McDougle Elementary Has New Friday Ritual

CHAPEL HILL – Students and parents at McDougle Elementary have started beginning every Friday with dancing.

McDougle principal Patrenia McDowell says the students dance from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. to start their day.

“(I) thought it would be a great way to end the week,” she says, “and it’s just a way to get the heart-rate up first thing in the morning.”

McDougle Elementary began having dancing before school on Friday at the end of last school year.  McDowell says now several of the parents join in for the fun.

“We have some parents that just join right in,” she says. “It puts smiles on everyone’s faces, so it works.”

As a way for students to get some smiles and energy before beginning the school day, McDowell says the dancing is getting good feedback.

“I don’t know how (parents) felt about it (at first), but now (there are) smiles on everyone’s faces,” she says. “Parents are smiling, kids are smiling–so it works for us.”

“Welcome Navigators” To Northside Elementary

CHAPEL HILL – School has restarted for our students, and the new Northside Elementary is getting positive feedback.

Northside Elementary is the newest school built in Chapel Hill and it serves the Northside neighborhood and surrounding areas.  The Northside Elementary School site is the former home of the Orange County Training School, Lincoln High, and Northside School.  Parent, Nicole Clark, says she’s confident the school will be a good fit for  her son.

“He’s nervous,” Clark says. “He has his nervous first day jitters, but interesting enough, I think it’s going to go okay.”

Nearly 500 children are in attendance at Northside elementary. This marks the first time in more than 50 years that children from the neighborhood will be able to walk to their school.  Clark’s son says he is excited to be going to school with his friends from the area.

“I’m mostly excited about having a new school and having to do it with my cousin and my friends, and it’s so great,” he says.

The CHCCS Board of Education decided to name the district’s 11th elementary school after the historic segregated school that occupied the same land.  School Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Forcella, said that he has high hopes for Northside.

“We’re looking forward to the entire school year, especially Northside Elementary,” Dr. Forcella says. “It’s a beautiful school and it’s great to see the smiling faces walking in. I think everyone is going to be pleased with the facility that we have here.”

Northside Elementary has also implemented many green technologies into the school to save on future spending and create a longer life for the school.  These technologies may help the students to learn new things that they might not have at other schools.