Along with many other school districts across the state and nation, we are working on ways to extend learning opportunities and stay connected to our students while also doing our part to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Have questions about our learning plan? Check out this Frequently Asked Questions page.
If your students haven’t been in contact with their teachers, please contact the schools. We want to help our students keep learning!
Expectations Using These Resources
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, these resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning. Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor.
If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements.
What a week! If you’re like me, you’re still trying to process all that has happened.
In the past week, we have grappled with
- the confirmation that the virus has arrived in our state and community,
- the sudden decision to close our schools,
- the creation of a school meals delivery system that served more than 2,500 meals,
- the distribution of about 900 chromebooks to our 2nd- to 6th-grade students, and
- outlining a new framework for student engagement and learning.
I’m so proud of our teachers, principals, and staff as well as our community volunteers who have made these accomplishments possible, even as they have juggled responsibilities at home.
Let’s start with a brief update on food. Schools’ food deliveries this week are Monday and Wednesday only. Since we will be giving multiple day’s food at each visit, we recommend children bring an adult or backpack to help carry the extra food home. Delivery times/locations are the same but as we deliver more food, there may be route delays. Volunteers are needed for this week. Learn more and sign up to help at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.
Let’s take a moment to thank our nutrition team and bus drivers for their incredible work and dedication! What important work they are doing!
Now, let us turn our attention to learning. While we will await the governor’s guidance on when to re-open schools, we are making plans in case the closure extends beyond 3/27. Tomorrow the governor is expected to make an announcement.
As we think about what learning will look like in case of an extended closure, let’s keep in mind that at home, work, and “school,” we are making new routines and finding new ways to meet our basic needs. We are still working to get supports such as chromebooks and wifi to households in need. We are working to empower our teachers to succeed in a new environment even as we recognize that they are also supporting their own families at home, particularly as illness arises (coronavirus or otherwise). In other words, this is new and complicated, and we will not immediately transform our vibrant schools into fully formed distance-learning counterparts.
NEXT STEPS FOR LEARNING
Having said that, we are committed to finding new ways to connect and engage with our students. Starting later this week, teachers will be reaching out to students to make connections and to map which students need additional supports to be part of a virtual community.
As we gain confidence online and extend resources as needed, we will ramp up our distance learning offerings. Along the way, we will make mistakes and learn — exactly what we expect our students to do. Let’s be patient and encouraging with one another — just as we expect of our teachers.
GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, learning resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning. Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor. If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements.
You will learn more from your schools and your teachers about what this will look like for your students, but as you await contact from your teacher, we’ve created a page to give you some basics to work with at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning.
We have big questions to grapple with, such as:
- How do we meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners?
- How will we support our youngest students with at-home learning?
- How will we prepare high school seniors for graduation and life after graduation?
- Will we be able to sustain our model for food delivery if this situation continues or worsens?
- We have many challenges and exciting opportunities.
The good news is, we aren’t in this alone. We are following state guidance. For instance, the state is applying for a federal waiver from state SOL testing, and the state is issuing guidelines for seniors. Aside from the state, we are working with other school divisions. And remember, Charlottesville, we are a strong community.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways to help.
- Take care of yourself and your family.
- Consider volunteering. Presently, we need food delivery volunteers — even for tomorrow. A one-stop-shop for giving and getting help is supportcville.com.
- Consider donating. The CACF is creating a school-based fund to support our food delivery efforts — stay tuned. And already, the CACF has created a general Charlottesville Emergency fund for the needs throughout our community.
- Be patient as we continue to learn what works. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact us directly. Constructive feedback is welcome, and we may miss a good idea if it is posted on social media instead of emailed to a staff member.
You are doing your best. Although not seen by the public, our custodians and IT staff are doing their best. Our teachers will soon be doing their best (and we know just how good their best is!) Our nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are doing their best. Together, we all want what is best for the young people of Charlottesville.
Dr. Rosa Atkins
Your child will be hearing from his/her teacher soon, but in the meanwhile, we’ve organized these resources into a sample weekly plan for your convenience! Have fun with these activities.
Walker, Buford, CHS Resources
- Walker Resources
- Buford: Check Canvas or teachers’ Google Classroom.
- CHS: Check Canvas.
Resources for All Ages
Let’s keep reading — and singing, and playing, and listening to audiobooks…! For tips and resources, see these links.
The current activities and resources posted on this page and in Canvas were developed in conjunction with special education staff. For the time being, these materials are remedial in nature, provided for everyone and optional.
Special Education case managers will contact families to share how they can support and facilitate access during this time and/or provide additional learning and enrichment activities. Since in-person classes are cancelled per Governor’s orders, special education services will not be provided for the time being.
When CCS begins teaching new material to all students, individualized decisions will be made by IEP teams to identify the special education services and supports that are required to participate in the new instruction. Additionally, when we return to in-person learning, IEP teams will discuss the educational impact of school closure.
Cville Schools ESL Resources
- Link to Resources recommended for ESL learners
- 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.
Learning happens when our basic needs have been met. Attached please find the local United Way’s guide to community resources:
Learning at Home: Suggestions from the State of Virginia
Parents and families can support students’ thinking and learning during extended school closures.
- Collaborate with your child to organize the day to include time for learning, activities and exercise.
- Read to and with your child and have conversations about what you have read together.
- Take a walk and ask about what your child is seeing and about being a good citizen.
- Encourage critical thinking through cooking together or planning a garden.
- Encourage conversations about mathematics in your child’s day.
- Explore your child’s creativity by creating art, music, or dance.
- Write a letter to a family member or friend or community hero.
- Be mindful of screen time and have alternatives for children to play outside.
- Listen to your child about his or her feelings and fears and offer comfort, honesty, and reassurance.
Basics (Computers, Connectivity, and Expectations
We have focused on distributing one Chromebook for every home with a student in grades 2-6 (unless their household already has a computer, ipod, or other device that students can use ). We are trying to reach as many families as possible.
Why grades 2-6?
- Students at CHS and Buford have previously been issued Chromebook devices.
- Our plans for students in PK-1 do not include devices (we will have off-line learning suggestions for them.)
If you did not receive a Chromebook or need a charger, please reach out to your principal at most schools. At Burnley-Moran, reach out to assistant principal Adriane Butler (butlera1).
Previous and current surveys indicate that the vast majority of our families have at-home internet access. Recently, Xfinity and AT&T opened up all their U.S. WiFi hotspots to non-customers, which will assist even more of our families.
Suggested WiFi networks:
- If your family has a home WiFi network, go for it!
- If you can see an AT&T or Xfinity hotspot from your home, right now they are open to everyone (not just customers).
- If you can see a City of Charlottesville or a Charlottesville City Schools network from your home, jump on as guest.
- Other suggestions include asking a neighbor to see if they’ll share their WiFi password. (They can change the password at any time — for instance, after we reopen schools.)
- Still no home access? You can walk a bit with the computer to figure out the closest school or park where you could sit and check your email for a moment.
- If nothing else works in your home, stay tuned. Within a few days, we hope to start distributing WiFi hotspots to families with no other internet access.