All posts by Krissy Vick

School Board Updates graphic

Notice of Electronic School Board Meeting

School Board Updates graphicOn Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. the Charlottesville City School Board will hold a regular meeting via Zoom in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act §2.2- 3708.2 (A) (3).  The meeting agenda can be found on the Board’s Electronic School Board website.

How can the public participate in a Virtual School Board?
  • Address the Board on any issue involving the school division by emailing
  • Livestream (view only) on Facebook.
  • Livestream (with live comment) by joining the meeting via our Zoom webinar.
    • This option is required if you wish to address the Board during opportunities on the agenda (comments from members of the community).
    • *Register in advance for this webinar:
    • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
    • The webinar confirmation will include dial-in telephone numbers for those who wish to participate via phone.

February 2021 News and Highlights

The Superintendent and School Board discuss educational legislation with Del. Sally Hudson.

A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Staff and Families:

In our December newsletter, I presented some key elements of a new plan for returning to in-person instruction. In this column, I am pleased to say that come March 8, this plan will become a reality.

  • As a reminder, this plan offers the option of 4 days/week of in-person instruction to students in PreK-grade 6. If you wish to revisit your decision about online vs in-person instruction, please contact your school by Friday. Buford and CHS will offer in-person supports for those students most in need while maintaining their current schedules for online learning for all students. You can find additional details on our website.
  • One element that supports this reopening is the vaccination of our staff. For this, we thank the Blue Ridge Health Department and the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle Regional Emergency Operations Center for their leadership in helping us and our colleagues in Albemarle County Public Schools. And thanks also to volunteers from both school systems, including our nurses, for their support of these efforts.

We know that as we look ahead to bringing more students back into our buildings, there will be bumps. We know that bus transportation is one area of challenge — and there will be others.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the school year, we can only solve the problems we know about, so please keep reaching out to your teacher, your school counselor, your principal, the central office staff, or the School Board. Whether your child remains online or starts coming into our schools, we want to help our students continue to learn and grow.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins


Applications for Preschool Now Available through Go2Grow website

Go2Grow logoIt’s time to apply to preschool for next year — and there’s a new, simpler way to do it called Go2Grow. Go2Grow works with local public schools, Head Start programs, and private providers in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Greene. Families can review and sign up using a single, online application. Go2Grow applications can be filled out by any family with a child, birth to age 5, looking for care in Central Virginia. Taking applications now!

Visit Go2Grow website


graphic Walker Academic Advising SeasonAcademic Advising Underway at Buford, CATEC, CHS, Walker

From virtual curriculum fairs to online orientations, Buford, CATEC, CHS,  and Walker have been working to help students and families understand their options for next year.

If you missed any sessions or want a refresher, you can find materials and information online:   Buford   |   CATEC   |   CHS    |   Walker


Kindness Week graphicKindness Week begins February 14

In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week, the school division school counselors encourage students and families to spread kindness throughout the community using this Kindness BINGO game. Complete a card by the end of the week and enjoy spreading (and receiving) some kindness!

Find BINGO Cards:  Elementary   |   Walker/Buford    |   CHS


VBE Recognizes CHS for Exemplary Student Performance

VA Dept. of Ed logoThe Virginia Board of Education presented Charlottesville High School with the 2020 Continuous Improvement Award for increased graduation rates and decreased drop-out rates for three consecutive years, among other achievements. Congratulations and Go Black Knights!


Fourth Graders Interview Vice-Mayor Magill

Vice-Mayor Sena Magill speaks to fourth grade students via Zoom.Fourth graders in Mr. Christ’s class at Jackson-Via Elementary learned more about civic engagement during a Zoom call they requested with Vice-Mayor Sena Magill! They discussed everything from her duties as vice-mayor to her birthday to how they feel about the city’s monuments. Way to go, Jackrabbits!

See news coverage


New Partnership with Virginia State University to Help Future Teachers

graphic for DE Teachers for Tomorrow course information session

CHS will offer a dual enrollment (DE) Teachers for Tomorrow course in partnership with Virginia State University in 2021-22. Students interested in a future teaching career can earn three college credits and a high school CTE credit, as well as gain experience in field work at local elementary and middle schools, visit colleges, and learn more about the classroom and the world of education.

