All posts by Beth Cheuk

Summer School begins June 17

CHS SUMMER SCHOOL REGISTRATION

CHS will offer both face-to-face and virtual summer classes for current students and rising 9th-graders this summer.

  • Summer School Dates: June 17 – July 26
  • Closed July 4 and 5 in observance of Independence Day
  • NOTE: many of our popular courses such as Health/PE and Virtual Economics & Personal Finance do have capacity limits. Registration will be accepted in the order in which it is received.

To enroll:

  • Register online: Online registration and payment for summer school classes begins April 15.
  • Register in person: On-site registration at CHS will be held April 15 from 9:30am-11:30am. After this date, registration and payment can be dropped off in the CHS main office and receipts will be mailed.
  • Additionally, all registrants must complete the student information form and send it back to school. This sheet was sent home in the CHS third quarter mailing. Copies are also available in the Buford Middle School office for interested 8th graders.

Limited bus transportation will be available:

Face-to-Face Courses

General information and rules and regulations about face-to-face courses can be found here.

  • Economics and Personal Finance (1 credit)
  • English 9 (1 Credit)
  • English 10 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • English 11 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • English 12 (1 Credit)
  • Government (1 Credit)
  • VA & US History (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • World History 1 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • World History 2 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • Biology (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • Earth Science (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • Algebra 1 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • Algebra 2 (1 Credit) – *End of Course SOL Exam
  • Geometry (1 Credit)
  • PE 09 (.5 Credit) – SESSION 1 (June 18 – July 6)
  • PE 10 (.5 Credit) – SESSION 1 (June 18 – July 6)
  • PE 09 (.5 Credit) – SESSION 2 (July 9 – July 27)
  • PE 10 (.5 Credit) – SESSION 2 (July 9 – July 27)
  • Behind-the-Wheel for driver’s education: this is a separate sign-up. Click here!

Please note: Our summer school program does not provide alternate PE curriculum for students with injuries or illness that prevent them from completing the course work. If a student is unable to complete the PE curriculum due to injury or illness, they will be removed from the course and are encouraged to take it during the school year when they are well.

Virtual (Online) Courses

General information and rules and regulations about virtual (online) courses may be found here.

  • PE 09 (.5 Credit)
  • Health 09 (.5 Credit)
  • PE 10 (.5 Credit)
  • Health 10 / Driver’s Ed (.5 Credit)
  • Economics and Personal Finance (1 Credit)

Please note: Our summer school program does not provide alternate PE curriculum for students with injuries or illness that prevent them from completing the course work. If a student is unable to complete the PE curriculum due to injury or illness, they will be removed from the course and are encouraged to take it during the school year when they are well.

Cost

Students attending CHS in the 2019-20 school year are considered “In District.”  Students on Free or Reduced Lunch are eligible for reduced tuition rates. Out-of-district students are not eligible for Free/Reduced rates. Tuition is non-refundable.

Course In District Tuition Price Out of District Tuition Price Reduced Lunch Tuition Price Free Lunch Tuition Price
Full Credit Course $400 each $550 each $200 each $25 Each
1/2 Credit Course:
PE 09 & 10
Health 9 & 10
$200 each $350 each $100 each $25 Each

You may bring your tuition payment (cash, check or money order payable to Charlottesville High School) to the CHS Office.

Or, you can pay your summer school tuition online through MySchoolBucks at http://bit.ly/chssummertuition. A convenience fee will apply.

Steps to Register Online

    1. Complete your online registration (opens April 15): go to http://bit.ly/CHSsummer2019 to complete the online form.
    2. Pay summer tuition online at bit.ly/chssummertuition (convenience fee applies) or bring cash, check or money order to CHS office.
    3. ALL students must complete a Student Information Form – mail or bring into CHS office.

Walk-In Registration on April 15

Walk-in registration will held be at Charlottesville High School on April 15th at 9:30am – 11:30am.

Additional Questions? Please contact:

Letter to Black Student Union

Dear members of the Black Student Union at Charlottesville High School:

Thanks so much for taking the time to outline your thoughtful ideas for ways to promote equity in Charlottesville City Schools. As you know, during the last months, our school communities have been vigorously discussing and taking steps to make sure that our schools are eliminating barriers and providing the supports and opportunities that will assure the empowerment and success of students of color and other marginalized groups. For an update on some of the actions our schools have taken since the fall, please see Dr. Atkins’ February newsletter or the update at our “equity forums” page on the web site.

We would like to address your concerns point by point to state what we have done so far in these areas. We are not suggesting that our actions have consistently  been successful or impactful. But by giving these updates, we hope that you’ll see that your ideas complement our ongoing and current efforts. In other words, we want the same things as you, and we are listening and acting to make sure our schools increasingly reflect these goals and values.  The next step is for us to work together to bridge the gap between our current efforts and our shared goals. 

 

Charlottesville City Schools denounce and call out RACISM against Black and Brown students.

As a School Board, we have and will continue to denounce racism against Black and Latinx students. In their written and oral responses to the racist threat that shut down our schools last month, Dr. Rosa Atkins, Chief RaShall Brackney, and Mayor Nikuyah Walker were clear in stating that there is no place for racism, hate, or threats in our schools. Of course, this threat made by someone who is not a Charlottesville student or resident is only one instance of racism. One of the top priorities we heard in our community feedback — and that we hear in your words — is the need to focus on systemic barriers and practices. So in addition to denouncing racism, we are taking active steps to dismantle it through actions such as our dress code resolution banning items associated with racial and religious hatred and violence, our intentional community-building that helps students celebrate their similarities and differences, or our professional learning centered on cultural competence. Past examples include our commitment to reducing or eliminating fees, providing transportation for after-school activities and many evening events, offering translation services, and  providing chromebooks to all students. Two other, unfolding examples include the QUEST program (re-emphasizing its push-in, whole-class elements and reexamining the identification process) and implementing the honors-option model next year at Walker and Buford to diversify classrooms. 

