JANUARY 23, 2016 - IN THIS ISSUE
DIVERSITY UPDATE
I am excited to share with you an important accomplishment toward our goal of becoming a more diverse community. 

Earlier this month, Charlotte Lab School was granted permission from the state to give an admissions priority to students who live in economically disadvantaged households in our upcoming lottery for the 2017/18 school year. While we are proud of the diversity we have achieved so far, we felt that it was necessary to take additional steps to ensure that a CLS education is available to all Charlotte families. We pursued approval from the NC State Board of Education and Charter School Advisory Board to intentionally increase the socioeconomic diversity of our student body. This action is in line with our original charter application and enables us to serve a student body that is more reflective of the Charlotte community and our local school system.

I am sure that many of you will have questions about how this admission preference will be rolled out and how it will impact our lottery process, specifically, and the school, more generally. While we don't have all the answers yet, we are working with staff and the Diversity Committee (that includes staff, board members, and parents) to finalize our plans, and we will share them in the coming weeks. For those of you with non-Lab siblings who have applied for admission next year, I want to reiterate that the first admission priority will continue to be given to siblings when seats are available, as is detailed in our Admissions & Enrollment Policy .

As we move forward, I thought it would be helpful to remind everyone why we are pursuing a "weighted lottery," and how it will benefit our entire community. As shared in a message to families last May (and multiple times at parents events), t here are several reasons why diversity is important to the Charlotte Lab School vision:
  1. Research shows that a diverse student body enriches the learning experience for all students, improving students' cognitive skills, as well as critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills.
  2. Learning to work with peers from different backgrounds is essential to students' development of the valuable "21st century skills" of collaboration, communication, adaptability, and critical thinking.
  3. It is our obligation as a public school to serve all children. As part of a growing movement of schools nationally, Charlotte Lab School seeks to be " Diverse by Design ." We believe that public schools can not be equitable until they are fully integrated.
NEXT STEPS
We know that enrolling students who live in economically disadvantaged households is just one step towards becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Under the leadership of Kendra Johnson, our Diversity Committee and related subcommittees continue to move forward on other aspects of this initiative. If you are interested in learning more about the committee's work, please join us for our next Diversity Committee meeting on March 8. In the meantime, there is a lot of work happening in the subcommittees, and all parents are encouraged to join any of these teams by contacting the lead staff person for each subcommittee listed below.
  • Admissions & Recruitment: This committee is focused on partnering with local organizations to recruit diverse families, as well as find opportunities for Lab to engage with new audiences in the greater Charlotte area. Contact Mr. Carraway if you are interested in joining their work.
  • Education & Awareness: This committee is working to find out the different needs of our current families and creating opportunities for families & faculty to learn more about issues related to race and privilege in our society and discuss the implications for our school community. Contact Mrs. Charde to get involved with this group.
  • Inclusive Community Building: This committee is planning to work with the PTSO to ensure that current and future events reflect our desire to be truly inclusive and break down stereotypes about families and people from different backgrounds. Contact Ms. Carter to learn more about where they need assistance.
  • School Policy & Practice: This committee will be collaborating with Lab school leaders and Board members to review our family handbook, school policies, and daily procedures; evaluate whether they are equitable & inclusive; and make recommendations for the school to amend as needed. Contact Mrs. Miller to help with the work they are doing.
Thank you for your continued support as we work to fulfill this important component of the Charlotte Lab School mission.

Sincerely,

Mary Moss Brown
Head of School
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WELLNESS UPDATE FROM MRS. WHELAN
This month's character trait is Self-Control, which  can be defined as controlling one's own responses so they align with short- and long-term goals.

I believe that all parents could say at one time or another that they have seen their child struggle with self- control. Throughout the month of January, advisors have been teaching about self-control by reading books, showing videos, writing journal entry's, and having thoughtful conversations about this topic. I encourage you to check in with your child and see what he/she has learned and what new skills he/she is acquiring around this important character trait.

Here is a snapshot of some of the resources that we have been using with our students.

