Thanks for your strong response to our request for feedback about the draft 2018-19 academic calendar! Your feedback primarily raised two questions centered around half-days and winter break. Half-days are under discussion among the committee. As for winter break, please take another brief survey about two options for the holidays.
The calendar will be presented to the School Board for review in December with an expected vote in January.
Comments about this year’s calendar:
Winter break: Based on community feedback, we are conducting a follow-up survey to see what break scenario is preferred. Two scenarios:
The last day of school before break should be Friday, December 21, and students should return to school on Monday, January 7. (Ten days marked below in gold.)
The last day of school before break should be Wednesday, December 19, and students should return to school on Thursday, January 3. (Ten days marked below in purple.)
Spring break: Our practice is to designate the first full week of April as our spring break. We are sometimes asked, Can’t you align spring break with U.Va.’s? U.Va.’s spring break is typically at the beginning of March, which for K-12 students would make for a very long stretch without a break later in the spring. So while we recognize that this would be a good solution for U.Va. families, we feel that it doesn’t represent the interests of all our students and staff. Our 2016 survey of the initial draft indicated that a majority of respondents favored keeping spring break during the first week of April.
Half-days: Based on community feedback, one half-day has been eliminated in draft 2.
History about the calendar development: For over a decade, the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school divisions have worked together for a common calendar. A joint committee creates a draft calendar, and then we ask for input from students, teachers, administration, and parents. If necessary, the committee makes revisions to the draft before submitting a recommended calendar to the two school boards for approval.
CHS hosted a group of singers from the Metro Nashville Public Schools to collaborate on a joint musical recording of entertainer BeBe Winan’s song “Right Now (We Need One Another.” Read The Daily Progress coverage here. A response to this summer’s violence, this beautiful video was shown at the Dave Matthews Band Concert for Charlottesville.
Forty CHS students stayed after school for a “paint-in” organized by art teacher Rachel McLaughlin (see photo, above) as one response to the Charlottesville events of August 11-12. The inspirational messages have been posted around the school.
The CHS Theatre program will present “A Night of One Act Performances” at the Black Box Theater on October 25 at 7 p.m. The evening will feature two plays, “1601” and “The Firebugs.” In fact, the musical “1601” is student-created and directed! Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, and $15 for VIP seating. Click here to order tickets online.
Sixteen CHS Orchestra and Band members were selected for the 2017 South Central Senior Regional Orchestra. Congratulations to Laura Mulligan Thomas and Jason Hackworth, plus the following students: Alice Owen, Frances Owen, Margaret Lather, Kiran Klubock-Shukla, Jamila Pitre, Parker Sullivan, Joshua Rugumayo, and Victoria Kremer, violin; Tilden Fernandez and Joe von Storch, viola; Sarah Garretson, Carmen Day, and Owen Fernandez, cello; Claire Inlow, clarinet; Ella McLaren, bassoon; and Anna Bon-Harper, french horn.
In other music news, Victoria Kremer earned 1 of the 20 first-soprano spots in the 2017 Virginia Senior Honors Choir. The CHS Marching Knights won 1st place overall for class AAA at the Lynchburg Classic. And CHS Choir Teacher Will Cooke and his students celebrated when they received a baby grand piano from a generous donor.
Ninth-grader Anisha Tamang won 1st in the National Dance Foundation’s 2017 Middle School Art Contest! She made this award-winning collage last year at Buford.
Congratulations and good luck to senior Demetrius Ragland for being one of two delegates representing VA this month at the Global Youth Institute in Iowa. His project studies food insecurity in Haiti.
Steven Newman and Jonah Weissman were named National Merit semifinalists, and a number of CHS students earned commended student status: Campbell Brickhouse, Owen Fernandez, Tilden Fernandez, Margaret Fitch, Emma Hale, Fré Halvorson-Taylor, Rachel Inlow, Charlotte MacDonald, Jamie Nachbar, Risa Purow-Ruderman, and Roland Ryan.
18 of our CHS AVID seniors got their first college admissions offers from Longwood University. The CHS AVID program, a college preparatory program that focuses primarily on students who will be first-generation college students, recently visited Longwood University (LU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Lynchburg College, Virginia State University (VSU) and Virginia Tech (VT). 15 were also recently admitted to VSU. Way to go, seniors!
CHS Scholastic Bowl team was victorious over Matoaka High School in round one of the televised Battle of the Brains competition.
CHS hosted a Vietnam War video screening and panel discussion in connection with the WHTJ/WCVE PBS initiative, “Vietnam: Virginia Remembers.” Panelists included several retired Vietnam War veterans who shared their perspective with students from CHS and The Miller School. Senior Nadiya Khaydari also presented a student documentary she produced in teacher Matt Deegan’s history class. The event coincided with the recent documentary series “The Vietnam War,” directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.
Upcoming Days Off for Students: To mark the end of the first quarter, there will be a teacher workday (no school for students) on Friday, 27, October 27. Coinciding with Election Day is another break on Monday-Tuesday, November 6-7, while teachers have a professional learning day and a workday.
School registration: PowerSchool is an online tool to help schools, students, and families stay connected throughout the year. You can check grades and attendance and more. You can customize how you receive calls, emails, or texts. Make sure all of your students are added to your parent account. If you have not completed your online re-registration, please do so right away.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe visited Charlottesville and attended a Clark Elementary School STEM fair. Clark fourth graders, along with the governor, rotated through activities featuring drones, robots, and driverless cars. Running the stations were volunteers from PVCC, Perrone Robotics, and our own talented CHS BACON students.
Lugo-McGinness Academy administrator Stephanie Newcomb Carter was recognized by the UVA Teen and Young Adult Health Center as 2017 Outstanding Community Partner. Lugo-McGinness Academy provides an alternative educational setting for Charlottesville students in grades 5-12.
Friday Knight Lights: Join families from all six elementary schools at the first-ever elementary tailgate party at the CHS Football game on November 4. Festivities include face-painting and visits from the CHS football team, band, and cheerleaders. The fun starts at 6 before kick-off at 7 (see flyer below).
The Walker Upper Elementary School Family extends an invitation to all current 4th graders and their families (and any CCS families, for that matter) to attend Bingo Night on Wednesday, November 16 at 5:30pm.
City fourth-graders have been on the go, between their annual science field trip to Camp Albemarle and their field trip Cabell Hall for the Charlottesville Youth Orchestra’s superhero-themed performance.
Thanks to the Special Education Advisory Committee for organizing a September ice cream social to help build community and support for our families in the special education program!
As you can see in the following video, fourth-grade students are enjoying their iSTEM lessons, part of a new, hands-on science, tech, engineering, and math lessons designed to build a bridge to the science and engineering programs at Buford and CHS. In the video, students find sweet success on the fifth attempt to correctly program their robot:
Students are visiting U.Va.’s Fralin Museum to brainstorm ideas for the museum’s annual competition of writing inspired by art.
More community helpers visit our our elementary schools! First, it’s “Lunch with a Cop,” when police officers visit schools at lunchtime, sometimes accompanied by McGruff the Crime Dog. Now, the Charlottesville Fire Department is making visits to teach home safety tips. Sometimes they even bring a fire truck to recess for “show and tell.” Thanks to all!
Clark enjoyed its first whole-school meeting, with student leaders, dancing, book talks, awards, & singing happy 85th birthday to the school! And after reading the novel Rules, fourth-graders invited Clark’s occupational therapist, Lydia Cornejo, to answer student questions and make connections to the book.
You’ve heard of taste-testing some new foods, but how about taste-testing some new books? Greenbrier fourth-graders rotated through stations hosted by “chef” and teacher Ms. Kumar. Second-graders spent a super-hero themed morning exploring Marvel-ous Matter! And the whole school donned orange as part of their Unity Day celebrations.
NBC news visited Jackson-Via for the visit of Alice the Goat during Farm-to-School Week, and students, staff, and PTO volunteers are gearing up for spirit week, which concludes with their annual Rocktoberfest event, with a potluck, games, and more. And the after-school CLASS program enjoyed dance classes with the Charlottesville Ballet in ballet, modern, tap, hip hop, and/or African dance form.
Johnson’s “Donuts with Dads” event overflowed from the cafeteria into the hallways with students plus their dads, uncles, friends, and grandfathers (not to mention some moms who wanted to be part of the fun, too). In addition to breakfast, students received a book to keep. Another day, guest/mom/Walker teacher Ms. Rasnake visited the school to offer a hands-on activity exploring density.
Venable’s back-to-school night had some new leaders in charge this year — the students. The new student-led format will also be a feature of the school’s spring parent-teacher conferences, thanks to a grant from the Shannon Foundation.
Buford engineering students recently made a presentation at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum to teach national leaders from education, technology, science, history, & math about the school’s innovative engineering partnership with U.Va, the Smithsonian, and other partners.
CHS and Buford students explored how businesses use technology in Charlottesville’s annual CBIC Tech Tour.
Buford history students have been doing some hands-on learning about life on the Great Plains, delivering wheat to the market and building a sod house.
Throughout the month of October, the National Junior Honor Society at Buford Middle School, an organization of 8th graders dedicated to community service, is holding a winter hat and glove drive to help the children of Charlottesville. Items may be dropped off in the school’s bins.
Congratulations to Buford students Sohl Park, Pray Meh, and Maya Wilmer, who placed 1-2-3 in the Rumi Forum’s Annual Peace and Dialog Art Contest.
Ready for fall foliage? Walker art students beat nature to the punch by creating beautiful leaf-inspired art.
The band is also enjoying a strong marching season, recently earning 1st place Percussion, 1st place Music, and 1st place class AAA at the Midlothian High School Showcase of Bands. On October 29 at 2pm, they will host their annual Cavalcade competition, a great chance to see and hear top bands from across the state.
CHS earned top honors (again) as a w!se Blue Star school for financial literacy, and the schools’s three economics and personal finance teachers also earned top honors as Yellow Star teachers. Congratulations to our students and teachers Meagan Maynard, Deb Tewksbury, and Yumeka Webb-Jordan!
Knightingales Brianna Ramirez, Rebecca Sutphin, Casey Casarez, and Kiana Anderson were invited to sing with the UVA Women’s Chorus in a benefit concert for SARA (the Sexual Assault Resource Agency of Charlottesville).
CHS history teacher Zach Bullock was named one of 50 worldwide “flipped ambassadors” by the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. In flipped classrooms (used by a number of teachers at CHS and in other Charlottesville schools), teachers typically present “lectures” via brief video presentations that students watch as homework. That leaves class time for activities, solving problems, and the opportunity to ask questions of teachers or classmates.
Elizabeth Bambury and Rachael Inlow took advantage of a Jefferson-Madison Regional Library program, listening in English & español to acclaimed Chilean poet Christian Formoso. iMuy bien!
Congrats to Caleb Rose and Stella Sokolowski, just named to the All-State Jazz Ensemble. Only 40 are selected from across Virginia! And 15 CHS Orchestra members were selected for the 2015 South Central Senior Regional Orchestra!
Two signs of diversity…. Photography students have hung an exhibition of their images of CHS students and staff in the atrium. Part of the national Inside Out project, the images showcase the beauty and diversity of our students. In addition, a new Latino Student Association has formed and has held events at CHS to promote an appreciation for Latino cultures.
Art I and art II classes visited Ix Art Park to work with local artist Chicho Lorenzo. Students cut stencils and spray-painted their designs on canvas and around the Art Park.
CHS and Buford students explored how businesses use technology in Charlottesville’s annual CBIC Tech Tour.
Two recent evening events benefited students, a college night and a workshop about how the latest brain research can make learning easier.
Students in human biology took a field trip to the U.Va. Health Sciences library, where mentors from the medical school assisted the students with research projects. The students will present their research in the spring.
CHS students recently hosted French peers from Charlottesville’s sister city of Besançon, part of a series of exchanges between the two communities.
When some Buford students were asked to contribute to a School Board presentation about some recent school highlights, the students developed a special edition of the Trojan News Telecast, with their self-produced “Top 5,” including AVID, clubs, engineering/making, academics, and college readiness. (OK, that’s 6, but they just couldn’t stop themselves!)
Clark Elementary School was recently awarded a 21st Century Learning Center Grant from the Virginia Department of Education. The $187,000 grant will be used over the next three years to provide tutoring and enrichment opportunities for Clark students with a focus on after-school programs.
Principal Daphne Keiser discusses the grant in a August 19th Newsplex video: