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: