Chelsea Celebrates Women’s History Month

Chelsea Celebrates Women’s History Month

On Tuesday, March 23rd, Chelsea School’s month-long celebration of Women’s History culminated in a remarkable school-wide event. A virtual panel of women from a diversity of occupations and professional backgrounds were brought together to discuss the importance of women’s history with our students.

The panel included Melissa Boston, educator, school administrator, and college professor; Beth Brittan-Powell, Director of Research Collaboration at the University of Maryland; Michelle Freeman, Senior Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Makeba Griffin, CEO of Dynasty Styling Studios, LLC; Bernice Harleston, attorney; Phoenix Miranda, artist and vocalist; and Sheri Parks, VP of Strategic Initiatives at the Maryland Institute of College and Art.

The panelists were asked to weigh in on a variety of topics regarding women’s history. The first half of the event was an all-school discussion about the importance of celebrating women’s history. Students learned about disparities and injustices that women have faced historically, and about the pioneers and heroes who fought for change and equity. The second half of the event was specifically geared towards the women and young women of Chelsea, who discussed a variety of topics relating to women’s experiences.

“It is very important for our young ladies to see successful women from a variety of different professions,” said Hawa Turay, Chelsea School’s transition coordinator. “Hearing these women articulate their experiences and sharing gems of advice and experience with our students was so powerful.”

Students Return to Campus for Learning Pod

Students Return to Campus for Learning Pod

On Monday, March 22, 2021, students returned to the Chelsea campus for the first time in over a year to take part in the Learning Pod.

The Learning Pod is designed to meet the needs of students who have been struggling particularly hard during distance learning, and who require in-person adult facilitation to stay on top of their work.

The pod is broken down into two cohorts of students who will come to Chelsea’s campus twice per week. Only 10 students are able to be on campus at any given time, with one adult facilitator. All instruction continues to be provided virtually by teachers working from home.

The school has taken steps to insure the safety of students and staff by providing safeguards such as socially distanced learning spaces, handwashing stations, HEPA filtration, room purifiers, a mandatory mask and shield policy, daily health screenings and temperature checks, and modified access to campus spaces.

“It’s amazing to have students back on campus again,” said Kristal Weems-Bradner, Chelsea’s Head of School. “Even with all of the restrictions in place, it’s great to see their faces and hear their voices again.”

Keeping Students Safe and Focused While Online

Keeping Students Safe and Focused While Online

In December 2020, Chelsea School launched Go Guardian, a digital teaching environment for remote learning designed to filter and monitor content on all student devices, eliminate distractions through classroom management tools, and identify unsafe online behavior. The program also gives teachers, administrators, and parents direct access to student device activity.

The impetus for purchasing this program was an understanding of the realities of virtual learning. Students are home all day working at their computers. They can become easily distracted by the number of entertainment options at their fingertips. They might also venture to places on the internet that are unsafe, or put themselves in unsafe situations by interacting with people who they do not know.

“About a week after the implementation of Go Guardian, the anxiety in the voices of all parents associated with monitoring their kids’ academic progress went away,” said Dean of Students Rueben Jackson. “They literally thanked us for purchasing software to support them as many parents cannot navigate the technology as fast as their children.”

Although safety was the driving force behind the roll-out, classroom management and teaching effectiveness became the true values in implementing the program.

“It saves me a lot of time and helps my class run more efficiently, so I spend more time on teaching reading and less on transitioning from different webpages.  I can zap students to websites, monitor student work, and troubleshoot technical problems from one screen,” said Julia Hays, Chelsea School Reading Specialist.

Upper Division teacher Forrest Malone uses the program to support students with executive function tasks in his English class. “It gives me the ability to help students in real time. By seeing what they’re seeing, I can swiftly give the guidance they need to correct their own mistakes, and build the skills they need to succeed in the classroom.”

