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2019 Challenge Success Update

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Through the gracious generosity of the Concord Education Fund, our partnership with Challenge Success (CS) and Stanford University began in 2015.  This partnership and the resulting noble work continues. I want to thank all students, staff, parents, and community members who have participated in our Challenge Success initiative, be it committee work or helping to organize events associated with Challenge Success.  
It is important to recognize that being a teenager in 2019 is difficult and educating students in the 21st century is challenging.  As stated in the Challenge Success mission statement, "Embracing a broad definition of success...." while promoting "student well-being and engagement with learning," requires a collaborative approach, community-wide approach to educating students while nurturing their well-being.  As the adage goes, "it takes a village."
The impetus for par…
Recent posts

College Admission Scandal

What follows is a wonderful reflection from the Challenge Success - Stanford team. It was written by Paul Franz, who is one of their research associates.

News broke yesterday that several wealthy parents have been indicted for spending exorbitant sums trying to bribe their children’s way into elite colleges and universities. The social and news media responses to the scandal highlight the narrative of academic meritocracy and fairness that we like to believe about higher education, and rest on the assumption that admission to highly selective, ‘elite’ schools is a gateway to a happy, healthy, and above all wealthy life. It is, however, untrue that higher education is entirely meritocratic, particularly on academic grounds, and it is also untrue that the selectivity of the college someone attends plays an important role in their long-term success or happiness. Admissions to elite schools is not and has never been entirely meritocratic. Selective admissions arose as a way to keep non-whit…

Feel Good Fridays

You know that feeling you get the week before a vacation? You're tired All. The. Time. No matter how loud your alarm is, no matter how much you caught up on sleep over the weekend, you still struggle to get up in the morning. You've been going 100 miles per hour for the past 2 weeks: taking tests, finishing projects, planning your trip, and still making it to sports practice / band rehearsal / committee meetings on a regular basis. And then you hit the wall; there is no gas left in the tank and you are DRAGGING to vacation week. 

It's a sign that our lives are out of balance. We've been going too hard at work and not taking time to rejuvenate. It usually happens before a vacation, when we try to finish up everything so that we can go enjoy the vacation with nothing hanging over our heads. But in our rush to get everything done we have been all work and no play. And it's time to rebalance.

This year the Challenge Success steering committee, with the help of several pa…

Upcoming Event: Dialogue Night

January 18, 7-8:30 p.m. CCHS Learning Commons
I remember my high school experience vividly. I could tell you who were my teachers, what classes I liked best, the projects and papers I was most proud of, who were my friends and what we talked about, the extracurriculars I did, and how I generally felt as a high school student. So when I became a high school teacher I assumed I understood the experiences of all of my students. In graduate school I had studied teens and how they learn. During my practicum I learned about classroom management. I had fully formed (so I thought) ideas about student discipline and know all about teens’ motivations, including why they might be late to class.

Last night Dr. Michael Thompson, during his talk “The Pressured Child” here at CCHS, shared a story from when he shadowed a high school student for a day. At one point during the day he needed to stop to use the restroom and the student he was shadowing waited for him, despite knowing s/he would be late to c…

Feel Good Friday

Feel Good Friday is a chance for students to slow down and de-stress. The Feel Good Friday held on December 15th, 2017 was specifically for seniors to de-stress after the college application process. Feel Good Friday featured: 
A therapy dogStudents sharing candy canesStudents playing card and board gamesStudents blowing bubblesHot chocolate The students were very excited about the food and drink provided, and participated by posting notes on the 'It's Going to be Okay' and 'Circle of Life' boards. Special thanks to the Parent Association, who made all this possible!

Why Challenge Success?

What three words would you use to describe CCHS? When nearly 900 students were asked to respond to this open-ended question, the most common responses were “challenging or rigorous” (18.4 %) and “stressful” ( 15.8% ).
Further, more than half of the students reported experiencing physical symptoms due to stress: Exhaustion (65%)Difficulty sleeping (58%)Headaches (54%)Missing a day of school in the month prior to the survey due to a stress-related health or emotional problem (48 %)
While some stress in high school is healthy and normal, and may even be motivating to some students, we believe that the level of stress and anxiety we see at our school is too high. Our students are out of balance, so we are partnering with Challenge Success help reduce unhealthy pressures on our youth.  We want the high school experience to be rewarding in its own right and not merely a means to attaining a narrow definition of success, often measured by acceptance at a particular college.  We know that develo…