Category Archives: CCS Home

illustration of "ABC" blocks with an apple

Apply for PreK! Priority Deadline March 15

Teacher helps student learn ABC's using pointing chart.At Charlottesville City Schools, we offer a free preschool program for qualifying three- and four-year-olds. Those who live within the Charlottesville City limits and have a child who will be three or four years old by September 30 may be eligible to enroll in the Charlottesville City Preschool Program and/or the MACAA Head Start Program.

Preschool applications are now open for the 2021-22 school 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, Go2Grow logoand Greene. Families can review and sign up for not only preschool, but also childcare using a single, online application. Go2Grow applications can be filled out by any family with a child, birth to age 5, looking for preschool or care options in Central Virginia.

Apply Online Here

Along with our community partners at the United Way of Greater Charlottesville, MACAA Head Start, and Albemarle County Public Schools, our collective goal is to provide comprehensive early childhood experiences for area students with risk factors that may present challenges for future academic success. Initial application review for placement occurs from February to May for the 2021-22 school year. Applications are accepted year-round and can be submitted using the online form or using the paper application (see below). Information will be handled confidentially.

COVID school supplies (mask, hand sanitizer, books, pens, apple)

Information and Agreement for In-Person Instruction

COVID school supplies (mask, hand sanitizer, books, pens, apple)For families who will have a student begin in-person instruction on March 8, please review our new safety practices for in-person instruction, below.

Then complete the agreement form  online (one per household using the link below) or at your school(s).

New Safety Practices for In-Person Instruction

Daily Routines

Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students

I will do a daily health screening before my child leaves for school. The screening checks temperature plus other symptoms/ risk factors. See screening tool here.

Proper mask-wearing (over the mouth and nose) is required at all school-related sites unless my child receives permission (such as to eat or take a mask break). If my child requires a medical or developmental exception, I will supply documentation to the school.
In addition to mask-wearing, other school health routines such as social distancing, hand-washing, assigned seats, and health screenings will be in place.

Schools are limiting visitors. Family will be asked to drop off and pick up students (and any needed materials) outside the building.

Children will be going outside for outdoor learning as much as possible. I can let the school know if my child needs any inclement weather clothing.

Students will not share food or equipment such as a microwave.

Students Showing Symptoms/Possibly Exposed

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find PDF.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

I agree to keep my child (and any siblings) home from school if:

  • They or any close contacts are showing COVID symptoms.
  • They or any close contacts are waiting on COVID test results.
  • They or any close contacts have tested positive for COVID.
  • They or anyone in their household have been asked to quarantine

If my child shows symptoms or gets exposed at school, I will make arrangements for the child and any siblings to be picked up/return home ASAP (within an hour).

If my child has exhibited symptoms or been asked to quarantine, my child and all siblings will stay home from school until cleared by a doctor (or until the recommended period has elapsed — usually 10 days for a COVID diagnosis and 14 days for a quarantine).

Schools may need to shift certain students, classrooms, schools, or even all Charlottesville City Schools back to online learning for a period of time.

Transportation/Arrival at School

COVID Bus Protocols. Click image to go to Google doc.
COVID Bus Protocols. Click here or top of image to go to Google doc.

If your child has been assigned a spot on the bus:

  • My child will ride the bus regularly and will be picked up and dropped off at the same assigned location.
  • At the bus stop and on the bus, I will support bus safety practices such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and assigned seats.
  • When boarding the bus, my child will be screened for fever or symptoms and will use hand sanitizer.
    • For students in PreK-grade 6: I agree that a designated adult will wait with my child until they have been screened so that if they show symptoms at the bus stop, the child and all students in the household can return home with the adult. (Designated adult does not need to be a family member.) Adults, please help us by wearing a mask and practicing COVID safety.
    • For students in grades 7-12: I understand that if my student shows symptoms at the bus stop, my student will be directed to return home. The school will attempt to contact parents/guardians.
COVID Protocol for Arrival at School. Click image to go to Google doc.
COVID Protocol for Arrival at School. Click here or top of image to go to Google doc.

If your child is not on a bus:

  • My child will be screened for fever or symptoms and will use hand sanitizer upon arrival at school.
  • If I am driving children to school, I agree to wait until the health screening is complete and will assume responsibility to take home all the children in my car if any child I am driving displays symptoms. Children may be screened in the car.
    • For walkers/bike riders in PreK-grade 6: if my child displays symptoms, I agree to arrange pick-up of my child and any siblings within an hour.
    • For walkers/bike riders/self-drivers in grades 7-12: if my child displays symptoms, I agree to arrange for my child and any siblings to be picked up or to return home on their own within an hour.

Conclusion/Important

Illustration of handshakeCharlottesville City Schools is committed to teaching the skills that will keep us all safe. However, if your child or family struggles to uphold these safety commitments, for the safety of your child and our school community, we may reassign your child to virtual learning or family-supplied transportation.

Thanks for your partnership as we plan for a safe return to in-person instruction!

Ready to Sign the Agreement? ¿Listo para firmar el acuerdo?

Safety Agreement Form for In-Person Instruction

Formulario español

Print-ready Versions of Key Documents/ Documentos importantes en español listos para imprimir

 

More Information

Return to Learn square graphic

Return to Learn Plan — Approved Option for In-Person Learning

Revised March 4, 2021

This page is designed to help you know our current thinking and preparations for  returning to in-person learning for some students at Charlottesville City Schools.

Top Tools for Families Returning to In-Person Instruction on March 8:

illustration of school supplies with mask and hand sanitizer plus the words "New Safety Routines and In-Person Agreement."
Click image to review new safety routines and sign the agreement for in-person instruction.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students
"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

Return to Learn logo

NOTE: The information on this page is subject to change based on new information from health experts such as the CDC, emerging best practices, and data we gathered from the Family Intent Forms/Bus Applications .