 

African American History class to hold the same weight as an honors history course, not an elective.

This change is reflected in next year’s Program of Study, approved by the School Board last month. Thanks for bringing this suggestion to our attention a few months ago. Students will have the option of taking our African-American history class for honors credit and honors GPA weighting. (As for changing the African-American class to satisfy the state’s history requirements, that is a matter that needs to be addressed on the state level. We are among a handful of school divisions to offer a Black History class, so there is presently no state-endorsed curriculum, no state standards of learning, and no option to earn a verified credit from the state. 

 

The hiring of more Black teachers, especially in CORE CLASS honors, AP, honors and DE studies.

Yes! This was the single-most requested action item in our listening sessions that we held for students, staff, parents, and community members throughout this winter and spring in our schools, community centers, and houses of worship. Our human resources department has begun implementing additional strategies in our already-vigorous recruitment of teachers of color. In addition to our traditional efforts such as visiting HBCUs and other diverse recruiting locations and having staff members of color represent us at these events, we are now implementing new strategies such as early letters of intent to hire high-potential employees of color, presenting at conferences, and making classroom presentations at HBCUs. As a sign of hope, the schools have offered early letters of intent to four recent CHS graduates who are Black and who will be graduating from college with teaching licensure this year or next. While this is just four teachers, we hope that they are indicative of our effort to recruit teachers who understand our students and our city. We also recognize and celebrate that teachers of color are highly sought-after not only by school divisions, but many other industries, so we are considering how our schools can be attractive and supportive workplaces for teachers of color and all staff. 

 

Extended resources, in addition to AVID, for future Black and Brown first generation college students.

As the BSU statement notes, we have extensive resources with AVID, and this program is complemented by our other partnerships with groups such as Upward Bound, GEAR UP, and the Virginia College Advising Corps. Tutoring and academic supports are available through AVID, after-school teachers’ support hours, and volunteer tutors through CHS peers and groups such as UVa’s Madison House and Abundant Life Ministries. Having said that, we are open to further suggestion and are always seeking to continuously improve the services we already provide and the number of students we reach. One of the items that the Black community “upvoted” during our listening sessions was that we should make supports more visible and accessible, and we are considering the best way to address this. Help us figure out how to get the word out and make these supports stronger and more impactful. 

 

Discipline Reform – End the excessive suspending and policing of Black middle and high school students by creating a diverse governing board of staff, students, and parents to oversee equitable and effective discipline.

While we are pleased that suspensions have dropped in our school division by 80% in a decade, we recognize that these disciplinary actions continue to disproportionately impact our students of color. (You can find data here.) Our equity committee — formed of staff, parents, community members and more (and with student representation facilitated by Daniel Fairley and Eric Irizarry) — can make a recommendation regarding a discipline committee. In the meanwhile, we will continue to address this issue on the front end by promoting positive behavior. The Annie E. Casey Foundation and other state and national groups have highlighted our work in areas such as positive behavior systems, direct instruction of social-emotional skills, trauma-responsive strategies, restorative justice practices, and implicit bias training. 

 

Test EVERY student for Quest.

Since 2013, we have been testing all first-graders for QUEST, our gifted program. For older students who move into our schools, we review their test-score data from their first year in our schools to review for indicators of giftedness. In a perfect world, testing all students — even every year, as you propose — would alleviate the disparities we find in the identification process for gifted. However, despite innovative efforts from our staff and the Quest Advisory Committee, we have not yet found success. Consequently, our staff and Gifted Advisory Committee are redoubling their efforts to find the best identification process and teaching model. We continue to consult with national experts on gifted identification. In the meanwhile, we have already begun to further emphasize push-in, whole-class instruction as part of our collaborative gifted model. And aside from students who are officially identified as “gifted,” the gifted program’s pull-out services include a broader and more diverse pool of high-potential students. As we have said earlier, “We would like to state the obvious: that giftedness is distributed equally among all groups, and when we, like other school divisions, fail to identify and nurture all expressions of giftedness, it is a loss to our entire community.” 

 

Apply Mental Health practices that are culturally relevant and racially aware.

This is a shared goal not only for our counselors, but for all Charlottesville City Schools employees. We are committed to a community-wide system of supports that does not relegate responsibility for mental health to a small number of school counselors and psychologists. In fact, we and one other Virginia school division recently won a grant to supply the “Teen Mental Health First Aid” program for teachers, staff members, and particularly students (who will be among the first in the country to be eligible for this program). Our counselors, like our teachers, continue to seek additional training in cultural awareness, trauma-responsiveness, restorative practices, implicit bias, local history, addressing racial microaggressions, and more. 

 

A high standard for programming associated with Black History. No one should have the opportunity to opt out of Black History.

While we are one of a small number of high schools that offer a dedicated course in African-American history, we, too, believe that Black history is American history. Our teachers, librarians, and World Studies Coordinator Annie Evans have increased their long-standing efforts to incorporate local and African-American history across the curriculum and throughout the year (including the voices and stories of American Indians, Latinx and other ethnic groups, religious minorities, and other underrepresented perspectives).  From preK on up, our students are increasingly encountering diverse voices, stories, and experiences in classroom materials, the arts, and student activities. We are pleased that among our many responses to the summer of 2017 was a CHS-spearheaded community “big read” of The Hate U Give, and that the book is now part of our 9th-grade English curriculum.  A new example would be that Charlottesville City Schools is one of six school systems statewide involved in Changing the Narrative, a Virginia Humanities initiative that aims to explore Black history and culture in schools and encourages young people of color to explore and highlight their heritage. For more information on our efforts to include local and Black history, you might be interested in Carol Diggs’ recent article in Cville Weekly: “Telling All the Stories: The People and Places Working to Restore Charlottesville’s African American History” (6 Feb. 2019).  We thank the BSU for your own work in helping us broaden the voices our students hear through contributions such as the creation of the African-American lecture series during Black History Month at CHS. 

