All posts by Beth Cheuk

Charlottesville City Schools Continuity of Learning Plan SPRING BREAK: APRIL 6-10, 2020 PHASE 2: March 23-April 3 PHASE 3: April 13-June 3 1 • Establishing meal service • Distributing Chromebooks for families of 2nd- to 6th-graders • Planning exploratory learning activities and long-term framework • Online exploratory activities or review modules posted • Teachers making connections with students via phone, email, and learning programs • No new material presented (per state guidelines) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • New curriculum covering core curriculum presented online or via printed materials (K-1) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • Note: We will continue to revise this plan to respond to changing circumstances, state guidance, and best practices. 2 Note to Families: Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school via phone or email. We want to help your student continue learning. 3 PHASE 1: March 16-20 LEARNING LOGISTICS EXPLORATORY LEARNING NEW LEARNING April 2020

Learning FAQ

Charlottesville City Schools Continuity of Learning Plan SPRING BREAK: APRIL 6-10, 2020 PHASE 2: March 23-April 3 PHASE 3: April 13-June 3 1 • Establishing meal service • Distributing Chromebooks for families of 2nd- to 6th-graders • Planning exploratory learning activities and long-term framework • Online exploratory activities or review modules posted • Teachers making connections with students via phone, email, and learning programs • No new material presented (per state guidelines) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • New curriculum covering core curriculum presented online or via printed materials (K-1) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • Note: We will continue to revise this plan to respond to changing circumstances, state guidance, and best practices. 2 Note to Families: Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school via phone or email. We want to help your student continue learning. 3 PHASE 1: March 16-20 LEARNING LOGISTICS EXPLORATORY LEARNING NEW LEARNING April 2020We will use this page to answer questions about our Continuity of Learning plan for the spring. Much more information will be posted soon.

After a several weeks of offering review and exploratory learning online, on April 13 we will be begin teaching new content.

For all students, if you have not been in contact with your teacher, please reach out to your school. We want to help you keep learning during this time.

Elementary Questions

How much time should we spend on learning each day?

illustration of clock faceRecommended daily times for instructional activities for K-1st grade

  • Literacy: 20 minutes
  • Math: 20 minutes
  • Science or Social Studies: 20 minutes
  • Specials-Fine Arts/Physical Education/Spanish: 20 minutes

Recommended daily times for instructional activities for 2nd-4th grade

  • Literacy: 40 minutes (including independent reading time)
  • Math: 20 minutes
  • Skill Practice in Reading or Math (Dreambox, word analysis, phonics): 20 minutes
  • Science or Social Studies: 20 minutes
  • Specials-Fine Arts/Physical Education/Spanish: 20 minutes

Did I hear that you’re mailing a workbook for K-1 students?

illustration of workbook and pencilYes, the learning books will go into the mail during spring break (April 6-10), and they are a daily guide to help our K-1 students stay on track.

If you don’t receive one by April 16, please contact your school.

What if my family doesn’t have a Chromebook/internet connection?

illustration of laptop and wifiWe will be lending Chromebooks to families of students in K-1st grade (unless their family already has a Chromebook for an older student or unless their family doesn’t need one). This will be on Tuesday, April 14 from 4-6pm at the elementary schools.

If you still need a Chromebook or help with internet connectivity, please reach out to your principal.

Will children be retained a year due to this closure?

Illustration of student showing growth, moving higher on stepsAll students should  advance to next course sequence or grade level unless  retention was planned prior to March 13.

Grades 5-8 (Classes not for High School Credit)

How much time should we spend on learning each day?

illustration of clock faceRecommended weekly times for instructional activities for 5th-6th

  • Literacy: two 60 minute lessons per week
  • Math: two 60 minute lessons per week
  • Science: two 60 minute lessons per week
  • Social Studies: two 60 minute lessons per week

Recommended weekly times for instructional activities for 7th-8th

  • Literacy: two 45 minute lessons per week
  • Math: two 45 minute lessons per week
  • Science: two 45 minute lessons per week
  • Social Studies: two 45 minute lessons per week

What if my family doesn’t have a Chromebook/internet connection?

illustration of laptop and wifiIf you still need a Chromebook or help with internet connectivity, please reach out to your principal.

Will children be retained a year due to this closure?

Illustration of student showing growth, moving higher on stepsAll students should  advance to next course sequence or grade level unless  retention was planned prior to March 13.

What about grades?

For questions about grades, see below.

Student Grades

How will grading work?

This is an unprecedented time. We have been encouraged to give feedback but not grades on student work for the remainder of the year.  Therefore:

  • If a student had a passing grade when schools closed on March 13, they will be awarded an A to indicate satisfactory completion of course requirements.
    • If a student did not have a passing grade on March 13, they’ll be given clear steps to complete requirements to earn the A.
    • These grades will appear on the transcript, but they will not count toward the GPA.

Why an A or incomplete?

  • We are choosing A or I because we know:
    • Letter grades would be arbitrary and a source of stress during this changing time when some of our students are facing tremendous challenges.
    • In some settings, a P/F grade brings a penalty or stigma. We’re confident that organizations (such as the NCAA) will allow P/Fs for a few years, but we need to protect our middle-schoolers who would carry P/Fs on their transcript in 4 or 5 years when the virus might be long-forgotten. We want to make sure that the decisions we make today will not cause problems for our students tomorrow.
    • These grades will not count toward GPA.
    • There is no perfect system right now because our situation is far from perfect. School divisions across the country are grappling with this.

Why not let students choose from a P/F or a letter grade?

  • We spoke with university admissions officers. They encouraged us to make a division-wide policy. They said this would be more fair and less burdensome to our students. In a situation where some kids have a letter grade and some kids have a P, admissions officers would likely assume that a P was masking a bad grade.
  • Our school counselors point out that putting the decision on families would add stress during this already-difficult time. For a student earning an A, it would be a no-brainer choosing an A on the transcript. But what about a typically straight-A student who earned a B? Would a B on the transcript be better than a P? These decisions are stressful and complicated under the best of circumstances — and we are not in the best of circumstances.
  • School counselors also note that any space in college recommendation letters that goes to explaining students’ choice of a letter grade or P/F could better be used to describe the student’s strengths.

What about juniors? Aren’t junior-year grades important to colleges?

  • Juniors, we know this is a stressful time for you. We will help you tell your best story to colleges.
  • The teachers and school counselors writing your letters of application will be able to narrate your commitment to learning and your personal gifts well beyond your grades.
  • Our letters of recommendation focus on student strengths, not grades. You have always shown us your strengths — and you can do that this spring, too!
  • Let’s seize this as a mindset shift… you are more than a grade. You are in charge of your learning. Have you mastered the content? Are you preparing yourself for next year? Are you taking care of yourself?
CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)

Coronavirus Messages

This is an archive of the Charlottesville City Schools division messages related to coronavirus.

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

Message to Families 4/2: Updates about Learning and Spring Break Meals

Dear Charlottesville staff and families,

We have a few updates about learning and about meals.

Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school. We want to help your student continue learning. We have posted learning resources on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning. This week features more exploratory online activities as we continue to make contact with students and families.

Spring break is April 6-10. After that, we will begin teaching new curriculum, whether online or with printed materials that will be mailed to K and 1st-grade families. We will soon post information on our web site that addresses specific questions about our spring learning plan (see outline, below). Please be patient as we continue to receive ongoing guidance from the state that impacts these plans.

For meals: We have posted the volunteer sign-up sheet for the weeks following spring break.  Next week, our nutritional staff and school bus drivers will get a well-deserved break. But we encourage families in need to take advantage of services offered by groups such as Loaves and Fishes and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. For details, see the flyer that came home with yesterday’s meals or visit charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Have a good evening!

Message to Families 3/23: Schools Closed for Remainder of School Year

Dear Charlottesville Schools families and staff,

The Governor of Virginia has just announced the closure of Virginia schools for the remainder of the school year. The state will issue guidance about what this means for our continuity of instruction, the class of 2020, the role of schools in delivering meals to students, and many other issues. We will keep you informed as we learn more and make plans. Please take care and know that we are working together to serve our community in this unusual time.

Message to Families 3/22: Food and Learning Updates

Dear families,

What a week! If you’re like me, you’re still trying to process all that has happened.

In the past week, we have grappled with

  • the confirmation that the virus has arrived in our state and community, 
  • the sudden decision to close our schools,
  • the creation of a school meals delivery system that served more than 2,500 meals, 
  • the distribution of about 900 chromebooks to our 2nd- to 6th-grade students, and 
  • outlining a new framework for student engagement and learning.

I’m so proud of our teachers, principals, and staff as well as our community volunteers who have made these accomplishments possible, even as they have juggled responsibilities at home.

FOOD UPDATES
Let’s start with a brief update on food. Schools’ food deliveries this week are Monday and Wednesday only. Since we will be giving multiple day’s food at each visit, we recommend children bring an adult or backpack to help carry the extra food home. Delivery times/locations are the same but as we deliver more food, there may be route delays.  Volunteers are needed for this week. Learn more and sign up to help at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Let’s take a moment to thank our nutrition team and bus drivers for their incredible work and dedication! What important work they are doing!

LEARNING UPDATES
Now, let us turn our attention to learning. While we will await the governor’s guidance on when to re-open schools, we are making plans in case the closure extends beyond 3/27. Tomorrow the governor is expected to make an announcement.

NEW REALITIES
As we think about what learning will look like in case of an extended closure, let’s keep in mind that at home, work, and “school,” we are making new routines and finding new ways to meet our basic needs. We are still working to get supports such as chromebooks and wifi to households in need. We are working to empower our teachers to succeed in a new environment even as we recognize that they are also supporting their own families at home, particularly as illness arises (coronavirus or otherwise). In other words, this is new and complicated, and we will not immediately transform our vibrant schools into fully formed distance-learning counterparts.

NEXT STEPS FOR LEARNING
Having said that, we are committed to finding new ways to connect and engage with our students. Starting later this week, teachers will be reaching out to students to make connections and to map which students need additional supports to be part of a virtual community.

As we gain confidence online and extend resources as needed, we will ramp up our distance learning offerings. Along the way, we will make mistakes and learn — exactly what we expect our students to do. Let’s be patient and encouraging with one another — just as we expect of our teachers.

GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, learning resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning.  Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor. If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements. 

You will learn more from your schools and your teachers about what this will look like for your students, but as you await contact from your teacher, we’ve created a page to give you some basics to work with at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning.

CHALLENGES AHEAD
We have big questions to grapple with, such as:

  • How do we meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners?
  • How will we support our youngest students with at-home learning?
  • How will we prepare high school seniors for graduation and life after graduation?
  • Will we be able to sustain our model for food delivery if this situation continues or worsens?
  • We have many challenges and exciting opportunities. 

The good news is, we aren’t in this alone. We are following state guidance. For instance, the state is applying for a federal waiver from state SOL testing, and the state is issuing guidelines for seniors. Aside from the state, we are working with other school divisions. And remember, Charlottesville, we are a strong community.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways to help.

  • Take care of yourself and your family.
  • Consider volunteering. Presently, we need food delivery volunteers — even for tomorrow. A one-stop-shop for giving and getting help is supportcville.com.
  • Consider donating. The CACF is creating a school-based fund to support our food delivery efforts — stay tuned. And already, the CACF has created a general Charlottesville Emergency fund for the needs throughout our community.
  • Be patient as we continue to learn what works. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact us directly. Constructive feedback is welcome, and we may miss a good idea if it is posted on social media instead of emailed to a staff member. 

You are doing your best. Although not seen by the public, our custodians and IT staff are doing their best. Our teachers will soon be doing their best (and we know just how good their best is!) Our nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are doing their best. Together, we all want what is best for the young people of Charlottesville.

With appreciation,
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Message to 2nd-6th Grade Families 3/18: Chromebook Pick-Up

Dear Walker and elementary families, [grades 2-6]

On Thursday, March 19, we will begin the process of checking out Chromebook computers to 2nd- through 6th-graders who need them. Walker School will be open for check-outs from noon-6pm on Thursday. On Thursday evening, we’ll have check-out stations at each elementary school from 5-6pm. You can go to the school that is most convenient to you.

If your family already has computers, ipads, or similar devices for your students to use, we ask that you hold off or limit your check-outs to one per family. We want to make sure that we are reaching as many of our families as possible. We’ll also be giving away print-outs of educational resources. For families who are not coming to pick up a Chromebook, we will post these items to our website. We continue to develop additional instructional materials.

As we have said before, thanks for your patience as we develop new ways to meet the needs of our families. Have a good evening.

Message to Families 3/17: Food Delivery Sites, Chromebook/WiFi Survey

Dear Charlottesville City Schools families,

This is an update with revised information about our food deliveries and an update about a chromebook and wifi survey that will be sent later today.

  • The food delivery info has been posted to charlottesvilleschools.org/food, but for those without access to email or the web, details will be read later in this message.
  • As we make plans to offer chromebook computers and WiFi hotspots to households in need, later today we will offer a survey via phone, email, and the web site. In preparation for the survey, you might check to see if your phones and devices can now log on to the free hotspots that Xfinity has made available throughout the city. Thanks in advance for participating in this survey.

And as always, thanks for your patience and please keep referring to the web site for updates. As we better understand the needs of our community, we continue to revise our plans.

Food Delivery Updates

As a reminder, this information is posted at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Beginning on Wednesday, our delivery hour will be 11am-noon, Monday-Friday. (This timeframe allows us to serve hot foods safely.)

In order to better reach families, we are keeping 5 of the existing stations open and we will convert others to roaming bus delivery routes that will stop at 4-5 locations during the hour.

Five stations will offer hour-long service in one location:

  1. CHS – 1400 Melbourne Ave.
  2. Friendship Court – 418 Garrett St
  3. Greenstone on 5th – 746 Prospect Av
  4. Hearthwood Apartments  – 2111 Michie Drive
  5. Jackson-Via Elementary School – Parking Lot / Bus Loop 508 Harris Road
  6. Westhaven – 803 Hardy Drive

 

Five buses will make routes through other neighborhoods throughout the city:

  1. Route 1 (Burnley-Moran Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Nicholson St @ Bennett St
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Holmes Avenue @ Elizabeth Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM St. Clair Avenue @ St. George Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 323 Riverside Avenue
  2. Route 2 (Burnley-Moran and Clark Areas)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Meade Avenue @ Meade Park
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Carlton Avenue @ Nassau St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Rives St @ Hampton St
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM Rougemont Avenue @ Meridian St.
  3. Route 3 (Jackson-Via Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Rougemont Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM 1st St S @ Lankford Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Ridge St @ Brookwood Drive
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 5th St SW @ Cleveland Avenue
  4. Route 4 (Johnson Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Bolling Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Elliott Avenue @ Burnett St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Cherry Avenue @ Hanover St
    • Stop4 11:45 AM Bailey Avenue @ Orangedale Avenue
  5. Route 5 (Venable Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Wayne Avenue @ Cedar Hill Rd
    • Stop 2 11:10 AM 2204 N. Berkshire Rd
    • Stop 3 11:25 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Madison Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:35 AM Forest St @ Concord Avenue
    • Stop 5 11:45 AM Venable Elementary @ Gordon Avenue

NOTES: As a reminder, per federal guidelines, a child 18 or under must be present to claim their own bag. Thanks again for your patience. Finally, please stay tuned since we continue to refine these routines and stops as we try to respond to this situation and the needs of our community.

Message to Families March 16, 2020: Reminder about Meal Delivery 3/17, including new Riverside site

Dear Charlottesville City Schools families–

This is a reminder about the meal deliveries that will be tomorrow along with a few updates:

  • We will begin food deliveries tomorrow at sites throughout the city from the hours of 10-12. We have added Christ Community Church as an 11th pick-up site. Find details at charlottesvilleschools.org/food
  • As of this afternoon, we will be following the City’s lead and closing our buildings through at least Friday, March 27. While some staff may be in the office, most will be working from home. There will be no public access to the buildings.
  • In light of this change, we are pausing some efforts, such as distributing chromebooks and creating division-wide online and at-home learning and engagement opportunities. We’ll provide updates later.

Please continue to visit our web site if you have questions. In this fast-paced environment, we are updating it regularly regarding food deliveries and information about our coronavirus closure. 

Thanks so much for your patience in a continually changing situation.

Message to Families March 15, 2020: Medicine and Musical Instrument Pick-Up

Dear families,

We recognize that Friday afternoon’s decision to close schools state-wide came suddenly. If your student has medicine or personal items that you need to pick up, you can come by the school tomorrow between 9am and 2pm. If possible, please contact your school office or principal so that we can have your item ready for you to pick up. In the case of medicine, a parent or guardian needs to be present.

In addition, band and orchestra students at Walker, Buford, and CHS can pick up their instruments outside the schools from 11-2 tomorrow.

School telephone numbers and principal emails are below.

Thanks again for your understanding in this unusual time.

Beth Cheuk
Charlottesville City Schools

  • CHS: 434-245-2410 or irizare1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Lugo-McGinnes: 434-245-2406 or dahlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Buford: 434-245-2411or turnerj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Walker: 434-245-2412 or hastina1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Burnley-Moran: 434-245-2413 or korabe1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Clark: 434-245-2414 or isleyd1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Greenbrier: 434-245-2415 or cuomop1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Jackson-Via: 434-245-2416 or malonej1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Johnson: 434-245-2417 or thompss2@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Venable: 434-245-2418 or kershne1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Message to Families March 13, 2020: Statewide School Closure, Meal Announcements

Message to Families March 13, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Staff and Families–

A few minutes ago, Governor Ralph Northam ordered that all of Virginia’s K-12 schools will close for a minimum of two weeks beginning on Monday and extending through at least March 27. We wanted to notify you of this as soon as possible because we recognize that this will require a lot of planning on both your part and ours.

We will be in touch with more information on Monday. For the time being, a few announcements:

  • The PBJ Fund and our wonderful elementary PTOs have planned sandwich deliveries to some of our neighborhoods on Monday. See our web site and social media for details.
  • We will begin food service for families in need on Tuesday. More information will come.
  • The Charlottesville Area Community Fund has opened a fund for donations to support our community in this time. Again, see our web site and social media.

Again, we will have more information for you on Monday once we meet to make plans. 

As I mentioned yesterday, this health event will cause stress and challenges. It is also an opportunity for us to support one another, just as we have done in the past. Thanks and take care!

Update to elementary families: To stay in compliance with the governor’s order, we will cancel the CLASS program on Monday 3/16. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Message to Families March 12, 2020: Updates and Changes to Programming

Message to Families March 12, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Schools Staff and Families,

I’m reaching out with important updates regarding our response to coronavirus. The most pressing item is that on Monday, March 16, there will be no school for students in Charlottesville Schools while we give our teachers and staff time to train and prepare for the possibility of extended school closures. However, the after-school program called CLASS will hold a full-day program for students already enrolled in CLASS. A flyer will go home today with CLASS families.

Now for additional updates. This is lengthy but important.

In addition to our current practices of cleaning, hand-washing, and reminding sick students and staff to stay home, we are taking extra steps:

  • We have cancelled field trips, events, and staff travel that would involve gatherings of more than 100 people or that would take students or staff outside of the Charlottesville area, including out-of-state and international travel. For this weekend, this includes Parent University and the ArtConnections open house along with District 13 orchestra assessments at Buford.
  • For the time being, we will hold athletic practices but cancel scrimmages. We will give teams updates as information is available.
  • We are preparing — and we ask you to prepare — for the possibility of extended school closures following health department guidance. As we prepare for this possibility, we are developing online or at-home learning plans, and we are exploring ways to get food and resources to families who rely on the school meals program due to food insecurity. Please arrange childcare now for the possibility that we may face extended school closures.
  • In addition, we request that students or staff who return from areas where coronavirus has been identified practice self-isolation per the recommendations of the CDC. For details or guidance about household members who have traveled, please see our website.

We know you will have questions, and we have updated our resource page at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

As we take these steps, it is important to remember that children appear to be only mildly impacted by the coronavirus. The health department’s guidance to us is designed to mitigate the spread of the virus to keep our entire community safe, especially older adults and individuals with underlying health issues. These recommendations may change as we learn more from the health department and other authorities.

As our community moves forward, we know that these changes are stressful, there will be challenges, and we will get through it together. 

With appreciation,

Rosa Atkins

Message to Families March 4, 2020: Basic Coronavirus Preparations

Message to Families (March 4, 2020)

Dear Charlottesville Schools Families and Staff,

Charlottesville City Schools is working with the regional and state health department to monitor and make plans for the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus (or COVID-19).

According to the Center for Disease Control, the current risk of COVID-19 infection to the American public is still considered low. As of today, there are no COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Even so, we want to be prepared and we are reinforcing everyday best practices such as hand-washing, covering coughs, and cleaning our buildings. We are also working with regional partners such as the health department to revise our preparation plans.

We have created a web page to answer more specific questions. You can find it at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

In the meanwhile, take care and wash your hands!

Coronavirus Archived Page

This page contains the original coronavirus content focused on information that families needed to know when schools were open (prior to March 16).

Updated: March 13, 2020

Charlottesville City Schools is working with the regional and state health department to monitor and make plans for the respiratory illness caused by Coronavirus (or COVID-19).

While our immediate risk is low, cases have been reported in Virginia, and we are making plans now to keep our staff and students safe. We hope the following Frequently Asked Questions are helpful. We are continually updating this page to respond to new information.

illustration of a "closed" signCharlottesville City Schools will be closed from at least 3/16 to 3/27 following Governor Northam’s statewide school closure to contain the coronavirus.

Illustration of an adult hand helping a child hand Want to help other families who face disruption in meals or income during this time?

Two options right now:

THANKS to so many of you who have reached out wanting to help. Charlottesville City Schools will have a meals program in place for our families in need beginning Tuesday.

Show Less

The impact of coronavirus on children appears to be very mild and limited. The health department’s guidance to us is designed to limit the spread of the virus to keep our entire community safe, especially older adults and individuals with underlying health issues.

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

 

Message to Families March 15, 2020: Medicine and Musical Instrument Pick-Up

Dear families,

We recognize that Friday afternoon’s decision to close schools state-wide came suddenly. If your student has medicine or personal items that you need to pick up, you can come by the school tomorrow between 9am and 2pm. If possible, please contact your school office or principal so that we can have your item ready for you to pick up. In the case of medicine, a parent or guardian needs to be present.

In addition, band and orchestra students at Walker, Buford, and CHS can pick up their instruments outside the schools from 11-2 tomorrow.

School telephone numbers and principal emails are below.

Thanks again for your understanding in this unusual time.

Beth Cheuk
Charlottesville City Schools

  • CHS: 434-245-2410 or irizare1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Lugo-McGinnes: 434-245-2406 or dahlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Buford: 434-245-2411or turnerj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Walker: 434-245-2412 or hastina1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Burnley-Moran: 434-245-2413 or korabe1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Clark: 434-245-2414 or isleyd1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Greenbrier: 434-245-2415 or cuomop1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Jackson-Via: 434-245-2416 or malonej1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Johnson: 434-245-2417 or thompss2@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Venable: 434-245-2418 or kershne1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Message to Families March 13, 2020

Message to Families March 13, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Staff and Families–

A few minutes ago, Governor Ralph Northam ordered that all of Virginia’s K-12 schools will close for a minimum of two weeks beginning on Monday and extending through at least March 27. We wanted to notify you of this as soon as possible because we recognize that this will require a lot of planning on both your part and ours.

We will be in touch with more information on Monday. For the time being, a few announcements:

  • The PBJ Fund and our wonderful elementary PTOs have planned sandwich deliveries to some of our neighborhoods on Monday. See our web site and social media for details.
  • We will begin food service for families in need on Tuesday. More information will come.
  • The Charlottesville Area Community Fund has opened a fund for donations to support our community in this time. Again, see our web site and social media.

Again, we will have more information for you on Monday once we meet to make plans. 

As I mentioned yesterday, this health event will cause stress and challenges. It is also an opportunity for us to support one another, just as we have done in the past. Thanks and take care!

Update to elementary families: To stay in compliance with the governor’s order, we will cancel the CLASS program on Monday 3/16. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Message to Families March 12, 2020

Message to Families March 12, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Schools Staff and Families,

I’m reaching out with important updates regarding our response to coronavirus. The most pressing item is that on Monday, March 16, there will be no school for students in Charlottesville Schools while we give our teachers and staff time to train and prepare for the possibility of extended school closures. However, the after-school program called CLASS will hold a full-day program for students already enrolled in CLASS. A flyer will go home today with CLASS families.

Now for additional updates. This is lengthy but important.

In addition to our current practices of cleaning, hand-washing, and reminding sick students and staff to stay home, we are taking extra steps:

  • We have cancelled field trips, events, and staff travel that would involve gatherings of more than 100 people or that would take students or staff outside of the Charlottesville area, including out-of-state and international travel. For this weekend, this includes Parent University and the ArtConnections open house along with District 13 orchestra assessments at Buford.
  • For the time being, we will hold athletic practices but cancel scrimmages. We will give teams updates as information is available.
  • We are preparing — and we ask you to prepare — for the possibility of extended school closures following health department guidance. As we prepare for this possibility, we are developing online or at-home learning plans, and we are exploring ways to get food and resources to families who rely on the school meals program due to food insecurity. Please arrange childcare now for the possibility that we may face extended school closures.
  • In addition, we request that students or staff who return from areas where coronavirus has been identified practice self-isolation per the recommendations of the CDC. For details or guidance about household members who have traveled, please see our website.

We know you will have questions, and we have updated our resource page at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

As we take these steps, it is important to remember that children appear to be only mildly impacted by the coronavirus. The health department’s guidance to us is designed to mitigate the spread of the virus to keep our entire community safe, especially older adults and individuals with underlying health issues. These recommendations may change as we learn more from the health department and other authorities.

As our community moves forward, we know that these changes are stressful, there will be challenges, and we will get through it together. 

With appreciation,

Rosa Atkins

Message to Families March 4, 2020

Message to Families (March 4, 2020)

Dear Charlottesville Schools Families and Staff,

Charlottesville City Schools is working with the regional and state health department to monitor and make plans for the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus (or COVID-19).

According to the Center for Disease Control, the current risk of COVID-19 infection to the American public is still considered low. As of today, there are no COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Even so, we want to be prepared and we are reinforcing everyday best practices such as hand-washing, covering coughs, and cleaning our buildings. We are also working with regional partners such as the health department to revise our preparation plans.

We have created a web page to answer more specific questions. You can find it at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

In the meanwhile, take care and wash your hands!

Questions about Schools

How Are the Schools Preparing?

How Are the Schools Preparing?

At Charlottesville City Schools, we are reinforcing good hand-washing and cleaning practices, which are key to preventing this disease. Our cleaning practices exceed standards, and we have begun receiving additional equipment to further strengthen these practices.

In addition, we are working with regional partners such as the local health department and the City of Charlottesville.

Our goal is to maintain operations while minimizing student and staff exposure. However, we are preparing for the possibility of school closures, which would follow the health department’s guidelines.

Why Are the Schools Closing for the Day of Monday, March 16?

Why Are the Schools Closing for the Day of Monday, March 16?

The health department has urged school divisions to prepare for the possibility of an extended closure. If we have an extended closure (2 weeks or more), we will plan to offer online and at-home learning for students. (We will also plan to deliver food to some neighborhoods.)  If we can continue learning from home, we can help our students make important progress despite any interruption.

Offering continuous learning of this nature will require planning. So we will take the day of Monday, March 16 to train staff and make plans. Thanks for your understanding!

Will Schools Cancel Field Trips or Staff Travel?

Will Schools Cancel Field Trips or Staff Travel?

  • Field Trips: CCS has cancelled field trips outside of Albemarle County or interacting with 100 or more people. You will be notified if your child’s field trip is cancelled.
  • Out-of-State or International Travel CCS has suspended all CCS-sponsored out-of-state and international field trips. For details about your planned trip, check with your teacher. Please be patient as we sort through the complex issues this raises.
  • Athletic Events: For the time being, we will hold practices but cancel scrimmages. WWe will cancel games/matches from 3/16 – 3/27 and then re-evaluate.
  • Staff Conferences and Travel: Out-of-state staff travel has been cancelled, and some in-state conferences have been cancelled or postponed. Staff with questions should see their supervisor.

Will Schools Cancel Activities?

Will Schools Cancel Activities?

  • Activities and Events:
    • Activities and events with 100 or more in attendance will be modified or cancelled. In most cases, details would come from the specific school or group. We will make every effort to update our web site’s online calendar.
    • After-school activities will continue.
  • Sports
    • For the time being, we will hold practices but cancel scrimmages. We will cancel games/matches from 3/16 – 3/27 and then re-evaluate.

Will We Have an Extended School Closure?

Will We Have an Extended School Closure?

Other than the planning day on Monday, March 16, there are no plans to close schools at this time. We would make this decision following guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (see below). We are preparing for the possibility of closures by planning for online and at-home learning and ways to supply families with resources such as food and wifi hotspots.

illustration of checklist with items crossed off Please make sure that you have a plan for your children if we need to close. As you make these plans, remember that people over the age of 60 — especially those with existing health conditions — are at greatest risk from coronavirus. Also consider that keeping large groups of children together is another risk factor.

illustration of a notebook with a checkmark on the coverVirginia Department of Health Guidelines for School Closures as of 3/12/2020 (subject to change)

  • There is no evidence that a “preemptive” closure is effective.
  • Following the first confirmed diagnosis of a student/staff member at a school:
    • Close the school division for 3-5 days for deep cleaning and time for the health department’s investigation
  • Following multiple confirmed diagnoses of students/staff members at a school:
    • Close the schools division for at least 2 weeks for deep cleaning and time for new cases to appear
  • Find the CDC’s guidance for schools here. Although there are no confirmed cases in Charlottesville-Albemarle, we are proactively following  the guidelines for “minimal to moderate community transmission.”

If Schools Close, Will Students Keep Learning?

If CCS does have an extended closure, how would students continue to learn?

The Virginia Department of Education is encouraging school divisions to make opportunities for students to learn from home. CCS is working on plans to ensure the continuity of learning for all students in the event of an extended closure. We are exploring both online and offline resources. (One way we are preparing for continuous learning is by having a professional learning day (no school for students) on Monday, March 16.)

At the middle and high school levels, even though schools remain open, students who have CCS-issued laptops should make sure their laptop is fully charged. Students should also bring their laptop home at the conclusion of each school day, and have access to their charger at all times.

illustration of wifi hotspotWe have a number of free wifi hotspots available for check-out to households that do not presently have wifi. These hotspots are available for check-out via school libraries at CHS, Buford, and Walker — one per household. Stay tuned for details.

Would We Close Individual Schools or the Whole School Division?

Would We Close Individual Schools or the Whole School Division?

We would close the entire school division. Due to the small nature of Charlottesville and the number of siblings we have at multiple schools, closing one location would not make sense.

What if Students/Staff Show Symptoms at School?

What if a Student or Staff Member Shows Symptoms of Respiratory Illness at School?

Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, should stay home and contact their health care provider.

Students or staff who become ill during the school day should visit the school nurse for evaluation. If a fever is present,  we will contact the family and the student/staff member will go home.

  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

Are School Visitors and Volunteers Allowed?

Are School Visitors  and Volunteers Allowed?

We have suspended our volunteer programs (including  practicum students and interns). Student teachers will remain. 

Are There Special Protocols for New Students/Staff?

Are There Special Protocols for New Students/Staff?

Any new students or staff members  from Level 3 countries or areas highly impacted by coronavirus will be processed according to guidelines from the health department.

Questions about Students/Staff and their Families

What Should My Family Do?

What Should My Family Do?

  • Families should maintain the preparations they take for flu and colds.  This includes washing hands with soap (or hand sanitizer) frequently,  trying not to touch your face, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. (See guidelines, below from the Virginia Department of Health).
  • Please prepare for no school on the day of Monday, March 16. In addition, please prepare for the possibility that schools may need to close for days or weeks.  If we need to close for an extended period, we would work with our staff and our community partners to address online or at-home learning plans and connect families with resources such as food and wifi hot spots to support learning.
  • Consider your spring break travel plans carefully. If your family travels to a Level 3 country or high-impact area, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days following your return. Areas of concern  are subject to expand based on health department guidance.
  • Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date with the schools for messages (calls/emails/texts). You can edit these settings and your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)

 CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed by your health care provider if you have the flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Ensure that your own family has a plan. The CDC has a guide. 

When Should Students/Staff Stay Home?

When Should Students/Staff Stay Home?

  • Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, should stay home and contact their health care provider.
  • Anyone who has a household member who BOTH is exhibiting the above symptoms AND has likely been exposed to coronavirus.

Other signs a student or staff member should stay home include:

  • There is fever of 100 degrees or more in the last 24 hours
  • There is nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea in the last 24 hours
  • Your child has red, itchy, draining eyes
  • It is a young child having trouble managing respiratory secretions
  • Your child has a contagious disease. No child with a suspected communicable disease, including pertussis, ringworm, impetigo, lice, or conjunctivitis, is permitted to remain in school. In order to return to school, the principal/nurse may require written notice that the student has received adequate treatment.

What if a Student/Staff Member May Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus?

What if a Student/Staff Member May Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus?


If a student or staff member
has recently returned from areas where coronavirus cases have been identified, they should contact the school and stay home  until it has been 14 days since they left the area. If they are symptom-free at that point, they can return to school with no limits.

  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

What if a Household Member May Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus?

What if a Household Member May Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus?

Example: if a parent has traveled on business to an area impacted by coronavirus.

  • If a student/staff’s household member displays symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing),  all members of the household should self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • If a household member may have been exposed, but no one in the household displays symptoms, there are no limitations for the staff member or student to attend school, although we would ask the traveler to stay away from schools for the 14 day period.  Further questions may be addressed to the health department hotline (434-972-6219).

If you have concerns that a family member or a student might have been exposed to or infected with COVID-19 either through travel or some other means, contact the local health department hotline at 434-972-6219 for further guidance.

  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

What about Students/Staff Who are at Higher Risk?

What about Students/Staff Who are at Higher Risk?

We recognize that some students and staff have underlying health conditions that might raise their risk. We encourage you to check with your primary care physician and school nurse so that we can be supportive.

What if My Family Travels Over Spring Break?

What if My Family Travels Over Spring Break?

Consider your spring break travel plans carefully. If your family travels to a Level 3 country or highly impacted travel area, you will be asked to stay home for 14 days following your return. This guidance is subject to expand based on guidance from the health department.

What if a Student or Staff Member is Advised to Stay Home on Quarantine?

What if a Student or Staff Member is Advised to Stay Home on Quarantine?

Schools should make every effort to help these students maintain their schoolwork. Teachers can provide assignments and study materials to allow the student to complete work from home.

Similarly, staff should stay home when sick or when placed on self-quarantine. Please report these absences as usual and maintain communication with your supervisor.

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

All families should be enrolled in School Messenger, which delivers messages via telephone, email, and text according to the settings of the parent/guardian.

You can edit these settings and update your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)

For staff: Staff can also log in to customize how they receive updates. To sign up or to retrieve your password, use your work email (doej1@charlottesvilleschools.org). You can also find instructions about how to manage the settings.

How Do I Explain Coronavirus to My Child?

How Do I Explain Coronavirus or COVID-19 to My Child?

You can remind your child (and yourself) that:

  • COVID-19 is similar to other illnesses  that Americans experience such as the flu.
  • Children are generally experiencing mild symptoms.
  • Your family has a plan to take care (including washing hands, covering coughs, etc.).
  • Our community has a plan.

Other Questions

I’ve Heard That Some Communities Have Had Bullying and Discrimination Towards Asians. What Can We Do?

I’ve Heard That Some Communities Have Had Bullying and Discrimination Towards Asians. What Can We Do?

It’s important for students, staff, and parents to separate facts from fear. Guard against stigma by knowing the facts and only getting information from reliable sources. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist. Encourage everyone to keep their attention on the facts. Contact your school if you have specific concerns about bullying or bias. For questions about exclusion of students or staff who have traveled or their family members, or if someone self-reports travel or illness, contact the health district (434-972-6219 or 434-972-6261).

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

Following Sunday, March 15, we will end facility rentals until further notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience and challenge that this presents.

What Will We Be Told if a Student or Staff Member Becomes Sick?

What Will We Be Told if a Student or Staff Member Becomes Sick?

Names and personally identifiable information will not be released, but the local health department will work with schools on the necessary next steps, including any related communications to parents or school staff. All such communications should be coordinated with the health department.

How Can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

How can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

Email cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org with suggestions for this page. We want this page to be useful.

For specific questions about your situation, call your the your primary care provider, the health department at 434-972-6261, or your school.

How Can I Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

How Can I  Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

If you have questions about your child’s attendance at school, please contact the school directly.

Links and a local and state hotline are below. You can also turn to your health-care provider for specific questions or reach out to the  Thomas Jefferson Area Health District hotline at  434-972-6261.

  • Information on coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • This includes information on how the disease spreads, the latest numbers of American diagnoses, and more.
  • Travel recommendations from the CDC
  • Virginia coronavirus information from the Virginia Department of Health
  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

 

photo of two pears with hearts cut out. Courtesy Unsplash/Esther Wechsler

Neighborhood Meal Delivery During Closure

Spring Break Food Update (April 6-10)

Flyer about food availability during spring break. All information is on the web page (charlottesvilleschools.org/food). Call 245-2962 with questions.During Spring Break, we recommend the following resources to our families:

  • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry (cvilleloaves.org)
    • Location:   2050 Lambs Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, near Albemarle High School
    • Hours:
      • Saturday (April 4) 10am-12pm
      • Wednesday (April 8) 2pm-4pm
      • Thursday (April 9) 6:30pm-8:30pm
      • Saturday (April 11) 10am-12pm
    • Register: Please use this form to register so that Loaves & Fishes can prepare appropriately
  • Charlottesville Food Justice Network (cvillefoodjustice.org)
  • Description:  The Charlottesville Food Justice Network is partnering with CCS to provide meals during spring break when the schools will be closed. There will be five delivery sites on Monday and Wednesday and two meals shared each day prepared by local restaurants, Pearl Island andThe Charlottesville Food Justice Network is providing spring break meals. On Monday and Wednesday 4/6 and 4/8, pick up f rom 11-1 at Friendship Ct, Greenstone on 5th, Hearthwood, S. 1st St, or Westhaven. Friday pick-ups 12-1. Food pick-ups at Loaves & Fishes Thrusday night 6:30-8:30 and Sat 10am-noon. Call 434-260-3274 with questions. Mochiko Cville.
  • Locations:
    • S. First
    • Friendship Court
    • Greenstone on 5th
    • Hearthwood
    • Westhaven
  • Hours:
    • Monday (April 6) 11am-1pm
    • Wednesday (April 8) 11am-1pm

Thanks also to the Salvation Army, and PBJ Fund for the ways they are serving our families during this time.

Charlottesville City Schools’ food deliveries will be back at our usual times and locations on Monday (4/13) and Wednesday (4/15).  See below for delivery locations and times.  Have a safe spring break!


photo of two pears with hearts cut out. Courtesy Unsplash/Esther Wechsler

Weekday Meal Delivery at Locations Throughout City, 11am-noon

Charlottesville City Schools is delivering breakfast/ lunch bags to children up to through CHS. The Monday/Wednesday deliveries will be available from the hours of 11am-noon at locations throughout the city.  Families can go to the location that is closest to them. Parents are not required to be present in order for their child to receive a bag, but it is helpful since children will be carrying multiple days’ worth of food — bring an adult or at least a backpack.

We are required to follow federal guidelines for food delivery. Therefore:

  • Each bag is designed to serve  one school-aged child for several days
  • One bag per child age 18/CHS and under — the child must be present to claim the bag
  • If your child cannot come to the site, let your server know
  • One bag per child per delivery day (though bags will contain multiple days’ worth of food)

Food Delivery Sites and Routes (with two new stops)

Food Delivery Sites and Routes

These sites are subject to change as we learn more about what works best. Last updated: 03/26/20 at 4:15pm

 

Monday and Wednesday (children will receive multiple days’ worth of food).

Six stations will offer hour-long service in one location:

  1. Charlottesville High School – 1400 Melbourne Ave
  2. Friendship Court – 418 Garrett St
  3. Greenstone on 5th – 746 Prospect Av
  4. Hearthwood Apartments  – 2111 Michie Drive
  5. Jackson-Via Elementary School – Parking Lot / Bus Loop 508 Harris Road
  6. Westhaven – 801 Hardy Drive


Five buses will make routes through other neighborhoods throughout the city:

  1. Route 1 (Johnson Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Bolling Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Elliott Avenue @ Burnett St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Cherry Avenue @ Hanover St
    • Stop4 11:45 AM Bailey Avenue @ Orangedale Avenue
    • NEW: Stop 5 11:55 AM 806 Prospect Ave
  2. Route 2 (Jackson-Via Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Rougemont Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM 1st St S @ Lankford Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Ridge St @ Brookwood Drive
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 5th St SW @ Cleveland Avenue
  3. Route 3 (Burnley-Moran Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Nicholson St @ Bennett St
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Holmes Avenue @ Elizabeth Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM St. Clair Avenue @ St. George Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 323 Riverside Avenue
  4. Route 4 (Venable Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Wayne Avenue @ Cedar Hill Rd
    • Stop 2 11:10 AM 2204 N. Berkshire Rd
    • Stop 3 11:25 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Madison Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:35 AM Forest St @ Concord Avenue
    • NEW Stop 5 11:40 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Charlton Ave
    • Stop 6 11:45 AM Venable Elementary @ Gordon Avenue
  5. Route 5 (Burnley-Moran and Clark Areas)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Meade Avenue @ Meade Park
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Carlton Avenue @ Nassau St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Rives St @ Hampton St
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM Rougemont Avenue @ Meridian St.

Volunteer Information: NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR 3/23 AND BEYOND

Illustration of an adult hand helping a child hand

We have a need of volunteers for Monday, 3/23 and beyond.  Volunteers should arrive at CHS (1400 Melbourne Rd) at 10am to help load (lifting required of most volunteers). They should be done by  12:30pm.  Monday/Wednesday deliveries. Thanks to CIty Schoolyard Garden for their assistance with this effort.

Safety note to volunteers: buses are sanitized nightly. Volunteers are limited to allow for safe distances during transportation.


Si tiene preguntas acerca de las escuelas de Charlottesville, llame a nuestra línea telefónica en español al 434-245-2548. Un profesor de español le devolverá la llamada.

Para leer este sitio web en español, indica “Translate” (traducir) en la parte por encima de la página y escoja Spanish.

Google Translate:

This website can be translated into Google-supported languages:

See top-right corner.

screenshot of CCS web site with translate circled in the top-right corner (to show the translation capability of the web site)Screenshot of CCS web site on cell phone with "translate" circled in the upper right corner (to show how to ranslate this site into other languages)

Coronavirus/School Closure

VDH Infographic about Coronavirus symptoms and best practices (fever, cough, sore throat). Wash hands, cover cough, throw away tissue.

Updated: April 1, 2020 10:00am

This landing page will answer your questions about Charlottesville City Schools’ closure due to coronavirus and point you to other school resources. We are continually updating this page to respond to new information.

Charlottesville City Schools Resources:

illustration of a "closed" signCharlottesville City Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year following Governor Northam’s statewide school closure to contain the coronavirus. Stay tuned for updates related to continuity of learning and more.

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

Message to Families 4/2: Updates about Learning and Spring Break Meals

Dear Charlottesville staff and families,

We have a few updates about learning and about meals.

Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school. We want to help your student continue learning. We have posted learning resources on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning. This week features more exploratory online activities as we continue to make contact with students and families.

Spring break is April 6-10. After that, we will begin teaching new curriculum, whether online or with printed materials that will be mailed to K and 1st-grade families. We will soon post information on our web site that addresses specific questions about our spring learning plan (see outline, below). Please be patient as we continue to receive ongoing guidance from the state that impacts these plans.

For meals: We have posted the volunteer sign-up sheet for the weeks following spring break.  Next week, our nutritional staff and school bus drivers will get a well-deserved break. But we encourage families in need to take advantage of services offered by groups such as Loaves and Fishes and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. For details, see the flyer that came home with yesterday’s meals or visit charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Have a good evening!

Message to Families 3/23: Schools Closed for Remainder of School Year

Dear Charlottesville Schools families and staff,

The Governor of Virginia has just announced the closure of Virginia schools for the remainder of the school year. The state will issue guidance about what this means for our continuity of instruction, the class of 2020, the role of schools in delivering meals to students, and many other issues. We will keep you informed as we learn more and make plans. Please take care and know that we are working together to serve our community in this unusual time.

Message to Families 3/22: Food and Learning Updates

Dear families,

What a week! If you’re like me, you’re still trying to process all that has happened.

In the past week, we have grappled with

  • the confirmation that the virus has arrived in our state and community, 
  • the sudden decision to close our schools,
  • the creation of a school meals delivery system that served more than 2,500 meals, 
  • the distribution of about 900 chromebooks to our 2nd- to 6th-grade students, and 
  • outlining a new framework for student engagement and learning.

I’m so proud of our teachers, principals, and staff as well as our community volunteers who have made these accomplishments possible, even as they have juggled responsibilities at home.

FOOD UPDATES
Let’s start with a brief update on food. Schools’ food deliveries this week are Monday and Wednesday only. Since we will be giving multiple day’s food at each visit, we recommend children bring an adult or backpack to help carry the extra food home. Delivery times/locations are the same but as we deliver more food, there may be route delays.  Volunteers are needed for this week. Learn more and sign up to help at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Let’s take a moment to thank our nutrition team and bus drivers for their incredible work and dedication! What important work they are doing!

LEARNING UPDATES
Now, let us turn our attention to learning. While we will await the governor’s guidance on when to re-open schools, we are making plans in case the closure extends beyond 3/27. Tomorrow the governor is expected to make an announcement.

NEW REALITIES
As we think about what learning will look like in case of an extended closure, let’s keep in mind that at home, work, and “school,” we are making new routines and finding new ways to meet our basic needs. We are still working to get supports such as chromebooks and wifi to households in need. We are working to empower our teachers to succeed in a new environment even as we recognize that they are also supporting their own families at home, particularly as illness arises (coronavirus or otherwise). In other words, this is new and complicated, and we will not immediately transform our vibrant schools into fully formed distance-learning counterparts.

NEXT STEPS FOR LEARNING
Having said that, we are committed to finding new ways to connect and engage with our students. Starting later this week, teachers will be reaching out to students to make connections and to map which students need additional supports to be part of a virtual community.

As we gain confidence online and extend resources as needed, we will ramp up our distance learning offerings. Along the way, we will make mistakes and learn — exactly what we expect our students to do. Let’s be patient and encouraging with one another — just as we expect of our teachers.

GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, learning resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning.  Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor. If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements. 

You will learn more from your schools and your teachers about what this will look like for your students, but as you await contact from your teacher, we’ve created a page to give you some basics to work with at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning.

CHALLENGES AHEAD
We have big questions to grapple with, such as:

  • How do we meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners?
  • How will we support our youngest students with at-home learning?
  • How will we prepare high school seniors for graduation and life after graduation?
  • Will we be able to sustain our model for food delivery if this situation continues or worsens?
  • We have many challenges and exciting opportunities. 

The good news is, we aren’t in this alone. We are following state guidance. For instance, the state is applying for a federal waiver from state SOL testing, and the state is issuing guidelines for seniors. Aside from the state, we are working with other school divisions. And remember, Charlottesville, we are a strong community.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways to help.

  • Take care of yourself and your family.
  • Consider volunteering. Presently, we need food delivery volunteers — even for tomorrow. A one-stop-shop for giving and getting help is supportcville.com.
  • Consider donating. The CACF is creating a school-based fund to support our food delivery efforts — stay tuned. And already, the CACF has created a general Charlottesville Emergency fund for the needs throughout our community.
  • Be patient as we continue to learn what works. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact us directly. Constructive feedback is welcome, and we may miss a good idea if it is posted on social media instead of emailed to a staff member. 

You are doing your best. Although not seen by the public, our custodians and IT staff are doing their best. Our teachers will soon be doing their best (and we know just how good their best is!) Our nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are doing their best. Together, we all want what is best for the young people of Charlottesville.

With appreciation,
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Questions about Schools

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service?

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service?

Yes. Learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

During spring break (April 6-10), we recommend that families take advantage of community resources. These will be posted on our web site once the 4/1 school meal deliveries are complete.

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Yes. During the weeks prior to spring break, we are offering exploratory activities as we continued to provide tech or other supports to families who are not connected with the schools. After spring break (April 6-10), we will be teaching new material to students, whether online or via learning materials mailed home.  All this is in keeping with the state’s guidance.

  • Find out more at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning
  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • More details will be posted soon.

illustration of wifi hotspotWe have a number of free wifi hotspots available for check-out to households that do not presently have a way for their students to connect with their teachers.  Contact your school

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home?

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home? 

If your family does not have a Chromebook or charger, please contact your school.

In addition, if your family has no internet access or has a data limit that presents a barrier to online school participation, please contact your school so we can help your family find a learning solution.

Why Are the Schools Closed?

Why Are the Schools Closed?

On Friday, March 13, Governor Northam announced the closure of all Virginia K-12 schools for at least two weeks, which was later extended to the rest of the school year.  Accordingly, we have cancelled face-to-face classes and activities and are offering distance learning opportunities.

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

  • Activities and Events: 
    • Public activities have been cancelled by Governor Northam through June 10.
    • We are exploring virtual or delayed options for some events. Stay tuned.

Questions about Students/Staff and their Families

What Should My Family Do?

What Should My Family Do?

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • Families should maintain the preparations they take for flu and colds.  This includes washing hands with soap (or hand sanitizer) frequently,  trying not to touch your face, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. (See guidelines, below from the Virginia Department of Health).
  • Thanks for your flexibility with this closure. Thanks also for your patience as we transition to a new learning system.
  • Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date with the schools for messages (calls/emails/texts). You can edit these settings and your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)
  • Want to help or volunteer? See below.

 CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed by your health care provider if you have the flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Ensure that your own family has a plan. The CDC has a guide. 

How Can My Family Help?

How Can My Family Help?

There are a number of  ways you can help.

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • Check to see if volunteer slots have opened (or new days added) to assist with our Nutrition Service’s meal delivery program during the closure.
  • You may wish to donate to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s  “Community Emergency Response Fund.”

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.

All families should be enrolled in School Messenger, which delivers messages via telephone, email, and text according to the settings of the parent/guardian.

You can edit these settings and update your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)

For staff: Staff can also log in to customize how they receive updates. To sign up or to retrieve your password, use your work email (doej1@charlottesvilleschools.org). You can also find instructions about how to manage the settings.

How Do I Explain Coronavirus to My Child?

How Do I Explain Coronavirus or COVID-19 to My Child?

You can remind your child (and yourself) that:

  • COVID-19 is similar to other illnesses  that Americans experience such as the flu.
  • Children are generally experiencing mild symptoms.
  • Your family has a plan to take care (including washing hands, covering coughs, etc.).
  • Our community has a plan.

Other Questions

I’ve Heard That Some Communities Have Had Bullying and Discrimination Towards Asians. What Can We Do?

It’s important for students, staff, and parents to separate facts from fear. Guard against stigma by knowing the facts and only getting information from reliable sources. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist. Encourage everyone to keep their attention on the facts. Contact your school if you have specific concerns about bullying or bias. For questions about exclusion of students or staff who have traveled or their family members, or if someone self-reports travel or illness, contact the health district (434-972-6219 or 434-972-6261).

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

After Sunday, March 15, we will end facility rentals until further notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience and challenge that this presents.

How Can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

How can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

Email cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org with suggestions for this page. We want this page to be useful.

For specific questions about your situation, call your the your primary care provider, the health department at 434-972-6261, or your school.

How Can I Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

How Can I  Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

If you have questions about your child’s attendance at school, please contact the school directly.

Links and a local and state hotline are below. You can also turn to your health-care provider for specific questions or reach out to the  Thomas Jefferson Area Health District hotline at  434-972-6261.

  • Information on coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • This includes information on how the disease spreads, the latest numbers of American diagnoses, and more.
  • Travel recommendations from the CDC
  • Virginia coronavirus information from the Virginia Department of Health
  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

This page has been updated to focus on information relevant during our school closure. The original page can be found here.

Other Resources:

Teacher and students in renovated Jackson-Via hallway

Modernization Project Video: New look, new learning at Jackson-Via after upgrades

When school reopened after winter break, Jackson-Via students and staff returned to find the finishing touches complete on their 2019 modernization projects.


*Video courtesy VMDO Architects in-house production/Asa Eslocker

The project included new paint throughout the building, daylighting for more natural light, new technology and furnishings, beautiful way-finding guides, and more. As with the 2018 work at Clark Elementary, fourth-graders saw the biggest impact in their spaces.

Designed by VMDO Architects, the work is part of an annual appropriation of $1-1.25 million by the City of Charlottesville for modernization (in addition to annual maintenance of school facilities). Planning is underway for a 2020 project at Burnley-Moran.

For more details on the Jackson-Via improvements, visit  the VMDO Architects project web page here.

In addition, the City has also allocated $3 million for planning and design work for Buford Middle School and Walker Upper Elementary as part of a reconfiguration plan to move 6th-graders to Buford, return 5th-graders to the elementary schools, and place preschoolers at an early learning center on the site of Walker.

School Names

Like many communities, universities, and K-12 schools across the country, Charlottesville City Schools is aware that our schools’ names send a message to our students, staff, and community and should therefore reflect our values.

Beginning this summer, our School Board will initiate a process for reviewing our schools’ names.

Community member Phil Varner has compiled historical resources and information on our schools’ namesakes and the original process for naming our schools. You can find a brief introduction to the namesakes and a 56-page research compilation.

If you have additional materials that you believe are relevant and helpful, please email schoolnames@charlottesvilleschools.org so that this process can be as informed and complete as possible.

Slides for Community Conversations on Equity February 2020

February 2020
Charlottesville City Schools
Community Conversations on Equity
Content of Slides Available for Google Translate


Welcome & Agenda

  • Greetings
  • Overview of equity goals & work
  • Discussion guidelines
  • Small-group discussion
  • Brief reports/wrap-up

2019-2020
Charlottesville City Schools
Equity Priorities


Process

  • Public/Staff Input
  • Equity Committee
  • Research of Best Practices

Four Key Areas

  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/Community. As we help our staff and students feel connected, supported, and safe, we will learn from one other 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.

Supportive/Supported Staff
This includes diversifying our staff and equipping our educators to succeed and help all students succeed.

Examples on the hand-out:

  • Strong and diverse hiring class
  • Revised models for mentoring and instructional coaching
  • Professional training in areas such as implicit and institutional bias

Other examples:

  • Professional training in areas such as restorative justice
  • Preschool observations documenting teacher-student interactions

Diverse, Inclusive, and Rigorous Learning Experiences

Let’s embrace our diversity — in classrooms’ student composition and in richly varied and challenging learning activities.

Examples on the hand-out

  • Expanding unleveled (or honors-option) classes at CHS, Buford, Walker
  • Redesign of gifted program
  • Diversifying social sciences

Other examples

  • New curriculum/pathways (math, reading, preschool, CTE)
  • Better alignment of curriculum to standards\Revised GPA calculations

 


Growing Relationships and Community

As we help our staff and students feel connected, supported, and safe, we will learn from one other for our mutual gain.

Hand-out

  • Mental wellness
  • Restorative justice
  • School culture

Other examples

  • Hired second Family Engagement Facilitator
  • Redesigned Attendance Officer positions to be a more supportive and proactive Family
  • Support role
  • Expanding social-emotional learning

Equity Foundations
We want to be systematic and proactive as we make positive change. Let’s follow — and establish — best practices.

On hand-out

  • New policies on equity and anti-racism
  • Division and school-level equity committees
  • Alignment with regional/national equity groups
  • Other examples

Using data better

  • Wi-fi hotspots in library
  • Redesign of middle school and preschool facilities
  • School safety/facilities upgrades

Updates on these Goals
For in-depth and continued updates:
charlottesvilleschools.org/equity

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @CvilleSchools (and related accounts)
Request to receive the Superintendent’s Newsletter by calling or emailing vickk1@charlottesvilleschools.org
Attend or watch School Board meetings (first Thursday, 5pm)


We want to hear from you…

  1. What have you seen, heard, or noticed about the schools’ equity work this year?
  2. What’s going well (with the schools’ work on equity)?
  3. What still needs to happen (with the schools’ work on equity)?
  4. What is a sign you could point to in the future that would show that the schools have made progress on equity?

Breakout Sessions


We want to hear from you…

  1. What have you seen, heard, or noticed about the schools’ equity work this year?
  2. What’s going well (with the schools’ work on equity)?
  3. What still needs to happen (with the schools’ work on equity)?
  4. What is a sign you could point to in the future that would show that the schools have made progress on equity?

Group Report Out


Thank you for attending.

Winter Sports Feb 2020 colleage (basketball, wrestling, track). Call 245-2962 with questions.

February 2020 News and Highlights

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins

Johnson students in superhero gear for kindness weekDear staff, family, and community:

I write this note in the midst of Kindness Week in our schools. For instance, the superheroes at the right wore capes and masks to remind us that we all have the power to be kind. Does it get any cuter?

Love and kindness are key to our schools. Kindness is always available to us, but it is also hard to carry out. Many on our staff were reminded of this truth by Dr. Luvelle Brown, a native son who is now Superintendent in Ithaca Public Schools in New York. He reminded us that we need a culture of love to make our schools better for everyone. This newsletter reflects some of the ways we are taking care of our students, staff, and families. It also reminds us about next week’s Community Conversations on Equity, a chance for us to reflect on our equity work and what has (and hasn’t) gone right.

As we move forward, let’s take a cue from these little ones and lead with kindness. Now where did I put my cape?

Dr. Rosa Atkins

 

Collage of CHS sports (basketball, wrestling, swimming, track) during 2020 postseason.

Go Black Knights! We’re cheering you on in post-season play. Boys’ and girls’ hoops swept the Jeff District championship tourney and start regionals Friday night at home. Coach Mitch Minor has won 400+ career games at CHS. Wrestlers, swimmers, and track/field athletes are heading to states. Find details here. (Photos courtesy Andrew Shurtleff/Daily Progress and Tony D’Alessio.)

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS: AN UPDATE. 
Dr. Atkins and Board members at February 2020 work session. Courtesy K. Knoot/Daily ProgressAs noted last month, we have been exploring options for how to attract and retain substitute teachers. A few updates: We’ve had some successes recruiting additional subs, we are budgeting to raise subs’ pay next year, and we are implementing better ways to welcome and support subs. In addition, at Walker, Buford, and CHS, we will start compensating teachers who need to cover for peers when no sub is available.  We’re also exploring how to begin a similar system at the elementaries. Read Daily Progress coverage.

EQUITY CONVERSATIONS: HEAR WHAT’S NEW. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK.
Jackson-Via renovationWe’re hosting four Equity Conversations from 2/24-2/27, a chance for the community to hear what we’ve been working on and to share their perspectives. Dates are 2/24 at 6pm at CHS, 2/25 at 6:30pm at Friendship Ct., 2/26 at 6:30pm at Boys & Girls Club (Cherry Avenue), and 2/27 at 12pm at City of Promise. Spanish translation and childcare are available. For more information, call 245-2962 or see  our web site.

FOR UPDATE TO BURNLEY-MORAN, ARCHITECTS TALK TO EXPERTS — STUDENTS.
Burnley-Moran students vote on chairs for renovated spaces.As the school division and educational architects VMDO plan for an improvement project at Burnley-Moran, we are gathering feedback from stakeholders — including students. Focus groups of fourth-graders moved through stations to test furniture, explore the proposed designs with virtual reality goggles, and give a thumbs up (or down) to possible elements. Burnley-Moran will be the third elementary to receive a $1 million update. In addition, the City is also currently reviewing proposals to plan the redesign of Walker as a city-wide preschool center and Buford as a grade 6-8 middle school. Learn more.

PROJECT RUNWAY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION
Clothes and shoes at CHS "Swap Shop"A student-run, no-fee clothing exchange at CHS is a fun and important way to meet students’ needs  — and even their wants. Located near the main office, the swap shop’s racks are available to all. Students and staff can grab a new look AND recycle the things they’re no longer wearing. Student leader Elana West-Smith notes, “I’m a thrifter and I also really enjoy the idea of people being able to have the resources they need.”

FROM WALKER PLAYGROUND TO TEACHER LOUNGE, FAMILIES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Walker student playing basketball at recess by Billy Jean Louis/Charlottesville TomorrowTwo family-led projects will make a big impact at Walker. First, over the MLK Day weekend, volunteers completed a weekend make-over of the teachers’ lounge. Next, students will receive a long-awaited playground to enhance their recess choices. Together, the joint Buford-Walker United PTO raised (and continue to raise) funds to build a playground, and the School Board approved the project in February. Thanks for making a difference!

SERVICE LEARNING? IT’S ELEMENTARY. AND MIDDLE SCHOOL. AND BEYOND.
Clark student sewing a wildlife rescue pouchReal-world activities and community service are important ways to bring learning to life, and it’s never too early to start, whether it’s K students practicing conservation, fourth-graders sewing cozy pouches to warm up orphaned wildlife at shelters, Buford students raising money for SARA, or CHS English classes using real estate records for “Mapping Cville” to find patterns of housing inequities. Schools benefit from volunteers, too — whether a visit from Miss Virginia, guest readers from the men of Alpha Phi Alpha, or field trips and mentoring from the UVa Medical Center, the School of Medicineor the School of Engineering.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH? LET’S TAKE IT BEYOND FEBRUARY.
Detail of a Johnson teacher's Black History Month door decorationsFrom door-decorating contests to soul feasts to daily fun facts to guest lecturers or lunchtime performances, our schools are celebrating Black History Month. We were especially charmed by Jackson-Via’s art students, who have studied and been inspired by Black artists. Beyond February, however, we are doing ongoing work to “Change the Narrative” and feature more black and other sometimes-silenced voices in our social science and history classes, assigned readings, and media centers. Learn more about BHM celebrations. 

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoIn recent weeks, the School Board has continued to work on next year’s budget, holding work sessions and community updates (see the calendar of budget events and presentation slides). At their February meeting, Board members heard updates on the MP3 black male mentoring program and our literacy instruction (including the introduction of a new elementary curriculum). The Board also expressed approval and appreciation for the family-led initiative to add playground equipment to Walker. Find more School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendarOngoing  Preschool applications. Find info online.
2/24-27 Community Conversations on Equity. See details.
2/27 CHS Band Pre-Assessment Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
2/29 CHS Choir participates in Winter Songs, 7pm, Monticello HS

3/2-3 No School for professional learning/teacher work day
3/4  Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:30pm, Jackson-Via
3/5 School Board Meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
3/5 Harvest of the Month Snack Program (thanks, City Schoolyard Garden)
3/9 Governor’s Conversation on the State Equity Plan, 6-8:30pm
3/10 School Health Advisory Board, 4pm, Division Annex
3/11 Art Connections Evening Hours (with Buford Jazz Band), 4:30-6pm, CHS Small Gym
3/14 Art Connections Saturday Celebration, 10am-2pm, CHS Small Gym. Note: Enjoy Parent University (10:30am-1pm) while you’re there!
3/18 Art Connections Evening Hours (with Walker Jazz Band), 4:30-6pm, CHS Small Gym

More Looks at Cville Schools

Kids making and enjoying smoothies at Greenbrier cooking class

The family engagement team continues its good work with a cooking class at Greenbrier. Follow @EngageFamCCS.

CHS Symphony on stage at Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center.

CHS held its annual celebration of the arts in January, with joint performances by students in band, choir, orchestra, theatre, and visual arts. If you missed it, you can catch the video here..

Venable's crossing guard Ursula Coleman by Daily Progress/Erin Edgerton

Venable crossing guard Ursula Coleman was named 1 of 6 VA Outstanding Crossing Guards!  Ruth Hill of Clark won the same award in 2016. Thanks to all our hard-working guards who keep our walkers safe!

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org