Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020
  Florida flag
Pictured very top:
The Colonial High School campus, virtual and physical, has been gearing up for the school year! Our teachers have been setting up their classrooms and their Canvas for all of our returning students.
Connect With CHS
Colonial High School

As you probably know by now, we have opened the 2020-2021 school year this week across the district for all students using OCPS' innovative LaunchEd model. Then on Friday, August 21 a segment of our students will return to campus for regular face-to-face instruction - about the OCPS Face-to-Face model.

As this is only day #3 of the new school year and no doubt there are still lingering questions regarding virtual access, below we have included the procedures for both parents and students. However, district staff have been working very quickly on a day-to-day basis to keep the district's website updated with additional tips, Q&A, and other useful information which can all be accessed from the first page of the OCPS website. If you have questions, please invest a few minutes to visit the OCPS website as it should save you some time. The website is being continuously updated to help our students and their families get their online access issues quickly resolved.

As I mentioned in this space one year ago to kick off 2019-2020, two of my primary goals alongside making sure our Grenadiers get top flight instruction are campus safety and accessibility. Here are the staff and faculty email addresses should you have questions as I know everyone wants our Grenadiers to see 2020-2021 off on the best possible footing given the circumstances.

Thank you so much for your flexibility and cooperation as we are all working together with really one express purpose - to make sure the students of Colonial High School receive the same quality education as they would have had we opened day #1 with everyone back in their classrooms. Have a good Wednesday and thank you once again for your support!

It's Great To Be A Grenadier!

Dr. Maestre

Content and Important Events

In this Issue (Click link)
LaunchEd@Home Tutorial
Bell Schedules
Grenadier Athletics
Staff Spotlight
Freshman Campus Improvements
Partner in Education
Senior Photos
Curbside Meals
College & Career Update
1 Hour Virtual Parent Academy
Parent Services
Food for Thought
Motivational Moment
Dates to Watch For
Aug. 13: Special ELL event from 10AM-12PM and repeated from 5-7PM (please see below) 
Aug. 17: Monday Curbside Meal Pickup day for the week (please see below) 
Aug. 21: Face-to-Face instruction begins for some students
Aug. 27: OCPS Virtual Parent Academy, 6-7PM, sign-up here 
Sept. 7: Labor Day Holiday  
Oct. 25: Horatio Alger Scholarship application deadline (this week's featured scholarship)   
LaunchEd@ Home Tutoriallaunched
We have created a video tutorial to assist students with LaunchEd@Home. The tutorial can be found online using the links below and also through social media.

REMINDER: Parent Registration on Skyward
Parents, if you have not registered for Skyward, please click here for the step-by-step instructions.

Parent footnote: To access Skyward, parents must first have a "LaunchPad" account which is not difficult to set up (included as part of the instructions in the link just above or in the diagram below).  
LaunchPad basically operates like a window that allows you to see and access different OCPS software programs of which Skyward is an extremely helpful one. With it, parents are able to monitor all kinds of student related activities as the school year rolls along. Parents should sign up as soon as able. This is a great tool that you can use 24/7 all year long to help guide your student's success!   
Colonial community footnote: The Skyward program was first introduced at OCPS during the 2019-2020 school year so this is not new and it has been a terrific parent tool for a while now. Skyward was implemented to help families view  students' educational progress. It tracks student schedules, assignments,  calendar events, grades, attendance, discipline, test  scores,  activities, and graduation requirements. Once a parent uses Skyward for the first time, most have found it quite helpful.  
*** There was no way of knowing one year ago about the Covid-19 pandemic, but since it has occurred, the time and investment OCPS made rolling out Skyward during the summer of 2019 has turned out to be a tremendous asset. Skyward gives our school system a serious advantage when it comes to supporting our families.

Once you open up your "LaunchPad" account you can then access software programs helpful to parents like Skyward (to monitor your student's progress) or SchoolPay (allows you to pay for most school related expenses as the year goes along).

Bell Schedulesbellschedule
All students are following our Bell Schedules for the first 10 days:

Grenadier Athleticsathletics2
As we began the new school year this week, there are many questions regarding Athletics and how things will move forward. Unfortunately there are more questions than answers, but let me start with what we know and work from there.

Back in July we started a voluntary summer workout plan for Fall sports only that is still going on and will end on August 21st. Then on August 24th, all Fall sports will begin with tryouts, practices and preparations for the Fall season. As it stands right now, this would mean some of the games that were scheduled for August will not be played. We are still seeking answers to see if those games will be made up or do we just move on with the rest of the schedule starting in September. Time will tell as we get that information from OCPS administration and recommendations from the FHSAA. There will be rules and guidelines put into place with how we move forward at practices and games. Safety will be the top priority.  There will be social distancing, sanitation requirements, and a number of things directed by your coach.

Things you will need to do prior to August 24th. You must have a current physical on hand and all paperwork turned in prior to your first day of practice. Of course, you will be required to have a 2.0 GPA as always. Coach Teti and Mr. Fuste can help you with these items as needed.

This year will have its challenges. As athletes, this is a big reason why we compete because it is so challenging. Athletes and coaches above all others are geared towards challenges, adversity and overcoming odds. This year just has a bit more of a challenge to it. Don't let this get in your way - remember that all other schools and opponents are in the same place you are. At Colonial we don't make excuses, we only find solutions and take on the tasks at hand. We will overcome!

It Is Always Great To Be A Grenadier!

Stay tuned for further information that is sure to follow.

Coach Hamre and the Athletic Department  
At the time this home court picture was taken last season, our girls JV Volleyball team had just posted victories against both Oak Ridge and Ocoee. The girls Varsity Volleyball team had also shut out Ocoee's Knights on tremendous teamwork and coaching! 
Staff Spotlightstaffspotlight

Meet our new Media Specialist!
Chrissy Mentzer

Prior Position
I have been a 9th and 10th grade English teacher for many years and I also have experience as a high school media specialist.

FSU and UCF/Level 3 Google Certified

Favorite Aspect of Media Specialist Position
The best part about being a media specialist is the opportunity I have to connect with students every day in so many different capacities. My favorite aspect of the job is getting to know students individually. I love to talk to students about books and help them find information that supports their learning and growth. I also enjoy supporting teachers, particularly with digital teaching tools and resources.

Personal Interests/Hobbies
I like to say that I am a "band" person. I play the trumpet and I met my husband, who also plays the trumpet, in FSU's Marching Chiefs when we were in college. We have three children who also play brass instruments. Our oldest graduated from UCF and played the trumpet in UCF's Marching Knights and our other two children, who play the French horn and tuba, are currently members of FSU's Marching Chiefs.

Both Mrs. Mentzer and her husband as well as two of her children have been members of Florida State University's famous Marching Chiefs band. The Chiefs have averaged 400+ members every year since the 1980s.

Special Congratulations to: Assistant Principal Dr. Mary Vetter!

Dr. Vetter defended her dissertation virtually, since UCF was still closed due to the pandemic. Her dissertation is titled: An Analysis of 1:1 Digital Implementation and English Learner Enrollment and Performance on Advanced Placement English Examinations in a Large Urban School District. She chose this focus because she believes that English Learner students who become bilingual will have access to more career and college options, and she wants to continue to support English Learner goals and pathways to success. She is proud to continue to serve the Colonial High School community. Go Knights!

Earning a Doctorate degree such as Assistant Principal Vetter did this summer, represents a very small percentage when compared to the numbers of Master's degrees and Bachelor's degrees that are awarded every year. This is a major achievement and we congratulate Dr. Vetter on her success!


Welcome to a new school year! I'm Mrs. Mentzer, your new media specialist. I am looking forward to connecting with you either on campus or online. Be on the lookout for fun activities like virtual book clubs and activities that you can participate in at home and at school.

This year we will also be forming a Battle of the Books team which is a group of students who reads popular young adult books and represents Colonial High School in a quiz bowl competition. Even if you don't want to be part of the team, we have copies of the Florida Teens Reads books for checkout in hard copy and digital format to enjoy. Stay tuned for more information and I'm looking forward to a different, but great year!

Campus Improvementscampusimprovements
Freshman Campus has been hard at work updating and renovating both the interior and outside property.
New blacktop pavement for our parking lot and bus loop.
Walls going up in our front office reception area.