Ways to Show Self-Control:
  • Coming to class with everything needed to get to work rather than being unprepared;
  • Remembering and following directions rather than needing to be reminded;
  • Getting to work right away rather than procrastinating;
  • Paying attention rather than getting distracted;
  • Remaining calm, rather than losing your temper;
  • Allowing others to speak, rather than interrupting; and
  • Being polite to all, even when stressed or angry.
Ways to Earn a Character Badge:
  • Create a "Self-Control" device like a remote control device or stoplight and label your pause, reset, rewind, fast forward, etc;
  • Use the LAB letters to create a word for each letter that would show self-control. Make a poster of this to share with students;
  • Write or draw 5 things you can do to help you keep self-control when you are angry; or
  • Create a game for kids that teaches self-control.
Follow up Questions for Students:
  • List some places where it is important to show self-control.
  • Name some times when it would be hard to have self-control. What would you do?
  • Tell me about things that are in your control at school and things out of your control at school.
Character Books and Resources
Websites/Videos
Articles
Books
  • My Mouth is a Volcano by Julie Cook
  • Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman
  • What Were You Thinking? by Bryan Smith (K-6th)
  • 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey and Stacy Curtis (K-3rd)
  • True (...Sort of) by Katherine Hannigan (3rd-5th)
All of these tips and suggestions may not apply to your child; however, the more proactive we can be teaching our students about self-control and self-regulation skills, the more balanced our children and classrooms will be.


Thank you.
Meegan


THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
WALK-IN CONFERENCE NIGHT - TUESDAY, JAN. 24.
Join us tomorrow night for Walk-in Conference Night from 4:15-6:15 pm. Staff will be available** to meet for 10 minute mini-conferences that evening, and sign-up sheets will be posted beginning at 4:00 pm. 

Parking is available at the Hal Marshall Annex lot at 618 N College St after 4:00 pm for this event. This lot is located just a block from the school. The best way to get there is to travel across the train tracks on E. 9th street, take a right at the light onto College St. and enter the lot on your right. IMPORTANT NOTE: The county staff have agreed to let us use their lot AFTER HOURS ONLY! Please do not park in this lot during the day, and be sure to park there only when you read in our enewsletter that we have been given permission.

** Note: The following teachers are not available (or have limited hours) tomorrow night. You should feel free to contact them directly to schedule a meeting.
HALF DAY - FRIDAY, JAN 27
This Friday is a half day and students will be dismissed at noon. There is no after school programming on Friday. All students will be dismissed according to the standard dismissal method that we have on file unless you submit a transportation change. Buses will arrive at their stops 3 hours and 45 minutes prior to their normal time.

AFTER SCHOOL REGISTRATION
Second semester is underway and families must re-register for all classes, with the exception of PlaySpanish. We will be closing registration this  Friday, January 27, so please make selections by that date. W e would love to get a few more kids signed up for  Monday's  Make & Grow,  Tuesday's  Yoga, and  Friday's  Violin.

ART BY ME PROJECT
Lab is participating in a fun art fundraiser called Art By Me. If your child is taking art this trimester, you will have the chance to order some great products featuring your child's original creation and raise money for the school. Last trimester, this program raised $817.60 for Lab! You will receive a flyer later this week with details about the program, including an order form and free postcards with a preview of your child's masterpiece! You can also  purchase a variety of products including note cards, frames, magnets, tote bags, and much more!

Please be aware that there is a very quick turn around if you want to receive your items before Valentines Day. The best way to order is on the website once you have the order form that provides your child's Artwork ID. All orders placed online by Sunday, Feb 5 will be shipped to the school and sent home by Valentines Day.
PROGRESS REPORTS - FEEDBACK
Last Friday, each student received a Mid-Year Progress Report in his/her green folder. We hope that you found the new format useful and it helped answer any questions that you have related to how your child is doing academically. Please review the report and share it with your child. You can help us wrap up the first semester doing the following:
  • Sign and return the signature page on your child's progress report by this Friday and
  • Share any feedback that you have using this Progress Report Feedback Form.

Parents of 3rd-5th Graders: If your child's ELA progress report did not include a mid-year reading level, please note that the 1:1 evaluations are still underway. We expect all evaluations to be completed by this Friday, at which time you will receive the updated information for your child.

OPEN HOUSE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Do you like to talk about what you love about Lab?  Then, we have a perfect volunteer opportunity for you! Lab is having an open house for prospective parents of students in kindergarten through 6th grades on Thursday January 26 from 6:30-8:00 pm . If you are interested in volunteering to help welcome prospective families, share your enthusiasm, and answer questions about your family's experience at Lab, please sign up here . If you have never helped out at an open house before, don't worry!  Kendra Johnson will go over basic talking points beforehand; it will be a lot of fun. We will meet up in the main office at 6:00 pm to welcome parents and get the scoop from Kendra.

