space for vehicle loading/unloading. In the meantime, we ask again that all parents anticipate traffic will move slowly and standing room will be limited on Fosdick Street at dismissal.

According to federal, state and local educational laws, school parent groups are required to elect/select parents to sit on committees that allow parents and guardians the opportunity to have a voice in school policies. There are two committees that require parent representatives from our school. Parents serving on these committees must be active members of the school parent organization (at City Honors this is PTSCO):

1) The Site Based Management Team (SBMT): The school is seeking five parents (including the Parent Facilitator and DPCC representative, plus five alternates) to attend monthly meetings of the SBMT. This team is school-based governance body responsible for the annual Budget and Growth Plan.

2) District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC): The DPCC has monthly business meetings to consider and address issues facing families and students across the Buffalo Public School district. Each school is expected to elect/select two parents – a representative and an alternate, but all meetings are open to all parents. This year, the meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Please feel free to attend the next meeting on Tuesday October 10th from 6-8 pm at the Stanley P. Makowski school. A committee fair explaining the different opportunities for committee participation within the DPCC will be held directly prior to the Business Meeting, from 5-6 pm.

Additional information regarding these committees can be found on the CHS Website under parent resources. If you require a paper copy please contact Donna Graham (donnamariegraham@mac.com).

If you are interested in nominating yourself or another person, please contact Donna Graham (donnamariegraham@mac.com) and copy Mau Tripp (mautripp@roadrunner.com) by 10-13-17. If you have any further questions regarding these committees please contact Dr. Wendy Mistretta (wpmistretta@msn.com).

Should enough parents express interest in the SBMT and DPCC committees we will schedule a vote in late October. Otherwise we will use a selection process with those who step forward to volunteer. Every parent voice is valued. Please consider making yours heard!

Gratefully,

Donna Graham
PTSCO Lead Parent
716-697-1447

City Honors use uses online Grade Level Assessment Calendars at all grade levels to post important assessment dates in each class (research papers, tests, IB internal assessment due dates, and other types of summative assessments). Assessments, but not regular homework assignments, are notated in each grade level’s respective assessment calendar. As an International Baccalaureate World School, City Honors is required to have an assessment calendar that is accessible to students and parents. The implementation of these calendars does not mean that students do not have two or more assessments on a particular day. Learning to navigate some of these hurdles and organizing time are important skills for students to develop prior to college and the working world. However, the calendars will assist faculty in gauging student workload when planning assessments for a particular day. It will also build student and parent awareness of upcoming days where they should be prepared in advance for greater demands. The following link will take you to the assessment calendars for each grade level. We have also added a link to this page under the “Parents” tab of cityhonors.org: http://www.cityhonors.org/page/grade-levelassessment-calendar/

Grade 10 Parents: This fall, your child will be participating in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Personal Project. By design, this project is largely student driven, and consists of the student choosing a goal which they will work toward over the course of 7-8 months under the careful supervision of myself and a faculty supervisor.

This new goal or skill can include anything from learning a new language, writing a song, creating a piece of art, etc…The goal should be challenging but achievable. Each month, the students check in with their supervisor for feedback and assistance, and can also check in with me at any time.

The Personal Project emphasizes growth, process, and values the overall experience. The grade, though important, should not be the sole focus of this project. The project encourages students to look at their own developmental process, and allows them to examine themselves as learners in a reflective, metacognitive, and meaningful way. The project also provides a a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about themselves as well.

The Personal Project is the culminating experience of the MYP; it is a required component needed in order to complete the Middle Years Program. A student’s status is reflected as “complete” or “incomplete” on their transcript. Every effort is extended to help all of our students arrive at completion.
As coordinator, I strive to be incredibly proactive throughout the year, and I will notify parents and guardians at the slightest sign of a student falling behind. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or concerns. I so look forward to seeing the amazing projects our grade 10 students create this year!

Best to you, James Moses. jamoses@buffaloschools.org 716.816.4248

A new CHS school website is coming in the next few weeks.

This new site will be streamlined to make it easier to find what you need, responsive for convenient viewing on any device and will include some handy new features.

Thank you to the CH/FMP Foundation for funding this site which will replace our current site launched in 2010!

http://www.cityhonors.org

A big congratulations goes our to Brianna Mutsindashyaka (class of 2019), as a film she created has been selected for the Seattle International Film Festival. Brianna created this film last year as part of her IB Middle Years Personal Project at CHS. Her film, “The Race Project” examines race and culture, and how minorities are treated locally.

Next Spring will be our 5 year review from the International Baccalaureate for our Middle Years Program for grades 5-10. As part of our commitment to the IB and creating an environment where the MYP can thrive, Mr. Moses is seeking out parents out who be interested in participating in a sit down meeting this fall about the MYP at our school and what can be done to improve it/how your child has benefitted from the program.  If interested, please contact James at Jamoses@buffaloschools.org.

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  • Events at a Glance

    Sep 18: Senior Picture Re-take Day
    Sep 21: Welcome Back Picnic, 5-8p
    Oct 3: No School-Superintendent Conf Day
    Oct 8: No School-Columbus Day
    Oct 17: Picture Day
    Nov 6: No School-Election Day
    Nov 12: No School-Veterans Day
    Nov 13: Picture Re-take Day
    Nov 22-23: No School-Thanksgiving Recess
    Nov 29: Parent-Teacher Conference Day

     

    Looking for sports-related event dates? Click on the link to the master calendar: Open CHS Master Calendar

    Click here to view or download the 2018-2019 BPS District Calendar.

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