Speech language pathologists often provide support to students in their academic classes. In the virtual platform, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate with a student individually while in a virtual class. “As a related service provider working in the classroom, I appreciate being able to privately communicate with a student to check in or provide extra support while they are working on an assignment without other students knowing,” said Rebecca Rhine.

Managing over 100 students and staff all working from their homes on different devices each day is a challenging task for Chelsea School’s tech team. When technology problems occur, they need to be able to troubleshoot problems quickly.

“We can immediately determine whether or not a student is logged into their account properly so they can access important tools such as Google Read and Write,” said Karen Carlson. “We can see that they are navigating tabs to follow our instructions, privately message them and even open up tabs ourselves, which can save several minutes of time and immeasurable frustration because we bypass multi step processes for them.”

“Our goal in all of this is to protect our children while providing them with the best possible virtual education,” said Head of School Kristal Weems-Bradner. “This tool empowers teachers and gives them more control over their learning environment. It also frees our students from distractions and allows them to focus on their academic progress.”

 

January 2021 News and Notes

Chelsea Sophomore Helps Feed the Homeless

What did you do over Winter Break? While most of us were chilling out, watching Soul or Wonder Woman 1984, and taking it easy, one of our sophomores was making a real difference in her community.

Savannah is a 10th grader from Washington, DC. This is her second year at Chelsea School, and in her short time with us she has distinguished herself as a scholar, a school leader, and even as an entrepreneur. Every year during the holidays, her family and friends pull together their resources to feed the homeless. In years past, they were able to feed up to 600 people at the homeless shelter on D Street, NE.

This year, with the pandemic taking a huge toll on everyone, Savannah and her family were determined to once again help the homeless in their community. This year, Savannah cooked and packaged meals for the homeless (chicken, yellow-rice, roasted vegetables, chips and water), and drove around DC handing out warm meals to those in need.  She was able to feed 50 people this year.

“The pandemic has hit our most vulnerable people the hardest,” said Tabatha McNeill, Savannah’s mother. “We’d like to be able to feed the people in our community every month, but we need help from other families.”


Coming Soon: Chelsea Learning Pod

On January 13, Head of School Kristal Weems-Bradner announced that Chelsea School would remain virtual through the end of the year. This decision was based on several factors, including COVID-19 positivity rates in Prince George’s County (over 11% at the time), public health projections, and campus-specific concerns. Another consideration in this decision was the success of the school’s virtual learning platform, which has been efficacious for a majority of students.

Still, the school recognizes that virtual learning has not been ideal for all students, especially those with working parents and/or young siblings. Mrs. Weems-Bradner announced that Chelsea School would be starting a learning pod program for the second semester. This learning pod is designed to meet the needs of students who have been struggling particularly hard during distance learning, and who require in-person adult facilitation to stay on top of their work.

The pod is broken down into two cohorts of students who will come to Chelsea’s campus twice per week. Only 10 students are able to be on campus at any given time, with one adult facilitator. All instruction will continue to be provided virtually by teachers working from home.

The school has taken steps to insure the safety of students and staff by providing safeguards such as socially distanced learning spaces, handwashing stations, HEPA filtration, room purifiers, a mandatory mask and shield policy, daily health screenings and temperature checks, and modified access to campus spaces.

This initiative is meant to provide equal access to learning for all of Chelsea’s students, which is at the heart of the school’s mission.


Message to Students in a Time of Crisis:

Yours is the Most Important Job in Our Democracy

On January 7, Chelsea School students and staff met together in their Morning Meeting like they do every day during the school year. This Morning Meeting was a bit different; however, as all members of the school community tried to process the events of January 6 at the nation’s capital. Frank Mills, Chelsea’s Executive Director, and Kristal Weems-Bradner, Head of School, talked to students about the frightening scene that was witnessed the day before.

“Our top priority was to be honest with our students without frightening them, to help them to put these events into a context without exacerbating their anxiety,” said Mrs. Weems-Bradner. “Our job is to educate, and also support and nurture our students.”

Mr. Mills focused on what each Chelsea student could do in light of these challenging circumstances. “You have the most important job in our democracy right now: to learn to read, to learn to think critically, to be able to analyze numbers, to be able to tell truth from fiction, to be able to decide what’s a fact and what’s an opinion – we need you to be able to do these things so you can make good choices for our country in the future.”

Students expressed their fears about what they saw on television and what might happen in the coming weeks. “It’s so critical that our students are aware of what’s going on around them,” said Mrs. Weems-Bradner. “Even when things are very scary in the world, we try to provide them with an environment that is safe for them to express their fears and ask questions about what they’re seeing and hearing – that’s what Chelsea is all about.”


Alumni Spotlight

Scott Lake, Chelsea School Class of 2018, is halfway through his junior year at McDaniel College on his path to becoming a teacher, and has been awarded the Dean’s List “High Honors” for his Fall Semester which follows “Highest Honors” in the Spring 2020 Semester.  The transition to an online college educational platform has been extremely challenging for Scott, but through hard work and seeking needed support services he continues to move forward.  These accomplishments could not have been achieved without the dedicated teachers and staff at the Chelsea School over the years, of which Scott and his parents are forever grateful.  Scott is working on his internship “Teaching in a Diverse Learning Environment” at the Chelsea School during Winter break.   Kim Lake, Scott’s Mom added, “Thank you for giving Scott the right education at the right time and the encouragement to serve the greater good and fulfill his dreams.”


College Acceptance Season is Here at Chelsea!

Our seniors have begun to receive acceptance letters from colleges and universities!  Every year, our Careers teacher, Hawa Turay, works hard to match students with schools that will best fit their needs.  Colleges where Chelsea School graduates have traditionally had success are smaller schools that can provide supports for students with learning disabilities through small class sizes, academic advisors, tutoring and testing centers, and a seamless plan for delivering accommodations. Ms. Turay encourages all of her seniors to look for schools where they feel they can be successful. Four of our Seniors have already received acceptance letters:

Sincere Sargent: McDaniel College

Jordan Creighton: Mitchell College, Lynn University, and McDaniel College

Seth Roane: McDaniel College

Desmond Smith: McDaniel College

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Senior Class Collects Essential Items for Families in Need

The Class of 2021 was back at it again in January, helping families in the school and greater community to meet their needs. The class organized a Winter Essentials Drive to collect items such as personal hygiene products and personal protective equipment. This project follows on the heels of a very successful food drive that provided nonperishable items to Chelsea families and local food banks just before the winter holidays.

The class received donations of essential items from current families, alumni, and board members, all in an effort to help the community. A special thanks goes out to our friend Kevin Bowlin at Printing and Promotional Unlimited who donated hundreds of dollars worth of hospital-quality facemasks to this project.

December 2020 News and Notes

Senior Class Collects Food for Community

On November 14, Chelsea School’s Class of 2021 hosted a food drive to support members of the school’s community as well as local foodbanks. Many families in the Chelsea learning community, as well as those in our local area, have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on the

support of Chelsea families, staff, and alumni, the senior class collected more than twenty boxes of nonperishable food items.

Several boxes of food were delivered directly to Chelsea families. The remainder was donated to Shepherd’s Table, a community-based nonprofit homeless shelter and food pantry in Silver Spring that has partnered with the school for many years.

In addition to collecting food items, the seniors also raised over $300 in grocery story food cards for community families.

“The most important part of any service learning project is for the students to get a better understanding of helping those in need within their own community,” said Debbie Lourie, senior class advisor and Director of Admissions. “I want our students to experience how gratifying it can be to help others.”

All Chelsea School students are required to earn service learning hours to meet the graduation requirements of their local education agencies.

Alumni Spotlight

Courtland Merkel, Chelsea School Class of 2009, having completed his degree in law from the University of Baltimore and passed the bar exam, was admitted to the Maryland State Bar Association on December 18, 2020.