MORNING CAR-RIDER LINE
Would you like the car-rider line to move more quickly in the morning? We would, too! You can help speed up the line by volunteering with morning carpool. Carpool duty is a great way to meet families and get to know students, AND it's a great way to give back. Carpool runs from 7:45-8:15 am, so if you have 15-30 minute to spare, please consider helping out and sign up to let us know you are coming.
WIRED CHILD BOOK CLUB FOR PARENTS
We had a great turnout for our first session of our Wired Child book club today. It is not too late to join the discussion; feel free to attend one or all of the remaining sessions. W e have a few copies of the book available to borrow. You can sign one out at the front office or email Stefanny Wilches.

Wired Child Book Club Details:
  • Remaining sessions: 3 Mondays: Jan 30 & Feb 6, 13
  • Time: 8:30-9:30 am
  • Location: UNCC Room 806
  • Cost: $15 for series or $5 per session, please bring cash or check to the meeting.
  • RSVP: Let us know you will be attending by sending an email to Meegan Whelan
We also want to let parents know about a related event taking place at the end of the month. The Jewish Community Center is hosting a screening of the movie Screenagers, followed by a panel discussion with Melanie Hempe, the founder of Families Managing Media, and Michelle Icard, Michelle in the Middle.    

Screenagers Event Details:
Sunday, January 29
1:15 - 3:00 pm
Members: $12 | Non-Members: $18

This event would also be appropriate for parents to attend with their children ages 10 and up.

CALENDAR-AT-A-GLANCE
Tues, Jan 24 Walk-In Conference Night 4:15 PM
Thur, Jan 26 4th/5th Grade Girls Book Club 10:55 AM
Thur, Jan 26 Open House - K-6th Grades/New Families Only 6:30 PM
Fri, Jan 27 Half Day - Early Release at Noon
Sat, Jan 28 Checkers Spirit Event 6:00 PM
Mon, Jan 30 Wired Child Parent Book Club (continues 2/6 & 2/13) 8:30 AM
Wed, Feb 15 Middle School Open House - New and Returning Families 6:30 PM
Fri, Feb 17 President's Day - Holiday
Mon, Feb 20 President's Day - Holiday
Tue, Feb 21 Teacher Workday- NO CLASSES
Thur, Feb 23 4/5 Girls Book Club 10:55 AM
Thur, Feb 23 Middle School Panel Discussion 6:30 PM
Tue, Feb 28 PTSO General Meeting 6:00 PM

NEWS WORTH REPEATING
Please consider helping with the lunch service by signing up here. We appreciate your help--whether you have time for one day or a regular commitment.
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Save the date for our Middle School Panel Discussion on Thursday, Feb. 23. We will invite parents or representatives from various middle schools in the area, and you will have a chance to learn more about the schools' philosophies and families' experiences, as well as getting answers to your questions. We have also noticed that a lot of area middle schools are holding open houses in January and February, so please check the various schools' websites for more information. Additionally, if you would like to be part of our panel discussion, or if you have a middle school that you would like to see included, please email Counselor Assistant Andrea Miller.

All requests for transcripts and student records must be made in writing to Front Office Manager Stefanny Wilches. Please allow 2 weeks for processing. Requests for references should be made directly with the teacher or staff member.
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Boo boo ice and peanut-free, healthy snacks are needed in the front office. If you are able to donate any of these items, please drop them off to Stefanny Wilches in the front office. You may also pick up a donation receipt at that time.
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The Checkers game is this Saturday, January 28  @  6:00 pm  at the Bojangles Coliseum. You may pick up your tickets at the Will Call Office.  Questions? Email Leslie Mueller.
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Continue to save your Box Tops this semester! Every box top counts towards money for our school!
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Sign up for text reminders using  Remind 101 . By subscribing to the Whole School AND your child's grade level , you will receive up-to-date text reminders of need-to-know information. Simply text the correct code to 810-10. Standard text rates do apply.
  • Whole School - @Fk2c2
  • Kindergarten - @2a34d
  • 1st Grade - @8g9ccd
  • 2nd Grade - @48h447
  • 3rd Grade - @hea66
  • 4th Grade - @43gf3d
  • 5th Grade - @4dha6
  • After School - @labschoola
Charlotte Lab School
301 E. 9th Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

info@charlottelabschool.org

General Info: 704-464-3830

 

Teaching and Learning for the Next Generation