DiscoverChesterfield County Public Schools Better Together
Chesterfield County Public Schools Better Together
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Chesterfield County Public Schools Better Together

Author: Family and Community Engagement, Cat Tompkins

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S'mores and campfires, macaroni and cheese, popcorn and movies...what do these things have in common? They are better together! In this podcast, Cat Tompkins of Chesterfield County Public Schools' Office of Family and Community Engagement has conversations with stakeholders on a variety of topics that directly impact education. The goal of this podcast is to strengthen the ties between home and school and schools and the community by sharing stories, challenges, and successes. Chesterfield students will have better outcomes when we take a collaborative approach to support learning. Schools, families, and the community are better together too.
12 Episodes
SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign is geared to help  parents and caregivers prepare for some of the most important conversations they may ever have with their children. A newly updated app for the cell phone takes parents through scenarios of everyday situations and turns them into opportunities to talk with their children about alcohol and other drugs. Working through the app equips parents and caregivers with the necessary skills, confidence, and knowledge to start and continue conversations about drug and alcohol use as their kids get older. In this podcast,  Melissa Ackley and Eric Faw of Chesterfield County Prevention Services share the conversation goals of the Talk They Hear You application and simple small ways to effectively  talk to your child about underage alcohol use.
It is estimated that people change careers an average of 5-7 times throughout their working life.  The 21st century world is full of career possibilities. Technological advancements will likely increase the 5-7 career  average for our students and many occupations they will seek, do not yet exist. How do we prepare our students for the future workforce? How does a student seek out the most interesting career path that will meet his/her needs? One answer may be considering the Career and Technical Education, or CTE.CTE facts: 95% of CTE students graduate high schoolCTE has incredible career demandCTE students achieve better grades...they are more satisfied and engaged in course work and they have direction in lifeThis Engage Chesterfield podcast explores the “W's” of CTE...What is it? Who benefits from it? Where is it available? What is the application process and when can students apply?  Can Career and Technical education support your child's dreams? We all want our children to be prepared for their future, to grow and be self sufficient productive members of the community doing something they love. Is the CTE right for your child? Special thanks to guests:Chad Maclin, Career and Technical Education DirectorGeorgia Kasper, Career and Technical Education, Implementation CoordinatorSarah Jurewicz, Baking & Pastry Arts InstructorPaul Lathrop, Mechatronics and Robotics InstructorHelpful links:CCPS Tech Center WebsiteAssociation for Career and Technical Education
How do you want your child to be online? What will his/her digital footprint look like? How should children behave in digital platforms? Often times, we focus on the things that we do not want our kids to do online. For a change, let's ponder what we want them to do online. Let's think about all the positive ways our children and students can interact with technology and use the tools for good. The International Society for Technology Education or ISTE has come up with 5 key competencies that 21st century learners should all possess. Listeners will gain insight to each competency via conversations with CCPS experts Doug Fordham, Kelsey Pacer, Laurie Surles, Teresa Woodroof, and Suzanne Heath.  This podcast will give the listener food for thought in  helping shape their personal tech use and that of their children.
What kind of mindset do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? A person with a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any significant way, and if we experience success it is because we are a "natural" at certain tasks. On the other hand, a person with a “growth mindset,” is up for a challenge and sees failure as evidence opportunity for growth. We can manifest a fixed or growth mindset from a very early age, and it affects us in both personal ways and ultimately professional ways. It can even make a difference in our overall happiness. In this episode of the Engage Chesterfield podcast, you will learn the characteristics of a Growth mindset, the difference between growth and fixed mindset, learn how mindset affects learning, and discover ways that you can help foster growth mindset with your children or students. In addition, our three expert CCPS teachers, Shelby Bartilotti, Paula Spencer, and Erin Guthe share the positive impacts of using growth mindset strategies in the classroom.Thanks for engaging with us!
Do you have a little guy or gal heading off to "big school" this year?  If so, this episode of the Engage Chesterfield Podcast is for you!  We will share a few things parents can do over the summer to prep for this monumental first day and year of elementary school.Jana Kline, principal of Alberta Smith ES, shares important self-help skills that kindergartners need and bus riding tips. Kristen Hepburn, CCPS Literacy Specialist talks about everyday tasks and teachable moments that parents can sneak in throughout the day to make learning fun and get their wee one started off on the right foot academically. Leslie Lenhart, Gordon Elementary Kindergarten teacher, informs parents on first-week expectations. Parents and teachers alike want to children to get on the bus and walk into school that first day feeling comfortable, confident, and excited to learn. Listen and find out how you can support the Class of 2032!
How many times a month is your child missing school?  How many times a year?  It is something to take note of because without you even realizing it those days can add up quick! Did you know that missing just 2 days a month or 10% of the school year for any reason is defined as chronic absenteeism in Virginia? Chronic absenteeism can cause big gaps in learning at all levels and it is also a sign of drop out risk. Chesterfield County Public Schools has supports and resources in place to help parents and students with this problem.In this edition of the Engage Chesterfield podcast, we will:Note the consequences of chronic absenteeismLearn ways to help start a positive pattern of attendance Hear what Chesterfield has in place to promote and support attendance Introduce you to Communities in Schools and the services that they provide Chesterfield studentsLearn ways to become involved in helping Communities in SchoolsThe end goal of this podcast is to start the conversation making it easier for schools, teachers, and parents to talk about absences. Relationship building can help remove the barriers to attendance issues.This edition's special guests are Lindsay Mottley, CCPS Principal, Amanda Simons, CCPS School Social Worker, and Ashley Hall and Jennifer Hilliard of Communities in Schools.
In this podcast, we explore the budget process, learn how our school system is funded, compare our spending with that of other districts in the Commonwealth and identify those expenditures that are non-negotiable and also those items that we may need to fund in order to ensure that our students have the most supportive, safe and engaging learning experience possible.Thanks to School Board members Rob Thompson and John Erbach for taking the time to sit down and answer questions. Also contributing to this podcast are Christina Berta, Dr. Thomas Taylor, Dr. John Gordon, Dr. Tameisha Grimes and Amy Bartilotti. Many thanks to these CCPS staff members as well!
According to the American Psychological Association from 2016 onward, 12th graders have spent an average of 6 hours a day on social media, texting, and surfing the web. Teens have turned on to technology and turned off reading. Many admit to rarely if ever picking up a book to read for pleasure. Our teens need to read…Find out why middle and high school students need to spend time reading longer novels and books and also gain insight and ideas for supporting your teen's reading from experts Natalia Carson and Stephanie Smith, CCPS Secondary Literacy coaches; Laura Colomb, Swift Creek Middle School teacher; and Libby, Marissa, and Ray, CCPS seniors. Yes, we have stiff competition with technology and social media, but we can keep our teens reading!
Dyslexia Awareness