After four years at Chelsea School, Courtland attended Bowie State University, where he graduated with honors from the pre-law program. Courtland speaks very highly of the support and accommodations that he received at BSU, which he used to his best advantage. After graduating, Courtland completed a graduate program in law at the University of Baltimore. He served as a legal intern in the Circuit Court of Baltimore City before passing the bar exam and being admitted to the Maryland State Bar Association. Courtland can now practice law in the state of Maryland!

Chelsea School is extraordinarily proud of Courtland, who through determination and hard work has proved that anything is possible for our students.

Morning Routines Build a Sense of Community in Virtual Learning Environment

As the holidays approach, Chelsea School students are keeping their noses to the grindstones as they prepare for midterm exams in January. For many students, adjusting to the “new normal” of virtual learning has been a challenging transition. Missing out on face-to-face interactions, time with friends, and opportunities for physical activity have been some of the things that students say they miss most. Still, the school has attempted to build a sense of community, even in the virtual world. This begins each morning when students attend Advisory and the Morning Assembly.

8:40 AM Advisory 

The day begins with Advisory, a small-group session led by a student’s advisor. At Chelsea School, the advisor has many roles: they’re the case manager, main point of contact with home, mentor, advocate, executive function coach, and sometimes, cheerleader. The advisor provides critical support to the student in the areas of organization, time management, and study skills, while helping them to navigate their academic programming. On any given day, an advisor may be working on a variety of tasks with their advisees, such as setting up their plan books for the week, checking their grades with them, helping them to write a letter to a teacher, or helping them arrange their calendars to prepare for an exam.

The advisor checks to make sure that each student is ready to start the school day. Sometimes this means assessing whether they’ve gotten enough sleep, had breakfast, or did their homework the night before. “Last spring when we first went virtual, our first job was just making sure that kids were showing up to school,” said Frank Mills, Chelsea’s Executive Director. “Now the focus is on the long haul – making sure that students are in the right mindset for school each day and are managing their responsibilities.”

9:00 AM Morning Assembly 

Chelsea School gathers as a whole community each morning to start the school day.  Mrs. Weems-Bradner, Chelsea’s Head of School, begins the day by welcoming all the students back for another day of learning. In November and December, Mrs. Weems-Bradner has been visiting advisories and assigning points if all students are present and if students can articulate and explain how to use one of Chelsea’s virtual learning platforms. This month has been focused on Google Read and Write, a program that provides text-to-speech and speech-to-text interaction to accommodate reading and writing. After revealing the results of her visit and awarding points, she “passes the ball” to Reuben Jackson, Chelsea’s Dean of Students.

After a series of “dad jokes” that may or may not be beneficial to student morale, Mr. Jackson shares words of wisdom with the students about navigating the virtual world. This may range from meeting expectations in the virtual classroom to speaking out about injustice and inequity in society.

More than just daily announcements, the morning assembly is a time for Chelsea students and staff members to take part in the richness of a school community that has flourished for over 44 years. The seasonal traditions, articulation of the mission of the school, and sharing of institutional memory is all part of gathering held each morning. Students and staff feel as if they are connected to something larger than themselves.

Some days, students take center stage to share their thoughts, inspirations, and accomplishments. In the last few weeks, two students talked about how they turned their hobby of making electronic music (beats) into a possible career path. Another shared how she started her own line of beauty products. One middle schooler talked about his battle with cancer and why he now raises money and awareness for children who are forced to stay in hospitals for long-term care. Just this week, one of our students talked about how the movie “Pay it Forward” inspired him to try to make the world a better place by doing things for others.

Local Businesses Support Chelsea Through In-Kind Donations

Chelsea School has always relied on the kindness and generosity of local businesses to help us serve our community, but 2020 has been extraordinary in the help we have received from our partners. Through in-kind donations, direct financial support, and other means, our business partners have helped us to meet our mission of serving students with learning disabilities. We’d like to take a moment to highlight these businesses and thank them for their support.