Overview of Current Model

Thanks to everyone for your patience and partnership this fall. We are proud of our teachers, principals, students, and families for their hard work and success with online learning. Moving forward, we will begin offering in-person instruction starting March 8.

Click to Read March 5 Update from Dr. Atkins

March 5 Update from Dr. Atkins

This is just a word to say how excited we are to begin the process of bringing students back to school in person on Monday. If you have questions about this process, I hope you will reach out to your teachers or schools or visit our website.

As a reminder, on Monday, we’ll welcome back PreK-grade 6 students who have chosen in-person instruction. In grades 7-12, we will initially bring back invited students who have already been contacted to arrange morning supports.

Per a Board vote last night, we will revisit our hybrid model at Buford and CHS and will craft a plan for families to choose whether their child will return in person beginning on April 12. Buford and CHS will follow up with families with details about their revised plans and an intent form.

We know that our Board has faced difficult decisions under rapidly evolving circumstances and changing perspectives from students, families, and staff. We and the Board are committed to listening to all voices and working together to meet the needs of our students and community.

Thank you for your support and patience. Enjoy the weekend, and sleep well on Sunday night as we prepare to launch a new chapter.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
Superintendent

Revised Model 
Earlier this school year, Dr. Atkins brought together a COVID-19 Advisory Committee of teachers, staff, parents, community members, medical professionals, and more. The committee made an initial proposal, and at the December 17 Board meeting, the committee and Dr. Atkins presented revised models for the Board’s consideration. At their February 4 meeting, the Board authorized the schools to begin in-person instruction following these revised “Option A” plans, but they further allowed the schools to welcome additional students if it can be safely managed.

Briefly, the March 8 plans call for:

  • A return to in-person instruction for those preK-grade 6 students who selected it. These students would attend in person Monday-Thursday, with a virtual learning day on Friday. Families who wish to revise their previous choice should contact the school by February 12
  • A return to in-person instruction would be offered for students in grades 7-12 who have been identified as being most in need (this might include  ESL students, special education students, or students who have been struggling with attendance, engagement, socially-emotional well-being, or other).
  • At Buford and CHS, the plans for in-person instruction will maintain the current structures for virtual learning. All  Buford and CHS students will continue to participate in their current virtual learning classes with teachers and schedules unchanged. For in-person students, academic supports will be available during non-instructional times.  For example, at CHS, in-person students would receive in-person support during teachers’ morning office hours. (Office hours will also remain available for virtual students). In-person students at Buford and CHS students will come to school on an assigned schedule; Friday will remain a virtual learning day.
  • As COVID numbers improve, we would look at the possibility of returning more students to in-person learning. Again, as another example at CHS, one possibility is to use Fridays to offer events for students whose classes benefit from hands-on activities such as urban gardening, engineering, or fine arts.
  • Finally, to allow teachers to set up their classrooms and prepare to shift modes, each school would have one fully asynchronous week (timed at the principal’s discretion).
  • Schools will be in touch with families of students in grades 7-12 to give clarity about whether students would have an immediate option for in-person learning. For any preK-grade 6 families who need to make a change in their selection based on these revised plans, please contact your school by February 12.

To learn more about these revised plans, you can review the slides presented at the December 17 Board meeting. We appreciate your ongoing patience and partnership!

More Information about this Model

Ways to Promote Safety (Mitigation)
We have done extensive planning and preparation. Following the latest guidance, we have upgraded our cleaning equipment and air filters, purchased stand-alone air purification equipment for spaces that need it, gathered supplies such as hand sanitizer, created custom signage to help us all follow mitigation protocols, and more.  The City is installing air cleaning technology that exceeds CDC recommendations. To learn more about all the ways we are planning for mitigation, see more information, below.

Students and Safety Routines
Any family who chooses in-person instruction agrees to follow safety plans such as distancing, hand-washing, health screening at home and school, and prompt pick-up of children who are sick (and their siblings). Staff and students will wear a mask over the nose/mouth at all times unless there is a documented medical or disability need or if specific permission is given during the day (for example, at lunch). If students continue to struggle with these routines, schools will modify the child’s learning plan (such as returning to online learning) for the safety of the child and the school community. PreK-grade 6 students will also stay in their “home” classroom most of the time to minimize risk. Families choosing in-person instruction should still be prepared to shift to online, at-home learning in case of exposure. To learn more about everyday school routines, see the slides from the December 17 School Board meeting.

Important Ideas about this Proposed Learning Model
1) A decision to send your child to in-person instruction is a decision to follow all safety plans such as wearing a mask over the nose/mouth as discussed earlier.

2) In-person instruction will be organized around safety. PreK-grade 6 students will stay in their “home” classroom most of the time to minimize risk. Students will still go outside for recess, and we will use the information from the intent forms to make other plans for the use of gyms, outdoor spaces, and more.

3) For those returning to in-person instruction, if at any point there is a COVID-19 exposure, your child (and possibly your child’s class) may be asked to quarantine at home and participate in virtual learning for a period such as 14 days.

4) We remain committed to a high-quality online-only experience.

5) Regardless of your learning plan, for students in PreK-grade 6, the school may need to make adjustments to your child’s schedule or teacher assignment. We will work to minimize teacher changes.

A Word about Bus Transportation
Due to state and CDC health guidelines and severe driver shortages, Charlottesville City Schools will have very limited bus space when we return to in-person learning. Current estimates show that we will be able to serve a maximum of 200 riders per day for elementaries (combined), 200 for Buford/Walker (combined), and 200 for CHS. Last year, 2,600 students rode the bus to and from school daily.  Even though the School Board has authorized the City’s Pupil Transportation team to enter into a private contract, due to competition for drivers, this has not worked out.

