The research is overwhelmingly clear: when parents play a positive role in their children's education, students do
better in school. Connecting home and school also makes us a great community of learners.

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.


First Day of School

  • August 21, 2017

Back to School Night

  • September 6, 2017

Student Portfolio Panels

  • October 23-24, 2017

  • January 17-18, 2018

  • April 3-4, 2018

  • June 4-5, 2018

International Dinner

  • December 7, 2017

Winter Break

  • December 22, 2017 - January 2, 2018

Spring Break

  • March 26 - March 30, 2018

Parent Conferences

  • Friday, November 3, 2017

  • Friday, March 2, 2018

  • Thursday, May 24, 2018

Last Day of School

  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

Information to encourage strong parent engagement

The PARCC assessments serve as an "educational GPS system," assessing students' current performance, and pointing the way to what students need to learn to be ready for the next grade level and, by high school graduation, for college and/or a career.  

The PARCC assessments are designed to give schools and teachers more information to improve instruction. Moreover, PARCC is designed to let parents know how their child is progressing academically. This more detailed information can lead to strong engagement between parents and teachers.

GreatKids Test Guide for Parents provides families with students in grades 3-8 with customizable information by state and grade level that will help them better understand what their child was tested on and how to support their learning. The Guide, created in collaboration with teachers at each grade level, explains what knowledge and skills are needed grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject. Also available en Espanol

Be a Learning Hero helps parents navigate the changes happening in classrooms across the country so they can help their children be successful in school. They provide resources and information for parents from some of the nation’s most well-respected education and parent organizations including the National PTA, Common Sense Media and GreatSchools. is a collaborative resource designed to help parents most effectively intepret their child's score report. It features information about the assessments, along with resources that will help parents assist their children on the journey to college and career readiness.

What Parents Should Know About PARCC

This video shows a text conversation between a parent and a child about the PARCC assessment.

Translated Score Reports

PARCC has translated the sample score reports for all grade levels into 11 different languages, and both parents and educators may access them here.

Parent Resources Developed by Educators  

The materials located below have been developed by educators to provide parents a better understanding of the PARCC assessments. While these materials have been developed to inform parents, they may also be customized for presentations by local parent organizations and other stakeholder groups. Areas for customization are colored red within the documents and each resource was developed with a specific grade band — middle or high school — in mind. 

Middle School

High School

Overview Powerpoint Template




Welcome to CHEC’s PTSO community page.   All parents and guardians of CHEC students are members of the PTSO and are welcome to become an active part of this vital organization. The PTSO offers numerous ways in which you can be involved in and connected to the school, from attending parent meetings to  helping with events or serving as chaperones and on committees. Even if you can spare only a bit of time, your contribution is important and valuable in building a cohesive community.

The purposes of the PTSO are: to represent and advance  the views, interests and perspectives of parents in the school community; to aid the integration and education of parents in the expectations, activities and procedures of the school; in collaboration with the administration and faculty of the school,  to lend its support to activities, and programs for students and faculty; and to advance the financial viability and public image of the school, and the security, morale and well-being of its members. Together we can achieve our common goals of supporting  our children, the school, and the entire CHEC community.

The PTSO sponsors many events, an annual International Dinner, an annual Field Day, meetings, workshops, support groups, and more.

Dorothy Douglas,



Percia Williams,

Vice President


Marianella Castaneda,


Denise Downie

Gloria Schultz

Kola Shelton



Aspen Parent Portal

Aspen: Log-in
What is the Aspen Parent Portal?

Families of students in grades 6-12 may keep up with their child’s progress in school using the online Parent Portal. The goal of DCPS' new digital portal is to create an open line of communication between teachers and families.


How can I access the Parent Portal?

Parent Portal accounts are automatically generated based on the “Grant Parent Portal” check box for the individuals on the “Student Contacts” tab in Aspen. You should have received an email with your username (your email address) and a link to set up your account. Once you log on initially and set your password, the resources below should help with the navigation.

The Aspen Parent Portal Student and Parent Account Creation Guide provides detailed guidance on setting up your account.

What if I have not received my account log-in information?

If you have not received the account setup email, you will want to:

  1. Make sure the email did not get lost in your spam filter.

  2. If the email is not in your spam filter, contact CHEC Registrar Ms. Deborah Johnson to update your email address. Once a valid email address is listed, you should receive an account setup email the next day.

  3. Make sure that the “grant portal access” box is checked for that contact- One this box is checked, the contact will be pulled into a nightly procedure that generates Parent Portal Accounts. The family member should receive the account set-up email the next day.

What if I have a valid email but cannot access my account?


If you set your password already and cannot remember it, you can use the “I forgot my password” link on the home page to reset it. If the “I forgot my password” link on the home page does not work, and you still have trouble, reach out to your student’s school registrar to manually reset the password.

Are there other resources and guidance for the Parent Portal?


What you need to know about the Parent Portal!

¡ Lo que necesita saber sobre el Portal de Padres!



These instructional videos will guide you through the ins and outs of the Aspen Parent Portal.

Aspen Parent Portal – Getting Started

Aspen Parent Portal – Finding your Child and Checking Their Schedule

Aspen Parent Portal – Assignments and Grades

Aspen Parent Portal – Calendar and Email

Aspen Parent Portal – Transcripts and Graduation Program

The Aspen Reference Guide will show you the basics of navigating the Parent Portal. 


Can I access the Parent Portal by phone?

Absolutely! The Parent Portal Mobile Guide will provide details for mobile access.

Absolutely! The Parent Portal Mobile Guide will provide details for mobile access.


Many avenues to support CHEC:

For CHEC Parents there are many opportunities for involvement in school life.   All students will benefit from your participation.  Parents are invited to volunteer to participate in these organizations and activities….

  • CHEC Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) (Contact Victor Molina at 202-939-7700 ext. 5023)

  • CHEC Student Portfolio Assessments – Parents are invited to sit on panels that assess student  portfolios (Contact Mila Elmore at 202-939-7700 ext. 5017)

  • The Local School Restructuring Team (LSRT) that works to develop the CHEC management plan that leads  to improvement of the school (Contact Victor Molina at 202-939-7700 ext. 5023)

  • Periodic meetings with the CHEC Parent Coordinators Victor Molina and Lucy Lemus to discuss parenting  and school life (Contact Victor Molina at 202-939-7700 ext. 5023 and Lucy Lemus at ext. 4009)

  • The organization and presentation of the CHEC Annual International Dinner that takes place in early  December (Contact Victor Molina at 202-939-7700 ext. 5023)

  • The organization of CHEC Parent Teacher conferences.  During PT Conference Days over 800 families visit CHEC

  • Assistance with registering students at CHEC each August

  • Assistance with Annual Scholarship Gala in June

CHEC students will investigate the world, recognize and respect different perspectives, communicate ideas in more than one language, and be proactive in taking action as global citizens.


In alignment with the mission of CHEC, the mission of the World Languages and Cultures program at CHEC is to prepare students to be active participants in an ever-shrinking and increasingly interdependent globe. We prepare our students for this global interdependence by developing their literacy in global matters, multi-culturalism and cultural diversity, as well as helping them achieve a formidable level of proficiency in a world language other than English. We also aim to help Heritage speakers maintain and develop their native language skills.


World Cultures Education is intended to integrate culture, global studies and the standard curriculum. It is a perspective that informs and modernizes all subject areas, developing citizens of the world in relation to culture, language and learning to live together. World Cultures Education emphasizes the process and context, as well as the content.



  • 6th grade: Migration and Immigration

  • 7th grade: Conflict

  • 8th grade: Identity, Voice and Gender

  • 9th grade: Change, Progress and Innovation:  What is progress and Innovation? Can it go too far?

  • 10th grade: Knowledge, Learning, Education and Wisdom:  What is Knowledge, Learning, Education, and Wisdom? To whom is this accessible? How?

  • 11th grade: Equity and Power:  What is Equity? What is Inequity? Where do we find inequity and why? Who has power and who is fighting for it and why?

  • 12th grade: Global Economics: How are economics and power interrelated? What is a global economy?






3101 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010

High School: 202.939.7700
Middle School: 202.939.6680
Fax: 202.576.9145