Printing and Promotional Unlimited

Kevin Bowlin, President of Gambrills, Maryland-based Printing and Promotional Unlimited, is a business owner whose client-focused approach, as well as his generous spirit, has endeared him to the Chelsea School family. This December, Kevin donated hundreds of dollars worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the school. He also donated hundreds of dollars worth of brand new clothing items for our families in need.

Printing & Promotional Unlimited, Inc is a leading distributor of embroidery, printing, and promotional products in the Gambrills area. They provide products and services to businesses, large and small, across all of the United States.

Three Brothers Italian Restaurant

The year 2020 was one we’d like to forget for many reasons, but for the Chelsea family it also marked the passing of a great friend of our school, one of the founding brothers of “Three Brothers”, Mario Repole. Mario lost his long battle with pancreatic cancer in April of this year. He was an amazing man whose personal commitment to making sure that a quality lunch was available for our students every day will never be forgotten. He was incredibly generous, with both his time and his resources.

The story of Three Brothers Restaurants is a first rate American success story. In 1976, three sons of a hard-working Italian family moved the family business from Brooklyn, New York to Greenbelt, Maryland to make good on their father’s dreams of success. After over 35 years of hard work, one family restaurant has grown into a thriving Multi-unit Corporation . Originally from Rapone, Italy, Michael, Mario and Peter Repole have participated in every part of the business – from using family recipes for making their famous sauce and entrees to developing both in-center and free standing Three Brothers Restaurants.

Staples (Hyattsville)

One of the most convenient aspects of our campus location on Belcrest Center Drive is that we are located in the same complex as Staples Store 1561. Managers Deejay and Joey have been helping Chelsea out since we arrived at this campus, offering us discounts on school supplies and items we need for students. This fall, during our Fall Fundraiser for Virtual Learning, Deejay was able to provide us with supplies at cost for our learning kits. He also gave us a large quantity of free school supplies to give to our students.

Nonprofit Partner: Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the Playing Field gives underprivileged children the opportunity to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of youth sports participation. They do this through the donation of used and excess sporting equipment to programs and schools serving low-income communities. Max Levitt, founder of LPF, has been a great friend of Chelsea School for the last eight years. His organization has donated thousands of dollars worth of sports equipment to our physical education and athletics programs.

This Fall, as part of our Fall Fundraiser for Virtual Learning, LPF donated individual sports kits for each student in our middle school. Each kit came with cones, a jump rope, a frisbee, and either a soccer ball, football, or basketball. These materials allowed our students to stay active while safe at home.

Nonprofit Partner: The Brewer Foundation

The Brewer Foundation’s main goal is to become an educational repository for students and parents in the Washington, DC area in support of their academic goals. Their vision is to provide content that supports diverse academic opportunities to students regardless of social or economic status and means. Darryl Brewer is the parent of a Chelsea School alumnus and has served as a member of the school’s Board of Governors in the past. Darryl is a tireless champion for educational equity, and a great friend of Chelsea. 

This Fall, when he heard that we were raising money to support virtual learning, Darryl rallied his resources and contacts to provide the school with several thousand dollars worth of computer hardware including some brand new chromebooks.

Other Partners Who Have Supported Us in the Past

Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care 

Giant Supermarket (Store 0334 Hyattsville)

H&W Printing, Inc. (Mount Rainier)

Jason’s Deli (College Park)
Art Works Now (Hyattsville) 

Franklin’s (Hyattsville) 

November 2020 News and Notes

Home Learning Kits Delivered

Home learning kits were delivered to students at the end of October in an effort to maximize the quality of Chelsea School’s virtual learning program. Each student received a kit specially designed for their class schedule and their learning needs. Kits were delivered via parent pick-up and through staff delivery.

