CJHS "Chargers Connection"

March 2, 2023

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From the Principals...

Thank you to all for helping us reach our goal for the 5 Essentials Survey. If you have not had the opportunity to provide feedback for the improvement of our school, the survey is open until March 31st and details are listed below!

~Ms. Nicasio, Principal


~Mrs. Fitzgerald, Associate Principal


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Please note there will be NO ADVISORY on Monday due to early dismissal schedule!

Sharing the Joy!

Please take a moment to help us give a shoutout to a staff member and spread Joy throughout our school community. Please fill out this form and we will share your message with them!!

Positive Principal Referrals

We have really amazing students at CJHS and we want the opportunity to recognize the outstanding positive PBIS behaviors in our school! Our teachers have the opportunity to nominate students and we congratulate: Priyanka, Christian, Dee, Jayden, Divine, Mohamed, and Presley!
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Illinois Assessment of Readiness - IAR

Assessment season is upon us and our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be taking the Illinois Assessment of Readiness during the week of March 13. Students will be taking the English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) and Mathematics assessments .

The English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) assessments will focus on writing effectively when analyzing text. Mathematics assessments will focus on applying skills and concepts, and understanding multi-step problems that require abstract reasoning and modeling real-world problems, precision, perseverance, and strategic use of tools. In both content areas, students will demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge by answering selected response items and fill-in-the-blank questions.

You will receive information about your student’s individual performance on the state tests in the fall. These results assist us in action planning for our academic goals at each grade level.

Please help you student be successful by:

  1. Making sure student laptops are fully charged;

  2. Students should arrive to school by 8:35 a.m.;

  3. Making sure your student goes to bed early;

  4. Providing breakfast at home or making sure they eat breakfast at school; and

  5. Motivating your student to do their absolute best.

Headphones needed!!

Students will need a set of working headphones in order to take the test. Please check with your student to see whether their headphones are still in working order. This is crucial to the success of your student.

IAR Schedule 2023

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2024 Trip to London, Normandy and Paris

Dear future Chiddix travelers and families,

Thank you to all those that attended the meeting at Chiddix on the 16th! I am excited to see how many people have already signed up for the 2024 Trip to London, Normandy, and Paris. If you were unable to attend the meeting, I have attached a PDF of my presentation as well as a FAQ Sheet.

This trip is an incredible opportunity for our students to visit some iconic places, learn some history, and explore new cultures. I am looking forward to visiting London, Paris, and the events associated with the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

I expect spots to fill up fast so I encourage you to enroll now if you are interested. To guarantee a spot on this tour and receive a $200 travel discount off the price of the tour, please consider enrolling and paying the $95 deposit. Payment Plans are also available. The $200 discount I mentioned at the meeting will expire on March 4th. To enroll on this trip, please click this link: www.eftours.com/2585120vv

You can also view the Parent Guide to Travel from EF Educational Tours, our travel partner. It covers everything from details about EF to options for high school and college credit to payments plans and what to expect on tour. I have also attached an EF Tours FAQ document for you to look through as well.

If you have questions, EF's Traveler Support team can help at 1 800-665-5364. And if your child has friends who haven't signed up yet, feel free to pass this message along to their families too.

I am looking forward to this amazing trip in June of 2024.


Jeff Porter

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Black History Month - Drawing Contest

In February, the eighth grade art classes were challenged to create a drawing to represent their vision of Black History Month. They were to choose an African American entertainer, activist, leader, public figure, etc. from the past or present, to draw and color. They all did research on the person they chose and then found a photograph of that person. Students were required to free-hand draw the person they chose to go with the theme of Black History Month. There were many different depictions entered.

Once all of the drawings were turned in, they were hung anonymously in the Chiddix Teachers’ Workroom for a week, so that the staff could vote for their top three favorite drawings. Once the top three choices were made, Ms. Nicasio and Mrs. Fitzgerald were asked to vote for their favorite drawing. Finally, all of the middle school art teachers in Unit 5 were asked to vote on their favorite drawing. This is how the winner was decided upon.

The winner of the Black History Month drawing contest is eighth grader Karlyshia “Karly” Downey. Below, please read Karly’s artist statement about her winning artwork.

Karly not only won the vote of best drawing, she also won $40 of Mrs. Vincent’s cash and $1,000 of Charger Cash. She was very humble and appreciative about winning. Her drawing was made into a large poster and will be on display in the Chiddix lobby display case for everyone to see. Please take a moment and stop by and see this display the next time you’re in our school.

Throughout History

“Before I started drawing my Black History Month assignment, I was thinking 'how can I show how racism has affected the black community and how much we’ve come together'. I love the example of the woman I chose to use as the main part of the drawing. She is pretty and her hair flows in such a beautiful way. Her eyes pierced me in a way that I knew she was the subject I had to draw. I think I have captured her piercing eye and beautiful hair in my drawing.

I also chose to section off a part of the woman I drew in the shape of two triangles. In the top triangle, I drew Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, because he was such a great Black activist in our country. His “I Have a Dream” speech helped so many people to have hope to get through some difficult times. I also chose a woman I read about, who most have never heard of. Her name is Claudette Galvin. She was an activist on a bus, refusing to leave or move to the back. Her story occurred before Rosa Parks’. However, Ms. Galvin was a single pregnant teenager and the Black community decided that she was not as good of an example of Black activism as Rosa Parks. She is in the bottom left triangle of my drawing, to give her some recognition for what she started.