 

Racial bias and cultural sensitivity training for all School Resource Officers.

The Charlottesville Police Department would need to speak to this concern directly, but our school resource officers (SROs) undergo special training that qualifies them to work in diverse K12 settings and all CPD officers take annual cultural diversity/biased-based policing classes. It is absolutely our hope and commitment that SROs are present in our schools to promote safety and wellbeing for all students and staff. (We thank them for their work keeping all students and staff safe when they were present at schools and community events during the time of the threat, and we appreciate their role in apprehending the young man who posted the threat.) 

 

Implement the same locked door and buzzer system currently used by the elementary schools at Walker, Buford, and Charlottesville High School, to ensure the safety of the student body as a whole and the staff.

Agreed! Previously-scheduled work began at all three schools the day after your walk-out. This complements the recent upgrades at our elementary schools. This work will take some time, so we anticipate that the systems will be operational this summer.

 

Conclusion

As we hope you can tell, your concerns are our concerns, and we are not only talking but taking action on these ideas. The similarities between the community’s and schools’ values and priorities raise the question, “Why aren’t the schools consistently seeing better results?” Let’s work together to answer this question.

To do that, we need input from staff, students, parents, and community members. We appreciate the student feedback we received from your presentation at our School Board meeting this fall, your participation (and leadership) in student focus groups at CHS and Buford, the “priorities for equity” voting exercise at CHS (which reflected the ideas you presented at our fall School Board meeting), our student representatives on the School Board (including BSU founder Zyahna Bryant), and emails and conversations with teachers, staff, administrators, and members of the School Board.

While our community feedback from across Charlottesville has conveyed that our educators, students, parents, and community members largely share the same values, each constituency has unique — and needed — perspectives on how to make sure that our efforts for equity in Charlottesville City Schools move beyond good intentions to positive impact.

Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent, and the Charlottesville City School Board

Group photo of Walker students on stage after student government speeches.

News and Highlights March 2019

 

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins 

Dear staff and families–

Thank you for the support you have shown the schools during the past week when we closed our schools for two days following a racist online threat made by a student from a different school division.

Allow me to reflect on this experience, finding both causes of grief and sources of hope:

    • I’m grieved by the fear and disruption that were inflicted on a community that is still in many ways recovering from the trauma of the white nationalist rallies in 2017.

    • I’m saddened that this threat was made under the guise of being a CHS student, which was especially disruptive to our sense of community and mutual trust.

    • I’m heartened that community partners such as City of Promise stepped in to feed and nurture our students when they could not be at school. Thank you.

    • I’m inspired by our educators, who on Friday decided that if our students could not come to us, then they would go to our students. Neighborhood by neighborhood, they brought food, books, hugs, games, and kind words.

    • I’m grateful to the Charlottesville Police and the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s office for making an arrest and receiving a guilty plea to bring resolution so quickly. Thanks also to the CPD for working alongside us from the moment we received the threat until now to make sure that our schools are safe.

    • I’m appreciative of our school counselors and our other student services practitioners who provided mental wellness support to our students and staff as they returned to school. In addition to our own staff members, volunteer counselors represented Region 10, Counseling Alliance of Central Virginia, and Central Virginia Counselors of Color.

    • I’m reminded by members of our Black Student Union and Latinx Student Union that not only do we need to look at isolated incidents, but we must also keep our focus on larger racial inequities and the structures, practices, and aggressions that perpetuate them.

    • I’m hopeful about our past, current, and planned work to promote equity in our schools, which aligns with the feedback we have been broadly seeking from students, staff, and community members. For an update, click here.

    • I’m delighted to announce that work began this week to upgrade entryway security at CHS, Buford, and Walker. This previously scheduled work complements last year’s security enhancements at our elementary schools. This work should be completed by August.

    • I’m thankful for school leaders and their staff, who helped our schools smoothly reopen and quietly return to being places of learning, relationship, and personal growth.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the schools, our staff, and our students. Best wishes for spring break.

Dr. Rosa Atkins

Photo collage of CHS students and staff with various hairstyles

“Self Expression through Hairstyles” is a project by Rachel Wilson’s photography classes at Charlottesville High School featuring CHS students and staff. The video debuted at the Black History Month assembly at CHS, but we thought our families and community would enjoy seeing it, too. Great job to all the students involved in the project! Click here to see the video.

VISITING PRINTMAKER TEACHES STUDENTS THE ART OF LETTERPRESS
Printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. shows CHS students how to make a letterpress print.Printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. conducted several letterpress workshops at our schools and other places in the Charlottesville area as part of his “Finding Wisdom” residency with Virginia Humanities’ Virginia Center for the Book. Students got to make their own prints using their own words of wisdom. Read more here.

VIDEO EARNS TOP HONORS FROM FUTURE-READY SCHOOLS FILM FESTIVAL
Screenshot from "Here and Now" iSTEM Future Ready videoCongratulations to iSTEM teacher Teresa Amasia and Burnley-Moran Elementary, winners in the “school” category of the Future Ready Schools Film Festival. This humorous video illustrates how our schools are empowering (and preparing) future-ready students! See what happens when a teacher finds himself inexplicably in the future. Or does he? See the video here.

THERAPY DOGS VISITS SUPPORT LEARNING IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Teacher and student visit with Chuleta the therapy dog at Jackson-Via Elementary.Certified therapy dogs Chuleta, Marley, and Luna are a few furry friends who  make regular visits to Jackson-Via and Johnson Elementary Schools to offer social-emotional support to students while at school. “The dogs have become part of the school community,” said Principal Dr. Justin Malone. Read more here.