Partner in Education: Summit Churchpiespotlight
Summit Church, one of our fantastic Partners in Education, came by to wish our faculty and staff a great first day of school. A HUGE thank you for your support, encouragement, and delicious fresh-cooked lunch!
Senior Photosseniorphotos
The appointments fill up quickly, so don't delay . . . register today! Seeing yourself in the yearbook is important. This is the photo that will also be used on the "big screen" at the Amway Arena. 

Curbside Meals for LaunchEdcurbsidemeals

We will be serving breakfast and lunch meals on Monday after school for the week ahead at the Colonial High School Main Campus from 2:50 PM to 4:20 PM and on the Colonial High School Freshman Campus from 2:40 PM to 4:10 PM.

This meal service is only available for students who are enrolled in Colonial High School. We will be utilizing a Point of Sale system to identify students so they will either need their student ID or student number. All meals are free of charge.
College & Career Updateccc

Scholarship Spotlight: Horatio Alger
Other 2020-2021 scholarship opportunities:  
Hispanic Scholarship Fund

The cost of education has been accelerating in 2020: 
At 8:30 AM today, August 12, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly inflation report for July 2020. The nearby Federal Reserve Bank chart shows how the cost of education has been picking up speed over the last year and into the current 2020 recession. In fact, over the last year educational costs have risen faster than the general U.S. inflation rate which is why we encourage all of our college bound students to take advantage of Colonial's College and Career Center as they can help with college financial aid opportunities such as the scholarships mentioned above.

OCPS Virtual Parent Academy #1 for 2020-2021parentacademy

Date & Time
  • August 20, 2020  
  • 6:00PM - 7:00PM
  • Virtual
  • During this 1-hour online session, families will learn how to create conditions that lead to improved social, emotional, academic and physical well-being of our students.
  • For  more information and to register click here
By phone call: 407-317-3300 - Contact: Alexis Ramos

Parent Services: Special Event Thursdayparentservices



Food for Thoughtfoodforthought
Recent facts & figures that directly or indirectly impact our Grenadiers . . .

1. World-wide school closures as of early August. OCPS is most fortunate vs. many other U.S. school districts and nations at this time as it has the technology (LaunchEd), a rigorous curriculum, and teacher talent to get 2020-2021 underway.

Source: UNESCO; Read full article

2. In the United States, being out of work often reflects one's educational attainment. Here are this year's unemployment rates through July.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Data table (just released for July 2020) 

This Week's Motivational Moment!mm

Keep a Positive Attitude
People who take a positive attitude and say, "I can do it. I am going to do it right now. It's no problem. Everything will work out fine. No worries," are great to be around and work with at school or on the job.

If you put off something you should have done already, it will start to threaten you with fear. Don't allow an assignment to get out of proportion in your mind. Keep your mind on what you set out to do today. If you get interrupted, make yourself come back to that task and finish it up. Nothing is so hard that you can't handle it, if you will keep a positive attitude!

Welcome back Grenadiers!
Dr. Maestre, Principal
Colonial High School
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Social Media
chs fb
chs t
chs ig

Leadership Team

chs Principal: Dr. Hector Maestre
Assistant Principal: Ms. Maricarmen Aponte
Assistant Principal: Dr. Timothy Flynn
Assistant Principal: Ms. Elizabeth Fuller
Assistant Principal: Mr. Michael Mezger
Assistant Principal: Ms. Kimberly Parsons 
Assistant Principal: Dr. Mary Vetter
Assistant Principal: Mr. Jonathan Zenzel
Leadership Team Biographies: Leadership Team Biographies

This communication may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure, and intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Anyone who receives this message in error should notify the sender immediately by telephone or by return e-mail, and delete the message from their computer and any printout thereof.  Please note that OCPS utilizes spam and junk e-mail filtration applications in its e-mail systems.  That filtering process may prevent or delay delivery of certain e-mail communications. If you do not receive a timely response to an e-mail communication, please contact the intended recipient by phone.

Copyright Notice
Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS-Colonial High School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of the Orange County Public Schools and OCPS-Colonial High School. Please contact Ms. Mary Vetter (assistant principal) at with any questions.