Senator Square: AVID, Week of Respect and Air Force Thunderbirds at CHS

Phillip Brady

Phillip Brady

What exactly is AVID, and why should students, parents, and Carson City community members care to read the following? Well, AVID reveals the level of commitment CCSD has to its students in helping them pursue future opportunities in college, career, and life. Advancement Via Individual Determination, established in 1980, creates a college-going culture school-wide. The program is designed and dedicated to giving students, those with determination to succeed, but who also need academic and emotional support paired with rigor, access to CHS Honors and AP classes so they may succeed in college. Specifically targeted are students not well represented in college: ESL, FRL, first generation college students and underprivileged students. AVID is not a program for those who consistently receive bad grades, do not complete homework, or are unmotivated; it is not a remedial opportunity in any way; it is a four year elective aimed at those kids in the middle, elementary school through high school, who could be successful in college with the right teacher as advocate. According to AVID elective teacher Rachel Avidano, “It is for kids who have the ability to be successful in college, but who need a little extra support in fine-tuning their abilities through self-awareness paired with social and emotional learning which ultimately leads to visiting, applying to, and attending college.” It begins in eighth grade when students are recommended by their teachers. They then apply and are interviewed before being accepted. Students learn organization skills, note taking, study skills, communication skills, and they complete community service hours each semester. In 2016, 93 percent of participants completed college entrance requirements. AVID, a non-profit organization, provides educators with proven real-world strategies to move underrepresented students to succeed. Go to, to see that CCSD is doing all things possible to meet the needs of all students.


CHS celebrated its second year Week of Respect event Oct. 3-6, joining other schools in Nevada to celebrate diversity, promote kindness, and educate students to be an Upstander, standing up against bullying and cyber-bullying. Class curriculum and social activities centered on Social Emotional Learning, prompting students to reflect upon and share what respect means to them. WOR highlighted skills and interactions that facilitated positive student relationships and empowered students to observe the impact they can make simply by approaching each day treating others the way they want to be treated. CHS Principal Tasha Fuson said, “In today’s world, it’s important for our students to understand that we do not need to share the same opinion as others; however, we do need to learn to be respectful of other’s opinions [and] it is our sincerest hope…Week of Respect will bring that concept to life for our students.” The Oct. 3 WOR theme was Respect Yourself. Students wrote and read aloud essays on respect, and ASL students performed a Sign-A-Song in Senator Square. The Oct. 4 theme was Respect Each Other with students’ posters of positive messaging hung in the Hall of Respect. CHS Staff was on the lookout for observable acts of kindness, and students received a Be Kind Like Josh bracelet Link Crew leaders promoted responsible social media practices with posts on twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and students were asked to take the pledge to become an Upstander by signing up online. Oct. 5 began with CHS’ amazing staff members meeting at the entrance of the school to welcome students for the day, greeting them with high-fives and hellos to start the day off as a community. The Oct. 6 theme was Get Your Blue On to show Senator Pride by wearing blue and making WOR go viral on social media. Students and parents may check out the results of WOR by going to,, and and looking for the following hash tags: #PositiveCarson, #CarsonUpstanders, #CarsonGetYourBlueOn, #CarsonCitySchools, and #HealthyGenerations.


At 10 a.m. Oct. 6, the Air Force Thunderbirds visited CHS to give a presentation of their experiences flying F-16’s for the Air Forces’ demonstration team. They also performed in Minden Oct. 7-8. They were here a couple of years ago and did a great job presenting to the NJROTC classes, so all CHS classes were invited to attend should they so choose. Research the team at or call Dan Meyer LCDR, USN (ret) SNSI NJROTC 283-1780 with questions.


The CHS Jazz Ensemble performed impromptu the morning of Oct. 6 in Senator Square with Director, Bill Zabelsky, who has been doing impromptu performances for the past five years at CHS and has maintained this tradition of jazz ensembles playing in the morning for over 25 years. The group is getting ready for their annual fall concert Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Carson City Community Center which is free to the public. Concert Band and award winning Wind Ensemble will also be playing, so come and hear these fantastic teen musicians.


Parents of freshmen are invited to CHS Freshmen Parent Night Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in the CHS Library. Counselors will be presenting information about graduation requirements, resources for students, college, and scholarships. The deans will present information regarding attendance, dress code, discipline, and safety. Call Counselor Mandy Chambers at 283-1915 with questions.


CHS’ National Honors Society won the Northern Nevada High School Blood Drive Challenge last year and received a check for $3,000 from United Blood Services. NHS’ first blood drive this year is Oct. 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Medical staff will be in the CHS Small Gym. Large numbers of donors are needed, especially with the recent tragedy in Las Vegas. Donors must be 16 or older. Anyone under 18 must have a signed parent consent form and a picture ID when they donate. Students may sign up by room 221 or drop by the day of the blood drive. Snacks and drinks are also needed. Call teacher Brian Branch at 283-1749 for information.


Got Books? CHS Language Arts teachers are raising money at their Annual Book Sale fundraiser during the CHS Craft Fair Nov. 17-18. The call is to the Carson City community to donate used books to CHS’ LAD to continue publishing the Senior Project Booklet and helping the senior class with graduation expenses. All proceeds benefit CHS’ LAD as it receives no money whatsoever to help with the costs of the Senior Project, a CHS graduation requirement.


Oct. 10-11, WNC representatives will be at CHS to begin the Bridge to Success program with interested seniors. Passes will be sent to students by Oct. 9. Like to attend? Did not receive a pass? Stop by the Guidance Office.


A representative from SNC will be in room 131 Oct. 11 at 1:15 to meet with interested students. Stop by the Guidance Office for a pass.


The CHS Oct. 2-5 Athletes of the Week are Rheanna Jackson for girls cross country and Daniel Escalante for boys’ soccer. Congratulations to these athletes and to all students who participate in school through clubs and sports.


The Student of the Week is Crystal Vargas. Crystal is a junior at CHS and loves to help others. She is an exceptional student in math and is very humble. Congratulations to Crystal on being kind to others and being a positive influence in the lives of others.


This week’s Senior Spotlight shines on Rheanna Jackson. Rhea is an incredibly hard-working young lady, consistently pushing herself academically inside and outside the classroom. She is taking a rigorous course load filled with Advanced Placement and honors courses. Rhea is also highly involved at CHS. She currently plays violin, in her ninth year in orchestra, and is also a member of National Honor Society and a member of CHS track and cross- country. Last week, Rheanna placed first in the girls’ varsity cross-country meet. In track, she competes in the 800 relay, 1600 relay, and the 4x800 relay. During the summer, Rheanna works on her family’s ranch. Half of the summer is spent working with cattle branding, and the other half is spent working on the alfalfa farm. She enjoys team roping with her dad and brother and riding her horse, Floppy. Rhea is hoping to attend Cal Poly San Louis Obispo or UNR in the fall. She intends to major in crop science, wanting to follow in her dad’s footsteps as a crop advisor. Congratulations to Rheanna Jackson. Carson High School’s pride is shining, and everyone here cannot wait to see what her future holds.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.


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