For over thirty years, the Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC - Bell Multicultural High School and Lincoln Multicultural High School) has placed the highest priority on developing the strongest possible connections between teachers and families.  CHEC has long been an exemplar for parental involvement practices in DC Public Schools, with a dedicated school Parental Involvement Coordinator in place for the past 25 years – and for the past 11 years with an additional Coordinator for the CHEC Middle School.  Each of our CHEC Coordinators work from a dedicated Parent Center, a space designed to help families feel welcome, as an important first step on the road to building trusting relationships. The Parent Centers are essentially a “family corner” in which family members can find resources about the school and community.  The Center plays a vital role in facilitating connections, within the school, with other families outside of the school, and with other community institutions.  Additionally, ways in which the Center supports families and their basic needs runs the gamut from providing access to community resources to hosting forums and discussion nights, to addressing topics of concern to families (such as DACA information and assistance), to providing training on leadership and advocacy).

Long term cultivation of positive relationships and trust between teachers and families has been fostered through several initiatives, many of which have become traditional elements in the school.  With parents as partners as a theme, CHEC has a goal of having all families capable of supporting student learning.  This is done in several ways.

  • The CHEC Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (PTSO), now in its 26th year, has a dedicated oversight board and once per month meetings.

  • The CHEC Parental Involvement Offices (one each in the middle and high school), have full communication systems in place for contacting all parents – through phone, letters, and emails.

  • CHEC was one of the first DC Schools to work with the Flamboyan Foundation to institute teacher home visits.  This program is now in its fourth year and has, in the first two months of this year, 117 home visits – with a goal of 700 for the school year.

  • Each school year there are five sets of days when students present their academic portfolios and it is a school tradition that parents come in and serve as panelists that assess student academic work.

  • Twice each week the CHEC Parental Involvement Centers (Middle School and High School) host parental information meetings – on Wednesday mornings in Spanish and on Thursday mornings in English.  The meetings provide parents with information on topics such as intro to PARRCC and how to create a supportive home environment, available community resources, financial aid planning for college, financial literacy and homeownership, etc.


  • Three times per school year CHEC hosts Parent-Teacher conference days, each attended by about 750 families.


  • Parents are often involved in CHEC team sports, serving as coaches, facilitators, and,

  • CHEC has a community advisory board with three current parents, parents of students who have graduated, three Student Government Association representatives, and other community members.




3101 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

High School: 202.939.7700
Middle School: 202.939.6680
Fax: 202.576.9145