PARENT UNIVERSITY STRENGTHENS HOME-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
Walker School counselor assists a parent at Parent University.Parents and caregivers attended two Parent University sessions at Jackson-Via and Greenbrier Elementary Schools. Workshops on literacy, math, special education, and social-emotional learning were among the many topics discussed. Parents also learned about strategies and resources they could use to help their children at home.  Read more here.

BUFORD STUDENTS HEAR FROM CVILLE PILGRIMAGE PARTICIPANTS
Buford Middle School students hear from guest speaker.Buford Middle School students hosted area residents who participated in the 2018 Civil Rights Pilgrimage to several sites in the South including Montgomery, AL. Gathering in small groups, the guests shared their first-hand accounts of the experience and why they participated. For news coverage of the visit to Buford, click here. For a recap of other events and activities during Black History Month, read more here.

WALKER STUDENTS FORM NEW STUDENT GOVERNMENT
Walker students celebrate after giving speeches for student government.A new student government which includes two representatives from each homeroom and an elected executive council is underway at Walker School. “We’re so proud of them,” said Instructional Coach Erika Pierce. “After delivering campaign speeches, they have hit the ground running with so many ideas to make Walker School a great place to be.” Ideas include school-wide celebrations, improved recycling efforts, and talent shows.

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoRecent actions from the School Board include learning about a proposed resolution regarding energy and water management so that school buildings will reduce their environmental impact. The Board also reviewed the local plan for career and technical education. As part of her report, Dr. Atkins overviewed recent updates in the division’s work to promote equity. For the latest School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video, read more here.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar3/28 Early dismissal for students/Professional Learning for staff/End of third grading period
3/28 “Power of We” presentation on community resilience, 6pm MLK PAC
3/29 No school for students/Teacher Flex Workday
4/1 Spring Break through 4/5
4/4 CHS All-Virginia Choir, Band, & Orchestra through 4/6
4/9 Walker rising 5th grade information session, 5:30pm
4/11 School Board Meeting, 5pm CHS
4/11 City Schoolyard Garden Harvest of the Month
4/18 Kindergarten Open Houses and registration, 3:30-6pm
4/18 Theatre CHS performs “The Crucible” through 4/20
4/24 CHS Chorus Spring Concert, 7pm MLK PAC
4/25 City Schoolyard Garden Root Celebration, 4:30pm Greenbrier
4/25 Buford Engineering Night, 5:30pm
4/27 CHS Prom
4/30 Walker Orchestra Spring Concert, 7pm

More Looks at Cville Schools

Two students pose in Johnson School photo booth.

Johnson Elementary second graders created the backdrop for the Kehinde Wiley-inspired photobooth featured at the school’s African American Heritage Night. Thanks to the school’s art teacher, Jocelyn Johnson, and parent photographer, John Robinson, for capturing the beautiful Johnson family. See more photos here.

CHS Knightengales group photo

The Knightengales, Charlottesville High School’s female ensemble, earned all Superior ratings at the District 13 Concert Assessment. For the latest highlights of our flourishing fine arts program, click here.

Lisa Reeder's husband and son with Carlton Jones on Lisa's Local on the Line Day.

Nutrition Services Director Carlton Jones, along with Geoff Shaw and his son, Lincoln, celebrate our recently renamed “Lisa’s Local on the Line” menu offerings to honor the legacy of Lisa Reeder. Learn more here.

Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

Winter Sports Postseason and Spring Try-out Information

Tierenni Younger; P/C Daily Progress/Zack Wajsgras
Tierenni Younger; P/C Daily Progress/Zack Wajsgras

As we head into the post-season, congratulations to our teams and athletes for another strong season of athleticism and sportsmanship, and best wishes as regional competitions begin! See details, below, and check for Twitter updates at @CHSBlackKnights or @cville_dsa (Director of Student Activities) for future results and competition times.

And it’s time to look ahead for spring sports!

Basketball

Congrats to the boys and girls teams for finishing up their last week of regular-season play in an impressive fashion.  The girls finished tied for 2nd in the district and regional standings and will get to host several playoff games. The boys finished the season with a bang by upsetting top-ranked Louisa County in a road game!  The boys team also qualified for regionals.

  • Regional play begins 2/15 with girls hosting William Byrd at 6pm and boys playing at Salem.

Swimming regional champ Ella Reed with coach Jason Hackworth
Ella Reed with Coach Jason Hackworth

Swimming

Congratulations to CHS 10th-grader Ella Reed for capturing the Region 4D Championship in the 200 Intermediate!  In addition, Zoe DeGuzman qualified for state in the 200 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke, and  Howard Zu  will also be swimming in the 100 Breaststroke.

Track

Good luck to track athletes in regional play. At the Jefferson District meet, the women’s team placed 3rd and the men came in 4th. Many athletes qualified for the regional meet based on their season and Jefferson District performances: Kristina Abraham, Susannah Birle, Charlotte Bloor, Aliyah Cobbs, Avyonne Cobbs, Jude Fairchild, Asha Gupta, Autumn Hiller, Lucia Hoskins, Miles Kershner, Graham Lenert, Reece McKee, Grace McMahon-Gioeli, Adam Moreland, Elodie Price, Eliza Schock, Lewis Tate, Edison Tennant, Kika Van der Pluijm, Isaac Vik, Joe Von Storch, and members of the men’s 4×800 Relay.

Jefferson District meet highlights included Lewis Tate’s High Jump victory and 2nd-place finishes for Susannah Birle in 55M and 300M; Kika Van der Pluijm in 1000M; and Joe Von Storch in 300M.

Nima Tamang wrestling. Photo by Danielle Lewandowski.
Nima Tamang, P/C Danielle Lewandowski

Wrestling

Congrats to David Wiles for qualifying for states during the Wrestling team’s regional meet on 2/8 and 2/9. Congratulations also to the following wrestlers for their Jefferson District success:  Nima Tamang (3rd) and 4th-place finishers Stuart Applestein, Javion Vest, David Wiles, and Ben Yates.

Other Recognition:

Field Hockey’s Talia Marshall was the January 31 Newsplex Student Athlete of the Week for her behind-the-scenes leadership.

Football’s Sabias Folley, Marcus Targonski, and Isaiah Washington were recognized at the Falcon Club Banquet honoring  excellence.

Third-graders with their wares at market day.

Elementary School Highlights

Clark students working on a design challenge with "Hot Wheels" trackThe start of 2019 has been a busy one for our creative and innovative elementary students in Charlottesville City! Keep reading for some of our recent elementary activities.

Bee-bot robots set up on a course at iSTEM night.

And looking ahead, mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families.  Jackson-Via will host the first night on 3/5 from 5:30-7:30, or join us at Greenbrier on 3/14 from 5:30-7:30.

Math and STEM nights are a big hit with families as they come to school to design, build, play math games together. STEM stations include a Bee Bot obstacle course, a parachute drop, straw rockets and a photo booth!

Students are using their critical thinking skills to solve challenges at Clark Elementary. A team of third- graders worked together to complete a challenge from BreakoutEDU. Fourth-graders at Clark also worked in teams to explore the effects of mass and force on motion and energy.

Clark students and staff also made a thank-you video to show how much they are enjoying and benefiting from their summertime classroom renovations:

Jump! Hop! Push-ups on the wall! Jackson-Via students have a new way of releasing energy as they walk the school’s new sensory path in their hallway. For more details, see the following video or click here for NBC29’s coverage:

Greenbrier students presenting at MLK JR CelebrationAnd a successful book swap at Jackson-Via collected 1300 books, sending home 3 books per child!

Happy birthday to Martin Luther King Jr.! Greenbrier held its annual MLK Jr. birthday celebration on January 25. For the assembly, each grade level created a mural with a famous quote from MLK Jr. and spoke about what the quote meant to them. After a presentation of the “I Have a Dream” speech with pictures of Greenbrier students showing examples of character, the students sang “Happy Birthday” to Martin Luther King Jr. and enjoyed cake with their lunch.

1st-graders learning what dissolves in water.What materials dissolve in water? At Venable, first-grade scientists worked together to experiment with the solubility of different liquids and solids including cornstarch and rocks.

First and third-graders building the Great Wall of ChinaBobcat Buddies in third grade and first grade at Burnley-Moran worked together to design and build a representation of the Great Wall of China.

Families, math games, and pizza were abundant at the Greenstone Community Center for Johnson’s K-second grade Quest Math night. The stations were led by third- and fourth-graders who wore “Johnson Math Teacher” t-shirts and “teacher” badges. Students left with math games to play at home.

In art class at Jackson-Via, Pre-K and second-grade students constructed sculptures with an assortment of materials.

Jackson-Via sculptors displaying their art

 

Third-graders with their wares at market day.Third-graders across the city recently participated in Market Day at their schools. They learned about economics and ancient civilizations while creating items to sell at a school “market.”

Third-graders waiting for a performance at the Paramount TheatreElementary students from Burnley-Moran, Johnson, Venable, and Walker went to the historic Paramount Theater to attend the play Phantom Toll Booth on Thursday, January 24. They enjoyed watching the actors bring the classic by Norton Juster to life!

Walker students engaged in participatory budgeting.At Walker Upper Elementary School, 15 sixth-grade student groups presented proposals of how they would spend a $6,000 grant as a part of a participatory budgeting program. (Yes, 6,000 real dollars generously donated by CFA Institute.) On January 16, students hosted a referendum, and the winning project was a proposal to have soccer and basketball tournaments at recess. The project was organized by parent Serena Gruia For more details, check out the story on Cville Tomorrow.

Fore more updates, follow @CvilleSchools or your own school on Facebook or Twitter!

 

budget clip art: chart with dollar sign

Budget Development

budget clip art: chart with dollar signIt’s time to develop the 2019-20 budget for Charlottesville City Schools! We’d like to hear from you.

Upcoming opportunities for the community to learn more and share your thoughts are:

  • Thursday, January 10 at 5 pm, CHS, School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday, January 15 at 6 pm, Jackson-Via PTO (open to entire community)
  • Thursday, January 17 at  6 pm, CHS PTO (open to entire community)
  • Thursday, February 7 at 5 pm, CHS, School Board Meeting

School Board meetings are the first Thursday of the month at 5 pm in the CHS media center. The next meeting is Thursday, January 10 (the second Thursday of the month due to Winter Break).

You can also check out the resources and information at charlottesvilleschools.org/budget.

CHS students holding The Hate U Give

Cville OneBook: The Hate U Give

CHS students holding The Hate U GiveCharlottesville High Schools earned a shout-out in USAToday on December 10 for its direct discussions about race in its English 9 honors-option classes. After in-class discussions and activities relating to the award-winning novel The Hate U Give (plus a field trip to see the movie), there was also an evening panel discussion featuring students and author Angie Thomas via Skype. Thanks to Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for their hospitality and leadership in hosting the panel discussion.

Thomas praised Charlottesville’s direct approach to learning from the white supremacist rallies in August 2017: “It gives me hope for the rest of the country.”Since last year, CHS librarian Anne Ernst has been working on OneBook, dedicated to a community “Big Read” of the book as a response to A12. OneBook also coordinated a special printing of the book for free distribution. This is the second year that the 2017 book has featured prominently in the English 9 curriculum since it raises topics that are timely and relevant to the Charlottesville community and CHS students’ lives.

The USA Today mention arose from local coverage of this initiative in Sunday’s Daily Progress. That article features Ernst plus CHS teachers Jenn Horne and Andy Josselyn, along with CHS students Joseph Gainey, Sam Schuyler, and Elana West-Smith.

Superintendent Rosa Atkins noted, “This is just one example of ways that our teachers and staff guide students to engage with crucial issues. These discussions require courage from teachers and students. They are important and meaningful to all of us. Thanks to all involved for their leadership.”

Links:

 

Students pose for picture in colorful tunics at Walker International Day.

News and Highlights December 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins and the Charlottesville School Board   
Forum participants place stickers on poster

Dear community members—

Thanks to so many of you who have shared your voice and time with us during our conversations about equity at Charlottesville City Schools.

At our second forum this past week, we reflected back some of the action items that have arisen so far from parents, staff, students, and community members. Participants voted on their top-priority action items. In addition, we invited participants to add any ideas that were missing from our summaries.

We are still listening. We need to hear from as many voices as possible. You can vote on your priority actions (and give us any missing ideas) by going to charlottesvilleschools.org/equity-forum. We are also working with students to make sure we hear their key perspectives. In addition, we invite faith communities, clubs, or groups to contact us about hosting a mini-forum so we can receive additional feedback.

Why is listening so important? We cannot fully address these issues unless we better understand them.

The values our community is expressing – that all students are loved, that all gifts are recognized, that all potential is nurtured – are the values of our staff, leaders, and Board. We have been actively working to promote this vision for decades, and yet, like schools across the country, our schools show how challenging it is to eradicate disparities.

So we are listening to learn what has been working and what needs to be improved. What haven’t we tried? What barriers are we not seeing?

In addition to listening, we are also acting. We are forming a committee on equity with a broad coalition of school and community stakeholders. We are doing internal reviews of our data, programs, and efforts. We are mapping resources of sister school divisions and model equity programs so that we can learn from others. The School Board is drafting an equity policy that will guide our practices and lay a foundation for parity.

In short, we continue to listen. We are taking first steps to review and revise our past efforts and plan future action. We are guided by our confidence that your values are our values and that together, we want to seize this moment to make a difference for our community.

With appreciation,

Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent
Juandiego Wade, School Board Chair

UVA Engineering student working with Clark kindergartener.

Kindergartners and fourth-graders from Clark “kid-tested” first-year UVA Engineering students’ designs at the UVA Design Lab. Meanwhile, Walker students also tested the college students’ projects in the Alpha Lab at Walker. UVA’s budding engineers designed age-appropriate interactive educational activities. Read more here.

BUS STOP MEET & GREETS PROVIDE BOOKS, SNACKS, SMILES
Family engagement coordinator distributes books and snacks to children at bus stop.Throughout the year it is not uncommon to see Family Engagement Facilitator Velvet Coleman greeting families at the bus stops. She is a familiar face to families and often passes out free books and snacks to children as well as educational resources to parents. Learn more about our efforts to promote family engagement here. Recently, Ms. Coleman and Dr. Atkins chatted about ways families can connect with their schools. See the video here.

MUFFINS WITH MOMS, DONUTS WITH DADS CONNECTS SCHOOLS & FAMILIES
Mom with two boys at Muffins with MomsLike all of our elementary schools, Johnson Elementary offers opportunities for moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and/or special friends to join their students for some quality time at school. Recently, the school hosted two breakfast and books events–Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads. Additionally, the pre-K and kindergarten classes prepared a delicious soup supper for their families, and many families and friends attended the school’s annual International Day celebration. 

VENABLE ALL-STARS SING NATIONAL ANTHEM IN JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA
Venable students sing National Anthem at UVA Women's Basketball GameOur fourth grade chorus proudly sang the National Anthem at the UVA women’s basketball game in front of students from schools across Charlottesville and Albemarle. Way to go, 4th graders! Pictured left, a live video of the students on the jumbotron in the John Paul Jones Arena as they sing before the game begins. See the video here.

CHS STUDENTS TOUR WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY
Latino students touring Washington and Lee University.Thanks to the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, GEAR UP, and Virginia Latino Higher Education Network, several of our Hispanic CHS students took a free school field trip to Lexington, Virginia to visit one of the nations top liberal arts colleges, Washington and Lee University. During the college visit, the group toured the campus, met with admissions officers, and enjoyed lunch.

CHS THEATRE PRESENTS “HEATHERS” – OPENING NIGHT THURSDAY
"Heathers The Musical High School Edition" promotional poster.“Heathers The Musical” is a PG-13 version of the off-Broadway show. Considered a “dark comedy,” “Heathers” revolves around serious issues that students continue to face today. Take a sneak peek at CHSTheatre rehearsals here. Rated PG-13,this show is recommended for high school aged students and older. The show runs Thursday-Sunday in the CHS Black Box Theatre. Order tickets and learn more about the show here.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 12/5 Walker/Buford Chorus Concert, 7pm, Walker Auditorium
12/6  City Schoolyard Garden Harvest of the Month
12/6  School Board meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
12/6  CHS Theatre presents “Heathers The Musical” through 12/8
12/7 CHS Art First Fridays exhibit (portraits of musicians), 5-7pm, Music Resource Center, 105 Ridge Street
12/10 Venable Winter Concert, 6pm
12/11 Jackson-Via Winter Concert 6:30pm
12/11 Burnley-Moran Winter Concert 6:15pm (dinner at 5:30pm)
12/11 Johnson Winter Concert, 6 pm
12/12 Walker Orchestra Winter Concert, 7pm
12/12 CHS Art exhibit, “(W)here to Stay,” 6-8pm, Jefferson School
12/13 CHS Choir Holiday Pops Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/18 Clark Winter Concert 6pm (dinner at 5:30pm)
12/18 Greenbrier Winter Concert 6pm
12/18 CHS mid-term exams through 12/21
12/19 All-City Band Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/24 Winter Break – no school through 1/4/2019
1/7 Classes Resume

More Looks at Cville Schools

Student dancers wearing colorful tunics at Walker International Day.

