All posts by Krissy Vick

Johnson students in library.

Johnson Specials Monthly Digest November 2019 is now available

Students holding "Bring Your Parents to Special" flyers.The Specials teachers and your child are excited to share their amazing experiences in our classes!  We would like to welcome you to join us on November 18 to 22 for “Bring a Grown-up to Specials Week.”  Drop in to see what we are doing in Art, Music, PE, Library and/or Spanish!  Please return RSVP forms or call the school if you would like to visit.

Here’s a look at what our Specials classes have been up to recently:

Art

by Jocelyn Johnson

 johnsoj2@charlottesvilleschools.org

Johnson student showing self-portrait.Art students have been busy acting like artists—looking at art, discussing design, creating their own work and reflecting on it.  Four-year-olds used thin and thick lines to describe autumn trees, inspired by Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life. Kinders drew and painted Frida Kahlo-inspired self-portraits using a VARIETY of lines. 1st graders strived for BALANCE through symmetry in their cut-paper collages, inspired by the glass sculptures of Chihuly.  2nd graders drew elaborate cylindrical birthday cakes, adorned with PATTERN after artist Wayne Thiebaud.  3rd graders aimed for UNITY between painted leaves and backgrounds in work inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. And 4th graders considered proportion as completed pastel self-portraits set in landscapes, after Vincent VanGogh. I am enjoying seeing every student grow and create!

GOT GOURDS? We could use about 15 small colorful gourds for our K-4 still life project. If you would like to donate a few, please drop them off anytime before Thanksgiving break!   Finally thanks to all the parents who have volunteered to help hang work this quarter!  I will have more opportunities to help after Winter break!

Music

by Sydney Boggs

boggsS1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Pre-K has been exploring the bars of xylophones and what it means to create sound effects for a story! They also have been learning new songs about love and friendship as well as movement games that promote sharing and teamwork, like “Here Comes a Bluebird Through My Window.” Pre-K will have a Winter Concert during the school day on Friday, December 13th at 11:15am!

Student showing sign that says "I am thankful for my brother."

Kindergarten has been learning new songs about friendship, love, and about how to make each day special like the song, “Roses and Thorns.” They have been using the numbers one through ten to organize patterns in songs and poems. They have been continuing to practice their steady beat on several percussion instruments, including the hand drums!

1st Grade & 2nd Grade is getting ready for their concert! They have been learning about many different winter holidays including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. In addition, they have been practicing gratitude by sharing what in life makes them feel thankful. 1st grade has some fun and beautiful songs up their sleeves for their concert- and they can’t wait to share their talents with you on Monday, December 9th at 6pm!

3rd Grade & 4th Grade recorders are in full swing!!! The students have been very excited to earn their recorder belts!! Ask your child what Recorder Karate is all about if you haven’t already! They have been bringing home music and also have access to practice mp3 files here: Recorder Karate Songs.

*3rd and 4th grade will be beginning Ukuleles very soon!! Stay tuned for more updates on this!*

Library

by Ms. Rebecca Flowers

flowerr1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Johnson students in library.October in the library means it’s time to get creepy! We had a lot of fun reading our favorite slightly spooky Fall and Halloween stories last month. One of our favorite authors, Aaron Reynolds, and illustrator, Peter Brown were featured during our readings of Creepy Carrots and Creepy Pair of Underwear. Kindergarten and 1st-grade students made their own creepy carrot to take home and share with their families. Other students may have chosen to make creepy carrots and glow-in-the-dark creepy pairs of (paper) underwear during Tinker Time this month. Hopefully, you weren’t too scared!

Some of our other favorite Fall reads have been, “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams,” If You’re a Monster and You Know It” by Rebecca Emberly, “Halloween Pie” by Michael O. Tunnell, “The Scarecrow” by Beth Ferry and the Fan brothers, “The Hallo-wiener” by Dav Pilkey, “The Runaway Pumpkin” by Kevin Lewis, “I Just Ate My Friend” by Heidi McKinnon, and “Hey, That’s My Monster” by Amanda Noll.

Therapy dog visits Johnson.

3rd and 4th graders have been learning to use the library catalog and where fiction and non-fiction books are located in the Johnson Library. We will start practicing our alphabetizing and Dewey Decimal skills soon and perfecting them throughout the year, so students can find books in our school library and also at their local public library.

We welcomed therapy dogs to the library this month and are excited that we will have a regular therapy dog visiting Johnson on Mondays starting soon. Stay tuned to hear all about Ms. Trisha and her dog Tank!

Discover new books with your kids by reading their library books with them every night. If they need more, they can always return their books and get new books during morning checkout from 7:40 a.m.-8:00 a,m.

Physical Education

by Kelly Walters

walterk1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Johnson PE Class plays with parachute and ball.Temperatures are dropping outside but students in the Johnson gym are cranking up the heat! We learned what maintaining an elevated heart rate feels like by doing step aerobics and a Tabata scarf workout. We played with a 5-foot beach ball to strengthen our cooperation skills and practiced giving constructive feedback for basketball skills. All 2-4th-grade students practiced or performed the 5 fitnessgram tests and showed awesome effort! In health, we learned how to wash our hands and how to use cold-prevention strategies.

Physical Education is all about growing. We learn valuable cognitive, physical, and social skills through games and activities. Thank you for encouraging and supporting your children as they continue to develop into the healthiest and happiest version of their amazing self. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you’d like to share please email, call, or come see me.

Spanish

by Sra. Smith

Spanish students at Johnson show their Calaveras masks.Kindergarten and First grades: Students have been learning about colors, numbers, weather and seasons. We are now focusing on family members and holidays celebrated in Spanish Speaking Countries. We discussed how families celebrate certain holidays and compared it to how we may view and celebrate here in the United States. In lieu of El dia de los muertos, students decorated masks called Calaveras.

Second Grade: Students created a Calavera Flip Book and wrote about how and why El dia de los muertos is celebrated in Mexico and other Spanish Speaking Countries.  We focused on family members and how this holiday compares to Halloween. We discussed how families get together and prepare for this important day. They are also learning family vocabulary and how to describe members of their family.

Student-made sugar skull.

Third Grade: We completed our Me gusta and No me gusta unit and activities and are focusing on family members and descriptive adjectives.  Students learned about El dia de los muertos which is celebrated in Mexico on November 1st & 2nd. They created Ofrendas and were displayed on international day.

Fourth Grade: My students are working on descriptive adjectives and family vocabulary. In lieu of El dia de los muertos, students enjoyed making Calaveras which are Sugar Skulls. These are an important part of the holiday that children from Mexico look forward to.

graphic of hands holding plant

City and Schools promote energy and water conservation

water and energy management posterCharlottesville City Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team are working together to reduce the energy and water footprint of all City schools. On April 11th, 2019 the School Board approved an Energy and Water Performance resolution, showing a commitment to achieving and maintaining high performing school facilities. 

Continuing on past efforts, the City’s maintenance and development teams are specifying high efficiency building equipment, such as high-efficiency chillers and LED lighting, and are enhancing operational control through advanced building automation systems. Charlottesville Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team continue to investigate ways to accelerate the installation of high performance equipment throughout our schools.

The City is also working with each school to raise awareness about energy and water saving practices through education and outreach efforts that include distributing educational materials and providing tips and strategies that students and faculty can use to reduce the energy and water impact at our schools. 

Each quarter a different theme emphasizes aspects of energy and water efficiency/conservation. The 2019-2020 themes are:

  • Fall (September – November): The Value of Energy and Water
  • Winter (December – February): Understanding Our Energy and Water Use
  • Spring (March – May): Smart Energy and Water Use
  • Summer (June – August): Keep Going! Summertime Savings

Education around these themes is provided via posters and visual reminders displayed throughout schools as well as through announcements, newsletters, and social media. Teachers will be referencing materials periodically in the classroom, and parents are encouraged to continue these efforts at home. 

Have questions about this program? Contact the City’s Energy and Water Management Team at EnergyWaterTeam@charlottesville.org

Learn more about other green initiatives at Charlottesville City Schools here.

2019 Education and Outreach

Fall Quarter: The Value of Energy and Water

The energy and water that we use at home and in our school are typically provided using finite resources. In Virginia, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are used to produce over 60% of the electricity that we use, with nuclear and renewables making up the rest. We also use natural gas directly to heat our school and to heat our water. The water we use is pumped from reservoirs fed by rivers and is treated before coming to our homes and school as clean, potable water.  Simply put, our demand for electricity, natural gas, and water (the amount we use) has a direct impact on these resources. We have a responsibility to manage what we use but we’re also empowered with the ability to make lasting change.

In many cases we use more than we need, so we already have simple opportunities to reduce our impact. The best place to start is just becoming aware of when and how we use energy and water throughout our typical day. As you do your normal activities, think about how long you leave your lights on, leave your phone plugged in, and leave the water running. Now think about how you can adjust your behaviors to trim that up a bit.  It’s a game of inches, not miles, and small changes add up to big savings.

Fall Quarter Tips:

  • Last one out? Flip the switch!
  • Turn the water off when not in use.

 

flyer with cancelled stamp on it.

POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING: CHS to host Starry Knight with Astronomical Society

flyer with cancelled stamp on it.Event update: Science is messy, and weather is unpredictable! Sadly our CHS Starry Knight event is postponed until spring. We will be sure to announce the new date with plenty of time for you to get it on your calendar!

Join us for an evening of celestial wonder at the CHS Starry Knight telescope star party on Friday, November 22 from 7-8:30 p.m at the Curtis Elder Track and Field Complex at CHS. (The event had to be rescheduled due to cloudy weather.)

In partnership with the Charlottesville Astronomical Society, the CHS iSTEM team will share information about the wonders of space while participants engage in a variety of activities including stargazing through telescopes and making your own night-vision flashlights.

This event is free and open to all Charlottesville City Schools families.

Minds in Motion kids performing at MLK PAC

4th graders present annual Minds in Motion performance at MLK PAC

Minds in Motion kids performing at MLK PAC
Photo Credit: Aaron Eichorst

Our fourth graders amazed us this week with their Minds in Motion performances at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center!

Through a unique partnership with Richmond Ballet, each year city fourth graders are introduced to creative expression and live performance through movement and dance at their schools. This year, Minds in Motion teaching artists from Richmond Ballet visited each elementary school for two-week residencies which culminated in two live performances of “Journey of the Monarch.”

More photos from the performances can be found on our Facebook page.

In addition, a video of the performance will be broadcast on Charlottesville’s public acess channel for education, Comcast Channel 14. It can also be found online using this link. 

 

Two students perform their original lyrics in the hip hop workshop.

6th graders participate in hip hop workshop and attend live performance at Paramount Theater

Agent Skidoo teaches student about hip hop lyrics.Grammy-winning hip hop artist, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, dropped by Walker School to lead Ms. Bohannon’s music students in a behind-the-scenes hip hop song writing workshop.

Skidoo demonstrated some of his own rhymes and beats, and then encouraged students to write their own hip hop verses. One by one (or in some cases two by two), students mustered up courage to share their own original raps to background beats booming through the auditorium.

“Learning writing and rhyming skills through music is a perfect lesson for this age group,” said Charlottesville Schools Fine Arts Coordinator Aaron Eichorst. “Through this experience, the sixth graders are learning that their voice is important, and that they can have agency over things that matter to them through creative expression.”

Two students perform their original lyrics in the hip hop workshop.The workshop is part of a larger educational experience for area youth provided by the Paramount Arts Education Program. Nearly 400 city sixth graders, along with other area youth, attended the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performance at The Paramount.  The concert was one of eleven live arts performances scheduled for area students during the 2019-20 school year. Read more about the performance at The Paramount here.

“Through our partnership with The Paramount Theater, our students are able to experience meaningful opportunities through live fine arts year after year,” said Eichorst. “For many of them, visiting the beautifully restored historic Paramount Theater with their classmates is their first experience seeing live music, dance, storytelling, or theater.”

See photo album of the workshop here. 

Read more about the visit, including details from the live performance at The Paramount here.

photo collage of pictures at The Paramount Theater performance.
Following the hip hop music writing workshop at Walker Upper Elementary School, all city sixth graders took a field trip to the historic Paramount Theater in Charlottesville to watch Secret Agent 23 Skidoo perform live.

More on Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

With sophisticated instrumental funk and positive, witty wordplay, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has earned a loyal national following. His latest album, Wake Up The Dream is an Amazon Original Album described as a “funk-filled trip through your subconscious.” 2016’s space-themed Infinity Plus One took home music’s biggest prize at the 59th GRAMMY Awards for Best Children’s Album of the Year. Positive themes of empowerment, love, imaginations set loose, hope, ambitions, and dreams run through 23 Skidoo’s extensive catalog.  For more, visit the web site.

More on The Paramount Arts Education Program

The Paramount Arts Education Program is committed to presenting the finest arts education performances for area school children. The support and generosity of their Arts Education Partners allows The Paramount to make these programs accessible to ALL children in Central Virginia by offering performances at a reduced cost or free of charge. Over 195,000 students and teachers from all over the region have attended a live performance at The Paramount since 2004. For more, visit the web site.

Related news coverage

 

Logo for Certified Financially Literate from Wise Program

CHS receives Blue Star School Award for financial literacy among students

Logo for Certified Financially Literate from Wise ProgramFor the fifth time, CHS students have earned the W!SE Financial Literacy Blue Star School Award by demonstrating financial literacy on a national, standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test.

Additionally, three CHS teachers were recognized by W!se as Gold Star Teachers for achieving a 93% pass rate or higher in 2018-19–Hank Sohn, Yumeca Webb-Jordan, and former CHS teacher Meagan Maynard.

The W!se program aims to to help high school students graduate as financially capable young adults by providing high school programming that provides students with vital knowledge about personal finance.

To earn this coveted award, a school must have achieved an 80% passing rate on the W!se Financial Literacy Certification Test and have either a majority of students on a given grade level take the test or achieve a minimum average score of 85%.

CHS will be honored along with other Blue Star schools at the W!se MoneyPOWER Institute in New York City on November 5th.

Congratulations on this achievement and Go Black Knights!

Johnson plaque

City, City Schools install historic marker at Johnson Elementary School

Eugene Williams, wife, and daughters stand at newly-installed plaque at Johnson Elementary.
The Williams family, along with Mayor Nikuyah Walker, Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins, and School Board Chair Jennifer McKeever, observe the newly-installed historical marker at Johnson Elementary (from left: Eugene Williams, Lorraine Williams, Karol Williams, and Scheryl Williams Glanton).

On Wednesday, October 23, the City of Charlottesville and Charlottesville City Schools dedicated a new historic marker focused on the desegregation of Johnson Elementary School in October 1962.

Honoring the trailblazers who were part of the school’s desegregation, the City of Charlottesville and Charlottesville City Schools unveiled a new marker near the school’s entrance on Cherry Avenue, followed by a ceremony in the school auditorium,

Historical marker at Johnson Elementary
Standing in front of Johnson Elementary School on Cherry Avenue, the marker recognizes the third school in Charlottesville and Albemarle County to integrate after Massive Resistance.

The sign continues the story of Charlottesville City Schools’ desegregation as detailed on a historic marker in front of Venable Elementary School (with a duplicate sign near the Albemarle County Office Building, the former site of Lane High School). The original sign speaks to the initial desegregation of Venable and Lane in September 1959.

The new sign installed at Johnson School primarily addresses the period from 1959-1962, during which the City Schools minimized additional integration of the schools. Court cases led by the NAACP challenged discriminatory practices in the schools, and in 1962, the schools were compelled to expand desegregation, including allowing black students into all-white Johnson School. Johnson became the third public school in Charlottesville to integrate.

Williams family at plaque dedication.This effort was led in part by then-NAACP President Eugene Williams and his wife Lorraine, at that time a teacher in the City Schools. Their daughters, Karol and Scheryl, were among the 17 named plaintiffs seeking entrance to Johnson, Venable, or Lane. They, along with Michael Lewis and Rosalind Whitlock (whose parents had separately requested a transfer to Johnson), were the four to desegregate the school in 1962.

“The installation of this marker becomes another opportunity for community members, especially our school children, to learn the truth about Charlottesville’s history,” said the City’s Charlene Green of the Office of Human Rights. “We are telling more of those stories that have shaped Charlottesville’s narrative. It’s critical that we tell everyone’s story, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.”

“We are pleased to honor these trailblazers — the parents and children of yesterday who have made gains and opportunities for all of us,” noted Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins. “The best way for us to honor them is to continually open up doors and improve outcomes for all students.”

To view video of the event, visit C’ville Quick Takes: Desegregation Trailblazers from Charlottesville TV10 on Vimeo.

For more photos from the dedication ceremony, visit Facebook.com/cvilleschools.

Related Links

 

 

logo for Walker Buford United PTO

Walker Buford United BTO needs volunteers

The Walker Buford United PTO is looking for volunteers for several upcoming events at each school. Please visit their new website and join their Facebook Group to learn more!

The Walker Fall Book Fair will be held during parent conferences on the evenings of November 6 – logo for Walker Buford United PTO7 and during the school day from November 7 – 13. Volunteers are needed to help ring up purchases and supervise sales. Think about recruiting a friend or fellow parent to make it an extra fun volunteer shift. Thanks for whatever you can do!

Other upcoming events include Walker iSTEM Night and Walker International Night. More details will be posted soon on the PTO Facebook page and web site.

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/walkerbufordunited/
Web site: http://www.walkerbufordunited.org