I think my drawing was successful in coming together as one coherent person and that I have created something that is unmatched. My drawing is telling the story that even though we have come a very long way with racism, things that happened in the past still stay with us. I am honored to win this drawing contest!"

All 8th grade art student entries

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The winning drawing by Karly Downey

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Congratulations to Aaliyah Mohapatra!!

Congratulations to Aaliyah Mohapatra for winning 2nd place in the Annual Black History Essay Contest sponsored by the City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Human Relations Commission. She will receive the opportunity to read her essay on air with WGLT and will receive an award trophy and Visa Gift Card prize. We are so proud of our Chiddix Charger!!

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5 Essentials Survey

Teachers, parents, and students across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey.

This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child's school. Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the environment at your child's school. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be conducted through Friday, March 31, 2023.

To take the survey:

1. Visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/

2. Click on "Start here" under the Parent category

3. You may enter your email address but that is not required. It is completely optional.

4. Enter "McLean" for the County

5. Begin typing your child's school name and you should see it pop up. Click on the appropriate school.

Please take a separate survey for each school where you have a child enrolled.

The survey is also available in Spanish.

The Illinois 5Essentials gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are

  • Effective Leaders

  • Collaborative Teachers

  • Involved Families

  • Supportive Environments

  • Ambitious Instruction

Research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools strong on at least three of these indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains in math and reading than those that were weak on three or more Essentials.

Unit 5 students in grades 4th-12th will be given the opportunity to take this survey. Our CJHS students will be taking it during Advisory on Monday, February 13th. If you do not want your child to take the survey, please contact your child's principal by Monday, February 6.

Please be aware that under the Protection of Pupil Rights Act. 20 U.S.C. Section 1232(c) (1) (A), you have the right to review a copy of the questions asked of your student(s). Survey questions can be found on the Illinois 5Essentials Support Center ( Illinois 5Essentials Survey Questions).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact 5Essentials Client Services at 1-866-440-1874 or impact-surveys@uchicago.edu.

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All students are invited to betabrain 2023!!

betabrain, a team-based STEAM event, for U5 students in grades 6-12 will be held on Friday, March 3rd from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kingsley Junior High School. Click here to learn more about betabrain 2023! If your child would like to participate with U5 friends, register for betabrain here. Have betabrain 2023 questions? Please email Stacie France at francesm@unit5.org.
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Attention 8th grade Parents...

Your student's freshman course selections are now in Infinite Campus. You can view them in the Academic Plan on your Parent Portal. If you have any questions, please contact your student's counselor. Changes can be made through Friday, March 24th, 2023.

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Please click here for information on French class for families to learn and consider when thinking about high school courses for the future.
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Stay Connected...

Please follow our CJHS Twitter and our NEW special "CJHS - Principal's Corner" Facebook page to showcase all the wonderful teaching and learning happening in our school!

You can also visit our school website for additional information. Please be patient as changes are being made to the website to ensure the most updated information is provided.


All visitors, including parents and siblings, are required to enter through the front door of the building and proceed immediately to the main office. Visitors should identify themselves and inform office personnel of their reason for being at school.

All visitors to school property are required to check into the Building Principal's office and receive permission to remain on school property. All visitors' log, identifying their name, the date and time of arrival, and the classroom or location they are visiting, show identification, and wear a visitor's badge.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, March 6

  • Early Dismissal Day @11:45 am.
  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @4 p.m.
  • 7th Grade Volleyball Sectionals at Morton JHS @6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 7

  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 8

  • Drama Club @3:45 p.m.
  • Chess Club @3:45 p.m.
  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @Sugar Creek - 4 p.m.
  • Orchestra Concert @6 p.m.

Thursday, March 9

  • Math Counts @3:45 p.m.
  • Jazz Band Practice @4 p.m.
  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @4 p.m.

Friday, March 10

  • Bit by Bit @3:45 p.m.
  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @4 p.m.

Saturday, March 11

  • 7th/8th Volleyball Practice @8 a.m.

Monday, March 13

  • Team Quest Club - 6th Grade @3:45 p.m.

Tuesday, March 14

  • IAR Testing
  • FCA @3:45 p.m.
  • 5th & 6th Grade Band and Jazz Band Concert @6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15

  • IAR Testing
  • Chess Club @3:45 p.m.
  • Drama Club @3:45 p.m.
  • Unit 5 School Board Meeting @6:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 16

  • IAR Testing
  • GSA @3:45 p.m.
  • Math Counts @3:45 p.m.
  • Unit 5 Choral Showcase @NCWHS

Friday, March 17

  • Wear Green Day!
  • Unit 5 Honor Band Performance Field Trip
  • Bit by Bit Club @3:45 p.m.
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Chiddix Junior High School

Mariana Nicasio, Principal

Kelly Fitzgerald, Associate Principal

Phone Numbers:

  • General Information: (309) 557-4405
  • Guidance Office: (309) 557-4850
  • Attendance Line: (309) 557-4454
  • School Nurse: (309) 557-4687
  • Transportation: (309) 557-4287