Walker Upper Elementary students performed a dance at International Day in the school cafeteria. The school-wide celebration included student projects that featured food, dance, music, and costumes from countries around the globe. ESOL teacher Elena Kryzhanovskaya, a former ESL student and refugee from Ukraine who moved to Charlottesville when she was eight years old, organized the event. Learn more about Mrs. K’s heart for her students here. 

CHS students with Nashville's Fab 5 performing "Need One Another (Right Now".)

A video by musicians from CHS and Metro-Nashville Public Schools has earned a 2018 Advocacy in Action Award from the music education non-profit, Music for All. The musical remake of Bebe and CeCe Winans’ song, “Right Now (We Need One Another),” was recorded last year in response to the events of August 11-12 in Charlottesville. The music video features 80 CHS choir and orchestra musicians, along with Nashville’s Fab 5, a group of student singers who attend different schools at MNPS.  Watch the video here.

Local motivational speaker Alex-Zan speaks to Jackson-Via students to promote good character traits. In partnership with Charlottesville City Schools, Zan will visit all six elementary schools to promote his message as well as share his history as a member of the Charlottesville 12, the infamous group of students who first integrated our city schools.

Local motivational speaker and civil rights pioneer Alex-Zan shares his message, “Today’s thinkers are tomorrow’s leaders” with third and fourth grade students at Jackson-Via. In partnership with Charlottesville City Schools, Alex-Zan is visiting City elementary schools (three per year) to assure that at least once during their elementary years, all Charlottesville students hear Alex-Zan’s positive messages and learn the story of the Charlottesville 12, the group of students who first integrated our city schools. See more photos here.

Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

Flyer for 2nd Community Forum on Equity November 27 at CHS at 7:30. Bus service available. See post for pdf of bus schedules and more details.

Equity Forums and Updates

From October 2018-March 2019, Charlottesville City Schools hosted a series of community forums to receive feedback on our shared goals for equity. This page offers updates and resources related to these forums and recent equity initiatives. For an overview of current programs and commitments that promote equity in our schools, visit our main equity page.

Questions or comments? Contact Beth Cheuk or Denise Johnson. See contact information at bottom of page.

Equity Update, May 2019: Priorities for 19-20

At the School Board annual retreat on May 31, 2019, Beth Cheuk and Denise Johnson discussed the feedback heard so far and the top ideas that were emerging as priorities for the upcoming school year.

The four recommended priorities are:

  1. Supported/Supportive Staff
    This includes diversifying our staff and equipping our educators to succeed and help all students succeed.
  2. Diverse, Inclusive, and Rigorous Learning Experiences
    Let’s embrace our diversity — in classrooms’ student composition and in richly varied and challenging learning activities.
  3. Growing Relationships
    As we help our staff and students feel connected, supported, and safe, we will learn from one another for our mutual gain.
  4. Equity Foundations
    We want to be systematic and proactive as we make positive change. Let’s follow — and establish — best practices.

To see the slides from this presentation and learn more about how these ideas were generated and what specific changes or commitments they represent, click here.

Equity Update, April 2019

At the April 11 School Board meeting, Dr. Atkins and Beth Cheuk, joined by Charlene Green of the City of Charlottesville’s Office of Human Rights, presented an Equity Update.

Equity Committee Update, March 2019

On February 27, Dr. Atkins convened the first meeting of the equity committee. The committee (see list below) is comprised of teachers, staff, parents, School Board members, the Mayor, City employees, and community partners — with members often wearing multiple “hats” of “parent and employee” or “community partner and alumna.”  City of Charlottesville Youth Opportunity Coordinator Daniel Fairley co-led the Charlottesville Youth Council’s facilitation of student feedback from CHS and Buford; he along with CHS Principal Dr. Eric Irizarry agreed to serve as a liaisons to the Charlottesville Youth Council and other student groups so that student voice would also be represented.

This advisory committee will help the schools review feedback and determine priorities to help shape the foundational underpinning and the execution of work toward equity in the schools. This committee works alongside others — staff, School Board, other advisory committees, PTOs, etc. — as one of many avenues for accomplishing these goals. We are not trying to make a new “equity” program; instead, we need to assure that equity is the lens through which we view all programs.

Comprised of 33 people, the committee is broken into four work teams:

  1. Institutional structures: with possible areas of focus such as unleveling classes, school-to-school alignment, program or hiring practices (staff contacts: Eric Irizarry/Jim Henderson)
    1. Pam Brown
    2. Sylvia Elder
    3. Dr. Bernard Hairston
    4. Joyce Ivory
    5. Toni Kim
    6. John Kronstain
  2. Instructional changes & professional learning (staff contacts: Paula Culver-Dickinson/Patrick Farrell)
    1. School Board member James Bryant
    2. Christine Esposito
    3. Daniel Fairley
    4. Dr. Daphne Keiser
    5. Michelle Packer
    6. Rachel Rasnake
    7. Dr. Joseph Williams
  3. Family communication/community engagement and efficacy (staff contacts: Beth Cheuk/Velvet Coleman)
    1. Pastor Lehman Bates
    2. Pat Cuomo
    3. Charlene Green
    4. Sgt. Robert Haney
    5. Eric Johnson
    6. Jessica Taylor
  4. Policy: equity policy, definitions, equity audit/checklists, metrics (staff contacts: Dr. Rosa Atkins/Dr. Kendra King)  
    1. Melvin Grady
    2. Dr. Adam Hastings
    3. Denise Johnson
    4. School Board member Lisa Larson-Torres
    5. Becka Saxon
    6. Mayor Nikuyah Walker

Among their first responsibilities, work groups have been asked to review the Community Priorities for Equity (see next section of this page) as a starting point for determining initial recommendations within their focus areas.

Final Results Regarding Community Priorities for Equity, March 2019

As described below, we conducted a series of 15+ school-based and community events (as well as online opportunities) for staff, students, parents, and community members to share their ideas. In addition to responding to the 32 ideas gleaned from our initial community feedback, community members have continued to share their ideas and feedback through the open-ended response portion of the survey, through contacting staff and School Board members, through meetings, and more.  The Charlottesville Youth Council also compiled a list of top themes gathered from the student focus groups they facilitated at CHS and Buford; they met with Dr. Atkins in March to discuss these ideas. These ideas along with earlier feedback submitted by the CHS Black Student Union in October is reflected either in the original 32 ideas or in a list of additional ideas and commentary in the attached document (below). Finally, on March 22, members of the Black Student Union and the Latinx Student Union held a school walk-out to raise awareness for their revised list of strategies for promoting equity.

[As of  March 23:] While the School Board and staff have not had time to formally respond to this revised list yet, Board Chair Jennifer McKeever notes, “When I review the list that Black Student Union created, I see many areas in which our schools are actively engaged. Their ideas are very complementary to the work we’ve been doing in our schools. This includes greater security (work begun this week); making changes to the CHS African-American history class to encourage enrollment (included in the Program of Study for 2019-20); and further diversifying classes so that all students learn local and Black history (we are presently one of six school divisions in Virginia to participate in a grant-funded project to embrace ‘hard history’ through a project with Virginia Humanities and community partners.)” As the school division posted on Twitter, “We’re glad to hear you and work with you.” [Update: at their April 11 School Board Meeting, Dr. Atkins and the School Board posted a response to the BSU as part of an Equity Committee Update.]

  •  Community Priorities for Equity (This document includes a spreadsheet that summarizes the community feedback that we have heard so far. The data on the spreadsheet is accurate through 3/1/19; the “additional ideas” section is largely up to date and includes the Black Student Union’s revised list.)

Action Steps, February 2019

In the February News and Highlights, Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins offered an update to the community about recent efforts to promote equity. Click here to see the newsletter.

Community-Based Forums, December 2018-March 2019

As we continue to gather community input, we have been visiting with city residents in community centers and churches. We held a second gathering for teacher/staff input. We also partnered with the Charlottesville Youth Council to host student-led classroom discussions and gather feedback from students at CHS and Buford. Special thanks to parishioners at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church,  Ebenezer Baptist Church, Habitat for Humanity families, CHS students, and others for sharing your input with us. Here is a snapshot of some of these visits.

Second Community Forum at CHS, November 27, 2018

Our objective for the second forum was to reflect back what we’ve been hearing from the community so far. Our staff and School Board have been seeking community input through events, online tools, emails, and face-to-face conversations. We asked forum participants to respond to a list of 32 main ideas and vote on their “top 10.”

After community members had a chance to review and vote on their top 10 ideas, our moderator, City of Charlottesville Office of Human Rights Manager Charlene Green, presented the results and facilitated a time of questions and comments. The evening continued with remarks about next steps moving forward from Charlottesville City Schools Coordinator of Community Affairs and Development Beth Cheuk, Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins, and School Board Chair Juandiego Wade. Finally, the forum concluded with commentary from each member of the School Board.

  • A live stream of the evening’s presentations can be found here. 
  • Want to share your voice? Visit www.publicinput.com/3575 to vote on your own top 10 or add your own thoughts and comments.
  • Results from the online survey are visible to participants. Results from the posters at the event on November 27 may be seen below. In addition, staff members have been visiting community centers, congregations, and CHS to see additional perspectives. These votes are being assembled and will be presented once the process is final.

Results from Equity Forum Statement Stations

Participants were asked to visit 4 statement stations and vote on their top 10 main ideas using stickers. A fifth station was available to add missing or new ideas.

Results from Second Forum – “Top 10” picks from Statement Stations

  1. Hire and support teachers of color
  2. Re-examine the Quest (gifted) program
  3. Focus on systemic barriers
  4. Continue or expand preschool
  5. Equip teachers to meet the needs of all students
  6. Promote student diversity within classrooms
  7. Support/retain effective teachers and principals
  8. Keep diversifying libraries/curriculum/activities
  9. Ensure budget prioritizes equity
  10. Explore outside factors that impact schools

Next Steps (from December 2018 community newsletter)

From our School Board and Superintendent (see longer message here):

In addition to listening, we are also acting. We are seeking volunteers and nominations for a committee on equity representing a broad coalition of school and community stakeholders. We are doing internal reviews of our data, programs, and efforts. We are mapping resources of sister school divisions and model equity programs so that we can learn from others. The School Board is drafting an equity policy that will guide our practices and lay a foundation for parity.

In short, we continue to listen. We are taking first steps to review and revise our past efforts and plan future action. We are guided by our confidence that your values are our values and that together, we want to seize this moment to make a difference for our community.

First Community Forum at CHS, October 23, 2018

On October 23, nearly 500 community members came together at Charlottesville High School for our first Community Forum on Equity.  Prior to the meeting, parents were asked to complete a brief pre-survey about their and their students’ experiences at CHS. (See results here.)  School representatives, including Superintendent Rosa Atkins, addressed the group and discussed the results of the survey, noting that when the results were filtered by race, the priorities for discussion were slightly different, and the overall “satisfaction” rates were higher for white students/families than for students/families of color.

Participants then split into small moderated groups to discuss the top five areas of concern for the African-American survey-takers.  Click here to review comments from the first Community Forum or contribute new ones. You can also find information concerning the main topics discussed.

The school division offered a separate forum for teachers and staff and gathered feedback on the same five topics.

Staff members and volunteers then reviewed the comments captured from the public and staff forums, developing a list of 32 action items that were commonly suggested. These 32 action items then became the basis of the next round of discussion.

Other Resources

Related media coverage

Contact:

Beth Cheuk
Coordinator of Community Affairs and Development
cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org or 434-245-2962

Denise Johnson
Supervisor of Equity and Inclusion
johnsod2@charlottesvilleschools.org