To assist families who do not receive bus transportation, the City’s Safe Routes to School program will organize additional supports such as volunteers guiding groups of walkers or bike-riders to school and offering helmets & bike give-aways. (See their printable walking/biking maps below.) Please consider how you can support these efforts. Or find your own ways to partner with friends, neighbors, and classmates to make alternative plans to save bus spots for those who really need them. The intent form for families included an application for these limited bus spaces.

Decision-Making Timeline for Implementation
The Board met on February 4 and authorized the March 8 implementation of these plans.

illustration of linguistic charactersTranslation Traducción ترجمة Tafsiri अनुवाद ترجمه

Translators and interpreters are available. Our web site can be translated with Google. Call or email your school for help.

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. [/alert]

Illustration of planningReturning to In-Person Instruction: Decision-Making

To gather information and feedback, Dr. Atkins convened a COVID-19 Advisory Committee. On October 14, the group recommended a model that would give families a choice for their child to either continue online learning or return to in-person instruction. In December, these models were revised. On February 4 , the Board voted start on March 8.

Local Health Data Using CDC Framework

We have been working with the state and local health experts to follow local COVID-19 data. In mid-September, the Centers for Disease Control issued a new data framework to help guide school divisions’ decision-making.

Learn about the CDC framework & thresholds for each metric

Find Charlottesville data (load page & select Charlottesville)

Illustration of health safetyMeasures to Promote Safety (Mitigation)

As part of its data metrics, the CDC asks school divisions to self-evaluate in 5 key areas , but they also list a number of other mitigation strategies. We will show the  complete list below and give an update.

Details about Safety and Mitigation Measures

5 Core Mitigation Measures to Support School Openings

(per the CDC’s Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making) 

  1. Masks and Face Coverings:  Per our new masks/face coverings policy, all students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks covering the mouth and nose on school property and on school buses. For details and exceptions (such as when eating or if there is a medical or other accommodation), please see the policy.  Individuals will be asked to supply their own masks, but disposable masks will be available if an individual has forgotten to bring one. Face shields are also available for students and staff, but they are not a replacement for masks.
  2. Social Distancing to the extent possible (6 feet where possible):  The proposal calls for limiting class size and building occupancy to allow for social distancing. Signage and floor markers will reinforce the furniture placement to encourage 6-foot separation.  Floor decals in halls and markings on sidewalks will show direction and reinforce spacing.  Signage also communicates one-way directions in stairwells or hallways as needed.
  3. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:  Students and staff will use hand sanitizer upon arrival. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms, on all buses, and at all student building entrances, and some classrooms have sinks for handwashing. Schools will teach and  reinforce good hygiene practices such as handwashing,  covering coughs and sneezes, and refraining from touching surfaces when possible.  
  4. Cleaning and disinfection: All CCS cleaning products are on the EPA list of disinfectants for COVID-19. Custodians have been equipped and trained with foggers and electrostatic sprayers to support more rapid and effective disinfection of surfaces and entire spaces. Classrooms are equipped with spray bottles with the all-purpose disinfectant cleaner and microfiber cloths to readily address high-touch services such as desktops and door knobs.  A daily cleaning form is used by the custodial staff working with the building administrators, and a color-coded  system indicates whether rooms are: in use or not yet cleaned (red),  ready for use following standard cleaning procedures (yellow), or ready for use following extra cleaning measures (green). 
  5. Contact tracing:  To help us work with the health department for contact tracing, we will implement several measures. Student movement in school buildings and buses will be minimized and monitored, and seating will be assigned. We will fully support contact tracing and subsequently enforce recommendations for quarantine or isolation.

Other CDC-Recommended Strategies

  1. Cohorting: On the elementary level, we will create small cohorts (or “pods”) that stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure for students, teachers, and staff across the school environment. We will limit staff moving among these cohorts. One advantage of the four-day proposal at the elementary level is that it allows students to remain in the same cohorts on a near-daily basis.
  2. Staying home when appropriate: Staff and students will be asked to screen at home daily for COVID-19 symptoms and will be asked to stay home and contact a healthcare professional if they are symptomatic or if they know of an exposure to COVID-19. See guidance in the health section, below. No-contact temperature scanners will be used for buses and at entrances to monitor for people with a temperature of 100.0 or higher.  Screening questions will also be used at the discretion of school administrators or nurses, or at the direction of local health officials for additional on-site screening. CSS Student Home Screening Tool (revised January 7, 2021)
  3. Adequate supplies:  As stated elsewhere, we will supply hand sanitizer, face masks (for those who arrive without them), face shields, disposable gloves, COVID-approved cleaning supplies, and more. Staff such as nurses in need of other PPE will be supplied those items. At this time, the only item we are finding it difficult to stock is the N95 mask, which is not commonly recommended for school use.
  4. Staggered scheduling: We are hoping to avoid staggered start and stop times for schools. We will use other strategies such as encouraging people to use a variety of entry points to avoid congested spaces, and we have designated one-way stairways and hallways to minimize face-to-face foot traffic.
  5. Alternating schedules with fixed cohorts:  This strategy is proposed for Buford and CHS. Students in cohort A will have in-person instruction two days a week (tentatively Monday and Wednesday), and cohort B will tentatively be in person on Tuesday and Thursday. Students will learn online on the other three days. Lugo-McGinness might use a different system to better facilitate social distancing in their buildings.
  6. Shared objects:  As possible, we will minimize use of shared items or will create a plan for cleaning and disinfection (of touch screens, key boards, door knobs, etc).
  7. Visitors:  We have suspended volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone or computer and that they need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer. Visits are held outside when weather allows.
  8. Ventilation: The City is following ASHRAE recommendations to use the highest MERV-rated filters possible for all equipment, coupled with increasing ventilation.  All systems are set for maximum outdoor air at normal occupancy levels. The new filter installations are in process.  Any space that cannot use a MERV 13 or 14 filter will be equipped with a portable air cleaner. As weather permits, we will keep windows open. Going above and beyond standard mitigation for K-12 and universities, the City engaged an engineer from Tri-Dim to consult on the best course of action for each building/space. This equipment includes strategies such as UV-C lights and/or bipolar ionization equipment. Installations are well underway.
  9. Water systems:  The City has been flushing water regularly to make sure that school water supplies remain safe.
  10. Physical barriers and guides: The division has ordered and installed plexi-glass barriers for areas such as reception desks and to support safe 1:1 interactions in classrooms or with specialists. Schools can acquire additional barriers according to their specific needs.
  11. Communal spaces: Most or all students will have lunch in classrooms. We will use playgrounds, but we will stagger use and schedule hand-washing before and after recess.  We will use the information from the family intent forms to make other plans for the use of gyms, outdoor spaces, and more.
  12. Food service:  For most or all students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. (Students are still welcome to bring packed meals, but no microwave will be available.) All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms.food tray icon For virtual students or students who are not in school on a given day, the nutrition department will deliver meals in the community or families can arrange pick-up at the school closest to them. Find complete meal information with updated routes here.

Other Strategies:

  • Training:  Staff and students will need to be trained on appropriate procedures and mitigation strategies. We will use training videos prior to returning to in-person instruction. Custodial staff had additional training the week of September 19. Additional training is also required for nursing staff as well as SPED staff who work with students to assist with medical or personal care.
  • Protocols:  While some decision-making will depend on the data we receive from family intent forms, we have assembled policies and protocols to guide our return to in-person instruction. All protocols are subject to change based on public health expertise and emerging best practices.
  • Outdoor Spaces: We hope to use our outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for classes such as gym or choir.  Where there is enough space and mixing cohorts is possible, classes may also go outside for lunch or suitable instruction/class meetings.

Illustration of facemaskHealth Protocols for Staff and Families

We all depend on each other to reduce risk and promote safety. Find info below about daily screening and what to do in common COVID situations. Or click “More Information” to find more about masking, health screening, or other health protocols.

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students
Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

More Information about Health Protocols

Masks and Face Coverings

What is the policy? When do students/staff need to wear them?

All adults and students are required to wear masks covering the nose and mouth when on school grounds, with the exceptions of designated times for eating or when people are outside and can be six or more feet apart. Masks will also be required on buses and at bus stops. Masks should not be see-through or have valves.  Find the full policy here.

What if someone won’t wear a mask?

We will have additional masks on hand for anyone who has forgotten or lost one. We will work to ensure that the student and family understand the importance of wearing a face covering. CCS will work with families to identify the more appropriate learning path, including virtual learning, if face coverings will not be worn.

What if someone can’t wear a mask?

For individuals with a documented health condition or disabilities, CCS will identify solutions on a case-by-case basis.

What if someone needs help getting cloth masks?

We know this can be a challenge. If providing a mask is a challenge for your family, please check with your teacher or school. Thanks to Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church for providing masks as part of the back-to-school bash supply kits!

Can you wear the same mask daily?

Yes, if it is washed and dried after each day. Masks should be washed on a daily basis (this can be in a sink with soap and water or in a washing machine). Or students/staff can build a supply of one mask per in-person school day. It would also be good to keep a “spare” in the classroom or a backpack. If providing (or daily washing) masks is  a challenge for your family, again please contact your teacher or school.

What about face shields?

Face shields are not a substitute for masks, but we do have a supply for any teachers and students who wish to wear them as an additional protection.

Why are we requiring  masks?

Face masks are one of the most important ways to  slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings.

Want more information about masks from the CDC?

For more information, view the CDC’s guidelines for wearing masks.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing

How will handwashing (and hand-sanitizing) be encouraged?

Staff and students will participate in handwashing/sanitizing at regular intervals, including upon arrival at school, before/after recess, and before/after lunch. Schools will have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent hand-washing, and classrooms and school facilities will be disinfected regularly. We will teach the importance of (and techniques for) handwashing.

Do schools have supplies for handwashing or sanitizing?

Schools have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent handwashing. Older students who wish to bring a personal bottle of sanitizer are encouraged to do so.

Will you teach students about the importance and best techniques for handwashing?

Yes, prior to and following a return to in-person instruction, we will use videos, visual reminders, and more to reinforce this important habit.

Want more information about handwashing?

The CDC has more information and videos.

Social Distancing

How will the schools follow social distancing guidelines?

Students and staff will maintain six feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings as much as possible. Schools will clearly mark off six-foot spaces for specific areas, such as bathroom lines or school pick-up/drop-off locations.

Classrooms will be set up to follow the health and safety guidelines in our approved plan. Classroom seating should be revised to maximize distancing between students as much as possible. Desks will be rearranged so that students are all facing the same direction, and community tables will be removed or equipped/marked for safe use.

What if students struggle with social distancing?

We will make every effort to teach this skill and reinforce its importance. We will have clear markings and reminders to support the behavior we need to see. If a student continues to struggle to maintain a safe social distance, the schools will work with families to identify the more appropriate learning path, including virtual learning.

What about social distancing outside of school?

Families, one important way you can help us to keep school as safe as possible is to make your home or non-school routines as similar as possible to the school routines for things such as masking, social distancing, and handwashing. This will be especially important at Thanksgiving and over winter break.

Want more information about social distancing?

The CDC has more information here.

Health Screenings for Staff and Students

How will you do daily health screening?

Everyone entering a building, including students and staff, must engage in a daily health screen before leaving home for school. Families and staff will sign a one-time agreement that they will agree to self-screening. Find family agreement here.

Will there be on-site health screening?

All adults and students will get a temperature check and/or in-person symptom screening before entering the building (or boarding a school bus). In addition to the home pre-screen conducted by families, staff may also conduct an in-person screening. Students/staff with a temperature of 100.0 or above will need to go home. Students and staff should stay home if they are experiencing symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle aches, and/or headache.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever. If your child will ride the bus, see  the transportation FAQ (below) for details. If you drive your child to school, please stay at school until the child has passed the temperature screening.

Will There be COVID-19 Testing for Staff or Students?

We remain in contact with the local health department to follow their recommendations, but at this time, we do not plan for widespread testing for COVID-19 for staff/students. Staff members can be tested for free by visiting a testing site.

Cleaning

How will we keep facilities clean?

Facilities staff will clean and disinfect nightly, and during the day for high-need areas. Staff will frequently clean touched surfaces in schools and on buses at least daily and between use as much as possible. Toys or classroom items that cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized (such as plush toys) will be removed.  For more about cleaning procedures, see Safety and Mitigation Strategies, above.

What about restrooms?

High-touch surfaces (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and all restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Handwashing is key to safety. Signage will encourage spacing, handwashing, and other safe practices. Schools will develop a site-based plan for restroom use.

PPE-Personal Protective Equipment

Has PPE (personal protective equipment) been purchased?

CCS has purchased PPE such as masks, face shields, thermometers, and gloves to help maintain a safe environment and prepare for the return to school. We’ll make sure schools receive supplies based on key information like the number of students enrolled, the number of teaching stations it has, and other details. We have a system to monitor and replenish these supplies to ensure schools have what they need to maintain a safe environment.

Will PPE (personal protective equipment) be given to staff? Students?

Additional supplies such as gowns and N95/KN95 masks will be provided for school nurses and others who may have close contact in personal care for students.

What if a Student Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a student develops COVID-19 symptoms at home?

Consult with your primary care physician and report the absence at school. Do not send any of your children to school without further guidance. If the symptoms are typical for your child, be sure to tell your doctor. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.  

What if a student develops symptoms at school?

Students who develop symptoms at school will be immediately directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely leave or be picked up to go home. Prompt pick-up of sick children and their siblings (within an hour) is part of the safety agreement that parents/guardians agree to follow when selecting the in-person learning option.

Depending on the situation, the individual’s primary care provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Students  with COVID-19 symptoms  (and their siblings) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider and/or school nurse. Please continue to report the absences; it would be helpful if families speak with the principal or school nurse with updates.

Will Students Have to Show a Negative COVID Test to Return to School?

No. There are many reasons that someone may show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0. But if a student displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should check with their healthcare provider or the school nurse for guidance.

What if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any student required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider). A doctor’s note  will be required prior to returning to a CCS school campus. For a cohort or team-based diagnosis that exposes anyone in the cohort, the cohort will go virtual for 14 days.

What if a student or staff member is exposed to COVID-19?

Students who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19  will need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of last exposure.  For this purpose “close contact” is defined as being within 15 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 person for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.  It would be helpful for families to notify the principal or school nurse. 

What if a household member of a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, any student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to begin quarantine and remain in this phase for two weeks following the recovery of the patient.

If a child stays home with symptoms or to quarantine following exposure, how will they continue to learn?

Students will continue to be served by their home school but in a remote capacity for the duration of the quarantine period. Please check with your teacher for guidance.

Are Students Required to Disclose a Positive COVID-19 Test?

In the interest of public health, reporting is a helpful way to keep the school community safe. That way, people who were exposed to a known positive case can quarantine and prevent the spread of this disease to others. It is helpful when students or staff displaying symptoms keep the school nurse “in the loop” so that we can take precautions to keep everyone safe.

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 families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department.

Is There a Nurse at all Schools and Program Sites?

Schools have full-time nurses.

How safe is the school isolation quarantine area?

Staff assigned to supervise individuals in the designated isolation quarantine area will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE – masks, gloves, gown, cap, shoe coverings), and proper disposal will be provided for the PPE.  Custodial staff responsible for cleaning the area will also be provided with appropriate PPE to address the area after any isolated individuals leave the space.  The protocol for this area in each school will include use of disinfectant spraying equipment. An isolation quarantine area cleaning checklist will be signed and dated when the protocol is completed.

When Would We Need to Revert to Online-Only Instruction?

We have been and will continue to work closely with the local health department and are following local and state data. As diagnosed cases arise, we will cooperate with the health department on contact tracing or other recommendations. Public health experts are very clear that each case is unique and that they will respond accordingly.

What if a Staff Member Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms at home?

Consult with your healthcare provider and notify your supervisor. If these symptoms are common to you, be sure to mention this. Do not attend school without further guidance. Please keep any of your Charlottesville Schools students at home until your healthcare provider gives guidance. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.

What if a staff member develops symptoms at school?

Staff who develop symptoms in the school setting will be immediately sent home or directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely be picked up. Depending on the situation, the individual’s healthcare provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Staff with COVID-19 symptoms (and their children who attend Charlottesville Schools) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider. 

Will Staff Have to Show a Negative COVID Test to Return to School?

No. There are many reasons that someone might show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0. But if a staff member displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should check with a healthcare provider for guidance.

 What if a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any staff member required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider).  Their household members (including any children who attend Charlottesville Schools will need to go into quarantine.)

What if a staff member is exposed to COVID-19?

Staff who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19  will need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of last exposure.  For this purpose “close contact” is defined as being within 15 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 person for 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. Please contact the Director of Human Resources. For a cohort or team-based diagnosis that exposes anyone in the cohort, the cohort will go virtual for 14 days.

What if a household member of a staff members is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, any staff member or student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to quarantine and remain in this phase for two weeks following the recovery of the patient.

Are Staff Required to Disclose a Positive COVID-19 Test?

In the interest of public health,  reporting is a helpful to  keep the school community safe so that people who were exposed to a known positive case can quarantine and prevent the spread of this disease to others. It is helpful when staff displaying symptoms keep their supervisor “in the loop” so that we can take precautions to keep everyone safe.

What Will We Be Told if a 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 families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department.

illustration of clock and scheduleDaily Routines

School will look different. What does that look like at lunch, recess, or more? Watch this short video for a few daily safety reminders for students:

 

 

Details about Daily Routines

Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

Arrival/Daily Schedule:

When students arrive at the bus or the school, they will have their temperature screened and will hand sanitize. They can pick up a grab-and-go breakfast if they wish (free this school year). Then they will go directly to their assigned spot in their classroom. Elementary students will largely stay in their “home” classroom, but we use outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for gym and recess. Generally speaking, students will eat lunch in their classrooms. At Buford and CHS, students will follow their schedules to move from class to class following signage and other procedures to encourage social distancing. School hours may be adjusted to allow for the additional cleaning time required for buses between runs.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever. See  the transportation FAQ (below) for details.

Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities:

Some clubs and athletic activities may resume:

  • CHS will follow Virginia High School League (VHSL) guidelines for sports and activities. Find the CHS plan here. For further updates, visit gocville.org.
  • All other clubs and extracurricular activities will need to follow CCS guidelines and gain building-level approval to be sure that activities are in compliance.

Restroom Use:

High-risk touch points in restrooms (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Schools will stagger bathroom breaks to minimize close contact with students from another cohort.  Handwashing is the key to safe bathroom use. Mirror clings in all restrooms will reinforce the importance and basics of proper handwashing. Schools will develop site plans for safe restroom use.

Calendar:

You can find the revised academic calendar for 2020-21 here. Click “other formats” for a one-page printout.

Furniture:

To the greatest degree possible, individual desks will be used and will be separated by 6′. Furniture will be arranged so that students face in the same direction.

Gym/Recess:

As much as possible, PE and recess will take place outside. Students should wash hands before and after recess or gym.  Outdoor playground equipment can be shared within a class, but again, since it will not be disinfected, hand-washing is important. Multiple cohorts can be outside at the same time as long as they are distanced from one another.  Any shared equipment such as balls should be disinfected between classes.

Hours:

School hours may be adjusted to allow for the additional cleaning time required for buses between runs.

food tray iconMeals:

We are offering free breakfast/lunch for all students this school year. For most or all students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. Students can still bring packed meals from home, but no microwave will be available. All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms.

For virtual students or students who are not in school on a given day, the nutrition department will deliver meals in the community or families can arrange pick-up at the school closest to them. Find complete meal information with updated routes here.

Safety Drills:

Schools are still following the schedule for state-required safety drills. We will adapt these processes to accommodate social distancing.

Schedule at Buford/CHS for hybrid students on the days when they are not in school:

We have been gathering models from other school divisions, but before adopting a model, we need to know how many students are interested in returning to in-person instruction. Depending on the numbers, we can select a model that works best for our students and staff. We are assembling a staff committee to help us identify the best solution to meet the needs of the two in-person cohorts, our online-only students, and our staff.

Shared Items/Spaces:

We will limit shared items as much as possible. If shared, items should be disinfected between use when possible. Group work can still happen — students will just need to follow social distancing guidelines. Schools and teachers will use lots of visual cues and reminders. Areas where students will need to share a space or equipment will create a space-specific cleaning plan.

Transportation Info:

See next section for information about transportation.

Water Fountains:

Students are encouraged to bring water bottles since water fountains will not be open. Bottle-filling stations are available.

 

Illustration of lunch tray with foodMeals

Meal delivery routes will change for Mondays-Thursdays on March 8 . (Friday routes will stay the same. Also, we’ll need Friday volunteers to assist with deliveries. Find complete information at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

 

Illustration of bikers and walkersTransportation

When we return to in-person instruction, we’ll have very limited space on school buses. Help now by finding a new way for your child to go to and from school. For information and ideas, look through our FAQ. The City’s Safe Routes to School team has developed some walking/maps for  the elementaries and Buford — look below the FAQ to see yours or print it up.

Transportation FAQ

How much space will there be on school buses?

Due to state and CDC health guidelines and severe driver shortages, Charlottesville City Schools will have very limited bus space when we return to any form of face-to-face learning. Current estimates show that we will be able to serve a maximum of 200 riders per day for elementaries (combined), 200 for Buford/Walker (combined), and 200 for CHS. (During 2019-20, 2,600 students rode the bus to and from school. This year, we may have a maximum of 600 per day.)  The family learning intent form also included an application for bus spots.

How else can my kid get to school?

To assist families who do not receive bus transportation, the City’s Safe Routes to School program will organize additional supports such as volunteers guiding groups of walkers or bike-riders to school and offering bike give-aways. They are developing new maps to help (see yours below this FAQ)! Learn more about Safe Routes to Schools and ways you can help! Or partner with friends, neighbors, and classmates to make alternative plans.

Any changes for car-riders?

We anticipate that there will be more cars in the drop-off and pick-up zones, so we are brainstorming alternate locations such as nearby parking lots where we can set up additional sites for car-riders. Stay tuned for new information from your school.  Important note: please stay in the car drop-off lane until your children have cleared the temperature check.

How will I know if my child can ride the bus?

If you have other options, please plan on them so that we can give bus spots to those who truly need them. The family learning intent form included an application for bus spots. Schools will communicate this information to families.

How will we keep buses safe?

Buses will be cleaned between runs. Families will screen students for symptoms at home, and prior to boarding the bus, students will wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and get a temperature check (see note, below). For those students who get a bus assignment, we ask them to sit in their assigned seat. Siblings can sit together. Note: this year, for children in 6th grade and younger, a responsible adult must be at the stop each morning until the student has cleared their temperature check.

What if my child can’t ride the bus due to a fever?

For children in 6th grade and younger, a responsible adult must be at the stop each morning until the student has cleared their temperature check. For older students, we will call families to let them know if their child was unable to board the bus. If we cannot reach the family immediately,  the student will ride the bus and go directly to the school’s isolation room for prompt pick-up. Please make a plan in case your child gets sent home from the bus due to a fever or other symptoms. We will make every effort to contact families in this situation. If one child in a family shows a fever or other COVID symptoms, we will ask for all students in the family to return home and seek guidance from a healthcare provider.

What if my walker or bike-rider arrives at school with a fever?

The student will be sent to the school’s isolation room, and the parents/guardians will be notified to promptly arrange for the student (and siblings) to return home.

What about the kids who bike or walk on rainy days?

The Back-to-School Bash team thought about this and has generously supplied schools a supply of water-proof ponchos that will fit over jackets and backpacks. Check with your school to request one.

What if you don’t have enough bus space for everyone who needs it?

For this reason, we are asking for anyone whose child can walk, ride a bike (or scooter) or get a ride to make those arrangements. We are developing a rubric to guide decision-making if we have more requests than spaces. The rubric will cover items such as distance from school, ability to arrange other transportation, age, and more. If there are students who are unable to attend in-person instruction because they did not receive a bus spot, please check with your school to see if we can help you make a connection for a ride-share or put you on a waiting list.

Why do you have so little space on the buses and why can’t you just hire more bus drivers?

  1. Social distancing reduces capacity on each bus.
  2. There was a national shortage of school bus drivers even before the  pandemic.
  3. Many of our drivers are retirees who are at greater risk due to COVID-19; some have decided to step down for their personal safety.
  4. Due to the pandemic,  the back-up to get a commercial driving license is months-long.

Walk/Bike Maps from the City’s Safe Routes to School Team

Illustration of chromebookStudents Remaining in Online-Only Instruction

For those students who will remain in online-only instruction, we are committed to maintaining the high quality of our online instruction so far.  The introduction of the option for in-person instruction may mean some changes to routine or teaching assignments. (This is true whether the child chooses in-person or online-only instruction.) At Buford and CHS, the structures and schedules for virtual learning will remain the same even when some students return in person.

Need meal service? For virtual students or students who are not in school on a given day, the nutrition department will deliver meals in the community or families can arrange pick-up at the school closest to them. Find complete meal information with updated routes here.

Online-Only FAQ

If my elementary (preK-grade 6) child is online-only, will they Zoom into classes with in-person instruction?

In the proposed elementary model, we would create dedicated cohorts of in-person and online-only students. This will require some teacher reassignments, but we will work to minimize the impact. The teacher reassignments could occur for both in-person and online-only students.

If my middle or high school child is online-only, will they Zoom into classes with in-person instruction?

The revised model for in-person supports at Buford and CHS does not change the current schedule and structure of virtual learning. All students will continue to Zoom into classes on their regular schedule.

Illustration of handshakeHow Can I Help?

There are some simple steps that everyone can take to keep our community safe and to prepare for the possibility of an in-person option. Or you can learn about the City’s Safe Routes to School program to find ways to help children bike or walk in the mornings or afternoons.

Ways to Help or Volunteer

Hoping for an in-person option at Charlottesville City Schools? Here’s how you can help:

  1. Continue to build your family’s good habits — social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing. Do your part to reduce our COVID-19 numbers.
  2. Get flu shots for your family.
  3. Download the state’s COVIDWISE app. This app does not collect personal data, but it does help with contact tracing.
  4. Stay up-to-date with Charlottesville City Schools. Not getting phone calls and/or emails? Want to get texts? Please check with your school office.
  5. If your child will be learning in person, make a plan for these situations now:
    1. Transportation to and from school. There will be VERY LIMITED bus space.
    2. Sick days: If your child is sick, please help our community and keep all the students in your household home. Check with your doctor or school nurse for advice.
    3. Unexpected fever at the bus or school: We will screen for fevers before children enter the bus or school. Please make a plan now for if your child has a fever and is not allowed to board the bus.
    4. Isolation: If your child is exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms at any point (whether at school, when out, or at home), the students in your household will need to isolate for fourteen days or as directed.

Kids will be walking and biking. Want to learn more or find a way to help?

The City’s Safe Routes to School program is creating maps and organizing supports to help students safely walk or bike (or scoot or skip) to school. Interested in learning more or helping? Let them know!

Health Texts Under Consideration

Charlottesville City Schools invites you to review textbooks under consideration for Health in grades 5-12. The resources may be viewed online March 4-31. Please email brantlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org to access.

In addition, the School Health Advisory Board is reviewing the division’s Wellness Policy. If you have suggestions for the committee, please email brantlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org.

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
Superintendent

 


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 charlottesvilleschools.org/budget
  • 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

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:

Link:
https://zoom.us/j/95722431082?pwd=a0swKzZLdHlFejJwZlV0WDFmMEpHdz09

Meeting ID: 957 2243 1082
Passcode: w5ZdTQ

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.

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!

Resources:

Have questions about this program? Contact the City’s Energy and Water Management Team at EnergyWaterTeam@charlottesville.gov and learn more at charlottesville.gov/EnergyWater.

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.

Resources:


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 EnergyWaterTeam@Charlottesville.gov.

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.

 

Important Info

January 8 Update for Families

Important Info

The following message was shared with staff and families on January 8, 2021.

Dear Staff and Families–

We’re writing with an update to the timeline for online learning, as well as several other important updates about:

  • next year’s draft academic calendar, 
  • next year’s budget development, 
  • Tuesday’s forum on school safety, and 
  • a reminder about the importance of applying for free/reduced meals for fee waivers.

TIMELINE UPDATE FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING

At the January 7 School Board meeting, the Board voted to postpone the possible return of additional students to in-person learning until March 8. This date is tentative depending on a review of COVID data at Board meetings in February.

As a reminder, here is the overview of the plan they are recommending, with all phases tentatively set to begin on March 8:

  • A return to in-person instruction for those preK-grade 2 students who selected it.
  • A return to in-person instruction would be offered for students in grades 3-12 who are most in need (for example, ESL students, special education students, or students who have been struggling with attendance, engagement, socially-emotional wellbeing, or other.
  • At Buford and CHS, the plans for in-person instruction have now been redesigned to maintain the current structures for virtual learning. For example, at CHS, in-person students would receive in-person support during teachers’ morning office hours. (Office hours will also remain available for virtual students).
  • As COVID numbers improve, we would look at the possibility of returning more students to in-person learning. Again, as another example at CHS, one possibility is to use Fridays to offer events for students whose classes benefit from hands-on activities such as urban gardening, engineering, or fine arts.
  • Finally, to allow teachers to set up their classrooms and prepare to shift modes, each school would have one fully asynchronous week during January (timed at the principal’s discretion).
  • Schools will be in touch with families of students in grades 3-12 to give clarity about whether students would have an immediate option for in-person learning. For any families of preK-grade 2 students who need to make a change in their selection based on these revised plans, please contact your school.

To learn more about these revised plans, you can review the slides presented at the December 17 Board meeting. We appreciate your ongoing patience as the division and the Board try to balance the competing priorities of safety and student learning and well-being.

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS

Finally, we know your children may have ongoing questions about the Capitol riot. We have provided additional resources for our teachers, and here are links to two family guides:

Take care and have a good weekend!

Draft calendar for 2021-2. See OCR pdf also on this page. Call 245-2400 with questions.

Draft Calendar for 2021-22

Draft calendar for 2021-2. See OCR pdf also on this page. Call 245-2400 with questions.The Charlottesville-Albemarle School Calendar Committee has created a draft calendar for the 2021-22 school year.

Please take a minute to review the draft and share your thoughts with us for the committee’s consideration before they bring the calendar before the Board.

Please note that this calendar is subject to change due to the pandemic and local, state, and federal guidance.

A joint committee from Charlottesville Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools will review the feedback and then present a recommendation to the School Boards for review and voting.

Comments about the calendar:

  • 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 near 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. A 2016 survey indicated that a majority of respondents favored keeping spring break during the first week of April.
  • Religious Holidays: Our practice is not to observe religious holidays as school holidays (but we do try to avoid scheduling evening events on major religious holidays). Students or staff who wish to be absent to observe a religious holiday are allowed to do so.
  • 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.
Important Info

Important Message from the Superintendent and the School Board

Important InfoThe following message was shared with Charlottesville City Schools staff and families in response to the events in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.

Dear staff and families–

We are writing now filled with grief, anger, and disappointment. In no uncertain terms, we condemn the violent and treasonous assault on the U.S. Capitol building, our elections, and the peaceful transfer of power.

As Charlottesville residents, the imagery and actions in D.C. bring us back to August 2017, and we have seen and felt the impact that hate can leave. We know that many of the same groups and ideologies were present at both events.

As a community, we are still grappling with the fall-out from those white supremacist rallies.  Added to that, we feel the impact of the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and disrupted daily routines — including the lack of in-person school. And more recently, our community has seen a tragic increase in violence. We know that our community is hurting.

So today, let’s take some deep calming breaths — even as we keep watch on our nation’s capital. Tune out the news or social media if you need to. Let’s observe and listen to our children, and if they have questions, let’s try to answer them. We’ll share once again a resource page that our school counselors first developed in August 2017; many of the links are sadly still relevant. If talking with a counselor would be helpful for your student or for you, then please email your school counselor or call Region Ten at (434) 972-1800.

As you know, the rise in COVID cases likely means that it will be a while longer before we can safely bring more students and staff back in school. Tonight, the School Board is meeting to consider February 22 as the revised start date for more students to begin returning. For a recap of our latest plans, visit charlottesvilleschools.org/returntolearn.

We wish we could be supporting our students in person, but together, we will make the best of our situation. We are so proud of our teachers, staff, students, and families for rising to the occasion on dark days like today and throughout this pandemic.

As school leaders, we are also having conversations with community partners about how to meet the needs in our community and how to lead Charlottesville to a place of wellbeing, unity, and thriving. As we have often reminded ourselves this year, schools are such an important part of “the village,” and it will take all of us working together to usher in a future where every family can prosper. We will keep you posted about these important community conversations.

Whether here in Charlottesville, in our nation’s capital, or around the world, we are facing challenges right now.  we are not naive about these challenges, but we are still confident in our community, our country, and our Constitution.

We also have faith in our schools — the places that teach us how to engage with ideas, how to equip ourselves with facts, how to think critically, how to become civically literate. Just as important as any of those things, in Charlottesville our schools also offer us the opportunity to  meet — and befriend — people who are different from us in race, religion, politics, and life experiences. Working with young people is a true source of hope. Only when we are grounded in fact, hope, and our interdependent humanity can we set aside destructive violence and work constructively for a better future.

These are challenging days. But with one foot in front of the other, let’s keep walking and working toward a “more perfect union.” 

Take care,

Dr. Rosa Atkins, Jennifer McKeever, and the Charlottesville School Board