Dyslexia Awareness


October is Dyslexia Awareness month. On this Engage Chesterfield podcast, Dr. Zenia Burnett, Coordinator of Special Education and Dr. Samantha Hollins, Director of the Department of Special Education for Chesterfield County Public Schools talk about the signs and impacts of dyslexia. Emily Stains, Literacy Specialist for Chesterfield County Public Schools shares ways parents can support literacy learning at home. In addition, Caitlin Wynings, CCPS graduate, provides her personal perspective of living with dyslexia.
When is the best time to talk to your child about underage drinking? It may be now! Learn about "Talk. They Hear you" SAMHSA's underage drinking prevention campaign that helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol. Special guests are Ginger Dotter of Chesterfield County Prevention Services and Ann Tierney of Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Be inspired! Cat Tompkins visits with Peyton Anderson CCPS Project Based Learning Training Specialist and is inspired to visit Crestwood ES and Midlothian Middle to see PBL in action. Listen to Lindsay Porzio and Crestwood students share elements of the school-wide Kindness Migration. Then travel to Midlothian Middle and Katherine Byers class to hear how they have supported non-profit organizations this year including the Cement School in Zimbabwe.
What is screen time? Well, It is the time spent using a device such as a smartphone, computer, television, tablet or games console. Now that most households have multiple devices, screen time is a hot topic with parents. Many are having trouble getting their children to put down their devices. And our children are using Chromebooks in school. Is all this screen time healthy? How much is screen time is too much? It is my hope that listening to this podcast will help answer these questions and make you aware of potential dangers, help you set realistic boundaries and role-model healthy behaviors when using devices and technology.
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