Each student received in their kits some learning essentials, such as a daily planner, paper and notebooks, pens and pencils, a dry-erase board, a hand-made facemask, fidgets, and a packet of specially selected graphic organizers, semantic maps, and templates.

Middle school students received art and ceramic supplies, a sports kit provided by Leveling the Playing Field, fraction and decimal tiles, a jump rope, and laminated maps for social studies classes. Upper Division students received materials for their specific classes, including geometric models, algebraic manipulatives, chemical molecule kits, anatomy models, cell models, maps, and workbooks.

The kits are designed to make virtual learning, which relies on the visual and aural modalities, more accessible to our students by providing tactile and kinesthetic modalities. “Having materials that they can touch, feel, and manipulate is very important to the learning process,” said Head of School Kristal Weems-Bradner. “We need to engage as many senses as possible to make the curriculum come alive for our students.”

The learning kits were made possible through the generous donations of Chelsea School parents, staff, alumni, board of governors, and supporters to the school’s fall fundraiser for virtual learning entitled “Keep them Learning, Keep them Safe.” In total, the Chelsea community raised over $15,000 for the virtual kits. The fundraiser was also supplemented by generous in-kind donations from the Brewer Foundation, Staples, Leveling the Playing Field, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care USA, and the Chelsea School PTO.

In addition to the learning kits, Chelsea School also upgraded its chromebooks to better meet the needs of its students. The Chelsea School tech team selected a chromebook model that included a larger screen and keyboard, more memory and processing capability, and a touch-screen interface. These new machines will make it easier for our students to interact with challenging and engaging academic content. Many students have already received their chromebook “upgrade” and are successfully using the new machines.

School Leaders “Unbox” the New Learning Kits

To provide families with a comprehensive run-down of all of the amazing instructional tools contained in the new learning kits, Mr. Mills, Chelsea’s Executive Director, and Mrs. Weems-Bradner, Chelsea’s Head of School, took a page from their favorite YouTube stars by making their own unboxing video. They displayed and explained all of the items in the learning kits for the benefit of families. It took quite a bit of time, because these learning kits are packed! Thanks to the generous donations of Chelsea’s parents, staff, alumni, and supporters – along with some generous in-kind donations from some local businesses and charities, the school was able to provide learning kits that will help all of its students be successful in the virtual platform. To see the “unboxing” video, go here: https://youtu.be/0erUxbc-plg

Chelsea Seniors Collect Food for Families in Need

Chelsea School’s senior class will be collecting food for local food pantries as well as families in our own school community who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations of non-perishable food can be made on Saturday, November 14th outside the school on our parking deck. The class encourages the donation of canned food, dried food, cooking supplies, and other items.

Many families have been struggling to make ends meet in recent months, and our school community wants to help. For individuals who wish to make a monetary donation for the purchase of grocery store gift cards, please go to https://www.chelseaschool.edu/resource-portals/parents/other-payments/

Family Feud at Chelsea!

On Wednesday, October 28th, students, staff, and families participated in the first-ever virtual Family Feud game at Chelsea School. The event was sponsored by the Chelsea PTO as a way to help families and staff connect socially during the pandemic. The event was the brainchild of Chelsea’s Social Taskforce Committee which has been charged with devising new and creative ways for students, staff, and parents to connect socially to build a sense of community during the pandemic.

The event was produced and hosted by Chelsea’s Director of Admissions Debbie Lourie, who worked tirelessly to make the event a success. Staff, students, and families were asked to participate in a survey in the week prior to the game to provide the “top ten answers” that would appear on each question board. Students, staff, and parents joined together in teams as they represented either the Blue Knights or the White Knights, Chelsea School’s two rival houses.

Chelsea Says Goodbye to Three Champions

On Friday, November 20th, Chelsea School will be saying goodbye to three outstanding educators: Linda Teabout (7 years of service), Carol McFall (18 years of service), and Pam McRae (25 years of service). The school will be hosting a virtual retirement party to celebrate these educators service to our school and to send them off with our best wishes.

Linda served Chelsea School for seven years as an Occupational Therapist. During her tenure at Chelsea, she provided therapy to many students and was a great contributor to school events and culture. Always ready to pitch in and help, and always wearing a welcoming smile, we will surely miss Ms. Teabout!
Carol McFall has been at the center of Chelsea School’s art program for the last 18 years. During that time she has taught art to thousands of students. The annual student art show at our Academic Fair was always a much-anticipated event! Carol’s love for teaching children was infectious, and her desire to introduce as many students as possible to art was much admired. Thanks to her, many students tried ceramics for the first time on the potter’s wheels. We will miss her generous spirt and the color that she brought to our walls.
Pam McRae has served students at Chelsea for 25 years, making an indelible mark on the lives of thousands of young people. More than a counselor, Pam served as the Head of Counseling as well as the Middle School Coordinator for many years. Her heart and soul was the students in the Middle School, for whom she advocated tirelessly. A creative and brilliant educator, Pam taught students to discover their learning difference “super power” in her Social Skills classes. Although on of the kindest people in our school community, Pam will be remembered for her fiery passion for her students.
The event is open to all current students, staff, and families, as well as former students, staff and families. Please contact Debbie Lourie, Director of Admissions, to RSVP for the event.

 

October 2020 News and Notes

October 2020 News and Notes

 

And ….. We’re Off!  (Virtually)

Chelsea School’s 44th school year began with great fanfare as we welcomed back our Head of School, Kristal Weems-Bradner, to the fold. Mrs. Weems-Bradner was beaming with pride as she addressed the students on the first day of school.

“Each of you has a wonderful opportunity to make this the best school year ever,” she said through her webcam. “Set your sights as high as you can!”

Chelsea School is beginning the 2020-2021 school year in a completely virtual format, meaning that all classes, school events, advisories, and related services are being provided through videoconferencing. With this unusual format, other changes to our time-tested school program were necessary as well, including a shift to block scheduling.

‘It’s different, but it’s still Chelsea,” said Mrs. Weems-Bradner. “We still find a way to connect with children in a personal and life-altering way, even when we’re apart. We still come together each morning as a community to celebrate our achievements and milestones, process events happening in the world, and support each other during this difficult time.”

 

Chelsea Sophomore Launches Line of Beauty Products

Savannah Robinson, a 10th grade student at Chelsea School, has launched her own company, SBS Naturals (Savannah’s Beauty Squad). Savannah’s line of beauty products include body lotion, hair and beard oil, sea moss, and hair tea. She will be premiering her products in a pop-up sale on October 3rd at Star Struck Sports in Temple Hills, Maryland.

Besides being an honor roll student at Chelsea, Savannah is also a young entrepreneur who created a line of products based on the needs of her peers. She is currently working hard to get her business off the ground through pop-up sales, word-of-mouth advertising, and social media marketing.

 

Focus on Social Justice

This year, Chelsea School is providing its students with an opportunity to explore and discuss issues that concern them regarding equality, racism, sexism, and social responsibility. In a weekly Social Justice seminar, students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to think critically about issues facing society today.

During the school closure last spring, students were looking for ways to discuss issues that concerned them, especially issues regarding systemic racism. What started as informal chats turned into a formalized program that follows a social justice curriculum. In the seminar, students are not only encouraged to speak their minds, they are also challenged to think critically, develop skills related to media consumption, and consider their individual role in the broader society.

New, Fun Programming

In an effort to promote increased student engagement in the distance-learning platform, Chelsea has rolled out new programming for our middle school students to get them moving and expressing themselves. Besides their core classes, students will now have an opportunity to take Yoga, Digital Photography, Art, Ceramics, Physical Education, Health, and a new class called Culture Club where students explore geography and world cultures.

Besides this, Head of School Kristal Weems-Bradner has made physical movement a priority for all classes, asking every teacher to incorporate movement into their lesson plans each day.