See news coverage


Embracing our Narratives: CHS and JSAAHC Partnership

Embracing Our Narratives logoCCS and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center have partnered to provide 25 teachers professional learning opportunities to support our English/History collaboration initiative and help bring a local African American perspective to all departments. Embracing Our Narratives (EON) aims to help educators better understand our community and develop a more inclusive curriculum. Dr. Andrea Douglas & Dr. Kimalee Dickerson gave an overview of EON at the February School Board meeting.

State Mental Health partnership with UVA

Screenshot of CBS19 news report on mental health partnership with UVAWe are proud to partner with UVA on the Virginia Partnership for School Mental Health state initiative. The value of school-based mental health services cannot be overstated, and this program aims to train and sustain a new generation of practitioners. In addition, National School Counselors Week just wrapped up, with a  shout-out from the Virginia Department of Education to Walker counselors John Kronstain and Liz Dinwiddie! Hear more from them about how our school counselors are connecting with students.


Fine Arts Roundup

Fine Arts Celebration 2021 graphic

Join the CHS Fine Arts Department for their annual CHS Fine Arts Celebration tomorrow (February 10 ) from 7:30-8:30 p.m.  This is free and open to the public via Zoom. Links will be added to the Charlottesville School calendar.  Celebrate our CHS artists, musicians, and actors!

After All-District Band Auditions were held virtually, 35 CHS students, 22 Buford Middle students, and five Walker Upper Elementary students earned All-District spots, while 10 CHS students earned All-State bids. Congratulations to all of our student musicians, and thank you to CHS Band Director Jason Hackworth for chairing this event, which included managing more than 440 student digital entries and 25 judges.

Shakespeare's R&J student posterRecent Performances:


CHS BACON Club places third in Virginia Science Bowl

National Science Bowl logoCongratulations to the following CHS BACON Club students (Best All-around Club of Nerds) for their third-place finish in last weekend’s Virginia Science Bowl competition, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy: Nikolas Dillery, Margaret Fischman, Avery Niven, Venetia Smith, and David Wiles.

“This intrepid band of science rockstars went up against the top teams in the state…. At the end of a grueling eight-hour day of quizzing, their only losses were to Langley High School and perennial champs, TJHSST,” reported CHS Engineering Teacher and BACON Club Advisor Matt Shields.


CHS Sports Roundup

CHS logoDespite the pandemic, there is no shortage of athletic news. Here are the highlights:


COVID-19 Community Events

vaccination community info session flyer


















COVID Testing Sites at CHS in February-English version

CCS Energy and Water Management Program Winter Focus

The Cville Energy and Water Management Program team launched its third quarter campaign this month, encouraging students, staff, and families to pick an action and do an action that helps save energy and water.

Try these helpful tips:
• Start off small: Pick a small action like turning lights off as you leave a room or turning the faucet off when scrubbing your hands with soap (or choose your own!).
• Repeat, repeat, repeat: Do your energy and water saving action over and over again, each day!
• Grow your action: Expand your action to save more energy and water by including your family!

More energy and water saving ideas


Upcoming Dates:

  • icon of calendar Calendar by MRK from the Noun ProjectCHS Fine Arts Celebration, February 10, 7:30-8:30pm
  • Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing (FREE), February 12, 19, 26, 3-7pm, CHS parking lot
  • School Board Budget Approval Meeting, February 18, 5-8pm. Learn more at
  • Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting, February 24, 5-6:30pm
  • Liberation & Freedom Day Learning Activities, March 3

Follow School Calendars


School Board Updates

School Board Updates graphicAt the January 7 School Board meeting, the Board elected Board Chair Lisa Larson-Torres and Vice-Chair James Bryant.  The Board also heard updates on literacy, student and family engagement, equity, and budget development.  In January, the Board also voted to consider March 8 as the target for offering in-person instruction, a date they re-affirmed at their February meeting while authorizing the schools to expand the number of students eligible for in-school services.  Their February meeting also included updates on the state’s guidance for supporting transgender students, a more inclusive social science curriculum, next year’s academic calendar, and budget.

Additionally, the 2020-21 Martin Luther King Community Award was presented to our School Board member Leah Puryear at the 36th Annual Charlottesville MLK Celebration. Congratulations, Leah, on this well-deserved honor, and thank you for your tireless work in our community! Fellow School Board member Juan Wade presented the award. Watch both speeches here:

Follow School Board

graphic Walker Academic Advising Season

Walker Academic Advising Season Underway

graphic Walker Academic Advising SeasonWalker Upper Elementary School school counselors are currently working on rising 5th and 6th grade student schedules. The Walker academic advising calendar includes the following:

  • January 25-February 5 – School counselor visits all elementary school classrooms (virtually)
  • Mid-February – Information about Walker electives sent to current 4th-grade families
  • First Week of March –  4th-grade students will make elective selections during Morning Meeting
  • May 11 – Rising Fifth Grade Parent Night (virtual), 7:00pm (parents and their rising fifth-grade student are invited to join us for an information session)

Learn more about Walker School electives here.

Rising 7th-Grader?

Find advising information about Buford here!

CHS Academic Advising Season Underway

CHS Academic Advising Season graphicCharlottesville High School hosted a virtual curriculum fair on February 5 for rising 9th through 12th grade students, prospective students, and families to learn more about the course offerings for the 2021-22 school year.

In case you missed it, you can access the presentations here:

Additionally, the latest CHS School Counseling Newsletter is now posted here. 


Special Education Advisory Committee to meet 2/24

Charlottesville City Schools Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) will meet on February 24, 2021 from 5-6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

The meeting topic will be Understanding Executive Functioning and Strategies for Supporting Virtual Instruction at Home with a presentation by Diane Talarico-Cavanaugh. There will also be a presentation from the Parent Education Advocacy and Training Center (PEATC).

Whether a student has a complex disability or just needs a little extra help, the SEAC helps make sure our schools are meeting the needs of each student.

Meetings are open to all Charlottesville City Schools families, and all public comments are welcome.

To join the this virtual meeting, use the following Zoom information:


Meeting ID: 957 2243 1082
Passcode: w5ZdTQ

Curriculum Fair at CHS coming Feb. 5

Attention all rising 9th-12th grade students and families: Charlottesville High School is hosting a virtual curriculum fair on February 5 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Join CHS school counselors and staff to learn more about the course offerings for 2021-22 school year (see agenda below).

Click here to register.

You will receive an email with links to the sessions you choose to attend. Choose the sessions that interest you!

9-9:30 AM: Welcome and Overview from School Counseling Department
9:30-10:00 AM: English Department
10:00-10:30 AM: Mathematics Department
10:30-11:00 AM: Science Department
11:00-11:30 AM: History/Social Studies Department
12:30-1:00 PM: World Languages Department & Health/PE Department
1:00-1:30 PM: Fine & Performing Arts Department & PVCC
1:30-2:00 PM: CATEC & CTE/Engineering


Winter 2021: Pick an action! Do an Action!

Charlottesville 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.

Graphic with message, Reduce our Energy and Water Waste. Use a reusable water bottle and unplug electronics when not in use.

In 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.

Winter 2021: Pick an Action! Do an Action!

Put your knowledge into action–pick an action that helps you save energy and water at home and at school!

We started off the school year strong with a new commitment to save energy and water. Now it is time to put your knowledge into action! The Energy and Water Management Program wants you to pick an action that helps you save energy and water and start to do it! Each time you do your action, you will help save more energy and water, and combined with all of your classmates, you all will have a positive impact helping Charlottesville be more sustainable! You can start small with just one action and work on repeating it each week or each day. Grow your action by getting your friends and family involved and see who can be the most consistent at doing your energy and water saving action! Together we will all have a big impact to save energy and water in Charlottesville.


  • Start off small: Pick a small action like turning lights off as you leave a room or turning the faucet off when scrubbing your hands with soap (or choose your own!).
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat: Do your energy and water saving action over and over again, each day!
  • Grow your action: Expand your action to save more energy and water by including your family!


Have questions about this program? Contact the City’s Energy and Water Management Team at and learn more at

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

Fall 2020: New school year, new commitment to save energy and water!

Whether we are at school or at home this fall, the City’s Energy and Water Management Team has some great tips to help us reduce our energy and water consumption.

Energy and water are essential resources we need to use everyday; however, they also require a lot of effort including money and hard work to make into electricity for our lights or clean, safe water to drink. In addition, the overuse of these resources can have bad impacts on our environment even here in Charlottesville.

So, let’s start the school year with a new commitment to save when we can by following some of these important tips and actions we learned last year.

If you see something, say something graphic. Report a water leak or an open door to an adult.Tips:

  • Only Use What You Need: Turn off the lights and faucet when you are done!
  • If You See Something, Say Something: Report a water leak or an open door to an adult.
  • Reduce Our Energy and Water Waste: Use a reusable water bottle and unplug electronics when not in use.


2019-20 Education and Outreach

Summer activity packet for upper level grades

Summer Quarter: This summer the Energy and Water Management Team wants you to take what you learned around how to save energy and water at school and apply it at home!

Let’s first focus on reducing our energy waste at home. This can look like turning the lights off when you leave a room, making sure you power down and unplug electronics when you are not using them, and making sure doors and windows aren’t left open when your home’s heating or air conditioning is running.

When you look at water, there are some easy ways we can reduce our water waste at home. Remember to always turn the water off when not in use (like while we are brushing our teeth), don’t forget to fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water when you are thirsty, and if you see dripping faucet or running toilet tell an adult to fix it! Plus, if you help your family with some gardening projects outside, look to the weather to do the watering work or collect rainwater to use for watering later.

This summer let’s all commit to saving energy and water. Take this pledge and start implementing these easy steps at home today!

This summer I pledge to be an energy and water saver at home!

  • I pledge to turn the lights off when I leave a room,
  • I pledge to power down and unplug electronics when I’m finished with them,
  • I pledge to close windows and doors when my home’s heating and cooling systems are on,
  • I pledge to turn the water off when not in use,
  • I pledge to use a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle,
  • I pledge to report water leaks as soon I see them,
  • I pledge to come back to school in the fall ready to keep saving energy and water!

You are now ready to be an energy and water saver! Together we can all have a huge impact at home and at school.

Activity Sheets for Grades K-4

Activity Sheets for Grades 5-12

Paper copies of the activity sheets were included with our summer meal distribution program. Copies can also be found in the main office of each school building, or you can contact the Energy and Water Management Team, at

Energy and Water Management Program: Spring Quarter Poster image discusses reducing water and energy wasteSpring Quarter: Reducing our Energy and Water Waste

This spring the Energy and Water Management Team is back with more reminders to help us trim up our energy and water use!

Help our school reduce energy waste! Make sure outside doors close behind you and tell an adult if propped open. This will help keep our cooled and heated air inside our school rather than letting it escape through open doors to the outside!

Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle along with you wherever you go! Fill it up from tap water, which comes from our rivers and is cleaned to make it safe and taste good. Before dumping out any left over water, think reusable by giving it to some plants that would happily enjoy that water.

Spring Quarter Tips:
1. Keep outside doors closed
2. Fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water
3. If you see a water leak or an open outside door, report it!

If we each reduce our energy and water waste at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits,together we can have a real impact.

Energy and Water Management Program Winter Quarter posterWinter Quarter: Understanding our Energy and Water Use

Did you know that the greenhouse gases produced from energy used at all 10 Charlottesville City Schools is equal to the greenhouse gases produced by 500 homes? We know our schools need resources to operate but what exactly uses energy and water in our schools every day?

We are asking students and faculty to try to identify what uses energy and water when you walk into your classroom each day. For energy, think about the overhead lighting, computers, electronics, and air conditioning/heating. For water, think about the water fountain in the hallway and sink in your classroom. What about at home?

There are also the items that aren’t as noticeable such as leaving your phone plugged in even when it’s fully charged or not paying attention to that dripping faucet. Even when a phone is plugged in and is fully charged, it still uses 2.24 watts of energy, and that slow drip…drip…drip of a faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water a year!

Let’s reduce our energy and water impact at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits we can do each day.

Winter Quarter Tips:

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Make an effort to unplug personal electronics.
  • Turn the water off when not in use.
  • If you see a water leak or hear a running toilet, report it!


water and energy management posterFall 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.