“Physical movement is so crucial for our students, perhaps now more than ever,” said Mrs. Weems-Bradner. “Screen time was a major concern for us going into this year. We wanted to try to incorporate movement into every class period to promote better physical and cognitive health.”

 

 

Chelsea Student Serves as Children’s Hospital Ambassador

On October 17th, Chelsea School eighth-grader Lucas Khelawan will be taking part in Children’s National Hospital’s Race for Every Child (Virtual Edition). This year mark’s the fourth year that Lucas will be participating in this event in an effort to raise money for a hospital that he knows very well.

Lucas has made it his mission to improve the lives of children with serious illnesses. Lucas was diagnosed with cancer in August, 2015. For the next three years, Children’s National Hospital was his second home. Lucas spent a great deal of his first year there in a medically-induced coma while receiving aggressive chemotherapy treatments. During this time, his third grade year, he was unable to see his family or interact with his classmates.

Today, Lucas is a healthy 13 year old. This November will mark two years since he completed his treatment.

Besides this event, Lucas has also started his own nonprofit charitable organization called Lucas’ Toy Chest, which provides toys to children who have to stay in the hospital for extended durations due to serious illness.

To sponsor Lucas, please visit: https://bndfr.com/d7CzY

 

Fall Fundraiser Going Strong

Chelsea School’s fall fundraiser for its virtual learning program, entitled Keep them Learning, Keep them Safe! has raised over $12,000 towards its goal of $15,000. Many Chelsea School alumni, alumni parents and grandparents, staff members, former staff members, and friends and neighbors have contributed to this fundraising effort.

All donations received this fall will go to support Chelsea’s distance learning programming. Funds will be used to provide each student with a home learning kit that includes manipulatives, technology supports, art supplies, science lab equipment, hands-on learning tools, fitness materials, and other items essential for learning at home. Besides this, money is also being requested to support Chelsea families with groceries.

To donate to Chelsea School’s Fall Fundraiser, you have two options:

Virtual Tours Weekly!

Chelsea School will be hosting weekly Virtual Tours most Tuesdays.  Please RSVP by 12:00 pm noon. Please contact Debbie Lourie, Director of Admissions: dlourie@chelseaschool.edu to reserve your spot.  Registered guests will receive a Zoom invitation the day of the event.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

 

Virtual Tour RSVP

  • Select the date of the Virtual Tour you would like to attend. Most events will be hosted from 3:30-4:30 pm.
  • Use the (+) button to the right to add more entries.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Leveraging Relationships in a Time of Pandemic

This spring, Frank Mills, our Executive Director, was invited to contribute an article to the Educating All Learners Alliance discussing Chelsea School’s remarkable shift to virtual learning in March. As local districts closed for several weeks without any kind of educational programming, Chelsea School was able to quickly pivot to a fully virtual instructional model with only two days of lost instruction.  

In response to widespread school closure, a group of special education advocacy and innovation organizations has formed the Educating All Learners Alliance to support the education of students with disabilities during COVID-19.  In April, the Alliance launched EducatingAllLearners.org, a resource hub and online community dedicated to meeting the needs of all learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mr. Mills’ article can be found at https://www.educatingalllearners.org/projects-leading-by-example/Leveraging-Relationships-in-a-Time-of-Pandemic

Moving and Grooving

One of the side effects of students being quarantined to their homes this spring was that they did not have many opportunities to exercise. Perry Nichols, our veteran physical education teacher, came to the rescue! He created a class for our students called “Fun Fitness Challenges” where, using their home spaces, they were able to enjoy 45 minutes of fun (and silly) exercise. Running in place, high kicks, rapid punches, stretching, and jumps were all part of the fun. Mr. Nichols’ high energy approach was highly engaging for the students, who were all smiles despite their initial reluctance to work out. Check out a clip here: Fun Fitness Challenge Class